Update generally

Hi all and Happy New Year

Just as many of you know me, and that I am largely a long term persistent AF sufferer with no real symptoms, but need to just tell a short story that proves we can never rest on our laurels.

As is my wandering bent, I was away over Christmas, Thailand and Cambodia and the plan was on the way back to spend New Year in Kiev with some friends and and come back to the UK on New Years Day.

All went well, until in Dubai on the way home I got caught up in the FlyDubai debacle (which is continuing) and my flight was cancelled and after the most awful 17 hours in Dubai with no airline representation and literally not even a voucher for a free coffee, did I manage to get onto a flight which was jammed as you might imagine, and eventually arrived in Kiev only 22 hours later than planned missing the whole new year of course, but also to find that of the 148 people on the aircraft only 7 had their suitcases.

Now fair enough we are all at least in Kiev, but imagine this 4:30 am, and 141 people now need to fill in and complete a missing luggage report and customes forms, with only one poor overworked and very tired girl in the luggage office, and of course not only did she not speak English but all the forms were in Russian.

It took nearly 5 hours, none of us could leave the baggage hall which had no water or food, until we had completed the forms and I was one of the last, and that with a lot of help from some very kind people.

Relief I thought, at least now I was out of Dubai, and my flights home (over Amsterdam) were with KLM and unlikely to be a problem.

And they were not, first flight left on time but was 30 mins late into Amsterdam, leaving me 15 minutes to go through security and change gates to get onto the London flight, not a lot of time, and it tells you a lot when I say the new gate was D47, in other words 47 gates down a very very long straight line of aircraft.

It was then that I realised that after 65 hours of continuous travelling with no sleep and only hard floors to sit on and pretty awful seats in small cramped aircraft that my body was running on empty, and I had to literally run a kilometre to catch this flight.

Of course and understandably at that point I had an AF episode, only my second ever heart rate way over 200 I suspect and unable to breathe properly and really emotionally wrecked, I staggered into the gate over 15 mins late and they had held the flight for me, and I was traumatised and distressed and they could see that and very kindly let me sit in Business Class and generally made a fuss of me all 45 mins to London, and by the time I arrived the heart rate was back to normal "trainers in a tumble drier" but only at my usual resting rate of around 70

I tell this to remind us all that even us "lucky ones" have to remember that we have a heart condition, that at best when in AF it's estimated that the heart is working at 80% of usual capacity and that if we get into either over exertion or had difficult circumstances (and I had both) that we can very easily forget our troubles and we need to take care.

But on the positive side (and there is one) it also means that AF need not necessarily inhibit us, abd that we can do want we want to do in life, BUT do it with caution, and always with prior medical advice if you are not sure.

Anyway, finally I think I can say Happy New Year to everyone

Be Well


Oh and of course luggage is still missing that's going to take weeks I am sure.

28 Replies

  • Happy New Year to you as well Ian. We A.F.ers can never be complacent. Did you have a good time before the travel debacle?

  • Well! 'Mr. Ian' That is one hell of an awful story I would not wish on my youngest and healthiest nearest and dearest never mind on my olders and not so wells. I have been so very lucky with my longer flights and have never experienced anything any where near as you describe.May all your future flights be good ones and hopefully your experience will not put you off travel.That would never do.

  • A trip to remember. Glad it all turned out ok.

    Happy and healthy new year.

  • Lovely to hear from you, Ian, I had wondered if all was well as you didn't seem to have posted lately. Now I know why, off on your travels and then caught up in chaos. Sounds like the worst journey ever, with not even a glass of water to keep you going, no wonder you had an AF episode after all that.

    Well it's great to have you and your sage advice back on the forum to complement BobD's.

    Take care now and a very Happy New Year to you, too.

    Best wishes, Kate

  • Happy new year Ian and glad to hear you are feeling better now after such an unpleasant experience. 'Be well' (your mantra!) xx

  • How awful for you Ian! Rather you than me though. I think I would have had a cardiac arrest but I'm not as adventurous as you.

    Losing my suitcase would be traumatic enough for me !

    Hope all goes well now and all good wishes for 2017 !


  • After all of that carry on, they were bound to lose your luggage - it's the rules. A trip to remember indeed. Happy New Year.

  • Wishing you a happy and peaceful new year Ian.

    Glad you're back safely after your travels.


  • Oh Ian, that's just an awful travel nightmare. No wonder your AF really acted up. I'm so glad that you are home, safe and sound! I hope you rest up and can think of the fun parts of your holiday. Happy New Year!!!

