What would others do?: Hi all, it’s been a... - AF Association

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What would others do?


Hi all, it’s been a while.

Feeling a bit, ok, lot down today as my AF has really progressed.

Diagnosed 4 years ago I’ve had more AF attacks than hot dinners. Again I must thank every one for their support on here. You’ve been amazing.

Anyway from last Christmas to August 2018 I didn’t have a single attack but made a deal with my cardiologist that if it happened again I’d go for the ablation, which I am.

On 17th August (I think) I had a two week attack, reverting back to sinus after taking slightly over 10mg of Bisoprolol. Stayed in sinus for one week. Flipped back into AF again about six weeks ago and it won’t budge.

I’m 51 and going shopping or climbing the stairs is killing me. Do others find it that bad at times?

Going to the Chest Pain clinic tomorrow then another Echo next week. The docs won’t cardiovert as my average heart rate is under 110bpm.

I’ve been told I’ve got 1st degree heart block and left ventricular hypotrophy. I now need to consider my work life. I’m in sales and been off for the last two weeks since attending hospital with chest pains and having a ghastly virus which I’m sure hasn’t helped.

Re pushing yourself, how do others find knowing when to stop and what damage could I do if I work full time whilst in AF?

One customer and I feel like I’ve run a marathon? Any thoughts gratefully received. I will of course be speaking with the docs tomorrow but wondered what you’re thoughts were on here.

Anyway thanks again


23 Replies

I know just how you are feeling and it's certainly not nice! I've had 13 diagnosed years with AF, including 3 ablations and this is what I've learn't (so far).

When stuck in a period of AF for weeks it's hard to do anything that requires effort because we quickly become totally exhausted. I live on my own and am the sort of person who likes to have everywhere tidy at home and that includes the garden. I found mowing the grass exhausting, so what I would do is just a little and then rest. At times, after struggling, I would sit afterwards full of self pity thinking to myself that I shouldn't have done that and am I going to suffer even more for it. Surprisingly, that effort would often cause my heart to return to it's normal beat. Also, though at times feeling worn out with AF, I'd drive or take the bus into a nearby town where I could probably only manage to go to one store. Again I'd often find that shortly after returning home my heart would return to normal. It never ever went back on it's own if I sat at home concentrating on what my heart was doing. So I think short bursts of activity can help.

If you have a friend or friends who make you laugh invite them over to your house, or better still visit them. Taking our minds off the situation and having some fun can certainly help to get us back into rhythm.

Remember to breathe, I often wonder whether not doing this correctly triggers my events. Practice slow, deep breathing, feeling your stomach (not chest) rise as you inhale. When you get up in the night to go to the toilet your heart will pound a bit as you get back into bed. This is not AF and is just caused by sudden exertion, a bit of deep breathing will soon calm it. At one time we would have naturally breathed this away, without thinking, but I'm convinced that breathing doesn't come naturally anymore to we people with AF.

Big hug my friend, this AF is hateful at times. Hope this helps.


Thank you for your helpful reply to NJ47, it helped me too.

Glad to hear that.

Best wishes


NJ47 in reply to jeanjeannie50

Thanks for this, Jean.

Big hugs back

NJ x

Hi NJ47, sorry you are feeling down. I think after such a long run of being well, a sudden and unwelcome bout of AF is enough to bring anyone down! Disappointment, frustration, on top of feeling unwell.

Firstly - virus will always do it for me - bring on AF that is. Your body needs much, much longer to recover than you think so you do need to rest to allow recovery, especially after a virus. Every time I have pushed myself I ended up in real difficulty and it then took much longer to get back to my ‘norm’.

Your body generally knows your needs much, much better than you do. I don’t get this culture of ‘pushing yourself’ - to what? Exhaustion, illness and depression because you can’t achieve? There are times when it is useful to extend and stretch ourselves - when we are well but I think we need to accept that our bodies cannot be pushed without consequences when we are ill and tiredness, fatigue, weakness are all symptoms of your body trying to communicate to you that it really doesn’t like what you are doing and the only solution is to stop doing it, rest, recuperate and then start again.

Learning that skill is still work in progress for me because I am generally a full on:full stop person.

I appreciate that in this work world culture of achieve, succeed or you are out that is a very difficult thing to hear - but pushing through is also how people burn out, wreck their bodies and even kill themselves.

Listen and be led by your body’s needs, not your mind.

Hope you feel better soon.

Best wishes CD

NJ47 in reply to CDreamer

Thanks for this CDreamer.

Your reply may well have done more good than you’re aware.

Thank you


I would stay off work until I got my head straight and worked out the csuse / how to improve the breathing, either my myself or with the GP.

E.g. change of drugs, will this help? When is the ablation? Can it come forward?

I had an issue when I got a flutter that walk ing into the kitchen got me extremely breathless. Withe hr rste controlled at 140 bpm when i moved.I was tired all the time. No way was I driving in that state, nor much else. I was off work waiting for the ablation.

