WPW While I Was Running!

I am a 25 year old male. On March 12, 2012 I went for my nightly run around my neighborhood and within 15 minutes of my run, I felt very lightheaded and collapsed on the side of the road. I got back up only to feel light-headed and nausea. I literally couldn't stand without feeling like I was going to faint. I managed to make it to a neighbors house where they rushed me to the ER. When I got there, I waited in the waiting room for almost two hours. I was sweating profusely, heart pounding very hard and throwing up. By the time I was seen by a doctor, I was in very bad shape. Much so, that my heart was beating 300 beats a minute. I had to be shocked just to get my heart back to normal rhythm because nothing was getting my heart to slow down. For a second I thought I was literally living my last few moments of my life. After I was shock (BTW I was awake for this) I felt so much better. The doctor came in and told me I had WPW and I never knew of this. He said for me to of had my heart beating that much for that long, I should really be dead. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I live a very active life. I had been a runner for the past five years. I eat a low sodium, high fiber diet, it never occurred to me that I would ever have a heart issue. I remember having rapid heart beats and that, but never thought anything different. The doctor told me this: That if I had not chosen to live active and eat healthy that I probably would of died. And so that day changed my life. I did have to have the ablations done. In fact I had two extra pathways and my surgery lasted 6 hours. I had been there hardest case in 2 1/2 years. My recovery time was horrible. I was out of work for almost a month. And I gained 20 pounds. It has taken weeks for me to feel normal again. I went to the doctors yesterday to find out that one of the pathways did not fully disconnect. So I have to have the surgery done again. I'm not looking forward to it either. I will probably have it next week and I will give an update when that happens. I told the doctor I refused to take any medication and so I chose to have the surgery. One of the annoying things is not being able to run like I use too. I ran almost 4-5 days a week for five years. And when that was taken away from me I felt my life was crushed. But in a few months, I hope to be back running and training for my marathon again.
thechav thechav
22-25, M
4 Responses May 9, 2012

I had a pretty bad episode on Friday night so it looks like I will be scheduling the ablation :( Are you still symptom free?

Yes, I am still symptom free! Hope all goes well for you.

Wow. thanks for sharing your story. :) I'm 24yrs. old female. been experiencing palpitation since 11yrs old. and my case was just discovered last year. Im planning to do the catheter ablation early next year but while doing research, i felt scared. is it painful??

When I had my first ablation, I didn't feel a thing. I felt super tired afterwards and probably slept a good 12hours a night and took naps during the day. Thats because of the trauma my body suffered. This lasted about two weeks. The second ablation, I went in at 7am, was home by 6pm. The only thing that hurt was as I was waking up, the nurses were pulling the catheters out of my thighs and it was the worst pain I had ever felt in my life. You can't move around for about 2-3 days because of the slight pain to your thighs, but after that you'll be back to work in a week. Just plan on watching movies and surfing the net alot for the first 3 days. I was doing household chores after about the third day. You'll have bruising for about 3 weeks. The procedure is very safe and I would go ahead and get it done. I refused to take medication for the rest of my life. And I wanted my lifestyle back, (i.e., running, swimming, and working out). I didn't want this to stop me from doing the things I loved doing. I didn't want to worry about my heart every time I went running or played sports. Its normal to feel scared, but what kept me feeling like that was running again. Thats all I kept thinking about. Running is my life!

ahh... I see.... thanks. :) wasn't there any anesthesia before the procedure?? now that you mentioned that it was the worst pain you ever had, it makes me feel more nervous o.o" Compare before, i never felt pain in my heart. Back then i only felt rapid heartbeats and the longest was 15-20mins. I wonder it as time goes by, it will be even worse each year? My friends and my brother was pushing me to do it sooner. But i got so many plans for this year, i don't want those schedule to get ruined. One of the reason why i want to get this done is that i don't want my parents to worry anymore and i can be normal as everyone else. Thanks :)

