I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving because I sure didn’t. Let’s just say I’ve had better Thanksgivings.
I had my first ablation back in March 2015. I was tremendously fortunate to get over 7 1/2 years of total AFIB freedom from that one ablation, but as the years passed by, I knew I was on borrowed time. Almost everyone with atrial fibrillation will need a minimum of two ablations to put it to bed for good so the question wasn’t if, but when, I’d need a second ablation.
Still, though, part of me was always hoping I’d be the one guy that would be “one and done,” or at least be the guy that got a solid 10+ years of AFIB freedom after just one ablation. I was hoping I could have the kind of luck that Steve Ryan of a-fib.com had. He had 21+ years of AFIB freedom after his initial ablation before he needed a second ablation (and eventual third ablation) to put it back to bed again.
The other hope I had was that whenever my atrial fibrillation returned, it would be “easy” to deal with. Prior to my ablation, AFIB was easy to manage because I was able to end my AFIB episodes by simply popping 300mg of flecainide. I had the system down pat. Here’s what I would do:
- Episode begins (so does the anger, frustration, and fear!)
- Confirm Atrial Fibrillation using my AliveCor heart monitor
- Once AFIB was confirmed, wait an hour to see if I would miraculously convert to normal sinus rhythm
- No miraculous conversion? Pop 300mg of flecainide
- Rest and wait up to six hours for my heart to convert to normal sinus rhythm
- Heart converts. Rest and be thankful it’s all over!
My biggest fear, my biggest nightmare, was what if my AFIB returned and I couldn’t manage it with flecainide? What if I got persistent AFIB? I could never deal with that.
Well, friends, I actually lived that nightmare for a few days.
Jump Ahead To:
Wednesday, November 23rd
My nightmare started at approximately 11:00 am on Wednesday, November 23rd – the day after I had my annual routine echo where I felt totally fine and assumed they wouldn’t find anything wrong with my echo (still waiting for the results). What are the odds, right?
My daughter and I were on our daily two-mile walk. We started this routine back when the COVID lockdowns started in March 2020.
We were walking along chatting as usual when my left foot slipped from underneath me due to the patches of ice on the walking path. You know how when your foot slips ever so slightly up in the air and then you instinctively slam it back down to prevent you from falling? The minute my foot slammed to the ground it triggered AFIB. I knew it immediately. It might have been almost eight years since I last experienced AFIB, but you never forget what it feels like!
My first instinct was to hold my breath to see if it would stop. I’ve written about these strange “mini AFIB runs” I had been experiencing the past year, so I thought that’s what was going on. I thought it would end as quickly as it started. No such luck. This was the real deal. AFIB was back and it was here to stay.
I didn’t want to freak my daughter out, so I just kept walking and talking like nothing happened. While I knew I was in AFIB, it wasn’t nearly as awful as I remembered it being. In the past when I got AFIB, I was worthless. I couldn’t do anything without feeling dizzy and lightheaded. All I could do was sit or lie down. In my wildest dreams I couldn’t imagine walking two miles during a full blown AFIB episode, but here I was walking and talking with ease. Something strange was going on.
The minute we got back home I started to dust off all my old “AFIB gear” which consisted of the AliveCor heart monitor, pulse oximeter, blood pressure monitor, Eliquis, and flecainide.
I always had these things handy back when I was having regular atrial fibrillation episodes prior to my ablation. It had been almost eight years since I needed any of this gear so it took a little time to find everything to get it all together and ready to go.
I took a couple ECG readings with my AliveCor monitor and sure enough I had AFIB with a heart rate of 143 BPM:
You’ll notice the ECG says, “unclassified.” When the AliveCor device doesn’t have 100% confidence that the reading is atrial fibrillation, it will return “unclassified.” I knew from my past experience with a heart rate that high and with the unclassified classification, this was atrial fibrillation.
