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Here is the transcript of the audio:
Matteo writes, “I have had just one AFib episode in July 2015. Since then, I’ve had two checkups, an EKG, treadmill EKG, an echocardiogram, and all tests were good. I’ve had some PACs and PVCs that occur more frequently when I’m stressed, my blood pressure is good, but my heart rate is quite high. My lifestyle has changed, I only drink a maximum of one cup of coffee a day and virtually no alcohol. I maybe have one drink in a social occasion and I also pay more attention to my hydration.
My question is this, do you know anyone who has been so lucky to have only one episode in their life? Is it possible?”
Well, my answer to this is, I suppose it is possible, but based on my experience, and again, I’ve had AFib or I had AFib for nine years. And I say, I had AFib because I had a successful ablation in March of 2015 and I haven’t had AFib since. But in the nine years that I’ve had AFib, and all the reading and research I’ve done and talking to fellow AFib-ers and exchanging emails and comments with people through my blog over the years, it’s not likely that you’re only gonna have one episode and never have another episode again.
Now, it’s possible though that you could go many years until you have another episode. Take my example, I was first diagnosed in 2006, and I didn’t have another episode for, I believe it was a year or two. And for the next eight years, I only had one episode every year or sometimes I would even go two years in between my episodes. And I’ve also heard of people that have had an episode and they go a decade before they have another episode. That’s the thing about AFib, it’s so unpredictable. But here’s the thing, if you do have an AFib episode, that is an indication that there’s a defect in your electrical system.
And so the question is, just like if you were to have a defect in anything else, like your car or anything else, is it possible that it’s just a one time thing and it never happens again? Yeah, I suppose it’s possible. But the reality is if you have this inherent defect, it’s probably gonna rear its ugly head again. But again, the question is when? And that’s the thing no one really knows. And I think if you talk to any doctor, they’re gonna tell you the same thing, it’s very unpredictable. You could go 10 years, you could go 10 days, you could go 10 minutes before your next episode hits. But here’s what I tell people. Don’t, and I know this is easier said than done, but do not live in fear, because you could go 10 years until you have another episode or before AFib really becomes an issue in your life that you have to deal with.
Why spend the next 10 years fretting over this and then thinking about, “Oh my gosh, is my AFib gonna show up today? Am I gonna have another episode?” And again, I know that’s easier said than done. Trust me, I’ve been there. I still struggle with it even though I’ve been AFib free for two and a half years now. I still think about when is the next episode gonna happen. But I just encourage people when I talk to them directly on the phone or they email me, or even through the comments on my blog, I just tell them, just try to live in the moment, don’t worry about the future or dwell on the past episode that you had or worry about when the next episode’s gonna hit.
Just enjoy the day that you have been blessed with. And if it’s in NSR, just be thankful that today I’m AFib-free and I’m just not gonna think about it, and I’m just gonna enjoy my life! I’ll deal with AFib when it occurs. Whether it’s a day or 10 years from now or whenever it is, I’ll deal with it then. But for now, I’m just gonna enjoy my life, and that’s what I encourage people to do.
Matteo, I hope that answers your question. And if anybody else has any questions for me, just click on the link here found at the bottom of this page where this Q&A will be posted. It takes you to my contact page and you can fill that out and shoot me a question. And your question might be featured on the next Q&A session. Thank you.