Post Ablation Recovery – Need Help!!

Posted by rubywitch67 @rubywitch67, Mar 26, 2019

I had my ablation last Wednesday, March 20th, and was discharged home on the 21st.. Apparently all went well. That day, the 21st, AND the following day, aside from being exhausted and sore, I did not experience a single AFIB episode! You ALL know what a joyous feeling THAT is! I began to foolishly hope that I was going to be one of the very lucky ones I have read about on these sites who say after their ablation, they felt like a million bucks, didn’t have a single issue with their recovery and were back at work in 3 days. Who ARE these amazing people? After 3 days I was still trying to climb out of the fog from the general anesthetic! (Actually, there was a bit of a mishap there. Turned out I was extremely intolerant of this particular anesthetic and had a very nasty and frightening “resurfacing” from it. And please note that it was an INTOLERANCE……NOT AN ALLERGIC REACTION. The difference really CAN be life and death) Sorry, I see I am going into far more detail than I intended, I do apologize. My question, my concern, MY FEAR, is that on Saturday, 3 days post op, I woke up feeling what I can only describe as a sort of “vibrating/buzzing” feeling in my chest. It felt nothing like the pounding, chaotic beats that were MY AFIB experience. This sensation lasted consistently, with a few short pauses, from Saturday to now….Tuesday, the 26th. About 30 minutes ago it just stopped and so far, has not returned. I hope it stays gone as it was becoming not only annoying but frightening. Has anybody out there had this same or similar feeling? Does anybody know what It could have been? I’m trying VERY hard to be logical and think that it’s just part of the healing process…..perhaps nerves calming down? Perhaps the inflammation was pushing on “something?) How’s that for a highly medical term? “SOMETHING” LOL Any stories, experiences, odd sensations would really help me out. I don’t see my EP for another 3 weeks, and while they did give me paperwork about what to expect, for those of us with some anxiety issues, the details are pretty skimpy. I am also trying very hard NOT to call the doctors offices and be one of “those” people. I realize to them, this procedure is basically no big deal, but for me, it has been SO much more than I thought. (Well, my bubble just burst…..I have just had some more episodes of things going on in my chest) Should I expect this to be as bad the entire 3 months before they tell me if the ablation worked or not. Right this minute, I’m feeling like I made a huge mistake having this procedure……maybe I should have tried harder to tolerate the antiarrhythmics? Thanks for listening. Being alone and scared is not fun.

@rubywitch67

I have done a lot of reading about the "blanking" period following an AFIB ablation. Much of what I've read has stated that during this time of healing, our AFIB can actually be exacerbated by inflammation and the trauma to the heart and surrounding tissues…..not only by all the poking and prodding, but let's NOT forget the rather massive amount of burns!

Doctors at the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic, UC Berkley and several other top notch hospitals have all said this is perfectly normal and to be expected…..as are some other post ablation symptoms that go hand in hand with our hearts healing process. In the month since my ablation, I have had about 4 or 5 episodes of what I believe are AFIB. They feel pretty much the same but are not as strong, only once have they gone over 100 beats and the episodes do not last as long. (I kept a daily journal of my BP/HR and oximeter readings)

Yesterday, at my one month follow up, I saw my EP's PA (the last time I actually saw and talked to my EP was 3 weeks BEFORE the ablation. I "think" I saw him for a minute in the pre-op area the day of the ablation, but I was a bit groggy and don't actually remember. I stayed overnight in the hospital and thought I would see the surgeon before I was discharged, but it was his PA who talked to me and discharged me) At the one month follow up, my EKG showed I was sinus rhythm but the PA thought it would be a good idea for me to wear an event monitor for 7 days. (?) My totally non-medical gut feeling was that it was a bit early in the game to go that route since it was "normal and expected" to still experience AFIB during the first 3 months while the scar tissue was forming. I just wanted him to tell me it was to be expected and unless it really got out of hand, I just had to buck up and get through this blanking period. Instead, I am now scared to death as in his summary report to me he stated "LINDA HAS NOT PREVIOUSLY BEEN ON ANTIARRHYTHMIC MEDICATION BUT WITH CAD AND PRIOR STENTS, WE WILL PROBABLY NEED TO PLACE HER ON SOTALOL OR DOFETILIDE AFTER A THREE-DAY STAY IN THE HOSPITAL IF ANTIARRHYTMIC THERAPY WAS NEEDED. I BELIEVE WE NEED AN OBJECTIVE RECORDING OF HER HEART RHYTHMS TO IDENTIFY AND QUANTIFY HER ARRHYTHMIAS PRIOR TO STARTING ANTIARRHYTHMIC THERAPY. a ZIO PATCH MONITOR WAS STARTED TODAY FOR 7 DAYS." I am ONLY one month post ablation and he's already talking Sotalol? I DO NOT want to be placed on this medication!!!! Why wouldn't he just discuss a second ablation to locate any gaps or possible areas that had "self-healed?" I've read so many posts where people say their second or even third ablation finally did the trick and they are very happy living AFIB free…..some for many, many years. I feel like my recovery is being rushed. I AM a very anxious person, and now I'm concerned that this possible need for Sotalol is only going to trigger more AFIB. Any and all advice would be incredibly welcome. I know this post is already far too long, but could some of you please tell me what some of your symptoms were during the blanking period. You have no idea how reassuring it would be to know. I am a 67 y/o woman with no support and I am very frightened. Thank you so much.

Jump to this post

I tried Sotalol, and am now on Amiodorone. Neither stopped my A-fib. I had an ablation last week and knew going into it I would be on a rhythm medication for at least two months post op. Having had 12 cardioversions in a 20 month period, I have no problem taking a medication that may boost the results of the ablation to prevent the persistent A-fib. You should know that those medications are administered in the hospital, for five doses, to prevent any bad outcomes from the drugs. Think of it as a mini vacation and catch up on book reading, correspondence, or whatever you enjoy.

