Quiet out there today. Must be the wind keeping everybody quiet.
I have been thinking about this for a while so thought I would float it and see what happens.
I have been involved with AF Association since the original Yahoo forum we all loved until they changed it. A lot of members fell by the wayside when we switched to HUL even though we ran both for a short while. Not sure why that was but it happened.
Through all that, membership which at the time was less than 1000 was predominately people with AF and by that I mean lone AF, simple AF and for the most part paroxysmal AF .with few if any co morbidities so we all had very common ideas about how our condition affected us. Anticoagulation was still sadly in the background and there were no NOACs. in fact aspirin was still commonly prescribed by many cardiologists.
Fast forward 8 years and how things have changed. Yes great strides have been made in treatment, even cryo ablation was very rare back then let alone laser balloon , hybrid ablations etc.
What seems to me to have changed within the membership is the complexity of some of the members problems. Lone AF often seems a pipe dream with members having complex issues many with names I haven't heard of before. Valvular AF has been reported on more than one occasion THIS YEAR along with people who despite many trips to hospital have yet to gain satisfactory diagnosis of what is actually wrong with them. There are people who have developed AF since they had heart surgery or stents fitted which sadly is not uncommon.
Almost daily now we read of more complex cases where people come to us, the AF Association forum, for help and support even though what they have is scarcely what we know as AF.
Over the ten years or more that I have been involved I have gained quite a bit of knowledge from reading members stories, working with experts on various committees and of course the annual Heart Rhythm Congress in Birmingham (England that is ) every October but recently I have found myself sadly unable to answer some of the questions. I often refer people to AF Association website for reading matter but even some of that is not able to support the complexity of issues presenting.
OK I can't really think what can be done and in the absence of a magic wand (Expelliamus!) probably not much in the short term but we do all care and we should all be here to support each other even when we don't know the answers.
Now that is quite enough deep thought (42) for one evening so with the wind now howling again I'm off to pour a drink.