Monday, April 30, 2007

Monday is...well Monday!

Actually got a 3.9 mile run at today at lunch. I noted once while running up a hill that I hit 169 bpm on my HR monitor. That is a little high and should usually be about 150 bpm. I did not note another spike in my hr during the rest of my run.

While stretching, I laid on my right side to stretch my left quad and started to get unusually light headed. I had just stretched the right quad while laying on my left side and did not note the same effect. A little weird.

After a quick lunch, I did have some flutter so I continued drinking water to recover from my run. After a while, the flutter disappeared and did not return. I did not suffer any more light headed moments nor had any other problems. I did come home and mow the lawn. I still did not have any problems.

Just gonna keep tracking this stuff to see how it all turns out. I may try a different cardio doc since the current one seems more interested in getting my on drugs to regulate my sporadic hr. I am not so interested in doing drugs. So we may have a parting of the ways.

Sunday, April 29, 2007


Since my Wed checkup, things have gone pretty well. I have not had a serious case of flutter except for Saturday afternoon. My daughter and I worked in the yard trimming back the frost burn on the bushes and pulling weeds. It was a tad warm and I probably started to dehydrate since I was not drinking enough fluid. After we were done and I showered, I was sitting on the couch and started to flutter. My wife and I had to run some errands so along the way I stopped to get a Powerade. After drinking the Powerade, my flutter stopped and I really did not have a recurrence of it the rest of the day. It appears that I must be careful about my activity and hydration.

So it is mid-afternoon on Sunday and I feel pretty good. I plan to start running on Monday to try and regain some of my conditioning. I would still like to do a marathon and may shoot for the Rocket City marathon in Huntsville. So I will need to set up a training plan and be more meticulous about being ready to run as opposed to how fast I want to run. I also need to get back on the bike, but it is not really calling my name like in previous years. I think last year's burnout was more mental than anything else. But I need to regain the joy I felt when riding and not ride just to go through a hammerfest.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Doctor Visit

Well the doctor visit went ok...basically I paid a $25 copay for the doctor to agree that I did not need to take any action such as drugs for my flutter. He still cannot give an explanation or even a hint of what my problem may be. I may be a bit unfair, but doggone, the doc should discuss more than a drug therapy. I don't want to take drugs for the rest of my life.

My flutter for the past two days has been basically non-existent. Hope I am on a roll.

An unrelated issue - we started receiving spam faxes this afternoon from 732-542-3012. I did a little research on the net and ran across this site. The guy that owns this site did a little homework and offered several suggestions on how to exorcise this fax spammer. Be aware that he is a little profane in his writing. I followed the advice which is contact the Do Not Call Registry, contact the FCC, and call the morons on a separate number (732-389-3900) and complain.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Friday thru Sunday

Things went ok this weekend. Friday I did not have incident of flutter. However, Saturday was pretty good even after lunch (small bbq sandwich, potato salad and water). I worked out that afternoon and the only thing I noticed that was unusual was my heart rate at the end of my run. I peaked at 178 bpm which is normally is all out effort. I did not feel that fatigued when my heart rate hit the peak nor was I running that fast. A little disconcerting.

That evening I attended a dinner. After standing around during cocktail hour ($2 glass of ginger ale), I started having flutter come in and out. I had to introduce someone during the dinner, so I had the usual spurt of adrenaline and then really started having some chest pounding flutter. But I seemed to recover from them fairly quickly and it went down to minor flutter after I headed home and went to bed.

I woke up in the middle of the night and noted just a slight amount of flutter. The same thing occurred when I got up to go to work on Sunday (reserves). Nothing significant all morning. I ate Chinese food for lunch and had some sporadic flutter all afternoon. I played a game of frisbee football and did not note any problems. In fact, I really did not have any flutter any time after that.

Friday, April 20, 2007

On Cruise Control

Well since my last post, I have had very few noticeable flutters. Nothing sustained like previous posts. I did have a big lunch today...loaded calzone with a sprite. The previous couple of days I have been eating fairly light lunches...typically a vegetable soup of some sort. It actually feels good to feel good.

I would never realized the impact these heart situations have on folks. Yes, I do understand that any heart problem, however slight, is a serious issue. But the impact to your quality of life is tremendous. It has now been nearly a month since this all re-started. It is almost like having the flu, where is really knocks you into the dirt and you slowly recover with time. I have certainly changed my diet and have been extremely conscientious of everything I eat. I have eaten more fruits and just worked to keep my intake in check. I have never been prone to gaining weight. However, I have reached the point where age is starting to affect my metabolism.

