atrial fibrillation

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on the 22nd of august this year i was admitted into hospital.after not being able to breathe spent six days in cardiac ward then sent home.i have stopped smoking also drinking,my meds are warfarin flecanide also bisopradol,last couple of days i have struggled with my breathing all seems to point to the beater blocker(not sure),this is what ive found out.on the 10,th of this month i am down for the cardio version asked the hospital if it does not work what are the next move no answer.also asked about work i am a self employed painter&decorator so can not afford time off,but my breathing is so poor i am at home no energy also tired all the time.if anyone out there can give me a glimmer of hope after the cardio version ,that i can return to my trade and go back painting new houses,or look for a new career,my inr,s in the past week ranged from 1.4,then 2 then todays 3.1,i am new to this af felt fine upto the 22 of august since then i have felt like a old man i am 52,who thought i was fairly fit any help would be appreciated thanks  nigel

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  • Posted

    Sorry you've joined the AF club!  I have it as well, it's now permanent with me. Did they say yours was permanent? I get hot and sweaty and out of breath when I exert myself, like going upstairs or going up a moderate hill during a walk. It's horrible I know. I am seeing the cardiologist tomorrow (again) and will discuss the cardioversion, he says this will make me more 'comfortable' but that it doesn't last as a treatment. What does work is the catheter ablation but I hate the sound of it so much! Sometimes the cardioversion needs to be done twice and then works. I know of 2 people this has happened to. Make sure you take your warfarin, that's important, and good luck. (Bisoprolol ought not to affect breathing, it sometimes makes you feel a bit drowsy but that wears off. I take 10mg a day, the max.)
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    • Posted

      many thanks for your reply soobee starting to feel i was the only one.still can not get my head round this i would sooner have had a heart attack than this life time of meds,and yes i am permanant meds just hard sat down and out of breath,so frustrated at the moment but nice to have someone in the same boat chin up
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    • Posted

      Hello soobee, I had cryo ablation on the 24th August, was on the table awake for 3 hours having the procedure. Then the electro physiologist

      told me that the equipmemt had malfunctioned and that they had to

      abort the rest of the procedure. He told me that they had mapped the

      electric potentials that were causing my AF., but that he would have to

      bring me back to do the procedure again. He told me he would get me back within 4 weeks and he was true to his word as I was admitted 4

      weeks to the day of my first ablation attempt. My ablation went well

      apart from the catheter kinked inside the vein as he was attempting

      to extract it, so he had to tug on it a bit, which was a bit painful. Hence

      post procedure there was quite a bit of bleeding that took about 7 hours to completely stop. I was in hospital one night amd went home alone

      the folllowing day. My EP., told me after ablation that he thought I

      would not need any other treatment and only have to have an ECG.,

      after 3 months post ablation. I'm not on any medication, other than

      Apixaban 5mg for the 3 month post ablation settling down period, then

      I'll be completely drug free. I'm now 6 weeks post ablation and have not had any AF.,episodes. I had PAF., pre ablation, am 66 years old, don't

      smoke, drink very moderately and have always kept myself very fit. I'm

      5'7" and 68kg. Ablation in my case was excellent and because I haven't

      any other health problems my EP.,told me pre ablation that he thought my prognosis was that I would not have any more PAF episodes. So if your in good health other than AF., in my opinion ablation is the way to

      go. This is purely based on my experience and other people may have a different opinion than myself. Good luck in whatever anyone with

      dreaded AF., or PAF., decides is their way to go, but nothing ventured,

      nothing gained in my opinion. Nothing to lose trying ablation if its

      offered, apart from the usual risk factors that you accept if you sign the consent form. To finish, I feel 100% now post ablation.

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    • Posted

      Hi Buber Nigel here, I am new to af I am 52, golfed twice a week I to kept myself fit , had this af since 22, nd of August this year and I hate it with a passion due for cardio version next week. If not successful will ask about ablation for myself what you have said about your experience , looks like being med and af free is worth the discomfort and risk . 
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    • Posted

      HI Soobee, Lankylass here, haven't spoken to you  for a while. Anyway, I have got a date for a cardioversion!! I seemed to be waiting a long time for my 24 hour ECG and echocardiagram results, nearly a month, I rang the cardiologists secretary, I suppose that's the GP's job but anyway, she said that he had been really busy and that there were ten other 'outpatients' like myself waiting but it would not be long before I heard. Anyway, I had a letter last week to say I was on the list and got a phone call this morning to say they had a cancellation and did I want to go ahead, it's on the 16th October. Wow, I have been waiting for this but I must admit my knees are knocking a bit. My warfarin levels have been around 2.3 to 2.5 so that's ok. If it does work I don't really know what to expect, I don't really get the horrible knocking in my chest like I got at the start of the AF, the GP gave me an extra bisoprolol pill and also a digoxin which seemed to do the trick. However, I do feel very breathless at the moment and tired when I have been on even a short walk. Will this all go? I wonder. I suppose I will have to stay on the medication until they know themselves. I hope your doc will also sort the cardioversion out for you, you seem to have been waiting for quite a bit now. Anyway, let me know how you do. Cheers, 
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  • Posted

