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AF Association
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Shall I or shan't I !!!

Hi,I am still procrastinating over the decision to have an Ablation or not...Is there anyone out there who really regrets having had the Ablation or to put it another way.Is there anyone who feels they made the right decision to have an Ablation or Ablations whichever the case may be...I would appreciate your comments...Carol.

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Hi caromia,Must admit I,m glad i had my ablation,7 months on i,m feeling loads better the op was really nothing to worry about and it does take time to feel the benefits but for me it was worth it.It dosn,t always work first time but to put it off may only make things worse so if I had to have one again i wouldn,t hesitate.Good luck in what ever you decide

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Thank you argz that was very positive and thanks also for your kind Good Luck wishes which are reciprocated.....C

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hello had ablation done in january , as was told it would only get worse . still on pills at moment till april just while things settle down . i would say go for it give it a goi was in 2 minds at first , but all done now and docs said it looked succesful , may need another one at some point ? good luck hope all goes well for you

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Glad to hear that you are doing well and will be off the pills soon...One day I feel confident then the next I dither which is so unlike me...Keep strong and well.C

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Hi duckpopper..Glad to hear that you are doing well and will be off the pills soon...One day I feel confident then the next I dither which is so unlike me...Keep strong and well.C

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Thank you argz that was very positive and thanks also for your kind Good Luck wishes which are reciprocated.....C

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Carol stop faffing about and go for it. You will not regret it. If you get five years + NSR as I have it is worth it. Nothing is forever but AF feels like it sometimes. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Can I stop now?

Bob

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Bob I am well aware of the "light at the end of the tunnel" that is what I am scared about...You could have chosen a more appropriate metaphor...like "nothing ventured nothing gained" sort of thing lol x

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No regrets here it was a breeze and free of AF and drugs for 8 years. Had a 2nd, didn't work, but not their fault, the AF had disappeared!

Koll

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Thanks Koll cant imagine not to be aware of missed beats and the heart not singing to its own tune.C

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Hi, I suspect I will have the same dilemma after I see my EP on Friday and I will be thinking just the same as you are. Some people appear to have ablations recommended for seemingly low level symptoms and others go years with lots of episodes and big ones at that and yet not given/offered an ablation. I don't pretend to understand it all.

Guess people are all individuals as are their EP's with different viewpoints, mindsets and experiences.

All I can say is if I had an attack today I would beg for an ablation - tonight, right now. I would even give them permission to cut off an arm if it would take away the symptoms. However, in the cold light of day sitting at home in NSR the gremlins creep in and unnerve the resolve.

When you are ready to make the leap it will fall into place for you, in the meantime give yourself a break, it is a big decision no matter how decisive you are in life in general. Let it unfold for you. Once you are ready it will feel right.

Take care.

Dee.

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Hi and thank you for you support and understanding of my situation.

Its has been somewhat of a two year up hill struggle to get to the Ablation stage.ie Aspirin V Warfarin..Heart Monitor not showing anything.Debilitating side effects of medications not being recognized or acknowledged.The many symptoms and side affects of AF and Meds to many to list.

I have had to be assertive and at times confrontational which is not my nature to get listened to.It has helped immensely being on this Forum and attending the conference last November and like Bob has said many a time over "knowledge is powerful"

Dee I do believe I met you at the conference I was sitting on the stairs sharing lunch with Bob when you came to join us please forgive me if it wasn't you...

Well I will be with you on Friday every step of the way ..It is such a build up after waiting so long to finally get to this stage... Let me know your decision if you would please.

Good Luck,

Carol.

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Hi Carol,

I was at the conference and think I was introduced to you and Ian by BobD. Not me on the stairs I don't think but either way introductions were briefly made.

Will let you know what Friday brings and my reaction to it. In the meantime I wish you well with your decision making. It is not an easy ask after all we are not thinking whether or not to have our little finger tampered with.

Regards

Dee.

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HI Dee,

I remember being introduced to you now by Bob...Will be thinking of you on Friday...Good Luck...Carol.

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Thanks Carol. Be well.

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how long since af was diagnosed, and is it 24/7 ie permanent??

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HI Gerry.

