Fifteen years ago, Gene Mills, 73, began experiencing his heart beating out of rhythm.
“If I laid in bed it would keep me awake,” said Gene. “I slept in a recliner for years. When my heart would beat out of rhythm, I would become tired and winded quickly. Early on exercise would stop it but later on exercise made it worse.
After appointments with rhythm specialists, in 2005, he received a diagnosis. Mills had an atrial flutter and atrial fibrillation.
“The doctor told me that my atrial flutter was dangerous and that I needed to take care of it right away,” Mills shared. “The specialist asked when I could schedule the procedure and I said ‘How about today?’ Within two hours, Dr. David Sandler, director of electrophysiology at Oklahoma Heart Institute was called and I was in the operating room ready for my procedure to get rid of my atrial flutter.”
After a successful procedure, Mills was told that he will eventually need another procedure to fix his atrial fibrillation. Six years later, Mills began experiencing palpitations, which are sensations of racing, uncomfortable and irregular heartbeat.
Mills knew exactly who he wanted to see about his palpitations and made an appointment with Dr. Sandler.
A month later, Dr. Sandler performed a procedure that alleviated his atrial fibrillation. After the procedure, Gene was experiencing a burning sensation and heart palpitations. Dr. Sandler advised if Mills continued to have those symptoms to visit his office at the end of the week. Mills never needed to make that visit.
“I called him Friday and said you won’t be seeing me because my heart is doing great,” said Mills.
Two weeks later, Mills felt like a new person.
“One of the most remarkable things was two weeks after my procedure I was in 105-degree weather for seven hours and I did that without any problem,” said Mills. “Then a month later I traveled to Africa, which, to me, is pretty incredible.”
For more information, please visit OklahomaHeart.com.