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Perspicacious medicos

Cockrone Lagoon, between McMasters Beach and Copa,
and near our home, is one of my favourite places to walk.

I walked 5km this morning, and although not as bad as yesterday, still felt more breathless than has generally been the case in the last few weeks.  Maybe I've just had a bad couple of days.  I have read stories on the Web of runners coming back from Pulmonary Embolism (PE) who have bad patches.  Nevertheless, I was pleased I had an appointment scheduled for later in the morning with a Respiratory Specialist to get an expert opinion on my situation and some answers to questions.

Cockrone Lagoon.

As it turned out, the Specialist's opinion was that the worst of my Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and PE was past, and that as long as I was taking the anti-coagulant, Warfarin, my prognosis was good.  In fact, if my heart wasn't an issue, he would have been OK for me to resume running, which was good news.  He spent some time checking my pulse, and said he was sure that the breathlessness I had been feeling was due to my heart which was beating irregularly, averaging about 60-70 beats per minute compared to my usual resting rate of low 40s.

Cockrone Lagoon.

He seemed keen that I see the Cardiologist (my appointment is four weeks away) as soon as possible and actually tried to get me an appointment today (they are in the same building).  I think the urgency was driven by his desire to help get me running again rather than any concern about my current condition, although he didn't actually say that.  He told me he was training for a triathlon, confirming to me the wisdom of getting a Specialist recommendation from my sports medicine friend, Dr Jon.  In my experience, medicos who participate in endurance sports have a much better understanding of obsessional distance runners such as myself.  They know how much it means if we cannot run, how much we test our physical limits, and how prone we are to ignore pain.

He prescribed another heart test, a Holter Monitor, and told me to call the Cardiologist when the results were available, mention his name, and I should be able to get an earlier appointment.  I called to arrange the test, and because they had a cancellation, was able to get an appointment this afternoon.  I'm now walking around with electrodes attached to various parts of my chest and connected to a battery powered recorder on a waist belt.  I have to note the time of any breathing or heart events I notice in the next 24 hours and return the device tomorrow afternoon.  Hopefully, I'll be able to get an appointment with the Cardiologist next week and make progress on the heart problem.  I sensed the Specialist I saw today thinks the heart arrhythmia will be correctable, but time will tell.