Day 22 post ablation and the physical evidence is all but faded. A dark red scar on my groin and the bruising is what appears to be washing away or running out like inks through filter paper, down to the palest surround of yellows and browns. Chest discomfort from time to time, but usually gone as soon as noticed. But what about exercise?

Well, I am glad you asked.

I am working my way through 3.5 hours of Trainer Road by way of stationary bike intervals three times a week, and swimming twice a week not fast, but the goal is to clear 100 lengths (2500m) per session.

Any sign of a loss of rhythm? ABSOLUTELY NONE.

Modern medicine is amazing.

2 Responses to “Exercise!

  • So how are you doing almost four years after your ablation? I was recently diagnosed with afib and planning an ablation. And I am an avid cyclist so very much interested in knowing how long did the ablation work for you

    • Alberto – hello. Thank you for reaching out. It has been three years – and that is a lot of time and space to decompress.
      In that time I have also seen friends diagnosed and treated, and others wonder whether they are exhibiting similar issues.
      Rather than answer directly – let me talk about a friend who was a lot more accomplished and capable – fast, lean, powerful. They went from nothing to persistent AF, which lasted for weeks. They sought out private healthcare (we are in the UK, and this is not necessary as such but post-pandemic waiting lists are huge). Their ablation was a cryogenic balloon, and they were advised to be back up to 100-mile rides within 6 to 8 weeks I believe.
      Contrast that against an RF ablation for me after some delay – albeit for incidences that came and went through the week and would last maybe as much as a day at most. I was told I could start riding again at 4 weeks – as opposed to being aiming for anything large. I believe the difference is the joining up of scars required by RF ablation which are spot welds. Both, in fairness, are amazing to be being done on a beating heart without seeing where you are!
      He continued riding, I took two years out, and started again this year, still on the losing weight phase alas…. but confidence back having been using an e-bike to find my feet again and ride with the people I wanted to, on the routes I wanted to, without that feeling of loss, or failure, or negativity. I should have done it a LOT sooner.
      The common takeaway here is the mental side of things.
      We both have short incidents. Either runs of fast beats, or misfiring AF – but they are over within minutes if not seconds.
      The mental association is however a real issue – it is highly stressful, and you immediately panic thinking it has returned.
      Through choice we have both voluntarily given up Alcohol and Caffeine (not all – but pretty much all) – and while it has made little to no impact on the remaining AF – it certainly makes you feel better!
      How long did it work – well it’s still working – for both of us. However, the mental scars take longer to heal than the physical ones…. true of so many things. Keep that in mind. Small steps.
      Be ready for any medication to make riding a lot harder – and engage with others. As you have seen here no doubt – you may wish to check out Cardiac Athletes on Facebook …. people with issues a lot more complex and debilitating during superhuman things …. it sets perspective when you receive news like this.
      Be well – and let us know how it goes.

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