A day on a calendar

Today – a new date came through for me. Radio Frequency Ablation, or Isolation of the pulmonary veins – the golden bullet in terms of AF suffers. It seems east enough to say out loud, read about, or write down. However as the letters go onto the page you realise that this time it feels more than just a hoop through which to jump to get to a destination. This time it feels more like a battle, or a trial by fire. Someone nicely, and with decades of experience, burning the inside of your heart to order… and to cherry that icing – cutting into your groin to get there.

While it seems like an odd thing to be able to say – but – “I am GLAD that the last date was cancelled.”

Why? Well – I had previously viewed it as a trivial hoop through which to jump, a doorway, and on the other side, the world would be greener grass, singing birds, and sunshine twinkling through perfect blossom trees.

I had hung a number of events on “not today” but “once everything is better”. Which – while things will undoubtedly (eventually) be better – statistically speaking – there is zero to stop them happening now, and the motivation to make the changes is still required.  This is a good thing.

Indeed, it is nearly always greener where the cows are sh1tting – and just being in that green field is not enough to make a change, to ‘do-the-needfull’ – so thank you – and hint taken. An opportunity if you will.

So – with a readjustment of outlook, and having started a lot of the things I had promised myself for “when I am better” my attenion is far more drawn to the small matter of a general anasthetic, and an awefully nice chap burning me – intentionally in the name of a fix. I cannot get away from the concept in my head of a guy with a soldering iron trying to accurately mark a beating heart… inside… with a blindfold on. Accompanied by small hissing noises, and puffs of acrid white smoke.

So why on earth would this be something I was up for? Well, because for Atrial Fibrilation – this is the weapon of choice. Minimally invasive, quick recovery, with a statistically high likleyhood of success.

The procedure involves being asleep – I am good at this – so this does not worry me so much. Then, through an incision in my groin, a bunch of equipment is threaded up into your heart.

Imaging and a very VERY localised GPS system delivers mapping of the beating heart to the surgeon, on the outside, without a clear view. A map is then taken of electrical activity going on within the atrial chambers.
A boundary of non-conductive scar tissue is created as neatly as possible around the pulmonary veins entering the right chamber (on the users left) – while the target is moving.

The scar tissue either prevents the propogation of the extra beat signal from the muscle scheaths around these veins, or adsorbs them enough to reduce their effect on the two upper chambers. Taa-Daa – done.

Remove all the equipment. Stitch back up. Home for tea and medals!

…well after a likely overnight, and then three days of taking it really easy. But otherwise… simple right?


The only great solace I take was from hearing the surgeon say how much harder it used to be with 7 hours of X-ray exposure for both of us. Now the procedure takes half the time and has far more accuracy. The experience of doing it the harder way will no doubt deliver when it matters.

…I hope.

So – lets get some things out and formalized:

1. I am a lot more hesitant about this date – what it has not changed – what it stands for has;

2. I am not waiting on completion to press on with being more me again;

3. Having the date moved again will not sit well with me;

4. It needs to be done;

5. I need pictures of the gig – or it didn’t happen!

Adventure awaits!

… or just plain old tying my shoelaces without getting puffed, or intervals without that sensation of misfiring making me ask myself “do you really NEED to do be doing this.”

Either way – into the diary it went…. and all the purely emmotive cruft that went with it.

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