AF Association

Good morning day 2

Good morning good morning from the south 🌞. I see where some of you are a very long way from South Carolina. It’s amazing to realize how when I was a kid we had no idea we would ever be able to communicate with people by computers or phones in the future. Didn’t know what a computer was😂. Technology is a great thing. I know that in the future medical technology will go even farther too. One day some genius person will figure out how to make a ❤️ in a lab and all they have to do is pop it in hook it up and we get more life. Please stay positive and enjoy every minute of every day. I love making memories with my family and grands. I know some of you don’t believe there is a higher power but I do. When I get to heaven I will have a new heart that is perfect and will never have problems. Enjoy your day and look for a miracle & make memories. Keep on beating❤️

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Heaven forbid living forever. I have seen what has happened to the world over the last 73 years and it isn't good! Been going down hill ever since.

So glad our small start here in England in 2007 has spread so far.

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Hi Kharrell. Just letting you know you have a neighbor in Atlanta. I was born in South Carolina-Summerville. Where are you? And if you're new welcome. I love being able to get help/info from all over the world. There is a lot of good tips I've learned also from finding out how other countries' health care systems handle a-fib. Our (US) healthcare system is wonderful in many ways but we are not the only game in town. BTW I'm 74, a retired nurse and have had a-fib since 2011. I'm very well-managed now- with a successful ablation and pacemaker in 2016 and a recent Watchman Procedure (Jan this year) which will soon get me off anticoagulants. Yeah! Take care. irina1975

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Hello Irina

Read your post with interest.

What is a Watchman Procedure? and how does this mean you can come off anticoagulants? My dream.

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Hi foxglove. Here goes. Part of the heart's anatomy are two small appendages-one leading off each side of the atrium call appendages (think how our appendix leads off our colon. )There is much conversation re the reason and need for these two small structures but one thing has been learned: the LAA (left atrial appendage) seems to be responsible for 90% + or- of clots associated with a-fib clots. There have been surgical procedures for years for closing off this appendage from the left atrium but until several years ago open surgery was required. The studies have also shown that by closing off this LAA the amount of clot risk lessened is enough to make daily anticoagulants not necessary. So we are able to stop taking them. I have been on Coumadin several years and while it is a good drug that has helped many people, including me, I have had side effects that began to make me uncomfortable being on this med possibly for years to come. There are newer anticoagulants that work differently and seem fine but, in my opinion, haven't been around long enough to have data on long-term effects. I chose coumadin because it has been around a long time and I liked being able to self-test weekly at home in order to keep tight control on my INR's. I'm 74 and have been seeing-often anecdotal and still controversial- info re possible dementia after long-term use incl small bleeds in the body that are often too minimal to be picked up and treated. So the correct term for the Watchman procedure surgery is actually "Closure of the Left Atrial Appendage Opening." Here (US) it is referred to as the Watchman procedure because the small device placed in this opening to occlude it is called a Watchman device. This procedure is also done in other countries using other names for their particular device. The beauty of this specific way of closing the LAA opening is that it can be done through inserting a cardiac catheter through the groin eliminating the need for open surgical incisions, a one day hospital stay, quicker recovery and less surgical trauma to the body in general. I would suggest a starting point, if you're interested in exploring this possibility, is to speak to an Electrophysiologist about the procedure. They are the docs that perform it. My suggestion-since the procedure is fairly new, skip over the GP/PCP, regular cardiologists. Often they are not completely up on the information and may be biased against it. Not everyone is a candidate but during your consult with the EP he/she will make that determination. The procedure is relatively simple but, as with any invasive procedure, should not be taken lightly. Only you and your doc can decide if this is for you. Getting off the anticoagulants is a process that is not complete til several months after the procedure. I had the procedure on Jan 15th of this year. Went well and I'm fine but I still needed to take my coumadin for app 45 days after the procedure. This coming Wednesday (Feb 28) I am scheduled for a TEE (TOE in the UK) which will tell my surgeon if the opening is completely healed and sealed over and blood is no longer flowing between the LAA and atrium. If this is the case I will see my surgeon (EP) Mar 6th and he will stop my coumadin. Then I will be place on daily Plavix and a baby aspirin (81mg) also daily til July. At that point the Plavix will be discontinued and I will just take a baby aspirin daily from then on. The procedure is done in the cardiac cath lab with flouroscopy. It probably wasn't as scary for me as I was an operating room nurse for years and, as I've posted before, surgery scares me much less than some of the side effects of "Big Pharma's drugs. You can also view some excellent videos re procedure online. I viewed 2 prior to making my decision. One in Germany and the other, if I remember, at Hammersmith Hosp in London. Good luck with your research journey. My last coumadin dose will be March 6th if all goes well. I am VERY excited re getting anticoagulants out of my life. I want to be fair and say many people are doing fine taking anticoagulants and see no need to eliminate them. My own peculiarity is that I dread dementia and the possibility of being 'shelved' in a nursing home because of it. I want to hang onto my faculties as long as possible and will do everything I can to lower my risk of bleeds. I have also seen info where bleeds could possibly be more common than clots leading to strokes. Hope my explanation was helpful and not too confusing. Take care irina1975 PS Sorry for typos-never mastered the art of typing!!LOL.

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Thank you so much Idina for all that info. I agree with so much of what you say and found this very interesting.

I am seeing my cardiologist/electro physiologist soon and shall raise this with him. I live in London and my EP is very up on everything so guess he will be aware.

I am PAF and on apixoban. So far I am very lucky as I don’t have many episodes of AFib, once every 3 months or so, always at night from sleep, and the Apixoban I take daily. No probs with apixoban so far but although I appreciate its benefits I loathe taking pills.

Thanks again for all

The info

Very interesting and I wish you all the best.

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You're very welcome. Good luck with your consult and if you have more questions please let me know. irina1975

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Great attitude from Northern Indiana . I do believe in Jesus also . I am what I think is persistent A-Fib .I have had a Cryoablation 2 months ago ,it didn't seem to do much as far as getting me back into rhythm. I figure God knows my heart and he is in control .I manage with my heart issues and still consider my self blessed. Heaven ,when it comes ,yes one day our soul will reunite with our perfect body ,wow . Blessings to you . Jerry

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Hi Jerbear. For me, life is like a school where we spend time (our lives) learning needed individual lessons. Will continue to try to do my best (not always great) but when it's time for me to move on, I will be happy to leave my 'school days' behind. Take care. irina1975

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That's a good way to put it Irina . Enjoy every day !

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Hello from UK

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Hi Mazzy B. Hope all is well by you . I was saddened to hear about Emma Chambers death , I think every one knows of her in U.K. She was very funny girl .

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Aww sad agree, although I didn’t know her, take care.

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