To confirm my own diagnosis, I took advantage of AliveCor’s clinician review service. For $25 you can submit your ECG to a clinician through the AliveCor app. Within 24 hours you’ll get an official reading. My experience has been the review comes back within 8-10 hours. Just as I expected, the review came back confirming atrial fibrillation.
I waited an hour as per my old protocol (see above) hoping for a conversion to normal sinus rhythm. During that time, I tried everything under the sun to try to convert naturally. I employed every technique outlined in one of the first articles I wrote on this blog, “Emergency! How to stop an afib attack.”
I even tried a hot shower/cold shower technique. This is where you take a shower as hot as you can stand it for about a minute. Then you quickly crank the water to as cold as you can stand it for another minute. Then you crank it back to as hot as you can stand it for another minute. You do this routine for about five minutes. I had read once somewhere online that this trick works to end atrial fibrillation. It didn’t work for me, and it was the worst shower experience of my life! I was desperate and willing to try anything.
After I hopped out of the shower and got dressed, I came to the realization a natural conversion wasn’t in the cards. I popped 300mg of flecainide and 5mg of Eliquis. I also downed 1,000mg of ReMag. Then I went about my day.
Again, that’s what was so weird this time around. I was able to function, and it wasn’t really that bad. Don’t get me wrong, I could feel my heart pounding away and I definitely felt “weird,” but it wasn’t debilitating.
As I was secretly dealing with my AFIB crisis, the rest of my family was packing the car and getting ready for our trip to my brother’s house that afternoon. Our family always celebrates Thanksgiving with his family, which is about an hour away. We typically head up the night before Thanksgiving to spend a little extra time with them.
I didn’t want to say anything until the last minute just in case I converted to normal sinus rhythm. If I did, then I could tell them what happened, and we could still be on our way. Unfortunately, the conversion never happened. I remained in AFIB.
I gathered the family in the kitchen and broke the news to them. It went something like this:
“Guys, I have some bad news. I don’t think we can go today.”
“Why?” they asked in unison.
“I’m in AFIB.”
They all looked pretty shocked. I know I was! Trust me, this was the last thing I was expecting. How could this be happening, and right before Thanksgiving no less!
We had a quick discussion and we obviously decided not to go. I could tell they were disappointed. I was too. The whole ordeal was a real downer for everyone for a multitude of reasons. Why did this have to happen right before Thanksgiving? Why did it have to happen at all? Why couldn’t I squeeze just a few more years from that first ablation?
I took another ECG reading with my AliveCor and something interesting happened. I apparently wasn’t in atrial fibrillation anymore. I was in tachycardia with a heart rate of “only” 112 bpm.
What the heck is this tachycardia reading? Of all the years I’ve dealt with AFIB, I’ve never had a tachycardia ECG. It threw me for a loop.
I figured tachycardia was better than AFIB because at least I was in normal sinus rhythm. And I’ll take 112 bpm over the 140+ bpm I always experience with AFIB!
I stayed in tachycardia for the rest of the afternoon and evening.
At 7:20am I took another ECG with the AliveCor and it was still showing tachycardia. This time my rate was slightly higher at 118 bpm.
Once again, I took advantage of AliveCor’s clinician review service and paid another $25 to have this reading reviewed and officially classified. It actually came back as sinus tachycardia.
As you can see from the screenshot, sinus tachycardia is a normal heart rhythm with a heart rate greater than 100 beats per minute. I would later discover that I was not in sinus tachycardia. I was actually in atrial flutter! More on that in a future post.
I stayed in sinus tachycardia, or at least what I thought was sinus tachycardia, for the rest of the day and night.
Thursday, November 24th – Thanksgiving
At around 12:30 am I thought I would try to get some sleep, but before going to bed I took my second dose of Eliquis. I don’t know about you, but it’s impossible to sleep when your heart is pounding away at 120 beats per minute. I had to pop 1mg of lorazepam as well to put me to sleep. I managed to string together two three-hour periods of sleep.
