Worried sick

I was diagnosed with AF after a knee op which I understand is not uncommon after any surgery..I am on 3mg beta blockers and going for an ultrasound very soon and have just received a letter say I need to go to a anti colagulant appointment where they will put me on warfarin ..having read about warfarin I just don't want to take it after what I read..I am 57 don't drink never smoked and not overweight being 6ft and 12 stone..I just feel my heart is going to stop any time or be struck by a stroke..being a single parent of 2 teenage children I am worried sick not sleeping at all well and fell like it's all spiralling out of control...

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  • Hi Steve

    Why are you worred about warfarin? it's very benign most of us on here take it, and it's very easy to take, very few side effects and a bit of a pain in the bum with the blood tests especially at first, but that's all.

    The risk of stroke should be the worry 5 times greater than someone without AF, and warfarin goes a long way to reduce that.

    And you heart is not going to stop I promise, as one doctor says very eloquently, AF is seldom fatal, it just feels that way when you are having an episode.

    You need to start reading nall you can on AF and the best place to start is the AFA website, which has loads or good stuff, and you can ask us any questions you like, we are all sufferers

    You'll be fine, what treatment are they recommending?

    Be well

    Ian

  • As Ian has said, don't worry about Warfarin- our group had a talk last night from the chief pharmacist for our CCG and she has been involved with patients taking Warfarin for years and really likes it- If you do take it, you might want to self test when your clinic thinks you are ready and you can make sure you stay in range- we heard last night that if you maintain a higher than average time in range warfarin may well be the best anti-coagulant to take, although patients can now choose which anti-coagulant to take and you should read all about the choices as Ian says on the AFA website

  • It is huge shock to have to adapt to someone who has to take medications when you feel fit and strong, believe me most of us have been there! There a huge number of athletes, runners, cyclists etc on this site who have AF and are anticoagulated, once you get your head space around it and really study the reason for it you will see how important it is!

    As the others say it is very important to be anticoagulated as the risk of stroke is the thing you should be worried about. Just so you know, there are alternatives to Wafarin called NOACs - new oral anticoagulants - these drugs do not have the diet restrictions that Wafarin has, nor do you need to go for INR testing. I have been taking Dabigatron for one year now with absolutely no ill effects except I feel protected against the stroke risk. Ian is right, read all you can about it as knowledge conquers fear.

  • Please don't worry - I really resisted going onto warfarin but the risk of a stroke did it for me. That would be far worse for my family than me worrying about a stupid pill. And do you know what? I hardly notice it. Take and forget, is warfarin. I think if we didn't associate it with rat poison most people wouldn't think twice about it. Perhaps they should rename it 'save-your-life-arin' or something. And if you don't get on with it for some reason, doctors are supposed to be providing the new anti-coagulants, they just seem a bit reluctant because of the cost... As the wise people above have said, read up on AF as much as you can and it will seem a lot less of a bogey-condition. Honestly :)

  • I had open heart surgery 12 months ago and was diagnosed with PAF in March this year. After an "Echo" and 24 hr. monitor I was told that I had AF and needed to go on Warfarin. I didn't want to, but reading everything on this site I decided to have a go. It's fine, no side effects that I can see. Only one AF session last week but I am alright now. My GP is monitoring me to see if I can tolerate an increase of Bispol. Please don't worry about taking Warfarin I don't know I am on it and my INR was 2.5 after only 2 weeks . It will be fine. I was 72 last week and still here.

    Take care and don't worry.

    Eileen.

  • Steve, hello and welcome to the mad mad world of AF. Three things you need to know. It won't kill you, It won't kill you and finally It won't kill you. A stroke could and if you have AF you are five times more likely to have one so anti-coagulation is vital if you fall into the risk group. Warfarin for most of us is a non event so be frank stop worrying about it. I never understand what people have against it unless it is the erroneous belief that it is rat poison. It hasn't been used for that in years.

    It really is a shock to learn that there is something wrong with your heart but we have all been there as have over a million people in UK. My best advice is to go on the main website and read all the fact sheets available so that you know all there is about this mongrel condition. Knowledge is power and will help you to come to terms with it. NEVER allow it to rule your life, easy though that may be, Keep to the mantra "AF may be in my life but it is not all of my life. " Ask any questions here and we will try to help.

    Bob

  • I can well remember the fear you describe and my thoughts when it was first mentioned to me that I should go on Warfarin. However, within seconds it was explained to me that my AFib made me seven times more likely to have a stroke than someone who didn't have it (since then, most of the stuff I've read and heard says that should have been five times more likely, but, suffice it to say, whichever one it was, I was far more of a candidate for a stroke than someone without the condition).

    I was then told that by taking Warfarin, my risk of stroke would be reduced by two thirds. That really should have convinced me that Warfarin was for me, but I still wasn't convinced and chose to take an aspirin a day instead. It took nine months for me to finally come around to opting for Warfarin and my advice is don't make the same mistake as me - Warfarin works fine most of the time and enables relative peace of mind for people who know they are far more unlikely to suffer a devastating stroke brought on by their AFib.

  • Thank you all for your kind words and pearls of wisdom regarding AF I will heed your advice and try not to let it take over my thoughts and carry on doing what I'm doing..I am having the holder recorder in a couple of weeks then the ultrasound then the warfarin nurse and then there is talk of an ablation not sure what that involves but I will read all the very helpful information on the AF forum which is a great help to people like myself who know nothing of this compliant ...many thanks to you all once again it really does help.

  • May I echo the comments made above? Warfarin is honestly no big deal; the only downside is the dietary restrictions and they aren't that bad in reality. Your clinic or anti-coag nurse will help you on this point. Do please, though, tell your dentist/optician that you are taking anti-coagulation medication and it may be an idea to have a card with you at all times, just in case you are ever involved in an accident, because the medics would need to know. I've told anyone who'll listen so I feel I've protected myself as much as is realistically possible!! Welcome to the forum and don't hesitate to ask any further questions or share your anxieties. I wish you well.

    Peter

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