update from today

so i went to see dr james barry today an ep from morriston in swansea, i have to say as first visits go this man is a credit to his trade, his demeanour and willingness to listen to all my questions and also answer them in a way my wife and i could understand were second to none, he also never once made me feel rushed even calling me back from the door on my way out to sit back down and discuss a question i asked on the way out.

as for the appointment itself, i wont lie i left feeling a bit dissapointed, ill say why in a bit,

he explained to me that my af would in all fairness always present itself, however he said it may be years until another episode or weeks, so treatment wise at the moment he wants to play it by ear, ive a 2 week supply of bisoprolol and he said if i have an episode to take one and give it an hour or so, if no change then go to ER, he touched on the subject or blood thinners, but his feeling was thhat at my age and risk factor the need wasnt worth the risk, however he does want me to wear a 24 hour blood pressure monitor and if this showed me as having high blood pressure then he would put me on them asap, he also said without any mention of it by me that warfarin isnt the only option, i could try something else, which i thought good of him considering i know the price and financial restraints upon the nhs.

onto my other problem of the right branch bundle block, this he thought was another potentially nothing matter, however due to this and also my af he wants to investigate to make sure there isnt a pathological reason for the block, so to his credit hes arranged me to have the 24 hour blood pressure monitos, an echocardiogram, stress test and also a sleep study test to make sure im not suffering from sleep apnoea which could trigger the af, very thorough i thought,

he also said that he could see i was worrying and that if he was to have any heart irregularities, then mine were the best to have, also said out of all his paitents hes seen this week, i wouldnt be anywhere near the top of his list of ones he was worried about

one final note he mentioned ablation however he said at this moment he didnt think i was a good candidate as ive only had the one episode, however he did then say that he would rather perform it on someone with paroxysmal than persistent as he can more easily identify the rogue signals and would be far more confident of stopping them, so i could be a candidate if i keep having episodes before i go into persistent

now if your still with me after all that the reason i left dissapointed is because im just gutted that at this age ive developed a heart complaint....however i do now feel im in the hands of someone who on the outside really looks like he cares.....thanks for reading

11 Replies

  • Juggsy - thank you for such a comprehensive summary of your EP visit - it sounds as if you have certainly seen an excellent physician. I know exactly what you mean by a little disappointment at having a 'heart condition' - I certainly felt the same way (and still do now and then) and probably so has everyone else - it's human, regardless of our age or the degree of the condition.

    BUT!! (you knew that was coming :) )

    It all sounds so positive - your EP is thoroughly on the ball and making sure there are no lurking problems to be solved, investigating and ruling out any causes. The tests your EP is talking about are fairly standard - and can be reassuring once completed. Lucky you to be offered a sleep test at the first visit - very impressive.

    It does help so much to feel that our health is in the hands of someone who takes time to listen and explain and you seem to have found such a person.

    Very best wishes

  • Thanks and yes, I really felt that he had my health in his best interests......maybe the £175 helped though lol

  • I am so pleased that your E.P. was so thorough. It sounds as though you trust him and that is very important. I felt much better when I felt that I was being " looked after " appropriately. X

  • Juggsy .....you're absolutely right there, you had your moneys worth!!

  • That was £175 well spent!

    (It's £250 an EP visit in the London area.)

    I know just how you feel Jugsy. Apart from a few daily ectopics and one known short SVT run, I've only had one (jumpy + scary) AF episode.

    The majority of the time like you, I'm in wonderful NSR but it doesn't stop me feeling a bit sorry for myself sometimes.

    It doesn't help when you're told, as I was on my first visit too, that it will happen again at some stage in the future! : ((

    I don't want to temp fate here but It's been 3 years since I had mine (touching wood just in case) so please try not to worry about it every day waiting for the next one whilst life passes by.


  • I did read to the end!!! Very comprehensive.

    I support the others by saying he was very thorough and yes it is excellent re doing something before it got to persistent and also the sleep study test. (I am only having my sleep test on Monday and its over 8 months after formal diagnosis). I think that if the 24 hour monitor shows nothing that you should insist on having a 7 day monitor since this would mean a better chance of picking something up.

    Keep logging everything down (including dates of visits to medics or have tests, every time you start stop or vary drugs, etc, because although it seems insignificant now sometime down the line it may well be significant.

  • You don't seem to mention your age but don't worry about that - we all wear out sometime as we're only designed to live until about 35 anyway. As for warfarin, it gets a very bad press because of its alternate use but in fact I think it's a good drug because you do get regular checking. Anytime my INR has gone astray it's always been a sign of something else wrong and that would be missed with the NOACs.

    Sounds like he's being very thorough - getting sleep tests in the UK seems to be almost impossible as neither the NHS or private healthcare seem to cover it.

  • Sorry Mike I'm about to turn 40

    Peter I think the monitor isn't for ad episodes, it's to see if I have high blood pressure

  • also forgot to mention, that i told the Dr barry that about 12-14 years ago i woke one morning with a tight chest so my wife took me to casualty, when there they put me on an ecg and a while later told me they were going to admit me due to an abnormality on my ecg, so i had the needle in back of hand and was admitted to cardiac ward....however about an hour later the consultant came around looked at my notes and said i could go home but wanted me to return for a stress test......to this day i never had an appointment through nor did i hear anything from them regarding it,

    however i do remember the nurse in casualty telling me that the abnormality on my ecg was there..however as they didnt have any ecgs from me prior to this they didnt have anything to compare it to...meaning was it normal for me or not

    so this had me wondering yesterday if this branch bundle block has alqays been there or at least since 12-14 years ago......fingers crossed lol

  • Get a copy of the notes and old ECG. They will still have them.

  • Yes the Dr I saw on Friday said he's going to do that.....I'm hoping the bundle branch block was the abnormality then as that would point towards it always being there and not something he would worry about

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