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Successful cardio version

Hi there everyone just an update from my previous post two weeks ago.

My wife had a failed cardioversion 3 weeks ago and was gutted as her body doesn’t tolerate A/F too well, we went to see our cardiologist who suggested we go private ASAP for one final go before we go down the ablation route !!

I am extremely happy that we went down that route as he personally did the procedure and she is now back in NSR and feels so much better.

But she is absolutely scared to death of it reverting back, we have been advised no alcohol or chocolate or stress as they are triggers but can anyone offer any more advice ? Any help or tips you can give us would be greatly appreciated !!

She is still on the amioderone and rivaoscopan (not sure correct spelling) and beta blockers too.

But I am after any advice whatsoever to try and keep her in NSR.

Thanks in advance.

Richard.

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Richard that is excellent news, you and your wife must be relieved. Obviously she should continue to avoid all the things you suspect may be triggers including caffeine which you didn’t mention. It would be a good idea if she drank lots of water too and if it’s appropriate, lose weight and be mindful of all the usual lifestyle recommendations. You may already be aware, but a CV does not cure AF but because it has worked, it does indicate to your doctor that an ablation is more likely to succeed should that route become necessary. Hope this helps, best wishes.....

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Thanks so much for your great advice, we have started slimming world so that should help, she drinks plenty of water and has a few cups of tea so hope that’s ok but if not we will have to knock the tea on the head ha ha

Thanks again.

Richard.

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That shouldn’t be necessary but try decaf tea, it’s not that different in taste and may help!!

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Thank you will do.

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Try herbal or green teas instead. Black tea contains as much caffeine as coffee or chocolate but avoid anything that says decaffinated on it as the process of taking the caffeine (which is a natural insect repellant by the way) out of the plant is as harmful as not tampering with it.

My main advice would be to get help with the fear of reverting - fear is just another word for stress - which is the main antagonist for inflammation = AF. CBT for worry thoughts & regular Mindfulness practice. I can recommend the Calm App but there are others.

Check out the NHS site which has some quite good pointers nhs.uk/oneyou/for-your-mind...

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Thanks very much I will look into this thanks for your help.

Richard.

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Hi Richard. If your wife likes a cup of tea then try Redbush it's naturally caffeine free

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Hi Richard

Pleased she's been reverted and I'm sure by now she'll be starting to feel better. It's quite normal to feel like a weight is lifted and you realise how ill you actually were when in AF.

For me, I gave up drinking only in very rare occasions (last year it was Feb for anniversary, June at a wedding and September, twice, for birthday) because I know I'm going to feel rough or like I'm wandering over the edge of a cliff before potentially dropping off. Always feel like my HR is raised.

I don't drink caffeine and haven't for a long while, though not as long as without cider. I only drink caffeinated tea if there's nothing else (maybe once a month) and considering how much coke and energy drinks I drunk between or during shifts at work (you'll know from your own experiences) that is a drastic reduction.

I also no longer use salt in cooking, and very rarely add it afterwards - certainly not in the amounts I used to. I no longer need to say "it will need salt" to people who come round because they're used to it and they season to taste.

Chocolate is one thing I have a lot less of, but still have it maybe one day a week for a treat.

The biggest challenge for me has been weight loss. Logistically it's almost impossible to get to something like slimming world regularly but I have changed diet a bit. Granted some weeks (as you will know) are pretty decent food weeks but also there are subtle changes to portion size, ingredients and variety - I eat a lot more veg now than I ever used to thanks to Kate and the kids.

Primarily the weight loss struggle has been to do with inactivity. There's not been a month in the whole of 2018 where my heart or my knee has prevented work/pleasure exercise. 2017 and earlier I did at least get out once every couple of months for a hike and even carried the baby to school and back (a mile) without too much issue. I've managed to lose 10kg since September 2017, it's been up and down inside that 10kg all last year but never gone any heavier. It was quite good that a nurse I saw after my ablation recognised me eventually, more by name, and said I'd lost weight since a couple of years ago. It's more likely to have been redistributed but the sentiment was there.

