AF Association
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Returning to work

I went and saw OH today (I work for a railway company), hoping that I would be allowed to return to work, but now come away a tad disappointed and happy at same time happy.

After travelling to London in morning rush hour which for soneone whom does normally travells much earlier cos I do shift work was an eye opener was not a nice experience, I arrived at OH discussed everything showed the tablets on.

We agreed to a phased return starting next week, as he believes I might be back in AF, as he had trouble taking my pulse, and when he did find it he advised me it was running ok, with the odd blip.

So do I wait till 10 oct when I see my cardo team or do I see my GP ??

You know what the brain does It going back into overdrive which causing stress etc.. Problem is I feel better in my self apart from learnt not to sleep on left hand side, so touch wood don't have the signs I did back in May / June.

Karen x

3 Replies


You should do what you think based on how it is affecting you and where you are on your AF journey. I'd never had time off work in 28 years so hadn't a clue how it worked, though I have been well supported. When I was first diagnosed I went back to work with pills thinking I just had to stop drinking and stress less. It has escalated in frequency and severity of episodes since then (within a matter of months).

My experience was that I returned to work on a phased return but was getting nervous of trips to London and Scotland by public transport (I live in the Midlands). I also had the issue that if I'm in the middle of an episode either fast AF or Bradycardia (some mornings heart in the 30s) I can't really go into work anywhere. Although by and large I'm fit to work (for the work I do - deskjob and meetings) I just can't predict when it might happen or give any notice to work. I also get very tired when I'm in a rate controlled flutter for a week and 40+ hours plus 10 hours driving or early starts not easy. It was the unpredictability that was an issue, rather than a gradual building up strength and getting up to speed which seems to be what phased return is about.

My OH were very understanding, they have recorded that in their opinion I would be considered as disabled under the Equality Act (I've read it, it's a wide definition and relates to condition as untreated) which means that my employer has to make reasonable accommodation. Which in my case until my ablation is that I am fit to work with adjustments. My adjustments are the opportunity to work from home as much as possible (this was already happening informally), avoid public transport and travelling long distances. Unpredictable workplace attendance as my symptoms may render me unfit to work in any capacity. Reduced hours depending on how symptomatic I have been that day. My line manager has been fine to date I just needed something formally documented to protect myself (and them).

The only bit I thought was amusing was, I quote, 'the expectation is that her condition will be fully treated with this pending procedure'. I live in hope but no cardio or EP has promised that of an ablation yet :-)

I wish you well getting the balance right.



I was fine to work full time with PAF and before my ablation they made no adjustments for me whatsoever because I was on Flecanide. After the ablation now they have to make adjustments and recognize post op recovery. Surprisingly they have been accommodating after being bollocked by the union of course. I guess in your case they are being cautious. See what the cardio team say.


This is a great topic. I am 2 weeks out from my ablation and trying to figure out how I can return to work with how unpredictable my heart is. My doc says it takes 3 months before they know how the ablation went and if it fixed my issues. I have a high stress job that demands at least 50 plus hours a week, and travel is 2 hours a day. I am having the growing awareness that my days of this type of career is over. It is the dependability factor that concerns me. This is so new to me, and people don't get how this wipes you out. One 4 hour session of afib and I am down for the day. I expect this will get better as I get stronger. Yesterday I started to wash the inside of my windows after 3 windows I was done for the day.

I hope more people respond it is helpful to hear how others process this.


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