New to this

Hello all, thought I would share my experiences and say thanks as I have learnt more in the 2 days since I discovered this site than I got from any of the specialists. That's not a complaint about them as they delivered a matter of fact diagnosis and solution but not really any background or expectations.

6 weeks ago I hadn't heard of AF, looking back now I have probably had symptoms or episodes over the last 5 years and just written them off as being tired or getting old. After playing various sports up to 40 with no issues I dropped to golf when I could get time and it's after this that I can recall several times where I was either dizzy or at times wiped out for a time.

In dec I took some time off work with "Stress" and was put on medication by the Dr this had never happened before and I am convinced that either the stress or the medication or both has caused the AF to assert itself where as before it was an occasional (undiagnosed) condition, no advice that this is true just my personal feeling.

Anyway mid January I started experiencing loss of energy, feeling sick, shortness of breath and muscle aches after the slightest exercise so as I was seeing the Dr for the stress after it happened for the 3rd time in a few days I went to see him thinking it was maybe a side effect of the drugs. He took my pulse, did an ECG called the hospital and then an ambulance and I was taken to A&E completely bemused by what was happening. Turns out my Heart rate was 143 (not that I could feel anything different) and a few other readings were way to low so they didn't want to take any chances.

In A&E they attempted various drugs to slow my heart none of which worked, so I was admitted to a ward still none the wiser. After a day's worth of prodding and tests and more drugs the cardiologist got hold of a specialist who said no more drugs, do a cardio version. Finally the next day before the cardio the specialist arrived and i heard about AF for the first time he explained the electrics, drew a diagram and told me the cardio would return my heart to normal but that I would need an ablation later to attempt to sort it for good.

I had the cardio, heart rate went back to normal and I was sent home feeling fine, 2 weeks later I had a follow up and my HR was back at 143 again and I think it had been like that for 3 or 4 days. Luckily I have private health insurance so the ablation was booked within a week, at this time I was told it had a 90% chance of sorting me for good.

I had a catheter ablation 2 weeks ago, a bit of pain in my shoulder during the procedure which was under LA, was kept in overnight for observation and then released to the wild.

Since then I had a sore throat for a few days and get tired quickly but I returned to work this week (I'm an IT project manager so just sit around and shout at people).

I have however had 2 episodes following slight exertion that have literally floored me for half an hour before the switch flicked back to normal, possibly carrying my son on my shoulders up a hill to school wasn't the brightest thing to do but as I said earlier before I found this site I was given no post op or condition advice at all.

I'm due to see the specialist again in 2 weeks so will see what he says but in the mean time I'll be more careful and read all the great info on here.

Thanks for letting me share and for the information and happy to get involved or answer any questions.

Should have said I'm on Bisoprolol and Apixaban, I had to stop taking the Apixaban for 24 hours prior to the Ablation and had an injection of something into my stomach instead to cover that time but had no side effects or issues from the medication.

12 Replies

  • nice to see you here. two weeks since the ablation is not very long. you should allow more time before doing strenuous things, or the heart will protest. I wish you a full recovery.

  • Thanks David, I probably had unrealistic expectations due to the lack of information. Something this site has remedied

  • Welcome to the site. Fylde? Are you in Lancashire? Reading your post made me recognise my own AF story but I marvelled at how quickly you had received good treatment. Many of us had years on various drugs before receiving understanding and appropriate care.

    My new cardiologist said "You're very astute.". Yes, I am, thanks entirely to the knowledge gained from this site.

    Very best wishes.

  • Hi Jenny, yes in Lancashire on the coast and thanks to this site I now realise how lucky I've been in the speed of things and also that I can do a lot to help myself

  • Hello FyldeWhite and welcome. Your history of AF up till diagnosis is similar to my own but your speedy access to ablation is wonderful! I hope all goes well for you and I so agree about the importance of this forum and the main AFA site, Invaluable, both.

    Best wishes

  • Hi FyldeWhite! I'm not sure if it is true for you, but even when my cardiologist and EP gave me information, it was usually when I was feeling out of sorts so it was difficult to remember everything they said. Also, they tend to talk in "average person" or generalities, so those statistics may not apply to you.

    My EP did tell me that it could take up to six months for my heart to fully adjust after the ablation. My procedure took just over five hours (not sure what the average is for that) and he said that you will get better in stages, and in between those stages you may feel like hell before it gets better.

    I had ablation in July 2014. I was VERY impatient, and it frustrated me that I had so many bad spells after the procedure. However, after three months I looked back and realized I was actually much better than before. After six months, I felt good 90% of the time. By October/November, I was feeling pretty much like my old self.

    Each of us is unique, so your situation may be different. Patience is definitely a virtue when it comes to this recovery road we are on!

    Good luck to you.

  • Thanks CD yep it's dificult to concentrate fully once they've said "heart problem" or "stop your heart". Worse I think for family as they get everything 2nd or 3rd hand without the reassurance of the medics who consider this standard

  • Thanks for your very helpful post. X

  • Hello, just read your `offering` - thankyou, I enjoyed the humour ...... hope things settle down for you.

  • Interesting to read your tale, FyldeWhite. Impressed by the swift ablation. Blackpool's NHS ablation list was a year long last time I checked. A few of us have been sorted there, but have had a wait.

  • I was lucky, I have private healthcare through work so I managed to avoid peak times. I think the waiting times are 8 months at the moment

  • I know they were hoping to improve the long list.

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