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.