Totally exhausted 16 days post ablation - AF Association

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Totally exhausted 16 days post ablation

Just hoping for some reassurance. I had my first ablation (5 hour general) 17 days ago and feel more exhausted and tearful than I ever have in my life before. I wasn’t prepared for this and wondering now if I have done the right thing! First week wasn’t too bad but since I am so tired I don’t know what to do with myself and very depressed about the whole thing. Being told I could get back to ‘normal’ after 2 weeks didn’t really help - will that ever happen? I’m trying very hard to be positive - my heart thumps quite a lot which I m sure is because I am so anxious but I seem to be unable to calm myself down - I feel totally overwhelmed. I am usually a very positive person - still working (at 74) in a job I love but this ablation has affected me much worse than I could have imagined. Just wondering if I should try shortcourse of diazepam to calm me - not something I would normally consider. Any advice very welcome.

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First advice is go to AF Association. look under patient information.. fact sheets..scroll down to Recovering From Ablation and READ!

You have had a serious amount of work done to your heart and even though you do not have a giant zip up your front it will still be very upset and will take quite some time to recover. BE PATIENT. The GA alone takes some months to fully clear from your system. I know. Over a three year period I had something like 20 hours of GA for various reasons not all AF related and would say it was a year before I felt "normal" again. Normal is not how you were before AF hit you by the way. It is the new you which you need to accept and work with to a happy future life.

Have you done the right thing? I would say so. It took three to sort me out ten years ago but worth every second.

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Hi Bob

Thanks for that - I have read some of your replies to others and it's good to have such positive comments. I am having trouble finding the Recovering article which I'm sure would be good for me - no sure if its just me being stupid, but I can'e actually find anything headed recovering from Ablation

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Go to the main AF Association website. Look up Patient Resources and then click on Fact sheets and scroll down to R where you will find it.

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Hi BobD,

How many ablations procedures can be performed on the heart? Every 5 years? Also I heard that cryo ablation is more effective than RF ablation though the data is not out yet on how long it lasts.

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I do not think there is a limit as I know of people who have had four or five. It depends on the EP and what he thinks he can do. Cryo is a good first shot across the bows but has limitations in that only the pulmonary veins can be dealt with. Yes isolation can be more complete if your veins are the right size and shape but not everybody is that lucky. RF takes longer but can isolate other areas which a balloon can not.

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Hello. I know how you feel. I am 4 months past my Ablation. I am exhausted most days. Therefore I get very depressed. I can’t do the things I once did. I am 69 and suddenly feeling very depressed. I see my EP this week. He plans on weaning me off Sotolol. I think it may be causing most of my problems. My weight has risen to the most it has ever been in my life. This could be due to less exercise and depression eating. I have been free of AF for about 2 months, but still have palpitations and erratic heartbeat occasionally. And a heaviness in my chest that makes me afraid of heart attack. Drs day I am fine. I’m just taking one day at a time. Hang in there. Give your heart time to heal. W

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I'm not on any new drugs - just ramapril and apixaban which I have been on for several years, So I know I have to be patient and I'm positive it will be fine. Having been a dancing teacher all of my life I find it hard that my body is struggling to get up the stairs!! Comforting tho' to know that I am not alone, and I hope you start to feel better soon.

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the fact that your GA was for 5 hours means a lot of work must have been done so it's not surprising that you feel tired. Set small goals for each day and you will see how you are progressing and hopefully this will cheer you up.

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Thanks for those encouraging words - must learn to be more patient.

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Thanks Buff. I'm not good at links.

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Hi Costumedancer. Come out of this page and type the following in the top bar where https:// is

heartrhythmalliance.org/afa...

this will take you to the page BobD is talking about.

Select the top middle box "Factsheets"

Scroll down to Recovering from Ablation for Atrial Fibrulation

Hope this helps to put your mind at ease. I have also just had an ablation 5 weeks ago and have had a couple of bouts of AF. I take on board what BobD has said and how long it takes to recover and this helps me put it into perspective and stay positive because I get so disappointed and upset if I think it hasn't worked.

Good luck and be kind to yourself.

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All good advise. After my first Ablation in February I too went through the same as you. I found that things got better with time although my Ablation was not a complete success. I had a second Ablaton three weeks ago and it was much easier for me on this occason, as I knew what to expect and so far I am feeling good with no episodes of AF. I wish you success and a full recovery.

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Hi.

To reassure you, I had mine done 6 months ago. I thought I was ok after a week, but 2 weeks on, I just hit a wall of tiredness. It took about 2 months for that to start fading, and about 3 to get back to feeling ok. But even then, its only now that I feel like I used to. And I'm fit, 54 and I ride mountain bikes a lot and walk everywhere!

