Unexpected AF episode after 3 months

I had a follow up appointment with the cardiology department at my local hospital this morning, the first I've ever had in spite of being in and out of A&E and the cardiac ward over the last few years. Had 3rd ablation in Oxford at the end of June and after 3 months of being AF free since my last short-lived episode in August, I was convinced the cardiologist would sign me off and that would be that. I also have an EP follow up in Oxford at the beginning of December and had hoped for the same result, thinking all was well.

You can imagine my disappointment when at roughly 3am last night the AF started up. I thought at first it was a short burst of ectopic beats but no, this was the full monty, confirmed with the Alivecor on two readings. I took the p-i-p dose of Bisoprolol and Flecainide and it did only take 2 1/2 hours before I went back into NSR and I managed to get a bit of sleep but that stuff wipes me out big time, so I spent most of the morning feeling really dizzy and faint, had to get a friend to drive me to my hospital appointment and back when it's near enough to walk to.

My point in posting this is to say you can never be sure of this condition. I had started to relax and believe that the last ablation had worked and I could live AF free for a few years, which has turned out to be a false sense of security. It's put me back into the frame of mind that I can't plan too much too far in advance in case I have to cancel at the last minute, which impacts on my husband and family just as much as for me.

Hey ho ... I'm sure there are plenty of folk out there who have it much worse than me so please do forgive me if I sound as if I'm feeling sorry for myself, I'm just a bit shell-shocked at present and in need of a bit of support, advice and positive thinking.

9 Replies

  • I feel your frustration! That would be really upsetting, just thinking you were free of AF and BAM! None of us knows if this is going to be the day that our hearts take the train from NSR to crazy town , but my only advice is to live your life and make your plans. Don't let AF win! Live your life as healthy as possible, be as positive as you can, and just know that when you do have a down day, you can vent to this gang and be sure that we are sending you virtual hugs. I'm glad you converted. Rest up. Tomorrow is a new day. Be well!

  • I'm sorry- you must be very disappointed. See what the various doctors involved think is the next step for you.

    It may be helpful to look at ways of reducing episodes and their intensity- you may have already looked at things like losing weight, amounts of potassium in your diet, magnesium intake but if not studies are finding these are useful for reducing AF

    I hope you feel better soon- let us know how you get on

  • You may have AF but don't let it be all of your life. Live life to the full despite it and if you feel sh*t one day so what. You could feel sh*t in a nice place or at home feeling miserable.

    Any way this isn't the end of the road quite yet. I had three ablations before mine went away even though I still have arrhythmias, just not AF these days. Still enjoy every day! Life is good but you will never get out alive.


  • Oh I so understand how you feel! It's human nature to want to have everything done and dusted and to be able to move on A.F. free. While I wait around for my 2nd ablation, drifting in and out of A.F. despite 300mg of flecanide, it occurs to me that actually having the ablation and going through the angst of wondering if it is going to work and if so for how long, could well be more stressful for me than coping with the blooming A.F. itself! I'm sure I won't feel like that if my next one is successful. However, as I'm sure you know, there is still time for your heart to heal and I have read on here that folk can have episodes of A.F. up to 6 months post ablation so fingers crossed. At least you have an appointment coming up soon. Good luck and do let us know how things progress. X

  • Sounds to me like your Vagus Nerve is just more sensitive. Be wary of situations where you are feeling super relaxed (e.g. Going to bed thinking I can at last relax as the cardio is going to sign me off tomorrow!). You are probably aware the VN links brain, heart and stomach.

    May sound unlikely but I know I have it as at the start of AF, I often used to get it when I sat down in the evening to relax in front of a favourite TV programme or music. It also can kick off for me if I visit a place with bad AF memories. Conversely, it can work in your favour, I went back into NSR when the A&E medic said the Flecainide drip is not working we are going to have to shock you.

    It's a pain but we can always find ways around things and I take precautions now and before any super relaxing time, I take a few deep breaths and focus on some other challenge in life for a few seconds and that seems to be enough of a message to the brain for me to stop the trigger. It spoils things a bit but not as much as an AF episode.

    Lastly, it is also probably a sign that you need to increase your Mg/CoQ10 levels as you are too close to the cusp and Mg/CoQ10 are supposed to relax and strengthen the heart cells.

    Hope something there helps.

  • Sorry forgot to say, if you are similar to me, I believe another supplement Taurine has an important role. I take this when I take my Mg supplement as they are both in a compound marketed as Nutri Ultra Muscleze.

  • Your reply to MrsG made me smile, because in A+E I too went back into NSR very soon after being told that they would shock my heart back. It just goes to prove how strong our minds are! Also my bouts of AF can certainly start when I'm relaxed watching tv or snuggled up in bed without a care in the world.


  • Yes, we live on a knife edge but positive thinking is required as you say, Mrsg. Courage! If we feel we can't plan ahead and do things, we have fetters that are going to spoil everything, so I would urge you to kick AF in the teeth and carry on as normal. Book things and see how it goes. And if AF strikes, well, it usually sorts itself, as yours has done and you got to your appointment even though you had to get a lift. Find some courage and adapt your plans - if you need!

  • Oh, thank you, you lovely lovely people, how good to have you cheering me on.

    I'm feeling a little less fraught now and more rational, so I can take all your advice and support on board. This site is invaluable in so many ways, and all your responses to my post prove it once again.

    So what I think now is a) this could be a one-off, b) I won't let AF rule my life and c) if I can help just one other person on their AF journey it would be a priviledge.

    Thank you again for all your replies.


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