REPLY
@rubywitch67

I have done a lot of reading about the "blanking" period following an AFIB ablation. Much of what I've read has stated that during this time of healing, our AFIB can actually be exacerbated by inflammation and the trauma to the heart and surrounding tissues…..not only by all the poking and prodding, but let's NOT forget the rather massive amount of burns!

Doctors at the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic, UC Berkley and several other top notch hospitals have all said this is perfectly normal and to be expected…..as are some other post ablation symptoms that go hand in hand with our hearts healing process. In the month since my ablation, I have had about 4 or 5 episodes of what I believe are AFIB. They feel pretty much the same but are not as strong, only once have they gone over 100 beats and the episodes do not last as long. (I kept a daily journal of my BP/HR and oximeter readings)

Yesterday, at my one month follow up, I saw my EP's PA (the last time I actually saw and talked to my EP was 3 weeks BEFORE the ablation. I "think" I saw him for a minute in the pre-op area the day of the ablation, but I was a bit groggy and don't actually remember. I stayed overnight in the hospital and thought I would see the surgeon before I was discharged, but it was his PA who talked to me and discharged me) At the one month follow up, my EKG showed I was sinus rhythm but the PA thought it would be a good idea for me to wear an event monitor for 7 days. (?) My totally non-medical gut feeling was that it was a bit early in the game to go that route since it was "normal and expected" to still experience AFIB during the first 3 months while the scar tissue was forming. I just wanted him to tell me it was to be expected and unless it really got out of hand, I just had to buck up and get through this blanking period. Instead, I am now scared to death as in his summary report to me he stated "LINDA HAS NOT PREVIOUSLY BEEN ON ANTIARRHYTHMIC MEDICATION BUT WITH CAD AND PRIOR STENTS, WE WILL PROBABLY NEED TO PLACE HER ON SOTALOL OR DOFETILIDE AFTER A THREE-DAY STAY IN THE HOSPITAL IF ANTIARRHYTMIC THERAPY WAS NEEDED. I BELIEVE WE NEED AN OBJECTIVE RECORDING OF HER HEART RHYTHMS TO IDENTIFY AND QUANTIFY HER ARRHYTHMIAS PRIOR TO STARTING ANTIARRHYTHMIC THERAPY. a ZIO PATCH MONITOR WAS STARTED TODAY FOR 7 DAYS." I am ONLY one month post ablation and he's already talking Sotalol? I DO NOT want to be placed on this medication!!!! Why wouldn't he just discuss a second ablation to locate any gaps or possible areas that had "self-healed?" I've read so many posts where people say their second or even third ablation finally did the trick and they are very happy living AFIB free…..some for many, many years. I feel like my recovery is being rushed. I AM a very anxious person, and now I'm concerned that this possible need for Sotalol is only going to trigger more AFIB. Any and all advice would be incredibly welcome. I know this post is already far too long, but could some of you please tell me what some of your symptoms were during the blanking period. You have no idea how reassuring it would be to know. I am a 67 y/o woman with no support and I am very frightened. Thank you so much.

Jump to this post

12 cardiofversions in 20 months!!! What a positive attitude you have!

REPLY
@rubywitch67

I have done a lot of reading about the "blanking" period following an AFIB ablation. Much of what I've read has stated that during this time of healing, our AFIB can actually be exacerbated by inflammation and the trauma to the heart and surrounding tissues…..not only by all the poking and prodding, but let's NOT forget the rather massive amount of burns!

Doctors at the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic, UC Berkley and several other top notch hospitals have all said this is perfectly normal and to be expected…..as are some other post ablation symptoms that go hand in hand with our hearts healing process. In the month since my ablation, I have had about 4 or 5 episodes of what I believe are AFIB. They feel pretty much the same but are not as strong, only once have they gone over 100 beats and the episodes do not last as long. (I kept a daily journal of my BP/HR and oximeter readings)

Yesterday, at my one month follow up, I saw my EP's PA (the last time I actually saw and talked to my EP was 3 weeks BEFORE the ablation. I "think" I saw him for a minute in the pre-op area the day of the ablation, but I was a bit groggy and don't actually remember. I stayed overnight in the hospital and thought I would see the surgeon before I was discharged, but it was his PA who talked to me and discharged me) At the one month follow up, my EKG showed I was sinus rhythm but the PA thought it would be a good idea for me to wear an event monitor for 7 days. (?) My totally non-medical gut feeling was that it was a bit early in the game to go that route since it was "normal and expected" to still experience AFIB during the first 3 months while the scar tissue was forming. I just wanted him to tell me it was to be expected and unless it really got out of hand, I just had to buck up and get through this blanking period. Instead, I am now scared to death as in his summary report to me he stated "LINDA HAS NOT PREVIOUSLY BEEN ON ANTIARRHYTHMIC MEDICATION BUT WITH CAD AND PRIOR STENTS, WE WILL PROBABLY NEED TO PLACE HER ON SOTALOL OR DOFETILIDE AFTER A THREE-DAY STAY IN THE HOSPITAL IF ANTIARRHYTMIC THERAPY WAS NEEDED. I BELIEVE WE NEED AN OBJECTIVE RECORDING OF HER HEART RHYTHMS TO IDENTIFY AND QUANTIFY HER ARRHYTHMIAS PRIOR TO STARTING ANTIARRHYTHMIC THERAPY. a ZIO PATCH MONITOR WAS STARTED TODAY FOR 7 DAYS." I am ONLY one month post ablation and he's already talking Sotalol? I DO NOT want to be placed on this medication!!!! Why wouldn't he just discuss a second ablation to locate any gaps or possible areas that had "self-healed?" I've read so many posts where people say their second or even third ablation finally did the trick and they are very happy living AFIB free…..some for many, many years. I feel like my recovery is being rushed. I AM a very anxious person, and now I'm concerned that this possible need for Sotalol is only going to trigger more AFIB. Any and all advice would be incredibly welcome. I know this post is already far too long, but could some of you please tell me what some of your symptoms were during the blanking period. You have no idea how reassuring it would be to know. I am a 67 y/o woman with no support and I am very frightened. Thank you so much.

