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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! :-)

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • NANCY-
    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.
    2515 days ago
    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!
    2515 days ago
    Good luck with your ablation. My grandmother had a pacemaker and she lived to be 90 years old with no problems and was independent.
    2515 days ago
  • no profile photo CD14291083
    All the best for your ablation. My husband had this done last week, and it worked like a charm. emoticon
    2517 days ago
    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!
    2518 days ago
    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
    2518 days ago
    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.
    2519 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/26/2014 11:41:44 PM
    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
    2520 days ago
  • _LINDA
    Got everything crossed that all you will need is the ablation! My thoughts will be with you! Remarkable what surgeons can do these days!
    2520 days ago
    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!

    2520 days ago
    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!

    2520 days ago
  • no profile photo CD14245438
    "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
    2520 days ago
    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!!
    2520 days ago
    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.

    2520 days ago
  • no profile photo CD14253479
    You are going into this procedure well informed. That is good.
    2520 days ago
    Sounds like you are prepped and ready!
    emoticon emoticon
    2521 days ago
  • L*I*T*A*
    praying all will go well........
    all the best.......
    blessings and hugs.......lita

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2521 days ago
    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!

    2521 days ago
    You're right. I'd make the same choice.
    Praying all goes well.
    2521 days ago
    Don, I'm looking forward to hearing this is all squared away and we get to hang out on a few rides come spring.
    2521 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/25/2014 1:42:20 PM
  • no profile photo CD13342094
    I'm delighted to read your positive take on things. Pessimists may get better laugh lines, but us PollyAnna types heal faster!
    2521 days ago
    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.

    2521 days ago
    I'll keep sending you positive energy from my corner of the world in CA, Don.
    2521 days ago
    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.
    2521 days ago
  • LKG9999
    Good luck with the ablatement. Fingers crossed that's all you'll need!
    2521 days ago
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