Just been diagnosed with A Fib

Hi Everyone,

I have just been diagnosed with Afib. I am on 2.5mg bisoporol and 50mg x2 daily flecanide

I am feeling really tired lethargic and panicky at present as I more worried about having a stroke than the afib itself. Doc said he will refer me for Catheter ablation as I am fit and well otherwise and he feels I would be a good canditae 52 year old female , low bp, no heart disease, no diabetes, no history. At present not on blood thinners as I am scoring 1 ( because of gender) on the vaschad calculator.

Don't know if I should take an asprin daily ? due to see doc again in 5 weeks when hopefully the referral will be well under way . Any reassurance appreciated as all I think about every time I move or feel a bit off colour is having a stroke. It feels like my life has just been turned upside down

Really pleased I discovered this site

29 Replies

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  • Well, you've come to the tight place, there are people here who bring real comfort.

    I'm on warfarin, and I'd suspect all people diagnosed with AF would get anticoagulant whether the new ones or good old fashioned warfarin. I'm not a medical person, but I'd ask for anticoagulants if I were you. Good luck.

  • Thank you - yes I am going to ask at next meeting on25/3

  • Hi, try not to panic - I know it is easier said than done! Try this calculator preventaf-strokecrisis.org/... to find your risk of stroke and whether you need anti coagulation.

  • Thank you so much. I feel a bit better now I have seen this. I have looked at the calculator / completed the questions and it says my risk over the next 12 months is 1.3% risk. So going to try not to worry. It also says that the treatment I could be offered to thin blood (presumably before Catheter ablation) is asprin

    I am so pleased to have found this site and find everyone's questions and answers reassuring

  • I know exactly how you feel. I was diagnosed in Dec and I was frantic. This site is very good and I have had a lot of help and advice. I still worry but not as much . Try not too think too much about AF as you just feel worse. Its nice to know you can put things on here and someone always makes you feel better. I have just done the calculator score and mine is 2 .2%. My age is 72 so more at risk. I am taking warfarin and 1 .5 Bisoprolol. No other heart problems. I wonder why I haven't been offered an ablation.. Good luck.

  • Thank you and yes so glad I have all new friends who can appreciate how it feels when you are given this diagnosis

  • Age-wise, I am about in the same boat -- almost 74. I am going to see a cardiologist, for the first time, on March 7 whereby I will ask him about having an ablation since the recent literature I have read or heard , including a 2017 symposium, all seem to point to ablation as the superior treatment , if I have deciphered the articles correctly.

  • Just saw your reply from 5 days ago. I am 69. Sudden afib last February. Had ablation in July. Doing great. A few skips and runs, but nothing over 3-5 minutes. On eliquis and will never stop it. Ablation isn't a cure- just a road to being more normal. Good luck.

  • From diagnosis to ablation appeared to have taken you 5 months although I don't know whether your paroxysmal afib progressed to persistent. Now you are 7 months in your recovery road. Well done!

    In my case, I was diagnosed with atrial flutter February 2, 2016, had one episode lasting a couple of days in May, June and August; diagnosed with atrial fibrillation September 26 which progressed to persistent atrial fibrillation on January 13, 2017. Finally. my GP referred me to a cardiologist when I was in day 11 of persistent, but it will be day 52 before I get to see him let alone an electophysiologist. I am concerned that I deteriorated rapidly ( 4 months from official diagnosis to persistent) and that all this waiting time is doing more damage to my atria since "afib begets afib."

    Also, you have to remain on an anti-coagulant drug for the rest of your life even though you have had a successful ablation?

  • OK so for now don't worry about anticoagulation although once you are booked for ablation you WILL need to be anti-coagulated for probably three months before the procedure . Blood thinners is a lazy expression which really doesn't describe what happens but seems to have crept into general usage. Aspirin has no value for stroke prevention in AF so don't waste you time and risk stomach issues by taking it. Great for post stroke or if one has other cardiac issues but not for lone AF.

    Self education is all and I recommend that you visit AF Association main website and read as much as you can as knowledge is power.

