Saw the cardiologist for a follow up visit on Tuesday the 5th. At my last visit in March, I had an new echo cardiogram done where is it showed that my cardiac function had improved pretty significantly since my initial visits last fall.
With an ejection fraction now measuring somewhere in the 45% - 50% range - that puts me at near normal or mildly compromised.
Now, it does still mean that I'll need to stay on the drug therapy for at least 6 more months to a year (and maybe longer) to see if I can realize even more improvement to my heart function. Although I'm not getting my hopes up, the doc suggests that I may continue to see improvement; and, there is some chance that I may get back to a normal ejection fraction in the 60% + range.
More importantly was his answer to my question at the end of the visit. (Paraphrasing a bit, it went something like this):
Muddy Buzzard: "Well, I would really like to get my mileage back up to normal, start back to some hard training and start competing again. What do you think about that?"
Cardiologist: "I want you to be careful and really pay attention to what your body is telling you. But, with the improvements that we're seeing with the drug therapy..............................go ahead and do what you want."
Now, it got a little awkward when I then shrieked like a Justin Bieber fan, jumped in his arms and gave him a big wet one on the lips. Funny, but he seemed to leave the exam room pretty quickly....................hmmmmmmm, wonder why.
Actually, we had a bit of a talk about that. He's okay with me returning to full running and competition. Again, he does want me to really pay attention to how I react physiologically. And, the nature of the drugs that I'm taking (especially the beta blocker and the ace inhibitor) may very well may place some limits on my performance (due to the manner in which they tend to reduce blood pressure and heart rate). But, outside of that, he feels that my test improvements pretty much eliminate any concerns that they had about things like sudden cardiac arrest and such. As he put it - there's a world of difference between 35% ejection fraction and 45% to 50%.
So, consider the Buzzard to be one happy bird. (Even did my first hard workout in months with my kids. 8 X 200 uphill repeats. It hurt ---- in that familiar good hurt kind of way.) Not sure where it will all lead; but, at least I'm not able to get back to training and pushing myself. And, removes a bit of a dark cloud that was kind of lurking in the back of my mind as to my overall cardiac health.
Now the grand experiment of pushing the limits of personal endurance can begin again. Oh Happy Days.
See you on the roads, tracks and trails.
The Muddy Buzzard.