A-Fib Veterans; Need Help

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by iamdavea, Feb 8, 2015.

  1. iamdavea

    iamdavea Silver Supporting Member

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    I'm 53, had my first episode 7 years ago. Cardiologist put me on Disopyramide, which was effective until recently--2 fainting episodes in the last 3 months. Same Cardiologist just put me on Propafenone, while the arrhythmia specialist HE referred me to included Diltiazem into the mix. The drugs are not keeping me completely free from bouts of A-Fib, but I find that by re-positioning myself, the A-Fib doesn't last very long. If I lay on my left side, instant A-Fib. I'm thinking of asking the Cardiologist for a different med, but I don't know (and I'm asking you guys) if the med is expected to keep you 100% A-Fib free (?). If go into it, but get out a few minutes later, is that what you live with? I fully expect that I will end up getting the ablation, but want to exhaust the med possibilities first. What meds have worked the best for you guys? A Million Thanks!!!!
     
  2. mcp

    mcp Member

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    I am 51, nothing has stopped A-Fib for me including two ablations and two medications each day. I was told a pacemaker is the only cure all, and is being considered. I have had it 10-15 years. When it starts I have to go get shocked back into rhythm which is about 2-3 times a year. If it starts nothing gets it to stop short of getting shocked or cardioverted they call it. They say it is just a nuisance and not life threatening. There is a convergent procedure which is another type of ablation but I may pass on it. During the second ablation one or two of my pulmonary veins received some scarring and blockage which leads to a little shortness of breath easier than before. Just something to live with but everyone is different.
     
  3. claudel

    claudel Member

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    I've had three ablations.

    I felt better after the second one than I did in decades, but proper rhythm only lasted a couple of weeks and then back to fluttering.

    Last doctor told me they've pretty much burned off all there is to burn, so I'm done with those until the next breakthrough, if any.

    The procedure itself wasn't a big deal to me, I was out for it...

    I'd undergo another if anyone thought that it would help.

    No drugs for me other than a beta blocker ( low dose ) and rat poison/blood thinner.

    I've had it for as long as I can remember. Other than the couple of weeks after my second ablation I have no clue what
    "normal" sinus rhythm is supposed to feel like so I have nothing to compare it to.

    At this point I just ignore it as much as I can. I have other issues that are more pressing...

    Watching my food intake seems to have upgraded my overall quality of existence...

    YMMV
     
  4. RussB

    RussB low rent hobbyist Silver Supporting Member

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    Frightening info, guys!


    I just started having afib a couple months ago. So far I've had 2 episodes. Doc put me on Diltiazem after the first. I had an alergic reaction to the Diltiazem. I was very light headed and my gums became swollen and were bleeding badly.

    Second episode was treated in the ER with Flecanide(sp?) It did stop the afib, but a couple hours later while at home I passed out and landed flat on my face. Cut above the eye, smashed my glasses. It was a mess.

    I'm 53. My brothers who are 66 and 65 have now both had ablations. Bro #1 has had success so far, and Bro #2 just had his done 6 days ago
     
  5. djdrdave

    djdrdave Member

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    I have had some instances like this over the years and it started up a week or so again.

    Do you find any particular triggers in your case, such as suddenly entering a cold environment, or caffeine?

    I think if i dont get enough rest i seem to be more prone to experiencing it
     
  6. Trea

    Trea Member

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    I've had it for 13 years but it only rears it's head 5-6 times a year. I'm not on any medications anymore but I have found that two things really seem to trigger it most often. Stress and not getting enough rest.
     
  7. Tony Foran

    Tony Foran Supporting Member

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    Mine was 24/7 and was debilitating to the point where the Docs told me not to drive.

    After about 18 months, I had an ablation. The doctor told me the first "hot spot" they burned caused me to go back to sinus rhythm. It's been three years and no relapses. Good luck!
     
  8. bluesdoc

    bluesdoc Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I had a few bouts of exercise induced afib a year ago. The b-blocker bisoprolol worked really well for me. Each time I converted within 24 hours. Hasn't recurred since so I'm lucky I guess. I suspect mine is from cardiac Lyme.

    jon
     
  9. Glowing Tubes

    Glowing Tubes Gold Supporting Member

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    Ive had A-Fib for about 15 years. Its had a major affect on my quality of life.
    Have also experienced the onset when lying on my side. Sleep nearly impossible when your heart is doing around 170 bpm.
    Ive had one ablation which worked for about 6 months. After i got off the rat poison i felt great. Than one day the afib came back with a vengeance. Been struggling with it for a couple years now and am looking into a second ablation proceedure.
    I am on diltiazam and propafenone which help keep it under controll to a degree but it pushes through anyway.
    The danger of a fib is stroke so be careful.
    I started hydrogen peroxide treatment recently and although its contraversial to some it has actually reduced and nearly stopped my episodes. May just be the cycle I'm in but i have fewer and less intense episodes.
    Pm me if you want info on it.
    I want off the meds as they make me tired all the time.
    Afib sucks!
     
  10. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    Been down this path myself. My first afib episode was about 3 years ago that went away on its own but they did test my heart function with a day in the hospital and found nothing to be concerned about. Symptoms reoccurred recently and the doc's tried metoprolol, flecainide, diltiazem and the side effects seemed worse that the original condition. One doc sugested trying 500mg magnesium oxide per day and my symptoms decreased by about 80% within 2 days of taking the magnesium.

