After suffering with an irregular heart for 10 years, I had been turned away from my GP several times, being made to feel like I was a fraud or told I was just suffering with anxiety or stress (silly hysterical women). After a particularly bad bout in October last year, I was 'diagnosed' with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF) and admitted to hospital with a heart rate of about 210bpm.
I've tried all the drugs the NHS has offered to me, but I am intolerant to them. One Beta blocker made me so tired and drowsy I could not even drive to work...
I have been back to hospital a few times, most recently on Friday. I was offered a cardio-version to shock my heart back to sinus rhythm however I refused as my ablation is due to take place on Wednesday. It has already had such a major impact on my life, I literally cannot afford to take time off of work and so I didn't want to go under general anaesthetic twice in the space of 5 days. I am concerned about the ablation and decided I don't want to be awake for the procedure.
Although I have been living with an irregular heartbeat for a long time, I was ignorant to the risks. Now that I am aware of my PAF I am quite overwhelmed by it all. There are still people around me who simply do not understand, they seem to think I have control over my 'episodes' or I cause them through anxiety or allowing myself to become stressed. It is really tough to explain to people.
I am lucky to have a supportive partner who has been living it all with me, he helps to keep me positive.
I am keen to hear about other peoples experiences with AF and any advice from fellow sufferers.
Thanks for reading,