Tuesday, 10 July 2012

24 Hours in ARU

Well that was quite a 24 hours. I went to my GP's, having googled enough to know really that I'd need to get checked out.  I had two options. One was to go to a series of appointments throughout the week ( thus further inconveniencing my already inconvenienced work) with the warning that if I felt any worse I should contact NHS 24 or go to hospital. My other option was just to go to hospital and get all the checks done in a relatively short space of time. So I went off to the WGH with a letter in my hand and presented myself there.

I have had a right old MOT. Bloods, ECG, chest x-ray, heart tracing over night, more bloods and an echocardiogram today. The good news was that nothing truly evil emerged from all this scrutiny. Normal bloods, no infections, normal structures of the heart....but I have an Atrial Fibrillation...no real reason for why, or why now...1-2% of the population has it, pedigree dogs and race horses get it, extra ectopic beats making my heart sound like it is free-styling rather than beating. I have a jazz heart. So I'm to take a beta-blocker, "Its lucky you're not a sprinter" to keep the rate down because its flipping up too high; and wear some kind of tape thing for 7 days come Friday, to try and get a better handle on when and why and how much my little heart is beating. If it goes on and on they might have a shot at shocking it into behaving. (Cardioversion.)

"They" (the docs) were very sympathetic to me being a runner. I think there were a number of runners among their ranks, and they took that into account every step of the way. I wondered if all this could have come as a result of over-training (not that I have been) or too long events - I was thinking about my recent forays into the world of ultra-running. They say...not really. There's a weak association between endurance sports people and AF. No proof of causality.

"People still run with a beta-blocker" was the news, "but they can feel it slows them up a bit". Do you know what? That's a bummer. I was just trying to get faster again. But then the news wasn't "Don'r run again" or "You better get your house in order" and for that I'm grateful. We've been too close to proper tragedy to take that lightly.

It was a horrible night in a ward full of truly ill people setting off monitors and snoring and being sick and shitting themselves. I found myself comparing it to a long haul flight quite a bit, all the waiting and waiting, but I was much, much more comfortable, and the in-flight entertainment was a bit better. The air hostesses (you're going to have to use your imagination here) were less false and more approachable. All in all I feel I was treated very well. As an aside I think the growing size and weight of the nation might be meaning hospital beds are a lot more spacious and comfortable these days. They were definitely American sized as compared to what we had on offer when I worked in the Royal Ed.

We'll just have to see how this running thing goes from here...after a good night's sleep.


Climbingmandy said...

OMG!!! It sounds like you have had a right adventure. Glad you did the right thing and got it investigated. Thank goodness you are so well informed and know what questions to ask. Are you able to run at all at the moment? Fancy a jaunt at the weekend. Hoping to make it to club tomorrow night.

Yak Hunter said...

OMG is right AGH! Yeah I'm to run and see what happens. It really could be an adventure! I don't know about club tomorrow I quite fancy seeing what I can do first but who knows...

Stuart said...

Bummer… Hope it doesn’t affect the running too much. Always best to get these things checked though.

And, there’s definitely worse things than going through life to a jazz beat!

runtwo said...

Good you got it checked out - hopefully business as usual for you (you don't wanna be a sprinter anyway......:-). )

Yak Hunter said...

Thanks for the kind comments folks.