Question for more experienced Afibbers

To those more experienced members I'd like to ask a question.

My husband's first experience of AF was a period of fast AF (up to 180 and 130 at rest) with shooting pains over his heart and lips turning blue. It didn't respond to drugs and lasted till he was Cardioverted, when he had two weeks of NSR, then back to fast AF till he was given Amiodarone. A few days of Amiodarone and he went back into NSR and has stayed there ever since.

He doesn't ever go in and out of AF, he's either in it for weeks or out of it.

I keep copious notes and can honestly say that until he ended up in hospital in October, he's never had AF or even a hint of anything amiss.

After several months of NSR he says he's never felt better in his life. I might add that he's on a much healthier diet including supplements and is getting more rest, but even so.

I understand from reading on this site that people go into AF and convert back. He's never converted on his own. But then he's had no other episodes of AF.

I'm hugely puzzled. I know everyone is different, but it seems that whatever treatment he's having, both drugs and lifestyle, is working well. Or is it?

I need to understand this condition so as to help him, so could anyone explain this, please??

8 Replies

  • I should add that he was diagnosed with heart failure and in October they found a stretched left ventricle. No problem with the atrium, just the ventricle. It's called 'an enlarged heart'.

  • Cardiomyopathy or enlarged heart is a common side effect of AF. I can't help feeling that in fact he had probably been in AF for a long time. Many people are asymptomatic with AF and totally unaware of it until either it is picked up by accident during a routine check-up or that patient has a stroke. The clue is that he noticed a great improvement in his health once he had been in NSR for a time.

    That said AF is a very complex condition where few people have the same symptoms.

  • Thanks Bob. I think four and a half months off work may have had something to do with feeling better as well. He's self employed and for years barely took a holiday. in fact, exhaustion may well have caused this, I don't know.

  • Hi

    I did actually give a long response to this until I saw the heart failure and enlarged heart addition, and deleted everything I said.

    It would be wise to check out the Cardiomyopathy Association website and forums (enlarged heart) for more precise info of your husbands condition, which is where the AF could be emanating from.

    Having said that other info about the AF could be had here.

    Be well


  • Thanks Pip, I will take a trip over to the cardiomyopathy website you mentioned. I'm beginning to wonder whether I'm in the wrong forum here, I'm not sure.

  • I don't know that there IS a one size fits all explanation.

    Some people don't even know they are in AF whereas I can feel every time without fail. Some people go straight to rapid AF some have fits and starts I tend to have some of both.

    My first few AF's were severe and I had to be cardioverted twice in 2012. I was hitting at 220 - 260 bpm and even blacked out on a couple of occasions. Meds bought them somewhat under control and the more rigorous I became with them the longer it was between attacks.

    I know that if I have to go to A&E my AF will not stop for at least 8 hours unless they cardiovert. I can almost set my watch by it.

    No matter what drugs or drips they try my AF is extremely stubborn and takes forever to get back under control.

    Even in the last 6 months my episodes have changed from perhaps once every 4 weeks, escalating rapidly and needing to go to A&E practically every time to, at the moment, having 2-3 episodes a week which are much weaker and I can control by simply by lying down and listening to a prerecorded heartbeat.

    The only change I have made is magnesium supplementation.

    I think the longer you live with AF the better you understand your own particular "brand" of it.

    This forum has turned out to be a wealth of information and I am finding more and more methods which are not drug related to help me control my AF.

    Hope your husbands health continues to improve.

  • Thank you for all your replies, it much appreciated. AF is so complicated.

    We've been sitting here having a lazy Saturday morning and he claims he knows he went into AF a few days before he was admitted to hospital. We had a day in London for our anniversary and he kept needing to find a loo. This is is a man who has always had a bladder that could go all day. I remember wondering if he had a prostate problem at the time because this was something new. The next few days he said he felt weak and was struggling to breathe and we thought he had flu. A few days later he was in hospital.

    When he was in AF, that we knew about, he was unable to work because he was so breathless, and he had four and a half months off sick. There is no way he could have worked while in fast AF. The only way he could cope was by sitting doing nothing.

    I understand that some people don't have symptoms while in AF, but he had frequent urination, weakness and breathlessness, which he'd never had before.

    i'm thinking out loud here. I'm struggling to believe that he could have had this and didn't know. Could it have got a lot worse?

  • Yes, it helps enormously, thank you. I feel as if we have been going round in circles with this so your experience is hugely valuable. Thanks bigleg.

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