Anyone looking at Bob Weber would say he is the picture of health. The federal retiree is slim, muscular and clearly fit as a fiddle.
But Bob and Dr. Robert A. Shor of Virginia Heart know there is more to the story.
Bob has a bundle branch block in his heart’s left ventricle. This is a delay in the electrical impulses and could be a sign of serious heart disease such that the heart may not be able to pump blood efficiently through the body. But because Dr. Shor is regularly monitoring Bob’s heart health, Bob has not had any serious complications as a result of the condition.
It also helps that Bob is doing everything he can to support his heart health. Since moving to Virginia in 1975, he has been an avid bike rider, traversing the W&OD Trail in Sterling for more than 40 years. In the last nine years alone, he has biked in excess of 37,000 miles, averaging 4,000 miles a year.
“Cycling truly is a heart healthy exercise,” Bob says. “It's far more popular now than 40 years ago, probably due to major advances in gear shifting technology and carbon fiber frames designed specifically for men and women.” He says it is not uncommon to see people well into their 70s riding performance bikes in southwest Florida, where he and his wife reside part time.
Bob is grateful to Dr. Shor and the Virginia Heart team for their careful management of his condition, which has enabled him to continue his passion for cycling. “I have been with Virginia Heart for many years and they take great care of me. It's all routine, but very reassuring to have a cardiologist and staff that put a premium on long-term monitoring,” he says.
Bob encourages everyone to work with their doctors so they can continue to exercise. But never one to leave things to chance, he also advises anyone with a similar electrical condition to have a laminated copy of their EKG in their wallet. “That way in case of an accident, EMS would know your normal condition,” he says. He also has information on his cycling ID bracelet regarding his heart condition, along with his blood type and spouse's contact information.
“Bob has been very proactive in taking control of his health. He is a perfect example of how collaboration between patient and provider can allow patients with cardiac conditions to keep doing the things they love.” Dr. Shor says.