DDOORN   237,971
200,000-249,999 SparkPoints
DDOORN's Recent Blog Entries

Ablating We Will Go!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Well my "electrician" or more formally, electrophysiologist got right down to business and scheduled me for my cardiac ablation next week! I'm pleased to get going on this and am hopeful that I'll be putting this behind me so that I can hit the roads on my bike this year just like any other!

The way that I understand the procedure is that he will be zapping (with a radiofrequency catheter up through the groin) the electrical current in my heart to see if it restores a proper rhythm...if that doesn't work he'll zap the node which controls the electrical current...probably Sinus (SA) node in the right atrium. If he fries the node it'll mean installation of pacemaker to replace the node and to restore proper cardiac rhythm.

I'm really okay with this as I've read enough to know that a pacemaker isn't gonna slow me down any and it isn't all that invasive. I asked how this condition could have developed and he's pretty confident that it's leftover baggage and consequences from my morbidly obese days when I had congestive heart failure...one never knows how bad choices can come back to haunt yet again!

While there are risks with any surgical procedure, it's a pretty easy choice to make in moving ahead with this as: if this condition isn't treated my atriums will continue to malfunction: not emptying completely, nor filling completely. This results in a pooling of blood in my heart which places me at risk for clotting and strokes and requires anti-coagulant medications...which present a risk of their own. Additionally this condition results in my feeling more fatigue than I ought to feel due to the improper functioning of my heart.

Restoring proper rhythm to my heart will eliminate all of these problems.

Yep, there are going to be further tweaks and possible complications but I'm pretty confident that the path I'm choosing will be the lesser of possible problems.

It's also a good thing that of the two problems I have the flutter, not the fibrillation. Per PubMed:


"Radiofrequency catheter ablation of typical atrial flutter is highly effective and associated with a low recurrence rate of atrial flutter, but atrial fibrillation continues to be a long-term risk for patients undergoing this procedure."

Looks like it will involve at least an overnight stay, perhaps more time if pacemaker tweaking is necessary.

Ready to move on and put this behind me! Going to have a crazy-busy time getting ready at work for the time off though...!

Keep 'er SPARKING everyone! :-)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NANCY- 3/3/2014 8:58AM

    Your "electrician"? Love your attitude. FYI my son got a pacemaker at 19, he is now 25. Swims and flirts with the girls. The pacemaker made his life better, the alternative was not.
With your attitude, You will have this situation addressed in fine fashion.
WTG on taking care of your leftover baggage.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHANGE4FIT 3/2/2014 11:00PM

    Hoping all goes well with your procedure and you are back on the bike by the time this winter decides to morph into spring for good.
Keeping you in thoughts and prayers spark friend!

Report Inappropriate Comment
IRISHF 3/2/2014 8:31PM

    Good luck with your ablation. My grandmother had a pacemaker and she lived to be 90 years old with no problems and was independent.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ALIIDA 3/1/2014 8:55AM

    All the best for your ablation. My husband had this done last week, and it worked like a charm. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
HAPPY-DESTINY 2/28/2014 2:23AM

    I do hope it all goes well for you! My heart (no pun) goes out to you.. I am with you in Spirit and mindfulness!

Report Inappropriate Comment
YOGATIME 2/27/2014 11:54PM

    Don my friend, by now the procedure is over. Can only hope it was a grand success. Meditate on the healing energy of life and continue to sparkle!! Love and Prayers--Namaste

Report Inappropriate Comment
SAM60SUMTHINK 2/26/2014 11:41PM

    One good thing about cardiac electricians is that they don't dilly dally. So glad this procedure, since it's necessary, will be done so quickly! Hmmm ... and!! What wonderful timing: you'll be back training for summer rides as the weather warms up. Um.... it IS going to warm up this year, ISN'T it??

Wishing you speedy return to normal biking capacity!!
Keep us posted; as the comments reflect: your friends care.

Comment edited on: 2/26/2014 11:41:44 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
RAINBOWFALLS 2/26/2014 8:17AM

    I am glad to hear you are so positive going forward with this procedure. I hope all works out with the best results for you. Take care emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
_LINDA 2/26/2014 12:53AM

    Got everything crossed that all you will need is the ablation! My thoughts will be with you! Remarkable what surgeons can do these days!

Report Inappropriate Comment
RECREATING_ME 2/25/2014 11:15PM

    I'll keep you in my prayers, Don. I hope that the ablation alone does the trick and that you soon will be flying along on your bike!


Report Inappropriate Comment
ONEKIDSMOM 2/25/2014 9:04PM

    Those of us who have previously been overweight, and in some of our cases for decades before losing it... are very fortunate our bodies have recovered as well as they have! So take good care of yours, sounds like you have made a solid, logical decision, one that was easy to make.

I wish you many years of healthy living, with whatever assistance is needed for that heart!


