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Ablation question

Hi everyone, ablationin two weeks time so I’m thinking ahead.....I’ve read the fact sheet and have read everyone’s reports on here. I’m trying to get my head around the next three months......I understand I may get ectopic sand afib runs as the heart heals.

My question is about how to handle this......I get the rest rest and will do that but I’m trying to understand how it goes.....so rest totally thrn gradually do things....what does gradually do things mean?

Do I rest at home two weeks, then after that little walks, how far is a little walk?

How do you know what to do for the best? If you get afibs does it mean you’ve overdone it, or is it the natural process?

I’m probably overthinking this but it’s getting closer and I’m going to be at home with my husband still in leg plaster from his ski accident.....my daughter will stay with us the first week.....my husband doesn’t get out of plaster till mid February...just wondering when I should drive?

We have an appointment at the prefecture to sort our residency ( due to Brexit), on 22 feb it’s an hour appointment....bit stressful, will I be fit enough a month later?

So many questions sorry!!

Sue

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Sue, try not to worry too much. Obviously we are all different and consequently we are likely to react differently during the recovery period. The crucial thing is to do nothing the first week and not much more the second but thereafter, gradually go back to your normal activities but if your body is telling you to slow down, then that is what you do. You will not be allowed to drive for at least 2 days, possibly even longer if you have a general anaesthetic. It’s better to avoid driving for at least a week because it will put less strain on the groin, especially if you need to slam on the brakes. We always encourage folk engaged in extreme sports to avoid their sporting activity for as long as possible but I sense that’s not likely to be an issue for you.

There is every chance that after 2 to 3 weeks that you feel better than you have for a while and there is a strong temptation to overdo things but try to resist that temptation but at all times, listen to your body and respect the trauma that your heart has suffered......then you will be fine. I’m sure others will add their experiences, just hope everything goes well for you.

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Thanks so much I will listen to my body, thanks, I have been so confused as to what to expect

Sue

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What Flapjack said! Stay well hydrated at all times and above all LISTEN to your body. If you feel tired rest.

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Will do bob....thanks

Sue

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the Prefecture? That’s interesting. We live part of the year in France but no thoughts of leaving UK and fingers crossed Brexit doesn’t cause problems for second home owners. Anyway... I had an ablation about 2 years ago. I’d had 2 serious attacks of afib, both in France and the second required a helicopter trip to Grenoble. It was a toss up to have an ablation as my serious afib was pretty rare. I had horrendous migraine for 2 weeks after the op, apparently that’s not unusual and is caused by the hole made from one part of the heart to the other. My recovery to full exercise took several months, maybe longer but I wasn’t ever really prevented from going about my normal daily life. Of course I was wary and took it relatively easy. However, I’ve always been very sporty and after about 6 weeks I started gentle exercise. I can’t say I’ve got back to the fitness I once had but then age is a factor - although still doing well compared to most. One piece of advice I had was “don’t look at afib and ablations etc as incredibly life threatening”, they aren’t and it’s easy to exaggerate them in your head. My philosophy now is keep it in proportion. Be sensible. Enjoy life. Be optimistic. Be gentle with yourself but don’t be a wimp! Best of luck, Colin.

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Thanks Colin, I think your words are wise and yes I have been getting in a tizz here over this

Sue

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Yes Colin, prefecture appointments,mines mid feb, allus expats have to take dossiers to prove we’ve lived here prior to mar 29.and we won’t be a burden on the state.......ieach has an appointment of half an hour......I’m hoping a month after my ablation is enough time for me to go to Annecy and do it and not be stressed,..plus my husbands in plaster till mid feb ....we will be a sorry pair for a while.

Thanks for your words I have been exaggerating this in my head this week and every getting tearful, I need to get a grip...next week is blood tests and anesthetist....so it’s suddenky real....I’ve been quite blasé until now, and thrn suddenky I’m probably being a wimp......

Sue

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I would be grateful for some advice regarding your treatment in France. Has there been any issues with recieving treatment and was there any cost involved or was the cost covered by the EU reciprocal agreement (hopefully this will still be in place post Brexit).

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I’ve had superb treatment in France, my wife too. You pay at the doctor, 25€ about, and for prescriptions. Emergency operations seem to be low cost or free. An overnight stay in hospital costs a daily rate. Not exorbitant. Emergency ambulance, usually by the fire brigade (pompiers) is free, private or voluntary ambulance is charged. Scans and hospital doctors etc charged. French have a Carte Vitale insurance that covers them. We claim a percentage back on the E111 and it seems a good deal. We usually start the claim in France and haven’t yet tried to do it from UK. As I say, we’ve always had wonderful treatment but we are not in a major city with so many people. Good luck. And let’s hope Brexit doesn’t spoil it for all of us. You may guess which way we voted!

Cx

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Thank you very informative, my travel insurance does not cover me for my existing arythmia condition and I was hoping that I would not have an exorbitant bill should I have needed treatment last summer. This year my condition has deteriorated and poses a greater risk of needing treatment, if I understand correctly there is a standard charge of €25 for the doctor and everything else is either free or can be claimed back on the E111.

