Atrial Flutter...What Next?



  • MrM2MrM2 ✭✭✭

    spen71...Sorry to hear that you're getting problems again, but as you say, a second procedure could be the answer.

    Today marks 15 months since my Catheter Ablation, and have to say that I've not had a hint of a problem since. So, I'm a happy bunny, but really do sympathise with you, and others who are having a more complicated time.

    Could only maintain 10 m/m this morning, for a ten mile run. (9:57 pace) But it is so hot here in Tanzania, and my heart rate climbed steadily; close to the end.

    Still trying to run on alternate days, but limited to the port area so far.(Not too much fun running around the container yards.) Hope to get out along the coast road in the next few days.

    spen71...sorry I can't add anything about diet and tachycardia, but hope that someone else can help you. Hope that you can still enjoy some running.

  • Hi guys, just checking back in. I see some newbies here, hope you are all ok. 

    Since my ablation in June I've been running ok, well, very slowly tbh. I had a bit of a blip in October when I really think I just over trained and was ill, but the heart was ok and didn't really wobble back into AF. I still get the odd 'big beat' and 2-3 second bursts every couple of days but on the whole all feels good. 

    I'm currently up to 8 miles and I've been trying parkrun as a way of regaining a little speed. I'm going well, though as I said before I'm no speedy gonzales image Currently I'm waiting on the results of a 5-day monitor test before I know what the future holds for me. Everything seems ok and better, but maybe there is something lurking around, I don't know. Maybe the consultant wants to try and fix the few odd beats that crop up occasionally? Who knows. Should find out in a few days. I'd love to come off the warfarin, I think that isn't helping my stomach at the moment.

    Ive made a few dietary changes, Im careful not to overeat, or drink alcohol too much, I try to have a balanced diet. I'm sure it helps me. And something I think is a factor for me - I drink fluids a lot more. I've heard dehydration can be a factor in AF and I've run for 20 years on barely a spoon of water image Im just making simple changes really.

  • MrM2MrM2 ✭✭✭

    alanj Good to see that you are still running, despite a few irregularities. Interesting that you mention fluids; I've always gone on bare minimum. Couldn't believe it when a local 10k run introduced half-way drinks, a few years back. Now it seems normal.

    Currently in Tanzania, and take water with me every time I run, and that is often for 5 or 6 miles. Looking forward to being back in a cooler climate in the next few months. Although, reading about the UK storms I'm not so envious at the moment.

    Have recently been running with two young men; one is increasing his distance, to get up to half marathon. The other one has recently run the Singapore marathon, so I wondered why he would want to join in with our short runs. Any way, I thought that I'd better find out his pace. He said the marathon had taken him six and a half hours. So I asked him what his time was at half way. It was 2 hours!  As I guessed, he hadn't done the preparation. So now he wants to prepare properly, and build up again from the beginning.

    'Simple changes' sounds like good advice. Happy days.


  • Just checking back in, but nothing much has happened since my last post. I'm still waiting for the date for my ablation and am still hoping that it'll be earlier March.


    Good to see other people getting over it.


    As for the water debate, I very rarely take anything on training runs and will often do a 20 miler without water or food. Only exception is when it's hot and sunny, but that doesn't happen too often, living as I do on the west coast of Ireland.

  • Date for my ablation op is 22'nd Feb (a week today).


    Getting a bit nervous now, but glad it's coming.

  • MrM2MrM2 ✭✭✭

    Hi Redjeep   One week to go! Great news. Praying that all will go well, and that you will enjoy your running even more after this.

    Struggling to get my running back on track, since a virus knocked me flat about twelve days ago. Have been out for a couple of short runs, but there seems to be very little in the tank at the moment.

    Keep us informed as you get over the procedure, and I look forward to hearing good things in the near future.

  • Thanks MrM2. This thread has been a great support.

    I'll check in next week when it's over.

  • MrM2MrM2 ✭✭✭

    Hi Redjeep Thinking of you at this time. Just hope and pray that all goes well, and that you'll soon be telling us your come-back story!

    Unable to run at the moment as we are half way between Dar Es Salaam and Maputo. Not arriving until Wednesday, but already looking forward to my next run.

    All the best!

