Can afib sufferers live normal lives ? - AF Association

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Can afib sufferers live normal lives ?

Suntanann profile image
Suntanann

Having had a diagnosis of afib from January . Im 53 and now taking 40mg verapamil 4 times a day since mid February I've read as much as I can about afib ...all the treatments and life changes and the posts regarding ablation ...to have or not to have . Are any members actually able to live normal lives since their afib diagnosis? Can medication alone control afib permeantally. ? Both my aunt and mother had afib and took medication for many years and they continued to live normal lives ...whereas on the forum an ablation very often seems the only answer and the thought of facing something like that scares the hell out of me .

63 Replies
BobD profile image
BobDVolunteer

Many people are totally unaware of having AF until they are struck down by stroke and many people with permanent AF do live normal lives so long as rate is well controlled and they are properly anticoagaulated.

The worst case scenario is of course paroxysmal AF especially when people are highly symptomatic. Obvious question is what is normal in life.

Remember that although there may be some slight benefit in terminating AF .in terms of morbidity, most treatment for it is only for quality of life as it is not considered life threatening and up to say 25 years ago was considered a normal function of aging.

Hidden profile image
Hidden

Awwww Suntanann, I think you have answered your own question. If your Mum ‘n Aunt managed to live normal lives, why shouldn’t you! Over the years I have met several people with AF and a huge number of them have not opted for any form of procedure and many are quite content with the lives they lead. Please bear in mind that there are close to 1.5 million people in the UK alone who have AF and only a tiny proportion of them use this forum. This probably means that what you see and read on this forum is not fully representative of the whole.

People who come here are generally seeking information and largely that is what they get and this is why the different types of treatment available are so frequently discussed. I think there are a good many AF patients around who probably have never heard of an ablation.

You are young and probably better informed than most and at some stage you will no doubt decide, with help from medics, what form of treatment is best for you. Most people are naturally nervous about having an ablation but these days the risks are well controlled and you rarely hear anyone saying they wished they hadn’t had theirs.

It will be interesting to hear what others say, but if you are comfortable with your quality of life and your AF is controlled, why not follow your Mum’s example.....

Physalis profile image
Physalis in reply to Hidden

Yes, I managed to live a perfectly normal life for years. It became more frequent. and I guess there were some symptoms. Now I feel I can take on painting my kitchen whereas before the ablation I automatically got a decorator in.

My ablation was no problem at all. Took an hour, no pain. No Afib since.

I agree that the people on here are not representative of the total population with AFib. Maybe those who have very symptomatic attacks are the ones who have ablations that take a long time and are painful, etc. Possibly this is due to other things going on with their hearts.

Maybe these need to be evaluated before they are offered ablations.

Visigoth profile image
Visigoth in reply to Physalis

I’m very encouraged to hear of your good experience of ablation. Did you have paroxysmal AFib before it? And may I ask how long ago you had the ablation? I am currently considering whether to have one and am pretty scared by most of the experiences I read about!

Physalis profile image
Physalis in reply to Visigoth

Yes, I had paroxysmal AF for a long time but it was only when I got my apple watch in 2019 that I could take an ECG and keep records. It was happening a lot, lasting up to 30 hours with highs just occasionally of 200 bpm, mainly averaging about 140. The worst symptom was feeling faint in the morning when I got up and that could last for half an hour or more before I could get up. I didn't know if it was connected but since the ablation it hasn't happened once. I guess the AFib was pulling me down a bit - but not as much as the bisoprolol!

I had my ablation ten months ago. There was another chap who went in before me and his experience was pretty much the same as mine.

It really depends on your symptoms and how often it happens and whether you are happy taking the meds and if they control it.

From my point of view I wouldn't be at all frightened if I had to have it done again.

cuore profile image
cuore in reply to Physalis

It is the unfortunate affibers who are led to the persistent stage that will have long ablations and more than one.

Hi,

Short answer - yes ! I was 65 when diagnosed in January 2010. I turn 77 in September 2021. Right at the outset my Cardioloogist and I discussed my paroxysmal AF and ablation. I rejected the notion of ablation. My meds for AF are Warfarin and Bisoprolol. I also take a statin and two meds for high blood pressure. I have led a normal life since diagnosis, travelling to Australia, still working part time 30 hours a week driving buses, I still continue with my unhealthy habits such as booze, still do jobs around the house. Perhaps a little less energetic than I used to be BUT I do follow a much more healthy food plan than previously. I also have a generally positive attitude which I claim is a gift from my paternal grandmother. My much more bigger problem nowadays is Osteoarthritis and related pain.

hope that helps.

