recently diagnosed with AF

i was diagnosed with AF just before August Bank holiday weekend after a visit to my GP as i was feeling out of breath and no energy. I am 58, overweight and hypothyroid so thought it was that. After anECG my GP sent me to A&E and i ended up all bank holiday weekend on monitors and meds to try to lower my heart rate to under 100. I never realised at the time it was flutterings i was feeling. I came out with my meds which i have taken since, and could still feel flutterings some of the time, and then had a cardioversion last Tuesday. It worked and i am feeling that i have so much more energy, I am still on the meds.

I am now constantly worrying about it going back to the fast rate, and flutterings, as reading on here it seems to happen to most people. What's the average time it lasts? Can anyone advise what i should and shouldn't do? I am not super fit like you cyclists etc. I'm thinking more of walking and lower key exercise. Doctors say just carry on as normal but i worry i may make it come back by doing something i could avoid. I feel like i'm watching my breathing, taking blood pressure and in fact becoming a bit neurotic maybe! Finding this all a bit nerve wracking!

Thanks.

8 Replies

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  • Hi and welcome, you have found a fantastic, supportive group.

    Firstly - that is how everyone feels when first diagnosed.

    Secondly - younask some good questions

    Average time - anything from a few seconds to being in AF 100% of the time.

    Shoulds and shouldn'ts - go to the AFA website and download and read all you can about that. They also produce a very helpful folder you can ask them to send to you.

    A very few - look at lifestyle and see how you might improve it? Nutrition - I see a nutritionist which has helped a lot, alcohol, supplements etc.

    Sleep - if you have any suspicions about sleep apnea then do get tested as it is one of the biggest underlying conditions linked to AF. Any broken sleep will affect your overall health and wellbeing - at least 6 hours and preferably 8.

    Treat any underlying conditions such as diabetes, thyroid etc - keep well managed.

    Address the anxiety - stress will be the biggest contributing factor so get some strategies in place - breathing techniques, relaxation, Mindfulness, Yoga, Music, Singing - anything that brings that 'ahh' to your body as it relaxes.

    Exercise - you have at - over exercising is a trigger for AF - regular, slow and steady which increases the heart rate in a controlled manner.

    Do as your doctor advises - carry on as normal. I have had AF episodes in the weirdest places, they are uncomfortable but not life threatening but they may feel like it.

    Know when you need medical attention and when you can comfortably sit it out at home - or wherever you are - I'm currently in Spain.

    Read previous threads and keep reading and posting and you will get to see the very wide range of AF, experiences of people living with it, managing it and treatments.

    It is all new right now and there is an adjustment period but you are amongst fellow sufferers who have been where you are now and come through and living with AF - 10 years and counting for me.

    Best wishes CD.

  • Can't add anything else to that!

  • Cardioversion s tend to work longer the earlier they are administered as the heart gets "used" to the unusual pattern and, the longer it uses that path the more difficult it is to get it back to normal. You are lucky on that front as you seem to be treated very quickly, whereas I have had three over the years which only worked for a few days.

    This is a great site so keep coming back with queries, but don't research too much on your own, especially in the middle of the night. 😀, and remember that we are all unique so no other person's experience will be exactly yours.

    You'll be fine. We all are, and there are thousands of us, if not millions worldwide.

  • I have never been offered a cardio version and am not even on anticoagulants. I saw a cardiologist, had ECG and holter monitor,which confirmed paroxysmal AFgiven meds then taken off their appointment list!I queried that,to no avail,then had a year later ( last week) had to go to cholesterol clinic as read ing was 10.5. She referred me straight away back to cardio! She was very good,and I was pleased!

  • Hi Poppyred,

    Yes, it is a shock when you are diagnosed with AF and I can only echo what others have already told you. Hopefully, you have a supportive GP who will guide you through the initial feelings of panic and lack of control to a point where you will be able to feel more optimistic. This is essential. You may continue be anxious and more aware of what your heart is (or is not) doing at times but you will get used to the new situation and make changes to your life-style to enable you to tackle your condition more positively. This website is a great place for advice, support and information. In the coming months I sincerely hope you find a way through your current feeling of helplessness and become more optimistic about the future.

  • Thank you for the replies. I don't know anyone with this and it helps hearing from others that have it. I am feeling like this is it for life now. I have a lot of stress at the moment that probably doesn't help.

    And yes it was the middle of the night!! ha! Worse time when it's all quiet and time to dwell on it.

    I have a fit bit and was amazed how it shows when this seems to have started in the summer as my sleep stopped being in detail (at the time i just thought i'd pushed wrong button or done something to it as i'm not technical) but since my cardioversion it once again shows my sleep in detail.

    I know I must just get on my with my life as much as possible and ill get there in the end. I know it's early days.

    Lots of help and information here, thanks again.

  • You should ask to be referred to an EP - that's a cardiologist who specialises in the electrics of the heart. They will probably put you on 24hr monitor to check how often you are having episodes. You can then discuss with them the best way forward, including the option of ablation.

    My EP gave me the choice of going down a meds route or opting for early ablation. I chose ablation. That was almost 4 years ago and i am AF free since then. Good luck 🍀

  • I was in AF continuously. meds only kept it in control part of the time. It's only 4 days since my cardioversion and so far i'm ok. I have an appt to have the 24 hour monitor on 24 Oct.

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