AF without drugs after an echo yesterday

Hi everyone

I've been off drugs since April but still in AF

Checked Heart rates regular and found resting to be 95/105 bpm

If I cut the grass it goes up to 145 bpm

Walking it increases too but returns to around 100 bpm at rest

Rythmn nurse said don't worry too much about heart rate more about how you feel.

So off I go to have echo at freemans

Struggle to park end up rushing to get in on time

Hadn't sat down long and got called in.

Technician starts echo but notices heart rate is 150bpm

So say he can't get good results at this rate

And he will have to seek advice I may have to stay in

This wasn't what I wanted to hear

I waited for a young cardio doc to come and discussed it with him and he said I need to go back on drugs

So I told him I had diltyzem at home

He suggest he would email my EP and let him know

Meanwhile go home and start diltyzem again

I came home HR now 100 ish I haven't started drugs but await response off EP

I have also emailed him and his secretary

So I await an answer

Also pace and ablate was mentioned by young doc

Feel concerned and a little misguided but hope to resolve my issues ASAP

Keith

2 Replies

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  • A tale of woe! Yes, I'd be waiting to hear from your EP too. I think you might have a second stab at an Echo if you could arrange to have one when you can arrive early and get the heart settled beforehand.

    I don't think we are ever at our best at hospital appointments because there's always an element of stress and as soon as the thing starts to have the slightest bit of a pear shape about it, everything goes downhill.

    Some young doctors like to show off their knowledge and I think it's been said that no one should work in theatre if they hadn't been in as a patient first and all midwives should have a baby as part of the training.

  • I don't know how old you are, Keith, but I am in my seventies and had four ultimately failed cardioversions before I was given an AV ablation with pacemaker as an alternative. I haven't looked back since (it was done last October). I get the feeling that pacemakers are not offered to the young because the life of a pm battery is roughly ten years and one guesses that the NHS is loathe to commiting to that kind of expense on a recurring basis. It is something of a last resort procedure, but I can see only good in it - for myself, anyway. The waste, as I saw it, would have been in a fifth, and any subsequent, cardioversion, which would have been almost inevitably going to fail at some point.

    Add to this the disappointment every time the heart goes back into perceptable AF. I use the word "perceptable" because, although I do not feel it, I understand that my heart is still in AF at the moment, it is just that the pm keeps it functioning properly and my energy levels are sufficient that I cycle for short periods every day. I am presently in my summer house in the Massif Central area of France and the riverside roads are peppered with hills whose gradients vary enormously. I also swim, which is helping general wear-and-tear related joint and muscle stiffness a lot.

    I should add that, since having the pm activated, I have come off all medication except for Warfarin, and that it a real plus. As I have a Coagucheck, I am able to monitor my INR myself, which cuts down on those lengthy, waiting sessions in my local Warfarin clinic. I have a follow-up appointment with the heart specialist in Canterbury in September, when I get back from my outdoor summer in France, and it will be interesting to learn the results of what will then be almost one year with my pm.

    All I can say, at this stage, is that my energy levels and stamina are appreciably greater then at any time except, perhaps, during the brief periods post-cardioversion before I descended once again into AF.

    Good luck to you.

    Jos.

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