I got out of bed and took an ECG reading with my AliveCor monitor. I was still in sinus tachycardia, but now my heart rate had climbed to 133 bpm:
We had a family discussion first thing in the morning to discuss our Thanksgiving plans. I told them I would be fine to be alone for the day so they should go to my brother’s house and celebrate with them. They had tons of food ready to go and all I was going to do anyway was sit around and rest and maybe try to sleep. After a lot of back and forth and debate, I ultimately won. They reluctantly left for my brother’s house but said they would be back immediately after they ate.
To be honest, I wanted to be alone. I hate being around anyone when I’m in AFIB, or when I’m dealing with any illness. And I also wanted them to enjoy Thanksgiving. There was no sense in having their holiday ruined over my stupid heart issue.
After my family left I tried to rest and sleep but it wasn’t happening. I was too restless.
I got off the couch and started to do a bunch of stuff around the house. I found that if I kept active, I felt pretty good (almost normal). I did laundry, took the trash out, swept and vacuumed the floors, hung a shelf in my office, and did the dishes. As long as I stayed active, I felt fine (as fine as you can feel with your heart pounding away anyway).
During all those activities I stopped to have my Thanksgiving “meal.” I’m not much of a cook and I wasn’t very hungry so my meal was this measly pulled pork sandwich. I thought it was kind of funny so I took a picture of it and texted it to my family as I knew they were enjoying a feast!
After all that activity I sat down and watched my favorite modern TV show, Blue Bloods. Shortly after, my family returned. I had to break the news to them that nothing had changed. My heart was still pounding away.
My wife kept asking, “shouldn’t you go to the hospital at this point?” No, I insisted. Not yet. I’m doing fine, and I’m confident I will eventually convert to normal sinus rhythm. She rolled her eyes but when it comes to my heart, she always defers to me and trusts what I’m doing since I’m knee deep in all this AFIB and heart stuff. She lets me call the shots.
Friday, November 25th
It was the second night now in a row that I was going to have to deal with my heart pounding away. This time I decided to take 10mg of Zolpidem in an attempt to knock me out for the night. It’s been years since I’ve taken zolidem but it worked like a charm. I fell asleep immediately and didn’t wake up until my alarm went off in the morning. It was glorious.
When I woke up Friday morning, I was pretty out of it. That zolpidem did a number on me. I was super groggy and foggy, but I didn’t care. I’d rather deal with that than a restless night of sleep fighting a heart pounding away at 130+ bpm.
I took an ECG with the AliveCor shortly after I got out of bed and I was still in what I thought was tachycardia, but now my heart rate had climbed to 138 bpm:
What the heck? Why haven’t I converted yet? What is this stupid sinus tachycardia? Why does my heart rate continue to climb every 24 hours? I was super frustrated. In fact, I pounded my chest a couple times in anger, hoping it would convert my stupid heart.
The first call I made Friday morning was to my local EP’s office to get some immediate answers and guidance on what I should do. Of course you can never reach a doctor when you need one. All I could do was leave a message with one of the doctor’s staff and wait to hear back.
This was all new to me. I never had to deal with 3 days of persistent AFIB/sinus tachycardia. I was living through my worst nightmare!
But that’s the thing. I was actually surviving the very nightmare I thought I would never be able to handle. God’s grace is amazing. He gives us the strength we couldn’t muster up on our own to get us through difficult times. Praise the Lord!
That’s one of the blessings that came out of this whole ordeal. My faith had been tested and I hadn’t been shaken. I knew the enemy was trying so hard to get me to turn against God, but I never would. I had total faith in God that He would see me through all of this. He would take care of me.
My next call was to Dr. Natale’s office to get the ball rolling on a second ablation. Same thing here. All I could do was leave a detailed message and wait to hear back.
In the meantime, I decided to keep active so once again my daughter and I went for our daily two-mile casual walk despite having a heart rate of 145 bpm. I used my wife’s Apple watch during the walk to keep an eye on my heart rate. I jokingly told my daughter that if I pass out, she’d have to drag me back home…lol.
