Well it is one year, post my ablation, and I thought it would be good to share how I am doing, and what my experience was like. In a hope that it is helpful to others. It is just my experience and others may have very different experiences.
I live with chronic pain, and I think that made things somewhat harder for me and my recovery in the beginning. The reason is that people who live with chronic pain often have 'pain sensitisation' which means that they feel pain more acutely than others, because their nervous system has become better at sending pain signals to the brain. Meaning things like ablation can cause more pain.
I had my ablation on the 13th October last year. In the run up I had been really anxious but then the AF made me anxious too. I was so pleased to get it over with that I had not put much thought into what it would be like afterwards. I got a friend to come and stay with me for a couple of weeks but that was about it.
The Dr was lovely, the theatre where it was done was fascinating and I felt very very reassured by all the professionals in the theatre. I remember the procedure up to just about when they ablated me and I got the worst brain freeze I have ever had. This I am told is common with cryo ablation.
I then came to in the recovery area with my partner and friend who had come with me for the day. I had a lot of intense chest pain and they gave me some morphine which helped a lot.
The pain after was more in my leg, where they had inserted the catheter. I had to keep a weight on it for a couple of hours in the hospital.
In the days after the bruise was spectacular and quite painful, as was the ongoing chest pain. I was reassured that this was very normal and nothing was wrong.
The pain in my leg continued and it turned out that I had a rare but not unheard of vein infection - some antibiotics sorted it out and the pain in my groin went over the course of about 3 - 4 weeks.
The chest pain continued but faded slowly over about 3 months. I also had some irregular heart beat for the first week or two but that settled as well.
Grasping the nearest Oak tree, I have been AF free since my surgery and I have to say that I feel so much better. I have more energy, and I am less breathless - as well as not having that awful feeling of my heart flip flopping away inside me.
If it comes back, my Dr has said he would need to do a RF ablation and that it would be done under a general. I hope it does not or that it is a long time away. But I would not hesitate to have it done again if needed.