Hi all!

Well I have been to see my Cardiologist and confirmed I have Paramoxl AF – Six 10 hour episode in 6 weeks wnt back to normal by itself. Was really concerned I had an underlying problem so had echo also (£450.00 Grrr) …….

Right, I had a hole in the heart op when I was a child and the cardiologist thought that this was the cause of AF and my crazy lifestyle (drinking, smoking stress ….)since my Mum passed away just sent it over the edge. The echo confirmed that there it was enlarged in that area where my hole was stitched up but other than that my heart is structurally fine – THANK GOD!!

The cardiologist said 1.25 of Bisoprolol is all I need as I am such a low stroke risk and when AF comes back ‘Just ride it out’ – ‘It won’t kill you and don’t go to A&E there is no point’

Well its back ( I think cheese is a trigger now) I am trying not to panic as cardiologist said I would be fine but I am scared – its not as fast as 160bpm as it was prior to bisoprolol but very irregular and fast. What shall I do?

Also I am concerned as the bisoprolol obviously isn’t stopping the AF what is next? A stronger dose – different tablet – please don’t say the rest of my life will be like this – is it normal to have to chop and change tablets before they work? Plus I am not sure if Ablation is an option as I had the hole in the heart surgery – please advise I am so scared xxx Im 42, female live alone and terrified x

12 Replies

  • I'm sure it is scary for you to have this happening. First of all, take a deep breath and know that there are ways to improve. It is not unusual for the first choice of a medication not to be the one that will work for you, and some tweaking is often required. Also, your self described "crazy lifestyle" needs your attention. Smoking, drinking and dealing with stress in unhealthy ways causes all sorts of disease, not just A.F.. You CAN do this! Take one step at a time. One deep breath after the other and make yourself a game plan for change that includes stoping smoking, drinking in moderation, if at all, and finding things like yoga and meditation to deal with your stress. If you have not seen an EP (electrophysiologist) yet, try to find one. He/She can tell you if your previous surgery contraindicates an ablation. Even if you can't have an ablation, there are other, slightly more complicated procedures to get rid of A.F. Don't panic. We all want you to be well.

  • Oh thank you for your reply, just had a big cry and that seems to have helped as well. I stopped drinking totally a month ago and not had a cig for a week - not willpower - fear!! Gone from 40plus daily to none - hoped if I cut all the rubbish out it would go away but no its back and i hate it - i am terrified life will always be this way x Thank you for your kindness xxx

  • Hi, Please try not to get too anxious ,easy to say I know. Try something to help with this, meditation and mindfulness can help. Try looking on you-tube for some mindfulness techniques. I tend to be over anxious and it does help. You have done so well with starting to look after your health which will have it's benefits in the future. It can be scary but life can be lived very well even when you have AF. Try to stay calm. My best wishes Kath

  • Well, a big cry does work wonders. :-) Wish I could give you a big hug. Sounds like you are trying SO hard to do everything right, and even if it doesn't seem like it is making a difference right now, it is going to make a huge difference in your long term health. Life won't always be like this. I've got a couple of decades of experience on you and I can promise that there are always ups and down. I always say that when it seems like nothing is going right, the good news is that you have the better days ahead to look forward to. You can do this. Big HUGS!

  • My dad had smoked for over 25 years and had been smoking 80 + a day for five to ten years when he gave it up completely and he never went back to smoking!!!!! Chin up and willpower and I am convinced you will do it.

    A favourite saying of my dad was life's changed not ended and he even said that when he was diagnosed with bowel cancer and was told he had only 1 year to live (although he told us much longer at the time of diagnosis and he lived for about five or six years longer).

    I will write some more later on this week (when I am on a computer) to encourage you and give you tips. Definitely get referred to an EP now and not rely on a general cardiologist. See comments on post one or two newer than this one.

  • Hi, both the surgery and the original hole do predispose you to AF. I have had both along with persistent AF and my EP was more than happy to carry out an ablation (just last Friday!)

  • I do feel for you. I remember how I felt when I was given the diagnoses.....terrified. I had been living with P.A.F. for probably 10 years but I buried my head in the sand putting it down to menopause, panic attacks and so on. When I went to my G.P. I got very little constructive advice and heart monitors never showed anything up. I then had 3 T.I.A.s and was finally diagnosed and put on anticoagulant s. I should have been glad that finally I knew what was wrong but I was in denial. I couldn't believe my body had let me down so badly. Of course having a diagnoses also sent me running to the internet and mostly onto inappropriate sites. Then thank goodness I found this site and gradually as I read and learned more I calmed down and began learning how to deal with the very real fear that comes with A.F.

    You will almost certainly be fine sitting this out at home but being on your own makes it seem worse and I would say that if you get really worried you should ring the out of hours service and let them decide what is best. Good luck and let us know how you go on. X

  • I feel for you, I had paf for approx 8 years. It can make you feel so anxious and irritable. I too live on my own. I agree that you should see an EP but in the meantime go to your GP or cardiologist who will reassure you & maybe tweek your meds. Remember AF will not kill you... Thank goodness for forums like this. Take care X

  • Why are you paying for an echo? Especially as you're known to have had previous heart issues. Are you also private with the cardiologist? Is he an EP? - An electrophysisist who specialises in electrical issues. I would have thought an EP would have you on a rhythm control drug. Bisoprolol is for rate control. Your 1.25 dose is a small one though and many on here are on much larger doses so there's wriggle room there to help you.

    I think there will be other ways of improving your situation too, if you see the right consultant.

    Cutting booze right down is a help for the majority of us. As for smoking, you're probably not the only one on here who smokes but personally speaking, if I just breathe in someone else's smoke I feel my heart race.


  • I take 10mg bisoprolol but it is to control heart rate not rhythm I can't take rhythm control drugs as I have LQTS so when I go into AF that won't resolve I have to have aCV

  • Af is often unpredictable, listen to your cardiologists advise, but keep a eye on the frequency of Af episodes

    if they become more often, consider asking for an abalation, if your lucky enough to find what triggers an episode you can then set out to avoid the episodes, most of us cant,

    During an Af episode I'd recommend giving in to it as you cant control, it will pass in up, go to bed or get of your feet ,be kind to yourself your heartrate should then fall, it will still be erratic, if not and its constantly above 100 get medical advise

  • Hi there,

    Sound advice from everyone already. I'm 44 and was diagnosed two years ago so know the fear that AF brings, particularly when you're at the younger end of the spectrum. However, much of the fear at the start is due to the not knowing - as you get to know your AF (how long it lasts, potential triggers etc.) and your confidence builds, you'll find it starts to become a nuisance, rather than something frightening.

    There are a range of tablets available and yes, it can take some juggling over time to find what suits you. I've now got a combination that works for me (a combination of rate control such as Bisoprolol or calcium channel blockers and Flecainide for rhythm control), don't have any noticeable side-effects and AF is in control (episodes months apart). Work with the medical staff to find what works for you.

    Find out as much about AF as you can, particularly from the AF Association website and, if you can get there, next year's AF Association Patients' Day and then try and get on with life as much as normal as you can. You may need to put some measures in place to help with this e.g. my EP advised me that I was fine driving (even in AF) as long as I wasn't feeling light-headed. I therefore keep emergency taxi money available in case that happens, but so far I've never needed it. Basically, do whatever you need to do to build your confidence with the aim of putting AF into the background. Don't let it define who you are!!

    You're not on your own - we're always around for support.

    Best wishes


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