Period of calm

Things have settled down recently.  Since the ablations last year, I have had a few periods of AF, other arrhythmias or ectopics; for some of these there has been a possible trigger.

After the mini-maze on 7th April  I had a wobbly heartbeat for a few days, but have largely been in sinus rhythm ever since.

I had one day of AF after a very stressful work day on 16th May, but the cardiologist was unconcerned.

I noticed an excessive amount of ectopics on 15-16th August for no apparent reason, again the cardiologist was happy with this.

I experienced a lot of ectopics after coming off the Bisoprolol in the middle of November, which carried through on to 24th December.  I had one alcoholic drink (1½ units) on two occasions 12th and 17th December; these seemed to have no effect.  In fact I had several drinks on 21st December and the ectopics disappeared completely.   I was so pleased with this, I got a little carried away on New Year’s Eve, and woke up to a Kardia reading of possible AF, which returned to sinus rhythm with a few ectopics later in the morning.  I reduced my intake to almost nothing and by the middle of January I was experiencing no ectopics.

On 15th April, I had a Kardia reading of possible AF; this was while in the hospital visiting my very sick mother, so stress possibly a factor again.  I actually thought the trace looked more like ectopics, there was a visible p-wave and overall the trace was relatively consistent in rate.  There were similar one-off traces over the next few days.

My heart then behaved itself until the end of May, surprisingly including the period of the death of my mother.  Over the second bank holiday weekend in May, I had drunk a little over the limit and may have been rewarded for this with some very strange readings, which settled down fairly quickly.  Similar readings showing quite a lot of baseline noise continued until 10th June. I also had very bad indigestion through this period, so it was possibly due to a virus.  Since then things have been fine.  And my resting pulse has been returning towards something normal, 63 last night.

Throughout this period I have continued cycling steadily, I don’t believe that exercise has had any causality in my arrhythmic events.  I am starting to lose the weight I put on over the last two years, but still have another kilo to lose to get to a BMI below 25 (5Kg to get to full fitness; the weight I was in 2015).

There isn’t a clear correlation of my experience of ectopics, arrhythmias and noisy ECG traces with alcohol consumption, stress, exercise or anything else.  I have given up looking for triggers or patterns and have decided to just continue to live in relative moderation.  Following alcohol guidance, changing work patterns to avoid stress and maintaining exercise at predominantly at zone 1-2, with occasional peaks to the top of zone 3 (HR 163)  I am much slower than previously, but getting faster within these parameters as I return to fitness, but I am still cautious as I don’t want to risk reverting back to AF.


Back to the Peak

The heartburn subsided gradually, and I suspect that it was a bug of some kind rather than a health issue.  The kardia readings have also settled down, but I am still taking regular readings to check.

I have been steadily increasing the exercise while maintaining an HR of less than 165.  My last three rides have been hilly ones (60, 92 and 94 ft of climbing per mile) in the Peak District.  I am a little slower than a couple of years ago and I am regularly spinning in gears that were once reserved for serious climbs only, but I am beginning to feel like a real cyclist again.


I have become obsessive in my Kardia ECG testing recently; I have only had one spurious reading in spite of regular testing, although there has been the occasional ectopic.  I am still not 100% sure it is not a problem, but my blood pressure is good, my rhythm fine and general fitness improving.

I do have one new health problem: indigestion.  This is not exactly new, I have had reflux issues twice before: once in 1998 when I let my fitness lapse a little and again in 2008 when I had a gall bladder infection.  It seems my 10 years anniversary was due.  The latest occurrence started a few days ago with reflux but there was no obvious trigger.  It has now decreased in intensity and is affecting my left shoulder.  It is definitely not heart related; it only hurts when I breathe in or sneeze.  This is not good for hay fever season, and I do not want to take anti-histamines in case they awaken my sleeping AF.

I will give it until after the weekend and then seek medical advice if it hasn’t cleared.


Had a difficult few days at work, so I decided to cut the day short and enjoy a bit of sunshine.  I took a steady run out to Poolsbrook Park.  It didn’t seem to be  a particularly fast ride; there were a lot of pedestrians and dogs to slow down for.  Somehow, I managed to get the KOM.  Not prestigious; an out and back canal ride done by very few people, but definitely a sign of improvement.  The heart has been behaving itself since the weekend as well.  All good again.

Poolsbrook Canal circuit KOM

Back to normal?

In spite of having two glasses of wine yesterday, the ECGs from last night and today are now completely normal.  I think I will stay off the bike until Thursday or Friday this week and keep off the alcohol indefinitely.  Hopefully, it will be possible to narrow the circumstances down to see whether my recent ECG problems (if they are actually problems) are caused by alcohol, exercise, a mixture of both or are just random.

Frightening ECG

I took an ECG after a finishing a cycle ride and moving the lawn.18-06-03 Frightening

I had never seen anything like this before.  It settled down straight after and was fine for the next few hours.  I assume that there must have been some interference for the baseline to move so much, but even so the trace was a bit worrying.  It was scorching today, but I wasn’t dehydrated and the last two bike rides were gentle with an average HR of 138 with only one or two short bursts in the low 160s.

Another wobbly trace: bike related?

One completely normal trace last night and another in the morning.  A very wobbly trace again in the afternoon; this time after a 30 flat but fast bike ride. 18-06-01 HR

Again this settled down fairly quickly, but this was taken 10 minutes after I got off my bike.  A test a few hours later was completely normal; I have had no alcohol for a few days (although I was above the guidance levels for the weekend), but perhaps exercise is causing it?

Arrythmia again

I had a bad week.  Mother’s funeral, stress at work and a long hot bank holiday, with beer.   I went for a walk yesterday and part way round I was feeling good, quite fit and HR not as high as my partner’s.  I took a Kardia reading; although given as normal, there was a lot of arrhythmia/interference.18-05-29 normal

My partner had a go with the Kardia and the trace was normal.  I tried again several times and had similar results.  The next day  I had the following “Possible AF” diagnosis.


This was also worrying, although I was feeling fine.  The next day I was back to normal, pulse regular and BP 133/82.  Perhaps need to watch the drinking a little more closely.

2nd overall

The changing of the sprocket on the cross bike has much improved it.  The irritating bearing noise has gone and the bike is practically silent.  Rather than retiring it, I am now looking forward to going out on it.  I tried a relatively short canal trip yesterday, thinking that the constant pedalling may take more out of me than I expect.  It was a wonderful ride, marred only by me arriving at the park to find the Parkrun about to take place.

In spite of this I managed to move up a place on a Strava segment. Now second overall, and I could easily have gained a further minute if the park wasn’t full of runners.

Poolsbrook Canal circuit

I went out today a little later, too many walkers on the trails for any real speed; but I achieved an overall average of 14 mph and felt really good on the clear parts of the path.