AF

I had an AF back in June this year.

I'm about to return to work in the next week.

I want to feel me again.

I've still had a few flutters, iim told this is normal.

My Dr is lovely and supportive,but I've had no support from the arrhythmia nurse at the hospital since e the first contact with her

I. On 5 mg bisoperol and on a warfrine sort of pill riveroxaban?

I'm fee?ing fine.

But get so panicky at the drop of a hat

Is this normal?

I feel very lucky, not to need a y of the other things many of you have bad to have.

But believe me. I'm petrified.

Am I over reacting?

Any advice e I'd be grateful for.

Gwyn

21 Replies

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  • Hi Gwyn and no you are not over reacting . AF makes people jumpy and scared. Why wouldn't it? The secret is to find strategies to help you get over the anxiety. CBT, hypnosis, mindfullness can all help and as a last resort even a short course of drugs. Speak to your GP about this.

    Learning to carry on living life to the full is the first important lesson with AF.

    Bob

  • Bob. Thank you.

    I have felt a little left out by the hospital.

    I work as a domestic for the NHS.

    My boss has been vile.

    The unions non committal. Wanting me to retire. But because of the govt I have to carry on till km 64 so I have two yrs to go.

    I need to go back. Not just for the money but for my sanity.

    All this was stress related.

    Dr only support.

    It's so common yet nobody seems to say or know anything.

    Hate these fluytrtimgs but I'm OK with them.

    Can't tell you how glad I was of your reply.

    Onwards I go.

    This again.

    Gwyn

  • Hi Gwyn have you been in contact with Occupational Health where you work. I too work for the NHS & they are there to support you even if your boss isn't.

    Best wishes Ally

  • I'm back to work on faded return but my boss says can't go back till occ health sees me. Fair enough so have to take two more weeks off. I'm going crazy!!!

  • I know but you need to rest as well - you are more important than work (says me who felt just the same as you when I had to have two weeks off!) Work does take your mind of this mongrel condition I suppose.

  • I must emphasise Bob that medication is NOT a last resort when treating anxiety or other types of mental health problems. Indeed, many CBT therapists prefer clients to have a prescribed SSRI while engaging in therapy in order to reduce symptoms of anxiety and optimise engagement. I am sure you did not mean to give out medical advice not being medically or nurse trained and your suggestions are very kind as always Bob, but I work as a mental health nurse and feel it is important not to scare people off taking anti-depressants which can prevent crises and help people live again in many cases. Hypnosis is not recommended under NICE guidelines to treat anxiety or panic disorders. CBT is an excellent and evidence based therapy but make sure you see an accredited practitioner who knows what they are talking about. Mindfulness is a practise as opposed to a therapy. Gwyn, you may benefit from some basic breathing exercises when feeling jumpy or panicky. If these feelings are frequent or overwhelming, as Bob says, speak to your GP for advice and guidance. Best wishes Gwyn. I understand tbe distress arrythmias cause as I have felt it too and often still do xx

  • Whilst I understand you point Vony, mine was based on my observations that many people ARE reluctant to take medication not a wish to frighten people off antidepressants. Since I have history of a family member who needed such support for a very short time I know their value. Being pedantic myself I don't read my post as giving out medical advice. I spoke of finding strategies and speaking to the doctor.

  • Hi Gwyn

    Are you over-reacting? well the short answer is probably Yes, but don't take that as a criticism as we have all been there and we understand. You need to read a lot more about AF and not only on this board, (fantastic though we are :) ) as it's knowledge that can take away fear.

    Think back in your life to some of the scariest things you have done, those events which made you palms sweat and you were oh so nervous, from the first day at big school through the first date and oh so many more... Now you look back and smile and probably say to yourself "If only I had known then what I know now".

    It's very true of AF, you need to understand the condition to fight the fear of it, and to understand it you need to read about it, and then translate that reading into what you know about your own circumstances. That is how to conquer the fear and that is how you are going to come to terms with having this horrid mongrel condition that is AF.

    You've taken the first step by expressing your fear, now take some tiny baby steps forward start reading and learning, Oh and there's around 3000 of us on this board who understand, just a few people to help you along, tell you the grazed knee when you trip on the journery will be OK, and that the end result is worthwhile.

    Be well

    Ian

  • Cthank you.

  • Hello there Gwyn. Those of us who have had AF for a while are relatively relaxed about it. We might have an idea of the things that make it happen (and can avoid them) and we know what usually happens and what treatment works for us when it occurs (usually a pill in the pocket). Rivaroxaban and the other anticoagulants are a great weapon in our armoury.