The other thing is work/stress. I cut my hours down from 37.5 hours made up of 12 hour shifts with no real "rest days" in between (only days off, which I didn't rest on) to doing 3 days, then 2 days as other half increased her hours. The days off still include 2 miles a day, at varying pace, to school and back as well as more of the housework but it's not really the same as being on my feet for 10 hours of a 12.5 hour shift.

Because I take pride in my job, and where I work this has probably been the hardest change. I am not the sort of guy to "not care" or be indifferent when something goes wrong. I have never found saying no easy, nor being selfish to protect myself. I sometimes wish other people afforded me the support and protection that I give when they are unwell/pregnant/health issues. The stress has changed from keeping people happy to fighting for my own rights and needs as an employee, so it's still there just slightly different.

There are very few people who "know me" that know everything, and you're now one of them too. I always find sounding off in here helpful, its important to have an outlet. I'm guilty some times of not talking to Kate as much as I should and just trying to muddle through, frustration and having the black cloud of AF over you can cause you to let yourself get wound up and caught up in it through no fault of your own, nor anyone elses.

Anyway I hope you and the missus find the experiences useful!

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Thank you Paul some great help there for us thanks for taking the time to type all that information.

I hope you are ok as I know from knowing you that you have a rough ride with your health but it looks like you are doing everything you can to promote a healthy lifestyle.

All you need now is a good holiday by the Yorkshire coast my friend !!

Thanks for your help and advices mate and thank you for putting me onto this site it genuinely has been a great help.

Richard.

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If I can remember where we stayed last time I'd reply to Kyle's email. Will have a look this week at getting it booked.

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Hello Richard! Good to hear thst this DCCV has worked.

Apart from avoiding alcohol I would add avoiding eating late at night and do not eat heavy meals ie eat to almost satisfying hunger and certainly not to get to the stage where you couldn't eat another thing !!

I note that you are following Slimming World. I have done so in the past but for me i can get too competitive and impatient and end up eating well below 800 cals on days which has triggered fast AF for me. So a steady loss is ideally the way to go if you want to keep the heart rate steady in my opinion.

Good luck!

Sandra

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Thank you Sandra for the info we do actually usually eat late so that’s a great bit of advice for us thank you for that.

Hope you are ok too.

Richard.

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Yes Richard, I really do think that eating late is a trigger. I've found this on weekends away when we are often booked for 8pm table and it's often 9pm by the time we eat. I really have to ensure at those times that I do not overeat which can be quite tempting so 3 courses is not on for me !

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Hi Richard, your wife should also avoid getting out of breath as lack of oxygen can set off AF and after some time in AF your wife will probably be quite weak.

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Unfortunately Richard a large number of conversions do fail during the first month then failure rates steadily decrease over time. Your wife almost completed that first month so everything crossed that she progresses further this time. I am on a similar meds regime as your wife and was successfully converted last April and remain in normal rhythm. It is understandable that your wife is concerned, bit like the sword of Damocles, but this feeling will decrease with time . As previously mentioned, stress should be avoided and any meditative activity can help. Tai Chi is good for mind and body and can be enjoyed at your own capabilities.

As with all heavy duty drugs Amiodarone comes with possible unwelcome guests so make yourselves aware of these as forewarned is forearmed. You wife will have regular blood tests and be carefully monitored. A relatively recent study from South Korea gives strong evidence that side effects are dependent upon dosage levels, with the exception of thyroid due to the high level of iodine content. (200mg daily is considered a low maintenance dose). Also be aware that Amio is the most successful antiarrhythmic out there.

It can take a while for her body to adjust to the drugs, especially the beta blocker, though i can report no significant side effects . Her body will dictate exercise levels but hopefully over a period of time these levels will improve. I was quite surprised how quickly my own fitness improved and hopefully your wife will find the same.

Stay strong, stay positive and good luck.

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There is some great information there thanks so much it’s really appreciated and it’s fantastic that all this advice is coming from people who are in the same or similar situations, thanks for your help and advice.

Richard.

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