Report Inappropriate Comment
LOLA_LALA 2/25/2014 8:52PM

    "Ablating We Will Go!" emoticon Don, your sense of humor is as healthy as the proverbial horse :) We're all going to be pulling for you next week, hoping for the very best outcome from the ablation... and I have a sneaking suspicion all will be well. You sound like you're not only well-prepared work-wise, and also information-wise, too. May I recommend toting in "Brasileiro" on your mp3 device - I found it so comforting when I had some surgery back in '98! A fellow who appreciates great rhythm as much as you do deserves nothing but A-OK (boy, I'm dating myself with THAT expression!) cardiac rhythm, too - especially when it means the restoration of a lot of the energy you've lost via fatigue.

Having look at the link you provided and some of the other jumping-off links on that article, the fact that you've got flutter rather than fibrillation also sounds like good reason for optimism. The stats look very much on your side.

Think how great it's going to be once you're over this temporary obstacle and back on that 'cycle again this summer! Won't that be great? That's where I see you! Meanwhile, you sound positive and strong as you enter this unfamiliar territory. I'll be so anxious to hear how well you're doing post-procedure!

All the best - Susan emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
WATERMELLEN 2/25/2014 8:33PM

    You have a confident and thorough understanding of your situation and have made the best possible choice.

Please, however, don't drive yourself crazy at work getting everything done before you book yourself in for the ablation!! No way!! If it doesn't get done, I'm betting either one of your colleagues will pick up the slack or . . . it can wait!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
KANOE10 2/25/2014 5:59PM

    You sound well prepared and knowledgeable about the procedure. It sounds like a good solution. I am keeping you in my prayers and hoping that the ablatement goes well. Hugs.


Report Inappropriate Comment

    You are going into this procedure well informed. That is good.

Report Inappropriate Comment
HIPPICHICK1 2/25/2014 3:30PM

    Sounds like you are prepped and ready!
emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
L*I*T*A* 2/25/2014 3:05PM

    praying all will go well........
all the best.......
blessings and hugs.......lita

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
VALERIEMAHA 2/25/2014 2:47PM

    Thanks for bringing us "on-board." As procedures go, it sounds relatively safe and full-proof (between the alternatives).

I have no doubt that you will come through with FLYING COLORS!

Report Inappropriate Comment
PATRICIAAK 2/25/2014 1:57PM

    You're right. I'd make the same choice.
Praying all goes well.

Report Inappropriate Comment
STRIVERONE 2/25/2014 1:41PM

    Don, I'm looking forward to hearing this is all squared away and we get to hang out on a few rides come spring.

Comment edited on: 2/25/2014 1:42:20 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
HILLSLUG98239 2/25/2014 1:35PM

    I'm delighted to read your positive take on things. Pessimists may get better laugh lines, but us PollyAnna types heal faster!

Report Inappropriate Comment
COMMIT2BFIT4ME 2/25/2014 1:11PM

    You have such a good attitude and positive mental outlook. Keep moving forward in maintaining a healthy life. You obviously have become very skilled and mastered the art of making adjustments as life unfolds. Keeping you in my prayers and sending positive energy your way.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SLIMMERJESSE 2/25/2014 12:54PM

    I'll keep sending you positive energy from my corner of the world in CA, Don.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LPRUNWALK 2/25/2014 12:45PM

    Wow, I had no idea you were going through this. Your positive, 'get 'er done' attitude and your passionate dedication to your own health will undoubtedly serve you well. I will be eagerly awaiting news.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LKG9999 2/25/2014 12:43PM

    Good luck with the ablatement. Fingers crossed that's all you'll need!

Report Inappropriate Comment

Nordic Swing Dance!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Sometimes a workout is just that: a WORK out! It just doesn't come easy and it just doesn't crank up those endorphins the way one would like.

This morning was one of those mornings. The old upper body ST moves just weren't happening without a lotta OOF and there were no new increments of weight added...just the same-old, same-old. So after almost an hour of that I move on to Spinning Class for an hour. But again it just wasn't happening. I was going through the motions but none of the tunes grabbed me the way they sometimes do. You know: when the rhythm of the music is right in sync with your pedaling or even better, inspires you to pedal harder?

So after a "meh" morning at the fitness center, feeling like my tank was running lower than it should and thinking about my heart, I head out to the car and WOW:

The great outdoors were beckoning! Clear blue skies, sunshine and mid-40's! Within a couple of days we are in for more frigid single digits and below weather: This was clearly a day to savor and treasure!

Although I wondered about tossing another workout on top of two that were already so-so I simply could not let this day pass without taking advantage of it!

Off to Otsiningo Park I go and pull out my Nordic Poles which had been gathering FAR too much dust, put on my mp3 player and I'm OFF to the trails! It was utterly the smartest thing I have done for myself in a while! I was just enthralled with my music, the weather, the trails busy with families, couples, joggers, kids on bikes and moving my body felt just WONDERFUL! I was non-stop smiles and at times even chuckling and chortling with inner dialogue such as:

My inner critic: "You're gonna PAY for this with all sorts of aches and pains!"