    Forgot to say, well done for stopping smoking, do NOT take it up again! And it's a good idea to give up alcohol too, at least for the moment. Wine used to put me into AF!
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    • Posted

      Cheers for the reply soobee smoking was the hardest to give up after 35, years drinking was easy must admit I miss my Guinness  when the wife and I go out
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  • Posted

    Hi Nigel,

    Sorry to hear about your health problems. i have been following these posts now for the past year or so and have read about many different cases, I have not from memory read a previous post where some one had difficulty in breathing that was put down to AF, but then I am not a GP or Cardiologist, just another patient.

    I don't think that the warfarin will cause your tiredness, I don't no about Flecanide, But Bisoprol will certainly knacker you, you don't say what dosage you are on from 1.25mg to 10mg max, the higher the worse effect it will have on how you feel. I have reccomended on previous forums to take Bisoprol in the evening as opposed to the morning so the the bad effects are mainly slept through the night. Out of the many people I have spoken to about Bisoprol, only one has said that they have had no side effects.

    Obviously  drugs effect evey one differently.

    You say you are down for a Cardioversion, do you actually have an iregular heart beat ? AF.

    Best wishes Ken.

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    • Posted

      Hi ken just read your post and yes hospital have confirmed af irregular heartbeat, that's how I ended up in hospital could not breathe , lightheaded and dizzy apparently all symptoms of af, I am due for cardio version a week this Friday but my bloods are very irregular at the moment I am going to try my bisopradol when I take my warfarin in the early evening.as I said earlier I am new to this af and am finding it very hard to accept also very few commuted answers from hospital will update my posts regularly cheers ken for your comments.bisopolo5 mgs
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  • Posted

    Hi Nigel, Really feel for you, I too am fairly new to AF but started in March this year. Have tried various drugs - many failed but now on Flecainide, Cardizem, and Warfarin, these seem to be working pretty well for me. I was on Bisoprolol 10mg but have just finished weaning off it because I went to an Electrophysiologist - they specialise in all arrhythmias and do the ablations. The Bisoprolol just made me breathless, have no energy and depressed - I am much better now I'm not on it, but still don't have very much tolerance to a lot of activity, this seems to be worse when I get up in the morning then it passes. I have Paroxysmal AF - not all the time so haven't been cardioverted. I've decided to have an ablation but I live in NZ so the system is different here.

    The hope I can offer you is that most people seem to experience a gradual lessening of the symptoms as they tinker with your meds and get the best ones for you. As Soobee says cardioversions work for some people and others go for ablations - it's an individual thing. I felt as if AF had overtaken my life but it does get better, just hang in there and keep on at your GP/Cardiologist if your symptoms don't get better. It's a steep learning curve but it helped me to learn as much as I could about the different treatments for AF and also this web site is great for support.

    All the best Maggie

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    • Posted

      Many thanks maggie for your comments. I due at the hospital this comeing Monday will tell them about my meds. What I have seen heard and read, bisopradol looks like the unruly suspect will ask to come off that one. Hopefully I will be having my cardio version on the 10,th fingers crossed all will go well just need to go back to work this is the one dr,s will not commit too. As I have said the trade I am in is very hard work and long hours if I can not do the job I am worried no one will consider me for a change of career due to my af, I know they are not supposed to discriminate but it's human nature to judge the symptoms and not the person. Once again good luck with your af hope all goes well . How come cancer gets so much support and media help. And any heart condition gets very little and is not only a killer it's life changing for any person with any heart problem. May have to look into this and hopefully more voices can highlight it into the publics eyes and ears. Anyway must go starting to waffle again will update as I go. Bye nigel
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    • Posted

      Hi Maggie, Lankylass here, haven't spoken to you in a while. Funny but I was skyping my cousin in Auckland this morning and the phone rang. It was the cardiac nurse telling me they have a slot for a cardioversion on the 16th Oct. I have just written to let Soobee know as I did speak to both of you when I originally got AF in June. I am a bit nervous but with a bit of luck it might work. I have notice I have been breathless with the bisoprolol, not very nice, however, the horrible knocking in my chest has seemed to disappear. Hope that your ablation goes well, let me know when you are having it. Cheers. 
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  • Posted

    G'day Nigel,

    My AF started on 6 Jan 2010. I was 65. I'd had a healthy lifestyle, usual run of DIY mishaps, bit of digestive issues in my mid 30's, removal of right knee cartilidge about 15 years ago and thats that. Admitted to hospital by my GP, kept in for some 6 days for tests and sent home. All cardiac systems were OK, in fact all systems were GO ! (Thunderbirds are Go) - except I'd been diagnosed with paroxysmal AF. Before AF I was on Simvastatin (for Cholesterol - not that my Cholesterol was high 4.9, its now regularly 3.3) and Ramipril for high blood pressure.

