Author Topic: The Vicissitudes of Ageing  (Read 1223 times)

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
The Vicissitudes of Ageing
« on: June 30, 2020, 11:06:09 am »
I felt rather weird yesterday afternoon. It may have started in the morning when we are on a short walk with Molly the Dog, but I particularly noticed after lunch. It was an odd sensation in my chest.

Being a fat chap of a certain age, I don’t welcome odd sensations in my chest. Also, being especially vulnerable (or so the government tells me, so it is almost certainly a lie) to COVID-19, I reached for my trusty oximeter to check that my oxygen levels were satisfactory. They seemed to be where they ought to be (>95%) but what on earth was my pulse doing? Pump-wobble-wobble-wobble-pump-wibble-pump-pause-pump-wobble... That didn’t look right. I found my pulse in my wrist and my left forefinger confirmed what my right wrist was telling it. A worryingly uneven pulse.

I dialled 111 and after delays, recorded announcements etc. I got through to a human and after a fair few questions I was to hie me to A & E pdq. A bit of a physically distanced queue outside, then I was given the once over and a few questions by a nurse, admitted to a waiting room and after an acceptable short wait, was seen by another nurse who shaved a couple of small patches on my chest and gave me an ecg. I was subsequently wheeled into a cubicle where some young chap fitted a cannula and relieved me of a handful of blood. Another ecg, a doctor came to natter, the machine reported that my pulse was 129 beats per minute and then someone else infused some drug into my left arm and within a few minutes my pulse was ticking along quite nicely at about 75 bpm.

I was twice taken to x-ray without an X-ray being done (boring mistakes by two people) I was tested for COVID-19 (that was unpleasant) and was then transferred to the Clinical Decisions Unit to await a clinical decision.

When it came the decision was that I have atrial fibrillation. I must now start on some new drugs to thin my blood and control my heart rate. Life’s rich tapestry...
Eating's a serious business. Don't bollocks around wagging your tail.

Re: The Vicissitudes of Ageing
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2020, 11:19:58 am »
 :(     At least you & the health service are aware of the problem & dealing with it.  Half the battle.    Hoping all goes well & you don't rattle too much.  I think my father is on 13 pills a day for various things !
Not fast & rarely furious

tweeting occasional in(s)anities as andrewxclark

Basil

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Re: The Vicissitudes of Ageing
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2020, 11:26:13 am »
Bad luck old boy.
I underwent an ablation after attempts at cardioversion failed to sort it out.
Now on Dabigatran (thinner) and Flecainide (heart rate) tablets for life.

Try to avoid being put on Warfarin - it's a right pain as you have to constantly have blood checks to adjust the level.
Quote from: Kim
And remember that friends who organise things on Facebook aren't proper friends anyway.

Re: The Vicissitudes of Ageing
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2020, 11:27:21 am »
You take care that there Wowbagger.
Get a bicycle. You will never regret it, if you live- Mark Twain

Re: The Vicissitudes of Ageing
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2020, 11:28:43 am »
A sensible decision by you and the clinician. Good going.

Re: The Vicissitudes of Ageing
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2020, 11:40:38 am »
Sorry to hear that.

Re: The Vicissitudes of Ageing
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2020, 11:47:52 am »
Fibrillation is scary. Did they tell you the cough trick? Deliberately coughing can jar the heart back to normal rhythm.

<i>Marmite slave</i>

T42

  • Old fool in a hurry
Re: The Vicissitudes of Ageing
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2020, 11:55:01 am »
When it came the decision was that I have atrial fibrillation. I must now start on some new drugs to thin my blood and control my heart rate. Life’s rich tapestry...

Better than death's, but sometimes not by much. If you're on beta-blockers you might find the bike a bit harder to push, particularly on hills, and with blood thinners you'll have to be careful if you fall off to hover 4" off the ground so as not to shedde bludde.

If you are on beta-blockers (generic name ending in -olol, whereof the operative syllable is LOL) and you do find that climbing long hills hurts your quads like hell (which I did last time I was on BBs) then ask to have the dose re-assessed.  It could well be that a reduced dose will control the AF without clobbering you.  Ask your doc about coffee, too: it tends to counteract BBs.

Sympathies, and good luck.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

T42

  • Old fool in a hurry
Re: The Vicissitudes of Ageing
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2020, 11:56:23 am »
Fibrillation is scary. Did they tell you the cough trick? Deliberately coughing can jar the heart back to normal rhythm.

I use the poor man's defib: climb the nearest hill.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

Re: The Vicissitudes of Ageing
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2020, 12:57:15 pm »
Look after yourself Mr. Wow. 

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: The Vicissitudes of Ageing
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2020, 01:28:36 pm »
Sorry to see this, Wow.

There are many atrial fibrillation threads on this board. Might be worth a read.

Re: The Vicissitudes of Ageing
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2020, 01:37:54 pm »
When it came the decision was that I have atrial fibrillation. I must now start on some new drugs to thin my blood and control my heart rate. Life’s rich tapestry...

Sorry to read this, Wowbagger.

Are you still in AF, albeit at a lower rate, or did you revert to a normal regular rhythm?

Worth having a look at the triggers for AF, particularly if the latter.


