AF Association
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AF and holiday booked to go to Turkey.

Hello.

I booked my family holiday last year, before my knowing i had AF. I am due to travel in August of this year. Every time i think about going my anxiety levels and panick increase

I am in two minds if i should go as the thought of having an AF attack and not been in England scares the life out of me.

I would like to know if others still travel out of England and if so,how do you manage with the fear of taking AF with you?

I work in a school and over the years have helped a turkish family, in as much as i got invited to dinner at the family home. The mum speaks amazing English and one thought was to ask her to translate a letter i could write up, regarding AF and if i did have an 'episode' whilst in Turkey. I could show to staff and they would make sure i got to A and E.

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I went to Turkey...Istanbul.....about 5 years ago and with Perm. AF.My 30 year old son travelled with me as we occasionally take a hol. together. I also had severe anemia at the time which was being treated.....AND, my GP said, there is a very good American hospital in Istanbul if you really need it' So I went ....for 6 days and all was well. Of course you have to decide for yourself but that was my experience for what it is worth. .

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Thank you. Did you take out extra insurance to cover for AF?

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Should not be a problem to travel. Did last year a trip to Copenhaven and 1 day before flying back it hit me. Hotel organised ambulance, they hooked me up in the car to the ECG, confirmed "yeah its AFIB" and took me to the clinic. Monitored me for 4 hours until I got back into SR, kept me for another 3 hours on mobile monitor and then said I am good to go. Asking the nurse where is the Admin Office so I can pay the bill got me a "what the heck are you talking about" look, followed by "healthcare is free here, have a great day"

Though Turkey might be a bit different from Denmark, they have also plenty of ppl suffering from AFIB and medical experts that can deal with it. Heads up and enjoy your holidays.

Cheers

T

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I never pay much for insurance but admit to AF but in truth I cannot remember. Shop around.I have used Insure and and Go in recent years and Staysure.

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Thank you. I hope you enjoyed your visit to Turkey. I have been going there once a year for the last 12 years, every time to a different coastal region. This year Lara beach which is close to Altalya. I have never been to istanbul as not on the coast. I love the sea.

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If it makes you feel better do a bit of research re hospitals and health centres and how to call emergency services. I do this and find it reassuring. My husband was diagnosed with AF in the Canaries, I already had it! I have been to Italy twice, Lanzarote many times, France, River cruise to Budapest, Italy twice all without incident. I know it's hard , I have to keep my anxiety in check with many strategies. By the way we use All Clear for insurance but my husband as other issues too. Good luck and enjoy Wendyb

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Thankyou. I will look into this insurance company. I also think been able to have a letter translated may help. I am trying hard. At the end of the day i have 2 children. I dont want to let them down.

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The letter sounds a great idea too. Do you always end up in hospital with an episode? I suspect that once you are somewhere you love you will be relaxed and have no problems.

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I had my first eposode i october 16 and admitted to A anE . Followed by another 4 before xmas of the same year. I take betablockers each day and have a pill in the pocket. 200 mg of flecainide. This is the same as i was put on 'the drip'. I had a bad attack earlier this month. Very much stress related. My neighbour called for an ambulance. She is a nurse. I had taken the pill in the pocket. But she had a monitor which showed not good results. To cut a long story short. I ended up. After a few hours. Taking an extra 2.5 beta blocker.

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Hi. I have travelled short and long haul with PAF not permanent- try World First or StaySure as they cover pre existing conditions. I have found meditation (mindfulness) a great help in reducing anxiety ahead of travel - I have some meditation on my iPhone to listen to if I feel I am tensing up. And of course good plan to research hospital where you are staying. As Bob says. We may have afib but it doesn't have us. Enjoy your holiday in Turkey. And forgot to mention- a lot of years ago when my son was very ill on holiday to turkey we had to seek medical help and it Was spot on - as good if not better than UK!!

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hi mandy we use stay sure travel insurance they are very good with my diabetes af high blood pressure for me and my partner to travel to italy for 10 was only £133.00

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I've been to several Greek islands America and Italy with permanent AF if your going to have an episode it will happen home or away. I don't go to a and e as pills have a good outcome for me at present. Do get insurance and be honest with them. Enjoy

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Hi Frills, do you use flecainide for an attack?

