AF Association
12,940 members15,777 posts

can't even think of a title for my blog


i'm a 55 year old male and was diagnosed with af a few months ago,though i believe i had intermittent attacks for the last 2 years,shortness of breath and dizzy spells,was treated for vertigo !!.

my hobbies are/were running and hiking,both of which i can no longer do,really struggling in my job as a scaffolder too,my condition is getting worse.

i used to get out of breath when walking up stairs or hills but lately i'm struggling when out walking on the flat,like canal paths ect.

my job is very physical and involves a lot of ladder climbing,luckily we work as a gang of three and my to pals do most of the hard stuff and i get the easy stuff,though even this is getting hard for me lately.

i used to run 80 miles a week about 5 years ago but had problems with my knee so i just ran/jogged 3/5 miles 3/4 times a week on the treadmill down the local gym,but that's out of the question now due to my breathlessness,my other hobbie is hiking but again this is getting to much for me,though i can do some easy low level walks,just.

i'm on beta blockers and warfarin and waiting to get my inr settled so i can have the cardioversion,this is proving hard as it seems impossible to get my inr settled for 4 weeks in a row.

i'm told my inr needs to be between 2 and 3 for four weeks in a row before they will call me in,easier said than done.

asked the local gp to see if it was possible to improve my quality of life a bit with meds but no joy as of yet,looks like i must wait for the shock treatment

feel very scared and very alone,like everyone else i didn't want this awful thing,really hits home when i carry my 4 year old grand daughter upstairs to bed and i'm out of breath and my legs are shaking.

while reading over my blog and spell checking i'm struck by how downbeat it is,sorry,but i am trying to be honest.

9 Replies

Don't be sorry. We all understand those feelings of feeling scared and alone and most of all how much we hate that we have this! It can interfere with everything like work and enjoying your family so of course we get sad and scared. I hope your INR gets where it needs to be for your cardioversion and that it is successful. Good luck. Keep us posted.


That sounds very similar to my experience except I'm a bit older (66). It took about 3 months to get my INR levels right, I also had Eperin (Heparin?) injections at the beginning and feel a lot better now, though still unable to run without feeling strange, and also like you picking up the grandchildren sometimes is a bit of strain. The worst thing is not knowing what your limits are and how far you can or should push yourself. I'm waiting to see the specialist about having cardiaversion my appointment is in March. As they keep saying here in Italy "patience, patience..."!


Thanks for sharing your experience. This may not feel helpful but what you are going through is common. It can take months before your INR levels are settled.

Please call us for more support and information on alternative treatment options: (+44) 01789 451 837


after pestering my local hospital i have been informed i'm pencilled for wed 9th january.

so long as my inr count is between 2 and 3.5 they will proceed with the cardioversion.

in one way i want this so i can again lead a near normal life,on the other hand i'm really scared.

from what i've read on the internet there is a high chance that af could return even if the op is successful,don't know if i could handle facing the cardioversion again.


What are you all specifically talking about when you reference cardioversion? I've seen a few of you saying that you were scheduled for it. I was Cardioverted 1 time when my A-fib did not return to NSR after 18 hours.

toppa1, it sounds like you are talking about an Ablation procedure. Cardioversion is the act of using electrode paddles to shock the heart back into NSR and will not last. It does not keep you from going back into AF later.

There is a procedure which involves implanting a Defibrillator which will cardivert the heart when it detects irregular heart beat.

With Warfarin, it normally takes a few months to stablize. Mine took 2 months and I have been on the same dosage since (about 9 months) and stay level at about 2.6 to 2.8. It takes a couple months just to develope your eating habits. What you can and can't have. My hardest was the cranberries, I love them and now can't touch them and really have to watch what I eat. You'd be surprised at the number of things that have cranberries in them.


to be honest ablation was not mentioned to me,in fact i only heard about it online,then googled it to learn more.

i have seen 2 specialists,one private and one on the nhs,both reccomended i try the cardioversion first,i know the odds of the proceedure being/staying successful are very low but they both thought it was worth trying as they seemed to think that at my age it was worth giving it a go.

i got the feeling that this was going to be a process of elimination,they both felt that i should try the cardioversion first,then if that failed we would discuss/try other options.

due you need weekly blood tests for ablation and must your inr be in the 2-3 range for a month before they call you in,i'm finding it really hard to get in range 4 weeks in a row,i get 3 good weeks then it all goes to pot,may be i need to watch my diet more carefully,and i drink about 3 pints on a sat night,maybe this will have stop altogether?

as i mentioned before i'm pencilled in for the cardioversion on jan 9th,looks like ablation if/when this fails.


toppa1, What did your doctor tell you a cardiversion was. Maybe we have a misunderstanding about terms.

A cardioversion is the same thing they do on a heart attack person to start the heart beating again. It is just an electric shock to start the heart beating. In AF it shocks the heart back into NSR. It is just a one time thing to get you out of an active AF attack. If you are not in AF then it would do nothing except shock the crap out of you. They could shock you and you could go back into AF in 15 minutes. It is not a procedure that they schedule you for. If you go into the ER having an AF attack and they can not get you back into NSR with meds then they will try to shock (cardiovert) you back into NSR.

An Ablation is a procedure where they enter the veins with a wire that goes into the heart and scars the probable areas so that the electrical impulses can not happen again. It is meant to stop AF from happening.


When I had my first episode of AF, cardioversion was the first option suggested to me.

I asked for a chemical treatment and was given amiodarone and reverted to NSR within 12 hours.

Since then I've been on Diltiazem with no return of AF.


You are not alone. Age 44, after years of testing, ablations, and many docs, my now cardiologist put me on Verapamil and my life is bearable. I would ask about this calcium channel blocker. I can't do stairs, run, or exert due to Afib, but regular motion is bearable and you learn to live with it. Best to you!


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