What is even worse is that I have been exercising infrequently and I have not been on the bike since last September. Plus, my running has only started up again and it is painful to regain a reasonably fit state. I have drill this weekend so I will see how things go.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Tuesday/Wednesday and eventless

Things have been going well since yesterday. I have only had minor flutter twitches, nothing sustained not even for a few minutes. I ran 3.5 miles on the treadmill at lunch yesterday. My only concern there was that at the end of my run, my heart rate was at 140 bpm which is higher than usual based on pace and incline. It should hover in the low 130's. I am not sure if that is due to declining fitness (not having exercised consistently since this mess started). I had some black bean soup for lunch and fruit (banana and apple). I did have a couple of twitches afterward, but nothing consistent. For dinner I had popcorn, fruit and a sprite because I had eaten some granola late in the afternoon.

Today has been similar except that I did not run at lunch. I had a bowl of chicken vegetable soup and an apple. I am ensuring that I remain hydrated throughout the day. I am even eating granola as I type.

My neighbor Jim left me a comment about seeing a GI doc. That is something that I will discuss with my cardio doc next week. I hope I am transitioning back to regularity because I hate being irregular.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Event #13

This was an odd event. I woke up early this morning (0300ish) and I was fluttering. I woke again at 0500 and my heart was still fluttering. Part of my morning ritual is to weigh myself and I noted that I was about 1 lb under the norm. Based on my minimal activities yesterday, other than the walk with the dog, I concluded that I was slightly dehydrated. I know that dehydration has been a precursor for the flutter. I had a bowl of cereal and banana for breakfast and then headed to work. I drank a hot cup of decaf tea and then a couple of glasses of water. Around 1000 I noticed that my flutter had stopped. I came home for lunch and had a bowl of minestrone soup along with some fruit. I waited all afternoon for my flutter to return and nothing came. After work and a fine haircut, I came home, walked the dog and had dinner (baked potato with turkey chili on top...and some cheese). As I write, I still have not fluttered and actually feel pretty good. One can only hope that I have a good night.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

A Random Thought

I was thinking of an old school friend that I probably have not seen in 20 years. His name is Jim Hammond. Not sure why I thought about him, probably because of some fairly memorable encounters we had over the years we were in school together. I guess it goes to show you what kind of impact you can have on a person (good or bad) and not even know it.

I will give you a quick run down of our three encounters. Before I do, you have to know Jim a little bit. He was never a very big guy, but he was tough. He was the youngest of three brothers and his two older brothers were fairly good size. He was a nice guy, we just never really hung out together that much.

4th grade - Pee Wee football. He was on one team and me on the other. Near the end of the game, the other team's halfback was scooting down the field when the clock ran out. The back stops about 30 yards from the end zone and everyone else quits the pursuit. Then the coaches are yelling for him to run and us to tackle him. I was the closest and started running after him as he took off. Next thing I know I am flat on my butt against the fence out of bounds. Jim had come from the side and taken my legs out from under me with a flying block (the below the waist block was legal then).

8th or 9th grade - Jim and I are auditioning together for an special choral group. As we are singing the audition song, I am having trouble following along. The reason is that I usually followed the piano. Finally at the end of the song, Jim turns to me and says, "You need to follow the notes on the song sheet." Frankly, it was kind of a revelation. I know it sounds stupid, but duh!

9th grade - playing tackle football in a neighbor's yard. Of course, none of us are wearing any kind of protective gear. Just playing football like kids usually do (or at least used to). Anyway, I am running the ball and Jim tackles me from behind landing squarely on my left heel as I am laying prone on the ground face down. I try to stand up and quickly fall after trying to put weight on my left foot. Unable to stand on my foot, I stand on my right and start hopping home. The funniest part, though not much of one, is the last view I had of the other players is them standing there staring at me and not saying a word or helping. As I got closer to home, I take one more look and they had resumed playing football like nothing happened.

So what did happen? I did not break anything, but severely sprained my left ankle and was in a cast for 9 weeks. I probably limped on it another 3-4 months. Moral of the story is don't play football without pads even though it would not have helped me any.

Those are my memories of Jim. Heck, he probably does not even remember those moments, but they are forever etched in my mind. So those are the kinds of impacts we can have on other people and not realize how we may have impacted their lives.

Multiple Events - Call them #12+

Sunday - Church, lunch, fluttered off and on starting around 1330 and still kind a going right now. I had chicken and pasta penne (from Taziki's). I walked the dog about 1730 and got back feeling slightly light headed. Probably fluttered the entire walk.

Saturday - Ran 6 easy miles after helping our pastor's daughter move to her new house. Ate lunch around 1330 (corn tortillas, refried beans and salmon with tomato sauce) and started fluttering right after. Fluttered on and off all afternoon while it was raining outside and I was playing Xbox (sooo much better than Pong).

Friday - Fluttered some in the afternoon and not much in the early evening. Fairly uneventful day even though I ran about 3.5 miles at lunch.

