Last Monday I visited the arrhythmia clinic , my last visit for the time being, I have been officially signed off. I will post the details for anyone who like myself is coping with P-AF with the help of medication and lifestyle changes and does not wish to have an ablation to try to improve the quality of their life at this time (there is no guaranteed 'cure' for AF)
I had a long chat with the Arrhythmia Nurse who is part of the AF team, the nurse triages the clinic and liaises with the Cardiologist (who is also an EP) I guess they get to see more people this way and I understand that and don't feel I have missed out not seeing 'the main man'.
I discussed the frequency and duration of my P-AF which for over the last year has been stable at one episode a month lasting between 8-15 hours, the dietary and exercise regime I am using in the hope of preventing the progression of P-AF and any other changes to my health .
My main concern was that by refusing an ablation the episodes of AF could be damaging my heart. I was told that in this instance as the echocardiogram had revealed no significant problems with my heart, I was taking an anticoagulant, the episodes were not too frequent or long, I had lost weight and made lifestyle changes, my P-AF seems stable, I should be ok to carry on as I am .
Had I decided on an ablation there is a 12 month waiting list locally for a first ablation, subsequent procedures have to be carried out in another hospital over 100 miles away.
I will now continue having 6 monthly blood test with my GP to check the anticoagulant is not doing any harm . If my condition changes I can be fast tracked back to the arrhythmia clinic.
We AFers vary greatly in our AF experience and that includes tolerance of medication, frequency of episodes, comorbidities, existing heart conditions and there isn't a 'one size fits all' when it comes to how we each deal with our condition and we can only listen , learn and decide the best course of action for ourselves as individuals
I have decided on balance this is the best plan for me. Although unpleasant I can cope with the episodes of P-AF with the help of breathing/relaxation techniques, my quality of life is ok and I really don't want to go down the road of what could be frequent procedures for a temporary small improvement to my QOL and no guarantee of a permanent fix for my P-AF .