About me

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I'm going back in

When last we met, I reported a somewhat less than satisfactory experience with Wake Med as they attempted to learn what dose of Tikosyn would control my atrial fibrillation under highly artificial conditions. None of it worked out very well, and the medication had serious side effects that were worse than the condition we sought to correct. Although I expected as much, it was still disheartening to experience the failure, mainly because it requires learning how to run all over again, not to mention the loss of an entire long weekend.

But I did relearn, and although I'm burning some over 200 calories to make it through a mile, I can make it through that mile, and now five and more of them. Saturday, it'll be twelve miles, more or less, at Tough Mudder. Yes, I'm wading in again with some peeps from work and All My Children. Talk about a bonding moment. I cannot put into words how much I'm looking forward to this one.

My biggest challenge, at least as I anticipate it now, will be managing the 1100 calorie per hour burn over those four-ish hours. (Remember the obstacles.) Now, you might think that'd be good for weight loss, and I suppose it is, but the truth is that after such a run, the feeling is much like being hit by a truck. A very large truck. It's be really nice for the 1000-calorie hour to become the exception, not the rule, as I believe this corner of the world would be a far happier place.

So my caregivers hooked me up, as the young people say, with the Duke Center for Atrial Fibrillation. My first encounter there was pretty much useless as some staff cardiologist interviewed me, discounted what I had to say, and suggested a sleep study. A freaking sleep study? Yes, I suspect I'd benefit from a sleep study, but at a later date, please, after we're through with all this other poking and prodding. Despite the public record, there are limits to my patience, and I'm damned close to running out.

Fortunately for the world at large, she referred me to an electrophysiologist. Two weeks later, I waited for him 45 minutes past the starting time, planned to fire him, and then promptly forgave him as he walked in the room in jeans and a t-shirt, introducing himself by his first name. Never have I met a physician who used his first name. (And I usually introduce myself at those times as Dr. Penny, which I am.)

An hour later with complete explanations of everything that will happen, and a few things that might or might not, we agreed to do business at his first convenience, which will be the Tuesday after Tough Mudder. I can't think of a better way to recover from all the soreness than with a large dose of Propofol.

So it's surgery. Heart surgery. And it's almost day surgery, though they'll keep me overnight, mainly to irritate me. I'll have two holes in my inner thighs healing and circular scar tissue forming in my pulmonary arteries to show for it. He said I could run in two weeks, and I counter-offered with one week. We both figure those holes in my legs will tell me when I can run. Until that point, I can walk, even the day after, which I'll likely do.

So there you go. Don't tell me I can rock an early November. (And we're returning to Tough Mudder next June. You should come along.)

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