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bshersey, July 31,  2018  12:49pm EST

I guess I maybe overdid it a little...

I celebrated my five-month anniversary of my one and only ablation (so far) by walking more than 15,000 steps in the 85-degree heat on Sunday afternoon here in Boston. That's nearly 6 miles and 3 hours of walking in the heat. At the time, I felt up to the challenge.

Boy did I regret it late Sunday night. I woke up with chest pain and palpitations. Neither were serious enough to make me worry I was having a heart attack or needed to go to the ER. Plus, I have passed every cardiac test in the world over the past few months and have received great reports from cardiologist and EP.

But my heart kept jumping between its normal 55-60 bpm and 95-100 bpm for the rest of the night. Not uneven beats like my afib. Just faster all of a sudden and then back to slower a few minutes later. I couldn't sleep and proceeded to drown my sorrows by eating a whole box of coconut popsicles while lying awake from 2 to 6 a.m., when I finally got up. 

I went to work, but took the day off from walking my usual 10,000-plus steps (a normal day for me with my regular commute is about 5,000 steps) and came home after work, ate a sensible and early dinner, took all my nightttime meds (sotalol, etc.), and got a good night's sleep. I also cut out the licorice extract supplement I had been taking for reflux because I read (while I was awake overnight) that it can cause afib and high blood pressure.

Today, after a night of rest and no licorice supplement, I feel much better and even went out for my usual noontime walk around Boston Common and the Public Garden. But I went much slower in the heat.

Important lesson learned: Even though I often feel recovered from the ablation five months ago, I still have a ways to go for full recovery and need to continue taking care of myself and not overdoing it. I'm 57, not 27 or even 37. This is going to take a while, I guess.

  • grandscheme
    grandscheme, September 22,  2019  8:53pm EST

    To bshersey, wow, six miles in this heat is an incredible feat. (I'm also in New England.)

    As others said and as you know, dehydration is absolutely a cause of episodes. I try to drink 36 ounces of water in the first five hours after I awake in the morning, then sporadically during the day. That's not an Rx for anyone else, but it has seemed to help when I stick with the program. I have also (for years) cut out excess sodium (obviously you need a healthy amount). But by doing my own cooking I avoid huge doses that come in prepared foods at even the most diligent, vigilant supermarkets. 

    Heavy doses of sodium can also have an impact on afib. But, darn it, it's a crafty affliction and even when doing everything "right" it can sneak in.

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