    With our experience and knowledge, plus the appropriate medication, we’re able to carry on with life, do things, go places and travel abroad. We feel we are us again and we haven’t aged ten or twenty years suddenly like we had when first diagnosed.

    Many of us have had treatment that has stopped or all but stopped AF occurring and we know we’re lucky to feel so much better off than we were to start with.

    When you first get AF you don’t have all this knowledge and experience and it has to be acquired in order to gain the strength us old timers have. So if you have an attack, see it as an opportunity to learn and triumph. AF is just a silly electrical malfunction that can be very scary.

    Feeling in control is great but deep down – even those of us who have got onto the no AF any more plateau – have the horrid feeling that it might be just lurking ahead of us in more glory than it had before and I think most of us share the feeling of panic that you have. But we need to slap it on the wrist and say that it’s not going to spoil things for us.

  • Hello Gwyn - it's difficult not to feel that you are over-reacting to this condition - it's such a misery to deal with. Eighteen months ago I felt just like you but gradually things got better with the right treatment and getting more confident that I could go shopping and do normal activities.

    Returning to work will be an important step in helping you to feel in control of your life again. Take time to breathe easily and whisper to yourself 'I can do this'.

    Best wishes.

  • Thank you. Support is key.

    Just hope my idiot boss will see that.

    Gratfulu.for your reply.

  • It worries me that are having trouble with your boss and that this is causing you to be stressed. If he says anything to you I suggest that you say something like this to him :-

    " I have an electrical problem with my heart. It is something that I cannot control. I want you to discuss it with my doctor and with HR."

  • Jenny. I'm a domestic with evnhs. I have been forva vryblong time.

    Mybboss caused SOME of my stress. I'd been in meetings with her about hours she owedme, she was having a go daily at me.ni was also dealing with a social worker who was taking care of my father in law itcall got too much. Bingo!!!

    Now I'm so ready for work she has decided that I need to drop hours!. I CNT do that but I can change hours . but she isn't supportive. I have n old contract and she really wants to remove it .

    So I have to go back strong and well.

    HR I hope I'll support. My Dr has been great throughout.

    Fingers crossed it will go OK.

    Thank you for during.

    You gave all been wonderful.

    Take car.

  • Look at what carers leave you can have. Also look at a graduated return. Have you been to occupational health? If not you should have been as you have been off for an extended period.

    Jennydog's reply has some good info. In addition print off or get the AFA to send you some of the key publications / information re AF (get 3 copies one for your boss, one for HR and one for you. Direct your boss / HR to the AFA website. Explain that AF is a disability just as many other things are disabilities except many of those are physical and can be seen whereas AF can't be seen directly. Don't give them the info in advance of the meeting.

    If the particular Union rep is being unsupportive ask them for another person and one who has some knowledge of heart conditions (you would be really lucky to find someone who knows about and understands AF).

    Take someone with you who is a good note taker even if they don't know much about AF.

    Don't just agree to a new contract because I have heard old ones much better than the new ones. They can just give you a simple letter with only your hours amended and with a signature block for you to sign.

    You can always also go to your citizens advice bureau to see what they can do to help.

    Hope this all makes sense. Ask questions if you want.

    Peter

  • Gosh thank yobone and all.

    Support like non other I've know.

    Just have to Stand my ground.

    I'm not an invalid I'm just not firing but its getting there and I will go graduated hours.

    Bless you thanks.

    Will let you know what happens.

    Xxxx

  • Gwyn,

    I've noticed your comment that you're not firing. I struggled with Bisoprolol as it made me feel like a zombie. My EP (electrophysiologist) changed me onto Tildiem Retard, a calcium channel blocker that does the same sort of thing and I got most of my energy back. If you're feeling sluggish, it might be worth you talking to your doctor to see what other options there are (and there are other options - it's just a case of finding what works for you).

    Caroline

  • Thank you.

  • This weekend been awful.

    Got a relative on a break with us.

    Caused so much grief, and anxiety.

    Had a good few fluttering. Hot,

    I've been so good for ages!.

    Can't send her home or away she lives in France!!

    Help!

    I don't want to go backwards.

    It's all stress.

    Sorry!

  • Sit her down and explain your problems no tell her you need to do things slowly and at you own pace and be stress free. Show her thee recent funny video of what heart rhythms do.

  • PeterWh.Thank you for coming to my aid.

    Im just trying so hard to be pleasant but im just making me worse.

    I just hot, and flustered.

    But thank you.

    means so much to not feel alone.

    Bless you.

    GwynP.

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