    Bob

  • Thanks Bob - glad you have told me about Aspirin I will visit the main website now

  • Hi there, and welcome to the forum. Please bear in mind we are not medically trained and issues relating to medication should always be discussed with your Doctor. That said, aspirin is not used for AF and is not recommended by NICE. It’s good that you are aware of the risk of stroke, but this has to be offset by the risk of internal bleeding and this really has to be discussed with your doctor. I am assuming you have paroxysmal AF – and that you know what your current medication does to help control your episodes of AF, and from what you say, it would seem that you are well placed to have a successful ablation.

    I can understand that you are concerned about having a stroke (we all are!), but it sounds as if your Doctor is “on the case” and I would think it is unlikely that he would overlook this risk so I am sure you can relax, but make sure you discuss it to your satisfaction at your next appointment.

    AF has the effect of turning us upside down, but with a bit of help from your friends, you should find eventually, that you are the right way up, although it might not seem like it at the moment. Finally, Bisoprolol is an effective drug but it often causes side effects which some find difficult. There are a number of alternatives, so I would make sure you mention this in 5 weeks’ time, however, you may find you improve as your body adjusts to the medication….hope this help, please let us know how you get on…..John

  • Thanks John

    I think I am still in shock at the diagnosis. I do also think I am in good hands as consultant has already booked me in for another 24 hour monitor for Friday and follow up appointment for four weeks time. I will definitely keep you posted and thanks for taking the time to respond

  • Hi

    I am a 52 year old female too. I can totally relate to feeling panicky. Ive had afib and svt for a few years now. Just remember its not life threatening and try not to worry. I have tried different meds and finally got an ablation in january. Im hoping it improves and reduces my afib turns as over the last few years I have let it affect my quality of life. Looking back i needn't have worried as no different now to when i started on this journey so wasted worry as nothing bad has happened. Try to put it to the back of your mind. I have paroxysmal afib.

    This site has been great for reducing my worry at every stage and have learned many things about afib and how to help reduce turns e.g. Taking magnesium.

    I hope thing settle soon for you

    Elsie xx

  • Thanks Elsie for your reassuring words and I hope the ablation continues to work for you

    Mine was originally passed if as the menopause

  • Hi, my story exactly, I am female and was 49 when I got my diagnosis. I am fit, eat healthily and like you have low blood pressure and no heart disease. I first, only had a couple of episodes a year and then slowly progressed to a few a week over a 3 year period. I am now 55 and had an ablation 2 years ago which has given me my life back. I hesitated when initially offered the ablation but haven't looked back and would have another without hesitation. I was on 5mg bisoporol and 150mg flecanide before my ablation and now have stopped all medication which is brilliant. Please feel free to to ask anything as I found this site my saviour. Take care :) Bella

  • Hi thank you for your reply so reassuring to hear the ablation worked I can't wait to have mine done

  • Hi have suffered A-fib on and off for many years.Ask doctor if you are better off on blood thinners until after your ablation although you will have to come off them a few days before your ablation.Better safe than sorry.Good Luck My A-fib came back after my ablation but unfortunately Im an endurance cyclist(about time I gave it up)

    Chris

  • Thanks Chris due to have another monitor today so going to see if I can go on them until ablation at least

  • Bisoprolol is probably causing tiredness - that and the AF itself. It is scary but you will become more relaxed about it as you get some control and knowledge.

    I had ablation in 2013 and am AF free and meds free since then. I goit my life back

    I am anticoagulated as i am 67 and had suspected TIA although never certain and caused no damage. I was lucky.

    Good luck and try not to worry too much 🍀

  • THANK YOU FOR YOUR REPLY

    THAT IS SO REASSUING. I CANT WAIT FOR ABLATION NOW . NOT SURE HOW LONG I WILL HAVE TO WAIT. I AM A NON DRINKER /NON SMOKER BUT TRYING TO LOSE WEIGHT AS I AM ABOUT 4 STONE OVER .HOPING LIFESTYLE CHANGE WILL FURTHER IMPROVE CHANCES OF ABLATION WORKING

  • mcknightdeb,

    Like you I had very low risk factors when diagnosed, so I would just take an 81mg aspirin when I was in AF. Like you, I was very panicky for the first year until I realized that I wasn't likely to have anything serious develop during my episodes. Gradually, I learned to relax and the episodes were less severe. That said, it took me awhile to get to this place and I wish I would have had the advice and support of people who had been there and understood what I was going through. Everyone here has your back and things will get better in time. You are in good health and should look for good outcomes from this awful stuff in time. The ablation is a wise route, I waited over 7 years to finally go for it and I wish I would have had one right off and not allowed AF to take so many years away from me.

