I've just been diagnosed with paroxysmal AF and, with a very supportive GP, I'm starting on the road to find a treatment that suits me best. I've read a lot but would love some tips on questions I should really be asking.
In hindsight I had probably had infrequent episodes of AF that just left me feeling a bit unwell which I put down to other causes. for some time. After one episode lasting about 3 hours when I felt quite dizzy and had to lie down, my pulse reaching 120, I visited my GP who organised an ecg (normal), chest X-ray (normal), blood tests (normal) I was waiting for a five day cardiac monitoring test when I had a major episode, my daughter called an ambulance. An ecg immediately showed AF, with my heart rate peaking at 200. I've never felt so ill in my life. It reverted to normal in hospital after about 5 hours without treatment.
My locum GP initially put me on sotalol, but I had incredibly bad side effects. On his return my own GP changed this to bisoprolol 2.5 mg. He reduced this to 1.25 mg due to continued debilitating side effects warning me that this might not be enough to prevent further episodes. Happily, no more major episodes yet. I'm already on bendroflumethiazide and Losartan to treat high blood pressure. I'm still feeling exhausted, short of breath on the slightest exertion, aching everywhere, problems sleeping, have developed acid reflux, and feel incredibly low in mood. At times I feel like stopping the beta blockers and taking my chances on further episodes as I felt so well between episodes before. I'm normally a very active happy person with a full time job but am struggling to maintain anything like that lifestyle.
My GP has talked about anticoagulation but felt it was more important to try to stabilise me on the beta blockers before introducing any more medication that might make me feel even worse. I'm apparently quite low risk for afib related stroke.
I'm due to see him again in a week, and I'd really appreciate any suggestions on questions I should be asking, any options I should be considering or tips on anything I can do to help myself.