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AF Association
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Hospital

Got my first clinic appointment at hospital on Thursday and beginning to get a little anxious What usually happens there can any one just tell me who's been

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It will vary but at our hospital - first stop is ECG for a 12 Lead ECG. Then on first visit very often bloods but it may depend upon whether or not your GP has already done these. Then a trek to the cardiac outpatients and sit and wait - take something to do - until you are called.

Do you know who you are seeing? Did you ask to be referred to a named consultant?

Do ASK - who are you if it is not the person you were hoping to see as if the clinic is busy you may not see the consultant but one of his team, it will vary but make sure you write everything down. Take a list of questions and stick to them and the facts - it’s easy to go off course and ramble in which case you won’t get the best from your session.

Are you taking someone with you? It does help to have another there.

Good luck and let us know how you get on.

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What do I ask I'm totally lost here

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Over the next day or two, make a list of all the things about your AF that worry you. Then try and put the list into an order of importance and that will help you determine what questions you need to ask. Try not to worry about it because that won’t help. The person you see will understand if you are anxious and hopefully will be able to guide you through the process ........

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Ok Will try

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They prob will suggest a monitor at home you wear for 24 hours to give a better reading? I had one here in France and my chum in U.K. was put on one.

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Do you know who you are seeing.....Cardiologist, EP, Arrhythmia Nurse? Normally you will have an ECG and your BP checked, possibly some blood tests too. They will want to know about your current medication plus the history of what has occurred and when. It’s always a good idea to take as much information as possible because we always forget stuff! If possible, take someone with you who can take on board what you are being told because the chances are you will not remember everything because your mind will be buzzing. If that’s not possible, don’t be frightened to make notes. If you think your medication is causing you problems, make sure you mention it and ask about alternatives and also other treatments, such as cardioversion or ablation. If you have a blood pressure monitor at home, it might help to take a record of daily readings because if, like most of us, you have “white coat syndrome” the readings will be abnormally high on the day.

Good luck and let us know how you get on.....

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Excellent advice already, only thing to add is be clear in your mind what your main concern is. What will make you come out feeling reassured and more in control, because at the moment your anxiety seems to be more troublesome than your arrhythmia?

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My anxiety is

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I was going to say that at my first appointment, there was no need to have a list of questions as my consultant took charge and explained the situation fully and all the ways forward to me. I came away uplifted, feeling (quite rightly) that things could improve. However I realise that was actually my second appointment and you're at your first one which is probably with an ordinary cardiologist not with one who specialises in heart rhythm.

Why not look on the hospital's web site and see who the cardiologists are and look them up and see what their interests are.

You will certainly have a brief ECG when you arrive. If you haven't had them, you may be referred for a 24, 48 or 7 day ECG and an echocardiogram.

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I like the sound of your EP, Rellim! 😊 Who is it?

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Scott Gall in Blackpool. The downside is that he's quite a long way from here - about 55 miles.

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Actually, if you go the slower way it's only 46 miles. Going by train (and you need two) is quite slow too.

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Thank you! Sadly even further from me (Herts/Beds!) but very good to hear you have someone like that :) x

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He has waved a magic wand as far as I'm concerned and my first meeting with him set me on a forward path!

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Hi Vonnie :-) at my clinic the routine is the same, a long wait than a nurse checks height/weight/BP /ECG then you are sent back for another long wait so take something to read or your knitting ;-) .

Next a history is taken so as the others suggest write down exactly when your problems started and describe it in detail including how long each episode lasted . It is very easy when you are anxious to forget things.

Try not to worry, it is all usually very low key .

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Hope so Hope there's no pricking and prodding I be anxious enough

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Strangely I didn’t have an ecg! Mind you, I don’t think it would have shown anything. I saw a cardiologist and the nearest EP is over 100 miles away....should I ask to be referred? I’m waiting to see cardiologist again to get results of a 48 hr monitor.

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Are you in normal rhythm?

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Think so I'm on Bisoprolol 2.5mg pulse about 70

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Try to leave your worry beads at home (easier said than done but it really is a waste of energy). Personally i make a very short list, say three or four bullet points, otherwise you really will be talking about the price of fish. Fingers crossed your ECG will confirm your in normal rhythm(sure it is) and that gives you the confidence to carry on living and put the worry beads in the dustbin. I found hardly any time delays and a very well oiled, professional production line.

Stay calm,leave social media at home and Good Luck!

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So I will have another ECG done there Is it one of the short ones

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Very short! Last time I saw a cardiologist had weight, BMI, sats and BP checked, then ECG, then chat with cardiologist who asked a couple of questions about my history and lifestyle, then went through treatment options. He wanted to look at my Kardia recordings but because it was a cancellation appointment so very short notice I didn't have any printouts but he looked at the app on my phone.

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I don't have one of those To be honest don't have the price of one Which I guess others don't to

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They don't rely on that, I still had a 7 day monitor which showed AF episodes I wasn't even noticing!

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They don't rely on what Buffafly

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Kardia recordings.

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The thing is, an ECG of any sort can be useful if it catches what your heart gets up to. On the other hand, one can have a 7 day ECG that shows absolutely nothing unusual. Whilst pleasing, this can be quite unhelpful.

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Not pleasing, you mean, you do want proof! I thought I was unlucky because I didn't have noticeable AF while I had the 7 day monitor but the result was 'frequent episodes of PAF' which explained why I felt so awful 🙄

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If you are in normal rhythm i question the need for a Kardia. A mobile app will give you heart rate readings and if you are in AF will have difficulty in taking one. Personal choice.

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A Kardia is useful to show you really have AF and are worth investigating further instead of being fobbed off with another 'explanation'.

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Each to his own..

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People who cannot afford them have to do as best they can to determine if they having a episode though Some are not as fortunate as others I am sure everyone would love to have all the gadgets they could have but not going to happen in reality

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I think it’s much longer than the one at GP surgery. Good luck to you from another “newbie”.....

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Mine was at hospital

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Thank you will let you know what happens

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Look on the positive side of your diagnosis, it was 'discovered' rather than it stopping you.

I was 50 and had a few episodes of feeling sweaty and breathless, having to sit down frequently as my energy levels suddenly slumped, thought I had a virus.

Then one day at work I could not climb the stairs and felt light headed, that night I had chest pains, and the next morning I could not lift my head off the pillow, ended up in A&E and was admitted to hospital for 5 days. Diagnosed with PAF and put on medication, have had a few hiccups along the way, but 16 years later here to tell the story.

My advice would be to take 'ownership' of your condition, ask for clarification if you are not sure why you are being given medication or procedures. I wish this site had been available to me when I was diagnosed, it is so reassuring.

Take care and good luck.

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Will do I don't know what category of AF I have Was told by hospital I had AF that's all

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If you are now in sinus rhythm you have PAF.

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What's that

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Have a look at atrialfibrillation.org.uk

Loads of useful information including definitions.

My understanding is that PAF stands for paroxymal atrial fibrilation.

"Paroxysmal AF (PAF), also termed intermittent AF, is defined as an episode of AF that terminates spontaneously or with intervention in less than seven days." quote is from uptodate.com/contents/parox...

As to your forthcoming appointment, try not to worry.

Prior to mine I had an ultra sound scan of my heart and full ECG. Between the first and second appointment I wore a 7 day monitor which picked up some fleeting episodes of AF. This was very useful as the ECG showed a normal rhythm.

Good luck!

Jan

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Excellent news. Now you can start getting the treatment you need to make all your symptoms go away. Relax and see it all as being a good thing - but do take a book, there can be a bit of waiting around. Let us know how you get on.

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