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David Hooper
07/25/17 #21707

Many thanks to all for a great week at the Gorge, from the organizers hard work to Duncan’s shuttling and porch hosting to Medler and his van/tent/boat-hauling rig to a great and welcoming Bellingham crew. My first time there and I had a blast. Many a good wave to ride.

Yeah, about that hospital case…It turns out that atrial fibrillation is like a bad house guest who returns when you least expect it. I’ve only had it once before, and a doc friend of mine said that there’s a 40% chance of recurrence over 5 years. Turned out it only took 5 months. At least I knew what was happening this time and so was in and out of the ER in ~2.5 hours: a quick trip to sleep thanks to prophinol, a quick zap to the heart, and about 1 hour recovery. Lunching with ambulance driver Medler by noon.

What brings on A fib? I’m trying to figure that out. Last time I’d spent the day chasing around a young buck on a backcountry ski trip in the Selkirks, with some work stress chasing me around on what was supposed to be a vacation. This time, I’d spent the day chasing a bunch of older bucks around on surfskis, but it would be a hard to call the week “stressful” (other than the 12 hour transition Sunday night getting back from skiing Mt. Baker to leaving Monday morning with Medler). Docs call A fib “holiday heart” – too much partying can bring it on. So maybe it was the Medler margarita the night before (he makes a very good one). Or all of the above. I’ll be trying to figure that out when I get back from field work in California at the end of the week.

Right now, I’m just glad it happened on the flattest day all week.


Michael Gregory

07/26/17 #21710


Good to hear your Atrial Fibrillation (AF)responded well to cardioversion. However, a visit with a Cardiologist is recommended to make clear that there are no worrisome causes for your AF and to formulate a treatment plan.

Typically AF is seen in those with untreated hypertension but, there is another group that has is affected. Surprise, mature endurance athletes have increased incidence of AF. I had the opportunity to visit with a UW Cardiologist and enquired what might be the cause of AF in such an otherwise very healthy group. His response, “we really don't know”. Reassuring, right?


David Hooper

07/27/17 #21723

Hey Mike,

Thanks for the info. Yes, I’m setting up appointments to figure out how to proceed. I was lax about that the first time – just figured it was some weird one-off occurrence. But this last slap in the chest has me motivated, for sure.

I’ve been hearing about the endurance athlete – heart problem link from Pete Beglin (ski buddy and cardiologist, who fortunately was with me the first time the AF happened). I guess I’m one more data point in that link.

Thanks again,


Michael Gregory

07/27/17 #21725

Dr Beglin is a excellent resource. Flecanide has been a great remedy for my AF. Mike.

beau whitehead

07/27/17 #21730

Cardioverting a conscious patient who is in a-fib is always entertaining. We usually start by saying “this isn't going to feel very good.” Normally we are shocking an unconscious patient during CPR. Glad you were asleep for it & it was a quick fix.

afib_whatcom_paddlers_1.txt · Last modified: 2021/01/11 19:14 by preavley