Jump to this post

I was also on Amiodorone and after 10 years on a pretty hi dose is what pushed me over to heart transplant. It became toxic to me so be careful with that one. I was also on Mexilatine and i think that was on of the best i was on for controlling arrythmias. But i had to have all 3 at the end which most drs would not do. But for a while they did work.

REPLY

I have done a lot of reading about the "blanking" period following an AFIB ablation. Much of what I've read has stated that during this time of healing, our AFIB can actually be exacerbated by inflammation and the trauma to the heart and surrounding tissues…..not only by all the poking and prodding, but let's NOT forget the rather massive amount of burns!

Doctors at the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic, UC Berkley and several other top notch hospitals have all said this is perfectly normal and to be expected…..as are some other post ablation symptoms that go hand in hand with our hearts healing process. In the month since my ablation, I have had about 4 or 5 episodes of what I believe are AFIB. They feel pretty much the same but are not as strong, only once have they gone over 100 beats and the episodes do not last as long. (I kept a daily journal of my BP/HR and oximeter readings)

Yesterday, at my one month follow up, I saw my EP's PA (the last time I actually saw and talked to my EP was 3 weeks BEFORE the ablation. I "think" I saw him for a minute in the pre-op area the day of the ablation, but I was a bit groggy and don't actually remember. I stayed overnight in the hospital and thought I would see the surgeon before I was discharged, but it was his PA who talked to me and discharged me) At the one month follow up, my EKG showed I was sinus rhythm but the PA thought it would be a good idea for me to wear an event monitor for 7 days. (?) My totally non-medical gut feeling was that it was a bit early in the game to go that route since it was "normal and expected" to still experience AFIB during the first 3 months while the scar tissue was forming. I just wanted him to tell me it was to be expected and unless it really got out of hand, I just had to buck up and get through this blanking period. Instead, I am now scared to death as in his summary report to me he stated "LINDA HAS NOT PREVIOUSLY BEEN ON ANTIARRHYTHMIC MEDICATION BUT WITH CAD AND PRIOR STENTS, WE WILL PROBABLY NEED TO PLACE HER ON SOTALOL OR DOFETILIDE AFTER A THREE-DAY STAY IN THE HOSPITAL IF ANTIARRHYTMIC THERAPY WAS NEEDED. I BELIEVE WE NEED AN OBJECTIVE RECORDING OF HER HEART RHYTHMS TO IDENTIFY AND QUANTIFY HER ARRHYTHMIAS PRIOR TO STARTING ANTIARRHYTHMIC THERAPY. a ZIO PATCH MONITOR WAS STARTED TODAY FOR 7 DAYS." I am ONLY one month post ablation and he's already talking Sotalol? I DO NOT want to be placed on this medication!!!! Why wouldn't he just discuss a second ablation to locate any gaps or possible areas that had "self-healed?" I've read so many posts where people say their second or even third ablation finally did the trick and they are very happy living AFIB free…..some for many, many years. I feel like my recovery is being rushed. I AM a very anxious person, and now I'm concerned that this possible need for Sotalol is only going to trigger more AFIB. Any and all advice would be incredibly welcome. I know this post is already far too long, but could some of you please tell me what some of your symptoms were during the blanking period. You have no idea how reassuring it would be to know. I am a 67 y/o woman with no support and I am very frightened. Thank you so much.

REPLY
@rubywitch67

I have done a lot of reading about the "blanking" period following an AFIB ablation. Much of what I've read has stated that during this time of healing, our AFIB can actually be exacerbated by inflammation and the trauma to the heart and surrounding tissues…..not only by all the poking and prodding, but let's NOT forget the rather massive amount of burns!

Doctors at the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic, UC Berkley and several other top notch hospitals have all said this is perfectly normal and to be expected…..as are some other post ablation symptoms that go hand in hand with our hearts healing process. In the month since my ablation, I have had about 4 or 5 episodes of what I believe are AFIB. They feel pretty much the same but are not as strong, only once have they gone over 100 beats and the episodes do not last as long. (I kept a daily journal of my BP/HR and oximeter readings)

Yesterday, at my one month follow up, I saw my EP's PA (the last time I actually saw and talked to my EP was 3 weeks BEFORE the ablation. I "think" I saw him for a minute in the pre-op area the day of the ablation, but I was a bit groggy and don't actually remember. I stayed overnight in the hospital and thought I would see the surgeon before I was discharged, but it was his PA who talked to me and discharged me) At the one month follow up, my EKG showed I was sinus rhythm but the PA thought it would be a good idea for me to wear an event monitor for 7 days. (?) My totally non-medical gut feeling was that it was a bit early in the game to go that route since it was "normal and expected" to still experience AFIB during the first 3 months while the scar tissue was forming. I just wanted him to tell me it was to be expected and unless it really got out of hand, I just had to buck up and get through this blanking period. Instead, I am now scared to death as in his summary report to me he stated "LINDA HAS NOT PREVIOUSLY BEEN ON ANTIARRHYTHMIC MEDICATION BUT WITH CAD AND PRIOR STENTS, WE WILL PROBABLY NEED TO PLACE HER ON SOTALOL OR DOFETILIDE AFTER A THREE-DAY STAY IN THE HOSPITAL IF ANTIARRHYTMIC THERAPY WAS NEEDED. I BELIEVE WE NEED AN OBJECTIVE RECORDING OF HER HEART RHYTHMS TO IDENTIFY AND QUANTIFY HER ARRHYTHMIAS PRIOR TO STARTING ANTIARRHYTHMIC THERAPY. a ZIO PATCH MONITOR WAS STARTED TODAY FOR 7 DAYS." I am ONLY one month post ablation and he's already talking Sotalol? I DO NOT want to be placed on this medication!!!! Why wouldn't he just discuss a second ablation to locate any gaps or possible areas that had "self-healed?" I've read so many posts where people say their second or even third ablation finally did the trick and they are very happy living AFIB free…..some for many, many years. I feel like my recovery is being rushed. I AM a very anxious person, and now I'm concerned that this possible need for Sotalol is only going to trigger more AFIB. Any and all advice would be incredibly welcome. I know this post is already far too long, but could some of you please tell me what some of your symptoms were during the blanking period. You have no idea how reassuring it would be to know. I am a 67 y/o woman with no support and I am very frightened. Thank you so much.