Are you sure your hr is not much higher when you are moving? Measuring it at 110 lieing in bed is not real world. Again when I was in a&E with flutter they were going to send me home as my breathing was ok and my hr was below 100. However I got up to walk I 20yds to the loo and back and the senior doctor saw the state of me when I came back and said " i am keeping you in for observation if you don't mjnd"

NJ47 in reply to KMRobbo

Yea, more like 100 plus when I start moving around and that’s just walking to the kitchen. I’m fine when resting but if I go shopping I come home thinking I’ve run a marathon. Fun eh?

I totally agree about the virus (if you are sure it was that). Ignoring a virus can send you into ME if your body is short of vitamins/minerals etc ie if you are 'stressed out' from long-term overwork etc, even if AF wasn't in your life. So I recommend a good multi-vitamin-and-mineral one-a-day tablet from a health food shop, and keep taking it for at least three months to get the full benefit. This will also improve your health generally, and anything that is good for your general health will be good for your heart.

Also, are you still taking Bisoprolol? This makes many of us feel like we are wading in treacle, even at very low doses. This could be seriously contributing to the way you are feeling, but you won't know for sure what is really happening until that virus is fully in the past, so take the advice given by others above and treat it with respect! - ie 'rest' as much as you can until it has fully gone eg no symptoms for at least a week . . .

NJ47 in reply to Polski

Great idea re multi-vits. Am on the case. Yes it was definitely a virus. Thanks for the reply

I was also thinking of ME which seems to hit 'full on' people from what I have seen. If you were otherwise fit I would go with the 'short efforts' advice so you don't become completely unfit but with a virus I think you should rest as much as possible. I suspect Bisoprolol is prescribed precisely because it stops 'type As' trying to keep up their previous !evel of activity and thereby wrecking their hearts. It sounds as though your heart has extra problems so I would be very careful at this time, probably your medical team are the ones to ask as they understand the implications of your condition.

Best wishes and big hug 💜

NJ47 in reply to Buffafly

Sadly so, Buffafly

1st degree heartblock and LVH


Sorry your feeling so low, I know exactly where you are coming from having had 1 cardioversion and 3 ablations and still not out of the woods. Hopefully an ablation will work for you. When I was in persistent AF a few years ago I found it helpful to actually go to work (now retired) as it took my mind off my heartbeat. It was a desk job so not a great deal of exertion. Try to do things in manageable amounts, perhaps taking short walks on the flat and be in tune with your body noticing when you’ve had enough. I wish you all the best.


NJ47 in reply to cbsrbpm

Thanks Brenda. x


Sales can be demanding and stressful. I’m in a senior management role is a sales organisation. I’ve been under a lot of stress over the past couple of years with health and family issues and work pressure. In April this year my body said “no more”. I went into atrial flutter, was hospitalised and needed a cardioversion then was diagnosed with Shingles and ended up having a month off work. Six weeks after going back to work I felt a bang in my chest (granted, I was reading a rather stressful work email at the time) and went back into flutter which morphed into my first AF episode. I was taken by ambulance to hospital and my EP told me to take around 6 months off so we could get things under control. I’ve had a challenging journey (you can read about some of my dramas on my other posts). I’m hoping to get back to work in the new year but will try and negotiate a new role, probably part time. I’m 54 and had planned to work full time for another 5 or 6 years then semi-retire. At the moment my future is up in the air. I’m sure you’ll see a great improvement after an ablation. My advice is don’t make any long term, permanent decisions at this point in time. What is your boss like? Can you discuss flexible working and get time off if needed? I have discovered just how dynamic AF is. Just when you think you have things under control, it blindsides you with a new/different attack. All the best, Kaz

NJ47 in reply to Kaz747

Thanks for this Kaz. Don’t know whether we can on here but I’ll try and pm you

Kaz747 in reply to NJ47

Yes you can PM. Just go to my profile and you’ll see the icon.

Hope you soon improve and feel better...I have found since Af some years ago that any viral infections really lay me low...and I feel exhausted not wanting to do anything ....takes weeks to recover then slowly I improve and energy levels recover....I have have been on Bisoprolol 3.75 and warfarin 3mgfor about 2 years and this level of medication seems to keep me fairly steady.

NJ47 in reply to George2467814

I guessed as much, in that AF and viruses mix as well as water and electricity. Thanks for your post

Firstly, thank you all for your posts. The latest is that I saw my Cardiologist today. We’ve upped my bisoprolol to 2 x 5mg per day and he’s referred me to an EP for ‘the’ ablation.

Part of me is fine about it. The other - worried sick. Sure we’ll discuss all this in the future. Oh yes, my echo is in two weeks not next.

Thanks again folks


Well its Saturday lunchtime (1 o clock ) and I am still in my dressing gown and on my second tv film. Cant be bothered to eat and only leave the settee when the diaretics kick in and i have to.

Like you I am very down because despite umpteen visits to Consultants/GPs/EPs/Heart failure nurses nobody seems to listen or help with the mental health that can go hand in hand with Afib and heart problems.

Another 4 week extention to my sick leave because I can't walk further than 50 yards without needing to sit down. And if I do venture out to the supermarket I need to sleep for an hour to recover.

I don't want anti depression pills; I just need someone to listen because if this is how my life is going to be for the next year/two or ten then it's not for me.

I wonder if a cardiac support group is available in your area.


Thank you Oyster. The are a couple I can contact. I seem to be half way between the two.

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