Overwhelmed

I am a new member and wrote my first post last night - at a very low ebb indeed. I got a reply within an hour or so. Then another and another-

I'm overwhelmed.

I already feel more able to tackle the issues attendant to this condition. The mixture of clear advice, life experience, AF insider hints and straight emotional back up has given me a real lift. People really do survive this thing - and thrive, too!

Thank you, thank you, everyone!

8 Replies

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  • I was on the point of replying to your original post when I spotted this. It's great to hear that you are already feeling a bit better, but don't hesitate to post again if you feel down or with any questions you may have.

    There is light at the end of the tunnel so with my Mum's hat on I'll just say, "It'll be alright." - and send a cyber hug.

  • Thank you, Carole. Really.

  • Like CaroleF I have just read through all the replies to your first post. Lots of good advice and a classic example of the support available here on.

    Can I pick up on one point? Your EP suggested that you try to sit out an AF episode rather than use drugs. That is what I have always tried to do but my EP ( very highly rated ) shook his head at that tactic during my recent consultation. He said that after 20 minutes I should take 100 flecainide as a pill-in-the-pocket and to repeat in 3 hours if necessary.

    I am looking for an answer to the following question :-

    Does the heart get into the habit of fibrillating and is it important to stop fibrillation as soon as possible to prevent habit-forming and possible damage?

  • AF begets AF is an old adage Jennydog. The more it can do it the more it wants to which is why AF is almost always a progressive condition.

    Think out of the box for a minute about a river. If it over flows due to excessive rain it may make a new channel ( if you know about physical geography note Ox Bow lakes even) . Once these channels get established by repeated floods they become the main channel .

    The same happens with AF. Rogue impulses start and form a track across the heart by adapting the muscle cells. It is these tracks which have to be ablated but if you can stop them forming in the first place either by drugs or an early ablation they are far easier to deal with.

    This is a very simplified BobD explanation and probably not completely medically correct but you get the idea so the answer to your question is yes.

  • I'm not a medical person but I suspect that your heart does get into the AF habit. I have gym exercise induced AF and a different medical issue meant that I didn't go to the gym for many months. When I returned to the gym I was AF-free for about a month and then my body remembered.

  • My EP told me if I didn't have an ablation I was in danger of going into persistent AF and then I would need Amiodarone (big guns there!!) to help success. I went from 'Do I have to?' to 'How soon?' in about half a second. Before anyone gets alarmed I should say I had had PAF for at least 15 years but I don't think there is a set timescale.

  • I too am a persistent sufferer from PAF (20 years) and I always asked my cardio 'what would you do if I was your mother', and I asked this when Ablation first hit the news, his answer was always NO its in its infancy and has not as yet been proven. As my condition became even more frequent and was instrumental in me having a stroke in 2000 I still didn't rush into ablation until ultimately I succumbed in 2014 hoping to not only rid myself of PAF but to also get off all drugs. For me this wasn't to be, the ablation was a bitter disappointment and I refused further treatments however on this group I have read of many success stories so it does depend, very much, on the individual and their AF. I would not try and persuade people not to have ablation but for me it didn't work, was a waste of time and made me a lot worse than I was before. We have to take into consideration that as time goes by the professionals learn from their mistakes and share info and the service should, as a consequence improve as should technique. We all have to take chances in life don't we and without undergoing this treatment I wouldn't have known whether, for me, it would work or not.

  • Hello Opal, it is always very sad to hear that treatment has made someone worse. I think we do have to be cautious about relatively new 'standard' treatments. When my cardiologist told me the next step for me if the latest medication didn't work would have to be an ablation he smiled and added 'but wait as long as you can because they'll get better at it!' There are plenty of examples of procedures which have turned out badly when done by the 'wrong' person or not tested enough by the company pushing the related equipment. As it turned out the medication prescribed then had the effect of slowing my heart too much so my choice was limited.

    I don't know your circumstances so can't urge you not to give up, but I wonder if a rethink might not be helpful?

    Best wishes, Julia

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