The Cardiologist (2)

We had an appointment with the Cardiologist later that day.

It’s funny how quickly things move along. I’d gone from being okay to requiring heart surgery.

The Cardiologist went over the findings and talked about stents versus open heart surgery. He didn’t need to convince me in favour of open heart surgery.

While stents have their place, surgery seems to be a more “permanent” solution and I was happy to go down that path.

He would get opinions from colleagues and then advise me of his full recommendation.

“I’ll be in touch in two days.”

July 4 (evening)

The Run Home

After you pass your stress test!

What do you do once you’ve passed a stress test?

With a new found confidence that nothing was seriously wrong, I decided to run home after work. The run from the Perth CBD to Meltham Station was just over 6km. It would be a good, medium range run and after a pain free stress test what could go wrong?

And, true to form … nothing happened. 

Perhaps it really was just heartburn which a few more doses of Gaviscon would fix and it’d be back to the normal life.

Life was good.

June 29

That’s Weird

After the Elleker Half Marathon it was time to start training for Munich. Start slow. Build up. Nice and easy.

The first indicator there might be a problem was a heart rate of 168 early in the run. That’s the rate you hit after quite a few hard kms. But it settled down and on I went.

That’s a bit weird!

No issues other than the awkward heart rate at the beginning.

The next run the same. The increase lasted a little longer but it settled eventually. Was I living on borrowed time?

At this point, what was to come didn’t even enter my mind.

The Beginning

June 3 Albany, Western Australia. Elleker half marathon.

I wasn’t ready for this. I hadn’t really prepared at all. And you just don’t decide to run a half marathon! But I’d paid my fee and it gave me an excuse to see my 90 year old dad.

We arrived late. I didn’t have a great warm up. We headed off for the 21.1km. But even without proper preparation it was a good run on a beautiful winter’s day. No personal best but also nothing that indicated what was about to come.

My wife came second in her event, winning fifty dollars!

Heart Surgery in 100 Words

I wanted to write about my experience of having heart surgery at 55. I’d been doing my best to ward it off. Clearly a failure!

I’ve always wanted to write. But committing to a post everyday and trying to make something interesting is always a challenge.

So I’ve decided to compromise.

I’ll write but each post will be no more than 100 words. That way, even if my writing sucks and you read it, you’ll only lose a few seconds of your life! Sound fair?

* This post, including this note, is only 99 words!


A few numbers going my way recently so wanted to share:

Weight: 79.7kg – the last time I was that weight I was going upwards! So it’s been a while. I have been at 79.9 a couple of times but to get this low, with the hope of going even lower is quite motivating.

In addition, this is on a low carb, healthy fat diet. So I’m eating things like cheese, bacon, eggs, good vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower, the occasional Brussel sprout and fish like grilled and smoked salmon.

I’m certainly not suffering!

I still need to up my oily fish consumption and I have enough tins of sardines in the pantry to do this for a week.

Body fat % – In addition to the weight loss is the body fat composition down to 19.8%.

I guess this is reasonable to expect but it has also been achieved without the ability to fully exercise. But, as they say, you cannot outrun a bad diet so this proves, to some extent, that weight loss is diet based not exercise based.  I think when I start exercising again, my appetite will increase and weight gain will ensue to some degree.

HbA1c: 5.6% – this is based on the app MySugr which derives this figure from my input. So, there’s probably a bias there of entering lower numbers. The outcome will be proven with my next full blood test results. However, if this proves to be relatively accurate, it will mean my HbA1c has come down from 7.7 a year ago to this.

Time will tell.

We also went on a foodie tour in Subiaco yesterday with David Bryant and his better half, Leah. We visited all sorts of places that showed you can eat well and not pay a king’s ransom for the privilege. 

Perhaps one conclusion I can make, which may have been coincidental is that, with exercise, I can eat bread without a sugar spike. We visited Sorganics in Subiaco and we had a taster of their fruit loaf sourdough and walnut sourdough.

Normally, after a slice of bread my BG will hit the 9’s and 10’s even two hours later. Yesterday I only hit 5.6 and 5.8.

So, perhaps the bread and the 5-odd thousand steps we took in a short space of time helped manage the blood sugar levels.

The plan then,  if I do eat the good stuff, and I do like a good sourdough, I need to be able to “walk it off”. As long as I have that ability, while bread will never be a staple in my life, I know I can eat it as long as there is some exercise in there somewhere.

And I do need something to put my sardines on! 😉

Stats and Numbers Obsession

I admit there is a bit of an obsession with the numbers here but it is all in aid of developing a way of eating that energises me without adversely affecting key health aspects that can be shown through blood results.

#lchf #lowcarb #healthyfat

Recovery Run

img_0490Recovery runs are easy workouts that may flush out lactic acid build up, which can help prevent delayed onset of muscle soreness and speed up recovery. Something athletes do after a half marathon or marathon or during training to recover from high intensity sessions like intervals.

My runs at the moment are simply recovering from surgery.

Since The Big Day (17 July, the date of at the triple bypass) I’ve been slowly getting back to normal activity through walking and then stretching to longer walks and then more brisk walks.

At today’s parkrun at Yokine, Western Australia, I got into what I’d call normal running.

I started off walking and then decided to run a light pole, walk a light pole to see how I’d feel.

I certainly didn’t run the whole 5km today but towards the end of the run I felt that my cadence was coming back and the rhythm was feeling like something familiar.

Bypass image
Image courtesy of Annals of Cardiothoracic Surgery

It’s still a bit “jumpy” where the surgeon took the two mammary arteries to use be, but certainly better then last week.

I also felt a tingling in my left thumb where the radial artery was taken from to help with the surgery.

The left arm is healing really nicely too, thanks to John Ranger, the guy who performed the suturing. He’s done an amazing piece of work.

It’s is almost nine weeks since the surgery and in terms of realising how after you’ve progressed, it’s more the things that don’t happen that make you realise its all coming together.

For example, just 3 or 4 weeks ago, my mammary arteries would cause a nerve tingling that was very aggravating. Now that’s completely gone! But you don’t realise it’s gone for a few days, if you know what I mean.

So, the progress is definitely there and just when you think something doesn’t look or feel right, it seems to go away.

I’ve never had heart surgery before (and hopefully never again) so I’m not really sure how this is supposed to go! But, so far so good!