I was to be ablated for svt in Feb 07, but the doctor found Atrial flutter and ablated for that. I have had three episodes of Afib since 2005 almost 2 years apart for each. All converted in hospital on cardizem. My last bout with afib was Jan of this year. But I do get fairly frequent PAC's. Not in the thousands like some of you, but in storms for a few days. Other days I get 1 or 2/day. And sometimes I get nothing for 2 weeks or more.
My problem is trying to accept this and lead a normal life. Prior to each afib episode I had PAC,s. Sooooo.... Now whenever I get PAC's guess what I'm constantly thinking about? Therein lies the vicious circle. I'm afraid to go for walks if they act up. I go nowhere without my cell phone now. I'm 80 pounds overweight and afraid to exercise for fear of everything kicking in.
I read posts of people who did things like went jogging and halfway on the run got afib and had to walk home...WHAT??? WALK HOME??? Are you kidding me? I'd be sitting down waiting for the ambulance. I'm 50 years old and I have a 2 year old daughter. I need to get my head around this for her. (yes, I did say I'm 50 with a 2 year old)
Thanks for any words....Mike.
First, I don't know/understand how AFib is so debilitating. I do understand that the level of symptoms varies greatly, from those like me who have permanent AFib and the symptoms are limited to a shortness of breath/sweating and fatigue if I engage in heavy physical work, walking up a steep hill (forget running, I had to quit that altogether) or doing more than a couple flights of stairs. Still, walking is no problem at all.
That said, and recognizing others, you too it seems, have much stronger symptoms. Still, I'd think you should try to do light exercise (walk on level ground at a slow, say 3 mph) pace) and cut back on your calorie intake. I'd put my "money" on you seeing a reduction in AFib and PACs if you can get some exercise and lose some weight. As you said, you have a young daughter to live for and to set an example for.
Of course, work with a doctor, even a cardiologist, to be sure there isn't something in the medication or surgery fields that will speed relief/cure. I assume you are on a aspirin or anticoagulant.... if not please discuss that with your doctor. I believe being overweight adds a stroke risk factor to that already present with AFib. Not trying to give you more to worry about, that's another thing you have to get a "handle" on... being positive and working to cure your problems. Anything you do to help yourself deal with the problems/causes will be a big help to what modern medicine can do.
Thanks for the reply Jerry,
I do realize what I need to do to get back in shape. I've had the stress tests and everything is normal. I've seen a couple EP doctors and they both say start very slow and increase very gradually. I know afib won't necessarily kill me but I could get a stroke from it. I am on a beta blocker and regimen aspirin each day. I try to look at a scenario that I potentially do go into afib while on a walk or out with my daughter. I would try not to panic and call an ambulance if I needed one.
Like everyone on this board I need to make peace with my situation and figure out how to not just survive but live with this.
I read allot of posts on here about people who keep going and it's very inspiring.
You mentioned you are constantly in afib. Is your heart beat erratic all time? I mean is it out of sync all day? I'm not sure how the level of symptoms vary in afib. Maybe in intensity? I do know each time it happened to me I would panic for the first ten minutes and then calm down and it would feel much less severe. Still erratic but much milder. Maybe that's what you get used to?
Thais again for the response Jerry.
Wow Mike 50 w. a two year old? That is nothing compared to my friend who is a female and 50 and delivered triplet boys last year....sometimes life just throws us a curve ball but what a refreshing curve ball it is with babies. So i was think that you said it has almost been a year since that last most intense episode of PAC's....have you thought about getting a second opinion for another procedure? It is not that uncommon for people to have to go back in a couple of years later after an ablation for a tune up especially w. atrial fib. I am pretty much on the same meds as you are and had my ablation four years ago and i have been lucky for the most part and it has kept everything at bay and i was told that they got everything w. the ablation. I went thru the situ w. having to be converted at the E.R. a couple of times....its a pain and its scary to say the least until the meds kick in....if it were me i would get a second opinion from another doc just to dot all your i 's and cross all your t 's to make sure that there isn't something else out there that can be done. With atrial fib as we get older it seems to get more progressive so if the issues are popping up now you don't want them to get worse. Thats where my vote is at.............
I do want a second opinion for the afib. They never ablated me door afib in 07 but seem content to just "watch and see" with meds. I keep hearing afib gets more frequent and progressive as a rule. I don't see anyone on here saying "I had afib and it's now gone for good". Maybe those people no longer need the board.
I need to research some EP doctors in the Chicago area. Hell, I'll go anywhere if I can find someone I trust.
I don't really like my 2 EP'siin my immediate group. One is checking his nails while I talk and the other doesn't want to go in and try it as he feels it could make things worse.
I'll research a second opinion.
Thanks for taking the time to read and response Cindy.
I go to an EP that is affiliated with one of the top heart hospitals on the east coast. I have had Afib twice and he won't even consider ablation at this point. I am just on medication (a beta blocker). There is no way to say if Afib is gone and will never come back. Just be appreciative of the time you don't have it.
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