Re: The Vicissitudes of Ageing
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2020, 04:52:29 pm »
You’ve now got something in common with about 30% of the ex-professional cyclists I know.

Re: The Vicissitudes of Ageing
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2020, 07:13:05 pm »
Sorry to hear that Wow. You are amongst many, but it's a b*gger. Hope you feel better and it is under control quickly.

Re: The Vicissitudes of Ageing
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2020, 07:26:58 pm »
That sounds a bit more alarming than I’d care for. I hope the drugs keep you ticking along from now on.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: The Vicissitudes of Ageing
« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2020, 09:15:59 pm »
Well that's a bit pants.  Hope you manage to get things under control.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: The Vicissitudes of Ageing
« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2020, 11:02:13 pm »
When it came the decision was that I have atrial fibrillation. I must now start on some new drugs to thin my blood and control my heart rate. Life’s rich tapestry...

Sorry to read this, Wowbagger.

Are you still in AF, albeit at a lower rate, or did you revert to a normal regular rhythm?

Worth having a look at the triggers for AF, particularly if the latter.

I think everything has stabilised, thanks, Simon, at about 60 beats per minute. I have some reading to do and I understand that there will be follow-up appointments. At the moment it’s all a bit much to take in.
Eating's a serious business. Don't bollocks around wagging your tail.

Re: The Vicissitudes of Ageing
« Reply #17 on: July 01, 2020, 07:54:55 am »
As I said earlier, a lot of ex-professional riders seem to have AF - including a certain Mr Merckx I understand.
I don’t though know any of these who have had to stop riding. Some certainly have medication, but they can still ride within sensible levels - usually monitored by pulse meters.
I know that everyone will have their individual advice from their doctors, but , for instance, one friend can happily ride over 60 miles at normal roadie group pace. He just backs off a bit on climbs ( for which I’m personally grateful).

Re: The Vicissitudes of Ageing
« Reply #18 on: July 01, 2020, 08:11:46 am »
Sorry to hear that Wowbagger

I went into permanent AF 5 years ago to celebrate my 60th year after a few years of paroxysmal AF, usually after or sometimes during a long Audax.
Had 2 attempts at cardioversion (jump start electrical) - the first lasted a week, the second a month so I'm resigned to living with it.
The drug regime prescribed were beta-blockers (Bisoprolol) and NOAC (rivaroxaban).

I stopped the NOACs after looking at the risk (internal bleeding) v benefit (small reduction in stroke risk) with my GP's agreement - will need to review this in the future as the stroke risk increases with age. I was initially on 10mg of Bisoprolol and it really knocked me out, so I reduced that to 5mg and then 2.5mg with no apparent increase in HR (I've always monitored this after finding it helped pace my cycling). My AF was always a bit unusual in that I never had tachycardia, just a very uneven HR so I guess the beta blockers aren't helping much (though IANAD).

I've also managed to shed 3 stone to bring the BMI back to 22.5 which I suspect is helping more than the drugs. Other than no more stupidly long bike rides the AF hasn't made much difference to my life to be honest.

ATB

Re: The Vicissitudes of Ageing
« Reply #19 on: July 01, 2020, 01:15:01 pm »
Apart from slowing down somewhat, the only real problem I'm having with aging is the tendency to spend ever increasing sums on a new bike each time the current one is stolen ( firmly inserts tongue in cheek)

frankly frankie

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Re: The Vicissitudes of Ageing
« Reply #20 on: July 01, 2020, 02:47:41 pm »
The blood thinner will give you an edge, in this Covid world.  That's what I tell myself anyway.  Mine took the form of daily self-administered injections for 3 months, then they took pity on me (possibly also the bills to the NHS were rather high) and converted to pills.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

T42

  • Old fool in a hurry
Re: The Vicissitudes of Ageing
« Reply #21 on: July 01, 2020, 03:47:42 pm »
At the doc's this morning I suggested that I take a low dose of BBs before seeing the cardiologist next time around, so that he wouldn't get all bothersome about a single six-peak AF salvo in 24 hours of holter recording, then taper off to zero again afterwards, but the doc wasn't biting. ;)
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: The Vicissitudes of Ageing
« Reply #22 on: July 01, 2020, 07:10:00 pm »
Slightly OT but relating to my 111 call: I found it rather ironic that the first minute or more of the call was about suffering from COVID-like symptoms if you have travelled to China, Japan or other bits of the Far East. I would imagine that any equivalent announcement in those countries would warn against anyone who has travelled to the uk.
Eating's a serious business. Don't bollocks around wagging your tail.

Re: The Vicissitudes of Ageing
« Reply #23 on: July 01, 2020, 10:23:42 pm »
My surgery has added a second greeting message all about COVID-19 ahead of the original one.  This new one is long, badly worded, and haltingly delivered.   If you resist the temptation to hang up in disgust, you eventually come to a pause and the original message starts with "If you have a serious or life-threatening problem, please hang-up and dial 999...".


Re: The Vicissitudes of Ageing
« Reply #24 on: July 02, 2020, 10:42:29 am »
The blood donor service also has a long rambling message about Covid 19.  Surprised anyone donates first time if they have to listen through that before getting through to anyone.  They’d be better off with press 1 for Covid19 concerns and stick the message there. The rest of us can press 2 to get through to someone.