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...