paroxysmal atrial fibrillation

Posted , 18 users are following.

I am a 74 year old woman - I had my first experience of PAF almost forty years ago; I did not know what it was then and a diagnosis proved impossible as episodes were unpredictable and always at night. Three hourly episodes continued for the next thirty years or so. I finally got a diagnosis after a cardiologist gave me a letter for immediate admittance to A&E. However in the last ten years attacks have been anything from 12 to 14 hours long with violent rapid and very irregular beats twice leading to collapse. These episodes happened every three weeks ago and began to disrupt my life. I spent three years on Amiodarone but the side effects of this drug (insomnia,weight gain,lowered thyroid function) were such that i discontinued it. Six months on a new drug Dronedarone brought back my symptoms and in August I started on Bisoprolol and Warfarin - since then no symptoms. I have been offered ablation under general anaesthetic but have turned it down to see how I react to the beta-blocker. AT first these episodes were very frightening but it was pointed out to me shortly after my diagnosis that this is a benign disease which is more of an inconvenience than anything else. Having said that it can disrupt your life with its unpredictibility.

AT present I am keeping my fingers crossed that i remain free from symptoms and that medical science improves the effectiveness of ablation. Good luck to all you fellow a-fibbers - it's quite a journey!!

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  • Posted

    Hi

    Your experience has given me some hope for the future. I was rushed inti hospital 2 years ago with a heart rate of 180-200. I was so frightened, I had never experienced anything like this before although for a number of years had what I c alled \"jumping\" just in the upper stomach area. I was told this was AF and after a very frightening 24 hours it went back to normal. Since that time and many tests later I still get very bad episodes and I am still scared every time, in fact writing this I have been fitted with another 24 hour monitor. I do not feel that I have any back up from the Cardiologist and had to badger my Doctor for this test. I am basically left to get on with it. Is this what we have to do or do you or anyone else get better help. Hate every day that I have this. Sorry to go on so long but have no one else who understands.

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  • Posted

    I was diagnosed with AF in 2003 after 3 episodes where heart was 220/280 beats per minute resulting in admission to coronary care ward. Amiodorone sorted it out in hospital but I was put on flecainide on discharge and have had no problems since, (except for an occasional time when an extra tablet sorted it out) . I think my AF was a result of too high a dose of thyroxine prescribed for hypothyroidism.
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  • Posted

    Hi!

    Just to update those who are interested - recent doses of beta blockers have now failed - I am having 10-12 hour episodes now every fortnight. The beta blockers have taken alot of the 'violence' out of the episodes but they are still very debillitating. I feel I have no option now but to go for ablation and that is due to be done at the end of April in the Royal Bournemouth Hospital. I'm VERY nervous about it but what can I do?? Wish me luck!!

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  • Posted

    Good luck for the ablation in April, Tony Blair had one when he was PM and look where he is now! Seriously, you need to get it sorted out and get on with your life.
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  • Posted

    Dotty, I have had two ablations, you can request anaesthetic if you want as long as you are prepared to wait, the first time I was awake part of the time, the second time I had anaesthetic. The first time I had an ablation I was fine for about 3 months but unfortunately the AF returned Best of luck . Regards Beth
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  • Posted

    Thanks for your replies! My ablation was done ten days ago at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital. Done under general anaesthetic it was nothing like as daunting as I thought and I have recovered quickly though still abit tired. Of course I now have to wait three months or so to see if it has worked but I am hopeful!! Will let you all know!!
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  • Posted

    Dotty, I hope all goes well with you and that it works out. Do you know about the Atrial Fibrilation group on Yahoo, it is a brilliant forum and everyone so supportive of each other.

    Beth

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  • Posted

    I can only offer my experience of having suffered from AF and now reached a a point where I can live a normal life with AF under control.

    I know the heart is complex and there can be many underlying reasons for AF but I offer my experience because it may help others too.

    patient.info/forums/discuss/a-successful-treatment-for-atrial-fibrillation--35054

    Good luck to all who suffer from this condition. I do hope that my experience may help at least a few folk who have a similar condition to mine.

