Locked in Afib, will this be forever!!

I am happy to have found this website because I am dealing with health problems that up until now I knew nothing about and it helps to be able to communicate with others who can share experiences and knowledge. I am a 76 year old woman living in Niagara Area, Ontario, Canada who, up to now has enjoyed good health until this past year or so when my breathlessness led me to the doctor's surgery where I found out my heart rate was dropping to 27 during the night and low 40's during the day as well as skipping beats for as long as 3.5 seconds. Within weeks of finding out I had a pacemaker implanted and was expecting that would solve the problem. Unfortunately, my heart went into Afib as soon as the pacemaker was implanted and I am told remains there 75% of the time. I hope to pick up some hints on how to adjust to this debilitating situation.

16 Replies
oldestnewest

Read upon the AF association pages attached to this site and learn from the discussions here. You will find there is a lot to learn.

Yours is a somewhat unusual presentation, starting as heart block I presume, but maybe others have had similar.

1 like
Reply

Thank you for your reply. It is so good to at least have people I may discuss my problem with.

1 like
Reply

We are mainly in the uk and generally the first port of call is to see an electrophysiologist who specialises is the heart electrics. From there you can discuss your options re meds and/or ablation. Also discuss anticoagulants.

I realise you have other issues so that will probably impact on how you go forward

There is a lot of information on the website as per goldie11's post.

Good luck 🍀 As you move forward

Reply

Thank you for this

Reply

You're welcome.

Just as a PS to your question: is it forever.

I was diagnosed in Feb 2013, had ablation in November 2013 and have no AF since. 🤞

So always hope.

1 like
Reply

I'm happy for your success in conquering Afib through Ablation. I read there are 2 different approaches, surgically or catheter. Which did you have. I would appreciate your sharing more of your experience because I am really scared after my traumatic reaction to having the pacemaker implanted. It makes me wonder if my heart is up to handling more?? I would like to know whether you had surgical or catheter ablation and whether it was performed by a Cardiologist or an EP (Electrophysiologist) and anything else you would be willing to share with me. Thank you in advance.

1 like
Reply

I had a catheter ablation, under general anaesthetic performed by an EP in London. He took me off bisoprolol on the day but I stayed on anticoagulants for life. I had a lot of arrhythmias for about 5 months after, gradually reducing and then stopped. My heat rate stayed up in the high 70s for almost a year but gradually settled down in mid 60s. Since then I feel very well and trying to live a bit healthier. It may come back but it's great to be rid of it now.

I don't know how your PM will impact on your treatment but that's my experience.

Reply

Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It gives me hope. I presume you meant London England. I live in the Niagara Region of Ontario Canada so will have to find out who the EP's are in my area (if any?) and whether or not I can get referred to one. I am 76 and used to being quite active until this experience but now there are days I wonder if I will ever feel "peppy" again. I am very happy for you...

Reply

I am in the GTA of Ontario and although I have not been to it there is a heart clinic in Hamilton at St Joseph Hospital. They have EP's there. You have to be referred by your GP. Google EP (Electrophysiologist) in Hamilton and there website will come up.

1 like
Reply

Thank you for this, I will follow through

Reply

Welcome to the group! As mentioned, the key is to find a good EP (electrophysiologist) who is the expert in the electrical workings of the heart. Cardiologists manage AFib and EP's fix it. Not so unusual to have AF appear after the PM implant as AFib is a reflection of your heart's or your overall health, and with a rate disturbance, often the rhythm disturbance is not far behind. Hopefully they can get you on some medication or discuss an ablation so that you are not in AFib. If you think of AFib as a bad habit that your heart is in, you want to try to break the habit sooner than later. The good news is that it you can still live a full and healthy life with AFib and the key is making sure that you are living a healthy lifestyle. You've had a lot thrown at you. Take a deep breath, find a good EP, and be well.

Reply

Thank you SRMGrandma for putting so simply what I needed to know about EP and Cardiologists. Also for reassuring me that what I am experiencing is to be expected under the circumstances. Love your description of my heart forming a "bad habit" ha! I'm working on following your advice of taking a deep breath and living a healthy lifestyle. Next I'll be looking for a good EP. Wishing you well too...

1 like
Reply

You are amongst friends now sunshine, ask away there is usually someone on the forum with suggestions to offer. Given the time difference someone somewhere is available on the forum to cross the time divide.

1 like
Reply

meadfoot, your comments are very reassuring. Thank you!!

Reply

Hi I have a pacemaker which I am 99% relying on. My story bit different found to have AF had cardioversion lasted a month had failed ablation due to ? Anatomy. Followed up by discovery of cardiac lipoma. Open heart surgery to remove then surgical ablation. Heart never recovered as well as expected. Pacemaker inserted after 9 months set to sixty beats a min. Still breathless on exertion another part activated whereby if I exercise will raise rate up to 125 . Since this I am now able to go to the gym six days a week. So don't give up hope it often takes time to get to a level we can cope with. Good luck

Reply

Your support is encouraging, thanks!

Reply

You may also like...