It will be two years this coming May since I was diagnosed with PAF...C

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Hi Carol,

I too have recently seen my Cardio and I was offered an ablation or medication. I'd been practising all my questions and answers as I was determined to come away feeling like I had been listened too. Imagine my surprise after my initial 2 minute spiel when I was offered either an ablation or medication. That did knock the wind out of my sails! All those hours spent in front of the mirror practising my retorts.

I decided not top plump for the ablation just yet. I'm quite fortunate in being pretty much asymptomatic. I have a busy life at the moment and now I'm on a different medication to Amiodarone I feel 100% better physiologically, which I think is half the battle with AF. I had the ablation process explained to me and was told it wasn't without risks and there is approx a 20% chance it might not work first time. He went on to say there is a slight chance it could make my AF worse, before I got better. Never the less the option was still there. As I said I have opted for meds at the moment, but certainly wouldn't rule out an ablation if anything changes.

The great thing about this forum is there is so much advice from people with differing degrees of AF and I take advice given by the more senior members (No, that's not a dig at age :) ) very seriously.

All the best,

Jason

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This happened to me also. My E.P. said that if meds worked and gave me A.F. free years ,the A.F. begets A.F. thing would be halted while I was A.F. free. I decided to try meds and they have completely worked for me with very few side effects so I will wait till they stop working and then have ablation. However I will have to time it right so they don't say I'm too old for ablation!

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Hi,Yes that's another thing to consider aging.64 when starting with PAF now 67 this year...I am still dithering not knowing what to do...Is having multiple Ablations preferable to commitment to medications for rest of life I just don't know...C

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Hi, Caromia, I started with PAF at age 64 and I'm just approaching 66. Had an ablation on July 24th 2014. Was told by a cardiologist that it might not work, so I said to him, that it might work also. I'm now 5 days post ablation, was Asymptomatic before ablation. I was on Adizem 120 mg and 75 mg Aspirin. I had a 7 day heart monitor in February 2014, which showed a 4% sporadic events of AF. I stopped taking Adizem without discussing it with my GP., or cardiologist as I was still having PAF., when taking it, so thought there's no point. After stopping taking Adizem I only had, as far as I'm aware 2 short episodes of AF. Personally I'd rather try ablation and see if it confines medication to the dustbin. I'm still taking 75 mg Aspirin, but no other medication and I'm waiting for another appointment with my EP., as I have been told that I have to go back to have one of the pulmonary veins ablated as they only did three the first time. Keep in mind, the older you get I think they prefer to shy away from offering ablation.

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Hi Jason,

I am sorry you were diagnosed with AF at such a young age .It makes me feel humbled to be seen as complaining as I have relatively good health until recently..

Having said that I can still identify the rehearsing and doing a selfy in front of the mirror to practice my spiel to get the best results...haha

This Forum has the most amazing "selfless" people I have ever come across and as I am a " fatalist" I believe it was in my destiny to meet them...

Best Wishes,

Carol.

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I had my ablation 3 weeks ago. so far I am so glad I did . I have stayed in SR and still on meds although they have been reduced. I am due back at work next week and am feeling a bit nervous, will getting back to normal kick it all off again? I dread feeling that thump thump thumpity thump again. :-)

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Hi Downbarns....That is good news in its self..

.I know I am the very last person at this precise moment in time to give advise about being positive but try your best to relax and put it to the back of your mind so to speak and calmly go about your work...

Concentrating fully on the work that you do...then as time goes by you will more confident and far less anxious...It is out of your hands whether the thumpty thump returns and hopefully it wont..Take care.C

.

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Hi Caromia hey, good to see you on the site as I didn't seem to be able to contact you by email. This ablation thingie is a puzzle isn't it and I can only say what others have already said, that in the end the choice is yours. I'm in Paroxysmal AF and medicated, which seems to work for me. When I read of people having more than one ablation, that puts me off as it sounds so intrusive, quite apart from the general anaesthetic which can hang around for yonks. But if they're at you're at your wits end with trying and not responding to different meds or if yours rhythms are wildly constant etc etc I can see that anything which gives you a chance of greater comfort is worth a try.

