Management team meeting

Peterborough today, 90 miles and 2 1/4 hours drive there and back.  For some reason I was quite fatigued and for the first time I showed my symptoms in a meeting.  Actually my manager has been very good and I have not been in the position of having to deliver training over an eight hour plus day for a long time.

Unfortunately, I was sighing and sniffing a lot during the meeting and at one stage I was asked a question, but I just stared blankly at the PPT screen, not realising that someone was talking to me.

Overall, this is not necessarily a bad thing as recently I have been forgetting things and have generally just been quite crap at my job; lots of adjustments have had to be made, and more offered.  Up to now I have largely been performing well in meetings, so this at least shows how badly the AF is affecting me.


GGT and birthday

GGT done on 29th March after a month and a half without alcohol.  It was required by the GP because the NGH had not managed to pass on my results from two weeks ago.  It was 112, just under double the maximum but the lowest result so far.  My further research and conversation with the trainee cardiologist suggested that the high GGT reading is alcohol based after all and will take a year of abstention to lower.  On the plus side, the link between high GGT and alcohol doesn’t indicate liver disease, in fact the lack of other high results suggests no damage at all.  It turns out that my unscientific Excel chart was actually more accurate than I thought, and the 90 day moving average is a good predictor of GGT.   The last reading seems to have been a blip due to my weakness over Xmas and the few drinks I had after the news of Dave’s death doesn’t seem to have had much of an adverse effect.

alcohol and GGT 29-03

Today will be my first dry birthday in 38 years; I could probably have a couple of glasses, but with the operation next week, it doesn’t seem worth the risk.  Actually, it is really not a problem for me, but Diana seems disappointed.  With the GGT and my drug habit evolving to contain considerable doses of amiodarone in the near future, it seems likely that my dry period will now extend at least until October.

Cadiologist query

I called the cardiologist’s secretary to ask about the tooth; embarrassed about not having any knowledge of why I was asking the question or what the question actually should be.  She told me she would check with him, but didn’t anticipate a problem.  She confirmed that my appointment was for the 7th April.  I was a bit surprised and explained that everyone up to now has said 18th April; apparently he stepped in and rescheduled his work to move me forwards.  I am hoping that this is to prioritise his research project, not that there is a particular reason why two weeks later would be a problem.


A quick check up visit today, made lengthier by my answer to the question, “Any changes to your health recently“.  I wasn’t sure whether I had any tooth problems, because jaw pain is a side effect of my medication and have had an occasional dull ache in my jaw since starting my recent drug habit.  Apparently its a problem with a wisdom tooth, the dentist has washed her hands of it entirely and insists it is dealt with by the dental unit at hospital (luckily, as this is much cheaper for me).  She wants me to contact the cardiologist to ask his opinion on whether it needs to be done as an emergency prior to the mini-maze or if it could be left until after.

She did not make it clear why there was a problem, and when I asked what I should say as background to the question, she had nothing to add.  I suspect she is just trying to avoid making a decision while passing any liability on to me.

Pre-assessment day

Pre-assessment day today. Quite impressive the way the hospital dealt with it, much like a production line.   Lots of prodding, swabbing and testing by various people:  height, weight, lung capacity, measured for compression socks, blood tests for “everything”: swabs for MRSA in mouth, nose and groin, urine test, chat with junior doctor and all paperwork sorted out.  Strangely, the paperwork was the longest session.

After the operation, I will spend a day in the High Dependency Unit and apparently will be given amiodarone; definitely not looking forward to that.  It still looks like 6-8 weeks before admission.

My coffee habit

I discovered this morning that I had run out of tea bags.  The cardiologist had recently told me that it was unlikely that the caffeine in my coffee was having any kind of effect on my AF.  I decided to go back to drinking coffee for a day, rather than go to the shops for tea.   It didn’t seem a problem given that there is still caffiene in tea.

I discovered later that coffee is now a major problem for me, headache, flashing vision, inability to concentrate (worse than the normal bisoprolol influence).    Having restricted myself to one cup a day for the last 6 months, I have now lost all tolerance to high levels of caffeine.