I've had a-fib for 13 years now. Had numerous episodes and 2 ablations (2010 catheter and 2012 cryo). I'm having another cryoablation 6/5/12. I've cut caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, too much sodium, etc. from my diet. I still have a-fib and in fact, since the last ablation it is much worse.
I finally realized that I may need to work on it from another angle as well as the medical one. As I've posted before, many of my a-fib episodes are related to trauma or death anniversary dates. My cardiologist says this makes sense as my body is under increased stress on those painful days, so more adrenaline is produced, which sets off the a-fib. I talked to my mental health counselor (a-fib is very stressful and anxiety producing), and she suggested I try a different kind of therapy called EMDR. It stands for eye movement desensatization reprocessing. The therapist said she studied it after finding that people could process their pain intellectually and emotionally but it continued to "sit" in their bodies. EMDR is a way of moving trauma and pain out of the body. I've only done a couple of sessions so far and had no a-fib episodes during this 2 week period. My cardiologist is in favor of it as it makes sense to her to work from several different approaches.
During my last EMDR session, it became clear to me that the medical approach is to work from the outside in (medications, ablations) while EMDR is working from inside the heart out. Hopefully, the healing of both will intersect within my heart. Of course, I continue to take my medications and follow all doctor recommendations. I'm hopeful and that is enough for now.
Thanks all for your support.
Anxiety and stress can definitely make matters worse. Nothing wrong in my opinion with taking a benzo like xanax or ativan considering your in afib a lot. This may help calm your nerves...it does mine.
I get AFIB every 10days or so. Extremely fast and chaotic and I become nauseaus and fatigued, dizzy, chest pain arm pain and all the other nasties that go with AF.
I'm currently taking 50mg Flecainide x 2 daily and 12.5 Metoprolol x2 daily.
There is a heck of lot to learn about A Fib before Docs really have any idea how to treat it. It's a bit like the blind leading the blind and you need to be in control of your own health and try different things to see what works for you. So good on you. I know eating big meals or fast eating, laying on my left side, alcohol, caffeine, exercise and stress all bring on or play a part in my episodes.
I often think I bring them on merely by remembering that it's almost 10 days since my last attack and will I get another one or not, and so the body reacts to my 'thinking it's going to occur' TRY TELLING THAT TO MY CARDIOLOGIST!
The big thing I fear is becoming a chronic sufferer. It has changed my life completely. I am 71 years young and have always been very active and fit, but AF has put a stop to that. I still work full time but its getting harder but will persevere. Good luck to all out there trying to beat this monster.
I know exactly what you are saying Jayde. I've had 3 ablations, numerous cardioversions too, and continue having episodes. I am a vital active person and struggle not to be depressed about this chronic condition that I keep hoping will be healed.
I know what you mean about the stress of a-fib creating more episodes. Sometimes I spend too much time trying to figure out what the tie-in to episodes might be. Too much salt, full moon, a particularly challenging time at work, etc. until I have to do what I can to stay healthy and then recite the Serenity Prayer a few times.
I wish you the best in your getting better from your a-fib and like you, hope they learn more about it and how to treat it in the near future.
Please see my comments to horseluver above. There are some new treatments coming down the pipeline that might be helpful. I, too, have changed from an active independent person to being controlled by this disease. I have improved on the anti-arrythmic drug Norpace and retirement has helped alleviate the stress that brought on some of my episodes, but it still is a constant presence and I have periods of breakthroughs as well as pac's, pvcs, and tachycardia. Good luck to all of you struggling with this very debilitating condition. Do not give up, hang in there and know that new treatments are coming along every day. Keep the faith!
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