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Hi my case bit different I take flecainide twice a day and bisoprolol I now have a pacemaker so between them I mostly on an even keel now

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Insurance is of course vital. I use Allclear as well. Can certainly recommend them . I've recently made a claim for a cancelled cruise holiday due to AF and it was settled very quickly.

I've travelled a fair bit since diagnosis and it hasn't worried me.....wouldnt have much of a life if I did. Only trouble now is that ad the years have passed insurance increases considerably . Make the best of travel while you can.

If you do have an AF episode it doesn't always mean that you would need medical attention. I think your decision to have a letter translated is a good one and will make you feel more relaxed about the whole business.

Sandra

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Thank you.

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Hi Mandy I also translated the apixiban alert card into the local language, as well as all clear insurance.

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Mandy,

I go to Australia fairly regularly and always have done since diagnosed with AF. No sweat. I just pack my drugs, take a copy of my latest most up to date prescription, take my Warfarin INR testing kit ( I self test my INR levels) and just go. I lived in Sydney and Melbourne for many years and so I know which hospitals to go to and of course there are always the GP surgeries I used to attend as well. But that notwithstanding -just check out which hospitals you need to attend if you need to and just go, go, go.

If it helps allay your fears ask the Turkish family lady to do a translation for you.

Remember if you let AF control your life - it bloody well will. If you let fear control your life, it also bloody well will. Go and enjoy.

I have in the past taken out travel insurance and declared my conditions - again no sweat!

May the Force be with you.

John

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Wise words there from John and everyone. If you have not had a lot of experience of AF you will be less at ease than those of us who have had it for a long time. Many of us do travel and my GP encouraged me to do so. I'm glad I took his advice as I've been abroad six times in recent years with no problems instead of staying at home feeling fettered by AF. The more successful trips you have, the less daunting they seem.

Much depends upon the sort of AF you get and whether you often find yourself hospitalised and are the better for it.

PS Like Hidden below, I found visits to A & E were not time well spent.

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I have 'persistent' AF and was due to travel to France and Spain a month ago...was extremely worried about going. Nearly didn't make it on to the plane as in v fast AF and could hardly walk through security checks - but desperate not to let my partner down and kept on thinking about all the money he'd paid for our holiday! Decided to 'carry on regardless' (haha) and in the end we had a very enjoyable holiday, despite another bad episode half way through the week. Just sat it out in our holiday apartment, feeling a bit sorry for myself. On the good days I managed to walk miles, with plenty of little breaks, and we pretty much did everything we had intended to. Very glad that I went. I think it's a great idea to take a translated letter with you...being well prepared will give you more confidence...and it's also good to be able to carry on with normal life or we'd all just sit at home waiting for the next bumpy heart feeling!

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I am in persistant AF and travel the world....please don't let your AF define you. If you let it control you it certainly will. Take your medication, try and relax. Enjoy your holiday.

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I agree with the comments above. I first travelled abroad on my own to the Greek islands only 6 months after diagnosis of paroxysmal AF. My episodes were infrequent but very symptomatic, on two occasions being taken by ambulance to A&E so I was worried about going abroad alone. The advice I was given was to declare it for insurance (I've used Insure and Go, very reasonable premium but never had to claim so can't tell you if that was good or not), take a sufficient supply of medication plus recent prescription in hand luggage in case of loss, check with your medical team what to do in case of an episode (mine was to take extra beta blockers and I was told the maximum to self medicate) and to research how to seek help if need be. I was also advised to avoid alcohol in case this triggered an episode and finally advised to relax and enjoy myself, having taken all reasonable precautions. I followed all advice and had a wonderful stress free holiday. I'm currently in Kos again, five months after successful (so far) ablation and enjoying every minute. Please don't less this pesky AF rule your life.

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We go abroad a number of times a year and have done for all the time I've had AF. I've not been bothered by the worry of going to A&E abroad simply because the few times I went in the UK, they didn't do anything anyhow. So if I had AF at home or away, couldn't see much difference for me, I'd just sit it out.

We have annual travel cover with SAGA with AF declared and covered.

Last time we went to Turkey (Kas), it wasn't me who had problems, it was my wife who came down with viral Meningitis. But she got through it by the time we left. Not sure it was anything to do with being in Turkey, just bad luck I guess.