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The Eh11 will cover you for emergencies, I started my afib in Spain and taken into hospital it was all covered and I paid nothing.they were so kind.

I live in France. I have my Carte vital here, but fir you the Ehh11

It’s covered by eh11 in France too.....you may though have to pay for certain things and claim back in eh11.

If you need help the local doctor has daily surgeries....just turn up and it’s either walk in or they will give you appointment,...same day.....you pay 25 euros. If they use a ecg you get an extra charge..

If you feel you need more help go to the AnE at the hospital, check which has the A n E.....you go in door and wait your turn, they thrn take your details, BP etc ask what’s wrong and thrn you go into the clinic.....it’s easy.

Last resort emergency ring 15.

If you go to see doc or hospital take all the meds you are taking with you.....I’d copy your prescription and keep it in your purse.

Don’t worry France has an amazing health service you would be treated very kindly ......

Sue

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A % can be claimed back yes. I think it’s emergencies that qualify for and free treatment. This is my experience. I have to pay for an extra insurance outside EU of course. About £250 for a month for the US and that’s the cheapest.

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Heart infrance is full 100%, I’d presume the Eh11 cover in francewould be the same.

In Spain my afib attack was covered 100% by Eh11, I paid nothing just signed a form.

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You’ll be fine. It’s all very routine for the docs. Yes it’s your heart but actually it’s one of the easier organs to fix up I should think. It’s wondeful and magical and it’s... a pump. The liver and kidney and brain and others are not so easy to fiddle with. But I’m not a surgeon! Have faith in the system, both your body and the medics, oh and «doigts croisées » as we say. BTW when you say ex pats do you mean those living in France full time? We just have a second home here and stay for up to a couple of months at a time but usually less. Be well Sue.

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Yes doigts crossees!....the chap I’m Lyon seems very nice and my cardio says he’s the best one to see..although it’s a long way for me.....so I’m in good hands. Thanks, I am seeing by the reply’s my life will be more normal than I was imagining after being a sensible woman and doing the resting, I was seeing the term three months as a sentence of doing nothing.....yes by expats I mean us living here permanently. As you know the french do love their paperwork so we are having each to submit dossiers of copies of everything, from birth certificate s to tax forms......I think they have shares in the ink firms, I’ve already used a full printer ink up!...!!!!!

bit stressful having to go to get this Carte sejour as you hope you’ve git all the documents correct....plus I’ve heard there’s asylum seekers queues and it’s chaotic, got my appointment a month after ablation.

Where in France are you?

Sue

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We are in the Dévoluy, 05 Hautes Alpes, between Grenoble and Gap. Stunning location but not somewhere I’d want to live full time and impossible to leave the grandkids! So it’s nice to come out for anything between a week and two months. Costly of course with the travelling plus house expenses but it’s 16 years now so we’ll just see how it goes for a while more. Good luck Sue. Colin x

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We’ve done the gap road back to morzine it’s a lovely pretty winding up and down road, as you say it’s stunning around there. Yes second homes it’s expensive. I’ve noticed edf has doubled since we first came.

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That’s not good. We don’t tents to be so vigilant. I understand why anyone would live in France but it’s not viable for us. Still age will encourage us to make changes!

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Hi Sue,

I had my ablation now a 1.5 years ago. I am so very grateful that it worked thus far and I am not on meds. I understand how nervous you must feel, but the best advice I would give you I to try and do things to quiet your mind about all of it. I felt good very quickly. I was tired for about a week or less and then got on with life as normal. I drove almost right away and went on my walks as well. I stayed away from caffeine, alcohol and any other potential triggers for quite a while and got through the 3 month period after with a few blips here and there. Trust yourself to know your own limits since no one knows your body better then you. This is going to work and you are going to get your life back to normal! Good luck!

All my best,

Andrea

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Thank you Andrea , I’m getting more of a feel for how it will be how, I was thinking three months wasa sentence if doing barely nothing, it’s a huge relief that slowly I can get back to normality...

Thank you

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Hi Sue

Everyone is different but my recent experience may help. Five weeks ago I had my first ablation after about 3 and a half years of PAF. I had a general anaesthetic and stayed overnight in hospital. Ablation was at around 4pm and by 9 am next morning I was on my way home. For the first couple of weeks I paid careful attention to my groin wound - not too much lifting, supporting the wound with my fist while getting in and out of the car and climbing stairs. I developed a lump in my groin after a few day. Bad things can happen at the groin as there are major blood vessels in the area so I took that seriously and saw my GP asap. Fortunately it was nothing worse that a Heamatoma which is slowly resolving itself.

That was the first few weeks - a bit of an invalid, due to the groin wound.

I drove after about a week but sparingly and carefully, avoiding situations where I may have needed to slam on the brakes.

At the five week mark I am cycling and kayaking (nothing extreme), I have taken an interstate flight, I am lifting things and otherwise back to normal - in fact better than MY normal as I have had no AF in that time and very few, barely noticeable ectopics.

I am hoping this is my new normal :-).

