So 6 months less 2 days after my accident, I’m braving the A5 from work central London to Edgware Community Hospital. This must be one of the most horrible roads to cycle on in London. Gridlocked even early in the afternoon and few stretches with bus or cycle lanes. Just before I crossed the North Circular there was a stretch of cycle lane. However, I soon realised that it was taking me away from the flyover over the North Circular, down to the horrible roundabout that I had previously decided that I might use the pavement to circumnavigate. The main reasons for going that way would be to join the North Circular or, illegally as a cyclist, the M1. Fortunately, gridlock meant it was easy to cross the lanes of traffic to the flyover.
Nevertheless I arrived for my cardiology appointment in one piece. As I explained in my last post, this appointment was unexpectedly early and I felt slightly underprepared.
After a short wait, I was taken by a nurse who weighed me and measured by height. It was 1.5cm than I expected though, translating it into Imperial measures, I’ve lost an inch so I’m both taller and shorter than I thought. She also weighed me, measured my blood pressure and then took me for an ECG. This involved having lots of sticky pads put on chest and lower legs and then a short measurement, which took a lot loss time than sticking on the pads. She warned me that the pads would take my hair off, but that she didn’t want to shave me. This made it sound as if she was using superglue. However, the pads came off very easily, probably less painfully than most plasters so I’m not sure what all the fuss was about.
After another wait I saw the Cardiologist. He asked various questions and was interested in where I had got to with the neurologist. He used the analogy that I was it was like a detective novel, with various specialists trying to by a process of elimination to find out what was wrong. However, he cautioned that with a one-off faint, the likelihood was that no cause would be established and, without a cause, there could be no treatment. Dr Heart also listened to my heart with a stethoscope. This was nice counterpoint to Dr Brain’s bangy thing.
Dr Heart then said that my ECG might show a potential issue with my heart, but stressed that the ECG was a poor indicator of this, particular given my tall, slim build. He has therefore referred me for an ECHO Cardiogram which will give a more definitive measurement. The ECG may be showing LVH – increased thickness of the left ventricle. Dr Heart stressed that I should not worry what this meant, given the possibility of a false result from the ECG. As I said I would to him, I have obviously googled it and it seems to be a thickening of the heart in response to having to do more work. This could either be due to the narrowing of the arteries or to doing a lot of exercise. So whether or not its a real condition, it seems unlikely to be a problem for me, especially since I know that I do not have high cholesterol nor high blood pressure nor a family history of heart disease. The ECG may be giving a false reading because my build means there is less of me between the heart and the probes.
I have an appointment in 5 weeks time for the ECHO Cardiogram and also a 24 hour ECG so we’ll see.