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My own updated health saga follows: I’ve had some unexpected good news on that front. The history was that last August my cardiologist
gave me heart MRI results in clinic with the scary news that my aortic root was
at a 52mm diameter aneurysm. Along with that she gave me very stern warnings about
reducing training and avoiding exertion. Also, that major surgery was soon likely
when this reached their recommended surgery threshold of 55mm. The result was a cut in my training to
about 25% of previous. That 52mm report was separately twice
reported by her in writing to me and my GP. So, I believed all that!
About two months ago I was back for a treadmill stress
echocardiograph. This was with a different cardiologist as the previous one had
since left Papworth. My stress exercise performance
result was rated as “excellent”. I couldn’t fully understand why the written
echo report seemed to indicate only a 42mm dimension which, as a layman, I
thought maybe measured something other than the aneurysm?
Yesterday, I was back at Papworth for a follow up clinic
with the electrophysiologist who has now put me on waiting list for a fresh
attempt at catheter ablation to sort out pesky tachycardia issues (these had always
been less worrying than the aneurysm). He
kindly agreed to also review and explain all previous MRI reports with me, on
screen. Hey presto! The latest and all
previous results confirmed the 42mm aneurysm!! We agreed that somehow, someone must have
managed a typo in relaying results to my previous cardiologist. And, she clearly didn't do her own proper MRI review!
Those reporting errors sadly pushed me into an excessive
decline in my training/fitness. I now
hope to gradually start increasing my training, if I can stay
re-motivated. I was, however, still
warned by the ‘new’ cardiologist to be cautious about degree of effort (my ‘severe’
aortic valve leak remains an issue) but now I at least feel that I might
achieve a better work-up towards Berlin marathon
I guess one take away from this story is that you should always
try to get a ‘second opinion ’on issues like this, if only to avoid simple
clerical errors. That could apply to many running related injuries too. Sorry to bore you with this long saga - I
just needed to get this gripe over with!