    My further research revealed that magnesium isn't absorbed by the body very well in the oxide form so I looked for alternatives to see if there was anything better out there. It was suggested by the same doc to also try a potassium suppliment in addition to the magnesium.

    Long story short, I found a product here: http://vitalbiologics.com/ called "Heart Calm", which contains 3 forms of non-oxide & more absorbable magnesium, potassium, taurine, and CoQ10. Now I might feel a single weekly flutter as opposed to the several daily flutters I was experiencing previously. Works for me so far so it might be worth a try. At least give the magnesium oxide a try.

    "Heart Calm" is also sold on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Stop-Heart-Pa...TF8&qid=1423416875&sr=8-1&keywords=heart+calm
    with several customer reviews.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2015
  11. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    Wouldn't it be easier and less intrusive to just get a pacemaker?

    Simple procedure, no side effects?
     
  12. tonydetiger

    tonydetiger Supporting Member

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    I wouldn't call it simple or free from side effects. It's still surgery. There's risks of bleeding, infection at the implant site, lead fracture, possible cardiac puncture. Also, some patients will require a bi-v pacemaker, as the univentricular versiondoesn't always override the atrial signal.

    Also, there's a difference in leads. Some are intracardiac, some are epicardial. Intracardiac leads can be placed in the EP/cath lab under moderate sedation. Epicardial leads would require an open chest for access.

    What I gather about pacemakers for a-fib is that they are the option when all other options have been exhausted.
     
  13. rowdyyates

    rowdyyates Supporting Member

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    Pacemakers guard the heart from abnormally low rates. In atrial fibrillation with rapid ventricular response, rates can approach 200, and at that rate cardiac output is severely decreased (why you feel so bad).

    Implantable defibrillators are usually placed to guard against ventricular fibrillation. That's very different from atrial fib, as it can lead to sudden death. Atrial fib is very serious, but does not cause sudden death.

    Cardioversion (shocking with a defibrillator) works great for atrial fib that is not chronic. For chronic atrial fib, as most of you are experiencing, a good electrophysiologist and ablation is the best alternative.
     
  14. lefort_1

    lefort_1 Nuzzled Firmly Betwixt Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm not sure I'd take anyone's experience as an indicator as to how your specific case will turn out.

    One thing I see as a dentist is a broad sampling of patients. A-fib is a lot more common than most people would think, but it would seem that the causes are highly variable. Is it a congential defect that's led to a-fib, ischemic cardiac disease, vascular disease, stress, adrenal or thyroid abnormalities, exposure to stimulants? The list goes on and on...
    Without an understanding of how you got there, listening to others could be counter-productive (espec if yours is stress induced). I'd be cautious about taking non-professional advice...especially from here (TGP).
     
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  15. beckstriad

    beckstriad I'm frosting a cake with a paper knife Silver Supporting Member

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    This is absolutely true. The causes are myriad for a-fib. From what I gather it's a really annoying to possibly very dangerous (thrombus formation leading to CVA). I'm sorry you're dealing with this, and hope it gets under control for you soon.

    BTW, Lefort, you have an awesome screen name!
     
  16. lefort_1

    lefort_1 Nuzzled Firmly Betwixt Gold Supporting Member

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    once you've seen the real thing* it leaves an impression on ya'.
    It did on me (3 times over).




    *(a LeFort case, not me)
     
  17. GenoVox

    GenoVox Member

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    I was first diagnosed with a heart "murmur" when I was a kid - because of it, I was denied enlistment in the service when I was 18. While it would make it difficult to maintain extended physical activities over the years (sports, particularly demanding band gigs, etc...), it never caused any major problems for the first 40+ years of my life. That is until.....

    About 4 years ago, I had my first significant "episode" with A-fib - they pegged me at over 200bpm, which had come out of nowhere, and after just a normal day. Since then, I have had 2 Cardioversions (neither worked) one Ablasion (which worked for a little over a year, then wore off) and a Pacemaker implanted (originally just to prevent bottoming-out, now slightly reset to help control the rate itself).

    The Doctors have tweaked my meds quite a few times over the years.... in addition to the usual blood-thinner (in my case, Pradaxa), I also take Taztia & Bisoprolol to help keep my rate under control. Basically I am in A-Fib 24/7.... I addition, I also have Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (thickening of the heart walls), which is part of the reason the various treatments for my A-Fib have been less than successful.

    Between the 2 conditions, I have to be careful when I workout, doing yardwork, shovelling snow, etc... everything is fairly laborious, even though I'm not even 50 years old yet (little over a year to go). Worst of all, it makes the prospect of regular gigging nearly impossible anymore. I've sat in a few times with a friend's band and am pretty much shot after about a 1/2 dozen tunes. I did a fill-in gig for an entire night last year, and had to take the following Monday off work.

    So, I guess my situation may be a little different from some... best advice I can give is to always listen to your body & don't take too many chances. It's a very fine line to be balanced with still trying to live life to its fullest - very, very frustrating at times, but certainly better than the alternative!
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2015
  18. iamdavea

    iamdavea Silver Supporting Member

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    I thank you all SO much for the info. I obviously am not looking to write THE book on A-Fib based on info from TGP, but I want real-world experience about what has worked & not worked in terms of meds & ablation. I guess I might have to settle on a med that works most of the time, but not all the time. And I'll ask my Dr. about magnesium.
     

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