Me: "PAY?!? If what I'm doing is COSTING me I'll gladly hand over my wallet! There isn't any pill, potion or magic that can do any more for me than what I am doing right now!"

The shuffle on my mp3 player was in rare form, first serving up a couple of Sergio Mendes tunes, the first from my very favorite album of his:

Brasileiro - Magalenha

Sergio Mendes, Encanto - Odo-Ya (be forewarned...these two albums of Sergio's will get you up and MOVIN' to the GROOVIN'!)

Marcus Roberts - Cherokee: Virtuosic boogie woogie! You've never heard two hands have more fun than this!

The Who Live At Leeds Shakin All Over (and later Baba O'Riley!) Love the bombast and drive of The Who!

Basia - Someone For Everyone (nice jazzy piece from an under-appreciated Polish singer)...couldn't find the studio version, but this live one is fun!

Had a nice teaser blast from the past: Sly Stone's Hot Fun in the (ahem) WINTERTIME! :-)

And I was delighted to get this recommended tune courtesy of RECREATING_ME! Pharrell Williams - Happy! Such a fun video with this one!

When I use the Nordic poles I try to really get *into* the stride and to remember to swivel my hips with my walk. With all the great music being served up it felt more like Nordic Swing Dance than Nordic Walking...lol! I tossed some jogging in now & then when it got a little sloppy for the poles and fjorded a few parts of the trail which were flooded over.

And yes, when it was all said & done and I finished the 5.25 mile loop I was one whupped and hurting pile of joy! Totally put thoughts of my heart on the way back burner!

Before signing off I just had to share such an inspiring talk I heard on TED TV, courtesy of our local public radio station:

Less Stuff, More Happiness:
"Writer and designer Graham Hill asks: Can having less stuff, in less room, lead to more happiness? He makes the case for taking up less space, and lays out three rules for editing your life."

This is really great wisdom, HUGELY resonated with me, and is WELL worth checking out!


Find and celebrate your SPARK everyone!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RECREATING_ME 2/25/2014 11:06PM

    So glad that you liked "Happy!" :)

And what a wonderful workout! Sounds very invigorating!

Report Inappropriate Comment
VALERIEMAHA 2/25/2014 7:50AM



Report Inappropriate Comment
SAM60SUMTHINK 2/23/2014 10:07PM

    What a fantastic day, Don!
..and I totally enjoyed all the links; I just added Basia to the growing list of artist whose CD's or downloads I would like to get!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
L*I*T*A* 2/23/2014 11:51AM

    emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
HIPPICHICK1 2/23/2014 11:01AM

    Great TED talk! Thanks for posting the link.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KANOE10 2/23/2014 8:28AM

    I have had those blah workouts also. You found such joy in your nordic dance trek. Thanks for sharing the music and the talk. I have always loved Sergio Mendez.


Report Inappropriate Comment
WATERMELLEN 2/23/2014 7:47AM

    So delighted to hear about your Nordic Swing Dance!! There is nothing getting into that zen zone of exercise when all worries recede into the far distance: good for you for persisting until you found what you needed.

Report Inappropriate Comment
PATRICIAAK 2/22/2014 11:46PM

    great that you did the outdoors

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHANGE4FIT 2/22/2014 10:47PM

    Will have to hunt that TED down-always a good talk!
It was down right balmy in the south today-mid 60s, sunny and a light breeze. I got out on my favorite "trail" and stomped out five miles with my favorite play list! Great day for walking-nordic or not~LOL

Report Inappropriate Comment
SLIMMERJESSE 2/22/2014 9:04PM

    I have been clearing for awhile now and can honestly say it is a very freeing feeling. The lightness of being, so to speak.

Report Inappropriate Comment
_LINDA 2/22/2014 8:57PM

Nothing, absolutely nothing beats getting outside and enjoying a rousing musical led work out! Great work, great tunes and thanks for the links!!
So getting cabin fever here -back in the deep freeze. Will have to live vicariously through my Spark friend's adventures!

Report Inappropriate Comment
LPRUNWALK 2/22/2014 8:55PM

    So good to see you feeling high on life! Third time was the charm.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ONEKIDSMOM 2/22/2014 8:29PM

    emoticon And may your muscles "eventually" forgive you for feeding your soul! A day well lived... if one thing's not doing it, but another beckons... go for it.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LOLA_LALA 2/22/2014 7:53PM

    Rock ON, fine dude!!!

It's not every day I feel utterly compelled to click the "I liked this blog" button, but I couldn't pass it up after reading this energizing, uplifting, rock 'em, sock 'em entry! emoticon Plus, there's something more than a wee tad global about groovin' on primo Sergio Mendes cuts while endorphin-cranking with Nordic poles and hence, your one-of-a-kind invention of NORDIC SWING DANCE!