Everything went fine during the walk. I felt pretty good and surprisingly my heart rate didn’t surpass 145 bpm during the entire walk.
When we got back, I sat around my office to do some things on the computer. Within an hour I could really feel my heart pounding out of my chest. Of the three days, this was definitely the worst. I felt pretty crummy.
In a moment of spontaneity, I decided I needed an Apple watch so I could monitor my heart while I was moving. I love the AliveCor but it’s unfortunate they don’t have a wearable monitor available. Given it was Black Friday, I knew I could probably get a good deal too. I twisted my daughter’s arm and had her drive me to Target so I could pick one up. In case you’re wondering, I got the Apple Watch Series 8 (midnight color) and I love it!
When we got home, I was still feeling like crap so I popped 300mg of flecainide in hopes it would work this time around. I went back to my office to do some work on my computer.
While I was working on my computer I had a lengthy conversation with my good friend, Shannon, from afibbers.org. Since I tried twice to convert with flecainide with no success, he recommended I get an electrical cardioversion (ECV) as soon as possible. That was something I was really hoping to avoid.
Nightmare #2 begins…
I HATE having cardioversions. Not because they’re painful or anything like that, but because the whole process is such a drag. You have to drive to the ER and then deal with the whole ER experience. And who likes to spend a good chunk of their day in the hospital just to have their heart zapped? It just sucks.
Having to rely on cardioversions to get out of AFIB was the thing I hated the most about having AFIB. I’ve had four cardioversions since my AFIB journey started back in 2006. Here is a look at my afib history, broken down by number of episodes and conversions required.
I told my wife that we’ll have to go to the hospital in the morning and have a cardioversion. She was pretty happy and relieved. If it had been up to her, she would have taken me to the hospital on Wednesday when all this started. She was more than happy to get up early with me and drive me to the ER.
With that settled, and the reality of cardioversion #5 sinking in, I started to research online to see what ER departments were best. We live in a large metro area so we have a lot to choose from, fortunately. What I was trying to figure out was which ER departments get the best ratings and which hospitals have the best cardiology departments.
I ultimately chose the hospital my local EP is affiliate with. It turns out his hospital is ranked #2 in the state of Minnesota and ranks nationally for its cardiology department. I also remembered my EP telling me years ago that their ER department are pros when it comes to handling cardioversions or any cardiac emergencies.
My decision was reinforced when I finally got a call back from my local EP’s office. If you recall, I had left them a message earlier in the day. It only took 9 hours to get a return call. I’m glad it wasn’t an emergency, or I would have been dead…lol.
To make matters worse, she had nothing to tell me. She said she put a message into the cardiology team but for some reason nobody got back to her. She felt really bad and wanted to at least call me back so I wasn’t left hanging heading into the weekend. Her only advice was to do what I had already planned on doing – go to the ER in the morning and have a cardioversion.
There is one good thing that came from her call, however. She confirmed my decision to go to their ER because as she said, “they do cardioversions all the time so you’ll be in good hands.” Those words alone made up for the long delay in getting back to me.
Unwisely, I spent the rest of the evening going down a rabbit hole online reading horror story after horror story of people’s experiences in the ER. I also read all the negative reviews of the ER department I was going to go to. By the way, I strongly recommend you don’t do that! It ended up being a waste of time, and did nothing but increase my stress and anxiety, which I didn’t need.
Finally, I ended my night by watching my favorite TV show, Gunsmoke. Yes, I admit I’m a total nerd, but I love watching old TV shows and Gunsmoke is my favorite. I end every night watching Matt Dillon! It always relaxes me and puts me in a good mood before I hit the sack.
Saturday, November 26th
I went to bed around 12:30 am but I tossed and turned until about 1:30 am. I was just dreading the whole ER experience. I was also nervous about the outcome of the cardioversion. What if it doesn’t work? What kind of awful drugs are they going to put me on moving forward? My mind was going to all sorts of dark places.