I had a relapse too, around the 3 month period, where my heart dropped out of rhythm, and it made me feel exhausted again. But it finally feels to have settled.

I guess it will take you a while, but you need to know that any surgery on the heart is major, (even though lots of people say that ablation is minor - the disruption to your body is huge!). So don't lose hope. I got to a few points where I was regretting having the operation, but I'm so glad I did now. So hang on in there. Best Wishes.

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Hi!

I am exactly 3 months (to the day ) post first ablation. The first 2 weeks felt like I had some incurable disease. My surgeon made the ‘proceedure’ sound equivalent to having a cavity filled.

Well, this is not a ‘proceedure’. This is a heart surgery. Prior to this, I was outgoing, taught yoga, worked out 6 days per week... always on the go. I woke up basically incapacitated...in pain with severe fatigue for many weeks.

My anxiety went crazy. I finally stopped beating myself up and went on Diazepam for a couple of months and it really helped.

I used to lay in bed thinking ‘this is it. I’m never going to feel better. I’m going to become disabled and die like this’.

I’m still tired, but I’ve been back to work full time for 2 months, paddle boarding on the ocean, enjoying parties and back out into life. I start back to exercising tomorrow.

Anytime your quality of life changes, especially when you have a heart condition, it is extremely stressful on your body and psyche.

This will end. It will all come back to you. And hopefully, this ablation will allow you to do all of the things you feared before because you will be in NSR!!

I wish I had taken the advice I am about to give you. It would have decreased my depression and anxiety quite a lot. BE NICE TO YOURSELF! Be patient, and treat yourself with kid gloves. Your poor body has been through so much. It’s Working really hard to heal and doesn’t need you nagging at it to go faster, which only makes it heal slower.

These EP’s don’t tell you what’s really going to happen.

BUT WE WILL!!😂😂😂

Good luck, wishing you peace and NSR!!!

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God bless you! It was so refreshing to hear from such an upbeat person. I had my 3 hour ablation done one week ago today. I went back to work today (a desk job) and am SO tired, that's it's hard to sit up straight! I wanted to go home SO badly today, but tried to stick it out. My EP NEVER told me about the extreme fatigue afterward! He made it sound like it was like getting your teeth cleaned! I'm due to see him soon and would love to give him a piece of my mind. I get enough sleep (8-9 hours) a night and eat a good diet. I'm a 55 year old woman, but feel like I'm 100. I hope and pray that my energy comes back. It's very depressing. I'm sure I'm in for months of feeling like this, according to a lot of other patient's stories. I sometimes doubt if this was worth doing. I've had palipations, and SVT since my 20's, but at least I had energy. Please give me any type of advise that you could think of and please let me know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you in advance.

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For starters, you need to take more time off. This is heart surgery. Think about it like this: if the person most precious in the world to you underwent this surgery, would you expect them to be up and around and feeling great after one week?

This is a 3 month process, marked by good and bad days.

So think about how you would take care of that most precious person in your life after they took the beating to their heart that you did.

Then apply that to yourself. Because YOU should be the most precious person in your life.

Be kind, be patient, be grateful, and eventually you will be back to a better you!

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Thank You! Very uplifting and will take your advice! Hope my days get easier and better!

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I agree with everyone else. I had my ablation three months ago in Boston. I was very tired for about a month and had another month of out-of-nowhere palpitations (anywhere from 2 minutes to 2 hours). I still get chest pain and I developed reflux after the surgery, which is common I guess. I have taken myself to the ER a number of times with chest pain and passed EKG, blood tests, echo, ultrasound, nuclear stress and even a cardiac catheterization. My heart is fine. Nothing wrong with it at all. It just took a major bruising and will take a while to recover. I agree that the doctors undersell ablation recovery. People on here say it takes 6 months, 9 months even a year before they feel completely right.

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You are so right! Doctors do undersell ablation recovery! Mine did! Never mentioned the recovery issue...extreme fatigue/tiredness. I partially blame myself and should have looked online like I'm doing now but BEFORE the surgery. I also get chest pain at times and I'm scheduled to go for an EKG today, as a matter of fact. He took me off my beta blockers and no bad side effects so far. My ablation was done one week ago. I'm 55 but feel like a 100 year old that ran a 10K! Hope we both feel better. Please give me any advice for upcoming weeks/months. I know everybody is different, but it's so reassuring to know that I'm not the only one with this fatigue. Thanks!

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I had the fatigue for about six weeks but that gradually subsided and I've been working myself back into an exercise routine. Trying to do 10,000 walking steps a day according to Google Fit on my phone. Give yourself time to recover and go at your own pace.

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tha ks for in fo. i developed reflux to doctor says no.im glad its not just me .still not right after 8 months

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Very gentle exercise walking on a flat path out in the green stuff, very slowly increasing as you get used to it. Fitbit might be useful.

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