Jump to this post

Hi, i will start off by saying most of what your experiencing is normal part of the reason ablations are not done back to back is because of the healing. Now realize i had a much more serious arrythimiths of the lower heart calyed Ventricular Tachacardia. Mine i had to be on meds too one of them was solotol. But my episodes were more dangerous and if an episode could not be paced out i had to be shocked back into sinus rhythm so you are doing excellent so far if your AFib episodes can be controlled with just meds. I had a pacemaker with difibulator. I went thru quit a few ablations more towards the end but in the beginning about 11 years ago i had 1 and it got my heart better but a year later my dr said i was still having more small ones than he liked. So i had a second which worked really well and my third was quite awhile after. I do know they usually don't like doing them any closer than 6 months apart. But everyone the first month or so there would be little ones i could feel but got better after that. Now the fact i had a pacemaker also helped because i was monitored all the time. So that for me gave me confidence that the dr could see how well the ablation took. For you the holter will also give them similar information. So try and relax and see what the holter showes. I was on antiarrhythmic meds for about 10 years and it kept my heart going for quite a while.

REPLY
@rubywitch67

I have done a lot of reading about the "blanking" period following an AFIB ablation. Much of what I've read has stated that during this time of healing, our AFIB can actually be exacerbated by inflammation and the trauma to the heart and surrounding tissues…..not only by all the poking and prodding, but let's NOT forget the rather massive amount of burns!

Doctors at the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic, UC Berkley and several other top notch hospitals have all said this is perfectly normal and to be expected…..as are some other post ablation symptoms that go hand in hand with our hearts healing process. In the month since my ablation, I have had about 4 or 5 episodes of what I believe are AFIB. They feel pretty much the same but are not as strong, only once have they gone over 100 beats and the episodes do not last as long. (I kept a daily journal of my BP/HR and oximeter readings)

Yesterday, at my one month follow up, I saw my EP's PA (the last time I actually saw and talked to my EP was 3 weeks BEFORE the ablation. I "think" I saw him for a minute in the pre-op area the day of the ablation, but I was a bit groggy and don't actually remember. I stayed overnight in the hospital and thought I would see the surgeon before I was discharged, but it was his PA who talked to me and discharged me) At the one month follow up, my EKG showed I was sinus rhythm but the PA thought it would be a good idea for me to wear an event monitor for 7 days. (?) My totally non-medical gut feeling was that it was a bit early in the game to go that route since it was "normal and expected" to still experience AFIB during the first 3 months while the scar tissue was forming. I just wanted him to tell me it was to be expected and unless it really got out of hand, I just had to buck up and get through this blanking period. Instead, I am now scared to death as in his summary report to me he stated "LINDA HAS NOT PREVIOUSLY BEEN ON ANTIARRHYTHMIC MEDICATION BUT WITH CAD AND PRIOR STENTS, WE WILL PROBABLY NEED TO PLACE HER ON SOTALOL OR DOFETILIDE AFTER A THREE-DAY STAY IN THE HOSPITAL IF ANTIARRHYTMIC THERAPY WAS NEEDED. I BELIEVE WE NEED AN OBJECTIVE RECORDING OF HER HEART RHYTHMS TO IDENTIFY AND QUANTIFY HER ARRHYTHMIAS PRIOR TO STARTING ANTIARRHYTHMIC THERAPY. a ZIO PATCH MONITOR WAS STARTED TODAY FOR 7 DAYS." I am ONLY one month post ablation and he's already talking Sotalol? I DO NOT want to be placed on this medication!!!! Why wouldn't he just discuss a second ablation to locate any gaps or possible areas that had "self-healed?" I've read so many posts where people say their second or even third ablation finally did the trick and they are very happy living AFIB free…..some for many, many years. I feel like my recovery is being rushed. I AM a very anxious person, and now I'm concerned that this possible need for Sotalol is only going to trigger more AFIB. Any and all advice would be incredibly welcome. I know this post is already far too long, but could some of you please tell me what some of your symptoms were during the blanking period. You have no idea how reassuring it would be to know. I am a 67 y/o woman with no support and I am very frightened. Thank you so much.

Jump to this post

Hello — I'm new to this forum. I had my ablation April 25, 2019; it's been a month now. I've since been cardioverted 4 days post-ablation and been put on various strong drugs: Dofetilide (with 3 day hospital stay) and Digoxin, in addition to Metoprolol Succinate daily, with Metroprolol Tartrate when having an attack. Meds obviously aren't working. My attacks are now lasting more than 24 hours, and I'm in a-fib more days than not. My doctor is talking about a stereotaxis ablation (robotic, since some nerves were too close to the esophagus and diaphragm for him to zap completely) or a pacemaker. I'm a 69-year-old female and pretty active. This is zapping my strength, mental attitude and quality of life. I'm aware of a blanking period after an ablation, but this is ridiculous. Any words of wisdom are welcome.

REPLY
@rubywitch67

I have done a lot of reading about the "blanking" period following an AFIB ablation. Much of what I've read has stated that during this time of healing, our AFIB can actually be exacerbated by inflammation and the trauma to the heart and surrounding tissues…..not only by all the poking and prodding, but let's NOT forget the rather massive amount of burns!

