On Sat I had my first experience of what the paramedics called 'fast AF' - I was at the beach, minding my own business, enjoying a picnic with family. I suddenly felt my heart go into overdrive and then a wave of all sorts of symptoms which Im now realising are pretty common for this sort of episode.
Previously I was diagnosed with persistent AF but had no symptoms and no 'fast' AF at all, just steadily irregular if you know what I mean. I was cardioverted April 2014 and in NSR until about a month ago, then after seeing EP Dr Wright I started new medication: 200mg Flecainide with 2.5mg Bisoprolol, plus 20mg Rivaroxaban for anticoagulation. In less than 24 hrs the flec worked a treat and I was back in NSR and just carried on living my normal life until this episode on Saturday.
It was so scary, we eventually managed to get an ambulance (my family were wonderful). I just lay there through the whole thing trying to concentrate on breathing slowly and not panicking. I didnt have any energy to speak and my arms and legs were numb. About an hour or so after it had started and I was in the ambulance, my heart rate had returned to around 67-70 (the paramedics said I should be feeling 'much better' then but to be honest, I wasn't). The mobile ECG showed my heart rate was spiking to 180. ECG in hospital was fine and I was back in NSR again, I was given fluids via drip and my bloods were clear except for my potassium levels were low, so am making dietary changes to help with that.
Since Saturday I;ve been absolutely wiped out, I can hardly stand without being totally exhausted. I'm not sure whether it's the shock of it all or the medication. The doctor at the A&E unit suggested that he thought I was dehydrated - after all the hot weather... perhaps he's right. I didnt think I was, but I'm very happy to 'blame' the episode on that.... it's a far less inviting prospect to face the fact that there is no clear cause and it could happen again at any point.
Anyway, from the comfort of my sofa, resting, I just wanted to send a solidarity shout out to those of you who have experienced similar attacks - I now know how you feel!
And yes, I have an appointment with EP for tomorrow afternoon - I will be looking at ablation options asap.
Wishing you ongoing health and happiness