Drew enjoys adventure and his experiences have taken him around the world. He never really worried about his health, including his heart, until he found the love of his life.
Drew grew up in Toronto, Amsterdam and Zurich. After college, he started a career in consulting that led him to Arkansas and then to the Big Apple. He always found time for various athletic activities including running marathons and more recently, triathlon competitions. Drew moved to Florida for a climate that supported a less stressful lifestyle, and it was there he met his wife. It was his marriage proposal and wedding that led Drew to think more consciously about his heart health. It was his primary care doctor that encouraged him to see a cardiologist after they detected an arrhythmia, or abnormal heart rhythm during his exam.
The physician assistant (PA) at the cardiology clinic asked Drew if he felt anything different as he watched the early moments on the EKG. After the 10-minute EKG reading was over, the PA showed Drew three examples where his heart beat early. Drew did the math: three episodes in ten minutes, means potentially 18 per hour, which could be more than 400 per day, and 3,000 each week! As his panic continued, the PA opened a box and took out a patch-based, wireless sensor. He introduced Drew to the BodyGuardian® MINI. The monitor was the size of a car key fob and was placed on his chest using an adhesive strip.
“Considering I had no idea I had an arrhythmia until 12 minutes earlier, it was all a bit overwhelming,” said Drew. “Now that I was aware I was part of a club no one wanted to be part of, I wanted to press the button constantly. Going from someone who believes they are heart-healthy to someone who clearly has a heart issue means that nothing is going through your mind but that fact.” The preparation seemed simple enough: wear a tiny, waterproof heart monitor, no skin abrasion or alcohol, he could go about his daily activities as normal, including bathing, swimming and showering, for two weeks while his cardiologist would monitor for arrhythmias.
Drew committed to a diary to track what he did throughout the day in hopes that it could provide some indication of what might be causing his heart to have irregular rhythms. As an active triathlete and weekend warrior, he dreaded the possibility that he might have to limit his participation in triathlons. As part of the two-week monitoring period, Drew did get permission to race in a triathlon while wearing the remote heart monitor. As long as he was wearing the monitor, why not put his heart through its paces?
While he could feel the unit, after about the fifth day he decided to think about it as a friend who was monitoring his heart while he went about his daily routine. Throughout the two weeks wearing the heart monitor, Drew noted anything that he thought might affect his heart rate – exercise, sex, alcohol, vitamins, medication (including his blood-pressure medicine), stressful news, and driving in Miami. The triathlon competition took place two days before he was to send back his heart monitor to get the data interpreted.
Less than two weeks later his cardiologist told him he had less than one percent arrhythmia – 2,733 irregular beats over two weeks. Drew was given his heart monitoring report and he compared it to his tracking spreadsheet of activities. He noted a slight uptick in abnormal heart rhythms in the mornings when he worked out, but there was one specific morning where it went haywire. He had about 30 percent of his total arrhythmias in one six-hour span. He checked the spreadsheet and remembered what he had done the night before – stayed out late for his birthday and probably had too much to drink and not enough water.
Reflecting on his experience, Drew is thankful for the experience and the opportunity to better understand his heart health. “It’s done the two most important things – it has given me the green light to do things that I love doing and it has helped me understand what might not be good for my heart,” said Drew. “This information is invaluable.”
Since his heart monitoring adventure, Drew and his cardiologist agreed he could continue his healthy lifestyle– finding joy in his new marriage, living life to the fullest and competing with a new mindset of making sure he listens to what his body needs.
Caution: U.S. Federal law restricts this device to sale by or on the order of a physician.
The patient testimonial above relates an account of an individual’s experience to remote monitoring technology and services. The account is genuine, typical and documented. However, this patient’s experience does not provide any indication, guide, warranty or guarantee as to the experience other people may have. The experience other individuals have could be different and do vary. Not every response is the same.