Thursday - I really don't recall what happened that day (that is what I get for not blogging regularly). Since nothing stands out, I probably fluttered some, but not a whole lot.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Event #11

Well the streak ended today at about 1500. I did not run today and went to eat lunch with my wife (turkey club sandwich, fries and water). I did have a bite size butterfinger afterward and later a small fireball. Not sure what triggered this event.

Overall, the event is sporadic. Just kind of comes and goes. I had a four corn tortillas with ground beef for dinner along with a small glass of V8 tropical. Even as I sit here and type it kind of comes and goes. I just hope I don't have another episode like the other night.

Right now I am pissed at my internist. I had bloodwork done nearly 2 weeks ago and still don't have the results. I have called 4 times and no response other than the results are with the doctor for his review. Now it is time time to get a little ugly. This is a real pet peeve. I am concerned about my health and the results are in his hands and I ain't gettin' jack!

If anything is wrong with you, you better plan on taking care of yourself cause no one else does!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Could it be a new record

It is now 2020 (kinda like hindsight) and I have not had one incident of flutter. I did not run today because I am trying to slowly ease my way back into it. Plus, after last night's episode, I needed time to recover.

One other thing about last night is that the chest pounding was somewhat violent. It did not feel like the usual flutter; instead, it felt like a violent muscle spasm which is not the norm. Trying to keep track of all this to share with my cardiologist in a couple of weeks. I will probably have to consolidate it into a more readable format.

Ok...maybe not...Event #10

Everything was going fine yesterday. Ran 3.5 miles on the treadmill, fairly easy at lunch. Ate lunch (leftover rice and fish preceded by Pepcid AC). Drank water. Participated in a 3 hour conference call (OK...most things went fine).

Around 1600, I went to my daughter's track meet to take pictures. My heart started fluttering around 1700 (maybe slightly earlier). I was on my feet until about 1900 when I finally called it quits. With off and on flutter.

Ate dinner (spaghetti with red sauce and a couple of pieces of bread). I had a glass of V8 Tropical juice followed by a glass of OJ. Then I ended up with a case of continuous flutter even as I went to bed. Woke up at 2330 to go to the bathroom with my heart still fluttering. Tossed and turned until about 0130 when the flutter finally quit. My chest hurt this morning from all of last night's activity and I am tired.

After complaining to my wife, she pointed out that the red sauce, V8 and OJ may have been too acidic for my system coupled with eating late. That would explain the late night problem, but doesn't shed any light on why I cannot stand for prolonged periods, in the afternoon/evening, without having some episode of flutter.

I will see what today brings.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

I Give Up...on the numbering of events...

Well, I should write that my flutter has taken a turn for the better! I am not having any consistent bouts of flutter over the past few days. Yesterday I ran the Christ Church Run to the Cross 5K and came in 13th overall and first in my age group. Not bad for zero running over the past 2-3 weeks. My time was 20:36 which was about 45 seconds slower than last year. But for no running, I will take it. The temperature was around freezing and the it was windy. Not quite ideal running conditions, but I felt pretty good.

Regarding the flutters, I had a mild bout yesterday after eating some Girl Scout cookies (Samoas). However, they went away and then I had a twitch every now and then. This whole episode of flutter is just really weird.

Today after church, my son mowed the yard while I used the weed eater. Afterward as I was surfing the net, I had a 10-15 minute bout of flutter over an hour ago. Nothing since.

I think tomorrow I will start running easy at lunch to see what happens afterward. As the temperature returns to normal after this recent cold snap, I may even start getting out on the bike. It may be better for me to ride to reduce the stress on my body (my dad's suggestion). Plus, I am sore today after the run yesterday!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Event #9

Actually I had a pretty good day. I had a few blips here and there, but nothing consistent or consistently inconsistent. While I am typing this note, I am having minor blips. Comes and goes. So what did I do different? Well, nothing.

I had a hamburger and fries for lunch. Took a 1/2 day off to give out registration packets for the church's Run to the Cross tomorrow. Came home and played XBox with my son. Had a pepperoni calzone for dinner. I probably should not have stuffed my gullet at dinner, but I love calzones.

I feel that these episodes are slowly dissipating. In fact, I am thinking of running tomorrow just to test the waters a bit. I don't plan on running hard, just hard enough to beat my son so he won't get the big head. However, that day will soon come that I won't be able to keep up....I will still have more money than him (at least for some time).

I will let you know what happens tomorrow after the run.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Un"eventful" So Far...oops I did it again...#8

Started off today feeling pretty good. Woke up a little too early, but otherwise feel fine.

A recap of yesterday's flutter. Fluttered occasionally yesterday morning, but not very often. Ate lunch with my wife at the Pita Hut (cilantro-lime chicken pita with a Sprite preceded by a Pepcid AC tablet). I noticed after lunch that I fluttered as I drank the cold drink or at ate ice. So I stopped doing that and shortly thereafter the flutters quit. In fact, I don't recall fluttering much for the rest of the day. An occasional burst, but nothing significant. I even thought about running, but quickly decided not to push my luck.