  • Thank goodness for a happy ending. What a nightmare though. Well done to KLM for the pampering that calmed everything down. It's feet-up time now and then you can dine out on this for quite a while. Happy New Year and be kind to yourself.


  • Good to hear from you again. As you so rightly point we would do well to remember from time to time this we do still have AF but the trick is not to keep it stop us from having fun and as normal a life as we can. Glad you are ok after such a traumatic journey.

    Wishing you and everyone on this forum a very happy healthy 2017

  • I understand your problem Ian and glad it wasn't me. I did have a slightly less dramatic journey once coming back from Monza after I drove 100k the wrong way up the autostrada and missed my flight. Eventually re-booked as standby on the last flight out that night and went in search of water to take my pills. Just as I got the water they called the flight and of course took my water away at the security gate so by the time I eventually got something to drink I was well in AF! The joys of travel eh! Happy New Year to you.


  • Hi Ian - Have been wondering where you've been lately. Lovely to hear from you again. Sorry to hear about your traumatic experience, what a nightmare it must have been with your heart racing so fast! It all sounds so awful! Does it prove that stress triggers AF - yep certainly does. Oh the power of our minds!

    Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year.


  • That's really bad- i hope you are recovered and that you don't get problems when flying next time.

    Looking forward to seeing you when you want to have another trip to EV

    Happy New Year

  • Well, what can I say!! I guess I need to be a little sympathetic, coz we are flying home from Faro next Sunday! At least you are back home safe and hopefully your ticker is back to what is for you, normal. Guess I know what the main topic of conversation is going to be at the next Natter & Nosh......good to have you back and best wishes for 2017......

  • Glad to hear you are OK after all that, Ian!!! I admire you for even attempting ALL that travelling!! Best wishes for 2017.........

    Regards from another Long Term Persistent!!!!

  • ......I just came back from Spain and brought a Spanish cold with me, and I thought that was bad enough! Hope you're OK now Ian.

  • Flipping heck !!!!!!

    Happy New Year


  • You were lucky to get through that and also lucky that klm even allowed you on!!!

    I don't have much hope for your luggage!!!

  • What a performance, the joys of modern day flying. Your last two paras are absolutely correct. Thankfully my long-haul flights have always gone smoothly, yours blipped in the middle and with connecting flights the situation became like a row of falling dominos, and then the AF becomes vulnerable. Happy New Year.

  • Oh my... air travel is the nightmare gift that just keeps giving, isn't it? I find that if it goes wrong, it goes horribly wrong, and it sounds as if things went just as wrong as they could for you. No wonder your poor heart was protesting! It's lovely to hear about your intrepid travels but my goodness, it just shows how events can test your body way beyond its comfort zone. I'm very glad to hear you're back safe and sound! Stay well.

  • Welcome home, Ian. Very best wishes for 2017.

    Last year I had to travel to Boston, USA, from Manchester to see my son marry lovely Caitlin. This could not be direct so I chose Skipol, Amsterdam to make the connection as I understood that it was the best. Well, it was ghastly. I think I had to go to D96 from D37 via immigration. Do they not have sign posts there?

    Your post had me relive the nightmare, but your experience was a 1000 times worse!

  • Ian, the sort of journey and you experiences at the airport(s) has confirmed my wish (almost) never to fly again. Pleased that you are back to normal, and Happy New Year!

    BE WELL!

  • Good to hear from you again Ian, albeit with some mind boggling story, of nil sleep and nil water with emotions at their highest peak. Reminds us all to take some bottled water when travelling and do plenty of relaxation exercises - when I don't sleep meditation and relaxation are the key, I have heard that 1hr of meditation is equivalent to 3 hrs sleep, (not sure how accurate this is) and to make sure if any dizzy spells, plenty of water. Plenty of rest now and look forward to hearing from you this year 2017. Let us know of your next trip before you go.

  • What a debacle, glad you got through it all. I'm paranoid about having plenty of water everywhere I go. Can imagine how you felt.

    Hope 2017 is kind to you!


  • That really is a bad journey, I hope you are feeling recovered now. It's good to hear from you again. I hope 2017 is kind to you. . Best wishes Kath.

  • Happy New Year Ian! What a horrid travel experience. I'm currently trying to decide whether to go to the US in a couple of months. Like you, I don't have much in the way of symptoms with my PAF, but wonder about the wisdom of a longish flight.

  • Well what a to- do ..... but the trip itself - memorable - well done you for managing it 👍

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