  • Hello Mr. M2,

    just read this old posting from you:

    ------------ MrM2 03/01/2015 at 16:24


    Heart Rate was OK once settled, but in the first minute went straight up from 90 bpm to182 bpm. Then it bobbled along between 163 and 180 for eight minutes before dropping down to a reasonable 140-150 for most of the run, and hitting 160 in the final effort. No feelings of breathlessness...(until the finish line!)

    ----------   Is this what you've been experiencing? Since owning a HR sensor I noticed the same thing a few times and first thought the sensor just needs warming up. Though measuring my HR by hand I found the measurements to be correct, only my maxHR is much higher than yours (not quite sure how high, but I can still talk at over 180).   I have a cardiologist appointment coming up as I'm fighting with episodes of breathlessness (I think it's related to repeatedly depleted iron stores, which my GP disagrees with as I'm not anemic yet at that point. Iron does help though) and because I need to literally force myself to do 50-100 steps uphill for over 20 years now and then stop to catch my breath and calm my heart beat for a few seconds. Seriously, the last step uphill is as difficult as every other step uphill but after the first step on flat terrain this whole mess is gone and I can just walk on at a fast pace for miles. 
  • MrM2MrM2 ✭✭✭

    Welcome Liliacea, Yes, that was over a year ago. Glad to say that the strange h.r. readings were relatively few...and I never did feel that they were real, as my breathing never matched the 'distress' level that the monitor indicated. If you have read through various threads, you will see that there have been comments to the effect that we hadn't got proper contact, with the chest strap. But I always set-up the same way, and find it hard to believe that poor contacts were the real cause of the strange readings. But I don't have a better theory.

    Have been running in the tropics for a few months, and have experienced some higher than average heart rates, but no unusual spikes.( Just for context, my max. h.r. is 165.)

    Hope that you get some useful info. from your cardiologist, and that you'll soon be able to enjoy running hills. I never thought that I'd enjoy running hills as much as I do now, with the Atrial Flutter sorted out.

    Hoping to hear back from Redjeep soon, after his procedure. Happy running.

  • Hi MrM2,

    thanks for your answer. So you kind of experienced the same? I certainly need to walk up a few hills and take the sensor along to see if it records something funny as I have so far no clue what is going on there.

    One thing is certain: I confirmed the high reading at the beginning of a run as real and not a case of a not proper sensor contact. Also interesting: the high HR goes down again if I hit the right spot on my neck, and in one case when straight up again afterwards and then down again when touching that spot again to take another manual reading. I think I can avoid this whole phenomenon by not walking briskly as a warm up but warming up even slower than that.


    Btw, how did your doctor diagnose your problem? I suppose the best way to demonstrate the problem is to go full speed on a stationary bike, though I suppose I won't be allowed to do this at the doctor's.

  • Well I'm now through the op, and everything went well. My heart is back regular again and I'm lying in a hospital bed drinking a cup of tea and eating ginger biscuits.

    I don't feel too bad and am not in any pain, but am still a but shakey when I stand up. Hopefully I'll be out tomorrow.


    Only negative thing has that the cardiac surgeon advised me to give up the marathons but gave the green light for anything up to HM's.



  • MrM2MrM2 ✭✭✭

    Redjeep.  Good to hear that all has gone well.

    It's a bit of 'good news/bad news' but you can get plenty of fun out of half marathons. Having said that, I wouldn't write off your marathon days. I think it can vary from specialist to specialist, how they view running. I was fortunate in having some very positive and encouraging comments from the specialists that I met. One in particular just wanted to talk about running, and was quite envious that I could still run marathon distances, even with AF. He was still working up to a 10 mile distance, ready for the Gt. South Run. However, one specialist, who I only saw once, would have had me on all sorts of medication, and would have stopped my running. But I'd already seen Mr. nice guy!  So don't give up yet. Keep in touch.

  • MrM2MrM2 ✭✭✭

    Liliacea.  Even when cases seem similar they are often quite different in many respects.

    I knew that something was wrong with my heart when I took my pulse one morning. and found it to be irregular. The previous night I had been doing a simple 3 mile, easy run,(just four days before the Zurich marathon!) and couldn't maintain an easy pace, as I became breathless. By the time I got to the Dr. everything was back to normal.

