AF Association
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EXPECTATIONS FROM AF TREATMENT

I notice a lot of frustration and disappointment expressed by many members regarding the results of their AF treatments. Feeling negative or pessimistic about our health condition only makes it worse. No everything in health has to do with drugs and medical procedures, there is also an impact from our mental attitude, because mind ind and body are inseparable. Most of the frustration from our members comes from their failed expectations. In life nothing is perfect or predictable. We have to be realistic with our expectations. If we want a complete and permanent cure for AF, we all going to feel disappointed and angry. The naked truth is that there is no absolute cure for AF at this time. The goals of current treatment consists in achieving two things,

1-Prevention of stroke

2- Improvement of quality of life.

Quality of life doesn’t mean to be in constant NSR, it only refers to preventing feeling as bad as if you had no treatment at all. This of course, will vary from person to person, because not everybody has the same severity of illness. For some, will be to have the lowest number of episodes of AF, for others with permanent AF, to have the least discomfort. Since we can’t get rid of AF, we have to accept it as if we had no choice but to live with a noise neighbor. We can only expect that he won’t bother us too much by building a soundproof divider. But since he will always be next door, there will times when the divider will not isolate us completely from his presence. Therefore, we will have to create a pacific coexistence in order to continue with our lives. At least our neighbor is only noisy and not a mass killer.

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Thoughtful and timely.......thanks for posting. “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” (Max Planck)

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Exactly, that is a part of stress management techniques. Many times we get stressed out because of false premises or misconceptions. By changing the way we look at things, the body can save large amounts of adrenaline and cortisol that can make AF worse.

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Yes. Accepting of the condition (which doesn't mean giving in), but keeping a positive mindset - that's the way to go I think. Though that can be hard to do I know particularly in the early stages after diagnosis.

(I like the noisy neighbour analogy :-) )

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If he were my neighbour I would be a killer! Joking apart I agree that positive attitude is king. As I often tell people AF won't kill you but it will change your life sometimes if you let it for the better. Life style changes have been seen to be as if not more important than medical treatment. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

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Great post thanks. It's a shame most medics don't agree in consultation that the gut and brain are key players in AF. You might find interesting a series of talks called the 'Broken Brain' just started by Dr Hyman drhyman.com, I watched the first of eight last night.

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Agree, but we have to remember that forum members generally have problems, that's why most of them are on here in the first place. Every time we read a post, it's worth bearing that in mind.

PS. I used to work the other side of the road from a serial killer whilst he was active, but we didn't know of course. Can't remember his name, one the less famous ones.

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Quality of life is a very varied definition. Some people expect to be cured, some just want some of the nastiness to go away. I’ve been lucky, four months post ablation and I’ve been abroad twice , once skiing! One limited AF episode and significantly reduced angina, so one very happy bunny!! I am aware it might get better, get worse or no change at all. Who knows?

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I’m neither frustrated nor disappointed with my treatment and personally I haven’t much of a grouse about AF. I see it perhaps as a tedious door-to-door salesman who calls just a bit too often.

As it’s dormant for most of the time, I certainly don’t feel I have an illness. When it’s active, it doesn’t affect me too adversely nor impede me excessively. I suspect I view it as a more trivial condition than I think my doctors do. I feel I'm not much worse than I was in 1990.

With this possibly mistaken view, I bitterly resented the intrusion of medication a few years ago. The impact seemed to take away all the colour in my life. I was frightened by anticoagulation and found myself very much in the slow lane, with little but surgery appointments in my diary.

But today things are so much better and I’m doing two significantly optimistic things. Firstly I’ve just had an email confirmation of the purchase of a three year Senior Railcard. This, for me, is a very big investment in the future, especially as I have discovered (harking back to a previous post about green bananas) you get no refund if you are unable to use it.

Secondly I am taking out a year’s travel insurance rather than a single trip. As I’ve been discharged by my EP and (thanks to his skill and expertise) I’ve been able to drop flecainide, my answers to questions asked have generated a very reasonable quote.

I’m enormously grateful that my EP and GP have together got me to the buoyant situation that I’m currently enjoying.

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Thats very reassuring thank you for this.

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I thought this an exemplary viewpoint. Thanks for such an uplifting read with my morning tea and toast.

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What is the point in having ablations please?Does it not stopAF,if not permanently,at least for periods of time,years sometimes.

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Yes, sometimes, but even if not totally successful it can reduce the frequency, length of episode and symptoms of PAF. All that reduces strain on the heart and puts off the day when PAF may become Permanent AF. It also means you can reduce or stop medication (and therefore side effects).

I suggest you post this question as a separate post to get a range of views.

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Thank you buffafly

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