Awright, so I'm an old (read: ancient) fan of Sergio's from his '66 beginnings. He's my fave Brazilian artist of all time, and Brasileiro and Encanto are the two well-worn albums which, fortunately, can now rest in degradation-proof perpetuity on my iPod.

YOU KNOW YOUR MUSIC, MY FRIEND! Love Baba O'Riley, too, as a truly unique energizer. Listen...with your kinda tunes and creativity, I'll be one of the first to sign up for your next Nordic Swing Dance class. Just show us the dotted line...and meanwhile, carry on! Loved this entry!

Report Inappropriate Comment

    What a beautiful blog!

Question: Have you looked into Eat To Live as an eating program? Very well documented that it does wonders not only for weight loss, general health and bodily healing, but also specifically for the heart.

I didn't go to your page before asking this. Perhaps you know of it already.

Keep up the spontaneous method of exercise. It was such a joy to read about. Thank you.

Report Inappropriate Comment
FERRETLOVER1 2/22/2014 7:07PM


It's so great that you were able to enjoy the wonderful weather and experience such an exercise high! You rock, Don!

Report Inappropriate Comment

Finally: Down To New Weight Loss Low for 2014!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Beginning in January I've been on a zero-sugar, zero-grain approach and for the heckuvit I've been trying what some refer to as an intermittent fasting where I only eat from noon until 8-9 pm and leave myself food-free for around 16 hours. Keeping calories around 1400-1600 a day.

During the first few weeks BAM! I dropped 20 pounds. I was thrilled, but I knew it wouldn't last...but but but...I've been almost totally flat for Feb. following the same approach that dropped all those initial pounds. Definitely WAY frustrating! But heck...what are my options? I figure I've gotta stay the course on the zero-sugar, zero-grains...this is how I eliminate nearly ALL my trigger foods. Plus eliminating the food option from 9 pm to noon simplifies my life even more not having to contend with food during those hours...always so hectic getting out of the house first thing in the morning, I appreciate not having food get in the way, lol!

So the pounds have been zig-zagging around the 230's during February, but finally hitting 230 today felt like: all RIGHT! Being more stubborn than the pounds is gonna pay off after ALL! I'm still feeling pretty good about my unusual approach to food. I think this is going to work for the long haul with minor tweaks for maintenance. After seeing how flat my weight can be even with this low caloric range I can tell that shifting into maintenance is really going be such a minor change. There is no magic gold ring of bonus calories awaiting when I reach goal weight. Hunger and Patience will continue to be my Best Friends Forever! :-)

My experiments are truly my OWN and I don't mean to suggest this as "the solution" for ALL! We are all SO UNIQUE! We all are our own best experiments and have to tweak and learn from what works and what doesn't.

Monday I meet with my "electrician" and hope to find out more about the "re-wiring" projects he proposes to get my heart back on track. In the meantime I have resumed my nearly daily cardio regimen, albeit a smidgen of a notch down and with Spinning classes still knocking my socks off even after scaling back. This has left me with an "empty tank" and unable to pull off Swing Dance on top of my workouts over the past several weeks, which I miss.

I've updated my SparkPage to reflect current goals as I am now approaching my seventh year with our wonderful SparkFamily!

Keep the SPARK everyone!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHANGE4FIT 2/22/2014 10:41PM

    Glad to hear your intermittent fasting experiment has paid off-not only in weight loss, but as an opportunity to "find some new friends" for the journey!

Report Inappropriate Comment
KANOE10 2/22/2014 10:15AM

    7 years on Spark and reaching 230. You are doing it! Your fasting approach works for you. I am glad you are exercising and feeling good.

I hope that electrician of yours is a good one and finds some way to help you!

emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SAM60SUMTHINK 2/21/2014 3:19PM

    You've accomplished so much!; at this point, shaking things up seems a good idea... as long as you're in sync with things like DASH recommendations, just in case. A thought: haven't you been cutting down a bit on calorie-burning activities? Might be that as much as the food that slowed your rate of loss down...?

SOME grains are a good idea, though; don't you think?? Might be you could think outside the box of temptation-grains. Yikes... that sounds like I recommend eating some really gross grain you don't even like, huh? Check this out: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutriti
Don, you are doing great. Glad you stay on top of all you do!

Report Inappropriate Comment
LKG9999 2/21/2014 11:17AM

    I have also had great success losing weight by reducing carbs. I'm following a plan that is very similar to Ideal Protein, which eliminates all grains, simple-carb veggies like potatoes, and refined sugars. However it also initially drops the calories quite a bit, down to around 900 per day. May be just me but I wasn't making any weight-loss progress when I was consuming 1400-1600 calories/day, even with exercise. Currently I'm staying on the plan with the hopes that the reduced calories will prevent weight regain while I am so immobile.

Report Inappropriate Comment
VALERIEMAHA 2/21/2014 7:37AM

    And the beat goes on!

