I was diagnosed with Persistent AF in April 2016; prior to this I had been a very fit club cyclist. My treatment was Bisoprolol and Rivaroxaban with a cardioversion in October 2016 which kept me in NSR for just two weeks. After this I was accepted onto a clinical trial at Sheffield. This involved a mini-maze ablation in April 2017, followed by the addition of Amiodarone and Lansoprazole to my basket of daily drugs until July 2017 and then a catheter ablation in October 2017. I then came off the Bisoprolol and Rivaroxaban in November 2017. I had continued light exercise throughout my treatment, but was allowed to increase the effort slightly at this point; although no high intensity workouts were on the cards. I basically kept my HR below 150 and continued riding round the flat trails. In April 2018 I decided to push a little harder. I was back on the road, averaging around 140 BPM and seeing occasional rises to 160. I thought that if this was likely to cause a problem, better to discover while I was still on the trial.
In May 2018, I returned to the NGH for my six-monthly review (after seven months). The consultation was quite pleasing; my atrium is slowly shrinking back towards normal size, The Left Atrial Appendage is closed and healed, the rhythm is good and so is my reaction to exercise. My HR is still elevated (resting at around 80, where it used to be 57). Most sources say this should return to normal within 6 to 9 months, but my cardiologist says 12 to 18 months is more realistic.
I am now allowed to carry on as normal; I think this means normal for a normal person, not an exercise addict like myself. No extreme HR (up to 160 and perhaps a little higher is OK, but I have to monitor it and stop if it rises suddenly or does not fall when exertion level is reduced). I showed the Dr. some recent Kardia readings which had been highlighted as possible AF. Apparently, they were not, and were nothing to worry about. He seems confident that my AF will not return, for many years at least. I have to return the monitor on Monday, but he does not expect it to reveal any problems. I will need to return in November for another 48 hour monitor, but this is just because I will be subject to the research project for the next three years. If it had been a normal treatment process, I would have been discharged today.
I intend to keep an eye on this forum, and will continue to post updates. But I will take today to say thanks to all of you who helped answer my questions and reassure me when I was new here.