Hello! New member of the AF club here

Hi everyone,

I had a heart attack in May '17 and was well on the way to recovery after rehab when suddenly last Saturday night my heart rate jumped to 209 and I hit 999 for ambulance.

I was taken to hospital and put on a drip to control the AF but it wouldn't work so they gave me cardioversion on sunday evening and that got me back to normal rythym. Released from hospital on Tuesday and I'm feeling OK. Ive had a few depressing days since then as I've been over thinking things maybe. I'm only 42 and I've got a job interview for a great job with lots of travel involved and I'm scared that should they offer me it I may struggle. The consultant and the nurses said it shouldn't hold me back from living life and doing this job - just get good insurance!

I don't know what type of AF I have. It's all brand new to me. I phoned the Chest Heart stroke association specialist nurses today and they were great.

I'm on apixaban, amlopidine, bisoprolol 7.5 mg, clopridrogel, and statins obviously.

My biggest fear and I'm glad I am writing this as I've been feeling a bit frantic when I say it is this: I live in absolute fear of falling out of synus (regular beats I mean) as it scared the heck out of me more than my actual heart attack. Is every attack of AF like what I experienced on Saturday (heart booming at over 200 and in my mouth)

Thanks for reading my rambled thoughts!



10 Replies

  • Hello Stuart :-) welcome. You must be going through the shocked phase at the moment that all AFers experience . Try not to be too anxious about your condition, it doesn't help.

    Once you have come to terms with what has happened life can go on pretty much as normal but you would be wise to look at your lifestyle to see if any improvements can be made to help your body to cope with AF . Tell yourself you are one of the lucky ones, you have had a warning and are now receiving preventative medication .

    Good luck with the job interview .

  • Thanks Doodle! You're absolutely right about the shock phase at the moment. I'm going to focus on what you mention - I more or less gave up drinking after my heart attack so now I'm pretty comfortable to give it up completely. Diet is the next thing to deal with and shift some weight as I'm 105kgs which isn't good. The specialist nurse said if I can aim to drop 10% that's a good step in the right direction. Thanks for your wishes. Cheers :)

  • Ah Stuart it's a really scary time for you and given the year you have had it isn't surprising you feel unnerved. AF is a mongrel condition and we seem to experience it differently. I for one have your experience and understand completely how it made you feel. Some people never feel their af and its only picked up often by chance while other have your experience and everything in between,

    Have you been referred to an a Electrophysiologist commonly known as an EP, they are cardiologists specialising in heart rhythm issues rather than an ordinary cardiologist who specialises in the plumbing aspect of the heart. If not please ask your GP or hospital specialist who dealt with your heart attack to refer you to one. They can then deal with the arrhythmia identifying exactly what is going on and how best to give relevant treatment.

    Anxiety comes along with AF and little wonder given its often aggressive symptom so please ask for advice on managing emotionally with all you havebeen through his year.

    Read all you can on the af association site to get an in depth understanding about the condition, knowledge is power.

    The vast majority of us feel like you on diagnosis and good support is vital,. We are all here to support you so ask away there is always someone here to respond.

    Best wishes, you will get back on track and if your medics have said you will not be held back from living life to the full then believe them they should know. Take their advice re insurance, the af association lists af friendly travel insurers.

    Accept that right now you feel badly unnerved but you will get back on track and manage the condition, we all do. Be well. X

  • Thanks for such a detailed and considerate response! I am keen to investigate the travel insurance options as I know it'll cost me a fortune but hey, can't go without it!

  • Sorry to hear what has happened. You need proper advice as you are young and don't want meds all your life unless unavoidable. Try and see a good cardiologist who also id an EP- some tend to specialist completely in one or the other and others combine things well, which is what you need at present

    Do let us know how you get on

  • I will do. I haven't heard of an electrophysiologist but I'll be sure to ask my doctor.about it.

  • Gosh stuart 209 bpm must have felt dreadful. I can only reiterate what all the lovely people above have said. These people have helped me through many a dark hour. It is so daunting and anxiety provoking the first time you have AF. I am 39 and have had diagnosed AF (and other arrhythmias) for 4 years. I have symptoms daily and they are severe and sometimes lengthy. But I am absolutely in the minority. My general cardiologist said that he has only encountered 2 people as complex and difficult to control as me and also I am on the complex case list in our Trust. But I DO manage to hold down a full time job and I have 2 young children. The point I am making is that I am in the minority yet I still do have as normal a life as possible so I am absolutely certain you will too:) keep us posted and very best wishes :) xo

  • Your words encourage me to get on with it! Sounds like you've had a tricky time too but I'm hoping things stay settled for you!

  • Stuart, thank-you for sharing your story. I can relate so well with how you have been feeling. I lived in dread wondering when the next A-Fib event would catch me, I was a wreck emotionally. I found an excellent EP, and after trying all the various drug therapies he recommended an ablation!!🎉 I have never in my life be so excited to have a surgery.. All went well, I have been living A-Fib free these past 9 mos, but I might add I don't take that for granted.. what I can tell you is that I finally made peace with having A-Fib and try my very best to live life in the moment and not worry about what if--I wish you all the very best, and you will find your way as well..

  • Thanks so much for your encouragement. I'll ask about this ablation once I start to understand this condition a bit more. So far so good this week though I did feel my pulse going a bit weird this afternoon but it came to nothing.......

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