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Husband just diagnosed with AFib
My husband (age 56) was just diagnosed with AFib after having a minor stroke three weeks ago. He is nearly recovered from the stroke save for a bit of a vision issue. He is having a stress test next week. He is on Eliquis, metoprol (?) and a diabetes drug, Metformin.
It has been a roller coaster ride of a month, both physically and emotionally, but I am glad to know this site exisists. I have found a lot of info on it so far.
Nice to meet all of you.
Spencer, April 23, 2020 8:19am EST
Isabella - I guess it is "welcome to the club." Sorry, but I have been through too much with AFib to not be a little irreverent and glib. Do Hubby have an electrophysiologist (EP)? That doc is an electrician for your heart. That is the guy that will try to fix the AFib. Not that there are several treatment options and they pretty much keep trying stuff until the AFib goes away. So if it seems they are just making up stuff as they go that is about right. This board can give you on what they want to do to have it make sense and also so questions to think about for the doc. The drugs he is on are pretty normal for AFib. The Metro is a bit weird in that it will keep his heart rate low even when putting your heart under some work like exercise. It will make you feel winded easier. The Eliquis is a blood thinner so becare if you get cut as you will bleed more. It is also important that he take this every day or as prescribed. AFib increases your risk of stroke and this blood thinner is protecting him from a stroke. So take this.
Do you have any more questions?
GAonMyMind, April 23, 2020 9:31am EST
Hello Spencer and thank you
Not sure about the "electrician" but he has another cardiologist appt tomorrow. He has been wearing the holster test this week so far. It is all so new to us I am just overwhelmed and scared. I will ask if he can see an electrophysiologist. Thank you again for the greetings and info. Be well also.
Edhammer, April 23, 2020 9:41am EST
This is a great site. I found it early after being diagnosed with afib a couple of weeks after a heart attack in 2017. My first episode scared me to death. I'd never even heard of afib! With a little time and support from this venue, afib became a disconcerting, troublesome issue. I learned as long as I took my anticoagulant I was pretty safe. I learned there were specialists called electrophysiologists who were best to handle this condition. Our hearts are two things; a pump and an electrical device. Regular cardiologists are great with the pump part. Electrophysiologists are great with the electrical part. My cardiologist asked me if I would call a plumber if my circuit breaker box was broken, or an electrician if my water line was leaking.
i had an ablation in 2018 that worked until late 2019 when some other conditions caused afib to return. Suffice it say, I'm back in sinus rhythm spontaneously for the past month and am in contact with my electrophysiologist, who has said to call him if afib rises up again.
make sure you take your anticoagulants. Don't monkey with doses of meds. As Spencer said, treatment is sometimes trial and error, maybe voodoo. I've found that each individual's experience is unique to them. What works for one may not work for another.
try to relax.....don't drink alcohol....stay away from recreational drugs.
GAonMyMind, April 23, 2020 10:02am EST
Thank you for the welcome, Edhammer. Glad you are well also.
Spencer, April 23, 2020 10:05am EST
Your cardiologist should be able to refer him to an EP, which is a specialist within cardiology. Your husband has an electrical problem with his heart. These can be difficult to fix if he had just a plumbing problem (clogged arteries) that are easier to fix. AFib is erroneous electrical signals that are confusing the hearts rhythm maker (called the sinus node). The holter is listening to his heart and recording any AFib instances. These can come and go, and there are many different varieties, and this will show the cardiologist the types and length of AFib. Mine was very persistent, along with a high heart rate. So it was very debilitating.
So you are asking... what now and what is next. If your husband shows AFib on the Holter monitor, he will be shuffled off to an EP as this is the doc that will do the work on hubby to fix his heart. Two significant operations are used typically. Now each also has different flavors, but they fall into two main types - cardiac ablation and cardioversion. The ablation is monitoring the heart and then destroying the tissue in the heart that his making these erroneous electrical signals. Done under anesthesia and recovering is pretty fast (about a week), and there is no pain. The second is even more fun. It seems there is a CTRL-ALT-DEL reset button for humans. Done under anesthesia, hubby is hooked up to a defibrillator, and an electrical charge is timed to the exact moment in a heartbeat that will "reset" the rhythm of the heart. Note that it can take a few of these operations to get the heart back to the rhythm. This rhythm is called "Normal Sinus Rhythm" (NSR). I have had two rounds of cardioversion (6 shockings in total) and three ablations. If you want to see pictures of these operations, I can post those for you. I have several pictures from the OR.
If you need any info, please reply. Have you written down questions for the cardiologist next week?
GAonMyMind, April 24, 2020 2:28pm EST
Thanks again. One of his his cardiologists is an EP. Dr explained the procedures. I will definitely be back to these boards for info and support!
GAonMyMind, April 27, 2020 6:40pm EST
Have either of you gone through a stress test? How is it?
Edhammer, April 27, 2020 7:22pm EST
I've had a few stress tests. Different types. One just involves being in a treadmill and going till they say stop. Basically, they are testing your heart. As I recollect they take pictures a couple of different times. They inject a dye to facilitate the pictures. The other type uses a drug to elevate your heart rate. I had this one shortly after my heart attack. You are again on a treadmill and they take images of your heart. The first type can be tiring. You can only go so far so fast. The second type is less tiring since a drug is being used to elevate your rate.
check out the Mayo Clinic website for stress test. It'll be more coherent than my description.
bottom line is that it's not a big deal, but a medium sized deal.
GAonMyMind, April 27, 2020 8:19pm EST
Thank you for the experience info. I have asked around and read a little bit since posting and Im not so scared (for him) anymore. Also, from now on I am seriously taking care of our family's health! More organic, more plants. Annual exams.
Thanks again and be safe, be well.
GAonMyMind, May 20, 2020 2:26pm EST
And now....he needs a cardio cath. The cardiologist said he may or may not need stents. Once the hospitals allow "elective" procedures it will be done.