Tuesday, March 27, 2018

So Here Is The Deal

I am currently dealing with some atrial fibrillation or A Fib, a minor electrical problem with the heart that results in an irregular heartbeat. They are going to treat it with an electrical shock in about a month that will get it back in rhythm. My 17 year old, five foot, Iranian Cardiologist says it is not a big deal, no one has ever died from AFib and he sees it all the time. He has me on blood thinner to reduce the increased possibility of strokes so I have to watch bleeding. I guess that means extreme sports are off the agenda. Just another of the pleasures of growing older.

I had no complaints and had not really noticed the problem but when I was at the doctor's to discuss my latest lab tests (all OK) he noticed something in my colour and sent me for an ECG. The results clearly showed a strong but irregular heartbeat and the telltale "fluttering" in the upper chambers indicating A-Fib. He referred me to a specialist who examined me, did his own ECG, explained the shock treatment and was delighted to hear that I do not eat meat.

I am not overly concerned about this as the doctor is pretty confident he can shock things back into shape (he has done it many times) and either way he says my life expectancy is exactly the same with A Fib as it would be without it. The only downside I can tell is an occasional "vibration" in my chest after exertion. A little scary now that I know what it is but nothing to worry about.

A sign in the Cardiologist's office stated that the best diet for heart health is a Mediterranean Diet. This works well for me as I love that kind of food. I downloaded some recipes and mad a pot of Greek Lentil Soup yesterday. It is delicious! Norma even liked it even though she hates garlic (I only used half the amount called for). The local deli makes a great Greek Salad probably for less than I could make it for. Tonight I will try a Greek fish dish.

I am actually looking forward to experimenting with this diet.

Image result for afib ecg

21 comments:

  1. A good friend of ours has had an issue with Afib for a few years. She is an avid hiker and was getting quite frustrated with not being able to do much climbing without having problems. They tried the shock treatment a couple of years ago with little success. Finally she decided to go for an oblation procedure where they cotterized some of her heart nerves last January. She came back to Winter Camp in February, started hiking immediately, and went of a 5 week hiking holiday in the Alps last summer. Just last week, we chased her up and down Picacho Peak.
    What I am trying to tell you is that Afib is very treatable, and you will be back doing Extreme Sports soon.

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    1. Thanks Rod, some encouraging news! We are not sure when mine started but probably no more than a year ago.The quicker they get at it, the better the chance of the shock thing working. i am also on a short term drug that he says raises the chance of it working from 80% to 90%.

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    2. Deb was on drugs for a year, and it might of helped, but didn't last long term. The Oblation seems to have done the job though. Hopefully they will get yours sorted out less invasively.

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  2. Croft I have the said ailment for over twenty years and you know how crazy I am on the courts and hiking it really never bothers me my doctor did not prescribe any drugs except for me take a baby aisprin very evening..in fact I just went for annual check up yesterday and had the EKG..don’t worry about this best wishes les

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    1. Well, that answers a lot! I always knew there was something wrong with you. :) I don't know many people more active than you Les so my prospects look good! Thanks for the encouragement, I feel much better.

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  3. So you're on rat poison, Shelagh is on bloodthinners for life. We hope your tune-up will put you right again soon, a little timing belt adjustment. Enjoy the Mediterranian diet, the best food!

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  4. It's one of the more hi tech rat poisons, but the same thing. I just have to convince Pharmacare to pay the $100 per month.

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  5. Is it Xaralto? Expensive but no need to be constantly checking you INR. I had to get a Special Authority form filled out by my doctor to have this covered under Pharmacare.

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    1. Yes, that is it. I have to get my doctor to apply for Special Authority.

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  6. My brother in law has Afib...he is on medication and has tried the shock treatment but his heart still returns to afib. Don't know what he will do next but I will mention Oblation.

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  7. Nice to know it's not a "serious" issue but better that they found it early and can keep it under control for you. Several folks here in our park have A Fib and don't have any problems. Keep us updated on what's happening.

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  8. Sounds like you have a first rate doctor to decide to do a test based on your colour. I guess your body just needs a minor tune up. I know that all will be well.

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  9. Croft, so very sorry you are having this nagging problem. Yes, you must have a great doctor to take the extra time and notice small details (even though you say he is very young, but sounds like a genius). It reminds me of the old television sitcom "Doogie Howser," starring a doctor who was very young and a boy genius.

    As we get older, we just need more maintenance, and you are doing your part by making those regular doctor's visits. I'll have to read up on the medication your doctor has prescribed for you. My problem is as a result of a partial thyroidectomy I had in my late 20s that affects my heart rate, but I take synthroid medication every day to rectify the problem.

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  10. Best of luck. I suffer from a minor version of this.

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    1. Thanks Steve, so many people have contacted me with their own stories that I now feel much better about this. I will give the shock treatment (cardioversion) a go and see what happens. My doctor is pretty confident and so am I.

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  11. We'll be thinking of you Croft!

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    1. Thanks Don, the more I hear from other people who have or have had the same problem, the better I am feeling about it.

      The hospital called today and I am booked for April 24. I had to wait 30 days for the blood thinners to clear out any clots. It is an outpatient process so I will only be in there for the day.

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  12. Hola Croft!
    Shock therapy, eh? Sounds like fun. Once you get it done, you'll have to write the "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" post.

    My mother was diagnosed with A-Fib some while ago and given a daily prescription of Flecainide, which seems to have done the job. Maybe that would work for you.

    Or maybe you'd rather just be shocked.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Redding, CA
    Where we once spent a week wearing a Holter monitor trying to find A-fib, but it hid out the entire week.

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  13. Thanks Kim, my doc wants to try the shock first and then pills if that doesn't work. Your mom never ceases to amaze!

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    1. By the way, I don't know how I didn't do this before, but I just added you to my blog roll. My bad. I was kind of shocked to realize I didn't have it on there. If it's any consolation, your last 20 posts are the only ones showing up now, haha.

      Saludos!

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