Recently found out I have AF: I had been... - AF Association

AF Association

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Recently found out I have AF


I had been having dizzy spells for months, and passed out on a few occasions. Also I was short of breath just walking upstairs whereas before I used to visit the gym four times a week and run 10 km every Saturday. The doctor diagnosed AF and now, a few weeks on, I am on a blood thinning drug prior to having electrical cardioversion sometime in the future.

I am glad I found this blog as I am feeling quite nervous about having a 'heart problem', although apparently AF is relatively common. I have a couple of questions if anyone can help please:

Is it better to not exert yourself with AF?

Has anyone on here had electrical cardioversion, and if so what was their experiences?

Any advice would be very much appreciated. Thanks.

4 Replies

Hi Sphinx

Welcome to the forum, and we all understand just what a shock it is to find that you have been diagnosed with A Fib, and then going onto anti coagulants and potentially other drugs.

Now to your questions, generally speaking most doctors seem to advise that exercise should not change, they do warn against very intense exercise so you might want to re-think the triathlon, but to be honest there are world class athletes competing with A Fib (even in the triathlon) it really depends on your individual circumstances. I am sure your cardio will advise you on this, especially as you are obviously so fit currently.

And yes I have had a cardioversion in March at Harefield, it didn't work for me but it works for many other people, some for longer than others and some permanently. Again depends how long you have been in AF what other symptoms you have etc etc.

The experience? well honestly it was a bit of a non-event, go into the ward in the morning, and get prepped by the very helpful and pleasant nurses and then wait around in bed for the CV. I got taken down around 1pm, and to be honest it was all over very quickly and I knew nothing about it. They do give a general for the CV, in my case gas, but sometimes injections.

They tried three times on me, so later that afternoon, I was a little sore on the chest and back where the electrodes where, but they give some excellent cream which took away even that soreness by the end of the second day. Of course I was discharged the afternoon of the CV.

I think you will find that many here have had cardioversion (s) and it's really no big deal, although like you when I was waiting for one, I felt pretty nervous.

I recommend you read as much as possible to find out about your diagnosis, the AFA website (link on home page) is excellent and read it froom cover to cover, it will help.

Once again welcome to the forum, and feel free to ask anything, you are amongst friends and fellow sufferers.


sphinx in reply to Beancounter

Thank you Ian for that. It is brilliant to hear from someone who has gone through that and can offer advice.

I am so glad I found this forum. Although I am playing down AF to the family and dismissing it as nothing more than a mild nuisance, inside I feel confused and worried. I trawled the 'net last night reading everything I could, but to be honest some of it just alarmed me more, especially reported recent studies.

Currently my biggest worries are that I will banned from driving because my 'dizzy spells' are increasing, and the fact that I can no longer stay fit because I get short of breath doing the minimal of exercise. However, I am mindful that there are a multitude of more serious ailments and conditions, and many people are suffering and coping with much more.


Hi Sphinx, again welcome to the mad house. I had three cardioversions at different times , all successful and as Ian said it is a bit of a non event. My last one I was chatting to the Finish nurse about KImi Raikonen when they pout the goop into my arm and carried on as I woke up. Slight sunburn for a day or two where the pads were. Some people revert to AF very quickly , some don't. I didn't but other conditions required the other DCCVs. You may find your heart rate will stay a little higher than it used to be but this is normal.

The anxiety and c9onfusion are all very normal with newly diagnosed patients and all I can advise is to go on the main AFA website and read as many of teh fact sheets as you find relevant as knowledge is power.

Ask anything here and somebody will have an answer.


Welcome to the site. I've found this place most helpful and reassuring,wish I'd found it earlier . As I'm much older now I can't advise about how much exercise you do but I walk up and down stairs regularly ( at least once every hour) and take walks. My AF doesn't like me to run upstairs! Two years ago I had a cardioversion and luckily it worked after two tries whilst I was anesthetised. They did it in the ward and I was home the same day. I've had three episodes since then but have managed them at home by resting in bed and taking beta blocker-----which I hate. Before having the cardioversion I'd been in AF for a year it was an electrophysiologist who wrote to my cardiologist and said to try Flecanide and then cardioversion, wish I'd seen him sooner. Hope you have success with your treatment do tell the forum how you get on its amazing how little things help others to cope. Terjo

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