I also remember one of the speakers at the B'ham Open Day saying that he would recommend ablation as early as possible after diagnosis. But even cardios and GPs differ in their opinions! If there's one thing that'll bring on an episode for me, it's a visit to my cardio.....he is gorgeous lol!!

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I think I meant " if YOU'RE at your wits end"....I'm clearly at mine!

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Hi Marilyn,

Good to hear from you again.I tried to contact you a few time on your e-mail address but it kept bouncing back for some reason..

Yep, that whats sticking in my my also just engrams on a computer...Early Ablation is preferable while still in PAF.

To be honest I feel so much better since taking myself off the Bisoprolol but this Af begets AF is always at the back of my mind...

Glad to learn that you are keeping relatively well and is it any wonder I think your Cardio may have something to do with that!!! Lucky Girl..

Keep well and keep wearing those gorgeous earrings you wore at the conference. Carol.

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Hi Downbarns....That is good news in its self..

.I know I am the very last person at this precise moment in time to give advise about being positive but try your best to relax and put it to the back of your mind so to speak and calmly go about your work...

Concentrating fully on the work that you do...then as time goes by you will more confident and far less anxious...It is out of your hands whether the thumpty thump returns and hopefully it wont..Take care.C

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Cannot begin to imagine why if it is offered you'd be hesitating. Lucky you having it offered. It took about four years before I got to an EP who offered this and three ablations later I am much better, not right but better. It's not usually a magic bullet but a step forward.

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Thank you liz..

.I am not particularly proud of myself at this moment in time being so indecisive, lacking in confidence and decision making skills that is my reason for posting my question and I respect every persons comments as it helping me and also hopefully helping another who maybe facing the same dilemma...

So pleased to hear that you are well very positive news..

Take Care.C

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HI carioma, I am59 and had PAF since 2006, I am also asymptomatic, however, my episodes are becoming more frequent at a couple of months apart, my EP has advised that the longer I leave it the worse it will get and the harder it will become to manage. I do not take the AF drugs because they can cause fibrosis of the lungs that is from the one drug only, cant spell it and not going to try, I have survived lung cancer so have the attitude of not allowing this thing to beat me, hence I go for the ablation with eyes wide open. Good luck in your decision whichever it is it will be the right one for you.

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Hi soozie...

Yes being on the drugs brings it own problems fibrosis and atrophy so I believe...I have not heard anyone say as yet that there condition was worsened following the Ablation ...You have survived lung cancer which is all credit to your strength and determination ...Now it is your hearts turned to be healed...Thank you for your good luck wishes and the same applys to you.C

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I definitely feel that I made the right decision to have ablations. I was med and symptom free for at least 2 years after. That means not one single skipped beat (felt amazing) and none of the three meds, just an aspirin daily so less harm and side effects for those years. Unfortunately, I will need another ablation. Seems like another pathway popped up. However, I hate being back on cardizem multaq and blood thinner. My afib is starting to affect the top chamber of my heart as it is becoming enlarged. He needs to do what he can to keep me in normal sinus rhythm to prevent damage to the lower ventricle chamber. Hope this helps, Carol. Barb

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Hi Barb,

How disappointing for you...I hope your next Ablation brings longer lasting results ...It helps to know there are others who have the same aversion to meds that I have because we believe there is a price to pay in taking them ...Thank you and good luck ..Carol.

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hi carol . ive had 2 ablations . one of them was about a month ago . so im not really sure how it went yet . but as for the procedure . it wasnt to bad .didnt really know much about it because of sedation . and to tell you the truth .i would have another 2 if it meant i could have a better quality of life ....... yours moggy

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Hi Moggy,

I hope you are feeling better that you were a little while ago.Moggy Its early days yet justbarley a month since your Ablation and your heart is still healing itself...Stay calm think pleasant thoughts and try not to worry (says she).....Best Wishes,Carol....

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No regrets even though it didn't solve it long term, was worth it

Eileen

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Thank you Eileen and I hope you are keeping well...Carol..

