How to heal a broken heart?
So went into hospital on Tuesday for an Electrophysiological Study and an Ablation procedure (aka - a search and destroy mission). Certainly one of the more surreal experiences I have ever had. I couldn't really get my head around the fact that they were putting electrical catheters into my heart and that I could watch this all happen on a massive computer screen.
Once in place, they pumped me full of adrenaline and stimulated different parts of my heart to see if they could identify the errant electrical cells / connections causing my fibrilliations. I could feel them try each section in turn until they thought they had found the culprit. They then spent a bit more time identifying the area more precisely before "blasting / freezing" it using a "cryoballoon" (you couldn't make this stuff up).
When they then checked to see if they could trigger fibrillation again they couldn't which optimistically means they have zapped the right point. Apparently it was part of my pesky pulmonary vein which was at fault.
So in summary it all went as well as it could. The team were fantastic; reassuring, considerate and professional, and talked to me all the way through the procedure. Hooray for the NHS. I was on the table a bit longer than was planned so they precautionary kept me in overnight to make sure the puncture sites in my legs stopped bleeding as much as anything.
Now on some blood thinning drugs for a while to reduce the risk of a stroke. Can think about being properly active again in a couple of weeks and build up from there. We won't know how successful it has been until I start back into proper training. But feel that I made the right decision to have the procedure.
The experience was ok, as I explained to OJ last night, there are worse things that I would wish on my enemies, but would not necessarily recommend it to a friend as something fun to do...
three funny things about being a runner in hospital....
a) no one could believe that I was not on any medication when they came to check my charts (I must have been the only one in the ward)
b) the cardio team had a chuckle about how low my resting HR was in the theatre (despite my anxiety)
c) I made a trainee nurse's day who was putting a tube in my arm for some drugs. She was being observed and a bit nervous, but had a big smile on her face when she looked at my arms "your veins are like pipes" she exclaimed. Tube in no problem and she passed with flying colours.