To shut my brain off and to get at least four hours of sleep before the big day, I got up and popped 1 mg of lorazepam. As always, it did the trick. Within thirty minutes I was totally calm and drifting off to sleep.
The alarm goes off at 6:20 am. I lay in bed for a few minutes before grabbing my AliveCor to make one final ECG reading. I knew the odds were slim, but I was really hoping it was going to show normal sinus rhythm. That wasn’t in the cards. I was still in tachycardia with a heart rate of 130.
My wife asked me, “What’s the status?”
I responded, “Status quo. We’re still heading to the ER for a cardioversion.”
Part 2 of this saga will be published soon.
Why Did I Wait So Long to Go to the ER?
If you’ve read this entire story, I suspect you’ll be wondering why I waited so long to go to the ER. You might be wondering why I didn’t listen to my wife and go to the ER on Wednesday when all this started.
There are a few reasons why I waited as long as I did.
For starters, the longest AFIB episode I ever had in my life was six hours. I figured this episode would be done within six hours. When the sixth hour came and went, it was already evening and I was doing o.k. It wasn’t debilitating and I was on a blood thinner so I knew I was protected from a potential stroke. I figured I could hang in there overnight and see how things would unfold.
Then on Thursday it was Thanksgiving. I really didn’t want to ruin my family’s Thanksgiving. Both my family and my brother’s family had spent a lot of money on food and spent a lot of time cooking and preparing it. Again, because this episode wasn’t debilitating and I was on a blood thinner, I thought I could hang in there some more. Certainly I’ll convert at some point during the day, I thought. Plus, there was no way on God’s green earth I was spending Thanksgiving in an ER!
I contemplated going to the ER on Friday but by the time I was thinking of going, it was already late evening. I didn’t want to go to the ER on a Friday night. The hospital is in the heart of a major urban city and isn’t in the safest area. I knew it would be really busy and I didn’t feel safe driving to the hospital on a Friday night.
I also had just eaten dinner. They don’t like to do cardioversions when you have a full stomach so I would have had to wait a few hours before we could have left for the hospital. Even if everything went perfectly in the ER, we wouldn’t be leaving the ER until well after midnight. I especially didn’t want to be driving through a dangerous part of the city after midnight on a weekend!
In hindsight, I would have gone to the ER on Friday morning, but as they say, hindsight is 20/20. When you’re in the heat of the moment, you don’t always think clearly, and you always have hope that the episode will end on its own. Dealing with persistent atrial flutter was new to me. I was in unchartered waters. Now that I know that any future episodes will likely be persistent, I won’t hesitate to head to the ER sooner. Live and learn, I guess.
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I’m very sorry that your Afib has come back and will have to undergo a 2nd ablation.
Believe it or not, we have similar experiences. I’m going on my 4th year post ablation and I am Afib free for 4 years. However PAC and PVC runs started to happen 6 months post ablation. Just last week, I have been experiencing “mini Afib runs”
I’m now beginning to condition myself that I will have to go back that path again 😔
Your story has always inspired me. Keep uplifting us with your guidance and support.
Good luck on your 2nd and hopefully the last ablation!
Congratulations on 4 years of being a-fib free. That’s awesome! I’m crossing my fingers for you that your “mini a-fib runs” don’t turn into anything!
Have a good one!
¡ Hola Travis! Siento mucho que haya vuelto la AFIB. Yo me sometí a mi 1ª ablación en enero del 2022. Estoy bién aunque de vez en cuando siento algo que podrian ser PVC. Deseo que tengas una evolución favorable. ¡ Mucho ánimo desde España!
For those like me that can’t speak Spanish, here is how your comment translates to English according to Google Translate:
“Hello Travis! I am very sorry that the AFIB has returned. I underwent my first ablation in January 2022. I’m fine, although from time to time I feel something that could be PVC. I wish you have a favorable evolution. Much encouragement from Spain!”