John

I always want to define what is ‘normal’ as your normal and mine will differ. I’ve had to make huge compromises in my life because of several conditions, one being AF but many people would consider those compromises to be outside of normal life ie:- scuba diving, skiing, long distance sailing, hiking, going to gym x2 weekly.

What I still do is Yoga, gentle walks, pace myself more, play bowls, sew, be a passenger on bigger boats, swim - when weather or lockdown doesn’t prohibit.\

Normal is a state of mind - not what you can or can’t do -many people here have said that AF changed their life very much for the better!

Go well.

It's all about quality of life, how active is your "normal" and what are your goals going forward. Status quo? Marathons? Leisurely walks? Or somewhere in between. As I've discovered here in this marvelous forum, no 2 AFIB experience's are the same. I am 66 with paroxysmal, and my triggers tend to be food portions involving carbs, and happen after bed. I am on 1 180mg of Dilltiazem, and 1 xaralto a day. I hike and bike and do light weight training 3 times a week. 1 have had 3 incidents in 3 months. My stress test and ECG indicated a healthy heart, so my expertise routine was Dr approved. Be sure to consult your physician before doing anything strenuous even if you are/were fit before AFIB. Type of AFIB, Other concurrent health issues, type of meds/treatments all factor in what you can do and what to avoid. 🙂

Yes it is very possible to lead a normal life bit AF does make some of us paranoid particularly if it is Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation which comes and goes.

I have been on medication for over 30 years and regarding ablation you should not be scared - I know because unusually I have had 7 ablations.

The only compromise I have made is to eliminate alcohol from my life as for me it was sometimes a trigger and I wanted my EP to have the best chance of helping me.

Pete

I've had ,AF about twenty seven years. I've had asthma about 46 years, and lymphoedema in my lower legs for about six years, and apart from bouts of bad AF when first diagnosed, and really bad bouts of asthma, more at the start rather than in recent years, I've led a normal life.What's made it different in the last nine months is the result of slipping while going downstairs, which I can't put down to my medical conditions, but a lack of concentration. I went down about eight treads on my bottom. Result was bruised legs and bottom, a hairline fracture of my right fibula, and the disappearance of a nerve that I'd taken for granted for 70odd years. Now I wear a splint or orthotic around my leg and into my shoe. I have Foot drop. Every time I walk I have to remember to lift my knee up so that my foot clears the ground. Outside, for confidence I use a walking stick. I've still fallen over three times as a result of not fully concentrating on raising my foot. I haven't thought about manual aids so I can drive. I'm reliant on others to get me from A to B. And this happened when hospitals were very busy because of the pandemic., But while my life has changed I'm not far off a normal life.

Snowgirl65 profile image
Snowgirl65 in reply to Thomas45

Thomas45 -- Sorry for butting in here, but after reading your post that you have asthma, I was wondering if having an asthma episode would trigger an a-fib episode. I have cat allergies (but still keep two of them!) and a recent brushing of them triggered a histamine reaction causing breathing problems and phlegm, which I feel -- but can't be sure -- triggered an a-fib episode. On another note, I'm sorry to hear of your other medical conditions. I certainly hope you heal soon!

Poochmom profile image
Poochmom in reply to Snowgirl65

I have Lyme disease and Babesiosis and my doctor also diagnosed me with MCAS which is mast cell activation syndrome and can cause AFib episodes. My guess is you are right on that those allergies can trigger an episode. It has for me but mine is more related to food I eat. I ate a bowl full of Brussel Sprouts and boy did that give me AFib!

Snowgirl65 profile image
Snowgirl65 in reply to Poochmom

I guess all have to cope and deal with what we have in our own way and listen to the experts for advice. I hope you're handling your issues well and everything is under control. I think I need to wear a dust mask when brushing the cats as I don't intend to take any more pills. Best of luck to you.

Thomas45 profile image
Thomas45 in reply to Snowgirl65

No interactions at all. I love cats and used to be allergic to them. 40+ years ago I had a course of desensitizing injections provided by the NHS, which means I could have cats. I have three, all rescue cats, one is sitting on me at the moment.