    After AF my Cardio Consultant kept me on these meds but added Warfarin and Bisoprolol. Once I was stabilised on Warfarin I went for Cardioversion however by the time this happened my heart had returned to normal sinus rythmn on its own. The time here was about 5 weeks. In that time I just was bloody useless , no energy, no nothing and no work. (I was a full time bus driver at the time on shift work). In fact it was taking me about 40 minutes to walk to the shops - a journey I can now do in 10 minutes. Thats how bad it was. And I was always falling asleep at home. At about 6 to 7 weeks I eventually got back to normal and returned (with GP and DVLA approval) to bus driving. I'm now retired, went on and eventually retired at 67. But I still work, part time driving a mini bus anything from 2 to 4 days a week. I've now just turned 70.

    My Consultant also told me I could be in AF and not even know it. I have no problem with Warfarin and can always stay in range - I have my own hand held INR testing device which I use and take with me when travelling - even go back to Australia for holidays. Two trips ago, I even managed the (near) 500 ft climb to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

    Thing is Nigel - prior to AF my heart rate was around 88 bpm. When AF hit it was 160 bpm, now thanks to the Bisoprolol it averages around 63 to 65 bpm. Also prior to AF my Blood pressure was around 136/80. Nowadays its around 123/73. I personally believe one of they keys to success with this b**tard condition is keep heart rate low ( but not too low) and keeping your blood pressure low. I have a personal (non medical and non scientific) theory that the reason for the tiredness is that (in my case at any rate) my left atria has been irriversably damaged as a result of the onset of AF and that my heart now intuitively  wants to bang away at 160 but the Bisoprolol is forcing it to stay around 63/65 ... so there is this bloody great fight going on in my body drugs v's heart and obviously when this conflict exists somethings gotta give and tiredness - even today - is the result.

    By the way - I still drink alcohol - not as much as I used to - I made my mind up that this bloody condition wasn't gonna rule my life razz

    Thing to remember however is that we are all different. There are so many aspects to this condition there is no one fix cures all. And, we all respond to drugs differently. I have my AF controlled now by meds and diet. I found that my trigger for an AF event was food and the digestive system - burping, bloating (massive bloating), diaorehea and lower intestinal (loud ) gurgling - bloody awful. The link here is the vagal nerve which controls both the heart and the digestive system !

    Having told you a tad about my experiences the best I can say is to chill out. Don't fight this thing -you'll only stress yourself and make it worse. Hard though it is because of all the worries and pressures you face it is important to go with the flow - you will get your life back, nothing surer.

    Sorry this has been so long winded - byt he way what have you been told about Warfarin ?

    Let me know if I can help further.

    John

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    • Posted

      whow alot to take in john,you sound like a fighter to me my passion is golfing ,been back from st andrews for two weeks,had my inr checked whilst on holiday played fifteen games of golf (mostly in a buggy),wife made me and felt out of breath but also felt fine.since my return home i have been breathless tired and totally fed up with this dambed af.at 52,i still consider myself young but feeling alot older also stressing about money and guilty that i can not work and my jewel of a wife is the only bread winner,as i say my trade is very phsical and demanding get out of breath going upstairs,so frustrating hopefully the cardioversion will work on the 10th,giving me my life back ,if not will ask cardiologists to do what ever it takes to make me ticker te boo again.starting to feel useless at the moment although my dogs loving the company in  the daytime,we are a family of heart problems and i thought it would miss me a o fat chance of that,the real bugger is for me john the hospital are very non commital and i have had no one to get a straight answer from,but enough of my woes i thankyou for your reply and hope i can be as upbeat as your appear to be.many thanks again john keep smileing
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    • Posted

      whow alot to take in john,you sound like a fighter to me my passion is golfing ,been back from st andrews for two weeks,had my inr checked whilst on holiday played fifteen games of golf (mostly in a buggy),wife made me and felt out of breath but also felt fine.since my return home i have been breathless tired and totally fed up with this dambed af.at 52,i still consider myself young but feeling alot older also stressing about money and guilty that i can not work and my jewel of a wife is the only bread winner,as i say my trade is very phsical and demanding get out of breath going upstairs,so frustrating hopefully the cardioversion will work on the 10th,giving me my life back ,if not will ask cardiologists to do what ever it takes to make me ticker te boo again.starting to feel useless at the moment although my dogs loving the company in  the daytime,we are a family of heart problems and i thought it would miss me a o fat chance of that,the real bugger is for me john the hospital are very non commital and i have had no one to get a straight answer from,but enough of my woes i thankyou for your reply and hope i can be as upbeat as your appear to be.many thanks again john keep smileing
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    • Posted

      I had been clear of AF for fifteen months until my vagal nerve was stimulated during a colonosopy. That time I was aware of it the moment it started but the previous time as an after effect of heart surgey it was hardly noticeable.

      Quite a few on this forum have commented of AF and the digestive system.

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