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Diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation and scared

On Health & Drugs & Medications » Heart Diseases

4,428 words with 6 Comments; publish: Tue, 18 Dec 2007 16:15:00 GMT; (90078.13, « »)

Three weeks ago my heart began beating fast. Went to the Emergency and was diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation. The Docs put me to sleep and shocked my heart a few times to get my heart beating back normal. Since then I have been tired a lot, easily out of breath, chest tightness, sometimes feel like my heart is being pulled. Has anyone else been diagnosed and had your heart shocked with these after affects. The Docs put me on Diltiazem to keep my heart rate down. Don't like those side affects either. Don't sleep at night very well. I'm afraid I won't wake up. Hope I'm not alone these experiences.

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    • YOU ARE NOT ALONE. It is hard esp you just found out. It took me 3 months to finally accept what I have and work with your dr. For the meds, It took me a month before I got comfortable with it. I was feeling VERY TIRED in the beginning until my body got used to the meds. I know... I feel your frustrations. READ this website... there are 200 pages, go thru and read

      and you will come across with people going thru what you are going thru.

      Take Care... and try to take it easy.... you will be alright.

      #1; Tue, 18 Dec 2007 17:57:00 GMT
    • I don't have A-Fib, so can't relate directly, but I do know what the anxiety of a heart condition is like. It is natural and normal to be scared, but we each have to find our unique way of dealing with it and getting on with life.

      That said, my mom is 90 and has had a-fib for decades and decades, if not most of her adult life. Her attitude is to take her meds and ignore it. So far, it's worked for her:)

      #2; Tue, 18 Dec 2007 17:58:00 GMT
    • The best thing to do is to not let it take over your life. My heart problems caused me to have panic disorder and agoraphobia.

      I really believe that upon being diagnosed w/ these disorders, the doctors should send people to a social worker or therapist so that they can avoid getting stuck in a pattern of anxiety.

      I was to the point where I was checking my pulse every ten minutes because I was so scared. Don't let this happen to you or it will make your life miserable.

      There are so many people living normal lives w/ the same disorders that we all suffer from, we just have to learn how to cope w/ it. I wish there were more support groups for people w/ these conditions.

      #3; Tue, 18 Dec 2007 17:59:00 GMT
    • Thanks for your info. Just went to cardio specialist today. He didn't believe me when I told him my medicine is making me feel tired and that I now get out of breath while doing my regular everyday things. He says he's only heard of the medicine keeping people awake at night and as far as my heart being shocked, he says "They shock you, you go home, that's it, no shortness of breath from that". Then he says it could be my lungs. But I never had problems with being out of breath until after they shocked my heart. He asks, "Do you want a lung test or a treadmill test"? Daah, treadmill!! It's my heart that's giving me problems!! After my tests are done, I will be getting a second oppinion.
      #4; Tue, 18 Dec 2007 18:00:00 GMT
    • I was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation about 4 years ago but have probably had it for longer than that. First of all take a deep breath and try not to panic. There are a lot of drugs and procedures that can treat (or even cure) a-fib. I have been cardioverted (shocked) several times. I have never had any side effects but that is just me. Everyone is different.

      There are many antiarrhythmic drugs that are used to treat a-fib. You may have to try several before you find the one that is right for you.

      There is also a procedure called an ablation that may cure a-fib. They use radiofrequency to "burn" areas in the heart that are thought to cause extra signals. This is way over-simplified but you get the idea. Commonly this is done through a catheter in the groin. This may have to be repeated but the success rate is very good and getting better all the time.

      Many people live in a-fib all their lives. They just make sure the rate is under control. I know how hard it is to try to relax with this condition but it does get easier.

      Most importantly if find a doctor that you can relate to. You need to find someone you can trust, that will take all the time needed and answer all of your questions.


      #5; Tue, 18 Dec 2007 18:01:00 GMT
    • I think you should have both. It is not an either or problem. Lungs affect the heart and visa versa. He doesn't sound too swift.
      #6; Tue, 18 Dec 2007 18:02:00 GMT