We’re back in NC. J’s birthday was yesterday, and we decided to do a quick trip up here to meet with the architect and designer for our new house, and hopefully see the beginning of the fall colors. The fall here is my absolute favorite time of year. We couldn’t have picked a better weekend. The weather is crisp, the skies are clear and blue, and the colors are starting to peek out. We can’t come back for a couple more weeks, so I hope we don’t miss the spectacular orange, red and gold that will probably really pop next week.
I am 12 days past ablation, and I am absolutely amazed at the difference! Not only do I sleep like a baby since the PVCs have disappeared, but from the minute I began to exercise again I am back up to the intensity I was doing before this all started, almost three years ago. The only disappointment is that since I couldn’t run, but wanted a similar calorie burn, I was walking on a treadmill for 90 minutes at 15% incline. Probably the dumbest thing I could have done, because I have done something to my hip. Doing high impact things like running really hurts my hip, so I can’t run right now, but at least it’s not because I can’t breathe! So now I’m stretching like crazy, and still doing the elliptical and stair machine, and today J and I biked the mountains here. It’s a relatively short ride…about 10 miles, but the first hill is constant uphill for 3.5 miles (about 1200 feet rise in elevation), then we go off road on a gravel cut through for another couple of miles that seems like 20, and another huge steep hill that seems to go forever. But it’s a beautiful ride and with the leaves changing the views just blow my mind. Last time I biked with J I had to stop about every five minutes, in tears, because I physically could not do what I had done a million times before, and ended up having to turn around. That resulted in my trekking to NYC to get tested, which uncovered the V tach, so it was all good, I guess.
Who knew that a simple catheterization could cure me? I feel so lucky that the problem was finally discovered and it was completely fixable. I probably should wait until I say “completely”, because it’s still early, and these things do sometimes fail, but so far, I feel like I traded in an old model for a brand spanking new heart! J read a statistic somewhere that up to 40% of medical conditions are misdiagnosed every year. In my case, I was lucky. My condition wasn’t life threatening…I had no underlying heart disease. In fact, if I wasn’t an athlete, I might never have even known I had it! But it was definitely changing my quality of life. When I think that three doctors (a cardiologist and two pulmonologists) missed it, and that I spent tons of money on asthma medications that didn’t work ($300/month!), it’s a little frustrating. But the end justifies the means. I am just so thankful that I am able to continue to run and bike. Sure, I’m still 50 years old, with 50 year old joints and the aches and pains that come with that, but my heart is not going to stop me!
Now I just have to pick a marathon for 2012!