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AF Association
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Hi are there any AF sufferers that are/have been HGV drivers?

My husband has AF and been unable to work since last September as DVLA took licence away. SSP money is nightmare. Had shock treatment but it didn’t work sadly and back in AF. Now waiting ablation appointment now. Can’t see an end to it all and concerned if he will ever get back to driving job.

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Hi there,

If it helps any, I don't hold HGV,but, I do hold PCV, very similar medical demands I believe.

John

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Hi John. Are you back driving ?

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Yes. I was diagnosed with paroxysmal AF in early Jan 2010 and from memory I was back driving my bus in the April. I was then 65, I'm still driving buses and because of my age I have to pass a medical each year to retain my PCV entitlement. The difference is my AF is controlled by medication and diet and my last recorded AF event was a one off in April 2015. My heart went back to NSR of its own, I attended for cardioversion but I was already back in NSR. I never had an ablation.

John

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No personal experience but I have a friend who was in the same situation, his heart condition somewhat different In that he had a different heart condition as well as af which required an ICD implantable device which shocks his heart back into rhythm.

It took a long time to get his licence again but eventually he did. However he decided to change his role and the company found him a non driving job. He drives a car again but not an hgv.

Maybe your husbands employer could redeploy him, not easy I know but may be a solution. An ablation may allow for him to return to his driving role in time. Have you checked with the DVLA for guidance and rules. Good luck with his ablation.

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Thank you for replying. Dvla say you have to be 3 months clear of symptoms. Not sure when the date will come through for his ablation (sorry I think it looked as as if he was having the procedure now). I just wondered if generally people have managed to go back to hgv driving. Or even if after ablation he / anyone actually are ever symptom free

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Hello JoBrien, I have no experience about HGV license issues with AF but as far as the success of ablation, I'm afraid it is dependant on so many different factors. A healthy lifestyle, diet and exercise etc., can have a major impact on the success of an ablation. You say the cardioversion (shock treatment) didn't work, but I assume your husband stayed in rhythm for a while, if so, that does improve the chances of a successful ablation. The sad truth is, there is no "cure" for AF but an ablation(s) can stop or significantly reduce symptoms but you will have to seek guidance from the DVLA regarding HGV. It might also be helpful to raise the questionof driving with his consultant. Hopefully, others with more direct experience will be able to help you.

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Hi and thank you Flapjack. The cardioversion after two attempts on the day, left him feeling better but not as good as he expected for about a week. He then had an already booked MRI which ecg before it showed he was back in AF. Consultant suggested monitoring with the meds, but During the Christmas hols it just got worse. Managed to snatch a cancellation appointment for last week with the consultant, otherwise we were having to wait until August 😱. Surely it’s not good to go so long without treatment. Surely this AF is affecting all other organs?

It’s so diahabiltating which leads to stress which doesn’t help!!

I do so feel for all your sufferers

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Jobrien, we feel your anxiety, the majority of AF sufferers have been there, especially after diagnosis. There are some important things to remember such as there is no evidence that anyone has died from AF. In the UK, there are almost 1 million people diagnosed with AF and probably another 250,000 who do not know they have it. The major risk is stroke but assuming your cardiologist has discussed this with you and prescribed, if necessary, an anticoagulant to significantly reduce this risk, then your husband will continue to function OK although episodes of AF may well be unpleasant. I’m not sure if this will help, but with over 1 million sufferers, only 11,000 have joined this forum of which the majority are not active, so let us assume that they are able to get on with their lives. In your case however, it is seriously impacting on your livelihood which is hard, but as others have said, maybe alternatives need to be considered until hubby’s situation has been resolved. The good news is that he is now on a treatment plan but we all are aware of the current difficulties with the NHS. I too am on a waiting list and it could take 8 to 10 months so I know your concerns.

I am not medically trained, but from what I have gleaned from this forum and other support groups, AF probably does not affect other organs in the body. There is a lot of really helpful information available on the AF Association webpage which will give you a better understanding of the condition and available treatments. Hope this has helped a bit, John

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I'm due for my renewal! got the medical card form to maintain my CDL-A license About a third of the way down is a "CARDIO" section asking about pacemakers/heart attacks/ strokes/other After holding this license for 45 years sadly I think it is coming to an end. I'll let you know after I go for the check up. I have had "LONE afib" for 18 months now. Zero symptoms.... Never had any still don't. Afib was discovered during an attack of kidney stones!

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Hi Olnic. I also had my commercial license for 38 years ,over the road driver . My advice , enjoy what's left of your life and retire .I am glad I did and would not go back ,however I do miss traveling . Sounds like the UK is as strict as the U.S. with the rules which is good but can be frustrating for us when it directly effects us. I read these forums and there are so many variables people write about . I had my first ablation and still AF. I go in for a cardioversion Tuesday to get it back in rhythm. My heart goes out for Jobrien ,no pun intended .Flapjack says things so well ,I love to read his forum replies. So Olnic I hope you do some serious thinking about your career and if married that" honey do " list and what ever you decide I hope it all works out for your best . Blessings on you. Jerry

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Here in the usa things were controlled by the states up to 4 years ago things were fine up till then.. The "big brother PITA" Federal government took control and they decided what would be best for us. Friggen politicians are not smart enough to know if its rainning out side or not (when they are out side) but they know better than all of us that have been doing it for so many years without incident! They get the "Best" with the least amount of effort. Who are the fools here?? sorry for the soap box this medical card thing just rubs me the wrong way.

I do agree the retirement looks good along with the honey doooooo list yes it is that long!!

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Olnick I misspelled your name earlier I'm sorry . Yes ,I know what you mean . It rubs all drivers the wrong way . Use to be able to have your own doctor fill the physical papers out and give you the physical .Not any more . Now the doctors are certified and they wont give anyone a break for fear of losing their certification. Some would say "what if you have a heart attack?" Well anyone can have that . They are so concerned about a drivers health but it's ok to drive 11 hrs. and then expect you to stop and sleep 10 hrs . How is that healthy . Now if a driver has stents I heard they want you to have a M.R.I. I'll tell you man I am so glad to be out of that and my wife is even more glad . I wish you well brother.

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Thank you guys for all your replies. Sorry but delayed in my thanking but we have all been down with flu over here. Stress of not being to work for my husband obs doesn’t help the AF. Since his first treatment that didn’t work, he tends to now have more dizzy spells. Thankfully been referred to an ablation team and shock horror actually have only waiting a month for an assessment appointment. Can’t help but wonder if an accident he has at work a couple of years ago, which lead to him being out of work for 3 months and stressed brought all this on as he had no symptoms previously. Got an insurance claim going on against his firm and it is their lack of health and safety procedures that caused it. Someone said he should go down the road that it did cause the AF, but I think maybe very hard to prove.

Oh the joys, thank the lord I have my job to help cope with the bills.

Xx

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JoBrien I sure hope you can get this resolved . Trust in the Lord is very good . I have heard many times that there are too many reasons to count for our heart to go A-fib .Also It can also go back into rhythm at any time . There are so many variables to this . I was having good success with cardio version ,the last one I had didn't work . My Ablation just prior the cardioversion didn't work . I am 72 by the way . I am very active .Doctor said no restrictions just do in moderation . Sorry I got off the track sort of ,but I don't think anyone can say "NO , that didn't cause it ". The heart specialist don't even know what causes it. That's my 2 1/2 cents . Don't lose faith , it will all work out for the best . Yes your job right now is a big blessing ,hang in there ,stay positive .Jerry

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