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Hello, I am female and 61yrs old. My first experience of something not quite right namely PAF was in 1995 approx. 13 yrs ago. I had an unusual irregular thumping in my chest and felt quite faint. This came on just out of the blue in the Supermarket and felt so horrible I just had to lean over the trolly untill it went off. It went away after a few minutes but did re-ocurr from time to time.
I went to the Dr's and was given an appointment to see a Consultant Cardiologist at my local hospital. They fitted me up with an early version Holter monitor that did not work too well. As a result they could not find anything unusual in my condition. I thought well what ever it is it will rear its ugly head again one day, perhaps then they will then know what is really wrong with me!
From then on the jumping & thumping in my chest went on and off. In Feb 2006 after a very stressful airport experience I awoke with a really bad jumping in my chest so bad I did not know what to do (I thought I was having a heart attack!) This went on for about 3 hours. My husband took me to the A & E where I waited for another 3 hours before I could get checked out, I thought I was going to die. They wired me up to an ECG machine where my pulse rate was 200 bpm. I was soon taken to another room where they injected me with some drug to slow my heart rate down. This was a rare experience as I felt my body go stiff for a few moments only. After that I was admitted for 5 days so they could keep an eye on me. I did feel much better after a couple of days however as they put me on 40mg Sotalol + Warfarin. I am convinced that the stress getting home from holiday triggered my episode.
In Sep 2007 I woke up one morning with a sharp pain in my chest which happened 3 times after each other. I was admitted again into hospital with a suspected heart attack. I had several tests done, Cardiac enzyme test, Holter monitor, Echocardiogram, Tread Mill & Myoview scan. So all in all I had a very good M.O.T! End result NOT a heart attack just pain from AF.
I am now off the Warfarin (as I am considered low risk) and take 75mg of Aspirin & 120mg Sotalol twice daily which suit me very well with no noticible side effects. Having said that the other night I woke up at 4.am with bad AF wich lasted for just over an hour just as I was congratulating myself how well I have done now for 2 yrs! I tried everything to stop it Coughing, blowing into a bag & massaging one side of my neck but to no avail. The only thing that worries me now is that perhaps one day I will have to have an Ablation operation (it terrifies me!). The sucess rate is only abot 70% so I will hang on until medical science has improved. I have been informed they will only do it on NHS up to the age of 70 so I have 9 years to think about it! I am now going to stop putting salt on my dinner and cut down on the alcholol to see if that will help me. I do drink de-caffinated coffee & tea.
I have found this forum very interesting and it has engouraged me to share my story for what it's worth with you all. This is a very lonley disease, as to look at us we don't really look any different, so to share our feelings and fears does help.
Good luck to you all, and carry on regardless as they say.
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