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Frequent Short Episodes
34yo otherwise healthy male here with first recorded episode of atrial fibrillation in June of this year. I think I've had 1-2 episodes in the last 3 years (other things that felt the same) that passed in about 3-5 minutes but the episode in June lasted 5 hours. Since June I hadn't started any medications or done anything as it seemed like 1 episode every 18 months was probably not a big concern. Unfortunately I had another 4 minute episode in September and now I've been having them every 8-12 days. All of them have been under 5 minutes. Sometimes it might just be PAC or PVC that I feel and makes me super anxious and my heart rate gets between 110-130. I've been tracking with an apple watch and kardia 6L and ive only had one reading of possible a fib. I wore a 2 week event monitor in October and I just go the results on Friday. I definitely had at least one episode of afib with the monitor on that I captured.
Honestly, I've followed with both cardiology and EP and the EP doctor on Friday started me on diltiazem and flecainide. I haven't been able to start the medications yet as the pharmacy I use is mail order and hasn't sent them to me at this point. Anyway, just an introduction. Mostly here to say I'm pretty depressed and pessimistic about this whole thing. I'm 34 years old, in good shape, eat right, consume almost no alcohol and have cut out caffeine since June. I have no family history (no parent or grandparent on either side diagnosed with afib) and yet here I am. Just looking for some encouragement from other people who've dealt with this from a young age. I'm worried about my ability to play with my kids, work and earn a living, and be able to help my wife for years to come. Feeling pretty dejected.
grandscheme, November 4, 2019 4:41pm EST
Good afternoon Patrick,
This is all to your benefit: "I'm 34 years old, in good shape, eat right, consume almost no alcohol and have cut out caffeine since June." Great habits already.
I was a bit older than you when I first got afib. You need to feel however you need to feel BUT there are hundreds of thousands of people who are hale and healthy and active who have afib. This diagnosis has not prevented me from being a mother, traveling, exercising hard, working (at a very stressful job from which I'm now retired) and living a full life.
No one wants to acquire a medical issue and that's unsettling for all of us, I'd guess. But it need not get in the way of everything you wish.
Anxiety and feeling dejected come with the package; they tend to lose some of their power as afib gets treated. Many people here have had successful ablations, some have one and never have another episode. Plus there are medications to help control it. Your life is NOT over, it's just got a wrinkle you'd rather not have. Be good to yourself.
pgrove1, November 5, 2019 8:31am EST
Can't really express how much that message means to me. I really just need the encouragment of others who have lived full lives with this going on. The hard part about most afib forums and posts is it's usually filled with people talking about what they can't do or what issue they are having. Read enough of them and you start to think no one ever lives and has positive moments and outcomes. I'm looking for some positive reinforcement and that's what you provided. Do you mind sharing your story? What do you do for your afib now? Did you do an ablation? Are you on meds?
sandylynn, November 29, 2019 3:50pm EST
Hi Patrick....I was diagnosed with afib 2 1/2 years ago....I am 62 ....no history in my family either. I was put on a bata blocker....take it every morning and carry on....I can get a little short of breath climbing flights of stair....tend to have a few episodes a week of afib but does not stop me from doing ANYTHING...I STILL work full time, travel a few times a year and live my life....don't worry!...we just learn to live with it....
Thumper2, November 30, 2019 8:05am EST
Patrick, I cannot recommend "just living with" AFib, for reasons mentioned elsewhere in today's communications, by Kenneth631:
"I was advised by several EP's that eventually drugs lose their effectiveness (I found that to be true) and the chances of a successful ablation go down the longer one waits and has more episodes. Also afib can progress to persistent and permanent if left untreated as the heart remodels itself.
"I had the ablation done in May, 2017 and had short one episode during the "blanking period". No events since then except for some momentary "hiccups" every now and then. Also the premature atrial contractions I felt on a daily basis are now gone except for a few now an then. My advice to you is to find the most experienced expert high-volume EP you can find and if you are deemed a good candidate for an ablation, get it done. It's the closest thing to a cure according to EP's I consulted. Also, I found that non EP cardiologists were not aggressive enough and too passive in treating the condition. You need to see an EP and a good one."
All the best, Thumper2 (Judy)