I've just had my first appointment with Professor Gill at St Thomas Hospital after having a range of tests at my more local hospital in Kent, which holds satellite cardiology clinics. And thanks to my very supportive GP who made the referral.
The outcome is that structurally my heart is pretty sound, it's just the electrical activity that's haywire. I must admit it's a relief to know there's nothing more seriously wrong than Paroxysmal AF, although that has been very symptomatic and difficult to deal with. I'm now on the waiting list for ablation, to be carried out under general anaesthetic. Prof Gill told me the success rate after a single ablation is 70-80%, and if it has to be repeated to mop up any remaining rogue impulses it is 80-100%. Only down side is the waiting time which is about 40 weeks, more than I hoped but less than I feared it might be.
In the meantime I'll stay on the horrible bisoprolol - I know it suits some people but I find the side effects absolutely devastating. The aim is to hopefully come off them after the ablation and get my life back! I'm also on Rivaroxaban anticoagulant but that doesn't seem to have affected me as much.
I found Prof Gill very reassuring, answering most of my questions even before I asked them - as if he knew what they would be - and I'm much more confident about the future now.
So firstly thanks to everyone on this site, and especially Bob and others whose replies I find very helpful, for giving me the courage to pursue this. Secondly I'd encourage people to ask their GP for a referral to an EP (electrophysiologist) because they really are the experts.
It's early days yet and I can't guarantee that I won't get a touch of the collywobbles when the ablation comes closer but at the moment I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. I just hope it doesn't turn out to be an express train heading towards me!
So thanks to you all.