Tuesday, 11 December 2012


Well that was some experience. Getting up in the middle of the night and going up the road with no breakfast and nothing to drink, on the no.49 bus was a bit of a grim march. Even when we were in the Himalayas and we were camping out in 15 degrees below we got bed-tea!

I treated the whole thing like a race because that's what I know. So you prepare as best you can and then make sure you get there. There were 2 candidates for an ablation yesterday and the other one had thought that fasting included having a bowl of muesli, so I got in first. Yes!

In my mind I was going to pay close attention to the procedure as I knew they have hi-tech, expensive 3D imaging equipment which shows the docs where their little wires are going. Maybe even ask a few questions. In reality there was a nurse behind my head, firing drugs into a venflon in my arm.  He may as well have been pouring them into my open brain. The thing was, once they started burning things in my chest it was really quite sore and because I was already sedated I think I was a bit disinhibited. It was hurting and I was letting them know and so the doctor from behind his screen was shouting numbers at the nurse which translated in reality into doses of drugs to fire into me. Meantime, I wasn't too worried about this. I would just holler out when it was sore and the rest of my time I tried to make sense of the telly screen I was looking at. There was a grey thing off to one side (on reflection I think this was the inside of my heart) and then there were a couple of lit up lines and circles, which I think were the catheters. To me they looked like Space Invaders or maybe the Mysterons.

Before I knew it it was all over. (I had been in there 3 hours.) The big SPR said that if he'd had that much medication he'd be flat on his back. The nurse warned me not to sign anything until tomorrow. And then I had to lie around on my back for a long time. I'd brought my MP3 player and was going to listen to the radio but there wasn't any reception so I listened to what the other women in the day care unit had to say about their various experiences. I had the job of putting pressure on the site at the top of my leg where they'd gone into the femoral vein. It kept bleeding - not a lot but not stopping either. I was full of heparin and clopidogrel and aspirin too so it wasn't surprising really. In order to get into the left atrium they have to puncture through the septum from the right hand side of the heart and they don't want this forming any clots, as having a clot in your heart is a stroke waiting to happen. (I want to say its like a catapult loaded with a stone in the hands of a foolish schoolboy - I think I'm still a wee bit stoned myself.)

So eventually I got to sit up and have a cup of tea. That was great. A lot of sitting around later I was given the go ahead to go, the SPR came and saw me and said that as far as they were concerned everything went well and it was a "technical success". By this time it had sunk in that I'd soaked up an unnatural amount of medication during the procedure. I asked him about this and he said him and the consultant had been kicking it around and thought it might be something to do with endorphin levels because of the running. Usually I'm kind of sensitive to things - I can't drink much and more than a cup of coffee these days and I won't sleep all night so I don't really understand it.  As to what will happen about the atrial fibrillation, we'll have to wait and see what happens over the next 2 months.

 Just at that point when I was all ready to go, Peter and Amanda turned up to take me home.

I have the levels of concentration of a fly but otherwise I seem alright. Sore leg, lungs are a bit funny (they  burn the pulmonary vein, so that's not surprising). Only light exercise this week, (whatever that means), in the longer term wait and see...

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