So my response to you in Spanish using Google translate is:
“Felicidades por tu primera ablación. No te preocupes por esos molestos PVC. Esos son normales después de una ablación. Estoy seguro de que eventualmente desaparecerán. Gracias por los buenos deseos. También te deseo muchos años de NSR. ¡Cuídate!”
Translated: Congrats on your first ablation. Don’t worry about those pesky PVCs. Those are normal after an ablation. I’m sure they’ll eventually go away. Thanks for the well wishes. I wish you many years of NSR as well. Take care!
Hey Travis, love you long time. The diverse and complicated cases of our condition. I was always hoping with you the last 7 years this article would never be written. I do recall you having a few rough patches with PVCs the first year and some hiccups along the way. Back to the Rock star of EPs for a touch up may be just what you needed. Not to be the guy with the tin foil hat, but your previous article on the controversial subject of the day is not coincidental. All the best.
Thanks James! Always great to hear from you. Hope all is well!
Have any of your EP’s recommended the watchman procedure? My EP discussed it with me a few ears ago. Essentially eliminating the appendage that blot clots form.
Hi Travis! Thanks for sharing your experience!. I hope you have a speedy recovery. Greetings from Spain!
Thanks! I appreciate the well wishes.
I’m so sorry to hear that Travis..This Afib is so draining..the fear of the unknown.Maybe after this 2nd ablation that will be the end of this life changing heart problem.i wish you luck and prayers are coming your way .God Bless
Yes, it is beyond draining:( I hope my next ablation will be my last one as well. Thanks for the well wishes.
so sorry to hear the beast returned :( Thnx for sharing your experience and prayers for successful conversion back to NSR
Thanks! I appreciate the well wishes.
Hi Travis— Yes I do remember you and your Afib experience. It’s been about 15
years since my first Afib alblation. Prior to that, it was a pill-in-the-pocket fix. I had an ablation and it lasted 8 years. The second ablation lasted 2 years and the third, about 3 years. After my last and third ablation, I had a life threatening complication, Cardiac Tamponade. More than 1L of blood was removed and I spent a couple of days in ICU.
You are right, Afib/Aflutter does not upset me as much. I am on my second Medtronic Implanted monitor and use my trusted IWatch to confirm my rate and rhythm. I then run a strip on my watch and forward it to my EP. I would have to check how many cardioversions I’ve had – either 5 or 6 and, of course, 3 PVA.
I am now on Tikosyn and Eliquis for my cardiac status and so far, really good. No unusual bradycardia, or slow heart rate. that was so fatiguing.
We just keep fighting the fib and/or flutter. Most important to me is stroke prevention and Eliquis is the med rx for me.
You’re an inspiration! Sounds like you’ve been through a lot and yet you seem to be in good spirits and things seem to be going well. I love it! I wish you the best this holiday season and have a Happy New Year!
Oh wow, Travis, so sorry to hear that the monster has reared it’s ugly head!. I just had my 5 year Anniversary of my one and only ablation (so far) on 11/21/2022. I had my annual Echo a few weeks ago and all was well. I will keep you in my prayers!
That’s awesome! Congrats on the echo results and the 5 year anniversary! I wish you the best as we head into the New Year soon!
What an ordeal. I am so sorry you are going through this and hoping the tachycardia has eased off now. Glad you have good Doctors.
Thanks! The tachycardia is all gone now thanks to the cardioversion I had, which I’ll be writing about soon. Take care.
Awww…sorry to hear this! I went 5 years until it came back. Had my ablation #2 at the end of September and then a cardio version last week for an 8 day episode of flutter/tachycardia, too. I was assured it’s all part of the “blanking period” so I’m trying to stay positive. I, too, will add you to my prayers. We can hope that Ablation #2 will stop it for good!
Sorry to hear you had to have a cardioversion as well. Don’t lose hope. It isn’t uncommon to experience a-fib/flutter during the blanking period. Try to stay positive and I’ll keep you in my prayers as well.
