It struck me this morning that a year ago I had just had a bad AF episode (well, bad compared to the previous 7 years since diagnosis of paroxysmal AF) and was off work while my newly prescribed warfarin dosage was being sorted out. My tummy was soon a patchwork of huge dark bruises from the heparin (?) injections and I seemed to be at the anti-coag clinic every day. From something that was just a minor nuisance, my AF had become a big deal and I was starting to look at stuff like my employer's medical retirement policy and wondering if we could manage on my husband's income from a relatively new one-man business. My holiday cruise got cancelled as my GP was not happy to confirm me fit to travel until my anticoag regime was established.That was the time when I discovered this forum.
I'm posting this update as I hope it will encourage the many 'newbies' who join our ranks.
Despite my fears at the time, after 2 weeks my warfarin was pretty stable and I returned to work full time. I have changed to a slightly less pressured role, which helps, but apart from routine INR appointments (now at 70 day intervals) I have not needed to take time off work due to AF. I've had the odd minor illness, but even given the restrictions that warfarin has meant on over the counter medicines, I haven't been ill enough to take time off. I have been abroad again, albeit I chose somewhere I knew there would be English speaking medical staff and decent facilities. I cut out alcohol altogether for a while, but I have now learned that I can have an occasional glass of wine or a cider without ill-effects. There are times when I fantasise about having a huge Caesar salad or a whole juicy mango, but the dietary thing is manageable and I try not to get too uptight about it. I have had a tumble from my bike and the bruises didn't seem as bad as I thought they would. I know my AF won't go away, but thanks to this forum I feel much better informed about my options, so as and when I think I need more than medication, I know what to ask about. I do have 'low' days, but most of the time I just try to get on with life - not exceptional, not particularly exciting, but still very much worth it.