After twice ending up in an acute ward via A&E recently because of prolonged episodes of atrial/sinus tachycardia with AF, and being cardioverted each time because the 'pill-in-the-pocket' meds hadn't worked, I asked for a referral by my cardiologist to see an EP at a different hospital, as several of you on here had suggested. Thank you for your support as otherwise I don't think I would have been up front enough to do it. I said at the time I would come back and let you know how I got on.
I decided to see the EP privately as otherwise it meant waiting for 5-6 months to see any one of the team in Bristol. My goodness, how different a private health centre is from our lovely NHS, no sign of any illness or infirmity, and so quiet. However, plenty of leaflets and screens telling you how many different methods of payment are acceptable!
Anyway, I digress. We (my husband came with me, so grateful for his support) had a strict half an hour to discuss why I'd come to see the EP in question. He was very nice, but quite business-like in his approach. He agreed to take on my case as an NHS patient in the future, offered to put me on his ablation list unless there was a good reason not to do another one (this would be my 4th) and in the meantime would prescribe Diltiazem as an alternative pill-in-the-pocket approach. He, like my cardiologist here, mentioned going down the pacemaker route in the future if things don't improve, a future I'm trying not to anticipate just yet, but also said that if I did go into permanent AF I would probably be better off as I wouldn't then notice it!
So there we are, a slightly different take on how to treat my increasingly regular AF and tachycardia, and at the moment I'm trying to process what I took from the consultation. Am I glad I went? Yes, because doing nothing wasn't really an option and taking this step makes me feel more in control somehow. Think positive and all that. A quote came to mind recently, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick..." and I'm sure I'm not the only one to feel that way. However, I couldn't have managed to get through these last few years without the help, support and advice I've had from so many people on this forum, so thank you, I can't tell you how much it means to me.
All the best, Kate