Doctors at the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic, UC Berkley and several other top notch hospitals have all said this is perfectly normal and to be expected…..as are some other post ablation symptoms that go hand in hand with our hearts healing process. In the month since my ablation, I have had about 4 or 5 episodes of what I believe are AFIB. They feel pretty much the same but are not as strong, only once have they gone over 100 beats and the episodes do not last as long. (I kept a daily journal of my BP/HR and oximeter readings)

Yesterday, at my one month follow up, I saw my EP's PA (the last time I actually saw and talked to my EP was 3 weeks BEFORE the ablation. I "think" I saw him for a minute in the pre-op area the day of the ablation, but I was a bit groggy and don't actually remember. I stayed overnight in the hospital and thought I would see the surgeon before I was discharged, but it was his PA who talked to me and discharged me) At the one month follow up, my EKG showed I was sinus rhythm but the PA thought it would be a good idea for me to wear an event monitor for 7 days. (?) My totally non-medical gut feeling was that it was a bit early in the game to go that route since it was "normal and expected" to still experience AFIB during the first 3 months while the scar tissue was forming. I just wanted him to tell me it was to be expected and unless it really got out of hand, I just had to buck up and get through this blanking period. Instead, I am now scared to death as in his summary report to me he stated "LINDA HAS NOT PREVIOUSLY BEEN ON ANTIARRHYTHMIC MEDICATION BUT WITH CAD AND PRIOR STENTS, WE WILL PROBABLY NEED TO PLACE HER ON SOTALOL OR DOFETILIDE AFTER A THREE-DAY STAY IN THE HOSPITAL IF ANTIARRHYTMIC THERAPY WAS NEEDED. I BELIEVE WE NEED AN OBJECTIVE RECORDING OF HER HEART RHYTHMS TO IDENTIFY AND QUANTIFY HER ARRHYTHMIAS PRIOR TO STARTING ANTIARRHYTHMIC THERAPY. a ZIO PATCH MONITOR WAS STARTED TODAY FOR 7 DAYS." I am ONLY one month post ablation and he's already talking Sotalol? I DO NOT want to be placed on this medication!!!! Why wouldn't he just discuss a second ablation to locate any gaps or possible areas that had "self-healed?" I've read so many posts where people say their second or even third ablation finally did the trick and they are very happy living AFIB free…..some for many, many years. I feel like my recovery is being rushed. I AM a very anxious person, and now I'm concerned that this possible need for Sotalol is only going to trigger more AFIB. Any and all advice would be incredibly welcome. I know this post is already far too long, but could some of you please tell me what some of your symptoms were during the blanking period. You have no idea how reassuring it would be to know. I am a 67 y/o woman with no support and I am very frightened. Thank you so much.

Jump to this post

@rubywitch67 Hello.. You haven't posted for a while and I hope that means you are feeling better. I just read your concerns and a few things you mentioned caught my attention. It sounds like you were being cardioverted every few months and I am curious whether it was something you had requested, or prompted by your EP. I just had one done a few days ago and the fellow who did it had a strange reaction when I mentioned my last one was 6 months ago – he acted like it was way too soon. I did ask my EP how often it should be done and he said it was entirely up to me. I've been dealing with afib for more than 20 years and the protocol back then is that they try every drug on you until they stop working — ablation was not option until then. The only one that worked well for me for many years with minimal side effects was propafenone. Sotalol did not work; dofetilide caused problems with the QTc and multaq was especially toxic for my liver. The big bugaboo is actually amiodarone — extremely toxic — and I resisted it as long as I could. It worked very well for about 7 years. But finally they got better at ablations and I was scheduled back in 2017. The first did not work so well so they scheduled another (had to wait a good 3 months) which was cancelled and rescheduled to Sept. Other than the 2 cardiofversions I have been doing well. Would it be possible for you to get a second opinion or even to switch to a different EP? It is odd that he would not discuss all your options with you first instead of sticking it his summary. Having said that , I think it is worth trying a few anti-arrhythmic meds to see if they work for you. It is important to monitor for side effects of course. I did survive the dreaded amiodarone for 7 years…. Unfortunately, my EP is now suggesting going back to it if my atrial flutter persists. Ugh. I am quite happy with a cardioversion if it keeps me in sinus for 6 months. The other option is even worst – AV node ablation and pacemaker. Or another ablation. All of which I will discuss with him in person in a few weeks and get a few other opinions as well. Hope this helps.

REPLY

I know nothing about ablation, but I do know you should call your doctor. Be one of "THOSE" people, and be safe!!!! My goodness; you just had surgery! Pick up the phone and call…… Best of health. Feel better soon. Lori Renee

REPLY
@sayaboleh

@rubywitch67 Hello.. You haven't posted for a while and I hope that means you are feeling better. I just read your concerns and a few things you mentioned caught my attention. It sounds like you were being cardioverted every few months and I am curious whether it was something you had requested, or prompted by your EP. I just had one done a few days ago and the fellow who did it had a strange reaction when I mentioned my last one was 6 months ago – he acted like it was way too soon. I did ask my EP how often it should be done and he said it was entirely up to me. I've been dealing with afib for more than 20 years and the protocol back then is that they try every drug on you until they stop working — ablation was not option until then. The only one that worked well for me for many years with minimal side effects was propafenone. Sotalol did not work; dofetilide caused problems with the QTc and multaq was especially toxic for my liver. The big bugaboo is actually amiodarone — extremely toxic — and I resisted it as long as I could. It worked very well for about 7 years. But finally they got better at ablations and I was scheduled back in 2017. The first did not work so well so they scheduled another (had to wait a good 3 months) which was cancelled and rescheduled to Sept. Other than the 2 cardiofversions I have been doing well. Would it be possible for you to get a second opinion or even to switch to a different EP? It is odd that he would not discuss all your options with you first instead of sticking it his summary. Having said that , I think it is worth trying a few anti-arrhythmic meds to see if they work for you. It is important to monitor for side effects of course. I did survive the dreaded amiodarone for 7 years…. Unfortunately, my EP is now suggesting going back to it if my atrial flutter persists. Ugh. I am quite happy with a cardioversion if it keeps me in sinus for 6 months. The other option is even worst – AV node ablation and pacemaker. Or another ablation. All of which I will discuss with him in person in a few weeks and get a few other opinions as well. Hope this helps.

