AF Association

I am a newby so hello everyone

Hi everyone, I am years old. I have spasmodic AF and when it is a bad one I get pain across my shoulders.. I manage pretty well in between, though I cant do the walking l like too do.. I am alright on the flat ground but hills affect my breathing. I take Apixiban as an anticoagulant and Adizem to slow my heartbeat, they do ease the anxieties when I get an attack but now I am afraid to ride my bike in case I fall off and bang my head and have a bleed. Its a bummer but I cant have it all! I know there are many of you in the same situation so I am keen to hear from you

7 Replies

Hi there Jacob and welcome. I agree with you about riding a bike being extremely dodgy, but not really in connection with Apixaban. My mother fell over the handlebars of her bicycle when she was barely moving and fractured her skull and was lucky to survive.

I slightly discourage my husband from riding his cycle on the road although he doesn't take an anticoagulant. I persuaded him to get a stand for it so he can ride it indoors. He doesn't get wet or muddy and he doesn't get knocked off and he can stop when he's tired (or when its battery dies) and doesn't have to return home knackered and he can answer the phone if it rings - landline that is. It's a bit dull, but he's made a table top for it which takes a book or his laptop and he can watch a video or read. And the cycle doesn't get stolen if he stops for a coffee. And he can ride safely when it's dark.

For myself, I've got a lot braver than when I first took an anticoagulant as I don't think the risk of bleeds is quite as bad as we feel it is.


Hi Rellim296,

I agree that the perception of bleeds is greater than the reality, head bleeds cant be seen though can they? Like the idea of the stand, i will give it a try, thanks


Hello there and welcome,

Yes, I too get the ache across the shoulder blades, sometimes lower, sometimes higher. I mentioned it to my EP, who just nodded and said it was due to "vessel constriction" didn't seem concerned. That and the wobbly legs are my main discomfort when in af.

I am not overly concerned about the bleed risk. I have bashed and bled many times since starting on apixaban, but it has always cleared up in the usual space of time. I don't ride a bike, but do drive a car which carries its own risks.

You will see many references on this site to not allowing af to run your life. It does take time to understand and accept the philosophy, but the alternative is a life beset with worry. Take your time, read as much as you can and ease yourself into this latest phase.

Best wishes and have a great life.



Thank you, it is a mindset isn't it?


Rellim's suggestion about riding the bike indoors is a good idea. I'm blind on the right hand side so I now have my bike on a turbo trainer in the garden. Back to the gym tomorrow though after 6 months away post-stroke.


Thank you for your response, and good luck!


During December, a production company filmed the volunteer group that I am part of clearing scrub and, me riding the bike on a turbo trainer, with the theme of fitness at any age. I believe that on completion the film will be shown to clinicians and I'm hopeful it will have a wider audience in which case I'll post details here. AF and even a stroke - that would be me then - doesn't mean stopping activities. As to bleed risk (I take Pradaxa), I use a very sharp bill hook and rip saw when clearing scrub, but I wear Kevlar sleeves and slash-proof gloves. There is a reversing agent if I do myself serious damage, but my GP warned I shouldn't cut off my hand!


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