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Looking for Help
I have recently returned to active afib after being afib free for 8 years after having an ablation procedure in late 2011. I love my EP and he has given me the choices of: 1) living with it, 2) cardioversion (never had one), or 3) amioderone (sort of scares me).
I've also just learned that I have done some damage to my lungs (not sure of extent yet - still getting tests).
I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed, scared, and trying to rationalize that this is my reality and I have to learn to accept it, but I honestly feel like I need some professional help like counseling. I have a lot to be thankful for, but at 74, would hope to have a bit more time to enjoy this life.
Has anyone else done this and found it to be helpful. I'm just not sure where to start right now.
axnr911, September 7, 2020 1:48pm EST
Hi Richard- I had a stroke 2 years ago that was caused by afib. So, my cardiologist put me on dilitiazem ex.r.180 mg(Cardia), which stopped the afib. It also lowered my blood pressure, which I needed. However, it also slowed my heart rate down to 40, which made me very sluggish. So I had a pacemaker put in, which won't let my rate go below 60. Having the pacemaker put in was not a big deal. Now I feel much better. Not everyone who takes medication needs one. Maybe there are some medications that would help you? Also, I had a lot of anxiety after it first happened and was very depressed. I saw a psychologist for about 2-3 months. Medicare paid for it. That really helped alot. She helped me sort things out and gave me good ideas and ways to deal with things. It helps to have someone to talk things over with. Often you only need a few visits. Hope you feel better soon. Love, Jeanne
hughesrl73, September 7, 2020 4:38pm EST
Thank you, Jeanne. I plan on talking with a counselor soon. I appreciate your reply. Richard
depotdoug, September 8, 2020 1:05pm EST
Three choices huh? 1) living with it, 2) cardioversion (never had one), or 3) amioderone (sort of scares me). Those probalby shouldnt be the only choices in my life. Ihad my 1st strong AFIB occurence ~ 1 year post SCA which was May 12, 2011. AFIB is still there lurking inside me to return again. Notice I said again. I went on Xareleto 2011 and then started Amiodarone high dosage 2013. Well Amiodarone didn't work well very long at all. It caused me to fail miserably PFT pulmonary function tests several times. My 1st EP stopped Amiodarone meds. 2014 had my 1st Cryoablation of my PVI pulmonary veins. That lasted maybe 6 months. Four no five cardioversions later, last on on Feb 14th this year. Happy Valentines day in cardiac cath lab getting my heart shocked.
Yes, I've had anxiety through my entire SCA arrest lifetime, like why did I get an ICD/pacemaker, now on my 2nd one a yr ago. The best news I've had is my now 4th EP doc preformed my RF cath ablation procedure May 6th this year. Successfull, Yes! so far 125 and counting. Does my anxiety still attack me? Yeh. It does go away or subside when I excerising daily or twice daily. My go to Anxiety reliever is Exercise believe it or not. Plus its good cardio health. Oh by the way I'm 68.5 yrrs old, and am surviving Advanced Prostate Cancer S4 metastatic since treatment began again 12 months ago. Does my anxiety rear its head daily yeh. Do I wish sometimes i did not have an ICD/pacmaker yeh. But that device in my upper left chest quadrant is there for a very strong purpose, to protect me against V-Tach and pacing me if needed to try and control my heart rhythm.
Maybe an RF or hybrid ablation would help in your particular case, it did for me 125 days ago. Keep us updated please.
tolsen53, September 14, 2020 11:12am EST
Hi Richard - Every one of us has a different story about our afib journey, and about how we live with it, and deal with it. My short story - 4th ablation was done Feb 2020, first was done November 2008. A;so have had 16 cardioversions, 1 V-fib event due to a nurse attempting cardioversion when she did not know how to properly sync the pulse to my heartrate. I also have a history of a-flutter, and I've had 3 stents put in to deal with angina issues.
Been on amioradone, multaq, flecaniaide, and probably some others I've forgotten. I am 67, been dealing with these issues since 2003.
Don't understand why your EP does not suggest another ablation. Maybe time to get a 2nd opinion? Also, suggest attending the virtual A-fib conference that is coming up, may hear from some great EPS that could offer you hope. (I found my current EP that way.}
Cardioversion is really not very scary in my opinion, and I say that even after having a V-fib incident because of medical stupidity. Of course, they just correct the current afib, they do nothing to prevent it from occurring again, but then again, there seems to be nothing that will "make it go away for good."
Amiodarone - Been there, done that, would not do it again. But that's me, with proper monitoring of your health by a good team, you could be fine.
Anxiety - I have dealt with this, and still do. I like Jeannes idea of seeing a professional for help, I think I may do that also.
I know none of this gives you a solution, but just know that you are not alone in what you feel, and what you are going through.
BTW, you say "would hope to have a bit more time to enjoy this life.". A-fib will not lkill you. (a stroke might, so take your blood thinner every day!). You have to want to continue living, and find ways to live with the beast, and not let the beast consume you.
CC354, September 15, 2020 1:04pm EST
Well, after being Afib free for 8 years I too would be surprised and anxious if I went back into aFib! But as I've read many times an ablation does not mean I "am cured" of Afib.I had my first (and only) PVI ablation by RF December, 2018. My condition is greatly improved, and I have only had sporadic, short duration minor episodes. Although my heart rate is very elevated whenever I exert myself I have only recently been able to start more excersicing due to a hip muscle repair in 2019. Doing what I can to stay healthy each day is what I try to focus on.
Many people on this forum have had more than one ablation with good results. Often I read that it has taken ujp to 3 times before a condition has improved. You did not mention that as a possiblity, so I imagine your doctor as ruled it out?
Please do your best to not let this condition rule your life. Certainly seek professional help if you feel it will help. For me I have found strength in prayer and that keeps me grounded. We all understand your feelings, but I would encourage you to enjoy the days you are feeling well, and of course follow your EP's advice.