The pandemic has meant my treatment for foot drop has been delayed. As it happens one of my sisters has had foot drop for nearly 74 years caused by polio in 1947. She's used to lifting her knee up to raise her foot off the ground when walking. I'm getting used to it but have fallen twice when not concentrating on walking. Fortunately those falls were on grass. Every day, weather permitting, we walk around a nearby small village. I'm interested in natural history and haven't seen so many wild flowers in such a short space for decades. I look also at lichens and mosses, listen to birdsong, and look at the sheep In nearby fields, forgetting twice that I need to raise my foot, so I've stumbled and fallen, only hurting my pride.

I have two hospital appointments regarding my foot this month, so hopefully improvements are on the way. Hope all is well with you.

Snowgirl65 profile image
Snowgirl65 in reply to Thomas45

I too have two rescue cats. I intend to wear a dust mask now when I brush them to prevent a possible asthma (or whatever it is!) episode that could bring on a-fib. I think I know what you mean by foot drop, not a term used here in the States, and I had a friend who contracted polio just before the vaccine. Unfortunately she's wheelchair-bound. You're fortunate you live near such beauty, with the wildflowers, lichen and moss. I'm an avid gardener and try to design my gardens as natural as possible to attract wildlife including pollenating insects. The most amazing indigo bunting was under my birdfeeder this morning. Sheer heaven! Back to our health -- please be careful on your walks around the village and lift those feet up when stepping!

Hi, I was diagnosed with Afib at 38 and opted for an ablation. Took a long time to recover but I’m pretty much back to normal and not on any medication. Turn 40 this week.

I can do everything I did before cardio wise however now I just don’t work to max HR. This is by choice rather than being physically forced to.

These days the psychological impact of Afib impacts me more than it does physically - e.g being over sensitive to heart rate and rhythm, being aware of every little blip.

Answering your question yes you can absolutely live a ‘normal’ life once you find the correct balance of medication and by reevaluating / resetting your lifestyle where required. You may have to make some compromises but you swap the losses with something new!

Suntanann profile image
Suntanann in reply to thumpthump

Thank you for your positivity ....so glad to hear you had a positive outcome from.ablation .I really need to hear positivity at the moment as since diagnosis i have lost so much confidence

san_ray70 profile image
san_ray70 in reply to Suntanann

My husband was diagnosed about 5 yrs. ago, if it was not for the fact he takes warfarin, you would not notice anything. He walks with and without me, mows our garden, we play table tennis. When permitted we will resume bowling, short mat, as we have missed it. So far apart from blood tests he has not even needed to phone our doctor.

Thumpthump wrote

"Answering your question yes you can absolutely live a ‘normal’ life once you find the correct balance of medication and by reevaluating / resetting your lifestyle where required. You may have to make some compromises but you swap the losses with something new!"

+1

Sun wrote

"Are any members actually able to live normal lives since their afib diagnosis?"

Of course you can Sun - it can a bit of a roller coaster, and you may need to make some life style changes, but you'll get there. We all will. I think the fear factor is worse than the reality at times (understandable).

Another positive is treatments are improving all the time. 53 is not old and I'm sure your benefit from them.

"Are any members actually able to live normal lives since their afib diagnosis?"

For sure. I'm going though the mill a little myself at the moment but it will sort itself out. I know it will for you too.

Hang in there and hold tight. You'll see it though - I just know you will ;-)

Paul

Suntanann profile image
Suntanann in reply to Paulbounce

Thank you ...since joining the forum there have been so many kind and caring and informative posts from people but in particular yourself ....and yiu have taken the time even though your having a rough time yourself to give others including my self some.positivity and genuine thought .So thank you and hoping you'll be back to your usual self soon

This probably something many newly-diagnosed people wonder - I certainly did. Normal life is something which changes to fit one's circumstances - quality of life is much more important, I think.

I was diagnosed at 69 - was devastated but gradually got my act together and started drugs - Flecainide, betablocker and Apixaban. Together with lifestyle changes and a good cardiologist, I've settled into a comfortable 'normal' where I can do most things I want to do - admittedly much more slowly as I'm now 77.

Don't worry about whether or not you need to have an ablation - if the drugs work for you as they do for me, concentrate on that. A cardiologist friend who has AF told me I would know when and if to seek ablation - and I think he is right in that.

Suntanann profile image
Suntanann in reply to Finvola

Thank you for your positive reply ...I really need to hear positive posts ar this time as I've lost a lot of confidence since being diagnosed with afib ....fingers crossed the meds are beginning to help me return to a more normal life again ..

