Don't assume you're healthy
Michael blamed an energy drink for his wildly beating heart.
The competitive cyclist noticed that every hour his heart would go boom, boom, boom. Michael, who was training as a part of cycling team to ride a 24-hour race, dismissed the heart pounding as an energy drink side effect.
The next day, the pounding got more frequent. Michael’s wife, a nursing student at the time, urged him to get it checked out.
He went to an urgent care and they sent him directly to the Emergency Department at Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix.
There, Banner cardiac specialists told him that he had atrial tachycardia, a genetic condition that would require medication and surgery to control the abnormally fast heart rhythms.
His family and friends were shocked that someone so young and apparently healthy had such a serious heart condition. Michael was just as surprised but realized that the blackout spells he had suffered from for years had been his body trying to tell him something.
Although stunned, Michael was confident about his medical care. He completely trusted his cardiac surgeon the first time he met him.
Michael's Banner cardiac specialist performed an ablation to his heart by freezing areas to create scar tissue that would prevent the conduction of electrical impulses.
Because the surgery was minimally invasive and Michael was in overall good health, he had a short recovery time.
He’s back on the bike, although he took it slow in the beginning. He now avoids caffeine because it stimulates his heart and he wears a heart monitor while cycling. “I’m just happy to be doing it again. I’m happy I got another chance.’’
Michael said he learned that the importance of listening to his body. "If something is amiss, then check it out. And when your wife tells you to go to the doctor, go.’’
Michael: I am living proof.