    When I asked the Dr. if it was OK to fly to Zurich in two days time, he asked if it was for business or holiday. When I told him that I was going there to run the marathon he didn't bat an eyelid. Just told me that if it happened again I would need to slow down. So I told him that from the previous evening's experience I knew that I wouldn't have a choice, but to slow down. That was in 2008.

    I had a similar experience on two other occasions, over 5 years, when the condition self-corrected within 24-36 hrs.. It never affected any serious runs, but I never was able to provide evidence for the Dr. That is, not until a fourth occasion when it did not self-correct. So then there was plenty of evidence, as I was in constant Flutter. The rest of the details are included at the start of this thread. Briefly, I was in constant Flutter for about 20 months before I had my heart procedure, 16 months ago. It was a complete success, and I haven't looked back. As you can imagine, I'm extremely thankful, and every running day is a celebration.

    Hope you get answers to your questions. Happy running.

  • Tag myself in on this to read later as I have had a few issues the last year or so.

  • Thanks everyone. Just back home now and enjoying some decent (decaff) coffee and a slice of fruitcake. I feel okay, just a little weak and have some discomfort in my groin where the catheter went in. Hopefully a good nights sleep will help fix them both.

    Overall it wasn't an unpleasant experience, I was awake for half of it and was able to see what was happening on the bank of monitors to the left of the bed. They knocked me out towards the end, presumably when they did the actual ablation. In all it took about an hour and the nurses were saying how it takes longer to set everything up than the procedure takes. The medical staff were all fantastic.


    I've not given up hope yet for the marathons. I'll start running gently next week and see how I get on. I'm seeing the specialist who did the op in 6 to 8 weeks so will plead with him then.

    I suppose I've got off lightly if all I have to do is eliminate caffeine and marathons. 

  • MrM2MrM2 ✭✭✭

    Welcome to Welsh Alex. There are a few of us contributing, currently, and all with slightly different issues. Hope you'll be able to find something helpful.


    Redjeep. Take it easy! I was told to wait a week. Thought I was being very good by extending that to eight days! But seriously, don't risk too much too soon. And take it easy on the fruit cake. (Only jealous!) Glad that your procedure went so well. Keep us posted on your week. All the best.

  • Thanks MrM2.


    Does anybody on this thread have first hand experience of Flecainide ? I think that it's a common antiarrythmic and my specialist has prescribed it for me following the operation yesterday. I've been on Cordarone for the last 2 years with little or no side effects and I'm more than a little worried about some of the side effects that I'm hearing about with Flecainide. There's a lot of comments that it affects your ability to do any strenuous exercise as it reduces you maximum heart rate. 

    Does anyone have experience and know whether this is true or not ?

  • Ok, I now know that I have a completely different problem. I took my sensor up my house mountain yesterday and noticed the following...

    For as long as I can think I cannot walk up a steep incline properly. When it's very steep I do just 50-100 steps, get weak legs and run out of breath and need to stop. Few seconds later I can walk on as if nothing happened. Few steps further uphill the same happens, and again, and again.

    What I saw on my sensor: My HR goes up when I start walking uphill, then I run out of breath and muscles get weak. I stop. Immediately after that I have a funny feeling in my chest, similar to light-headedness when standing up quickly with low blood pressure. This is followed by a sudden increase in HR, and then I'm fine again and can walk on. Thus I do, but after a short while my HR suddenly goes down, and I run out of breath and my legs feel weak again. Stop. Funny feeling. HR jumps. I walk on until HR drops again. Rinse and repeat.

    In a way I see the same when running. I run at a slow speed, and get tired, or turn into the wind, or run slightly uphill and sometimes my HR doesn't adjust to the harder work or increased tiredness and thus I run out of breath. I walk, jump in HR, ready to run on after 50-100m, and either the HR stays at that level and I'm fine, or it goes down again and I have to walk again after 300-1000m.

    Well.. at least I can show this to the cardiologist I'm going to visit this week. Hopefully he doesn't get distracted by my generally high HR. I suppose he's not a sports specialist.

  • RedjeepRedjeep ✭✭✭

    Hi Liliacea, I hope the cardiac guy can help out. It sounds very different to the symptoms I've had.

    I was back to see he surgeon again today as  I was still feeling rough, but he checked me out and was happy everything's getting better. He's told me to lay off the running for another 6 weeks ( 6 bloody weeks) and confirmed the ban on marathons. It turns out he's ran 9 marathons and does a lot of cycling as well, so I think that I do need to listen to him.