I should of been more specific. Hahaha, Sorry! I promise you, the pain that I felt was about 2 seconds. The surgery was over and I was in the recovery room when that happened. And then I went back to sleep and woke up hours later. Its not bad at all. I did have anesthesia and I don't remember anything about the surgery. Supposedly you are awake, but I don't remember any of it. I would get it done ASAP. Seriously, you'll be taking a week off to recover and then you will have a follow up appointment 4 weeks later and if everything goes well, The Doctor will give you the ok to continue you normal everyday activities. Just imagine the sooner that you do it, the faster you can go on with your life and that "worry" will be lifted. My heart doesn't hurt. I feel different then before, of course. But I don't get dizzy when I workout. My heart doesn't race for no reason. I feel really great!

hahaha. alright. The most painful medical test I ever had was doing skin test. Random intern doctors were doing test. and It feels like the injection will suck my entire skin on my arm .__. Thanks for the tips :) I would do it next year. I'm going back to my country to do it. still need to earn and save for that. $10,000 makes me cry :( Anyway. good for you. you're healthy now :) God is good :)

Yes,God is good! And I feel healthier.

Hello again! after a year :) I've done the ablation last week on Thursday. :) Praise God. Hope those palpitations will be over now. :) I cried when the nurses pulling those catheters. hahahaha. couldn't help it. :) hahaha. anyway. its done :D cheers!

3 More Responses

Thank you so much for posting your story! Are you symptom free now?

Yes, I feel great. There are times when I can feel my heart beating because I sit or lay a certain way. It used to scare me, but I have realized that it is a normal thing. And when I exercise, I still feel tired and sometimes fatigued. But not quite like I felt before. Changing your diet definitely helps. I know I have to be careful about my sodium intake. If I eat anything with high contents of sodium it gets my blood pressure high, because I can feel it and that I never used to even care about before. And that goes the same thing with coffee (caffeine). I used to not eat when I drank coffee, but now I do because it makes me feel better. I am constantly learning about the "new heart" I have now. But honestly, getting the surgery was the best thing I could do. Because I did not want to take medication for the rest of my life. Hopes this helps.

Thank you so much! I hope you don't mind I may post again when I have more questions :)

Ask any questions anytime!

Man, that's rough, and I can totally relate. I'm 19, had been healthy and super active, and found out about my WPW this spring while I was at college. Similarly, I just randomly started getting symptoms one day, went to the ER, and got this shocking news. Between my symptoms flaring up and having to get the ablation, I've been unable to work out these past three months and it's killing me. I used to be in fantastic shape and go on six mile runs, and now I can't do a thing. The worst part is, I lost 40 lbs. last year and I'm so scared that I'll gain it back. I sincerely hope you have a successful recovery and can get back to being active again soon. I know how hard it is to have to give up something you love, something that relieves your stress and makes you feel good inside and out!! One of my doctors told me I'm really lucky that my WPW was found - he said God must really want you down on this Earth, cause people die from this thing. I'm not that religious, but that really hit home for me, for some reason. It put into perspective that while I feel like things couldn't be any worse, they really could be. Be happy you're alive and that this thing is gonna get fixed, man. Best of luck to you.

amiller22,

Thanks! I recently had my second surgery on May 18th. My recovery time went WAY BETTER! I can't put into words how fast I gained my energy back. It was amazing. But during my second surgery, they found a 3rd pathway. The doctor told me I am full of surprises. He told me that I'll be back to running in about 4 more weeks. I have my check up then and if all looks normal I can start running again. I don't know how much weight I have put on, but I know I stopped looking at the scale when I gained 20 pounds. I had to put it away because I was getting depressed about it. My advice is to hide your scale and just eat like you were eating. I kinda slacked a little because I started eating stuff I haven't eaten in years. Mostly due to people around me bring me food. But your right about looking at your life. It could be much worse. I told myself that God gave me this second life to live and that I wouldn't take it for granted. It definitely changes the way you view life and everything around you. The Doctor told me that physicals that High School students have in order to play sports are not required to have an EKG done on the heart to look for abnormal heart rates. If schools made this mandatory, it would saves many young lives. I'm looking to see how I can help get this passed. It is true, many people do die from this because it is something they don't even know they have. And best of luck to you!