Friday, August 23, 2013

I Heart You

This week, my dad had heart surgery -- cardiac ablation -- to treat atrial fibrillation.  Atrial fibrillation is defined by Mayo Clinic as:

... an irregular and often rapid heart rate that commonly causes poor blood flow to the body. During atrial fibrillation, the heart's two upper chambers (the atria) beat chaotically and irregularly — out of coordination with the two lower chambers (the ventricles) of the heart. Atrial fibrillation symptoms include heart palpitations, shortness of breath and weakness. 

This is an issue I get every once in awhile myself.  It kind of stops you in your tracks and knocks the breath out of you while your heart flip flops in your chest.  I know other members of my family have it as well.  My dad said he first noticed the issue in 7th grade, so it is something you can have for most of your life before it becomes a true problem.  A few years ago, my sister and brother were visiting my dad for Thanksgiving and he ended up in the hospital with heart attack symptoms.  This was the atrial fibrillation acting up.  It was very scary and they have now decided that surgery was the best option.  Many people have told me that they know people who have had the surgery and they feel awesome afterward.  Most likely because they are probably able to be active after not having the energy to do anything.  I assume the weakness comes from blood flow not getting oxygen to all the parts of your body, so your body doesn't have the energy to do what it needs to do.  

My dad isn't quite 60 and him having surgery (especially in another state where we can't get to him quickly) was very scary.  Having just had my own surgery, I couldn't exactly jump on a plane to go visit.  My doctor didn't want me on a long flight due to sitting still so long and potential swelling of the foot and leg.  Plus, I'm sure his girlfriend didn't want to have to take care of two of us.  Anyway, this got me thinking that I've made a bunch of posts lately about heart health, so I wanted to put some of them in one place.   

Talking about calcium and heart attacks:

Talking about the cardio reactive protein test and heart issues: 

Talking about the difference between an enlarged heart and an inflamed heart:

This is my response to obesity being categorized as a disease.  Pointing out that I have more health problems now than I did when I was fatter.

A follow-up to the post above:

Although I do battle some health problems, my blood work actually says I'm not all that un-healthy.  Here's a post about my recent blood work: 

I am very grateful my dad's heart issue was caught early enough to allow for surgery.  I look forward to many more active years with my dad and need to plan a trip to Texas to see him soon.  

Have any of you had any experience with heart issues?  Let me know how you're doing.  

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