Koll

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I travel every year with AF, always take out travel insurance for pre-existing illness… Last time I did end up in hospital in Indonesia for nine days but it was a lovely hospital and everyone was sweet and I will travel again this year .

Don't give up your life…

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Don't worry last may I'd booked to go to Spain 2 days before my trip I went into AF and had to be cardioverted. I still went on my hols and I was going alone. So relax and don't worry . Think my daughter was more worried than I was. Remember to tell your insurance.

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You'll be fine. There are good hospitals in Marmaris. The sun swimming and blue skies will all help. Hopefully you have air con. V hot in August !

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Hi ,I am in cyprus at the moment ihave permanent AF ,I went to Indonesia in oct and south goa last xmas ,I always double up on my meds my husband has one lot and I take the other I also suffer from heart failure ,I also take my latest prescription with me I think you should go and enjoy ,and not let AF take over our lives ,I did for the first year, I was diagnosed two years ago ,I have now decided to live life as best I can ,go and enjoy !!

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I traveled 16 states last summer with Af. I would stay close to a hospital and we were having so much fun I never had one attack . I think af is brought on by stress so relax go and have a great time.

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I have travelled to the USA and Canada with AF. I also have other disabilities but as long as you pace yourself and do not let other people push you too hard you will be fine. I used Staysure for my travel insurance and for my upcoming Cruise in September I have used Holiday Essentials. Enjoy yourself.

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I'm going overseas this summer. I have PAF - the kind that comes at random. I am just going to share what my doctor has told me. She gave me a pill in pocket prescription. I have used it about 5 times in last 18 months and my heart goes back into rhythm within an hour. For travel this summer, she also gave me a weeks worth of xarelto (anticoagulant) -in case it never went back into rhythm, I would be protected with an Anticoagulation drug to prevent stroke. I currently just take an aspirin as I have very low chads score for stroke. I have had 2 doctors tell me that before you are a true stroke risk, you have to be in afib for 48 hours so my PIP stops it before it lasts that long. i use to get really freaked out when I have it, but now I just take my pills and not worry. However, I have been thoroughly checked out and given tests to make sure all is ok with heart. Good luck!

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Thank you. I have had all the tests done and my heart is fine. I take betablockers and have the pill in the pocket. I had to go yo a nd e a few weeks ago as the pill in pocket had not worked after one hour. My friend called an ambulance. Once in a and e i was monitored then given another beta blocker. I have never not gone to hospital when i have an attack. Maybe next time i should do at home what the doctors did last time in a and e. I just get so scared and every time dont think i will survive if i dont see someone medical.

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Rhspw ..if what your 2 doctors said about stroke risk only becoming apparent when you have been in A F for 48 hrs so anticoagulant not necessary until then is true, I wonder why so many of us are taking them on a daily basis.

I know that this has been discussed before but current thinking, yet to be disproved, is that once a diagnosis of A F has been made then the stroke risk remains the same regardless of whether you are having an episode or not. I'd like to think this wasn't true but I would rather err on the side of caution. Further, you may have an episode whilst asleep and be completely unaware of it.

Sandra

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hi mandy i have af i travelled to italy by coach last sept and had no problems what so ever are you on medication

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Hi. Yes i take biaspropol 5mg daily. I also have the pill in the pocket if my heart goes out of rhytmn.

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I am celebrating my 50th in Mexico with 20+ friends and family this August. I hear what you're saying, so I made sure my travel insurance covers my condition (the trip was pre-booked prior to diagnosis thank goodness) and that I hatch a plan on what to do if AF strikes - which it has twice in the last two days. Grrrr!

I am studying books on nutrition, so I can be prepared in Mexico for food choices. I will not be drinking any alcohol, as this might be a trigger for me. I will also be looking into spa days or other relaxing pursuits such as yoga, cooking classes, walks, and maybe fun meditation on the beach.

It will be different for me not being able to have cocktails and tequila with the rest. I would like to have other things to look forward to, besides alcohol. I will be feeling better than the rest of the group ;-) Ha Ha!

I refuse to let this disease control me. It's currently still scaring me, but I'm learning all I can about it and preventative measures, such as diet, triggers, exercise, medications, etc.

Af and I are learning to work together to have the best quality of life we can. That includes me enjoying my 50th in Mexico with my friends and family. It was where i met my British husband 10 years ago.

I hope you enjoy your holiday!

Kelli

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