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Arrhythmia Alliance
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Update after 2nd ablation!

Ok sorry I totally didn't update after I got home - was a little too busy watching Netflix and having panic attacks πŸ˜‚

So, overall things went well!! A little background - I was dx with WPW in 2009, had my 1st ablation on 2/25/2016 where they said it was NOT WPW, they burned different pathways. 2 months post-op appointment, was showing i was still in SVT, so decided for a 2nd ablation. This time my doctor was able to find the WPW pathway and ablate it!

This time I was totally under general anesthesia. I was very nervous about this, but it ended up being such a non issue - I remember them saying "ok just lay back" and that's it! I woke up fine, a little confused but wasn't nauseous and my throat didn't hurt too bad. I spent about an hour in recovery and then about 3 hours recovering in ambulatory. And then, I was home!

I will say the worst part of all of it has been my anxiety. When I was in pre-op I heard some scary things that freaked me out (not about my case - about a very different, much more critical, complex case).

And then there's the overall anxiety of "what if this didn't work?" I am still on my beta blockers. I go in for an EKG in 3 weeks and then I'll stop beta blockers for a month.

So in summation: Doctor was VERY pleased, as he found the pathway he was initially looking for! So that's great. The biggest hurdle that I am experiencing is anxiety. It just HITS me out of nowhere. But, as I have an anxiety disorder, this is to be expected. It hasn't even been a week, so I know I need to just give myself some time to process everything and relax.

Thank you ALL for your kind words. Anyone else experience a lot of anxiety post ablation? You'd think with this being my 2nd one I'd be a little more chill! πŸ˜‚

We'll see in a couple months if this was truly worth it, but I will say to anyone getting a 2nd ablation, you WILL get through it. My doctor is already very happy that we decided to go back in.

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Hello....and it is natural to be anxious after one, two or three ablations..your heart has been burned by tiny impulses, and it needs to be treated well. Rest lots, thats my mantra as I await number 3 in a couple of weeks. People look at you and cant see a scar or fully appreciate what a quite major procedure you have had done....so be kind to yourself, treat yourself to something nice, and relax and each day will be an improvement.........so yes, I know how it feels to be anxious!

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Thanks French Goose (A+ name btw)!! Yes I'm so glad it's over! I'm so sorry you have to go on for a 3rd...I can't imagine. Sending positive, healing vibes your way, and hoping that this one does the trick for you. You're not alone!


Hi....yes I had tons of anxiety before and after my ablation. That was a year ago and I think I'll be facing another ablation in the coming year. My anxiety has subsided for the most part but when I think of having a second one the anxiety can build rather quickly. I always knew I probably would need another but when it happens still the stress and worry gets to you. I know it too well. Lucky you to have gotten through it and it sounds successful! Where did you have it done? I'm thinking that you too are in the states as you talked about Netflix lol. Try and breathe slowly and deeply and tell yourself you did great getting through. Are you on any medications now?


Hi Eliza! Thanks for your kind words 😊I'm so sorry you're approaching a 2nd ablation. Trust me, in the months leading up to my second I was NUTS. I totally get it. Just know that you WILL get through it, and as insane as it seems, this is so routine for these doctors (of course, not routine for us!). I'm sending positive, healing vibes your way and know that you are not alone!

I am in the states - had both my procedures done at a hospital just north of Chicago. I'm so lucky that my doctor and his team are SO kind, compassionate, and understanding.

Currently on 25 mg/day Metoprolol XL (sometimes I take an extra 1/2 a pill if my PVCs are really bad), as well as some Xanax for anxiety as needed.

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Also lucky you live right by where it's done. I live in Florida and flew to Boston to have it done. Wanted to go where I know they are so good at what they do and will go ack there when time for it again. My daughter lives in Deerfield are you near there?


Well HI svtsin30s!!!

I am so glad you are fully back and at it!!! You did the general, gutted through the war stories of other people's hideous afflictions, and so on ( OK for me? OMG! I have anxiety too-not born with it like my 29 yr old daughter, but aquired through the first Cardiac Cath I had 4 yrs ago because of the tech NOT being able to get the IV lead in and blew a vein and it was super painful and when I said DONE! he just walked away and acted like he was insulted, and then I heard other people talking about THEIR hideous afflictions and problems and failed catheterizations and whatnots and when they wheeled me in it seemed the room wasn't stocked and they kept talking like I wasn't in the room like "she's tall, these arent' gonna fit" and holding up the heavy lead square "here's her fig leaf" and mumbling "she's already shaved" (DUH the 70's are calling and they want their FULL-BuSH BACK!) and I'm AWAKE! and dude the nurses come in and say OK you'll have conscious sedation but you won't remember ANY of this (I wish I didn't remember ANY OF THE THINGS THEY SAID FROM THE MOMENT I ARRIVED....GUESS WHAT I JUST DEVELOPED ANXIETY DISORDER IMMEDIATELY!)

After she put the Versed in my IV i was slurring my speech and they did put the covers on the thing over my chest so i couldn't see the SCREEN anymore and the doctor went behind the glass then another shot in there of Fentanyl and BOOM I'm out like Syncope. It seemed like a minute later and BOOM I'm UP again and all I hear is her BP is 72 over 48! So there goes my sedation and here comes the rest of my life with Anxiety, Paxil, and PTSD.

And do ya think they can even say, "Patricia how ya doin over there...You doing OK?"

NO. So I think it took me this long to be sort of OK but I'm watching Netflix too. And I just took a Cymbalta.

