Newly Diagnosed

Hello everyone,

I'm new here, and newly Diagnosed with afib in September. I'm 32, good health, echocardiogram and blood work was great, and I don't have any other "comorbidities." September was my first episode (that I'm aware of). I went back to NSR within two hours and the cardiologist I saw said that I'm so low risk that he's not going to prescribe meds. I'm grateful for all of these things. However, since the episode, I've been plagued by fear of experiencing another one. I've been working on taking better care of my body, mind, and spirit, but I still just feel so scared. I figured I would try to find some sort of community, so here I am. I'm hoping that eating better, exercise, psych meds, and other natural medicine will help prevent another episode, but I also understand there's no guarantee. How do you all cope? Anyone like me out there that found a way to deal with the fear?

Sincerely,

Tomas

10 Replies

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  • Hi Thomas, welcome to the forum. Everyone here has had the fears you are experiencing. After all it's our hearts we are dealing with not a scratch to our little finger. Having said that the best way I can suggest to keep things in perspective is to be as informed as possible about the condition. I suggest you read all the good stuff lodged on the afa website. There is tons of information which will demystify this rogue mongrel world of af.

    I would suggest you arrange to see an Electrohysiologist (EP) the electrician of the heart rather than a general cardiologist should you feel the need or have the symptoms again. There is a list of EPs on the afa website.

    All your suggestions about lifestyle (body and mind) are exactly what you need to concentrate on to help yourself.

    Remember given your general good health, clear cardiac tests and no comorbititis you are extremely well placed to keep this condition in line.

    Anxiety seems to accompany this condition, but as people say it won't kill you even though it might feel like it at the time.

    This forum is a wonderful resource of support and encouragement. We are all here for each other and understand completely how you are feeling. You will settle and manage the condition physically and emotionally. It's a shock at first to be diagnosed but you have found a super network of supporters here.

    Be well and best wishes.

  • As always, such sound and comforting advice meadfoot :) xx

  • Hi Tomas,

    With your brief, infrequent episodes, there's a good chance that you can avoid future episodes with careful attention to lifestyle, as you suggest. You'll learn what your triggers are. Stress, over-training, and alcohol are the big ones for me. I'd also recommend magnesium supplements. Many of us are chronically low on Mg. If your kidneys are healthy, the only side effect from too much Mg is diarrhea--nature's way of saying back off.

    It's always in the back of my mind, but over time (15 years now) I fear it less. The sensations can be very unsettling, but over time you'll get used to them, and better at reminding yourself that it's not going to kill you. Just a major nuisance. Do listen to your Dr and take the necessary steps to minimize risk of stroke (with blood thinners, as needed). Sounds like your Dr assesses very little concern there at your young age.

    Best wishes for NSR!!

  • It may be that you will never have another episode.

    All the lifestyle stuff is good. Also mindfulness and if you really want reassurance then invest in an AliveCor to monitor your heart.

  • Thank you everyone! It's really helpful to hear from people who totally get it. It can be difficult to talk to people who have never experienced this. Or, at least it's difficult to explain why I get so scared.

    To top it all off, I suffer from OCD, specifically health anxiety related OCD. Soooo, you can imagine how much more amplified this is in my brain. Anyway, I'm taking magnesium, doing yoga more, and deep breathing exercises. Hopefully all of that will help me cope better with whatever comes.

    Thanks to everyone that responded. Sending out good vibes.

    Tomas

  • Hi Tomas and welcome to the club you never wanted to join. Anxiety goes hand in hand with AF I'm afraid and many people just never get a hold on it. Start as you intend to go on and beat this by whatever means you can or it will take over your life. OK I know you think "there is something wrong with my heart I'm going to die. " Well no you aren't, not soon anyway. We all die eventually. As you say, live a good life, avoid alcohol and smoking, don't over exercise, stay away from ibuprofen, caffeine and lose women ( well maybe not them) and enjoy every day. What will be will be but the more you know about AF the less it will scare you. Go to AF Association main website and read all you can as knowledge is power to fight fear.

    Mindfulness. meditation and self hypnosis as well as slow deep breathing are all valid tools but if you need help to understand how to use them then ask you doctor to direct you to the right people.

    You will have another event one day by the law of averages. It may be next week or in five years time but if the latter you will have wasted five years worrying! We are all victims here who understand so don't worry.

    Bob

  • Hi Tomas, similar set of circumstances. I had my first event less than a year ago, hospital bisoprosol back in sinus after a few hours. Second event after a heavy boxing session training that is 😀 bisoprosol back in sinus in 30 mins, and third event Christmas day as per Christmas was very stressful and I was very anxious, as well as having to look after hospital ised parent etc.... Bisoprosol flecaninde home for dinner.

    Why the history, whilst it scares the life out of me as I have 2 little ones that I want to see grow up BobD is right with his summary. Try and live life, get an EP, find a naturapath do all that good stuff, but don't stop living.

    After each event I have found that acceptance is key (review mindfulness, or religion or both).

    Supplement yes

    Acupuncture why not

    Massage yes

    Anything that relaxes you.

    I wonder how many of us with AF have stress/ anxiety induced AF, this is my thought process, something that affect a Vagal tone etc.....BUT not sure how to sort that as I don't think doctors / science have got that far or at least not my EP.

    As one cardio said to me I am the plumber and the EP is the mechanic not sure if that is a good analogy, basically we have to not close possibilities, but EPs only know what they know.

    In short keep an open mind, accept, love life and all around you, and keep reading the forum there are some wonderful people on here.

    A

  • Thank you so much! Working on trying to convince my mind that i need to just live my life.

  • Time one step at a time one day at a time

  • Hi Tomas, I was absolutely terrified when I was first diagnosed last year, but the thing which calmed me down was - this support group! There's such a lot of expertise, not from being medically trained, but from experiencing AF in all its forms, reading and exchanging information. This is the first and only online site I am part of, and I feel as if I've made genuine friends here. People are thoughtful, concerned and affectionate, so I'm sure you will benefit as I did.

    Welcome!

    Pat.

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