AF Information & Advice For Patients
Beverley’s AF Journey to Ablation
This is me with my parents. Dad is 93 and was diagnosed with AF in the army as a young man!
I was at work one day in 2012, I was 49, & suddenly felt my heart beating very fast & irregular, I wasn't feeling particularly unwell but after a while I decided to go home. This continued and after three days of resting, I went to see my GP who did an ECG which showed I was in atrial fibrillation (AF). She sent me to accident and emergency at my local hospital. They confirmed that I was in AF but it was too late to do a cardioversion, so I was given medication and eventually, my heart rate returned to normal.
I continued to have more episodes which I really got stressed about and panicky which made the episodes worse.
I had two cardioversions over time & was prescribed Flecainide and Bisopropol to control my AF.
Also, over time I managed to control my fear, stress and panic over having this condition. I gave up coffee, tea and alcohol as there is no point taking medication to control the heartbeat if you continue to take things that will exacerbate it! I also found that chocolate exacerbates it, so I only have it occasionally and in moderation.
It had been suggested by my consultants that I should consider an ablation, but this filled me with fear. By 2017, I felt I was ready as I really wanted to get this sorted and try to come off medication. I was by now having episodes that lasted several days every couple of weeks. I had an atrial flutter ablation in March of 2017. It was stressful but no-where near as bad as I was expecting. I could have been discharged the same day, but as the procedure was done late in the day, I was kept in overnight and discharged the next day.
After the ablation I would say my symptoms improved by 90%. I had to continue on my meds as when I tried to come off them, I went into AF!
I had an AF ablation which is a more complex procedure three weeks ago as I wanted to try again to come off my meds and have this done while I am still relatively young enough, and in generally good health. I'm to give it three months to let the heart recover, then I'm going to try again to come off the meds.
Over time I learned to accept and not panic over this condition, and it certainly helped to control the symptoms and make them less frequent.
I hope this is of some help to others who have been diagnosed with AF.