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Newly Diagnosed with Persistent Afib
Except for persistent Afib, I am a healthy 56 yr. old man. My blood pressure is low, cholesterol is 121, resting heartbeat use to be around 57, blood sugars are good. I was a runner, mountain bike racer, competitive surfer and competitive tennis player. A few months ago I went in for a normal physical and the Dr noticed an abnormal heartbeat and sent me to the heart specialist where I was diagnosed with persistent Afib. I'm on 50 mg of metroprolol and a blood thinner but I'm still in persistent Afib. I still walk 3 miles per day in the mountains and I still go to work every day. 2 hours after taking my first dose of metroprolol I felt like a new man but am still in the Afib.
I believe that (but have no evidence to support) the herpes virus 2 (genital herpes) attacked my heart and caused this. A virus attacked my inner ear 4 yrs. ago and I've lost my hearing in my left ear. I read a study done in Taiwan that said that people with herpes virus 2 have a higher rate of Afib.
Patio7, January 8, 2020 5:44pm EST
I hope others here will respond. You sound like an ideal candidate for a successful ablation. I hope you are seeing an EP. I, on the other hand am avoiding ablation because I am not a good candidate for a number of reasons. However I have two brothers who have had Afib for 16-20 years. Their issues escalated. If they had seen an EP they might be better. Be pro active. Take care. Patio
Neanderthal, January 14, 2020 2:41pm EST
Today, the Dr prescribed 100 mg of flecainide every 12 hrs. I will report on the results after a few days.
BethClark, January 15, 2020 8:30am EST
Neanderthal, my diagnosis of aFib was just over five years ago, with the second episode of aFib occurring 4 months after the first episode. That was the point where the doctor added flecanide. (Just on metoprolol and an anti-coagulant after the first episode.) I have not had any episodes since. I hope that the flecanide is equally effective for you. I have had no side effects from the flecanide. My biggest challenge, which is the case for many of us, is anxiety about having this condition--the it could happen again anytime and anywhere type of condition. I have let that anxiety make my world smaller than it should be. I have finally gotten to the point of being comfortable going on car trips for a couple of days (but only with friends who can help if I have an episode). I haven't done a plane trip or a trip alone yet. I am currently trying to come up with some better strategies for managing stress. I'm a caregiver for my son and brother, which is quite stressful. I know stress could be a contributor to aFib and don't want to trigger it.
Neanderthal, January 15, 2020 3:27pm EST
Thank you for your input. Unlike you, I'm in constant Afib. I've only been on the flecainide for 24 hrs. but it seems to be having no effect.
Neanderthal, January 21, 2020 10:16am EST
Today, for the first time since I've had my Kardia EKG (which is weeks) it's showing my heart beat to be normal. I'm SO happy!!!!
Neanderthal, January 23, 2020 3:50pm EST
My afib came back last night and I'm in afib now.
DkinAA, January 24, 2020 3:49pm EST
That's no fun, to say the least. Don't give up, though - the dosage may need adjusting. When I was first diagnosed, I was told about rate control and rhythm control drugs and the idea of starting with the rate control. I asked why not start with rhythm control - "the dosage is hard to get right." I'm not sure that's the best reason, but like all things afib, this is very individual so its something that has to be experiemented with.
I recently started on rhythm control with propafenone (same type as flecanide) at the "starting dose" every day after the "pill in the pocket" required almost daily. So far it's working but right at the borderline - I had a couple of episodes at first, and occasionally feel kinda dicey - I call if feeling "fibby" - but I want to give things a chance to settle down before drawing conclusions. I'm trying to avoid my food triggers as much as I can to make sure I'm not overwhelming the drug by jumping off the diet wagon in celebration.
Neanderthal, January 27, 2020 7:36pm EST
What are your food triggers? I've only heard about alcohol and I don't drink.
DkinAA, January 28, 2020 7:59am EST
Neanderthal, eating a really salty meal (like pizza) often brought on an episode -- also getting dehydrated. Going on a trip has been risky - not drinking as much water, avoiding salty food almost impossible. I've never been much of a drinker so I'm not sure that's a trigger for me. A glass of wine has often been ok.
This was before starting the propafenone. I don't know if the same triggers happen yet because I'm try to keep my diet the same until I see how the dosage works.
Neanderthal, January 28, 2020 3:53pm EST
Thanks for that information. I will keep an eye on my salt intake and stay hydrated.