    Steven

  • Hi!

    I was also just diagnosed. I will be seeing my cardiologist for the first time next week. I am a 41 year old female, also at a score of 1, due to gender. I am taking bisoprolol 1.25mg 2x a day, and a daily 81mg aspirin. Believe me when I say that I completely understand your fear! For me it has been debilitating. Stroke seems to be all I think about. But, talking to the wonderful and supportive people on this site has really helped. If you haven't already, please read everything you can here. There is a lot of great info available! Also, I've started seeing a therapist, who is helping me de-stress, with mindful meditation.

    As for your aspirin concerns, I know from research, and from the good people on this site, that aspirin offers essentially no protection for those of us with Afib. In fact it may pose more of a bleed risk than any possible benefit. I remain on it, only because I also have angina-type pains, and I would like the Dr to definitively rule out Coronary artery disease, if possible, first.

    Try also to remember, when it seems overwhelming, that with our score of 1, our yearly chance of a stoke is approximately 1.3%. Conversely our chance of NOT having a stroke is 98.7%! And that is if we are not anticoagulated. If we were, we could cut that risk by about 60%.

    I try my darnedest to focus on these stats!

    Those are pretty good odds :)

    Best of luck

    Jfib

  • Hi Jfib

    also forgot to ask are you going to opt for Catheter Ablation if offered and also are you going to ask to be put on anti coagulants?

    Deb

  • Hi Deb;

    I certainly would go for the ablation if that is a possibility for me. I'm not sure how routinely they are done here. I live in a city with a major cardiac centre, so I hope the option is available. I will enquire about anticoagulants as well. I am a bit concerned about bleeding vs stroke possibility so I would like to see what my Dr says. ( I have a history of GI bleeding).

  • I hope you can have the ablation as I think it seems like best chance of back to normal life

    Like you I am going to speak to doctor about anti coags at next meeting

    Just getting used to these tablets at moment

    They making me feel tired

    I will stay in touch and will keep u posted

    Have a lovely weekend

    Deb

  • Hi Jfib

    I am so grateful when I get an email pop up. I am so grateful for yours as it nearly mirrors mine even though you are younger. I want to get some therapy as I think I need it. I am normally so positive, run my own company am busy but this week I have barely been able to get out of bed. I am not sure if it is the shock of the diagnosis, the new meds , fear of a stroke or combination of it all but I know I cant carry on like this. I have a wonderful family, lovely friends and so much to live for so just need to het my head back in positive mode.

    What therapy have you opted for - anything / anyone you can recommend. Please stay in touch and best of luck with your situation too

    Deb x

  • Hi Deb,

    It really is great to see someone here that you have a lot in common with, Our stories are very similar :)

    I know what you mean, when you say that you feel you can't go on this way... Boy do I! Some mornings when I first wake up, the depression hits me like a brick wall. I just keep telling myself it WILL get better. I figure if I tell myself that often enough, either enough time will pass that it's true, or I will start to believe it!

    My therapist is a psychologist by training who specializes in mindfulness. She teaches guided meditation. It's not really my sort of thing, but my GP recommended her, and I trust my GP. It is certainly relaxing, but I'm not sure it is enough to really get me into the right frame of mind. I'm thinking I really need some cognitive behavioural therapy, to teach me how to think and respond differently to situations. That and I keep falling asleep during meditation, so I'm not sure if it I'm really getting the benefit, lol.

    If you would like to try guided meditation, I found a fairly simple example on You tube;

    There are many examples here to choose from if you find it works for you.

    Again, best of luck to you, and yes please keep in touch! It's great to have people to talk to who really understand what you are going through.

    Jfib

  • Thanks Jfib I will stay in touch I am going to try mindfulness but have to say feeling much better about all of this today now I have spoken to so many people in same situation

    And as one of the team said 1.3 per cent risk of stroke happening also means 98.7 risk of it not this is what I keep reminding myself of

    Trying to stay really positive

    Have a great weekend

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