"And: all best for your meeting with the 'electrician'. I'm pretty sure he's gonna tell you, 'Don, I've heard about hearts of gold, but not sure I've every actually seen one before!!'"

P.S. Did you begin here in 2006, then? Me too!

Comment edited on: 2/21/2014 7:38:39 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
PATRICIAAK 2/21/2014 12:40AM

    What does your doctor think about the 'fasting'?

Report Inappropriate Comment
RECREATING_ME 2/20/2014 11:40PM

    Wow - what a great commitment you have made to Sparking! 7 years is amazing!

Hoping the doctor has a good plan for you on Monday.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MICKEYH 2/20/2014 10:47PM

    Way to go!! I am on my 4 th day of no sugar challenge. emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LOLA_LALA 2/20/2014 8:54PM

    emoticon Don! If "attitude is altitude," as they say, you're way up there in the stratosphere! We'll all be with you in spirit next Monday when you saunter off into the medical sunset to meet with the electrician (somehow, I want to call him "Dr. Zappa," but that may just because I've paid lots of visits to neurologists, and many of them, too, specialize in "wiring". Who knew I had such a "revolting" ol' body? :::groan:::)

!! on those 20 pounds (wowzers!!) you lost!! I've heard that lengthy fasting period has good effects on one's health and blood tests - keep us posted. As someone who goes 28 out of every 30 days without grains or sugar, I can tell you that this allowed me to drop all my weight and right the Titanic of my formerly abysmal triglyceride/total cholesterol/crappy LDL numbers. I feel great - no weakness or blood-sugar vacillations.

We're excitedly awaiting more news, and I have a suspicion it will ultimately be very positive, Don! All the best - Susan

Report Inappropriate Comment

    On the "flat" periods I think it simply is your body adjusting itself. I know my program does this. My weight goes down, my body fat % stays the same. My weight goes up, my body fat% goes down. Then the next day both are down. Go figure!

Congratulations! Your program sounds perfect for you.

Please let us know what goes on with the "electrician".

Report Inappropriate Comment
_LINDA 2/20/2014 7:38PM

    emoticon emoticon
You got to go with what works for you!
Maybe you could rotate your workouts so you can include Swing Dance instead of doing the same thing all the time. Your body will appreciate the change up of routine!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ONEKIDSMOM 2/20/2014 7:01PM

    That's some milestones, 7 years a-Sparkin'! And congrats on coming to peaceful terms with your inner stubborn. Hope that electrician gets the wiring all figured out for you, as I know how much you love your activity.

Report Inappropriate Comment
L*I*T*A* 2/20/2014 6:43PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
WATERMELLEN 2/20/2014 6:29PM

    I'm all for each of us finding what works -- and intermittent fasting (even with all the reverence accorded to breakfast) works for a whole lot of us.

Congrats to you on finding 230. Congrats on 7 years here.

And: all best for your meeting with the "electrician". I'm pretty sure he's gonna tell you, "Don, I've heard about hearts of gold, but not sure I've every actually seen one before!!"


Report Inappropriate Comment
COMMIT2BFIT4ME 2/20/2014 1:58PM

    Congrats on 7 years and your continued successes!


Report Inappropriate Comment
HIPPICHICK1 2/20/2014 12:18PM

    Here's to experimentation!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WMUGRAD 2/20/2014 11:29AM

    Congrats Don!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SKINNYPOWELL1 2/20/2014 10:59AM

    You have always been an huge inspiration to me, I enjoyed reading your blog today, keep up the good work.


Report Inappropriate Comment
PEZMOM1 2/20/2014 10:03AM


Report Inappropriate Comment
CHELERY1 2/20/2014 9:53AM

    emoticon You're inspiring!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MAESTROSHASHA 2/20/2014 9:43AM

    Congrats on the wt loss. Even more congrats and cheers for finding out what works for you. That is always such a challenging piece to this whole puzzle. Take care :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
SLIMMERJESSE 2/20/2014 9:28AM

    How fabulous!

Report Inappropriate Comment

Valentine's Day: The Heart...It's Complicated!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Here I was ready to march off and either zap ye olde heart or slap a pacemaker in and be good to go!

Sadly no such simple solutions await...

My EKG confirmed a return of the atrial flutter, however with some worsening features that make a solution tricky and outside the range of my current cardiologist's area of expertise. She is more of a "plumbing" sorta gal. Me? I need an electrician. My right atrium is not filling completely, nor is it emptying completely. The other three quadrants of the heart attempt to compensate for this which counter-intuitively (to me, at least) causes my heart rate to slow down.

So I'm being passed along to a cardiologist who is an "electrical physiologist".

The way I understand it is he will "map" my heart's electrical impulses to determine what intervention he feels will be most helpful. It may involve a "re-mapping" with possible pacemaker as part of the solution, but not likely the total solution.

