A set back

I’m currently on the train on my way to the London marathon expo. I wanted to try and explain my emotions at this point but first, an update on my heart.

Yesterday I was at a conference at the Nectar head office when the lovely Bethan from The Brompton called. I ducked out of the room to find somewhere quiet to take it. Bethan told me that my 48 hour ECG results had come back and had picked up another abnormality with my heart. She explained how I would have to go on new heart drugs as a matter of urgency. I’d also have to change my marathon plans and instead of walking it fast, walk it very slowly. As you can imagine I was quite overwhelmed at this stage to be hearing that there was yet another problem and another change to the plan. Especially when I was just starting to come to terms with what the weekend was going to be like for me and my family. A lovely nectar lady called Anna found me and looked after me with a cuppa and a cream egg. Legend!

This morning Bethan contacted my doctors and I’ve already started taking these new drugs. I’m also booked in for more tests in the near future. Bethan’s called St George’s (who look after all medics for the marathon) and told them about me and mum. Hopefully it’s quite clear to see how absolutely amazing The Brompton and the staff there are. Just fabulous.

So the good news is that we know about this other problem and we wouldn’t have known if I wasn’t doing the marathon. I’m also on drugs that should stabilise my heart rhythm and protect the heart. The bad news is that there are side effects (like with any drugs) and this may have an impact on my day to day life – it may not. It’s likely to make Sunday a bit harder for me as my blood pressure will be very low.

Enough of the serious stuff, it’s time to get in the zone. I’m going to walk into that expo hall with Ben. We’ll both be proud to be doing the marathon and will celebrate with the Oxfam crew on stand 170.

Over the next few days I’ll post lots of photos of my experience on here and on twitter. You can follow me @lucyfenner or search for the hashtag #lucysmarathon

Thanks for all your support, donations of prizes and money. You’ve all been brilliant.


All clear!

Yesterday I visited the Royal Brompton hospital in London for my 6 monthly MRI results. This is the magical place that has looked after my brother along with the rest of my family on so many occasions.

In 2008 my brother was fitted with an ICD. Much like a pace maker, this mini internal defibrillator works to monitor heart rate. If the heart dips below a certain bpm it’ll shock it back to life. In the same year The Brompton started monitoring mine and my mum, dad and other brother’s hearts too. This was also when we started helping with research into inherited heart conditions.

In 2010 my family spent a month going back and forth to The Brompton while my brothers health was deteriorating. Whenever I visit I remember the day he was moved by ambulance to Harefield hospital where he’d later have his heart transplant. He was so ill then that he could have suffered cardiac arrest on the journey, so they whisked him through London to Harefield. What a day! Luckily he got there fine and that’s where he stayed for the next 2 months waiting for his transplant.

Sometimes people forget that heart disease is the UK’s biggest killer. These 2 hospitals work to look after those suffering with the disease and undertake ground breaking research. Hopefully you can see why it’s so important that we support these hospitals and want to fundraise as much as we can.

Yesterday I met my consultant who talked me through my most recent results (and showed me an MRI of my whole body which was in sane!). The bad news is that my heart has got weaker again but they want me to keep exercising. So much so I’m allowed to run the marathon – as long as I take it easy and watch out for certain symptoms. Wahoo! High on this news, I went and walked down The Mall to get me all pumped up for race day. It bought back memories of last time I ran the marathon and really put the fear in me!

So with the all clear and a new found fear of this 26.2 miles, it’s all about cranking up those miles and getting that fundraising pouring in. Just 12 weeks, £4.5k to raise and over 350 miles to run!

You can sponsor me and support the Brompton and Harefield here: http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/fenben