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Atrial Fibrillation

Jun 06, 2008 - 0 comments

atrial fibrillation










Heart Rhythm



Hi all,

I am a 48 year old female from the UK and just thought that I would write down all of my disturbances and perhaps it might just make them feel a little less important to me.  3 years ago I had a catheter ablation for ectopic beats.  It was not a nice procedure to endure 4 hours awake on a theatre table and a whole lot of pain afterwards but I did and here I am now.  The procedure did cure me of the probelm which was making me pass out quite a lot.  Anyway to cut a long story short here I am 3 years down the line.

4 weeks ago today I went out with some girlfriends for a girlie night out and had far too much to drink (10 vodka and cokes to be exact).  The following morning waking up a little worse for wear with a hangover I had my breakfast cereal and a cup of decaf coffee.  Around 10 minutes later I felt like me ears were blocked so held my nose between my fingers and tried to make them pop.  This worked but then I felt really weird like my heart was going to leap out of my chest.  All of a sudden I felt pain in the centre of my chest and a little discomfort in my arms.  I looked down at my chest and could see my heart moving like a jelly.  I told my partner to drop everything and to take me to the hospital quickly.  He did this and to my amazement when they put me on an ECG machine my heart was beating at 175 BPM.  They quickly set me up on a drip and gave me a measured dose of Metropolol.  This had no effect.  Secondly they tried my on a dose of magnesium and once again this did not work.  By around 2.30 my heart rate was fluctuating between 125 and 165 BPM.  At 4.15 they administered Flecainide.  At exactly 4.35 my heart rhythm changed to a healty 82 BPM and boy was I exhausted.  I felt as if I had run a marathon.  The doctors were very happy with this result as the next step was to put me under a general anasthetic and shock my heart back into sinus rhythm with the paddles.  I had to stay in overnight and was released the following day with a box of flecainide to take on a daily basis until I saw the cardiologist.  

I visited my GP the following morning and told him what had happened and said that I was reluctant to be taking such a potent chemical tablet and he said that if I didnt want to I didnt have to.  So therefore I went cold turkey and took nothing.  Boy that week was a really anxious one waiting to see if this awful thing was going to trigger once again.

Anyway yesterday (3 weeks and 6 days after the inital event) I went to see the consultant cardiologist.  I didnt see her but her registrar first of all.  They carried out an ECG which showed that I was not in AF but there was a problem with the siting of my P wave.  Apparently they would like the gap between that and the big peak to be a bit larger than it is (at the moment the P wave is right on top of the big peak) sorry I dont know what this is called.  Anyway the registrar informed me that I would be a good candidate for an ablation as I am still young.  STOP STOP STOP STOP


Why do I need an ablation.  My heart is not in AF, I only had the one incident.  Do I really need to go through with a procedure like this just for the one episode.  Surely not.  Anyway the registrar noting my distress said as I had had a good result from my previous ablation that was what makes me a good candidate for another.  I didnt want the first one let alone the second.  Anyway she said that she would tale to the consultant cardiologist and come back to me.  I asked if I could be in on that conversation also.  Around 20 minutes later the consultant came to see me and I asked as quickly as I could as many things as I could .  Could this have been caused by my binge drinking and perhaps never occur again? Do I really need to have an ablation?  Is my heart damaged from this one off incident? Can the P wave that is in the wrong position correct itself if I dont get Af again?  She was reluctant to give me any answers apart from the fact that she would carry out an echo of my heart in the next few weeks and I would see her in 6 months time.  Well from going in feeling like I had a one off episode to being told that I need a procedure to being told that I can come back in 6 months you can see that I am by far very confused.

Today I have had a few ectopic beats but I think that this is due to the anxiety of yesterday.  

I will write again in a week and give you another update of my crazy heart.  Hopefully a better story will come out of this.  I am terrified of dying and have been told that this wont kill me.  If anyone feels they have a similar story or can help me through any of this with some answers I would be greatly appreciated.  Lots of love and happiness to all of you.  Yorkshire Terrier

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