Jump to this post

To sayaboleh…….Thanks for your reply and I'm sorry I haven't replied soon. It's been a crazy week full of "out of town" guests for 8 days and it left me exhausted. The first thing about YOUR reply that caught MY eye was when you said….."It sounds like you were being cardioverted every few months and I am curious whether it was something you had requested, or prompted by your EP" I am now wondering if you have confused my post with another as I have NEVER undergone a cardioversion. 10 years ago my cardiologist diagnosed me with CAD and test showed that I had blockage, so I had two stents placed. The problem was essentially solved and I have seen him every 6 months for follow ups and lab work. When my PVC's increased and became bothersome to me, he had me wear a Holter which showed AFIB episodes. This was in October of 2018, he started me immediately on Xarelto and we discussed antiarrhythmics at that time. When first diagnosed, I did a lot of research about antiarrhythmics, both on Google and in the two AFIB support groups I had joined. What I read and what people had said about their own experiences with antiarrhythmics, I came away with a rather negative attitude about these drugs. I have severe panic disorder and just one of the "amusing" ways it manifests itself is in health anxiety (NOT hypochondria) and from personal experience, side effects of medications. My cardiologist is aware of this problem and it was his belief that I probably would not be successful with the antiarrhythmics, so he suggested I discuss this with an EP. We set up an appointment and while waiting for that, I had an echocardiogram done. I live in a rural area and we only have ONE EP that must cover 3 counties…….it took until late January 2019 to get an appointment. By this time, my AFIB episodes were getting more frequent and lasting longer. I was told I had paroxysmal AFib because the episodes stopped on their own. The EP discussed options, one of which was trying antiarrhythmics or ablation. He said he had read of my anxiety in relation to the antiarrhythmics, and believed that for me, an ablation would be the better choice. I talked with my cardiologist and he agreed. Many people in the support groups agreed. So I set up an appointment for the procedure which wouldn't take place until March 20th. So……from the point of diagnosis until the procedure, only 5 months had passed. I seemed to be doing fine on the Xarelto with only some minor spells of dizziness when I first began taking it. The AFIB was pretty quiet during the day but got pretty bad after I had eaten dinner and would last anywhere from 2-6 hours. I thought it odd that it began almost precisely at 8p almost every night and naturally I began to wonder if this was being triggered by my anxiety. I, personally, don't know of ANY disease that strikes at the same time every day! (For anybody who has managed to read this far into my "blog," I give you a lot of credit and my thanks!) The day of my procedure came and needless to say I was terrified. Even though I had previously been through a cardiac laparoscopy procedure for the stent placements, I think the idea of someone "burning" my heart was freaking me out. All went well with the procedure but apparently, I had a bit of a rough time coming out of the general. Nothing life threating, it just took quite a bit longer than "normal." But once I WAS out of it, I felt OK……well, as "OK" as anyone can expect. The next day as I was being discharged, I was told what to expect during this "blanking" period. Among the things I was told I could look forward to was a few days to a week of feeling short of breath due to the swelling of my innards from all the mucking about they had done. (My procedure took a little over 6 hours) I did, indeed, experience many of the side effects, including the shortness of breath, which did improve after a week. And it is at THIS point that I wrote to you folks because the shortness of breath did not go away completely. I am just now (June 2019) starting my third month of recovery and feel, at times, that I can't get a deep breath. I'm not even sure if one would consider that shortness of breath, as I can climb stairs and do yard work and take care of the livestock and not have to stop to "catch my breath." (At least, any more than any other time when you're working hard) Which brings us back to my anxiety. After that first week when the REAL shortness of breath stopped, which had made me feel very anxious, I kept trying to take one deep breath after another. Anybody who has tried that knows it's damn near impossible. I'm not talking about the kind of deep breath you take when the doctor is listening to your heart, I'm talking about the REALLY, REALLY deep breath that feels good and "cleansing." The more I tried and the more times I failed, the more anxious I became until I have reached the point I'm at now. Which I think is a rather unhealthy point of obsession about my breathing. I DID call my EP's office and had a long talk with his PA and we both concluded that since I did not have this problem until AFTER the ablation, it was almost a given it was my anxiety. The PA did order another echocardiogram, which I just had Thursday, May 30th. The very next day, my cardiologist wrote and said "everything looks really good. Have a great week-end." So…..while this WAS incredibly reassuring and my shortness of breath seems "less," I am STILL monitoring my every breath. I realize that many of you are rolling your eyes in exasperation about my stupid anxiety, I am asking if anyone out there who has had an ablation has ever felt this shortness of breath or a feeling of not being able to get enough air……or am I truly just doing this to myself? I am REALLY sorry for being such a pain in everyone's rear…..I'm alone and scared and have nobody to talk to about this. (Even my dog yawns when I talk to him now. How pathetic does THAT make me!) Thank you from the bottom of my wonky heart.

