New to this forum - so glad to read the experiences of others and to see they are much similar to mine. Gives a sense of comfort to hear how others are dealing with AF.
Seven years ago while playing hockey, I had my first real experience with AF. Frightening, to say the least. Since then, I have been in emergency numerous times, most often leaving the hospital with unresolved AF and no controls in place. I have bradycardia and thus, unable to take a large enough dose of metoprolol to keep AF ar bay. I take 6 mg x2 daily, hardly pharmacologically efficient. A larger dose of 12.5 mg x 2 left me symptomatic with heart rate at 35 bpm..
My gp finally got an appointment with an EP. Result: flecainide 50 mg x 2. This controlled the AF for two years until recently. Had a bad bout with the flu - high temperature, nausea, congestion, cough, got dehydrated, unable to eat fir 5 days. In the middle of a particularly bad coughing episode, the AF started. After 12 hours with no conversion, went to ER, cardioverted. Af reoccurred three days later. The attending Drs called the EP. He discontinued the flecainide saying it must not be working and probably more harmful at this point. He told the attending Drs that he woukd see me in his clinic to determine next steps. I returned home from ER in AF - it lasted for two days. Very symptomatic. It is going on two months now -still have not heard from EP. Have called his office numerous times but unable to budge his office assistant. She said she will send out an appointment time in the mail even though attending Drs in ER assumed the appointment woukd be within a week of the ER visit. My gp is very upset with the lack of medical care and with my decision to put myself back on the flecainide without being able to consult the EP. She understands my decision to resume the flecainide - I felt thrown out in left field by the ER with no controls put in place to deal with the AF. My gp has referred me to another EP but the wait list is 12 months.
I am a healthy 69 year old woman - play hockey, go to the gym every day, sleep well, diet is excellent, don't smoke, don't drink, gave up all sweet goods (love sweets but sugar is a trigger for me), gave up my beloved tea and now drink only hot water, just recently had to give up hockey due to AF, eat foods loaded with magnesium, take Vitamin D, fish oil, CoQ10, seeds, nuts, stay away from processed foods - suffice it to say, doing all that I can to stay healthy. I know my triggers and avoid them ie lying on left side, sleep on three pillows, try to keep stress at minimum, no tea, desserts, overeating, etc. Etc. Etc. I am doing all I can to keep healthy and to avoid AF epusides but feel the medical community does not provide the support necessary to those who suffer from AF. I am doing my part. I just want for the EP to stop shrugging his shoulders, develop some empathy, put his expertise to good use, and do his part. My next move is to seek medical help outside my Province - an expensive venture for me. Sorry fir the long post. Thank you for listening.