As a runner, I have always been fascinated by the way the body works. I have experimented with the best ways to eat and hydrate, including trial and error with products until I found the ones that work best for me. I have been consistent with my training, logging in thirty to forty miles each week and incorporating strength training and walking and biking. I am in good shape, so I was surprised to find myself in a hospital last Saturday.
I was in Santa Rosa, Florida with my daughter and twelve other ladies on a mom’s retreat. Saturday morning a yoga instructor was meeting everyone at 7:30 at the house to go for yoga on the beach. I told my daughter I was going for a quick run, but I would be back by 7:30 to walk the beach while they did yoga.
I went for a two-mile run and I felt great. It was muggy, but I’m used to running in humidity, and the heat wasn’t bothering me. I was enjoying looking at everything around me. As I came close to the house, a woman stopped me to ask for directions. I still felt great. When I finished speaking with the woman, I turned to run the short distance to the house, and I thought I was going to pass out. I sat down thinking the feeling would pass, but it didn’t. My next thought was I need to get inside in case I do pass out. I opened the door to the pool and sat down and told everyone I didn’t feel well. I still was sure I would feel better in a minute.
I went with the women down to the beach, and I couldn’t get my breath. I sat while they were doing yoga thinking that something was seriously wrong, and I wasn’t sure I was going to make it back to the house. I started praying and asking God to help me with whatever was going on.
When the yoga was done, my daughter took one look at me and told me we were going to urgent care who called the ambulance. After several EKGs, they told me I had a heart flutter. The doctor began explaining it to me as well as all the possible treatments. I know it is a terrible attitude, but all I heard was limitations, as I wondered if I could keep running. I was surprised when the doctor cleared me to run, as long as I was taking a beta blocker, but I cannot do the ultra I was supposed to do next Saturday. Here is what I learned about my condition. I hope you will be smarter than me, and not wait two hours to go to the hospital if you have these symptoms.
Atrial flutter is a type of abnormal heart rhythm. The heart has an electrical system that tells it how to beat. In atrial flutter, the signals move rapidly in the top chambers of the heart. This makes your heartbeat very fast. The goal of treatment is to prevent blood clots from forming and control your heart rate.
The symptoms are a racing heart, shortness of breath, chest pain, feeling dizzy, and fatigue. I had all of those, but I never had chest pain, it just felt tight, and I was not tired.
I am heading to the cardiologist and praying for some answers. If you have any of the symptoms of the heart flutter, I hope you will seek medical attention, and I would love to hear from anyone who has this condition.