The long view with AF

I am 77 live alone and have been in permanent af since at least 2008 when I had a single cardioversion that lasted about six days. I had a single bypass and tissue aortic valve replacement a year ago. The operation was very successful but I remain in permanent af as previously. I was a long distance touring cyclist and still cycle up to 20 miles a day periodically. I do not drink, have never smoked and avoid caffeine and sugar. The anaesthetic left me with problems which I am shaking off with the aid of a therapist. I am on warfarin and have steady INR results. I have decided to control my blood pressure by diet, yoga, meditation and exercise so take no other medication. This seems to work but the bp varies quite a lot.

My exercise routine consists of doing all my local shopping by bike, dancing and supervised rehab exercises. I travel widely and will visit my daughter in Vancouver for a month soon. I have never considered ablation as I now have doubts about its success rate and the effects of more anaesthetic.

Since I now have a reasonable perspective of my situation over time I wonder if there are any of you who can parallel with mine and would like to comment.

15 Replies

  • Well James , since you sound to be in persistent AF you will be spared the constant fear and anguish of paroxysmal events so I have to agree with your life choices. A leading UK EP once told out own Beancounter he was " a lucky bugger" being in persistent AF and whilst we paroxysmals can't understand it I do know that the body gets used to AF eventually and allows people to get on with their lives.


  • Thanks Bob. What you say is very reassuring. I try not to waste time too!!

  • Sounds like you are doing really well James. Wish I had your energy and I'm 6 years younger . Have just finished painting a very large lounge and I'm knackered ! It's got to be good for me though ........there's alot more planned



    PS..looking forward to a good cup of coffee later ( caffeine ) :)

  • My best discovery was that if you have enthusiasm you don't need energy. The trouble is set backs like ours can make it difficult to find and we have to dig deep. Character building stuff!!

  • Do anything and everything that works for you but most of all positive mind set which you obviously have in abundance.

    Hopefully your post will help a lot of newbies who can be very anxious on diagnosis so thanks for posting,

  • A lovely, positive post James - thank you for that. I hope you enjoy your trip to Canada.

  • What a great positive post which aniexty ridden people like me need more of . I too am a keen cyclist and walker . Mind set it seems is so important

  • Did your surgeon remove your left atrial appendage when doing your bypass and aortic valve operation?

  • Not to my knowledge but I believe it is easy to do in the process.

  • I am 42 and have been cardioverted 4 times in the last 18 months. I chatted to a father of a boy in my son's class about it. He (the father) is a cardiologist and his dad went into a-fib in his 50s and is now in his 80s. He (the grandfather) has never had a cardioversion, takes a light dose of warfarin and a calcium channel blocker and the "AF doesn't get in the way".

  • Well I am convinced that is the way ahead. Avoiding all the normal unhealthy life style habits should allow someone with permanent af surrendering gracefully the things of youth to survive to a reasonable healthy old age!

  • I wish!!! I am in persistent AF.

    I drank less than recommend amount; never smoked; always had more than 5 a day; was only about 12kg over weight; walked a two to four miles a day; never ate ready made meals; takeaways once or possibly twice a month. Still ended up in persistent AF.

    After diagnosis stopped alcohol; stopped processed foods (eg ham, bacon, sausages, etc) reduced sugar and salt (didn't add it before).

  • So what? The grandfather is so lucky!!!

    Unfortunately some people and medics will take this to support the view that it is just a very minor inconvenience. I have had that thrown at me many times!!!

  • Whilst I am loathe to go around preaching about it, from a personal point of view my adoption of yoga and meditation has helped me enormously over the last five years. It does need some determination to stick with it however. It has helped me to put my values into perspective and calm me down.

  • James,

    You state that you avoid sugar. Does that include grains because grains are sugar and many people are allergic to them. I stopped eating grains about five years ago and my blood pressure normalized. Also I lost quite a bit of weight. I recently experienced my first bout of af - about two months ago -- and the doctor put my heart back into sync with an injection. We had been discussing magnesium prior to the shot but i'm not sure what was injected. I am 80 years old and hope that the meds I was placed on will prevent another attack. So far warfarin appears to be OK., but we are still experimenting with other prescriptions because I don't like some of them, especially when I found out about all the dreadful side effects of amarodion, especially permanent blindness. I also switched from Rivaroxoban to warfarin when I learned that there is no antidote for the former. We are also experimenting with other drugs used for patients suffering from af.

    I realize that my situation does not parallel yours, however the word sugar caught my eye because many people are unaware that grains, anything made with flour, is sugar.


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