If this keeps up I’ll be writing daily! My last episode wasn’t even a week ago. What the heck is going on? This is such bullshit. Can you tell I’m frustrated?
As I look at my progression chart it boggles my mind how quickly my afib has spun out of control. I expected things to get progressively worse (eventually) but not like this. How does a guy go from having one episode a year to having them weekly? It doesn’t make any sense.
This time I went to lie down in bed for the night at 12:55 a.m. and the minute my head hit the pillow my heart was off to the races. I lay there for about 20 minutes reading the news on my iPhone before I finally got up to take an EKG reading:
At 1:26 a.m. I took 300mg of Flecainide. This time I thought I would also take two vitamin B-complex capsules. This idea came from Doug when I interviewed him about chelation therapy. He told me that when he would have an episode he would take a vitamin B-complex and it seemed to help him convert quicker. I figured it couldn’t hurt to try.
I should also point out I took 120 mg. of magnesium glycinate shortly before I went to bed around 12:45 a.m. I’ve been taking this every night right before bed for the past several weeks. Some people say taking magnesium at night relaxes them and helps them sleep. I don’t know if it really makes a difference or not but I’ve made it a part of my routine.
This episode was very similar to my last episode. It was very intense. In fact, it was just as intense as the last one but the intensity didn’t last as long. This one kicked into full gear at 1:45 a.m. At that point my heart was pounding so hard I had to lie down on the floor on my right side and curl up in a ball. If I did anything else I got really light headed and had shortness of breath. Luckily, it was only like this for about 30 minutes.
As a side note, I’ve been noticing an interesting trend with my episodes lately. They start out really “soft.” I have that “fish flopping in my chest” sensation but it’s nothing that cripples me. It’s more of an annoyance than anything. Then I down my 300 mg. of Flecainide and within 20 minutes the episodes kick into high gear. I’m completely down for the count for about 20-30 minutes because they are so intense. Then they slowly subside and within an hour or so I’m back in NSR.
It would be so nice if I had silent afib or at least low-intensity episodes. I envy people who just have to deal with palpitations when they are in afib. Mine just keep getting more and more intense. It sucks.
Getting back to this most recent episode, after I curled up on the floor for 30 minutes I got up and walked around the house a little. I felt 100% better but my heart was still flopping all over the place. I lay back down in bed and watched Family Guy. Then just like that at 2:50 a.m. I converted to NSR.
The conversion, as it usually is for me, was instant. One second I’m in full-fledged afib and a second later I’m in NSR and I feel completely normal. It’s so bizarre how it happens. I thank God (literally) after every conversion that the Flecainide worked. To me, it’s a miracle drug (at least for now). I couldn’t imagine what I would do if it didn’t exist – or if it didn’t work for me.
My final EKG reading (taken using my AliveCor monitor) confirmed I was good to go:
I was pretty wired after I converted so I watched a couple more episodes of Family Guy before I popped .5 mg. of Lorazepam and went to bed at 4 a.m. I slept until 10 a.m. but I think I could have slept until noon if we didn’t have plans to get our Christmas tree. I had a great six hours of sleep but I was still tired.
In fact I was super tied all day long. I just wanted to go back to bed and sleep. I don’t know if it was the Flecainide or the Lorazepam still in my system or what but I was exhausted. It could have been the fact my heart was pounding at 200+ beats per minute at times and I didn’t get to bed until 4 a.m. too:)
Other than the sudden movement to lie down in bed, which was the spark of the episode, I think the fuel for the fire was from a couple different things.
All evening long I could feel palpitations on and off. I knew it wasn’t afib because I know when I’m in afib. These were more like PVCs or PACs. They were sporadic throughout the evening. Every time I would feel them I kept thinking, “here we go again,” but I never went into afib.
After about 10 p.m. those sporadic palpitations disappeared. At night I was really hungry and I was craving cheddar fish crackers. I had a small bowl but before I knew it I had downed two more! What can I say, I was lost in my episodes of The Americans.
When I went to bed I had that distinct “full feeling.” I wasn’t bloated or burping or anything like that but I definitely had that feeling that I ate too much. It’s very possible that I was bloated so when I went to lie down it was all my heart needed.
The only reason I’m hesitant to blame the overeating late at night is that I’ve done that many times in the past and it’s never triggered an episode. Furthermore, I’ve been having episodes at all different times of the day lately – on empty stomachs and full stomachs – so in the big picture it doesn’t seem to matter.
I think at this point I’m beyond triggers. The afib is just a part of me now and it will rear its ugly head whenever it wants to. I’m just crossing my fingers and hoping that Dr. Natale can slay the beast come February when I have my ablation.