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I think it is perfectly normal to be hesitant as it is not risk free. I was offered it on diagnosis and after lots of soul searching decided to go ahead. Nearly left the hospital just before I was called in for the procedure!! I was very nervous - not about the actual procedure but of the risks involved and what ifs... Anyway that was almost 4 months ago. I had various arrhythmias for about 8 weeks but nothing since. I am off meds and feeling good so just hoping it lasts for a few years. So my recommendation would be to go ahead but good luck whatever decision you make. I think making that decision is the hardest bit. The procedure itself was easy, no problems after and ga had no lasting effect. Wishing you the best. Marie

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HI Marie,

Good to know that I am not alone with these fears...Its not as though I haven't had operations before in my lifetime...

Normal ones if there is such a thing.ie tonsils removed,appendix,gynae...did not think twice but somehow or other the Heart is so very different...So good to hear of your success the more I hear the more confident I feel.

Stay well Marie and thanks for replying to me....Carol.

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my cardiologist was quite anti-ablation and his main reason was that it is a very rapidly advancing technology and that in 10 years time he believes they will do a much better and safer job.

Once I failed three different drugs for rhythm control he was quite happy to refer me to an EP for an ablation. Personally I would rather the medication had worked and never having had any operations before I'm pretty nervous but I'm definitely going ahead with my ablation.

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Thank you for your reply to my question...

Whilst conventional medicine is progressing and advancing we have to consider the pros and cons associated with long term heart rhythm drugs...In my case I shall be nearly eighty well not quite but not far off...

You must also have given it lots of thought to have chosen the route of Ablation and we must follow our gut feelings on this one...

If we didn't feel nervous and empathy we wouldn't be human it is who we are....

Thank you again and my very best wishes and good luck....

Carol.

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Hi Carol I was just wondering what difference the replies you have had have had on your a) thoughts and. b) feelings? Has it helped you to make up your mind as to what you will do?

Ps I think if you are asymptomatic it is a much harder decision to make, when you feel the symptoms you will do almost anything to not have them again.

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Hi Caromia - I've had two ablations and for me there are issues for and against the procedure.

Before having my first ablation in 2011, apart from the occasional episodes of PAF, I found that when out for a long walk I would suddenly become so tired that the need to sit down was urgent and I felt I couldn't possibly walk another step. (I've enjoyed long distance walking all my life.) Also when walking up steep hills my heart would hammer in my chest, at the time I didn't realise that other people didn't experience that. Whatever I did exhaustion soon swept over me. Then I had my first ablation and lo and behold I could climb hills without my heart banging away and without getting so tired. However, after a short while my periods of AF increased and instead of lasting for hours now persisted for days, leaving me feeling exhausted for a long time after.

Late 2012 I was admitted to hospital with a pulse that wouldn't stop racing and after 6 days I was given a TOE and cardioversion. The cardioversion lasted 2 days then I was back into hospital and put on the dreaded Amiodarone, but I must admit I felt really well taking it. I also retired from work - just couldn't face going back to the stress of it. Tests showed the amiodarone was damaging my thyroid, but I was told l wouldn't be on it for long as my 2nd ablation was planned for 6 months later.

I had my 2nd ablation last June and once I picked up I had perhaps a month of feeling well before going into a period of AF for about 6 weeks that was only stopped when I had a cardioversion last November. From Christmas to late January of this year I felt wonderful with lots of life and energy - just like a normal person! However that didn't last long and I'm now in my 4th week of what they say is atrial flutter and awaiting another cardioversion on 12th March.

My for ablations are: the overwhelming tiredness disappeared and I could climb hills without my heart slamming around in my chest.

Against ablations: I have longer periods of AF that won't stop without a cardioversion. It's no fun when your heart rate is constantly 120bpm for weeks on end. At the moment I find it impossible to walk more than a hundred yards without my heart becoming sore and feeling poorly.

I think the diet Grandma is on now would be a good thing to try and would only suggest anyone having an ablation if their AF was making them feel extremely tired , or they needed a lot of time off from work.

Ablations in my experience may make some things better, but others worse.

Just my opinion.

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Hi Jean,

I can remember last year you having the Ablation and then the Cardioversion in November and I heard you were quite poorly ..I am sorry you are still unwell and sincerely hope this will not be the case for very much longer and by spring feeling very much better...

