Posted by: wrmcnutt | August 24, 2011

And Now – A Break for Maintenance

If you haven’t heard before, I’m going to be out of the office for an extended period for a medical procedure. If you’re not interested in the details, you might want to skip this.

I have a condition called “intermittent atrial fibrillation with rapid ventricular response.” This means that, for no particular reason anyone once can discern, the small chambers of my heart (atria) go into spasms. This confuses the large chambers and they will race (or fall way off). During an episode I get weak and find it difficult to concentrate. I can still read, compute, drive, and even fight in a suit of armor. But I don’t do any of these things very well during and incident, and over the past two years they have been increasing in frequency. By itself, this condition is not immediately dangerous and many people live many years with it. The men in my family have a strong risk of stroke, and afib increase the risk of clots forming in the heart, so my cardiologist and I have decided to have my condition surgically corrected.

The procedure I am having is called a mini-maze surgery and is done without cutting my sternum or stopping my heart. An electric cautery is going to be used to induce scarring around the sensitive areas of my heart that are being triggered by what is essentially a short circuit. The scarring introduces insulation that prevents the nerve impulses from going through.

The actual work done will heal in 8 – 10 days. The problem is that they have to go through my ribs to get to the job site. Recovery time estimates are all over the place, but I have high hopes that I will be able to get back to my desk in three or four weeks, but it may very well take longer.



  1. May the hands that heal be guided and inspired. May your healing be speedy and complete. And may you find your self back in the places you love quickly.

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