REPLY
@rubywitch67

To sayaboleh…….Thanks for your reply and I'm sorry I haven't replied soon. It's been a crazy week full of "out of town" guests for 8 days and it left me exhausted. The first thing about YOUR reply that caught MY eye was when you said….."It sounds like you were being cardioverted every few months and I am curious whether it was something you had requested, or prompted by your EP" I am now wondering if you have confused my post with another as I have NEVER undergone a cardioversion. 10 years ago my cardiologist diagnosed me with CAD and test showed that I had blockage, so I had two stents placed. The problem was essentially solved and I have seen him every 6 months for follow ups and lab work. When my PVC's increased and became bothersome to me, he had me wear a Holter which showed AFIB episodes. This was in October of 2018, he started me immediately on Xarelto and we discussed antiarrhythmics at that time. When first diagnosed, I did a lot of research about antiarrhythmics, both on Google and in the two AFIB support groups I had joined. What I read and what people had said about their own experiences with antiarrhythmics, I came away with a rather negative attitude about these drugs. I have severe panic disorder and just one of the "amusing" ways it manifests itself is in health anxiety (NOT hypochondria) and from personal experience, side effects of medications. My cardiologist is aware of this problem and it was his belief that I probably would not be successful with the antiarrhythmics, so he suggested I discuss this with an EP. We set up an appointment and while waiting for that, I had an echocardiogram done. I live in a rural area and we only have ONE EP that must cover 3 counties…….it took until late January 2019 to get an appointment. By this time, my AFIB episodes were getting more frequent and lasting longer. I was told I had paroxysmal AFib because the episodes stopped on their own. The EP discussed options, one of which was trying antiarrhythmics or ablation. He said he had read of my anxiety in relation to the antiarrhythmics, and believed that for me, an ablation would be the better choice. I talked with my cardiologist and he agreed. Many people in the support groups agreed. So I set up an appointment for the procedure which wouldn't take place until March 20th. So……from the point of diagnosis until the procedure, only 5 months had passed. I seemed to be doing fine on the Xarelto with only some minor spells of dizziness when I first began taking it. The AFIB was pretty quiet during the day but got pretty bad after I had eaten dinner and would last anywhere from 2-6 hours. I thought it odd that it began almost precisely at 8p almost every night and naturally I began to wonder if this was being triggered by my anxiety. I, personally, don't know of ANY disease that strikes at the same time every day! (For anybody who has managed to read this far into my "blog," I give you a lot of credit and my thanks!) The day of my procedure came and needless to say I was terrified. Even though I had previously been through a cardiac laparoscopy procedure for the stent placements, I think the idea of someone "burning" my heart was freaking me out. All went well with the procedure but apparently, I had a bit of a rough time coming out of the general. Nothing life threating, it just took quite a bit longer than "normal." But once I WAS out of it, I felt OK……well, as "OK" as anyone can expect. The next day as I was being discharged, I was told what to expect during this "blanking" period. Among the things I was told I could look forward to was a few days to a week of feeling short of breath due to the swelling of my innards from all the mucking about they had done. (My procedure took a little over 6 hours) I did, indeed, experience many of the side effects, including the shortness of breath, which did improve after a week. And it is at THIS point that I wrote to you folks because the shortness of breath did not go away completely. I am just now (June 2019) starting my third month of recovery and feel, at times, that I can't get a deep breath. I'm not even sure if one would consider that shortness of breath, as I can climb stairs and do yard work and take care of the livestock and not have to stop to "catch my breath." (At least, any more than any other time when you're working hard) Which brings us back to my anxiety. After that first week when the REAL shortness of breath stopped, which had made me feel very anxious, I kept trying to take one deep breath after another. Anybody who has tried that knows it's damn near impossible. I'm not talking about the kind of deep breath you take when the doctor is listening to your heart, I'm talking about the REALLY, REALLY deep breath that feels good and "cleansing." The more I tried and the more times I failed, the more anxious I became until I have reached the point I'm at now. Which I think is a rather unhealthy point of obsession about my breathing. I DID call my EP's office and had a long talk with his PA and we both concluded that since I did not have this problem until AFTER the ablation, it was almost a given it was my anxiety. The PA did order another echocardiogram, which I just had Thursday, May 30th. The very next day, my cardiologist wrote and said "everything looks really good. Have a great week-end." So…..while this WAS incredibly reassuring and my shortness of breath seems "less," I am STILL monitoring my every breath. I realize that many of you are rolling your eyes in exasperation about my stupid anxiety, I am asking if anyone out there who has had an ablation has ever felt this shortness of breath or a feeling of not being able to get enough air……or am I truly just doing this to myself? I am REALLY sorry for being such a pain in everyone's rear…..I'm alone and scared and have nobody to talk to about this. (Even my dog yawns when I talk to him now. How pathetic does THAT make me!) Thank you from the bottom of my wonky heart.

Jump to this post

@rubywitch67 Hi there — You're right. It was not you with the multiple cardioversions. I was indeed confused. I have since heard about someone else who was going to the ER to get cardioverted every month…. So there. Hope they have good health insurance! It is a very simple procedure really and over in a few minutes. I am not sure about a monthly frequency though – hopefully mine lasts at least 6 months. Yes, indeed it is very scary to have to deal with afib and other symptoms alone. I am actually feeling a lot better now than when I used to years ago when each episode would send me to the ER in distress. My symptoms were a lot more severe then and I credit the multiple ablations I've had with for the way I feel now when I have an episode, it is definitely a lot more tolerable. There was this EP who kept reminding me that 'Afib will not kill you'. Somehow I did not find that very reassuring. It does not matter what they are saying when your HR is running about 180 bpm. I think I know what you are referring you with the deep breaths — I sometimes have trouble too. There are also times when I am acutely aware of every little sensation in my chest. I try not too focus too much on it and just go about my day – I feel so much better that way. I hope you find ways to distract yourself. I would say you're doing remarkably well if you can climb stairs and take care of livestock! All the best — Mary

REPLY
@jeanniegirl

Hello — I'm new to this forum. I had my ablation April 25, 2019; it's been a month now. I've since been cardioverted 4 days post-ablation and been put on various strong drugs: Dofetilide (with 3 day hospital stay) and Digoxin, in addition to Metoprolol Succinate daily, with Metroprolol Tartrate when having an attack. Meds obviously aren't working. My attacks are now lasting more than 24 hours, and I'm in a-fib more days than not. My doctor is talking about a stereotaxis ablation (robotic, since some nerves were too close to the esophagus and diaphragm for him to zap completely) or a pacemaker. I'm a 69-year-old female and pretty active. This is zapping my strength, mental attitude and quality of life. I'm aware of a blanking period after an ablation, but this is ridiculous. Any words of wisdom are welcome.

Jump to this post

Hello @jeanniegirl,

I can only imagine how disappointed and frustrated you must feel! I sincerely encourage you to view this Q&A, where Mayo Clinic cardiologists discuss, "When Ablation Fails, What Then?” https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/838526

According to Dr. Paul Friedman, “…there are patients in whom it will fail. In that setting, it comes down to three options—pharmacologic treatment… and surgical therapies. Often, we switch to nonpharmacologic rate-control strategies, such as atrioventricular node ablation with device implantation. This is extremely effective for controlling symptoms…it is acceptable for patients in their mid-70s and older because it essentially eliminates the need for pharmacologic therapy, with the exception of anticoagulation for stroke prevention.”

