Finally a diagnosis and next steps! While the Stress Test was inconclusive, wearing an event monitor for one day provided conclusive evidence and a diagnosis of Atrial Fibrillation.
Atrial fibrillation is an irregular and often rapid heart rate that commonly causes poor blood flow to the body.
During atrial fibrillation, the heart’s two upper chambers (the atria) beat chaotically and irregularly — out of coordination with the two lower chambers (the ventricles) of the heart. Atrial fibrillation symptoms often include heart palpitations, shortness of breath and weakness.
Episodes of atrial fibrillation can come and go.
I had 2 episodes in less than 12 hours of wearing the monitor. The monitor is a 3-lead EKG monitor that has 3G technology and functions in two ways. First, when you feel an event you trigger the monitor which then sends a segment of data back to the manufacturer which then reviews the data and forwards it to the doctor. The second function is that the monitor itself watches your heart rhythms and sends data back to the company if it detects anything abnormal.
I had 97 episodes during the entire time I wore the monitor and only one of them did I submit. The first one, was while sitting on the couch at home watching TV! I didn’t get the opportunity to review all of the the episodes, which would be interesting to see when they were happening and if there was a pattern that correlates to my activity or behaviors.
So now that I have a diagnosis, what’s next?
The first step is medication – Metoprolol a beta-blocker, blood pressure medicine. And an Aspirin daily, even though my stroke risk is a 0, they still wanted me to take an Aspirin as strokes are a risk of AFib.
If Metoprolol doesn’t work, there are other medicines that could be used. Given my age and overall health I am also a candidate for cardiac ablation – a catheter procedure to change the heart structure to prevent future Atrial Fibrillations from occurring.
October is over and it is still nice outside! October seemed to go by in a whir. Fall Break and two other non-student days meant that the work weeks went by fast, but definitely not some of the days! I switched to a clinical supervision plan for my Social Work license which means I now have 4 hours of supervision each month outside of my normal work schedule, plus a class I’m taking through the school district. Time is sure getting filled up. I ran and biked a couple of times throughout the month. One morning I had to wear tights and a coat and then this past weekend I ran in shorts and a light rain jacket. Weird weather, but glorious fall weather!
Drinking only water proved to be an interesting task. I was pretty successful and only had 3 non-water drinks. I could easily have just had water but incidentally they were all beers in social occasions in the last week. Oops. I have some observations that I’ll share later – though none are life-shattering! And I’ve already had 3 non-water drinks today (11/1).
Crossfit has been going well and I hit a PR in the Deadlift this past week doing a heavy 2 rep lift. So that’s pretty nice. I should also be able to easily PR on the Shoulder Press. We’ve been working on my form a lot with the squat, changing the bar position, so I’m not sure how that will go. The CrossFit Total final event is November 9. I’m still pretty much only doing mobility work when I work out…
We actually went on 3 dates this month!! Yay!! The kids had two sleepovers and we got a babysitter one night to go see To Kill a Mockingbird at the Guthrie Theater. It was an excellent performance!
For November I had two goals. I’m going to cut one of them again. I had planned on trying NaNoWriMo where you write some ungodly number of words a day and end up with a novel at the end of the month. I’ve always been intrigued by the idea, so I threw it in the schedule. It was the one goal that I thought about a lot in January and had some trepidation about. I even came up with a plan that I wouldn’t set a goal of words per day or even plan on writing a long book, but a collection of short stories. As we rounded the curve into October and the realities of life settled in I’m realizing that to try and pull this off with any real sense of rigor would definitely have a negative impact on my family. I mean I can’t even consistently write a blog post and I’m going to sit down every night and write something… So I’m going to cut this one and probably let it go for good…
My other goal which is now my primary goal will be to do the Plank Challenge again. I don’t think I will necessarily follow the plank challenge app. I might throw in something else for spice like a Tabata plank workout or something!
How was your October? Ready for November?