There may be ablasions in my future where some of the nerves are cauterized for the re-mapping efforts. Pacemaker may or may not be needed. My condition sounds like it will wax & wane and require ongoing tweaking and monitoring...even if a pacemaker is used, which may or may not happen.

I need to take a blood thinner, but am going to try the new drug Eliquis which doesn't require the blood work and tweaking that Coumadin requires. But like Coumadin it will make me at risk for bleeding and bruising and UNLIKE Coumadin there is no counter-acting agent so if I start bleeding I won't stop. Need to be way WAY cautious about this...! This is necessary to avoid throwing clots and also to allow the doc to follow through with whatever procedure he feels needs to be done, ablasion, whathaveyou.

So: no road cycling until I'm off the blood thinner. Just not going to risk it. Even nervous in thinking about cx skiing...all the "what-ifs"? Such as what if I fall, twist an ankle, bruise a knee, etc...?

It's still pretty confusing to me and I really don't have a clear conceptualization of the cardiac electrical system and more precisely how mine is so wonky. I am having a really tough time feeling like I have even a basic understanding or grasp of what the heck is happening...which is frustrating as all get-out!

Here is a link which I believe SHOULD explain things for me, however I have a hard time "grokking" it:


The good thing is that of all the ways the cardiac electrical system can go wrong, mine is pretty innocuous. I have no limitations on my physical activity other than to be prepared to feel more fatigued than I oughta feel when I pump it up. The worst case scenario is that my fatigue may lead me to pass out but without any ill effect.

But even without any limitations by my cardiologist I'm having a mixed sorta reaction of being blase (hey I'm tracking my food, don't have to worry about weight gain) but also fearful...with my heart hobbling along do I really wanna pump it up to an HR of 120 or above?

The weight loss has leveled off despite holding the calories down around 1400-1600...so this may nudge me into action. Workouts have been my "North Star"...don't want to lose this mojo, even if I AM building a NEW North Star: Food tracking.

I'll be seeing the new cardiologist, my electrician on 2/24 so stay tuned...


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_MOBII_ 2/19/2014 10:11AM

    It is a lot to take in and learn, but it sounds like you are getting excellent care. I always prefer (read:expect) doctors who take the time to explain things so we can understand them and who make sure that we understand what is happening with our body.
I am so glad that you are getting some answers.

Take care

Report Inappropriate Comment
LOLA_LALA 2/16/2014 5:46PM

    Don, I'm so sorry to hear of this development, but it sounds like not only are you in good, capable hands - and can avail yourself of some solid clinical judgment - but that you, too, have a sound grasp of the situation's various ramifications. I have a feeling you'll be in the care of an excellent cardiac "electrician" and that the problem will be handled with reassuring success. My brother had both a cardiac ablation and pacemaker implant close to 20 years ago. Keep us posted on your progress; I have a good, positive feeling about you and the outcome of this situation! - Susan

Report Inappropriate Comment
WATERMELLEN 2/15/2014 12:36PM

    Oh, my. Not the heart focus you wanted for Valentine's Day, absolutely. And: quite an overwhelming whack of info to assimilate and then accommodate. I'm guessing that gym workouts (elliptical, ST etc.) should be fine but totally agree: bike/XC ski sound like too much potential risk for injury/bleeding at the moment. You are at least getting very thorough medical assessment and the assurance an appropriate program will be mapped out for you.

Will be thinking of you and hoping for all best, Don.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KANOE10 2/15/2014 9:54AM

    This does sound complicated..I am hoping your new doctor can explain it and offer new ways of helping you. I would stay off of your beloved cycling and skiing while you are on that blood thinner. I know your love of exercise will help you to find a way to continue it. This is a hard frustrating time for you. I am keeping you in my prayers. Hugs.


Report Inappropriate Comment
_LINDA 2/14/2014 11:57PM

    Some scary stuff alright:(( The Dr. does say its okay to exercise though, and why not? Before you knew what was even going on, you were giving 'er to no ill effects or damage.. But while on the blood thinner, yes, you do not wanna get road rash.. You need to find something safe that you like to do. Tracking food is great, but I can tell you sitting around doing nothing gets old fast. In the olden days, after recoveries or flares, I would be doing video games 24/7, but if there was anything at all I could exercise at, I would find a way..
Hoping this Dr. can find a solution that won't leave you hanging in the air..

Report Inappropriate Comment
PATRICIAAK 2/14/2014 9:44PM

    My Mom has had ablations.

Report Inappropriate Comment
RECREATING_ME 2/14/2014 9:40PM

    Gah -- things are never as simple as we want them to be! Praying that your new cardiologist has some good answers for you that will get you on the right track.

Report Inappropriate Comment
COMMIT2BFIT4ME 2/14/2014 8:44PM

    It does sound complicated. Hopefully after you see the EP doc you will get more clarity on your condition. In the mean time find some things you can do to keep moving w/o getting the HR pumped up. I will be praying for you and will be staying tuned. Wishing you the best.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ONEKIDSMOM 2/14/2014 6:08PM

    Sorry for the detours on that path, Don! Hope you will continue to keep us in the loop... it's a bummer because I know how much you enjoy the cycling and skiing. There has to be a safe level of activity? Doesn't there?

