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Experiences with Afib?

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Experiences with Afib?

Old 03-23-22, 04:11 PM
Western Flyer 
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My first thought is try and get an electrophysiologist. There aren’t many of them and even when you get accepted as a patient it can be months to get an appointment. It is worth the effort and wait. Electrophysiologists are known in the trade as the electricians focused on heart rhythm. The two I’ve had was/is up on all the very latest advancements and treatment to afib.
A little personal bio at 75. I’ve been in permanent afib for over 20 years. That is I am never out of afib. Been through 3 cardioversions, 3 different anti-arrhythmic meds regiments culminating in a high dose of amiodarone, and 4 hours on the table during a cardiac-ablation - all failed. Despite all of the above I still ride my bike. In 2019 I rode 800 Km across northern Spain and hopefully post covid I’ll be back to long rides. Both my past and current electrophysiologists have emphatically said my bike riding is doing as much for my cardio health as any meds they have prescribed. For the last many years I’ve been taking metoprolol (Toprol) and Xarelto, which I seem to tolerate pretty well.
On a trip you've got worry as a companion, for you're always concerned about what happens next and sticking to an itinerary. . . . on a journey you never have to worry. Something always happens next.

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Old 03-23-22, 09:25 PM
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Thanks for your post. Great Info in it.
Fred "The Real Fred"

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Old 05-04-22, 05:18 PM
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I wanted to post a followup to my original topic here. I also want the thank everyone for the helpful and interesting contributions.

First of all, according to my doctor, I'd been lumping any sort of irregular heart rhythm/beats/palpitations into one category and calling it Afib, which isn't correct. What I've been experiencing is known as premature ventricular contractions. PVCs for short.

I had my echocardiogram done this past Monday, and just received a call concerning that. I was told that my heart is healthy and normal. The doctor said that my PVCs are most likely caused by some sort of stimulant (caffeine etc) that my body has become more sensitive to. My personal opinion is that decongestants are my most likely trigger now that I've started noting connections to the PVCs and what I've recently used. I also think that stress/anxiety is playing a part to some extent. The doctor doesn't believe that biking/exercise has anything to do with the PVCs in my case.

I was told that if these episodes become much more frequent, they could start me on Beta Blockers, but that I was a long way from that in their opinion.

So, I've officially been 'cut loose' by the doctor. Now, if I can just catch a day when the wind drops below 30 mph I'll get back my normal biking routine.

Thank you all again..........
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Old 03-08-23, 02:13 PM
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Glad I found this thread, I know its old. I just wanted to give my experience. I am 64 and by no means an endurance cyclist. Last summer I was doing 2-3 rides a week totaling 35-40 miles. Mostly up and down RT-1A in New Hampshire so very few hills. I suddenly started having bouts of excessive heart rate lasting 30-40 minutes not necessarily tied to cycling. Mostly just puttering around the cottage. In fact it only happened twice while on the bike. I contacted my PCP back in Texas and he recommended getting to urgent care when it was happening because it might be A-Fib. I ended up getting a Kardia device and next time it happened sure enough it was A-Fib. I went to urgent care the next time and of course A-Fib was over by the time I got there. They ended up sending me to the emergency room where they kept me on an EKG for about 2 hours without further arrhythmias. I told them both at urgent care and ER about the Kardia mobile report. Nurse at urgent care was interested but never heard of the device, ER doctor downplayed the device as a toy. ER referred me to a Cardiologist in Maine. The cardiologist said that the Kardia device did a good job of diagnosing A-Fib but of course was not as accurate as the machine. She put me on metoprolol to take as needed to control heart rate, put me on a Zio monitor for two weeks and requested a echocardiogram which I did back in Texas because of time constraints. Oddly the heart events ended as fast as they started and the Zio monitor picked up no events where I had about 30 events in the previous 6 weeks. No events September- December. Early January I had an A-Fib event and this time it lasted about 6 hours instead of 30 min. I saw my PCP and he put in a note for a cardiologist to contact me. The next day while loafing around the yard my heart rate started climbing into the 140s and would not go down BP got up to 176/115 and I ended up going to the ER (ER doctor never heard of the Kardia device). No A-Fib just rapid heart rate and high BP. Finally saw the Cardiologist/ electrophysiologist in Texas (who also was a fan of the Kardia device) then had catheter ablation surgery the first week of Feb. Since then no events knock on wood. The ablation surgery really threw me for a loop. For some reason I was expecting the recovery to be about like that of a colonoscopy...I was wrong. Prior to the surgery I was not really doing any riding but was spending 15 min every day on my trainer doing moderate cardio. After the surgery I was reduced to just puttering around the house in my PJs for a few days and had a strange craving for my Grand daughter's Peanut Butter Capt'n Crunch. After a week I got back on the trainer and tried in an easier gear but was back off after less than a minute. I kept going at it and now after a month I can do 10 minutes of reasonably hard cardio. I am currently on Eliquis for about another 3 weeks and scheduled to wear a Holtor monitor for two weeks starting next Friday. After that who knows...? Hoping I get completely back to normal by May because I really enjoy my rides up and down the beach.

Last edited by MrK.; 03-08-23 at 05:27 PM.
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