My doctor wants to burn a hole in my heart.

Technically what he wants to do is ablate (v.tr. 1. Medicine To excise, amputate, or otherwise destroy the biological function of) part of the wall of my right atrium.

He says it won't interfere with my training for the Denver Marathon in September, which kind of sucks because I don't want to train for it and was looking for an excuse. There are some commitments that even heart surgery can't get you out of.

It's all part of a cycle of circumstances - the ablation is supposed to cure my atrial flutter, which makes me fatigue easily and get breathless when it occurs during a run, which makes running no fun and therefore training no fun. In addition I take a beta blocker for the flutter, which keeps my heart rate down, which keeps my endurance down AND keeps my speed down and makes me run like an old man. (I am an old man and I already run like an old man but I would at least like to run faster than Mike Fulop.) The ablation could, if it works as it does 90% of the time should take away the fatigue and breathlessness and the medicine, which should, in turn, allow me to increase my endurance and get back up to a reasonable speed (i.e., faster than Mike Fulop).

That's if I time it right. Seems the surgeon I consulted with is head of the department, is booked solid and is getting married in early August. So he can't do it until mid-August. (yeah no honeymoon. Doctors. Sheesh.). OR I could go with the new kid. She's three years out of med school. Internal medicine, not cardiology. So, experience or expedience, an age old dilemma.

I think training would be more enjoyable and fulfilling if I have the surgery earlier. Considering this will be my last marathon EVER, I should make it enjoyable and even try for a PR. On the other hand, since it will be my last marathon EVER, I could just dog it and just try to finish for a medal and a tech shirt.

I've been living with this for two and a half years now. Lately I've been paying so much attention to the number on my heart rate monitor that I forget to check the number on my BG meter. On Sunday my resting heart rate was 125 as i prepared to start my run. 125! "F*** it," I said and went back inside to wait for it to drop. Never did. 125 or so ALL DAY. But today, no. Today I started under 60 and never went over 135 in 3.1 miles. (i've been up to 220, at old man pace.) Go figure. I hate it.

And I hate having to keep a pill counter on my bureau. It makes me feel older than my slow running pace. I want it to be done, but I'm scared of the rookie doctor.

Well, the experienced guy was a rookie once.

Views: 83

Comment by Terrie on July 11, 2012 at 1:25am

125...all day?? That would drive me batty. And 220..geez. Sorry that you are experiencing this problem Terry, especially with your last marathon coming up.

If it was me, I'd prefer to go with the top surgeon. Experience just makes one feel more confident and normally gives the better results (although some less experienced surgeons have also given some good results). But as you mentioned, she isn't a Cardiologist.

What about being put on the cancellation list? As you know, surgeries are cancelled sometimes, for many reasons. So it could get you in earlier.

Wishing you the Best results as always. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Let us know how things are going for you. :)

Comment by Kathy on July 11, 2012 at 5:21am

Wow. I got a-fibrillation (I don't know if that's the same as flutter)after my big cancer surgery and respiratory failure. My biggest problem was that I had to take coumadin, a blood thinner and got bruises all over my body. I had to have a blood draw every week so the dose could be adjusted. I was also offered the ablation procedure but felt I'd been through enough medically and refused it. My cardiologist was a very seasoned doc and kept pushing it, but, of course, it was my choice. Then at one appointment, it was gone. I wore a monitor for 30 days to be sure, and they decided I could go off the coumadin and take a baby aspirin instead. It did come back for a few days last summer when I got hit by a car and was in the hosp for a ruptured spleen, but they attributed it to stress - LOL.
I wish you the best.

Comment by Terry Keelan on July 12, 2012 at 10:03pm
I talked with my regular doctor and he advised me to go with experience, so there I am. I'll schedule it tomorrow when I go in for my echocardiogram.

Thanks for the support!
Comment by nel on July 12, 2012 at 10:32pm

Terry , friend , thinking of you for the next step you have to take ; it's complex !...don't really know what else to say but HUGS !

Comment by Terrie on July 14, 2012 at 10:03pm

That is a Good choice that you have made. We're all behind you Terry and rooting for you. God Bless! :)

Comment by trenia on July 26, 2012 at 1:32pm

good luck to you! I am scheduled for ablation on 10 August this year, and I hope my heart rate will be slower, now it is 120 or more.

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