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johndl
@johndl

Posts: 5
Joined: May 10, 2016

Good response to a correction procedure related to atrial fibrillation

Posted by @johndl, May 10, 2016

I have had such a good response to a correction procedure related to a heart condition, that I wish to share my story. It concerns a treatment that I had for a diagnosis of atrial fibrillation.
I believe it was 2012 when I received a diagnosis of atrial fibrillation. The cardiologist told me some people develop this condition in later life for no known reason. I was told I would need to begin taking meds to control the condition. That caused a search for another cardiologist as I try to avoid taking meds. Too often, it seems, medicines cause additional problems to develop.
The name of a medical group performing a corrective procedure was given to me by another doctor. This group claimed catheter ablation is superior to drug therapy. I was told, not every person with a diagnosis of atrial fibrillation would be a candidate for the ablation procedure but I was, as it turned out.
The procedure was performed March of 2013. I was on blood thinner medicine and followed for one year. At the end of that year, I was given a clean bill of health as to the atrial fibrillation condition.
Since March of 2014, I exercise indoors five days every week for about 45 minutes each day. The exercise schedule is running on a treadmill after warming up on a cross-trainer machine for a total of 4.25 miles. I do wear a heart monitor and am able to maintain a pulse rate of up to 90% of the maximum allowed for my age of 77. I should mention, prior to the atrial fibrillation condition, I ran for exercise. In fact, as of 2016 I have been a runner for 40+ years.
I have been very pleased with the results from my catheter ablation and the fact that I can continue to perform cardio exercise on a regular basis. I feel great and recommend exploring the procedure as performed by that group to anyone with a diagnosis of atrial fibrillation and a desire to avoid meds.

REPLY

@johndl, you are one of the fortunate ones. Check out the posting from @guardian at 1:02pm May 10 (almost two hours before yours) in this group. Several of my friends have had ablations, with mixed results. In my case, my a-fib brought no advice from any doctor for either medication or surgery to “control the condition.” My only treatment has been Coumadin therapy to guard against blood clots forming in my heart and traveling to other organs. I have had to regularize my diet (so it doesn’t neutralize the Coumadin) and avoid more than one alcoholic drink per day, and I have periodic blood tests to monitor my clotting factor. Your recommendation to others fell one factor short: You addressed “anyone with a diagnosis of atrial fibrillation AND a desire to avoid meds,” but should have added “AND a heavy regimen of physical exercise with a background as a runner for several decades.” In short, you are almost unique, johndl, and few of us can expect your results from making the lucky choice of totally positive ablation.

If I am fortunate as you indicated it is because I worked to eat right and keep my level of fitness up for the past forty years. I’m not saying you are, but many do what they want without concern for what develops later on and then want a pill to cure the problem. I am truly sorry about the situation you are now in, but I still believe when a doctor does not tell you what you want to hear it is time to explore another doctor. Only then will you know what your path out of the problem really is.

@johndl

If I am fortunate as you indicated it is because I worked to eat right and keep my level of fitness up for the past forty years. I’m not saying you are, but many do what they want without concern for what develops later on and then want a pill to cure the problem. I am truly sorry about the situation you are now in, but I still believe when a doctor does not tell you what you want to hear it is time to explore another doctor. Only then will you know what your path out of the problem really is.

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I’m fine, johndl. Especially because I didn’t get an ablation. That’s what I wanted to hear, because some of my friends did get one and are sorry for it. My point simply was: Individual cases are rarely good models for others to follow — only to point up the questions and factors that should be resolved in making choices.

Thank you for sharing your story @johndl. As @predictable points out, every case is different. That’s why stories from many people are helpful. It helps us prepare for visits with our health care team and to ask questions, as well as considering our personal choices. @predicatable thanks for linking the various threads of related conversations, and to @johndl for hopping over to other threads.

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