Spark gently, friend!

Report Inappropriate Comment
VALERIEMAHA 2/14/2014 2:17PM

    OMG! Some kinda' Valentine's surprise THIS is!!! Wonder what the etiology of this is? I'm confident you are receiving skillful medical care and you will carry on with the superb stewardship you are offering that currently naughty body which is in your care!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SAM60SUMTHINK 2/14/2014 1:24PM

    Don, as Valentine's Day heart messages go: this one sorta stinks, my friend! BUT!! Thank heavens you KNOW of this problem now! Yup, you are entering yet another phase of your journey. Ah, life: challenges always do emerge, don't they?! Yeah, the blood thinner has drawbacks, but... it can save lives. My dad bleeds easily from his but blood loss has not been extreme, even though at almost 92 he is also thin skinned. As he says, "it's the way it is and I'm still here while most of my friends are not". Amazing what we can accept when faced with change. Good thing you enjoy and know good melodies; nothing like music to help keep the stress level down while coping with change!

With all the new medical understanding and technologies this unfair new development will complicate life, but your electrician can work miracles. Thank goodness you have lost that weight; had this happened several years ago, you would not have been in as good a fighting stance.

You're in my thoughts; am cheering for speedy solutions.
Keep us up-to-date, k?
(Good grief; you didn't shovel snow today, didya???)

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHANGE4FIT 2/14/2014 12:50PM

It actually sounds like you have a very good grasp of the difference in plumbing and wiring when it comes to the heart. Your next provider will probably provide you more clarity on the later. Keeping you in thoughts and prayers!

Report Inappropriate Comment
HAPPY-DESTINY 2/14/2014 11:56AM


I went to an electrophysiologist myself down in PA @ Guthrie!

My issue was not the same as you though.. other that a few missed beats and tachycardia!

I had my work done up in Syracuse @ St Joseph's . . great team up there!

Sorry to hear you are off the wheels.. but you cannot risk a tumble and scratches way out where you ride . . I agree . . too risky Boss!

That being said . . please don't let fear cripple you as it did me! Ask . . Ask . . Ask what you can still do and what is a safe heart rhythm rate!

I wish you all the best!! I am also here if you need someone to chat with!

Report Inappropriate Comment

    Wow, mixed bag of news for sure. I'm one who goes alternate methods of healing, even the heart can heal and I don't mean that in the romantic sense.

It sounds like your insurance company is going to get a hefty bill.

The most important thing is that hopefully you will indeed continue on your path to living life to it's fullest.

Happy Valentine's day.

Report Inappropriate Comment
L*I*T*A* 2/14/2014 10:44AM

    sounds like you will get the answers you seek soon.......
good luck with the new cardiologist....
hoping and praying for your best outcome.....
blessings and hugs....lita

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
HIPPICHICK1 2/14/2014 10:25AM

    All the best of luck to you with your heart health!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MAESTROSHASHA 2/14/2014 10:05AM

    Yikes! Blood thinner without an antidote sounds like a bad game of Russian roulette with no empty chambers. :( :( :(

Report Inappropriate Comment
SLIMMERJESSE 2/14/2014 9:51AM

    Interesting info and sounds like your next doc will be able to get more specific in treatment plan. Take care and wishing you the best outcome.

Report Inappropriate Comment

What Is It About February?

Monday, February 10, 2014

It was a year ago when I had my atrial flutter and electrical heart block with low resting heart rates around 20-30 or so. Got my cardioversion zap and was finally taken off coumadin and cleared for no restrictions in my activities this past June. My resting heart rate was consistently in the 60s.

I was warned, however, that this electrical gremlin might return and haunt my heart yet again. I got lax. Haven't been checking my heart rate. Last week after my fitness center workouts I began to notice my fatigue significantly increasing. A light bulb went off as I remembered this type of fatigue happened before last year.

So checking out my heart rate consistently and yep: it's baaaaack! Resting heart rate of 35 every morning this past week. Ugh!

Heading out to see the doc and check it out later today. I'm betting I need either 1) another cardioversion zen heart slap (still remember through my anesthetized stupor that big wha-BAM that hit my chest the last time) or 2) pacemaker time. We'll see. I almost prefer the latter option as I've heard plenty of good things about folks with pacemakers living very active lifestyles and not slowing down at all. Another cardioversion may just forestall this and interrupt my life again next year yet one more time. So I'm like: alrighty now, let's just take care of business and get 'er done!

BUT: one factor that's different from last February? Last year I was almost panicky over not having workouts available to burn off my calories...OMG my thoughts ran: I'm gonna pack on the pounds TERRIBLY!

