I am a 66 year old man in very good condition. I eat well and exercise regularly.
During a recent exam I was found to have Atrial fibrillation. I was sent to the Hospital where EKG, CAT scan, and sonic scan tests showed no damage. I was placed on Cardizem CD 240 mg, Coumadin 5 mg and scheduled for Cardioversion.
I had come down with pneumonia 4 months prior while visiting New York City. Four to six weeks after the pneumonia bout I began my normal routine which includes dancing any cycling. Since I'm a serious bicyclist, I use a heart monitor to measure my performance and noted that my rate was very high (140's on the flats). My abilities did improve, however, they still were very poor. In fact my abilities were so diminished that I had trouble getting over a freeway ramp (I normally ride 60 mile tours over hills such as found in Lexington Kentucky).
Could the pneumonia have triggered the Afib? After conversion what are my chances of slipping back into Afib?
Yes, AFib will cut back on your physical strength, cardio-vascular strength. The blood flow efficiency is reduced by AFib.
I have had reasonable luck with electrocardioversion, but they were always temporary, up to 18 months straight of NSR. I too like bike (not so much as you) and also jogging/running. I continued to do that up to the age of 67 when I went back into AFib and could not do more cardioversions because of an enlarged left atrial chamber. This is being working on, but not directly related to this post, so I'll not go into details.
I add, I had to continue arrhythmic control drugs (Propafenon) following electrocardioversion, I was also left on Warfarin, but I didn't have to take any beta blocker. beta blockers are good to avoid as many develop easy fatigue problems when taking them, as I am now.
I understand Propafenon to be a new anti-arrhythmic drug. The list of side effects appears to be a long one yet you don't mention any problems. How are you tolerating it? Does it keep you in normal rhythm?
I am on Sotalol which is a beta blocker with anti-arrhythmic properties which, so far at least, is holding well.
Norman, based on the other postings on this forum, it would seem that there is a chance your afib will recur. Do you know if you had other episodes prior to the final one that led to the cardioversion? You don't say if you are on any drug therapy now. If so, what are you taking?
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