Friday, 30 October 2009

Being trying a new technique to stop an arrhythmia.

Basically pushing down on the diaphragm really hard, like being pregnant and pushing the baby out and pressing on the vagus nerve. Fill your lungs to help with the pressure then tension the stomach muscles hard, pressing down and hold. I have been doing it for a count of ten, perhaps couple of times immediately the arrhythmia is detected.

So in bed this morning 5.30 I was woken by AF and again this evening after loading the trailer with kayaks after the pool session. Both times the AF cleared up. I also tried this morning when AF started on getting up, it did not work. But 2 out 3 today is pretty good. I suspect it postpones rather than means the AF goes away but hey that's still good in my book.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

This week has been a complete contrast. Started off being tired, very late to bed and significant deterioration in mood. So 29 hours of AF by Tuesday evening and I think a few more before almost lunch time Wednesday and the start of the longest AF for a while - 2 days ie 46 hours. I took 150mg of flecainide early on with no effect. Not sure when I tried again.

Went jogging 3k on Wed before the AF and Thursday while in AF. Then in the evening to the Alford pool kayak session. The AF cleared Friday morning after taking another dose of 150mg flec in the morning. Iin the afternoon I paddled the Don from Kemnay to Inverurie 5 miles or so in high flows and cycled 10k back. But rather than more arrhythmia with the exercise Friday saw the start of the longest session of NSR for at least six weeks. By Sat evening 34 hours when the next AF started. I have not exceeded 24 hours of NSR for a long time. Cycled 12k on Sat am.

Does it suggest that there is a cycle - the body needs to go through a cycle and corrects itself in some way. This certainly something I have felt before and others have suggested.

By Sunday evening I had had about 93 hours of AF for the week. Worst for ages.
Last week gave the lowest level of arrhythmias for ages - about 37 hours for the week. Had quite a lot of episodes - at least 1 every day and at least 11 in all. Not sure why the total so low though less exercise recently so less tired, emotional changes also. I tool 150 mg of flecainide as a "pill in pocket" fairly early on in each episode which appears to have helped clear them up.

Arrhythmia triggers were interesting. Started arrhythmias:
immediately on lying down in bed
while asleep, it woke me up
a few moments after waking
around eating.

Thats all pretty vagal.

Sunday, 4 October 2009


An interesting item on one of the A-F-A mailing list pointing out that during an arrhythmia the heart releases a chemical which makes you wee more. OK but pointing out that it is to excrete salt. Hence for example needing to get up more for the toilet at night.

Now for me during exercise I have found replacing salt to be very important to reduce arrhythmias. I use lo cal salt to give a mix of calcium and potassium. So maintaining salt balance appears to be important.

Yet apparently the heart needs to excrete salt. Intriguing. Both may be true but if so how and why?

Paddle on the Findhorn

Had a good trip on the middle Findhorn. Lots of water, sunshine & good company with Juta, Vicky, Kirsty and Ricky. Thanks folks.

Arrhythmia started during night & took 3 flec and cleared within 3 hours. Not too bad but with a good sleep - about 9 hours - it was away again in the morning, I think as I woke. I believe a good sleep can leave the vagal system dominant and bring on the arrhythmia. I thought it cleared on the way to paddling so did not take any flec. Only it was a strong 140 as I got changed and persisted all the way on the river. I normally feel I know when it is settled but definately not this time. An arrhythmia is usually not too much of a problem while paddling. There are short bursts of effort followed by relxation so my body can rebuild. Sometimes I do need to take extra rest. The biggest effort was the walk back to the road where I hit 200 plus; not good.

Coffee and cake on the way home. Good for me, took 3 flex about 6.30 and back to nsr by 8pm, after a glass of wine (or 2). OK that is not good for the arrhythmia but it is good for me.

About 51 hours of arrhythmia this week counting today as 15 which is brilliant.

Findhorn was running about 0.6 or so on the guage, about medium. A good level as much higher I think would just wash out. As it was "dragons teeth" was just a wash through. Much higher and it would be an interesting run all the way from above Tomatin on the A9

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Being more than a bit lethargic just now. No paddling last night and not much done today. However opened a face book account, how does it find your contacts?
Also put photos on flickr.

A fib has been fairly quiet. Started at 4am and I took 3 flec. It cleared after about 4 hours but I couldn't sleep for a good hour or so. There are 2 techniques that seem to work. Either an all body gently work out / stretch or simple tensioning muscles throughout my body for about 25 seconds each and then relaxing seems to work. In either case followed by something to fill the brain like counting sheep. Only I use reciting poetry or song. Usually the same ones and repeatedly, you don't want anything to think about. I think using the same ones acts as a trigger or que for the brain to shut down.
Total afib for the week now about 35 hours and its 136 hours of the week. Thats pretty good.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Slept soundly last night which contributed to an arrhythmia starting at 4am when I got up for the toilet. Took 3 flecainide but that did not help. It finally cleared once I was up and about, and feeling pretty good after a good nights sleep. If I am tired I can sometimes ignore the arrhythmia and sleep through it.

Been a hectic few days. Up at 5am on Tuesday to go down to a conference on direct payments for disabled people to manage their own support. Why is it that seminars supposedly designed for a consultation are so awful? It is not rocket science to do it well but this was particularly bad. The only saving grace was a short chat with a West Lothian Social Worker which was very worthwhile.

Anyway did not get to bed early the night before, bed late that night since Ann & I went to a meeting discussing wind farms with friends. After being sociable I then walked to dog, so well after midnight.

Wednesday was Carriage Driving for the Disabled. I help by cycling with the carriage in case needed. However it was the 40th anniversary of riding for disabled so they had arranged for all the branches to have a timed lesson to have the world's largest riding lesson. So there was no real cycling but still jobs to be done.
In the afternoon Ann persuaded me to look at a couple of young dogs, sisters, that had been taken to the vet to be put down. The Vet was not keen to do that and was trying to re home them. Ann would love a second dog. Against my better judgement I agreed we might take one for two weeks "to help out". Anyway its a lab cross bitch, probably a bit of bull terrier in it. Pleasant enough dog but of course it would not settle at night. Of course it was me settling it down for the night and it was 2 am before it stopped barking.. Our lab Holly was accepting enough but was certainly making sure it knew it was bottom of the pile.

Just to keep Ann happy it killed one of our ducks. That will take some management to ensure it does not do that again. Perhaps it has just settled its future and will be re homed but not here. We will see.

So a good nights sleep last night is a change for this week.