Just need some hope

Hey all,

It's been 8 months since my last afib attack. Well, it's the last that I know of. My first attack only lasted a few hours, and it corrected on its own. It totally changed my life, for better or worse. My life for the past 8 months has been consumed with fear of the next attack. Any sensation, skipped beat, fast heart rate sends me into an anxiety attack. It's like all I think of. I'm still functional. I work, I eat, I hang out with friends sometimes. However, most of the time I'm just at work or home because I'm scared of the next attack. I've been doing all the things: no caffiene, more exercise, therapy twice a week, and a DBT group on Wednesdays. But nothing stops this nagging fear of the next attack.

How do you cope? How do you tell the noise in your head to shut up?

Tomas

15 Replies

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  • So sorry to read your worries. I think we all suffer to some degree and all I can say is who is in charge. Life goes on and you are unlikely to die from AF. Maybe you need to have some more attacks to get used to them as often the fear is worse than the reality.

    Don't let AF rule your life please.

    Bob

  • if you do all you can- as you are- to keep healthy and avoid triggers- then the best thing is to work out what you will do if you have another episode- as Bob says, it's almost as if, if you were more used to it you would cope better- that's because it's fear of the unknown at present. Have a plan for what to do and then forget all about it. If your Chads vasc score is such that you should be anti-coagulated, make sure you are- the other aspects of AF are not life threatening so keep that in mind

    Also, people on this forum answer almost straight away so you are NOT alone!!

    People will be tired of me mentioning this but I have found it very helpful to eat potassium rich food- I noticed my potassium was below range when in A and E with AF. I upped the potassium ( and my GP added in a magnesium supple to keep the balance right) and I haven't had an episode for 5 years. Jack potato has a quarter of amount needed per day- bananas, salmon, coconut water, and loads f fruit and veg!!

    Good luck

  • Thank you so much! That's helpful to read. I have been taking a magnesium supplement and have been eating more bananas and salmon. It's good to read that those things have helped you

  • sorry should read no AF for three years not 5 !!

  • Sorry to hear of your anxiety. To a greater or lesser extent most of us have been there.

    I think RosyG s advice to work out in your mind what you would plan to do in the event of another attack and then try to put it to the back of your mind, is very sound .

    I've had AF for over 24 years and have a permanent hospital bag packed . ...been admitted so many times but still remember the anxiety in the early days.

    Best wishes

    Sandra

  • Thanks everyone! I think the hardest part has been the mental piece. When I think back to my first episode, it was horrifying because I had no idea what was going on. But once I settled down, the physical sensation wasn't that bad. Yeah, I hope to not have to experience another attack for a long while, but I do get the idea of experiencing it more will maybe help me get used to the feeling. Anyway, thanks!

  • Please don't let AF take over your life and believe I know it is easier said than done, it's true that you never know if the next one is around the corner but you need to enjoy life go out, make plans look forward to planning a day out or a holiday but worrying when the next is going to be will drain you and exhaust you meet it head on 😀

  • Planning for an episode sounds like a very good way of dispelling some of the anxiety. You will be much more in control if there isn't an instant panic as you know what you are going to do. You don't want to waste another eight months do you?

    Very best wishes

  • I can fully understand your anxiety T.I can fully remember when I had my first attack.(20 years ago) I was on holiday in a resort town and I ended up in the hospital with Afib.Stopped within a few hours, but I spent the next 6 months in total fear of it happening again. Such was my fear I sold my home and moved to an apartment next to a hospital!!! I was in the emergency room within 5 minutes of my second episode, which only lasted about an hour. From then on with the help of my doctor I gained a good education on just what this beast was and began to realise that whilst this was annoying, with the right treatment (anticoagulants etc) I was able to start to gain some confidence and regain control of my emotions.

  • Hi

    I do so know that feeling as do many here who have given us words of wisdom and hope, Take a step at a time to build your confidence while stretching your mental stride doing physical things..it does work!! And eating well and resting too, and gentle outdoor exercise.

    AF returned recently after ablation number 3 over nine months ago, and I have gone bang back into the zone you mentioned above. So a little walk today...living on your own does not help but I have a network of folk I can call now, and never go out without a mobile phone!

    I have booked transatlantic crossing to US in 3 weeks time, so not sure if I have the confidence to do it after AF coming back.....will see!!

    Keep positive...it certainly helps!!

    Ann

  • do hope you can go Ann- are you very symptomatic when in AF?

  • Hello. This is the first time i have posted on here. I am 48 and was diagnosed with AF in October 2016. Had to be rushed into hospital. I had another 4 attacks between then and December 2016. I am or was in good health no blood pressure problems. Not over wieght. Do not smoke and only drink alcohol in moderation. I also do not drink coffee. I was however under a lot of stress last year. We had some major work done on our house and was living there whilst this was been done. Since october i have hardly slept.as as soon as i lie down my heart starts to thudder. I also had all my attacks whilst asleep. Last week i had another AF attack. This time i was awake. I have had to take time off work as i felt i was having a break down. The stress of having this condition has really taken its toll on my mental well being. The medicine i take is biasprolol. I only score 1 so not on anything for my blood. I have been reading about ablation. Do you think i should have this done or is it to soon for me. I have two children and i just want to go back to how i was before the first attack in october. Thanks for taking the time to read this.

  • Hey there, you posted this as a reply and not on the general posting area. You might want to post there to get more replies.:)

  • I am so sorry. I have now posted on the right area.

  • Hi, do you have a cardiologist who has identified afib? I know health insurance can be a big problem for American people (I'm Australian) but make sure you have adequate insurance. And make sure you have a doctor and a cardiologist you feel comfortable with.

    Some ideas for you.

    (1) have a plan for what happens if you go in to afib. Work this out with your doctor or your cardiologist. And do exactly what they say.

    (2) Join Facebook groups which might also be a source of info and support from other sufferers.

    (3) be very kind to yourself and put effort into your diet and nutrition and discuss supplements which might help such as Fit D, Magnesium and Potassium.

    (4) watch videos (Youtube) by Sanjay Gupta for his knowledge and approach. he is a cardiologist based in the UK.

    (5) Keep working on your emotional and psychological health and make sure you sooth yourself with your own conscious words and thoughts - you are the one who is ultimately in charge of your body, so if you need to, be your own nurse and be kind to yourself.

    (6) While you are feeling well physically, find ways to enrich your life.

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