Wednesday, May 1, 2013

"No Running until.....

.... the cardiologist gives you the ok"

So back up to Saturday when I had heart palpitations of a sort during my run. If you read that post you know that I wrote them off as "It's just not a good day for running". A good night sleep Saturday and on Sunday and I felt fine. Monday at work, still fine. Monday evening I opted for the bike trainer. It had been raining all day and I wasn't in the mood for an outdoor run. Monday is usually my rest/strength day but I have a short week this week. I'm off Thursday to Cumberland County, PA to judge the State History Day competition so I decided to get some work in Monday. About 10 minutes into it my heart did it again. Ugh. I slowed down and then tried again and again a blip. I stopped, got off and sat on the couch - pouting. And as I sat I could feel my pulse beating against my chest. This is not normal for me. I felt like the cartoons you see where the imprint of the heart comes through the chest. Damn.

So obviously my analysis from Saturday was not accurate. I called the doctor Tuesday morning and was given an appointment for this morning. I explained what was happening to my boss and took a vacation day. The doctor I saw was awesome. I've never seen the same one at this practice more then twice in a row. The last time I was there - last year when my hip flexor issue flared - I loved the doctor and determined I'd let her be mine, but she is no longer with them. The one I saw today though was fabulous. Even though I'm not thrilled with her statement above I trust her. She did practically an entire physical on me. Asked lots of questions and actually listened to what I had to say.

I likely do not have any coronary disease she said because I have no other symptoms. My blood pressure was where it usually is 90 something over 60 something and all signs point to being very healthy and in good shape. Yay me! BUT she wasn't thrilled with the two episodes so close together especially. That makes two of us.

She did an EKG in the office. I learned that EKG's are not timed based ( I thought they were). Instead the sections of the lines represent different parts of the heart. There was an odd configuration coming from the lower left of my heart. But she said, "You could have moved ever so slightly and it would do that." So it's off to the cardiologist for an echo-cardiogram, a holter monitor and likely a stress test. Doc also ordered blood work to check my cholesterol, any signs of anemia (I've battled that before and take iron every day for it) and thyroid issues.

That's when I asked her about the race.
ME: Maybe this is a question for the cardiologist, but I have a marathon in three and a half weeks. I don't want to do anything stupid but I don't want to give up on it if I don't have to.
DOC: No running until the cardiologist gives you the ok. It could be nothing, or something simple to correct. I don't want you to run because you don't want to risk setting it off (starting the palpitations)and having it not stop.

At least she gave me a real answer and explained it. If she had left it up to me to decide, I'd be stressing over what to do. Walking is fine and so is my yoga class tonight. :)

Awesome Doc did call the cardiologist though and explained my situation and asked to see if they could fit me in as early as possible. She said sometimes the schedule is what it is but she'd try. I left GP's office and walked up three flights of stairs to the cardiologists office. If you know me, you know that my claustrophobia keeps me off elevators as much as possible. I got to the 5th floor and stopped in the hallway for a minute laughing at the thought of going into the cardiologist office panting. I walked in and the receptionist said, "Are you Paula Tansey?" Freaky but nice.

The good news is the cardiologist was willling to take me tomorrow, the bad news is my insurance requires a referral from the GP and they insist on a week to process it. :( I asked if there was any way to make it for tomorrow but they said no. Which is stupid but not worth fussing over any more. So I have an appointment for next Tuesday. It will likely be a few days after that - at the earliest - before I get any answers though. At least one day if they want me to wear the Holter monitor for a day. *sigh*

I've done 20 miles. I'm officially in taper mode now but taper does not usually mean stop running completely. I'm expecting the doc to say I CAN do the marathon when all is said and done but the question remains will I lose too much before they clear me. It's already 4 days and will be over a week before I even get to the cardiologist. *sigh* again.

Everything happens for a reason right? Stay tuned ......


  1. Wow I'm sorry you have to stop running for awhile! Hope it's really easy to fix whatever it is!

  2. Ditto Anne-girl, but very glad you're having this properly checked out...