Ate breakfast this morning (bowl of cereal and milk) and have not fluttered even as I type. I had a 1/4 cup of coffee since I have decided to wean myself off caffeine. I am almost down to zero vices. Now if I could quit dogcussing other drivers on 280, I would be at zero ;-).

1551 Entry - Shortly after a modest lunch of hamburger helper, I started having minor episodes of flutter. Most of the afternoon I remained flutter-free with the exception of the occasional twitch or two. It seems, and I hate to be optimistic, that my fluttering is slowly subsiding. I just don't want to aggravate it and restart the longer flutters. So I will continue to "take it easy" which means I ain't running or riding! There is the Run to the Cross 5K this weekend. I will be there, working at registration. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Events # 6 and 7

What a crappy way to start a day. Ate breakfast (bowl of cereal with milk) this morning and shortly thereafter, event #7 started. This is the first time I have had fluttering in the morning and I am really disappointed that it has started. So instead of getting better, I feel like I am getting worse to where this stuff will progress to a chronic, never ending condition.

Event #6 occurred yesterday right after lunch. I ate 1/2 sandwich and not more than a few minutes later, I started fluttering. Like previous days, the fluttering was intermittent until about 1830 (right after dinner - hamburger helper). I attended another track meet yesterday afternoon and noticed that the flutter would stop after I sat down for a while (on some occasions, but not all). I also took an OTC Pepcid AC tablet right before I ate dinner. Maybe it helped.

I slept restlessly last night. A storm came through and my daughter came downstairs to sleep with us (a normal occurrence). Even my wife complained about the poor sleep last night.

Well back to #7, I hope that maybe it will quit later this morning and I will post any changes later today.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Event #5 Sorta

Why "sorta" you may ask? Well after eating lunch yesterday at about 1145 (turkey sandwich w/ lettuce, tomato and a pickle along with a cup of chicken noodle soup), I started going in and out of flutter starting at 1300. This basically went on all afternoon and into the night right up to bed time. The flutters never lasted long. But I could feel them coming on so I would stand up and walk around or lay down on my back or side and they would quit. I ate a hamburger and corn for dinner at about 1800 and I did not notice any difference in the flutters. Just wandering in and out like a butterfly.

I felt pretty good when I woke up this morning and have gone right up until lunch with no fluttering whatsoever. I wish I could figure out what I do in the morning that I could replicate for the remainder of the day. I don't know if it is some kind of biological rhythm clock thing or what. It is still aggravating nonetheless.

I am about to eat lunch. I am going to try and make lunch last a while rather than eating the entire meal at one sitting. I am having a tuna sandwich (lettuce, tomato and pickle) along with a glass of water and apple. I am thinking that by stringing out the meal, I would be less inclined to flutter. We shall see...I will keep my faithful readers posted (all zero of you ;-))

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Event #4

As an epilogue to Friday's event. It finally quit as I went to bed. My wife did mention that about 0220 Saturday morning, she woke up as I took a large breath and then seemingly stopped breathing before I started almost panting. She put her hand on my chest and could feel my heart racing (I don't think she could determine that I was fluttering). She said this went on for nearly 45 minutes. She feels like she has a newborn in the house that you check on throughout the night to make sure it is still breathing. No wonder I woke up tired. I just wonder if I do this every night??

Event #4 - Saturday, at a track meet until about 1430. Event #4 started around 1300 shortly after I had a bag of popcorn and a gatorade. Something just ain't right. I almost believe that if I quit eating, I won't have anymore fluttering. Of course there are side effects!

The fluttering was not consistent. I got home a little after 1430, had a bite to eat. Feeling lethargic and fluttering in and out, I laid on the couch and took a nap. Now I am not at nap person. I haven't taken one in years because I usually nap and wake up cranky then I cannot sleep at night. However, I slept maybe an hour, woke up feeling somewhat refreshed and the old heart was beating in a normal rhythm. I think I may have found the solution!

Took a shower and the wife and I went to a Sunday School party. I ate moderately and drank Sprite / water. No further episodes the rest of the night. A friend at the party who has had his share of heart problems suggested that I may have acid reflux that triggers my fluttering. He suggested an antacid before major meals to see if that helps. I am willing to try anything to get my normal rhythm back.

Anyway, I have spent most of the day on Sunday lounging around after church. No fluttering whatsoever. I did take two Tums before I ate lunch. Not sure if they worked or I was just lucky. I would like to get to a point that I can start running or riding again. I should blood work back early this week and may see my internal doc again. I want to further explore this acid reflux possibility because I have noticed a burning sensation in my chest after eating that I attributed to my heart. Plus, on some of my hard running workouts, my lower throat would burn afterward feeling like acid had worked its way up.