    Was a bit depressed as entries opened today for the Marathon du Medoc which I did last year and would love to do again. In fact I had a couple of friends text me to tell me it had opened when I was lying on the doctor's couch.

    I may look to do something like a London to Paris cycle for a heart charity instead.

  • MrM2MrM2 ✭✭✭

    Redjeep.  Glad that you are on the mend. Sorry to hear that you have another six weeks to wait before running again.

    Can see that you are up for a challenge; already thinking about tackling a cycle ride to Paris. Not quite the Marathon du Medoc, but at least the advice is coming from someone who knows a bit about marathon running.

    All the best. Be patient. Keep us posted.

  • MrM2MrM2 ✭✭✭

    Redjeep.  Glad that you are on the mend. Sorry to hear that you have another six weeks to wait before running again.

    Can see that you are up for a challenge; already thinking about tackling a cycle ride to Paris. Not quite the Marathon du Medoc, but at least the advice is coming from someone who knows a bit about marathon running.

    All the best. Be patient. Keep us posted.

  • MrM2MrM2 ✭✭✭

    Redjeep.  Glad that you are on the mend. Sorry to hear that you have another six weeks to wait before running again.

    Can see that you are up for a challenge; already thinking about tackling a cycle ride to Paris. Not quite the Marathon du Medoc, but at least the advice is coming from someone who knows a bit about marathon running.

    All the best. Be patient. Keep us posted.

  • MrM2MrM2 ✭✭✭

    Redjeep.  Glad that you are on the mend. Sorry to hear that you have another six weeks to wait before running again.

    Can see that you are up for a challenge; already thinking about tackling a cycle ride to Paris. Not quite the Marathon du Medoc, but at least the advice is coming from someone who knows a bit about marathon running.

    All the best. Be patient. Keep us posted.

  • Hi Redjeep. Glad you you are through the op and things are looking up. I'm due to have it done on March 22. I'll be happy to get it out of the way and am looking forward to feeing normal again. I've been told that I should not exercise for 2 weeks after the op, but after hearing your account of the doc making you wait 6 weeks, I think I need to keep an open mind. In your position, I would agree with MrM2 and I would be following the doc's advice. All the best, please keep posting on your recovery, it's all very relevant stuff for those of us up next! Cheers H.

  • MrM2MrM2 ✭✭✭

    Good news Howard Thomas 3...It's great to have a date to look forward to. And just over a week to go. Wishing you all the best. Hope it all goes well for you.

    Redjeep. How are you feeling? Trying to stay sane, I imagine. But the days are ticking by, and you'll soon be trying out your legs again. Keep us posted. All the best.

  • RedjeepRedjeep ✭✭✭

    Thanks all.

    I'm now just over three weeks after the op and am feeling a lot better. I was back in work after 2 weeks, which on reflection was probably too soon.

    I feel much better this week compared with last week. I'm still staying of the running for a couple more weeks, but am managing some longish walks in the meantime without getting breathless.

  • MrM2MrM2 ✭✭✭

    Redjeep...Good to hear that the signs are good, and that you are able to get on with some walking. You'll be counting the days, I guess. Be patient, and come back strong.

    Howard Thomas 3...You will certainly be counting down the days...Or sleeps...until your procedure on the 22nd.. Let us know how you get on.   All the best. Michael.

  • Hi Michael

    Much appreciate your good wishes for this coming Tuesday. As you say, I'm counting down the time. One set- back however to report, the obligatory pre-op echocardiogram has revealed a leaky mitral valve, and further described it as eccentric in mode and moderate to severe. The cardiologist has indicated that he will proceed with the AFL op and monitor the valve situation over the next few months. There is a suggestion that the new problem might be positively affected by the op. Anyway, for now I am focussing on Tuesday. I'll be in touch as soon as I am able to afterwards. Cheers for now, Howard.


  • RedjeepRedjeep ✭✭✭


    Best wishes, I hope that it all goes well. My experience of the actual op was that there was nothing unpleasant and I actually found being awake and pretty much able to watch what was going on, very interesting.

    Have they explained how they're going to do it? If its the catheter through the groin, then you may want to get the razor out the night before.


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