A little wobble

I had managed to get through my period of slightly elevated drinking without any effects whatsoever.  This week, I was out teaching again so had a pint with my meal, it was a four hour journey to the venue, so I was ready to relax when I arrived.  The training was stressful, fifteen learners socially distanced on a course that normally relies on a lot of group work.  It was a long day; another four hour drive with a Burger King at the services half way back and a glass of wine when I arrived home. 

Later in the evening (22/10) I had a lot of ectopics, to the point where the Kardia gave me an AF diagnosis. 

It wasn’t AF, the beats were relatively regular, but with quite a few missing.  There were no other symptoms, but it was worrying nonetheless.  I took several readings over the next hour or so and had several “Normal” results, but with ectopics and one “Unclassified”. 

In the morning, the first trace I took 8a.m. had lots of missed beats and another diagnosis of “Possible AF”.  Again, there were no other symptoms.  Throughout the day there were several “Normal” and one “Unclassified”, but all showed ectopics.  On the next day everything was back to normal.  Not even a single ectopic.

In the lead up to this episode, my Garmin had recorded a few days of raised stress levels.  It normally averages around 20 on a fairly arbitrary scale, but from the 10th to 17th it was around 30 and, on the 18th and 19th, it jumped to 60 for no apparent reason. It has been normal since then, which is also odd, as I would have expected my stress to be highest on the day of the course and the later arrhythmia (22nd).  Normal is on the left, the high stress reading is on the right.  Note that it suggests I am incredibly stressed during sleep; I am certain that the readings were rogue. 

I am really confused; I don’t know whether it was the stress of work, a low level virus or even THE virus that caused the episode.  There are no after-effects and everything seems completely normal again now.

5 thoughts on “A little wobble

  1. It uses an algorithm based on HR and movement. It disregards the times when activity is taking place and measures Heart Rate Variability. HRV is calculated by measuring the difference in time between successive beats and taking an average. I don’t really understand this, but apparently a rock solid pulse is a bad thing; a heartbeat that varies by tens of microseconds is much healthier. The Garmin uses level of activity, HR and HRV to give a stress calculation, which is why it can legitimately show stress even while sleeping. I am not sure how accurate it is, but I expect that it should only be used as an indication, not an absolute.


  2. Hi There, Just found your blog searching as i’m an “endurance” ultra runner that has recently developed Afib. I’m also soneone who in addiiton to excessive execrcise probably drinks too much red wine. Started reading through from the beginning but may take a while as there is a great deal of content. Finding it very usefull and informative so just wanted to pas sthat on. All the best Andy


  3. Thanks Andy. I started this because most AFib patient blogs are not written by compulsive overexercisers, even though exercise is a major risk factor. I thought it would be useful for others in the same position. I have also found it useful myself to look back on and get a perspective on how I felt throughout the recovery process.

    I have a phone consultation with my cardiologist next week, the third anniversary of the completion of my treatment. No AF in all that time.


    • Keep going with it. It’s a really usefull resource. I have only been diagnosed in August so very new to me. So good to hear other people’s thoughts and struggles. Three years is brilliant. Its good to hear and very motivating…


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