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Just diagnosed with Afib
Hi - I was just diagnosed with afib! Have had two episodes and Dr increased my Metoprolol to 75mg and gave me prescription for Xarelto! This is all new to me and both my parents have and 1 sister (who has had the symptoms, but not diagnosed by a cardiologist).
AHAModerator, February 16, 2021 10:11am EST
Thank you for joining the support network and sharing your story. As you hear from others on the support network, I can also share some AFib resources with you to help you learn more about your diagnosis. Please keep us updated on how you're doing!
The AHA Team
Thumper2, February 17, 2021 9:03am EST
Kb1953, I hope your journey with AFib goes well! I always ask the same question: are you seeing an electrophysiologist (EP) for your AFib? An EP is a cardiologist who specializes in AFib and is probably more up-to-date than a regular cardiologist. I wish I'd seen an EP 15 years ago, when I got AFib. I wasn't all that symptomatic and my cardiologist was not "up" on AFib. So I just "lived with" it for several years, as my heart quietly and slowly deteriorated, before I got to an EP. By then, having ablation(s) did not help. I am now in permanent AFib and pacemaker-dependent, etc. I'm glad to see you're on Xarelto (to prevent stroke). BTW, if the rest of your family has AFib, try to get them to an EP (unless they already are)! Do all the research you can, and make lists of questions to ask any doctor you see! Please keep us posted!
sdcostello, February 21, 2021 11:08am EST
Hi! I am newly diagnosed with Afib this week. I don't have that racing heart, mostly irregular and skipped beats. While the episodes come and go, sometimes they last for hours. The EKG at my GP caught an episode, but the next day at the cardiologist it did not. He put me on Metoprolol 25mg and Eliquis 5mg twice a day. I am scheduled for an Echocardiogram in a week so I don't yet know if there is structural issues. When I am having an episode I sometimes get the "thump" in the chest and can feel a pulsing in my throat/neck/ While the doctor assured me that the episode itself is not really dangerous, it is very disconcerting. It is hard to go about life through it. Then mentally all the fears rush in. I have only been on the meds for 5 days so don't know if that is enough to fully work. I don't see the cardiologist again for another 3 weeks, when he said we will assess whether there should be a medication change. He said he does not go to ablation as a first treatment. To me, I would rather get it "cured" and not be on the meds. While I will be happy if the meds work, being on a blood thinner changes life as does the beta blocker (no wine!?!). This is overwhelming, as I should mention that I have had 2 major surgeries in the last 4 months (knee replacement and ***** removal) all during this pandemic. I will be totally vaccinated within the week. I thought this was breakout time, instead I am a mental mess.
Thumper2, February 22, 2021 8:03am EST
sdcostello, sorry to hear that AFib has joined you, after your 2 major surgeries. I hope your Echo shows that you have no (or few) structural issues. Is your cardiologist an EP (electrophysiologist), who specializes in treating AFib? The meds you are taking sound sensible, and I'm glad the word "ablation" has come up. Everyone is so different in their reactions to AFib and meds -- keep doing your own research on your situation, so that you have a good list of questions for your cardiologist. Please keep us posted!
All the best,
DkinAA, February 22, 2021 1:14pm EST
Kb1953 and sdcostello, I was diagnosed about 5 yrs ago with paroxysmal afib, and the hardest thing was the anxiety and dread both during an episode and wondering when the next one will happen. I've gotten pretty used to it, so instead of it feeling like the end of the world, it is more like an annoyance: "d**n, I'm going to feel lousy today." But everybody is different - this is a very individual condition. You and your docs will have to find out what works best for you.
I agree with Judy (Thumper2) that getting with an EP is a good idea if you can since they are more knowledgable about afib than most cardiologists. You might want to get screened or tested for sleep apnea, which seems to be involved with afib (it was for me). A common treatment plan seems to be to start with making sure the stroke risk is under control (the Eliquis), and try to keep the heart rate down during an episode (rate control - what the Metoprolol is for). If that is not working well enough, there are other rate control drugs, and then the bigger guns of the rhythm control drugs (like propafenone and flecanide). That's where I am at this time - I still getting some breakthrough episodes, but my docs and I are keeping an eye on it - trying an ablation would probably be the next step, but I am one of those people that are comfortable with drugs, (which work fine for many people) but not so much with invasive procedures. (I am not against surgeries/invasive procedures (had a few serious ones) , I just don't want to go there unnecessarily.
In the meantime, try to be as calm as you can - anxiety and afib can reinforce each other - it did for me! I found relaxation techniques, like mindfulness meditation, to be helpful, or just taking a brisk walk (which would sometimes stop the afib). Good luck and stay in touch!