Atrial Fibrilation

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I was diagnosed by my GP a have AFib in January 2019. he said the cause was probably a chest infection i had the previous month?

i continued to have symptons of irregular heart beat, shortness of breath , tiredness, lethargy,

tightening of the chest.

i had a scan in April and GP then said results were that valves were working fine but AFib continued. ( knew that as symptons continued?)

He referred me to see a cardioligist consultant.

My symptons continue. i am tired all the time, basic tasks make me breathless. i am not sleeping well.

i went back to GP in June and said that i had episodes where i woke gasping for breath during the night and suggested that i may have sleep apnea?

GP now thinks this may have caused Afib?

It now September and i'm still waiting to hear when i will get to see the Consultant? i have not been prescribed any medication?

How long am i expected to wait to see the consultant? i am aware that even when i get to see him all i will get is a twenty minute conversation and no treatment?

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Balony

    Yes i know how you feel, i would be fine one day and feel dreadful the next and didn't get diagnosed for five years as every time i went to my GP i wasn't in Afib.

    But a bad attack put me in hospital for five days.

    I am surprised that the GP hasn't recommended you go on at least aspirin to thin blood i would suggest 75 mil per day until you see your consultant.

    Anyway all's not lost i have undergone two Ablations in the last 15 years after being on tablets for 5 years and doing ok, i still get it occasionally but just rest up for a day or so as it normally lasts for around 12 hours.

    After my first Ablation it disappeared for 6 years.

    I'm 68 now and still very active, good luck hope it gets sorted soon.

    Andrew

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    • Posted

      Hi,

      thanks for your reply,

      i'm just 51. i have always led an active life and went to the gym regularly until January this year.

      ive gone back to the Gp and expressed my concern over my symptons. i really am just exhausted all the time?

      GP hasn't prescribed any medication, i think he offered thinners but i declined.

      i just don't know how long people go without having any treatment? as i said i have had the symptons since January 2019?

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    • Posted

      Please don't decline blood thinners !!! About the biggest risk to your health of being in Afib is a stroke and that you don't want!

      My Afib started a couple of years ago, initially with the occasional attack with a very high heart rate, coupled with a shortness of breath, which is common and each time I was taken into A&E by ambulance and was cardioverted. and put under the Cardiology team for monitoring and trying various drug options.

      I've since tried a variety of drugs and finally settled on Dronedarone which keeps me in sinus rhythm but it's been a long haul.

      If you're having a bad attack of Afib, with a high heart rate, it may be wise to go to A&E and ensure that you're treated properly by a cardiologist, rather than continue in distress and ill, at least get on anti-coagulants, they may well save your life !

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  • Posted

    I went from diagnosis by GP to cardiologist's appointment in about 12 weeks, although Christmas and New year were in the middle of that so probably 10 working weeks would be more accurate and within 6 months of that initial meeting with the Cardiology Registrar I had been through a Cardioversion that 12 months later is still working.

    You say you were not prescribed anything but also that you declined blood thinners, which was it?

    (you also say it's September but I'll let that slide 😉 )

    It's possible (and bear in mind here that like all the other posters on here I am not a doctor so any suggestions are just my thoughts based on my own treatment) that your AF is not bad enough to warrant Beta Blockers, is it permanent or do you get bouts of it coming on? What is your Heart Rate like when you aren't in AF? Remember Beta Blockers have side effects that you may not want if your AF is not permanent and that may be harmful. After my Cardioversion I stayed on Beta Blockers but had to reduce the dosage quite dramatically when my RHR dropped to 42 bpm and I came close to passing out in B&Q, it's possible if you have a mild case that the treatment could be worse than the illness.

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  • Posted

    Hi Baloney. AF is a bu__er isn't it? I second the vote that you think again about anti-coagulation. AF won't kill you, but a stroke probably will! People with AF have a five times greater chance of stroke than the general population. (Don't you hate statistics?)

    The first thing to get your head around, is what is going on in your heart and why. It happens to lots of people, and some are living with it without even knowing what's wrong with them. There are two (probably a lot more but mainly two) types of AF. Paroxysmal, where it comes and goes, and permanent where the patient is in AF all the time. AF is not actually a disease, but one of the symptoms of a little understood physical problem which carries with it co-morbidities that might have more serious results.

    There is no silver bullet for this, but the gold pathway is to see an Electrophysician (EP) who is a cardiologist who specialises in the electrical systems and nerves of the heart rather than the plumbing (arteries and valves). The waiting list for an EP is often six months or more. I've been waiting now for over 18 months for an ablation, after I first saw an EP..

    Good luck with your journey, it's going to be a long one. If you have the money, you can kick start that journey by going privately for the first consultation, then transferring to his NHS list. I'm told that's about £250.

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