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Rapid Arterial Fibrillation

I have been diagnosed with Rapid Arterial Fibrillation AND Paroxsysmal Supraventricular Tachicardia and it's been since the first week of September, 2008.  It hit me like a brick one night when I was just sitting around doing nothing and BAM!  my heart started with a skip and then a thud then a couple skips the a couple thuds and THEN it was racing at almost 200 beats per minute according to the EKG at the E.R. Even thoe I haven't had the diagnosis for very long, I, too, am sick to death of it.  I have already been on 2 prescriptions, one a rhythm control and one a beta blocker plus 325 mg of aspirin a day as I do NOT want to go on coumadin at 46 years of age THANK YOU.  The drugs fail to give me very much relief and I am tired of E. R. visits as all they do is up my dose, which does NO GOOD. I have even spent a stay in the hospital, which brought me little relief so I just up and left.  I now have requested that my DR. send my INSURANCE GODS the request they require to go to an " out of network " provider to seek an Electrophysiologist for ablation, which I hope will eventually "cure" this distressing and life altering problem.  My only silver lining thus far is that I only live about 90 minutes from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota which, to my understanding has some of the world's best Dr.'s for my problem.  Now if the Insurance Mongers will allow, I can persue in my attempt to regain a somewhat "normal" existence and try to reach the elusive cure, knowing that this is just the beginning.  For more info for anyone interrested, this site will knock your socks OFF  http://www.a-fib.com.  It helped me immensely and has so much info I still haven't gone thru it all.  Hope this helps anyone in need.  Take care, good luck and God bless.  I'll be back  :)

cweed cweed 46-50, F 5 Responses Nov 1, 2008

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Thanks for your stories and updates. I'm from Canada and was just diagnosed with a-fib. I get mild chest pain .. do you experience that? Does it still scare the **** out of you? are you convinced it's not too serious? Once it started , did it get worse? <br />
"magnoliameadows"<br />
<br />
Greg.

Yet another update... It appears that my Dr. from my local clinic (who comes down once a month from Abbott) was sent my trails from my stress test and then went on vacation and then his nurse informes me when she called a couple days ago that before he went on vacation that he had lost them. Now that he is back and has had them re-sent from my local clinic to Abbott, I have been told that there is nothing URGENT going wrong, but was told that my heart is not beating as efficiently as it should and that the ablation surgery should help with that, and then I was told something else; according to the holter monitor I wore for 40 some hours beginning the day of my stress test, I also have a "premature heart beat coming from the LOWER chambers of my heart". SO, according to the holter monitor, the Dr says he saw no episodes of the PSVT NOR the RAF, but he DID see episodeds of this new-to-me premature heartbeat that correlated to the episodes I documented feeling in the journal you keep while wearing the holter monitor, which, at the time I believed were the tachicardia and/or the fibrillation!! M'kay then. I even feel what I presumed to be flutters and the way too familiar skip-thumps right now, but is it the PSVT or the RAF or this new thing? And what the hell is that all about anyway? The nurse said as long as it doesn't happen for long periods of time, I should be ok and not to worry, but it's something they want to look into AFTER the ablation surgery... EXCUSE ME! If they all feel the same, how am I gonna know if the surgery helped when this lower heart stuff kicks in AFTER ablation was suppose to "fix" the other two issuess (PSVT & RAF)??? This is getting all too frustrating for me and I am just resigning my 46 year old self to the fact that my heart is gonna be what takes me out. I wonder if I were a millionaire if I'd get faster and better treatment?? DUH?!?!

New update...Saw the electrophysiologist and I am scheduled for ablation surgery Jan 20th. Wish it were sooner, but that's the soonest I could get. The stress test showed NOTHING. No blockage or anything else so am keeping my fingers crossed. Before I go there, the Doc put me on Flecainide and it still feels like my heart WANTS to start skipping and thumping, and once in a while it will but not like before. Looks like I'll be getting my dose of that bumped up a notch or so, too. Wednesday I have to go for another EKG to make sure the Flecainide is doing it's job. Then, sometime within the next 3 weeks, I'll be going back up to Abbott for a MRI on my heart so the Dr can measure my arteries for the catheters for the ablation and such. I will update as I learn more about this awful condition. Merry Christmas and Happy 2009 everyone! God bless!!! :)

Update; I survived the Andenosine Simbini stress test and I can tell you, I would not ever want to do that again. I felt like I was going to die, and I could barely tollerate it. I made it 5 minutes into the whole 6 minute procedure before I began to dry heave all over the place. Once you get sick like that, they stop the procedure, but if you don't make it at least 5 minutes, it is incomplete and you may have to do it again so you HAVE to fight to get thru it once you begin because believe me, you DON'T want to have to go thru it again! I have never felt such pressure all over my body, as if gravity had increased to the point I could feel extreme weight in every organ of my body. I couldn't breathe and panting only made it worse. I felt like I had an elephant sitting on my chest and my legs were like lead. I had to try to focus on just breathing slowly and steadily. It was ALL I could do. I felt, all the while, on the verge of passing out only I wouldn't pass out and the feeling just continued without subsiding. The pressure in my head was next to overwhelming, comparable to a severe migrane. Then, my heart began to race over 180 beats per minute as the Dr. said " a few times". ( That was the reason for the test, fibrillation and tachicardia kicking in. ) The Dr. said he was surprised because the medicine wasn't to increase my heart rate, only open up the arteries. Hmmmm. If the Adenosine was to open up my arteries like when you exercise, I tell ya, if exercising felt like THAT NO ONE would do it. I have never felt like that from exercising and would have much rather done this on the tread mill, but they refused to let me. Turns out they were glad they didn't let me because if my heart would have begun racing on the treadmill, it would have ended the test because they don't think I would have been able to complete it. At any rate, I wouldn't wish it on my worse enemy! NOT gonna do that ever again! Hopefully I will get my results tomorrow afternoon after I get this Holter Monitor taken off. Whew! I understand not everyone feels like this. Some don't feel it as intently and others supposedly don't feel anything at all. If any one reading this is facing this test, by all means, PREPARE YOURSELF for one of the worst chemically induced feelings you have ever had. If you have zen training, you will need the focus to maintain to get thru it. The only good thing is it takes a very few minutes to get the Adenosine out of your body and as soon as they stop delivering the Adenosine, within seconds, you begin to feel improvement and continue to feel improvement until you are back to normal, which took me about 5 minutes total. Next is an appointment with a Dr. Melby at the Abbot Northwest Heart Hospital in Minneapolis. He is the Electrophysiologist I will see to talk to about Ablation surgery and that will be on December 12th, 2008. I will , however update when I get the results of the stress Test, for those who want to know. Good luck!

UPDATE: I saw a heart specialist today and he has set me up with an Adenosine Sestamibi Stress Test on Nov 19th. Considering I survive it, ( I have been doing some online research and it doesn't look like a very easy ordeal to endure ), I will then be wearing a holter for 2 days and then I see an Electrophysiologist on Dec 12 at Minnneapolis Heart Institute and may get my wish for ablation. However, I am trying to find a safer and equally effective way to have this stress test done without nucluear junk running rampant thru my veins and without the chemicals to actually INDUCE my tachicardia and afib. Wow this seems really redundant. The horror stories I am reading online are of people who actually have their heart stop while this is being done and having to be shocked back into rhythm to regain a heart beat. Does anyone know of any way around this just as effective or more-so for checking for arterial blockage? ANY suggestions will be appreciated. Too scared to sleep. Thank you! :)