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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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