Was only diagnosed last August, but thankfully have managed to live a normal life. I take 50 mg atenolol and indapamide for HBP, which I’ve been on for years, and the only new thing since the diagnosis is Rivaroxaban. Swimming pool opened again a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been back after a year with no probs. Try not to think about it too much, think that helps.

Suntanann profile image
Suntanann in reply to Cha275rL

Thank you for your positivity ..it really helps as all this has knocked my confidence big time

I was diagnosed late 40s and now I'm early 50s. I am incredibly symptomatic without medication so after 4 cardioversions, I had an ablation 19 days ago. Too soon to know whether it's worked but I couldn't remain on the anti arrhythmia meds long term so I had to give it a go. Only you can decide how good your quality of life is and balance that against the treatment options available.😊

I’m 52. Diagnosed with AF (always persistent) in 2013, later diagnosed with Flutter. I had a flutter ablation in 2018. I was almost successful with an application to the fire service last year ( after going through the physical tests).

This year I started a new job which involves climbing telegraph poles every week.

I know not everyone is as lucky to get back to “normal” but people need to be aware that AF is not always the end of the road.

Maintain a positive attitude throughout, if one door closes open another!

I can elaborate in a later text but I have had Afib for over 40 years except for recent years since ablation. I am now 77 but still get a few Afib breakthroughs from time time. Progressed from Parox to Persistent to Permanent over decades. Still on Amiodarone and Apixaban.

cuore profile image
cuore in reply to Smileyian

It is strange that you have progressed to permanent but still on Amiodarone which is a very toxic drug and which may affect the thyroid.

Awe I get what you are asking as it’s early days for you and trust me we’ve all been you and thought that very same question. I’m three years on now, and this lovely bunch of folk made me calm down with their experience and realize that yes life can be normal. It takes a while to get the confidence in your body back, and fir tablets to settle. I think initially we think and think about it all the time,hear every heart quirky bits, but honestly as time goes on it will not be the big thing that invades your thoughts.I was so heartened in my early months to find out folk did long haul flights with no worries, I thought I’d never do that again, but last year I flew to Oz, and three years ago I was scared to go anywhere.

So yes, normal as in how we view normal to ourselves is out there, it just takes time to adjust in the early days.....

Chin up, your young and don’t fret about ablation beung such a scary option, it’s a very organized well practiced procedure, I worried when I was having mine, but the moment I walked into the hospital and the professional care took over I felt total relief.....

Sue

You have summed up eaxactly how I feel thank you

This has been such a reassuring thread to read. I am in the same situation as you and have been feeling totally overwhelmed but am now feeling a lot more positive. So thanks for sharing and thanks for every ones replies.

Poochmom profile image
Poochmom in reply to AFap

I feel exactly the same way. Thank you everyone for the positive comments. It really helps us newbies.

Hi, I am in the same position as yourself. Not been officially diagnosed with anything yet but I have a Kardia and it shows possible afib. I'm on 120mg verapimil but it doesn't seem to be holding afib back. Trying to get appointments at the moment very difficult. How's your verapimil helping you may I ask. I think mine needs to be upped.

Suntanann profile image
Suntanann in reply to ETHEL103

When first diagnosed in January time I was put on flecanide and bisoprolol and blood thinners all at once and I can honestly say I felt even worse ...could not function at all and returned to my private cardio and underwent all the usual test like angiogram , ech ocardiogram, heart monitors and ecgs which were all normal ...at that point my cardio took me off fleck and put me on verapamil ...40mg 4 times a day and took me off bisoprolol. ..it's taken from mid Feb to mid April and I was beginning to give up hope and the verapamil seemed to kick in . Since then I've been able to begin to regain some normality day by day ......my confidence has been hugely affected though and I'm still very nervous and cautious as don't want to over do it and trigger afib. ..I'm still getting a flutter now and then which I will live with it as long as the verapmil keeps the full on afib at bay .I believe though ...as I was taking omeprozole for gastritis when I started taking meds ..thay they were blocking absorption of the meds and stopping them working even though the doctors said they wouldn't so I stopped taking them and low and behold the verapamil seemed to start working ...I may be wrong but that's my gut feeling

Give the verapamil time I think is my advice ...but I'm a newbee to all this so not as clued up as some

I did cut out caffeine as I'm a huge tea drinker ..20 cups a day ...caffeine triggered afib for.me x

CDreamer profile image
CDreamer in reply to Suntanann

Trust your body - it’s the expert on you. I refused PPI’s as they can cause all sorts of other problems. You’ll regain your confidence - just keep on going. If a Med doesn’t work for you - go back and talk to your doctors as everyone reacts very differently.