All the best to you.

PS - I am still on the same meds as pre-ablation and I see my EP for follow up at the 3 month mark.

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Thank you so much it’s so encouraging. It was confusing as to how long you are incapacitated when you hear the three month term.....thank you so much

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Yes, rest at home and do very little other than put on the kettle for your first 2 weeks. You can walk about the house. Start going for a gentl walk for 15 mins slowly on 3rd week and if you feel ok then walk for 30 mins towards end of third week and build up over the next couple of weeks till you can walk as far as you your are able. Listen to your body it will object if your doing too much, your heart may go into AF, mine did when I lifted a heavy object on week three and I thought I had undone all the work of ablation, however, it settle after 12 hours and I continued on my path of gently walking. You can also have AF as part of recovery or palpatations may occur over the recovery time, this is normal. Its reported on here that it can take the heart 6 months to heal fully so go with it. I had my cryoablation in April 2018 and feel absolutely great now. I walk dogs daily for 1 and 1/2 hours, twice daily and feel great.

I cant remember how long before driving due to the puncture wounds in my groin but it wasn't too long. Everybody is different so you have to just listen to your own body.

I get ectopic beats now and then and palpatations if I eat something that triggers them but apart from that I am almost normal. Off all heart meds now but staying on Riveroxiban as I am terrified of stroke. Good luck, the actual ablation was no problem for me, I was awake during the procedure but remember only little bits.

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Thanks that’s a really good explanation....I’m feeling much more informed now,

Thank you

Sue

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Hi Morzine, remember me I’m the other wimp 😀 am on day 4 now, resting, just feel tired but heart beat normal so far. Groin area looks horrendous it is so bruised which is climbing up my tummy and down my leg but there is no pain from this bruise at all.

Taking the advise from everyone on this great site who I class as friends now, and resting . Good luck

Ursula x

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Ah Ursula day four! Thank you for answering me....I’m exactky two weeks Monday.....since I out this message up ivehad so many detailed positive posts as to how it went for others.....yes I’m with you, this site is like a bunch of chums.....so supportive thank god we googled and found it.

Keep up the posts I will too.....I’m less wimpy than I was last week now!!!

Sue

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As everyone has said, each of us has a different experience. I’m now 2 months post ablation and feel great. Took me a week of being still and snoozing with pups, then the second week I was back to normal and cooking a huge thanksgiving dinner for family. Just rest, rest, rest for a good week then take it day by day and see what you feel like doing, if anything. Best wishes!!

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Thanks Julie, I’m much more understanding this now, hearing from you all

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As far as I know, ectopicism is caused by very rapid heart rate. Since an ablation immediate returns your HR to normal, you should be immediately back to 100% normal, like I was the very next day after BOTH my ablations.

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That’s very encouraging!!

Sur

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Sue

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Hi Sue - you are free to call me and I will fill you in. I am nine months after and have my final checkup next week. All good - not to worry as the recovery was not horrible. My procedure was about 7 hours - was back to work in two days and at the gym in 7...

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That’s so encouraging thank you so much!

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For me.. week one. Going to the loo is plenty of exercise. Week two. Going upstairs is plenty. Week three.. little walks (like a mile) knacker me and getting better. Week 4 capable of most normal things. Week 5 better than before! (but still avoiding cardio as don't want to push luck )

Don't over think it.. and make sure you give yourself enough time. You will know what your body is telling you.

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Hi Sue

I estimate you are about 2 weeks post-ablation.

I hope it’s all going well for you

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Hi crescendo, I’m doing good....had migraine a bit first week.....it’s day 16 today and I’m gong into the village fir a cuppa with a chum.....I’ve really rested the last two weeks, I was virtually snowed in so it made me do nothing even if I’d wanted...which I didn’t......the hospital visit all went well......they were all so kind

So you must be 7 weeks now? I was encouraged to hear you were cycling at five weeks.....it’s very icey and slippery here it’s ski season and the skiers walk and compact the path I’m rather scared to break a bone so my usual circuit walk aren’t happening. So I can’t judge how my body is on excersise.....we are goung off the mountain next weeks to have a few flat walks.....so you flew at five weeks, that’s so encouraging, I want to go home to U.K. for a visit I.......I’m planning a long haul in September but am holding off booking tickets till I see the cardio in mid mar.....I’m same as you still on my meds till I see him....think it’s best to help heart heal in the calm of tablet world!

Fingers crossed for us eh,,

Sue

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Great to hear you are doing well Sue. I am 10 weeks today, zero AF since ablation. Yep, flew a while ago and had my second quick flight from Brisbane to Sydney and back last weekend. No drama. We’ve also booked a trip to Europe for August, 21 hours in the air. Keep well & yes, fingers definitely crossed for everyone doing whatever they can to tame this beast.

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Oooo Europe, a long flight and I’m planning then opposite direction to OZ in September....oh yes fingers crossed for everyone else to feel normal........this things comes as such a shock when first diagnosed.....you get to understand it more as time goes on.......but “sweet normality “ is what we all want back again.....

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