Friday, April 19, 2013

Return From the Hospital

Greetings Earthlings.  I am now home from the hospital.  Yes, I have had work done.  Is everyone familiar with atrial flutter and atrial fibrillation?  Although they are both supra ventricular tachycardias, they're different.  Flutter tends to be only in the right atrium, and is usually a re-entrant pathway.  Fib tends to originate from cells in the pulmonary veins where they enter the heart.  When fib is ablated, the surgeon has to do a transeptal punch across the wall of the atria to get at the left atrium.  It's kind of creepy.  Flutter is much easier to take care of.
In August 2010 I had an ablation for atrial flutter which was good for about 18 months.  Then my heart became irregular again.  In February 2012 I wore a 30 day event monitor which was showing some amazingly fast heart rates.  As a rule, fib doesn't get better, atrial fib begets atrial fib, and the older you are worse you do with the procedure. It's not unusual for people who have flutter to later develop fib.
I went with Dr. Wilber Su, and cryoablation.  Cryo is newish, but it has the advantage of making a perfect circular lesion in the pulmonary veins.  Here is a non-gory introduction to the procedure.

If you're interested, look on the right side of the screen and there are follow on episodes which delve more deeply into how it's done. 
This has been worse than I thought it would be.  A lot of hardware is threaded up the femoral veins.  I'm pretty sore in the groin area. It took longer than anticipated because after he did the pulmonary veins he found another site of bad cells, and had to go after them as well.  My heart hurts.  It's normal, and is supposed to pass in about a week.  I have to take anticoagulants for a month, which kind of sucks since it limits the mountain biking.  Falling on the head could result in a brain bleed. 
So, that's why we're here in Phoenix.
It's an interesting RV park, about 40 years old.  Some of the RVs look like they're original to the park.  There are some pretty blooming cactus.  When I'm feeling less beaten up I'll walk out and get some pictures of it.

So that's what's happening in our neck of the woods.


  1. Oh, my. That is quite a lot of happening. Feel well very soon.

  2. Thinking of you and hope you feel better real soon. Glad you had a successful procedure. Take care.

  3. Wishing you a speedy recovery and that you are out doing what you enjoy most soon.

  4. Thanks for the kind thoughts! I do appreciate them.