Sorry you had to go through that ordeal. I have have had 6 ablations in my last one was Aug 2019 (fingers crossed). I do, however, have “break through” episodes that I treat similar to you that seems to work:
1) Upon confirmation, I take 300mg Flec, and 50mg metoprolol.
2) If I haven’t converted in 12 hours, I take 150mg Flec & 50mg metoprolol every 12 hours until I convert. I think the metoprolol helps bring the heart rate down and maybe helps my body get back into NSR.
3) Per my EP’s recommendation, I wouldn’t start my Eliquis unless I have not converted within 48 hrs.
4) I up my magnesium an extra 1kmgs daily
5) I keep up steps 2-4 until I convert. I typically convert within 24-48 hrs but have gone as long as 72hrs.
In June 2019, I started taking a statin for cholesterol, within a week I was in Afib (Tachycadria, really). I knew I needed another ablation as even when I did the protocal, I would covert and then go back into afib the next day. This way I knew a simple cardioversion would not work and had to get ablation #6.
BTW, don’t worry about the next ablation. They are so easy and seem better now. I was at the hospital at 8am and home by 4pm later the same day. My EP does not use the groin press (to stop the bleeding after the sheaths are removed) which was the worse part of the procedure. Now, they stitch me up before I wake up. It was so uneventful. I’ve had more discomfit getting a cavity filled.
Anyway, hope this helps you. We are all in this together. Sounds like you have some good habits that keep you healthy and a nice family. Hang in there.
Six ablations? Wow! I think you have the record. A good friend of mine just had her fifth ablation. It’s frustrating this disease is so hard to treat. You would think after 2-3 ablations it would be over, right?
I agree with your assessment about ablations. They aren’t a big deal anymore. I’m actually not fearing the ablation at all. I’m just not looking forward to all the recovery B.S. – i.e. blood thinners for a while, potential drugs for a while, check ups afterwards, etc.
You sound like you’re doing pretty good now after your sixth ablation. That’s great to hear! Take care!
Ha! You’d figured I would get a “free” one after 6. Apparently no “Rewards Program” in the ablation business. :-) Good luck to you!
No kidding! At the very least you should get a serious discount, right?
I’m so sorry to hear it’s back- ugh. I didn’t realize you had gone this far with one ablation- that’s amazing and a sign that the second one should button it up for good. I’ll say a prayer for you and hope that you will be in the hands of the maestro soon.
Thanks Tracy. I appreciate that. Take care!
Hi Travis, so sorry to hear that the beast is back hopefully after your second ablation you will get another nine years afib free or if you are lucky even longer. I’m a bit of a novice as I’ve only had one ablation and never needed to be cardioversion. Unfortunately l still have regular bouts of afib. I did go for a second ablation but my EP informed me that it would need to be an AV Node ablation then likely a permanent pacemaker. I haven’t made a decision on that yet as being pacemaker dependant frightens me.
Take care Billy
Thanks for the well wishes. DO NOT proceed with the AV Node ablation just yet. That is a last resort option. I call it the nuclear option. There are EPs that can do ablations for complex cases of atrial fibrillation, which it sounds like you have. If you’re willing to travel to Texas to be treated, contact me directly via my contact page. I can put you in touch with such an EP. I wish you well!
Hi Travis, thanks for your reply. Yes l would wish to avoid an AV node ablation as you said it is really the last resort and if it fails to tackle my problems then l would be truly snookered. Unfortunately as l reside in Scotland travel to US would be difficult for me. If you were speaking about the maze procedure as performed by Dr Wolf there are a few EP/cardiologist who are currently performing a type of maze procedure here in the UK who have had success where ablations have failed. I am monitoring the situation with some of people who have had this done and hopefully l might be able to take up that option. Good luck for your up-coming second ablation.
I didn’t realize you were in the UK. It sounds like you are on it, however. Just try to find the best and most experienced doctor you can no matter what procedure you move forward with. Also keep in mind that an AV node ablation does NOT cure your a-fib. You will still have a-fib episodes but the symptoms just won’t be as bad. I wish you the best!
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