So, anyway svtsin30s, i just wanted to speak to your Anxiety because the Struggle is Real! And Anesthesia, needles, EP, device, Cardiology, Heart...Hospital...well YES! So your story of THIS ablation just makes my jump for joy and the fact that the anesthesia went so well is like HALLELUJaH!!! That's BIGGIE svts!!! Plus SVTS suck! This EP found the WPW pathway for you is amazing WOW! I'm beaming with joy! This doctor rocks! I'd love to know how he provoked it! You'll have to share your report later! If you want to! You were brave to go again, my EP couldn't find my SVT thingy or the Escape arrhythmia thingy that got me passing out in April. Would I go in again? Yeah.

The Cardiac Cath that happened 4 yrs ago was when I first got HF and my EF was 22% and I was already headed way downhill and anxiety was waiting for me and calling my name. I am really proud of all that you have done with Anxiety disorder, the worst hidden disability. Of arrhythmia is another bad hidden disability as well! You did well svtsin30s! Again, my daughter fights it too. I never would have understood exactly what the issue is if i hadn't been plunged into the fray in that precarious Cath Lab but I will never forget that feeling when it came on like a "Wrecking Ball" to quote Miley Cyrus (sorry Miley!) So welcome home and keep watching Orange is the NEw Black or whatever you're enjoying on Netflix! I pray you are doing well on all fronts! Keep us all posted on how you are doing! I want to know how you are keeping you Anxiety at bay with your heart problems! I used to take Paxil but I went off, and I'm on Cymbalta because I have Fibromyalgia and the pain is killer but it helps with depression and anxiety and that all over pain. But Xanax seems to be best. I don't have anything coming up and I haven't passed out since April and my ATP setting adjustment, but the ablation was a fail. We'll have to see if the ATP is enough. My HR goes up to 135-150 when I go to BARRE BURN (like yoga-Pilates- ballet) and it's awful but i try to have faith it goes down eventually. like 20 mins...its killer.

Keep giving yourself time and know that Anxiety (and depression for me too) does hit out of nowhere and I hope i helped by adding my life story LOL and letting you know you can share and a lot of us out here feel you! We love ya and hope you will let go and come out and talk about how you are doing! And see if there are any BARRE BURN classes in your area...it's a good core workout, or TRX it is awesome with straps for suspension training and balance! (Pinterest will have it...mine does hahaha)

Luck and Love!

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Thanks so much for your kind words, PattiJay! Yes, it's been a journey. I'm so sorry you have had such a crummy experience. I was also awake throughout my entire first ablation - I know how scary that is! Man, it is amazing that we can live day to day after having heart surgery while awake, eh? I know that for me, a huge part of recovering from all of this will be processing all of that. I think that I haven't even gotten a chance to really express the stress and fear from that experience, since the whole "holy crap - I survived! Holy crap!" feeling kicks into high gear!

I've been in and out of therapy and on/off meds most of my life for anxiety, so that definitely helps. Im off daily meds (Lexapro) right now, as (fingers crossed) my husband and I are going through all this in hopes of getting pregnant eventually. But I can see myself getting back on meds eventually, if need be. Right now I have Xanax to help me in a pinch!

Overall I think what really made the difference for me has been my team. My doctor is the perfect balance of professional, while also keeping things light. His team has been so attentive and aware of my needs and has never made me feel guilty for being so anxious, which is so, so wonderful.

My heart rate would get up to the 130s if I did barre, too!! Those work outs are no joke!!

I'm so glad to hear that, overall, you're feeling well! I truly think the further out we get from our procedures, the less anxious and more confident we will feel. Thank you SO much for your kind words - I'll keep you all updated after my 7/29 EKG! 😊


Hi svtsin30s!!! WE ARE SURVIVORS!!! OMG do i ever wish you luck in staying off Lexapro! And getting PG! My daughter is trying to get off Paxil in hopes of maybe someday the same thing or of losing some Paxil weight (despite teaching WERQ classes and being the BARRE BURN instructor who makes sure I don't die LOL! The classes -TRX too-are at the Glenview Park Centre for Health & Fitness)...my own weight gain from Paxil and Cymbalta and CHF isn't very fun either and I continue to work out! Overall I am feeling more improved thanx so much! I don't think any of my doctors except my EP at University of Chgo can integrate this forever anxiety that will probably never go away, and mine was a secondary achievement haha. Either way I'm at the end of the road with doctors. I have a good therapist in Evanston. I dumped my Advocate therapists since it all went on my medical records. Since I need my Xanax I have to have a psychiatrist, and my Psych is with NorthShore. She took over my Cymbalta and it was prescribed by my Neurologist for my Peripheral Neuropathy and Fibromyalgia! Now I have both on there for psych. Great.

You don't know how good it is not have doctors mess with your head! Next time I'll tell you about the "real nice" PCP who told me she would arrange to have my device removed because I told her how painful it was when my Sjogren's Syndrome and Fibromyalgia was flaring up and the nerve fibers around the area were on fire! She seriously said to me in a sing-song way "Well we can just have the whole thing removed and then you will feel ALL BETTER!!!" My daughter AND my son-in-law have BOTH had it happen to them, SAME hospital system.

It's gotta be a matter of sheer will and dropping the mic to get outta those situations fast and run for your life. I had to convince my husband to get the PPO so I could go to University of Chicago which is how I got out of where I was... in 2014. So I'm OK now. And I thank YOU for YOUR kind words! If you wouldn't mind letting me know where you are in private message it would be great, but definitely not necessary! I'm glad you have a great team! I just want to say as you prob already know...go super slow in weaning off the Lexapro!!! SLOW! Haha it rhymes! And get and get an OBGYN team that understands all this like your Cardiac team. I kindof hope you are with Northwestern!

Again, MUCH LOVE to you sweetheart girl!!!


I am in Chicago too...I go to University of Chicago (the good doctors)!

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