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I am so pleased to have found this site and hope to get some useful advice from fellow sufferers of atrial fibrillation and fast heart rate. Last August I was so concerned about being breathless that I saw an out of hours GP who said it was asthma and gave me antibiotics and steroids . I finished the courses of both with no difference in how I felt so was given two more courses of steroids (done by my GP over the phone) . By November I was no better and saw my doctor who said my heart rate was 155 beats a minute and there was also an arrythmia .An ECG followed and I was sent at once to hospital where further tests were done over the next three days as an in patient. Atrial fib and fast heart rate were again diagnosed and I was started on Diltiazem and warfarin treatment. The swelling in my legs was a real problem in the weeks following so my GP cut the Diltiazem dose in half. The cardiologist said that in six weeks they would do a Cardioversion which happened in mid December so would continue on the Diltiazem and Warfarin . I was also taking Valsartan Hydrochlorothiaxide 160mg daily for my BP ( long term for years) . Unfortunately the Cardioversion failed so I have just seen the cardiologist who has changed my medication four days ago from Diltiazem to beta blocker Bisoprolol ( 2.5mg twice a day ) and amioderone , an anti arrhythmic drug , (200mg three times a day for one week, then two daily for a week, then one daily from then on). I also take Warfarin and Valsartan . He didn't talk about the impact or side effects of these new drugs, and was dismissive of my concerns about amioderone saying it took years for side effects to be a problem. He said they will not be doing another Cardioversion but will control my problems with the medication. However, my breathlessness is worse , I feel so tired, my chest and whole body feels heavy and weighed down and even a short walk or climbing up stairs is a major undertaking - not easy when I have dogs to walk . I already have a substantial weight problem and am seeing a kidney specialist next week since my GP is concerned about recent kidney function tests. Frankly , I am not surprised since all this medication must be affecting the kidneys. I desperately need some informed advice about how to get my life back. An added complication is that I am judging dogs at Crufts in March and can't see how I will manage that when I will need to be on my feet for hours going over dogs. I appreciate the fact that treatment can not be immediate and am very grateful that it's free here in the UK but need someone to take an overview and coordinate the effects of the medication and choices I may have .
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