Post ablation thinking

Hi again - not wishing to be a bore but trying again. 2 weeks since cryo ablation. Physically ok. Starting to take exercise and really want to get back to fitness, I'm 68, male and lifelong sporty. However, what's worrying me is that my head is like cotton wool, I have longish episodes, daily, of mild confusion, migraine type symptoms including dull or stabbing headache (but not full on migraine strength thank goodness) and too frequent visual disturbances. I've been told it's likely due to the heart puncture and will clear with time. Any practical advice please? Thanks.

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  • Listen to your body. It is very early in your recovery. You can get fit again once you are better but understand this may be a few weeks or even months yet.

    The migraines, brain fog etc are all quite normal as I am sue many here will attest. Don't try to be a hero or you risk undoing all the good work that has been done. Try to accept that your body has had serious trauma and needs time. rest and patience.

  • You're right of course Bob. However, physically I feel ok to do some exercise although as you say I'll take it easier than normal. It's my fuzzy state of mind that's slowing me down! Occasionally I'm sharp but too often mildly confused and dull, and not able to enthuse or concentrate. Sometimes, especially with the visual disturbances kicking it too I just need to lie down and pass out for up to an hour, then I feel tired for the test of the day too. I'm looking for ways to cope with that. Meditation and mindfulness helps!

  • I had very similar experience with my brain and visual migraines after my cryoablation last year.

    I was told it is due to the puncture from right to left side of heart like you, and also learnt form my one year "trial" review of the new "quicker, deeper, longer freeze" that it can also "freeze your brain" for a wee bit too! Makes sense to me now as I could not even spell for a few months either! (Am mildly dyslexic and it made me feel like I had lost all the strategies I had gained over the years to cover it up!!) I took it all very slowly and carefully for 3 to 6 months as although I too like exercising, there was no way I was going to take any risks of not letting my ❤️ Have a chance to heal properly as not keen to have another one if I can avoid it. Be patient and reading advise from Bob and many other lovely people on this site, it is well worth really listening to your body and sit back for a bit and enjoy the pleasures of an AF free life if you are lucky enough too!

    Best wishes

    Sarah

  • Thanks Sarah. It's bern two weeks since the op. Things are beginning to improve. I've had 36 hours now of less migraine symptoms. I'm not assuming it's over as I know migraines! However, it is encouraging. The visuals continue but more episodic, flashes and aura-like disturbances. As long as I'm not at risk of damaging myself I am exercising. I bought a heart monitor before the op and was starting to use it. It's really good now of course and I feel I am able to push up my heart rate without the risk of it going over 80% of normal for my age and assuming that's ok. Keep me updated, I'd like to hear. Colin.

  • Glad all settling down day by day for you Colin.

    My "visuals" went on for about 3 weeks and like you, went after an hour or so. I just lay down, turned on the radio, and kind of dosed through them. I think the freezing really effects the brain for some of us but does pass after a relatively short while. I do think that it is worth taking the exercise increase very slowly and carefully as from what I have read here, and in researching the procedure and being able to have a chance to ask lots of questions, (as seen quite regularly still as I am on a "Reasearch Trial"), is that the after care is not really very well thought through to be honest and we are all very different as to how our body copes with this procedure. I have been pretty much AF for just over a year now and as I said have only really started to improve my stamina for exercise for the last 3 months or so. I think I had lost lots of my aerobic fitness with out realising, as had AF on and off all day , most days, for previous couple of years. Increasing my heart rate always kicked the AF off despite drugs (that prob were not strong enough to be fair, but they made me feel soooo tired all the time!) it is so wonderful to be drug and AF free that I suppose I have been cautious and careful in building my body up again relatively slowly. You are obviously much, much fitter and have not lost that so hope all goes well but remember to rest up too even when you don't have a migraine.

    With good wishes

    Sarah

  • Things are definitely improving Sarah. My chest frequently feels sort of cold, like I've had a Slushy but my general outlook is better by the day. The flashes and other visuals are a little less frequent and the knowledge that any episodic symptoms I have will fade in an hour or two helps me pay less attention to them and be positive. I really have no idea if the ablation was a success however as my AF is/ was occasional and cardio said 'it's a success if the AF doesn't come back'. Fair enough I guess. Fingers crossed.

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