If you read through some of the posts in this discussion, you will see that it's important to seek treatment sooner rather than later, particularly if you are still having afib episodes while taking antiarrhythmic medication . That's because atrial fibrillation is a progressive disease, and if afib is not treated, patients can transition from paroxysmal atrial fibrillation to longstanding/persistent atrial fibrillation – the greater the severity of atrial fibrillation, the harder it is to cure. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/atrial-fibrillation-ablation/care-at-mayo-clinic/pcc-20384972

@jeanniegirl, for how long have you had afib? Is this your first catheter ablation?

REPLY
@rubywitch67

To sayaboleh…….Thanks for your reply and I'm sorry I haven't replied soon. It's been a crazy week full of "out of town" guests for 8 days and it left me exhausted. The first thing about YOUR reply that caught MY eye was when you said….."It sounds like you were being cardioverted every few months and I am curious whether it was something you had requested, or prompted by your EP" I am now wondering if you have confused my post with another as I have NEVER undergone a cardioversion. 10 years ago my cardiologist diagnosed me with CAD and test showed that I had blockage, so I had two stents placed. The problem was essentially solved and I have seen him every 6 months for follow ups and lab work. When my PVC's increased and became bothersome to me, he had me wear a Holter which showed AFIB episodes. This was in October of 2018, he started me immediately on Xarelto and we discussed antiarrhythmics at that time. When first diagnosed, I did a lot of research about antiarrhythmics, both on Google and in the two AFIB support groups I had joined. What I read and what people had said about their own experiences with antiarrhythmics, I came away with a rather negative attitude about these drugs. I have severe panic disorder and just one of the "amusing" ways it manifests itself is in health anxiety (NOT hypochondria) and from personal experience, side effects of medications. My cardiologist is aware of this problem and it was his belief that I probably would not be successful with the antiarrhythmics, so he suggested I discuss this with an EP. We set up an appointment and while waiting for that, I had an echocardiogram done. I live in a rural area and we only have ONE EP that must cover 3 counties…….it took until late January 2019 to get an appointment. By this time, my AFIB episodes were getting more frequent and lasting longer. I was told I had paroxysmal AFib because the episodes stopped on their own. The EP discussed options, one of which was trying antiarrhythmics or ablation. He said he had read of my anxiety in relation to the antiarrhythmics, and believed that for me, an ablation would be the better choice. I talked with my cardiologist and he agreed. Many people in the support groups agreed. So I set up an appointment for the procedure which wouldn't take place until March 20th. So……from the point of diagnosis until the procedure, only 5 months had passed. I seemed to be doing fine on the Xarelto with only some minor spells of dizziness when I first began taking it. The AFIB was pretty quiet during the day but got pretty bad after I had eaten dinner and would last anywhere from 2-6 hours. I thought it odd that it began almost precisely at 8p almost every night and naturally I began to wonder if this was being triggered by my anxiety. I, personally, don't know of ANY disease that strikes at the same time every day! (For anybody who has managed to read this far into my "blog," I give you a lot of credit and my thanks!) The day of my procedure came and needless to say I was terrified. Even though I had previously been through a cardiac laparoscopy procedure for the stent placements, I think the idea of someone "burning" my heart was freaking me out. All went well with the procedure but apparently, I had a bit of a rough time coming out of the general. Nothing life threating, it just took quite a bit longer than "normal." But once I WAS out of it, I felt OK……well, as "OK" as anyone can expect. The next day as I was being discharged, I was told what to expect during this "blanking" period. Among the things I was told I could look forward to was a few days to a week of feeling short of breath due to the swelling of my innards from all the mucking about they had done. (My procedure took a little over 6 hours) I did, indeed, experience many of the side effects, including the shortness of breath, which did improve after a week. And it is at THIS point that I wrote to you folks because the shortness of breath did not go away completely. I am just now (June 2019) starting my third month of recovery and feel, at times, that I can't get a deep breath. I'm not even sure if one would consider that shortness of breath, as I can climb stairs and do yard work and take care of the livestock and not have to stop to "catch my breath." (At least, any more than any other time when you're working hard) Which brings us back to my anxiety. After that first week when the REAL shortness of breath stopped, which had made me feel very anxious, I kept trying to take one deep breath after another. Anybody who has tried that knows it's damn near impossible. I'm not talking about the kind of deep breath you take when the doctor is listening to your heart, I'm talking about the REALLY, REALLY deep breath that feels good and "cleansing." The more I tried and the more times I failed, the more anxious I became until I have reached the point I'm at now. Which I think is a rather unhealthy point of obsession about my breathing. I DID call my EP's office and had a long talk with his PA and we both concluded that since I did not have this problem until AFTER the ablation, it was almost a given it was my anxiety. The PA did order another echocardiogram, which I just had Thursday, May 30th. The very next day, my cardiologist wrote and said "everything looks really good. Have a great week-end." So…..while this WAS incredibly reassuring and my shortness of breath seems "less," I am STILL monitoring my every breath. I realize that many of you are rolling your eyes in exasperation about my stupid anxiety, I am asking if anyone out there who has had an ablation has ever felt this shortness of breath or a feeling of not being able to get enough air……or am I truly just doing this to myself? I am REALLY sorry for being such a pain in everyone's rear…..I'm alone and scared and have nobody to talk to about this. (Even my dog yawns when I talk to him now. How pathetic does THAT make me!) Thank you from the bottom of my wonky heart.

Jump to this post

Hi @rubywitch67,

I just wanted to tell you are not being such a pain in everyone's rear, and that it’s absolutely okay to feel bad for yourself or your situation – but more importantly, don’t forget to be kind and encouraging to yourself as well.
Even though managing a chronic condition or dealing with debilitating symptoms can be a tough journey, you are not alone. I’m so happy that you have chosen to be an active, participating member of the Connect community – we often feel like what we have to say is of not much value, but it is amazing what your shared experiences can mean to other members!
We all may have different causes of the battles we are fighting, but the battles themselves are the same, so I hope you know that you are in a good place to ask and get the support you need.

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.