First hospital visit

I have my first appointment with the Cardiology Department on Wednesday. I've looked up the name of the Consultant and she specialises in 'General cardiology with interest in pacing , arrhythmia, heart failure, syncope'. I know the chances of meeting her are remote, but I suppose at least it will be a member of the team.

I've been in permanent AF since early August and have been taking Bisoprolol and Digoxin, neither of which have made much of a difference except to slow my heart rate a bit. I'm breathless, exhausted, and most days have to will myself to do the smallest task. My heart still continues to do its thing at its own rate. At night, when all is silent, I am certain my ticker is trying to escape the confines of my ribcage by rattling around trying to find a weak spot by which to make its bolt for freedom.

I have a terrible fear of all things medical, including hospitals and doctors, so at the time of my appointment the chances are I will not be able to remember my own name! I just wondered what I should ask the Cardiologist/EP. Are there specific questions I should aim at them? Any suggestions will be gratefully received.


8 Replies

  • Hi Jayedeebee

    On page 7 of AF Association's April 2014 newsletter, we included a list of keys questions you may like to ask your clinicians. You can download the newsletter here:

    Best wishes


  • Thank you Vicki, I have downloaded and printed it and shall take the questions with me . Many thanks

  • Are you sure that you are seeing an EP? At a guess you are seeing a Cardiologist and you would be wise to ask for a referal to an EP.

  • Not 100% Jennydog, but I did ring my private health people and they said she was one of two EPs at my local hospital. That quote was taken directly from the hospital website. If she isn't an EP, I shall ask for a referral (if I pluck up the courage as I'm afraid I have to go alone).

  • All you need to do is ask if you are a suitable candidate for ablation. If you are then you need an EP and you therefore need to see one.

    Don't be afraid to ask for clarification if you don't understand - it doesn't mean that you are thick, it means that they didn't explain properly..

    Always remember that it's your body, it needs help and that's what they're there for. Hopefully they will be very nice and by working as a team you can achieve a good result.

    Good luck

  • Great post from Vicki, and I agree.

    Make a list take it in with you and tick it off as each questions is answered. Take someone else wth you, four ears are better than two, and you will forget some things you are told, or "not hear them"

    I'm not the greatest lover of hospitals or doctors if I am honest and prior to diagnosis I probably had been maybe 4 times in the previous 15 years, but that all changed, and yes I hated and resented it at first, but they are working in your best interests and they are on your side. (even if they need prodding a bit sometimes :) )

    Be well and relax


  • Like you Beancounter, I have managed to avoid hospitals. I guess this is a start of regular trips to cardiology, something I don't think I will ever just accept. But if I can feel relatively 'normal' again, then it'll all be worth it I'm sure :)

  • Hi Jaydeebee,

    Having a clear list before you go will help you feel prepared and hopefully less nervous.

    I don't love hospitals myself but am now 6 days post having an ablation and feeling much better - in NSR and off metoprolol (which helps).

    My EP was great and explained everything to me. My procedure was done under local anaesthetic with sedation and I would have another tomorrow if needed.

    Good luck with your meeting and I'm sure you will feel better when you are there.

    All the best, Robert

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