This February? I've got this zero-sugar, zero-grain, 16-hour-fast, nutrition tracking deal down SO SOLIDLY that I can look ahead to managing just fine without the caloric burn of my cardio workouts.

The pounds they keep on dropping...and that's mighty fine by me! :-)

I'll keep folks posted on how things shake out...


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GREENGENES 2/13/2014 12:40AM

    That sounds really scary. It's great that you listen to what your body is telling you and acting on it. Sounds like you've got the right attitude to get through this.

Report Inappropriate Comment
_MOBII_ 2/12/2014 12:59PM

    Just reading this scares the pants off of me. I hope they give you another zap or a pacemaker soon!
I am keeping you in my prayers and sending good thoughts and energy your way.

Report Inappropriate Comment
_LINDA 2/11/2014 7:23PM

    Always mega scary stuff when the old ticker is not performing properly -glad you caught this. Perhaps the pacemaker is the way to go to keep things on a even keel and to not have to worry about it.
I do sympathize with the exercise downtime -I hate eating less due to inactivity no fun at all...glad you have a plan,,
Wishing you all the best!

Report Inappropriate Comment
RECREATING_ME 2/11/2014 12:43PM

    So sorry that you are experiencing heart problems again, Don, but thank goodness you were aware of what was happening! I hope that whatever route you and your doctor decide to take will be the best for restoring your health.

You're in my thoughts...

Report Inappropriate Comment
ONEKIDSMOM 2/10/2014 10:46PM

    Glad you were alert and are having it checked out early. In my prayers for the right solution for YOU, and wisdom for the medical professionals who are helping.

Report Inappropriate Comment
WATERMELLEN 2/10/2014 8:10PM

    So glad that you were alert to the problem recurring and are acting on it right away. Love your confidence about your current nutrition program: and your soup of the week sounds delicious!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
PATRICIAAK 2/10/2014 7:17PM

    adding prayers

Report Inappropriate Comment
ROMANTILLY 2/10/2014 6:24PM

    Hey Don - you know I am an ICU nurse - and I have had many patients with pacemakers. Those who are physically active do very well. What I see more of is those that come in with Congestive Heart Failure and a very low ejection fraction from the left ventricle of the heart. They need the pacemaker to increase the heart's contractile force and pumping capability. The pacemaker is a great option for people who are physically active because it gives you so much control - it will fire if your heart rate goes to low or fire if your heart rate goes to high. They can set the paramaters however best fits your lifestyle. Here's wishing you the absolute best and sending prayers your way.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GETSTRONGRRR 2/10/2014 6:07PM

    Good on you for heeding to the warning signs! Good luck!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BROOKLYN_BORN 2/10/2014 3:20PM

    Prayers for new news. Keep us posted.

Report Inappropriate Comment
HIPPICHICK1 2/10/2014 2:13PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
CHANGE4FIT 2/10/2014 1:01PM

    Thoughts, prayers and well wishes coming your way my dear Spark Friend! Please do keep us posted!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/10/2014 1:02:05 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
L*I*T*A* 2/10/2014 12:22PM

    sending you positive thoughts........
wishing you the best outcome!!
blessings and hugs..lita

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
COMMIT2BFIT4ME 2/10/2014 11:54AM

    So glad you listened to your body and caught this right away. I will be praying for you.

Report Inappropriate Comment
VALERIEMAHA 2/10/2014 11:38AM

    Dang it! I hate it when our bodies betray us. You're SO wired on what to do and how to do it to get things back on track. Winging healing and loving thoughts your way, dear friend!

Report Inappropriate Comment
RACEWELLWON 2/10/2014 11:25AM

    Don - I am sorry to read this news - sending prayers and positive thoughts - no room for play here ! Thanks for the blog support - 30 year of stepping - !! Same concept applies ! Karen :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
DAISYBELL6 2/10/2014 11:13AM

    My thoughts and best wishes are with you for your doctor's visit today. Let us know the outcome.

Report Inappropriate Comment
STRIVERONE 2/10/2014 11:02AM

    At least you have an idea what's up this time. I'll be watching for your report.

Report Inappropriate Comment
HILLSLUG98239 2/10/2014 10:21AM

    Keep that ticker going! At least February is short, right?

Report Inappropriate Comment
SLIMMERJESSE 2/10/2014 10:08AM

    You are such an inspiration. Will send positive energy your way from CA for best outcomes.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KANOE10 2/10/2014 10:06AM

    Hugs to you. I am glad you caught this early and are going to see the doctor. I know people who are very successful with a pacemaker. I am keeping you in my prayers . You are also in better shape than last February with all of your healthy eating and exercising. I know you will not gain the weight back..

Report Inappropriate Comment
MNCYCLIST 2/10/2014 9:52AM

    Wow, Don, that's serious. You'll be in my prayers. I look forward to seeing how this shakes out in the coming weeks. Hang in there!

Report Inappropriate Comment

First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 Last Page