New Boy on the Block

Another newbie. Just got diagjosed by the doc a few hours ago. Just been put on 2 x 1.25mg tablets of Bisoprlol before another doc appt on Wednesday. Echo tests on heart to follow with decision to be made on my whafrin doses.

Feel pretty down at mo. I am a regular cyclist and my cycle home often drew admiration from walkers as to how I climged the steep hill home. I often do a pub cycle as I like a drink plus i love travelling which involves air travel.

Today I feel all are three under threat. Sorry to post a downer. I am 64 after all so maybe I should not expect more.

I am normally a cheery fellow btw :-)

Leighton

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Hi Leighton! Take a deep breath. A new diagnosis of AFib can feel overwhelming for sure. The good news is that you are likely to be able to continue biking, as that is great aerobic exercise to keep your heart healthy, and air travel is fine too! The occasional drink may be fine for you, but if it a trigger for AF as it is for some, then that might need a bit of an adjustment. Get your echo, find a good electrophysiologist to manage the AFib, and generally try to eat a heart healthy diet, get good sleep, and manage stress and you will find you can live a wonderful life around the AFib. Be well.

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Thank you so much for that . I can see I am not the only one on here feeling a bit overwhelmed by the diagnosis but your comments have helped so much and I would think anyone else reading your reply.

Thanks again x

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I'm also a cyclist, but have let AF restrict me as I was getting recurrences of AF on longer faster rides. However these were aborted by flecainide pill in the pocket.

My comment would be try to keep cycle fit but accept that you may bot be able to be so competitively fast. See if you can recognise your triggers for AF and hope that fast cycling is not one of them

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I am not sure what triggered my AF. I had something similar about 20 years ago but stopping smoking , particularly cigars, and cutting down on caffeine cured that. Over a couple of days s previously I did lift some heavy weights and pulled a muscle in my shoulder and chest. I also did a cycle hill climb home which I had done the previous week. Felt a bit tired as it is not the usual run I have done recently. Just felt good so gave it a go. The only other thing was two pints of cider which I never drink normally ;-) it is all a mystery. I am still in AF, for the last 24 hours, but I have a BP of 118 / 78 with a heart rate of 81. Normally HR is around the 60s so the Beta Blockers are working. I was 120 in the docs.

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You may need to adjust your cycling a bit, but unless you have co-morbidities I suspect you will be able to continue in much the same way as before - just being a bit more careful and perhaps taking a bit of medication. Check your CHAD2VAS2 score and if you are able, look at the recent research on anticoagulation. I find it a bit surprising that your cardiologist is discussing warfarin, when new-generation anticoagulants are available.

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I have only had one appointment with the doc. And that was yesterday. She was the one that mentioned Warfarin and its possibilities. Not seen a cardiologist yet so you could be right and the advise will differ from that option. I atready take 75mg of asperin along with my 10mg BP tablets. The object for me is to try and avoid walking round with a Tupperware box full of pills God willing I would like to leave that for a bit later on in life :-)

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If you have high blood pressure and AF it may be worth swapping the aspirin for apixaban 😎 But a good cardiologist will know - optimal treatment depends on your CHAD2VAS2 and HAS-BLED scores.

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Thanks again. My BP medication has been a massive success. Probably a tad too much the other way. I was on 10mg of Amlodipine. This plus my new 2x1.25mg of bisoprolol Has resulted in me turning in 105/70 by with a pulse of 89.

Think I will ask doc tomorrow to at least consider reducing the former. Whilst feeling better I am light headed and tired.

I will certainly ask about swapping the aspirin and I will get the wristband as suggested by John Boy

Regards both, Leighton

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I was diagnosed whilst working in Namibia for VSO and wrongly told by the visiting South African cardiologist that AF would shorten my life by at least 10 years. I was on my own without family and went into panic mode, so I do emphasise. You will adjust and be grateful that you are being treated and less likely to have a stroke. I have never let it dictate to me, although I have slowed down. I travel long haul flights most years and mid and short haul frequently. Let us know how you get on.

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As usual thanks to everyone. You are all so kind. Once my experience increases I hope I might be able to provide some input as well. :-)

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Hi Leighton,

Good to hear from you. Like a lot of us I suspect, finding out you've got Afib comes as a big shock but try to be as positive as you can as life will go on with lots to enjoy. You may have to make some changes to your lifestyle (I have given up alcoholic drinks apart from a small tipple on very special occasions but have discovered that there are some very good low alcohol beers out there) but I'm still active and travel extensively.

Hopefully you've got a good network of friends and family as well as a sympathetic GP who will support and guide you through this. Keep going - you will survive and thrive!

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Welcome to the forum. I am 70, a long-time cardio bunny and last year I had a full stroke, but I'm back in the gym and contemplating buying a Concept 2 rowing machine. It sounds as though - like me - your AF may have marginally reduced your power output on the bike but you haven't taken a big hit. Medical text books quote 30% power loss during AF, but mine reduced from 20% to around 8% to 10% measured on my Cyclops turbo trainer and data from a Concept 2. I have exercise induced AF and my heart rate can hit 200bpm (235bpm on the Bruce Protocol test) and I only notice it on my Polar HRM. You may find it instructive to get referred for a Bruce protocol stress test, but if you do, you must mention that you are cardio fit so they prolong the test.

I had a stroke as I was a bleed risk and an EP recommended that I shouldn't take an anticoagulant; 18 months later I had a stroke and so belatedly I have to take an anticoagulant. Don't take the risk of a stroke by not taking an anticoagulant. Once you're taking an anticoagulant be aware of a hidden bleed if you come off your bike, particularly if you hit your head. Amazon UK sell plastic wrist bands for under £6 with "Anticoagulant" and the name of the medication on them to inform medical staff if you can't speak.

If you live in the UK or USA your clinician should have access this year to a short video called "John Knight Story" featuring someone with AF who takes an anticoagulant and lives an active life.

There are several of us on this forum who are cyclists / runners / do gym cardio. There are even occasional discussions about Karvonen and other heart rate training formulae. Come back and chat, you are not alone!

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Again many thanks my friend for taking so much trouble to reply. It is very much appreciated.

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I'm on 2.5mg of Bisoprolol too, but I've been able to continue cycling pretty hard, so it needn't create too much disruption (although I've not had a bout of AF for nearly 2 1/2 years now): done over 3k miles this year, with more than 300k ft of climbing, which has included a lot of hard climbing done relatively quickly (I largely cycle in the Peak District, which is hilly). I'm 43, so younger than you, and not on anticoagulants. But I also felt like a lot was under threat when I first got diagnosed; and although it will doubtless kick off again sometime, there can definitely be lots of activity even after you've been told that the AF has landed.

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Hi Leighton, a belated welome to the club you didn't wanna join!! Lot's of good advice as usual from the folks on the forum and it sounds as if you have a supportive GP with good knowledge about AF so it looks like you will will be put on a treatment plan once the facts are known about your condition. AF is so variable, and no 2 people have the same issues. I strongly suggest that you read all the information you can about AF on the AFA webpage as it will help you understand the condition and prompt you to ask all the important questions we forget sitting opposite a consultant!

Exercise is great, but I suggest in moderation in ALL things until you get a clearer picture (literally) from the echocardiogram and other tests. Of course you have concerns about travel etc etc.....we all did and the good news is many continue to enjoy doing all the things they enjoy doing. As SRM says, an Electrophysiologist (EP) the best type of cardiologist to see as they specialise in all types of arrythmias so good luck and let us know how things progress......John

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