I Heart Hearts

Good Day…

Bad Day…

Urgh, I guess as I mentioned it in my earlier post, I ought to mention the cause of nearly all my marathon stress. I’m lucky enough to have two of what most people only have one of. Before your eyes light up and you ask me if I have to buy special underwear, I mean electrical pathways on my heart. Now, don’t take the following as medical fact as when my specialists explain all of this to me I nod and listen and understand then within five minutes it’s seeped out of my brain.

I apparently have the awesome sounding Supraventricular Tachycardia, specifically Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome, something which even useless Prime Ministers get.

I think I can sum it up by saying that I have two of the electrical pathways that govern my heart beat. And sometimes these ‘short circuit’ and get themselves in a right mess. The upshot of which is that my pulse can then race to well over 200bpm. The longest that an "episode" has happened for is over 24hours and although I can still sort of function during that time I’m constantly thinking paniccccccccccccccccc. The craziest thing is that it’s possible to actually sometimes see my heart beating if you look at my skin. My pulse is so strong that I "visibly" have a heart beat which you can see. Peeep.

Anyway, ignoring IT’S MY BLOODY HEART AND I ONLY HAVE ONE AND IT’S KIND OF IMPORTANT DON’T YOU THINK it means a few interesting things….

  • It’s very psychosomatic. As I’m writing this I feel slightly faint and my heart feels like someone has it in their hand and is squeezing it. Simply because I’m thinking about my condition! WTF? I’m trying to top myself!?!?!?
  • It involves the most amazing sounding Bundle of Kent. See, if I asked you what on *earth* that was you’d never ever guess… it turns out the electrical pathways are called the "Bundle of His", but if you have an extra group then that’s called the Bundle of Kent. How crazy is that!?!?!?!
  • Because I’m clearly not an idiot (well, in some respects) I believe in evolution, I love the fact that if I’m having one of these episodes then sometimes sucking on an ice-cube will fix my racing heart…. that’s apparently because we are descended from sea creatures and it’s still in our genetic makeup to "slow the heart down" when you experience the cold of an ice cube. This is because creatures when they dive deeper into cold water need to slow their heart rate down to survive longer.
  • This does not mean I’m a whale
  • I can possibly have it fixed via ablation. This doesn’t sound too bad until you realise that it involves a long wire being placed into an artery, being guided all the way up into my heart and then "burning/zapping/lasering" the extra pathway. That’s apparently not so complicated except that according to my ECG the two pathways are very close to each other so they might zap both of them.
  • That would really not be good!

I’m off to see my specialist again (who seems pretty relaxed about the whole thing)  in a few days to find out if I’m OK to carry on training for the marathon. If I’m not then this blog will finish bloody soon! I might have to slip him a fiver to make sure that’s the case!


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