Wow! (Not really a good wow)

So, I think I've felt my very first Afib occurrences, last night and today. When I was diagnosed, it was an accidental discovery, and I really didn't feel anything.... but today, wow!

It felt like my chest did a sudden dramatic lurch, and immediately my body went into panic mode. This very Strange sweaty, lightheaded sensation followed. It kind of felt like my pulse would speed up, then slow down. Does this sound like what happens for you? Last night I had a similar experience, and I could actually feel my pulse being very irregular.

Holy smokes! I get that someone could pass out from that. I'm so glad I will be seeing my cardiologist in s couple of days. Wow! That is awful. Felt like I was about to die.

28 Replies

  • Hi, it does sound like it. It is scary but try not to panic. You often notice symptoms more when you are more aware of the heart. Good that your appointment is so soon.

  • Thanks for the response, yes I really need to try to calm down, I was just surprised by the intensity of it! Hopefully next time I can take it in stride a little more.

  • Yes. Sounds like it. How long did it last?

  • I am very fortunate that they only lasted about 5-10 minutes. I feel incredible empathy for you folk who have it for hours or days!!

  • if you feel very ill it's best to go to A and E to check what is happening. Better safe than sorry !

  • Thanks Rosie;

    I was actually there yesterday, with chest pain that would not resolve. They were very thorough, and My heart passed muster, which is why I presumed that this must be the Afib rearing it's ugly head. Also, I was given a GI cocktail containing lidocaine while I was there, as they felt the chest pain was probably GERD related. I had read that lidocaine and stomach irritation can both be triggers for Afib, so I wondered if that was the case for me.

  • good to hear you were OK Those factors can influence AF but the general symptoms need checking if they happen again I think

  • Definitely ! Fortunately I am seeing my cardiologist this week. It will be my first visit, so I will probably talk his ear off!

  • I agree Rosy. Any symptoms I ga have ever had which digress from my usual symptoms I always get checked out.

  • It's just hard for me to know what is normal, since it is all new. Today I had another spell, I noticed my Fitbit numbers were jumping all over the place, then I felt suddenly very nauseous and sweaty. It passed after 5 minutes or so, but felt wiped out after.

    I guess I'm just trying to determine what is normal.

  • I understand exactly what you mean. But since this is all new you are still kind of in the diagnostic stage or not?? Personally I would continue to get anything new checked. That is not said to cause you more anxiety. But I was told 3 and a a half years ago after a 15 hour fast AF episode (my first ever long one) that is was "probably a one off". A week later I was admitted to CCU again and it was diagnosed that I also had atrial flutter. On another occasion I went to hospital with new symptoms I was diagnosed with SVT. On another occasion where is sweated profusely and vomited during a violent episode I went to hospital and my EP then diagnosed that it was all vagally mediated. So every investigation has filled in the gaps and helped with deciding appropriate treatment plans. It is a horrid journey at the beginning of diagnosis. But it does get easier and less scary. I promise xxx

  • Thanks Vony :) I really appreciate your responses. I can see this is going to be quite the journey...can't say I am super excited to go on, lol. It's interesting (but not good) to know that even one person can experience Afib in different ways. A bit of a funny story, I had an appointment with my therapist today, only to discover that she also has Afib. I asked her if she did the relaxation techniques she is teaching me now when she is having an attack. She said no, it caused her too much anxiety so she takes an Ativan!! Lol!

    I guess everyone deals with it differently.

  • Oh my goodness how weird that your therapist has AF too.. And so honest of her about the relaxation exercises lol. Paradoxically, when I am in AF, relaxation makes it worse... Another of the weird vagal phenomenon for me. So I am almost better with slight activity during an episode as long as I am not too breathless or presyncopal. I really take a lot of comfort from this forum. Hopefully you will get an effective treatment plan and this all will not be too bothersome for you. But one piece of advice my EP gave me early on was not to be consumed with thoughts about AF and to enjoy and live your life as normal when you are not having symptoms. Keep us posted and sending you positive thoughts :) xx

  • Sorry to hear that it is so scary and frightening you just want it to go away

    I hope you are taking lots of rest and are starting to feel a bit better

  • Thanks! Super scary! Can't wait to see my cardiologist.

  • But you won't die and yes it can be WOW but strange to say.... you get used to it.

  • This will sound strange, but I REALLY hope I get used to it!! Wow.

  • That is not what I meant at all, of course I don't hope you get used to it!

    We all hope we don't have to get used to it but after the shock (yes I have been there) subsides, you learn about this condition and you accept that it is not going to go away, it is then you learn to adapt. You learn coping strategies and you stop panicking, but it does take some time.

    Wishing you all the best CD

  • Another symptom for many people is the need to Pee to Olympic Gold medal standard every ten minutes.

  • Lol! The adrenaline I'm guessing? That happens when I have my sinus tachycardia too. Silly body, it's not like you have anything more pressing to worry about when your heart has gone mad!

  • Sounds spot on to me, plus increased passing urine, indigestion, so frightening. Glad to hear you have an appointment, I wrote down everything that happened, including time and the cardiologist found it very useful. Good luck 🍀

  • Yes! Indigestion definitely. I tried to eat afterwards, but my stomach was having none of it. I've started my list for the cardiologist as well. Poor fellow, it's my first visit so I will probably overwhelm him.

  • I have that too. It is called 'symptomatic' AF. For 3 weeks I had no 'episodes' and then last night, I had one as I was walking to a friend's for supper. I felt my heart racing, felt dizzy and light-headed and luckily, found a bench I could sit on and rang my friend, who came to pick me up by car as I couldn't walk (10 minutes' walk away). It is so scary. I am wondering why, suddenly this happened, as I'd been feeling so good that I though my AF was over and would not need the catheter ablation in a couple of months (to be scheduled). I too, have felt that I was going to die. My cardiologist says that I am not! It makes me feel better to hear that but at the time, you forget! It is a scary thing this atrial fibrillation. I am on Bisoprolol and Rivaroxaban.

  • I'm so sorry that happened to you, especially after you had those good few weeks! Very frustrating. It is very hard to believe you aren't going to die in that moment, but I am going to work on it!!

  • I had taken (the night before) a laxative, and am wondering if the upset stomach it gave me (really bad during the day) caused the effect on my heart???

  • Yes! A flare up of IBS/diverticulitis upsets my heart very noticeably.

  • I am very new to AF, but I have a bit of experience with sinus tachycardia, and I know for me, any illness or extreme body discomfort could definitely bring on an episode. Perhaps in that way they could be similar?

  • It is so 'good' (helpful maybe a better word) to read other people's experiences. I have been told off when going through my symptomatic AF, and been told to 'stop panicking'! But when it is happening it is a reaction to my heart thumping, chest pain on occasion, light headedness and feeling of total loss of control and it is true, maybe going to die! Why can't people be more understanding? Those that are looking on - they have no idea - I am not actually having a panic attack but yes, I do start to worry about blacking out and never waking up! It helps to see I am not the only one feeling that way, as I know some people do not even know they are having AF - i.e. no symptoms. The symptoms are scary. Mine vary too. I used to have AF for up to 2 hours, and now - more recently, just a few minutes! What is going on?

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