AF Association
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Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 64¾

November 14th

I saw Dr Catto, my cardiologist today – actually, I think he's an Electric Physician to give him his proper job title. Anyway, he told me I didn’t need anti-coagulation for my AF as I’m not sixty five.

“You've no risk of stroke at the moment Adrian” he said. There was a pause, which he broke.

“Unless you’re planning a sex change.” he laughed.

Whether or not he noticed some hesitation in my body language I don't know but his smile disappeared.

“You’re not, are you?”

“No” I said quickly.

I thought of my father. He would have been appalled at the suggestion. He didn't agree with that sort of meddling.

“Just one problem Doctor” I said. “I’m 65 on the 22nd February and.... that’s a Sunday. I’m not certain I can get warfarin on a Sunday, can I?”

Dr Catto leaned back in his chair and slowly rubbed his chin in that serious and thoughtful manner employed by many professional people.

“Mmm” he pondered. “Let me have a think about that.”

to be continued…..

22 Replies

As you are the third story with such a story that I have read this week I am asking this:-

Has the recommendation for Anticoagulation changed in the last few months or are ther STILL very uneducated doctors, and what's more supposedly experts on AF, giving patients false assurances? OR do the figures really bear this out?

Bob or Ian do you know the latest? Otherwise this seems to be a worrying trend.


The above merely reflects what one reads in this forum time and time again. (See here for the most recent:

A neat way to make the point I think.


I was worried that 57 was too close to 65, never mind 64 and three quarters. My cousin, who also has AF, had three TIAs at my age. And he's a he, so in theory should have been well outside the age where coagulation is needed. It's all percentages though isn't it, saying you have a score of 0 doesn't actually mean it won't happen to you. As I know...



Looking forward to the episodes Miss Townsend :)

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Being just a few weeks younger than you, I know exactly how you feel. As I said earlier, I asked my EP just this week, why I was on Warfarin with a CHADS score of zero. He said because I have an arrhythmia, and he added, smiling, "in any case, you'll be 65 in a few months time so no point coming off them then back on :-) ".

If you come off AG's you'll have to change your username!

PS Are you sure he's an Electric Physician? I just Googled that and they appear to have been around since 1899 or earlier. Could explain a lot :-) .



I have had the same happen to me this week with anticoagulants What is going on?


Diagnosed with AF at 58, 2 years ago. I was told I was to young and to healthy to be at any risk of stroke and would not need to be anti coagulated. Guess what 2 months later admitted to hospital having Crescendo T I A'S followed a couple of weeks (still not prescribed an anti coagulant ) later with a stroke -then given Warfarin. Please everybody ,insist on an anti coagulant ,unless of course there is a very good reason you can't take it.



You see that once you've had a stroke, your CHADS score goes up and then you can be protected against..... having a stroke. Now that makes sense, doesn't it?

It's a crazy old world sometimes......


How right you are.

The logic is amazing!!


My GP spoke to me about going onto anti coagulation, I wasn't sure about it, I bruise easily and have nose bleeds and, at the time, on aspirin.

I thought it would be a good idea to speak with an EP, my GP agreed, so went privately. I don't think it went well, he said no anti coagulation, I have a score of 1. He chose to advise flecainide, which wasn't explained to me at all. I looked it up when I got home and I've chosen no to go on it yet. I only get AF for seconds/minutes, thought sounded like a sledge hammer to crack a nut.

I saw my other cardiologist after an echo, and he suggests anti coagulation, as I don't want to take warfarin, he suggests apixiban. Conflicting advice, how do you make a dicision?


Hi, I bled very badly on aspirin now taking Rivaroxaban which I should have been on for four years! I had had only a few mild episodes over several years then I had one so bad I was in hospital for three days. I consider myself very lucky I did not have a stroke.

I have no bruising or bleeding problems and many other people on the forum have reported the same. How to decide? Do what I tell you - take it!


Dictators rein, Yeah!!


Yes, I got blood in my pee when I started on aspirin, but not had anything much on Warfarin except trouble with thin skin on the back of my hand not healing easily.

You tell 'em Buffafly.


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I've said all this before, so apologies for repeating myself on another thread - when I saw my EP last month which was 5 months post ablation, we discussed the whole AC issue. He explained that as my CHADSVASC was 1 (female), I fell on the side of no antcoags, however, he was just stating the facts, which I knew. He didn't at any time say to definitely come off them. At the moment, I'm still on them and it'll be my decision in the end. I've just started on Rivaroxaban after having decided I couldn't be doing with all the diet things with warfarin. Thus far, I'm happy with it.


Thanks for you replies. I have read else where on this forum comparing no anticoagulants and having a stroke to having a minor bleed whilst on anticoagulants. Presumably, you could just as easily have a major bleed, which could be disastrious?

Buffafly, please would you be able to describe what you regard as mild episodes of AF. I only have what I regard as palpitations between seconds and minutes, where my heart quickens and can be irregular.


Hi, I'll share my AF history with you, briefly, so you'll understand why I'm so positive.

I noticed ectopics for the first time after having measles badly aged 12. From then on I had ectopics usually when I had a virus or infection and I also had little dizzy spells/near blackouts when I was stressed which I now think were probably related to my heartbeat going out of sync.

About 14 years ago I was getting over a virus when I collapsed with severe dizziness and later I realised I was in AF. I had a couple of days in hospital then discharged on warfarin and Diltiazem to prepare me for a cardioversion. My husband was waiting for an urgent operation for a huge abdominal aortic aneurysm (now that would have been a catastrophic bleed!) So I put the cause down to stress but it turned out I had a pericardial effusion. After a few weeks the AF stopped so that was that for a while.

Then about 8 years ago I had lots of ectopics and became very breathless. My doctor could not find any problem so I struggled on until I had a 2 day attack of AF and was put on meds again, all the heart tests, and finally prescribed Propafenone for PAF.

That worked well until this year when I had a bad stomach bug after which I began to have little dizzy spells, then a short attack of AF, then one which came with chest pain, blackout and blood tests showed symptoms of a heart attack (it wasn't but that shows how bad it was).

While I was in hospital the consultant demonstrated that I did not know I was in AF at the time he was examining me.

So, if you have a predisposition to AF you never know when something may bring on a bad attack, you could be in AF sometimes without knowing it and if you are having many short episodes that may be as bad as one long one (just a thought, a guru will correct me if its a silly one!), and anyone can have a bleed without being on an anticoagulant.

Knowing what I know now (thanks gurus!) I would not want to take the chance of having a stroke, but if you are still undecided I am sure someone else can point you to the stats.

Best wishes , Julia


PS The post titled 'Concern' by souljacs4 has a very good discussion on this subject.


I to have noticed a drop in people being put on anti coags. I am pretty sure they will leave me on it as I have a range of 2.5 to 3.5 ideal 3.00 and been taking the little blighter's since 1992


Thank you for sharing your story Buffafly, you have been going through a lot of problems for a long time.

How do you know the difference between an ectopic or an AF episode? I'm saying that because as I said, I only have short bursts.

The replies are very interesting re. 'Concern'


Hi Forest time,

Sorry this reply is a bit late. I feel an ectopic as a kind of 'emergency brake' sensation followed by a 'bump'. Ectopics can come in 'runs' and I think they can be mixed in with AF (think drunk driver, no offence to anybody). It is quite difficult to tell the difference apparently as people on monitors have thought they were having AF when in fact they were feeling ectopics.

There have been some long discussions on this subject and if you search the website you may find them. Otherwise you could post a separate question.


PS Look for 'ectopic beats' or you'll get a lot of pregnancy posts..,.


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