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In the four years that I have been maintaining this blog I have never received negative feedback until the past two weeks. I was accused of lying about my afib story and that I was just trying to make money off of people who struggle with atrial fibrillation.
While these accusations are complete nonsense, I thought it might be a good idea to address them in case anyone has any doubt about my story or has concerns how this blog makes money.
New this week (and moving forward), I provide the audio file (see audio player above) and the video file (see below). Enjoy:)
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I haven’t been in for a while and just read these posts. I know I have said this before and want to say it again that your blog was and is where I first came into contact with you and Shannon and then Dr Natale. Because of your willingness to help me understand what was going on and what a-fib is all about and possibilities of dealing with it, I have been able to start living with less fear and much more freedom.
This past year continues to be an experience since my ablation in March and I feel so much better than the previous years where my paroxysmal a-fib turned into more persistent and I became a hermit after finishing my work day. Now I have gotten back into a more active lifestyle (still working on that!) and don’t worry as much when I travel.
Thanks for all that you do for and with us and becoming a friend I trust even though we haven’t met face to face yet. Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year and best of everything to you and your family.
You’re the best! Thanks for your kind words. I’m so glad to hear you’re doing so much better these days. Things will only continue to get better! Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
This site certainly isn’t fake, but it is full of misinformation — most likely unintentionally. I’ve had paroxysmal afib for 10 years since I was 38. I am prone to panic attacks and stomach problems, and this likely contributes. Some years I get a lot of episodes, sometimes I go years without any. I had my longest episode in February which was 30 hours, two days later went back to my normal routine of work and intense exercise three days a week, and had no episodes until a 1-hour episode this morning — the shortest I have ever had.
The point is that afib is completely unique to each individual, and recent studies and observations suggest that it is not a disease at all, but rather a SYMPTOM of something like inflammation or anxiety or alcoholism or obesity. If you are under 65, have a healthy heart, and no other health conditions, then you can probably avoid most episodes by lifestyle intervention — fixing your diet, moderating or eliminating alcohol, and learning to manage stress and anxiety.
I live in NYC and have gone to two of the top cardiologists here — which means they are two of the top cardiologists in the world. Neither has recommended any intervention unless it becomes persistent.
And, as for that, there is absolutely zero scientific evidence that afib always progresses to permanent. In fact, the only professional long-term study lasted 30 years and determined that only about a third of people go from paroxysmal to permanent.
You see so many people saying that it is inevitable because all of these board are filled mostly with people for whom it has progressed. But think about it — if 1% of people in America over 40 have afib, that’s 3 million people. Have you read anecdotes from 3 million people? Have you read anecdotes from even more than 200? It is the same principle as Yelp, where so many of the reviews are bad because who takes the time to write a review about something that was no big deal?
Your body is just weird. It reacts funny to things. So what? Everybody is different. Get over yourself. Get yourself healthy in your body and mind. You’re fine. Don’t waste your time dwelling on this nonsense because you know what? That causes A-FIb too!
Thanks for your comments but I take issue with your statement that this blog is “full of misinformation.” It might be bias towards ablations given I had a successful one that gave me my life back but I’m not sure what you mean when you say it is “full of misinformation.”
I’d like to see the studies and observations you reference that say atrial fibrillation is a symptom and not a disease. Did you get this from Dr. Mandrola by chance? It sounds like something Dr. Mandrola would say. While lifestyle changes can certainly help, I have yet to meet anyone or talk to anyone that has been able to “cure” their afib by simply making lifestyle changes. Again, I’m not arguing these changes don’t help but I do not believe they can cure afib alone.
Regarding the top cardiologists you’ve talked to in NYC, I’m assuming one of them was Dr. Luigi Dibiase. He cut his teeth under the world’s greatest EP, Dr. Natale. Regardless, the choice of intervening is certainly an individual one. Some people do indeed learn to “live with afib” without meds or procedures. I envy them! For me, I couldn’t deal with it so I choose intervention – specifically an ablation. I don’t think I’ve ever suggested that everyone with afib MUST intervene. However, I will say if you want the highest quality of life possible, intervention is almost always necessary to some degree.
I also don’t believe you’ll find any comments on this blog that suggest afib always progresses to persistent afib. You are absolutely correct when you say it doesn’t always happen. However, if afib runs in your family and/or you get it at an early age, odds are not in your favor.
You are also correct when you say you mostly hear horror stories about afib online. There is no doubt you always hear the worst of the worst – that’s why they are online looking for help! Unfortunately, there are thousands of people who fall into this category. This blog and others like mine are geared towards these people – the ones having the hardest time with afib.
Finally, when you say things like, people with afib should “get over themselves” and “shouldn’t waste time dwelling on this nonsense,” I don’t think you have a full grasp on the realities of afib – or you’re in denial. I’ll just ask you this. Why are you reading this blog and taking time to comment? It seems to me that you’re struggling to follow your own advice:) Otherwise you wouldn’t be here reading and writing about afib! And while it’s easy to say “just be healthy” and you’ll be fine, it’s much harder to actually do. And as I mentioned earlier, even if you are an absolute health nut it might not matter. Afib might still win the battle!
I thank you for your comments anyway and I wish you the best. I sincerely hope you’re able to manage your afib for many years to come without medical or surgical intervention! God Bless!
Travis – you and your blog are excellent resources for afib patients such as myself. I appreciate all that you do and I look forward to each blog message. Thank you for your efforts.
Thanks Louis! I appreciate that.
Don’t give those accusers the time of day. You do so much good – authentic good. There are always negative people out there. They just aren’t happy unless they’re stirring up trouble.
I don’t post much but I look a lot! Thank you for what you do. This site helps so many.
Thanks Linda! I appreciate your kind words.
I don’t give the naysayers the time of day but I thought it was a could topic to discuss. There are a lot of unscrupulous people online so I don’t blame some people for being overly skeptical. I’m glad I was given the opportunity to let people know what is in my heart (no pun intended) and what my true goals are for this blog.
God Bless and Have a Great Day!
Last year, after randomly sending Travis an e-mail asking about his a-fib journey, I was rewarded with a return e-mail just a few days later. That e-mail would set me on my journey to my first atrial fibrillation cardiac ablation. Although I have had a-fib for longer than Travis, he had recently gone through his ablation and had some good perspective for me to consider. He put me in contact with Shannon Dickson of a-fibbers.org, which is a site I had trusted since I was first diagnosed. From there, I was referred to Dr. Andrea Natale, who performed my index a-fib ablation on June 8th of this year.
Never once did I question whether Travis had an ablation (I mean you can see the catheter insertion points on this website, lol). I can even tell you, without question, that when I was at St. David’s, his nurse navigator, who was also mine, spoke of Travis quite a bit once I mentioned that I had gone through this site as my first step to Natale. Without Travis’ and Shannon’s guidance before, during and after the ablation, I am not sure I would have taken those first steps to have the procedure done. I’m glad I did because it has been life-changing.
During this process, never once did Travis ask me for money for his help or in any way try to monetize his referral or anything else for that matter.
I hate that anyone would question his intentions. If there were more people like Travis who were willing to help others, without anything in return, the world would be a much better place. I am more than willing to share my ablation story, with pictures, if there are those of you who continue to question the validity of the blog or his intentions.
I hope each of you reading this have a blessed, NSR day!
Thanks for your words of support. I appreciate it! How are you doing these days? Great I hope!! Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
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