Friday, November 20, 2009

Stress Management

So I headed back up to Hopkins today for a stress test. As some of you might remember, I've got less than a 100% functional heart. A couple years ago I was diagnosed with some heart problems. Turns out I have AFib and my doctors prescribed a couple drugs to keep it under control.

These drugs keep my heart from getting itself caught up in run away beats. This is good.

These drugs also suppress my heart rate. Which normally isn't an issue.  On them I have a resting heart rate of ~43 beats per minute. This is the type of heart rate that an elite athlete has. While I am in good shape - I am not by any means an elite athlete. What's more troubling about the drugs is that they shave a whole bunch of beats of my max heart rate. In fact my normal heart rate max should be somewhere around 184 bps. Unfortunately when I maxed out on the treadmill and had to bail off during the stress test today, I was only chugging along at 150 beats per minute. Normally this isn't an issue, but when I am trying to keep myself moving during a race, shaving 30 to 40 beats per minute off my heart rate means that there is less blood going to my legs and less oxygen being delivered to my muscles and therefore my muscles fatigue more rapidly. At least that's the theory (which my cardiologist seemed to agree with).

So the doc has shaved the dose of my prescriptions down a bit in hopes that we'll be able to find a dose keeps the a-fib in check but also lets me crank my heart rate up to where it needs to be when I am exercising. I'll let you know how it works out.  'Cross your fingers!


  1. Stress is a normal of part of human life, but it can sometimes be the root of health problems. It's a risk factor that contributes to high cholesterol levels, or high blood pressure, that could lead to heart diseases.

  2. Right. We encounter stress at work or even at home, and it's not helping our health conditions.

  3. Stress management is so important that I would suggest seeking a professional's help even if it costs you a bit. In the long run, the investment will pay for itself.

  4. I have to agree with you there. Stress really does bite, and if you pay attention to it only when it's too late, there could be serious repercussions.

  5. It always makes me happy to read about heartwarming (no pun intended) stories like these. More power to you.