AF: I am a 73 year old woman,and have been... - AF Association

AF Association

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brown-brooksy profile image

I am a 73 year old woman,and have been diagnosed with AF,i take Warfarin,Felodipine,Simvastatine,and Cardicor.What i would like to ask other sufferers is,what do you do when you are having one of these AF attacks?Relax,walk around(or try to) or what?I had one yesterday,which lasted for around ten hours,and i may be a coward,but i was scared.So what do other people do?PLEASE

15 Replies

Everyone on here seems to try different things but the main thing, although difficult I know, is not to panic and relax as much as you can. Some try bearing down while blowing hard without letting the air come out of your mouth!! This has a vagal effect and slows the heart down.

Others do meditations- I find that it helps sometimes to walk about slowly and have also found the blowing/bearing down has worked- but it may be a coincidence.

The arrhythmia nurse I saw this week at the Brompton said she had a patient who finds taking bananas helps- this fits in with my findings that my potassium levels have been low when I have bad AF- orange juice would work as well.

If you feel generally ill or have any chest pain it's best to get checked at A and E but otherwise there is little to worry about- easier said than done I know!!

I'm sure others will give some good advice here. Best wishes

BobD profile image
BobDVolunteer in reply to rosyG

Great post Rosy

barnes12 profile image
barnes12 in reply to rosyG

Hi rosyg could you give me the name and number of the arrhythmia nurse at the brompton thanks karen

A lot will depend on how bad you feel? Rosy's advice is excellent. If I feel dreadful I go back to bed and try to sleep it off. If possible I potter about the house and garden hoping that it stops sooner rather than later. Try to concentrate on something else - a book, TV, some easy food preparation. The worst problem is when it hits and you have an important commitment organised - I so hate being unreliable!!!

Personally BB, I'd go straight back to my EP and tell him my drugs aren't working, and can we try something else please? Unless you've already done all that. I had to go through 4 drugs to find one that worked for me. Maybe you need rhythm control drugs? GP's can't prescribe them I'm pretty sure, mine can't anyhow, she told me she's not qualified to.


If at all possible I try to carry on as normal without any real physical exertion. However I agree with Kill ( my pad won't let me write his real name for some reason) I would see if an E.P. can sort it out for you with different or more medication. I put up with a very poor quality of life for a long time uneccessarily because I didn't know any different. Good luck.x

pip_pip profile image
pip_pip in reply to dedeottie

Me too. Nobody told me otherwise all those years ago. Shoddy !

So sorry to hear of your difficulties... you are in the right place! Great advice above... the one thing I've discovered which helped for me was, meditationo whilst NOT in Afib to calm the nervous system, and while in it to help to bear the effects. When I am in the rapid period, I need to either sit or lie down. There is a moment - after many hours that I feel the desire to walk about and usually that is when my system is about to convert! I had to convince them in A&E once to let me walk, they'd refused and I finally demanded to go to the bathroom, and when I returned the dr couldn't believe I was in sinus. That took years for me to learn though! Test gently and with curiousity your situation. You'll find support and answers here, just know your situation will be unique. Be kind to yourself above all.

in reply to iris1205

Hear hear!

I just try to relax, luckily I mostly work from home... I was just reading about using cold water on the face to try to stop the AF, so I'm going to try that next time. Don't be scared - as someone wiser than me once said, it's not going to kill you, it just feels that way (!). Read up all you can about AF, the AFA website is a good place to start, and you will feel better about it as time goes by :)

I looked up your medications and I see one is for angina and high blood pressure, one for high cholesterol and one to keep your heart rate down. So I would say don't exert yourself if you feel at all uncomfortable. I have angina so I try to do the pottering thing otherwise i feel frustrated and stressed but if I notice my heart rate going up or I feel slightly unwell I stop and rest for a bit. I have been told to go to go to A and E if I continue to feel unwell but you should have advice from your consultant or GP to fit your own medical history.

And by the way I have had AF on and off for 12 years and I still feel scared so that makes at least two of us 'cowards'....

Makes me want to cry how caring people are,it is so kind.I put the post on this morning and have had eleven replies.Its like an arm around the shoulder.X

Like you I found such help & good advice from all the posts........& yes I am scared as well......but found it lessens with time. take care.xx

Thankyou so much to everyone who have replied to me.I have had some really good advice,which i will try.I have had AF for a few years and have read up on it(as have my daughters) so next time i have an attack i will give the advice given a try.THANKYOU ALL

Hi Brown Brooksy. Personally , I PANIC.

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