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  • Posted

    I too have paroxysmal atrial fibrilation and after a electro cardiogram it was diagnosed and I was put on aspirin daily and angitil calcium channel blockers, i have other health issues which meant this was the treatment best for me.

    I have had no episodes since treatment began and that is getting on for three years now. I did not like the taste of soluble aspirin and on a routine visit to the doctor I let her know I was not taking them to which she replied that I needed to or I could throw out a clot at any time. I now take enteric coated aspirin and do not miss a dose.

    My heart rate was through the roof and the doctor couldn't believe I got to the surgery via the bus and walking. I just remember being totally exhausted and it took ages for me to get back to a reasonable energy level. Hope this helps someone xxx Madgied

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  • Posted

    Just an update on my PAF- I am now symptom free - it's been almost four months since my ablation but I am loath to say it's cured for fear of tempting fate!! However I have quite alot of extra beats so have to stay on beta blockers . Also I am stuck with warfarin for the rest of my life which is a downer but I consider myself lucky thus far. Anyone cconsidering ablation don't hesitate like I did it's not nearly so bad as some of the accounts make out.
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  • Posted

    So good to hear your procedure was successful and no recurrance of the nasty episodes.
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  • Posted

    I am aged 70 yrs and have had PAF since1999. My episodes were initially 4-6 weeks apart. I was given Solatol which was not successful. I was put on Flecanide 100mg per day and the episodes were less frequent, but, on increasing the Flecanide to 150mg per day I went 4 years before there was another episode. This really changed my life as each episode had left me so weak.

    Two years ago instead of my pulse being erratic during an episode it became very fast on moving. This is being monitored at the moment. Flecanide certainly changed my life but I do understand that although it helped me it might not have the same effect on another AF sufferer.

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  • Posted

    I am aged 70 yrs and have had PAF since1999. My episodes were initially 4-6 weeks apart. I was given Solatol which was not successful. I was put on Flecanide 100mg per day and the episodes were less frequent, but, on increasing the Flecanide to 150mg per day I went 4 years before there was another episode. This really changed my life as each episode had left me so weak.

    Two years ago instead of my pulse being erratic during an episode it became very fast on moving. This is being monitored at the moment. Flecanide certainly changed my life but I do understand that although it helped me it might not have the same effect on another AF sufferer.

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  • Posted

    Hi, I have just found you all this morning and after reading your reports I sobbed for about 15minutes - I just felt that I did not have to keep proving that I felt lousy (my issue I think not those around me). I have also found out some really useful tips.

    I am due for ablasion on 15th July and am praying it will solve this. It is just lovely to hear that others have faced the awful exhaustion after an episode of PAF. I am usually a fit healthy 50 year old and started getting very extreme episodes three years ago following being put on tyroxine. At first just one bad bout a year and then regular and just had one Saturday and previously two weeks ago. I went straight back to work and got sent home. I worry for my job with keep being off. But it has been so helpful to read all your comments, so I thank you from the bottom of my slightly wobbly heart and I wish you all full and total healing. I will try every suggestion made on here - hypnotherapy, give up tea, alcohol (although don't really have this), keep on keep getting fit, continue with my meditation etc etc - my motto is to try it all and you will find what helps you. I too work with my Dr - he knows I am not a moaner but has just said he is happy to sign me off until my op - I haven't decided whether to or not yet. And I will ensure I laugh more xx

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  • Posted

    Don't worry, Melanie - I am now 14 months away from my ablation and there has been no recurrence, have faith in the procedure - it does work and is such an empowering experience. It has made a huge difference to my life and I am sure it will be to yours. If, afterwards you can persuade your G.P:. to move you off Warfarin onto Dabigatran( one of the new anti-coagulation drugs) it will make another huge difference - no more regular blood testing!! Good luck with everything!
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