Thank you for your honesty it is truly appreciated and gives me more clarity to come to a conclusion...

Best Wishes,

Carol...

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Hi Dreamer,

What difference have the replys made?

I am thinking how to put this down in words.I will try my very best...

A definite yes... My question has been answered I know ablation is not going to be a cure but no one has said they regretted having it done or that there heart has deteriorated or been harmed following the Ablation and quite the contrary many have had years of being free from AF...before requiring another...If I do decide to have the Ablation I will now have less fear of being physically damaged and having to depend upon and relay upon other people for the rest of my life as that is my main concern...but I am not GOD and can only try and lead him in the right direction!!!!

I will put AF on the back burner now for a few hours and get on with my day and CMB (count my blessings)The sun is shinning and its great to be alive...

Thank you hope I have answered your question,Take care.Carol.

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When I first came on this site there was a very positive feeling about ablation and I felt reassured they if It came to it I would have one done. My main reason would be to prevent damage to my heart by constant strange rhythms. I am currently on meds that are very effective but if they stop working ablation would be the next step. However, I must admit that having read more accounts on here I am not so sure. It sounds like it would be a good idea if the A.F. was really bad but maybe not if it was tolerable because lots of people have unsuccessful ablation and have had quite bad experiences. I've got a feeling that in my case "ignorance would have been bliss ! " really want to think positively about this but am finding it hard. I guess I will keep taking the meds and put the evil moment off for a while. Good luck with decision making. X

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wow.I have just re- read your previous comments and age plays a part in this also...I understand what you are saying..

" It is hard to remain positive and like you I feel as though I have to much knowledge and maybe read to much .....but there again I have always been inquisitive and had to find the ins and outs of everything... so much so that none of my dolls as a kid had heads,arms or legs as I tore them off to find out how the urinary tract worked..."

I read a quote today by Irma Kurtz...I was meant to read it...I shall post it at the top of my original posting for all to see..

Thank you for your help and good luck also.Carol.

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This quote from Iruma Kurtz says it all...

"The BEST advice makes you THINK for yourself..SOMETIMES the best thing to do is NOTHING....(at least for the time being) C

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That quote is so true. This forum is so good because there are so many people willing to share their thoughts and experiences so we can make our own informed decisions. Thanks for sharing. X

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I speak from my heart....and thank you all....x

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I am an ex-cardiac nurse & I developed A/F when in my early 80s . I was put on medication & told to retire & go home & put my feet up and watch DVD`s . I was not p0repared to do this & asked for a referral to a cardiologist. I was electro cardioverted twice in about a month with a rapid return to A/F & I requested to be admitted for a trial of the Hansen robot at St.Barts & I was accepted by Prof.Schilling & the `Robot` placed the ablation catheter & I was back in S.R . I would advocate that you should give permission for the ablation approach sooner than control by medicine (Which all have side effects.)

There are possible side or unwanted effects but you will be extremely unfortunate to suffer any..

Best of luck.

Oltimer 83yrs.

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Hi Oltimer,

Thank you for your very positive advise you had one of the best so I believe Prof Richard Shelling...

How condescending to be told to go home and put your feet up...I would have found it hard not have not responded with a curt reply...

Keep well and thank you again.Carol

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Hi Carol glad that someone else is feeling shall I shant I go for the ablation route today I feel I must after a 14 hour attack yesterday and I mean attack and tomorrow I may be on the verge of cancelling op.I am booked for 1st. of July gives me the collywobbles seems so near guess its the GA.thats worrying plus I am a retired nurse. keep in touch and I am sure we will make the right decision .Best wishes Hazel

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Hi Hazel,

It's four in the morning and just woken with vibrations going through my entire body,picked up my kindle which is lying beside me in my bed and read your message.

I believe we are going along the right route of ablation.After much deliberation and conficting opinions I am on the waiting list at Liverpool under under Dr.Gupta.

Can you believe after all this time l am actually looking forward to this next stage.

My thoughts will be with you on the Ist of July that is a promise.l am convinced we have made the right descition.

I will be looking forward to hearing from you again.

Best Wishes,

Carol x

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