NORMA12 profile image
NORMA12 in reply to CDreamer

Wondering how you manage without the PPIs. I also have acid reflux symptoms and have been battling a cough and laryngitis on and off for months. Diagnosed with Afib very recently and also fearing a possible ablation. Wondering how long is the recovery? Seems could be a year for some from what I am reading.

CDreamer profile image
CDreamer in reply to NORMA12

I cope well without - I avoid taking meds with carbohydrates, I eat slowly and mindfully, I sip a cup of hot water after eating every meal and if I do get the occasional bit of reflux then take Gaviscon followed by cup of water. I take Mycophenolate mofetil and Pyridostigamine - both notorious for causing acid reflux - but then many people with AF find that they suffer anyway - seems they go together - vagal response.

If you have a cough then you may have damage from stomach acid and that does need to be taken very seriously so I do hope you are being investigating the cause of the reflux if not food or med related.

Ablation recovery is very individual and will depend upon your level of health and fitness but there is nothing to fear. Most people recover within 2-4 weeks however you will continue to heal and improve for some months after - common longer term problems are gastric issues from having a camera down your throat, ectopic beats and higher than normal heart rate so I would say you would continue to improve for up to 12 months.

Hope that helps.

NORMA12 profile image
NORMA12 in reply to CDreamer

Thanks for the info. I have been to an ENT physician and was told to take the PPI as the acid was affecting my larynx, some edema causing hoarseness. Never ending taking medications it seems.

CDreamer profile image
CDreamer in reply to NORMA12

There are always alternatives but they involve quite radical lifestyle changes early in life and I have found that to be free of such maladies one has to have a lot of patience and time to allow the changes to take affect. You have taken years to develop the symptoms so it often takes years to repair. Unfortunately, most people want an instant ‘cure’, especially if in pain.

One piece of advice I was given is to raise the bed head by putting the blocks under the feet of the bed so your bed is at a slight angle. Avoid carbohydrates, especially anything white - potatoes, rice, sugar, all cakes, pastries and biscuits and bread; Drink a cup of warm/hot water after each meal; swallow saliva frequently.

ETHEL103 profile image
ETHEL103 in reply to Suntanann

I've taken lansoperazole for years and did try to stop. A week later I was bringing up acid during the night so on them again now. I didn't know they stopped absorbtion of other meds.

CDreamer profile image
CDreamer in reply to ETHEL103

PPI’s can have what is called rebound affect - ie:- once on them it’s almost impossible to come off them.

ETHEL103 profile image
ETHEL103 in reply to CDreamer

Yes 13 years is a long time. Maybe I could go every other day. Must be better maybe.

Suntanann profile image
Suntanann in reply to ETHEL103

When you stop taking PPIs it seems you will get rebound acid reflux but this is temporary ...mine. passed after a week or so .Doctors told me thay PPI'S don't srop absorption of meds ...bit they so stop absorption of minerals and vitamins ...I became potassium and mafnesium defenceman on them ..so if they can make you mineral /vitamin deficient then in my opinion rhey can also stop full of absorption of meds ...and ironically after I stopped taking PPI'S my meds started to work ...coincidence perhaps ...but I honestly believe it was the reason I didn't respond to verapamil whilst taking them .

PPI'S work short term but for long term can cause all sorts of problems I've learnt .....

ETHEL103 profile image
ETHEL103 in reply to Suntanann

So I'm learningI may try to stop them again and see how I do. Watch this space lol.

CDreamer profile image
CDreamer in reply to ETHEL103

Please get advice from your doctor and withdraw. very, very slowly over a period of weeks.

Suntanann profile image
Suntanann in reply to ETHEL103

I was on 80mg Ppi 40mg in morning and 40mg of a teatime ...I withdrew slowly over the course of 3 weeks ...please speak to your doctor first as we are all different ..I feel it helped me but what works for one may not work for another Ethel

I think it varies considerably. Some people are unaware they even have it, where when i get it I can hardly walk and am breathless. I also do not tolerate the drugs at all well, most of them made me feel worse than the afib!I've just had a second ablation and its really not too bad. But it may be that yours is controllable with drugs and you won't need to consider that for a long while, if ever.

