AF Association
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Not coping

I was diagnosed with afib after an admission to A&E in August this year. My heart rate was 200+ bpm. It reverted back to SR overnight but was prepared for cardioversion. My meds are bisoprolol 7.5, ramipril 5mg and rivaroxaban 20mg. I feel awful crippling anxiety constantly to the point of it controlling my life. I don't know how to start living again. I couldn't go back to my job as a HCA, as occupational health said I was at risk of haemorrhage from any unprovoked attack from a patient because of the rivaroxaban. They're not proactive in finding me an alternative role which was recommended, so I'm just sitting here and I know my contract will be terminated on 8th Jan 2016. I receive SSP which is not livable. I feel like I'm in a whirlpool, and I don't know how to get out. I need to lift my mood and start living again. Any advice would be greatly appreciated😊

8 Replies

Hi Lozza - I know you probably don't feel like taking on another challenge at the moment, however to stand a chance of finding a solution to your work, my advice would be to seek legal advice from Citizens Advice before you get to the end of your contract in January. Leaving it until after that date probably will leave you in a weaker position contractually.

Very best wishes.




To start you need to see your GP regarding some anti depressants, purely to get you a bit calmer as that does not help I can totally relate to that. I too was employed like you

in the same roll and went off sick after trying to cope for years with this condition.

I wasn't advised by occ health that I couldn't work because of blood thinners, or even my AF itself even though I always ended up in A and E at my workplace!

They were very good and eventually I decided that until I had my pacemaker fitted I could no longer continue with my job and constantly have to sit down or go off sick when I had an attack, I didn't feel it was fair to my colleagues.

I left last December and got myself put right though financially we did struggle but had no other choice.

I have just returned in September to work on the nurse bank with their support and feel great.

You will be up and down until some sort of decision is made and medication is sorted out properly, but believe me you will get there.

You need to get in touch with Dhss I think and tell them you are unfit for work and are out of pay.

Have you used up your full sick pay entitlement? as it should be 6 months full pay and 6 months half pay? Can they not offer you a different post elsewhere in the trust? without too much patient contact?

I still take rivaroxaban and work with no issues on a general ward?? so not quite sure what the thinking is there.

Hope so much that you get sorted soon as its sure is an awful dilemma.



Hi Wendi.... Thank you for your advice, it's much appreciated. The reason I couldn't continue in my role is because it's a psychiatric hospital and the patients can be unpredictable. The contract I'm on is one where you only receive 10 days sick pay per annum, which is not good. I wish they would offer me an admin role somewhere, but they're not forthcoming. I'm beginning to think they view me as a liability and want to get rid of me anyway.


Hi Lozza, I can understand how you are feeling, as someone who has suffered with anxiety I know how crippling it can be but there is help out there .I have had CBT to pretty good effect but do see your GP as your first port of call. As already suggested Citizens advice, your union if you are in one, if not think about joining one and if all else fails seek the advice of an employment lawyer, they often give an hour free to see if you have a case. Much help can be found on the AFA website and help and empathy on this forum.Many of us live well alongside AF even with its idiosyncrasies and uncertainties.

Seek as much help as you can. Keep in touch,

Best wishes Kath


Hello Lozza and welcome to the forum, even though you probably would rather not be here at all, if you know what I mean. Diagnosis of AF can be such a stressful thing to cope with, but your uncertainty about your work is bound to add to your anxiety. The previous posters have given good advice to try to get your legal position clarified before the end of your contract.

You have hit the nail on the head - lift your mood and start living again. That will happen when you can see the way forward, both with the AF and your job. Uncertainty makes all of us worry. Do you have a supportive GP who will listen and help with anxiety and the stress of starting to live with AF?

Best wishes

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Hi Finvola.... Thank you for your kind words and advice. I would like to have someone to share my thoughts and anxieties with. My GP is good, but I don't like to keep going to see him. My family are supportive too, but I try not to let them see how much things are bothering me at the moment. I kind of know my fate as regards to my employment, and I will make a special effort to get the right advice as regards to my legal entitlement to redundancy pay etc. Why does everything seem so magnified when you're suffering with anxiety? ? Hopefully the new year will bring a new start for me when the job situation is resolved and I'll learn to cope a bit better with the afib😊


I can totally empathise with your anxiety. Until I got my new dosage of flecainide sorted by my EP I was a total mess. I've been AF free since then and I feel like a new person but prior to that I couldn't cope at all. It was pure anxiety but not depression .My gp gave me a short course of diazepam which did give me some confidence but it wasn't perfect . One day I felt so nervous that I couldn't get out of bed and just watched tv most of the day.....couldn't read even as I couldn't concentrate either! I was considering going to psychotherapy to help with the anxiety. ...I was thinking hypnotherapy but everything resolved when my af attacks stopped. I'm nervous that the flecainide will stop working but I try not to think about it too much. My gp did refer me to the psychological services at the hospital though but I didn't think I needed it when the appointment came through so dint go. I've been great since I decided to retire early ..but I know I'm lucky to be able to do this.

You need to think hard about your next step job wise .. If OH won't support you staying in your current role then push HR to find an alternative. Think about your next step and be proactive as this might help with the anxiety xx Big hugs x

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Hi Lozza,

If you are prepared to do an admin-type role, even if it's at a lower grade, it may be worth specifying this to your HR team. They may only be considering roles at a similar grade, and therefore saying that there isn't an alternative.

Just a thought.



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