Good luck x

I think you can live normally when you adjust to the idea! I spent almost 18 months in a state of near panic. Looking back I can see how this held me back but as Bob says often, Af won't kill you. It can however be uncomfortable and a real nuisance. I'm hoping that the ablation i've asked for will allow me to get of most of the drugs I'm taking now. I am also very scared of the whole thing but will face it if I'm told it will help. So chin up - you have two very good examples in your mum and gran, and you will be okay. Keep well and good luck xx

I've had two episodes of AF in 5 years, yet a consultant this week insisted that I go into hospital for an ablation. I declined.

Ablation seems to be the equivalent of GPs handing out antibiotics and antidepressants like sweets.

I developed Afib at the age of 69. I was always in good health except for taking BP meds. Afib Meds were started at lower doses and constantly increased which gave me horrible side effects and never worked. I finally had Cardioversion in March which was unsuccessful after 2 weeks. I felt like you. I was afraid of ablation due to a death in family from that procedure. After extensive research I found Magnesium Taurate and Magnesium Glycinate, along with Vitamin D3, Vitamin C, and Hawthorn Berry help to regulate heart rhythm. Although it takes 8-10 weeks to feel the benefits of these supplements, I am already feeling better. I have reduced the dosage of all my meds and am now capable of living with Afib and Flutter. I was not able to live normally prior to this as I was very symptomatic. If in 6 weeks I go back to constant uncomfortable Afib, I would rather try another Cardioversion before I went for an ablation. Everyone should consult their doctor but do the research first on what is best for your personal needs. Good luck!!

TracyAdmin profile image
TracyAdminAdministrator

Hello and welcome to the Forum - please visit the AF Association website for helpful information and advice heartrhythmalliance.org/afa... or alternatively please contact the Patient Services Team on 01789 867 502 or info@afa.org.uk - we are always happy to help. Take care.

I found out I had AF when I had a stroke in 2019. The shock made me extremely anxious. AF loves anxiety. I was just coming to terms with it when Covid and lockdown happened. My anxiety was awful which in turn upped the AF episodes. I had a cardioversion in January 2021 which did not work so my anxiety and AF became unbearable. Since the end of March when we have been able to start living again, my anxiety has reduced significantly and I have only had one AF episode. I feel so much better and really believe that the more I stress the worse the AF is, it seems to be my only trigger. Try not to worry and try to find what triggers your AF.

I've just finished reading "How I Cured My A-Fib" by Jay Clarke, brilliant and easy to read.

Hi, I too am in afib at 50 and also take verapamil. Many who answered already gave plenty of info. Are you on a blood thinner? That is my main concern for you. I get "winded" much easier but push through and after 15 minutes feel glad that I did. Exercise is helpful from what I read & I don't get much besides walking so we just got electric bikes. Had 1 cardioversion that lasted 1 year. Going to get another one soon. But, hubby has had a fib for 3 years at 62 & 4 cardioversions & last one only lasted a month. Only med neither of us could handle was metropolol...so tired on that. Be well, sorry I have no ablation advice~ Cristal

Unlike most people here I was not worried after my first diagnosed afib attack for which I was taken to hospital in an ambulance. I am sure now that I had had an attack the year before . Since both attacks came on after exposure to the antibiotic Ciprofloxacin I thought that it would not happen again if I avoided Cipro or other Fluoroquinolones. My heart was normal on the echo and my own cardiologist allowed me to stop the vit K antagonist and the Bisoproplol the hospital cardiologist had prescribed. I was more worried at the time by my diverticulitis attacks as I was petrified of being told I needed Cipro again. After bowel surgery to remove part of my colon the afib came back in hospital . Again I was not worried about it as afib is not unusual in older people after major surgery. It was only later that year when I had 2 more episodes that I started to get a bit anxious and think maybe this was going to be a recurring feature in my life. And although this forum has been very helpful I have to say that hearing "afib begets afib" repeated constantly by certain contributors has actually made me more rather than less anxious. I have now come to accept that it isn't going away but I am not letting it spoil my life. I have been unable to drink coffee for a few years and the smell of my husband's cup torments me in the morning! I have also had to cut down on wine to one very small glass a day. Large meals are out especially in the evening but that is only problematical if we eat out - I hate leaving a lot on my plate. My osteoarthritis is preventing me from living a normal life far more than my afib at the moment. I take Apixaban and a very small dose of Nebivolol and have more or less resigned myself to these as I hate taking meds. You have the example of your Mum and Aunt - there is no reason why you should not live a normal life too. Tweaking meds to find a workable combination that does not spoil your QOL is the key. My cardiologist has not suggested an ablation and I have not seriously considered asking for one . If the thought of having one scares you so much don't think about it for now . See how things go. I have found that although magnesium supplementation has not banished the afib it helps a lot with anxiety.

I was diagnosed three years ago with paroxyl afib. Which I have had about 7 years. I am 65. I can’t take any medication other than apaxiban and so it cannot be treated because my heart rate is too low. I have no other health problems and am 65. It’s uncomfortable when I get an attack but I can lead my normal life through it for instance I still work a full day even with an attack. I am down for an ablation but sometimes wonder if I should be without any bad symptoms.

Jane

I can completely understand your concerns! I was terrified when I first began having episodes about 20 years ago, the worst ones sending me to the ER. But later I just waited them out. Medication kept it at bay, until it didn't, which is when I decided on the ablation. My being sick and tired of episodes outweighed any fears of the procedure. I hope this helps.

Get book THE AFIB CURE by EP John Day. It also comes in audio format. This will ease all your fears and point you in the right direction going forward. It talks about lifestyle changes, meds, and ablation in a very positive way.

Personally, ablations worked for me very well. Had 10 years of normalcy and peace after coming down with AFIB at 55. Recently had another one ..... and hope to get 10 to 20 years out of that one.

Hi suntanann, when I was first diagnosed with afib at age 44/45 male fit and active muscular broad shouldered guy always looked after myself etc. I thought my life was over.!!! I spent a year totally petrified and depressed with every afib and ectopics episode I got. I was put on rythmol medication and it worked for a while ( not long) but I was that mentally worked up and wound up with fear no wonder it only lasted a limited time.? I asked for a ablation and I had one 6 months later. I am a total wimp and fairy cake and allergic to any pain or discomfort exceeding a shaving cut on my chin. But I would have an ablation rather than a tooth extraction. If you’re medication works then keep taking it but if you find it’s not working and an ablation is the next step then it’s something you can go for.

Hi

You sound just like me! I was diagnosed at 53, now 61.

I was put on the ablation list in 2018. However with an 18 month waiting list, I had symptoms mainly under control by then with meds and came off list.

Last summer I had a prolonged afib and flutter attack lasting weeks on and off and was put back on Ze List. Same length of wait, then Covid...🙄

Again ,now with adjustment to med type/ dosage I've been stable and living normal life

I recently broke my shoulder (!) And of course a week later ,was offered an ablation appointment! So on pause now.

It's so difficult to know what to do for the best.

I'd suggest not to worry too much about ablation for now,get settled into your meds and possibly lifestyle changed which can only help you anyway.

My mum and gran both had Afib. Gran lived till 86. Mum died earlier, sadly,BUT she had other heart issues,lifelong high blood pressure and several heart attacks. AFib was obviously a factor in her death from a stroke but not the only one. ( She wasn't anticoagulated by the way don't know why)

They both had the attitude that life would carry on regardless and as for taking meds long-term,many people already do for non AFib issues. I take blood pressure meds and a staying for example.

This forum is very useful and a great source of info and support.

It's early days in your getting used to something which on the face of it seems scary ,after all it's our hearts we are talking about,but I'm sure you will be in a better place soon with your fears / concerns.

Best wishes xx

Suntanann profile image
Suntanann in reply to wilsond

Thank you for those comforting words .Yes my aunt is still going sting at 78 and my mum sadly passed away at 86 but that was due to dementia and not heart issues

I myself ans happy to take meds for the rest of my life if they keep my afib under ccontrol. ..as ablation doesnt have 100% success rate and comes with risks like all procedures ...

Maybe there will come a time when I feel I do need to have rhe ablation but for me if meds keep afib at bay I can live with it .

Rhis forum. Has given me so much knowledge and support and positivity ...and I would of been in total dispair without it .

My private cardiologist is very practical but once out her consulting door it is very much a case of coping on your own

Had ablation 4 years ago but Afib is back to back on medication. But go to Stoke for review on Tuesday so will let you know the outcome. Could be another ablation or pacemaker?

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