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Sep 27, 2018 · Video Q&A about Atrial Fibrillation in Heart & Blood Health

My AV Node was ablated in 2012 and a Pacemaker/Defibrillator put in. I have been told, by my electrophysiologist, that I have been in continuous aFib since I had a life-threatening GI bleed in September of 2017. My question is: “How bad will continuous aFib affect my heart and is there anything else that can be done to slow, or stop, the aFib? Various meds, the ICD, nor cardioversions have not worked. I am 69 years old and have been diagnosed with CHF.

Feb 9, 2018 · Watchman Implant for A-Fib in Heart Rhythm Conditions

Hi Mary,
Just wanted you to know I had the Watchman Device implanted this past Monday. Like with you, the stitches were removed the same day and I did stay overnight. I had no problems whatsoever with the procedure. My plan is to stay on Eliquis for 45 days, have a TEE on March 22 to determine if the opening is totally closed, then to get off of Eliquis and be on Plavix and baby aspirin for 6 months. If everything is fine during that period, I will quit taking the Plavix and only take the baby aspirin. Sounds like a pretty good plan. This week (since the Implant on Feb 5th) has been good – no problems at all! I’m hoping this is the start of an improvement stage!!
How are things going with you?

Take care!
Billie

Oct 26, 2017 · LVAD in Heart & Blood Health

Hi Patty, glad to hear your satisfied with your treatment plan. That’s rare these days!! Tell me about Oschner. I took my mom there in 1996, and LOVED it then. We lived in Florida, but drove over to NO especially to take her to Oschner. They admitted her to the hospital and kept her there about a week while they ran all the tests. A team of doctors developed a treatment plan for her, and I was very happy with the whole process. She had CHF. I have CHF also, I go in and out of aFib, have a pacemaker/defibrillator, am on Eliquis, etc. I live in Tyler, TX and my doctor here has me as s candidate for the Watchman device. I would love to come over and be evaluated, but am wondering how they do things now. Since it is s 7 hour trip, I can’t come over every few days just to see a doctor or have a test done. But if they could get everything checked out at once, that would be great. Do you know how they would do that??

Thanks,
Billie

Oct 21, 2017 · Watchman Implant for A-Fib in Heart Rhythm Conditions

Good to hear from you Mary!

And so glad everything went well at the Electrophysiologist visit. I know you’re excited about the TEE on the 30th. I’ve got it marked on my calendar and will be thinking of you that day!

I ‘think’ I had a minor setback yesterday. I’ve been doing pretty good on my recovery from the gastric bleed and slowly getting stronger. I had a visit with my cardiologist yesterday morning. I had been looking so forward to that visit, because it was to get me started doing whatever he needed me to do to prepare for the Watchman. However, right before I got to his office, I started feeling light headed, was dizzy, nauseated, disoriented, etc. They took me right back into his office from the waiting room, where my BP was 82/54. He came right in, said I looked like I was having some type of problem and had me taken to the ER. I was there until 8:30 last night. They gave me fluids, monitored me, ran tests and changed some of my Meds. They also found out that my heart rate had spiked to 181 while I was at the doctor’s office. Diagnosis was that it as an aFib event. I usually am in aFib and don’t even know it. I guess there’s a first for everything!!

Before I left my doctor’s office, I told him I wanted to talk to him about the Watchman, etc. He said, we’ll talk later. Anyway, the good part of the whole ordeal yesterday, was that my Electrophysiologist came to see me in the ER, and said he’d work with the Cardiologist to get things rolling. So, we’ll see!! I see my gastric doctor next Tuesday to get her approval. So, I guess, we’re still working toward it – just not in the structured way I wanted it to happen!

I’m feeling okay today. So hopefully, yesterday won’t set me back too bad.

Take care!

Billie

Oct 13, 2017 · Watchman Implant for A-Fib in Heart Rhythm Conditions

Hi Mary! Glad to see things are working with your Watchman so far!! I know you’re anxious for Oct 30 to come. You mentioned that there is no reversal to stop bleeding when you’re on Eliquis, and I’ve seen others mention it as well. But when I went to the ER last month with a life- threatening gastric bleed, they were able to give me something that reversed the Eliquis. And the bleeding stopped immediately. Of course by then I had already lost a lot of blood and had to have two blood transfusions that week. But whatever they gave me worked very well. I’ve been on Eliquis for a couple of years and had no problems with it. My bleeding was caused from an ulcer that broke open, and of course, as with any blood thinner, it was down hill from there!! I’m on my long path now to get approved for the Watchman. My Electrophysiologist has already said I was a candidate – I just have to get approval from my cardiologist and my gastric doctor. Ugh!!! I hate the waiting.

I’m keeping you in my thoughts and prayers that all will continue to go well for you.

Billie

Oct 7, 2017 · Watchman Implant for A-Fib in Heart Rhythm Conditions

Hi Mary!
Was very interested in reading your post. I’ve been on Eliquis for several years now and have had no problems until last month. On Sep 23, I developed a severe GI bleed, resulting in the loss of a lit of blood, a 5 day stay in the hospital, 2 blood transfusions and a significant setback overall. I believe my bleeding was caused from a gastric ulcer that started bleeding. Once the bleeding started, it wouldn’t stop because of the Eliquis. They gave me an anticoagulant to stop the bleeding and it worked. So, I’ve been off of all blood thinners since then, waiting for the ulcer to heal enough for me to restart the blood thinners. I’ve been in and out of aFib a number of times since then, and like you, worry constantly about having a stroke. I go back to my Electrophysiologist on Monday to see where to go next. I’ve been researching the pros and cons of the watchman and have about decided it’s my best bet. I’ve read where it isn’t as effective as a blood thinner, but then on the other hand, it’s not as dangerous either. I guess there’s no one stop quick fix, we just have to go with the best option. What do you think of my thoughts? Thank you so much for sharing your experiences.

Billie

May 28, 2017 · Any new help for long time CHF diagnosis?? in Heart & Blood Health

Thanks so much for your response, John. I think a lot of my problem is that I am getting frustrated because I have done soooo many of the ‘right’ things, and I feel I am still not where I should be! I have been on a number of heart medications – treating all kinds of heart related issues, including high blood pressure, fast heart rate, slow heart rate, weak heart, fluid reduction, and I’m sure others. I had gastric bypass in 2009, and lost 80 pounds. I’ve gained some of it back now, because I don’t eat 100% right and my shortness of breath prevents me from getting exercise. Like I said, I’m not eating totally right, but I’m eating more right than wrong. Mostly fresh fruits and vegetables, some chicken, very little processed foods. So, I’ve already tried or been through most of the things one ‘should’ do. Even though I’ve been trying all these ‘different’ things over the years and don’t seem to be making any progress – I’m at the point where I just need some new directions. I do a lot of internet based research, so I feel I am fairly knowledgeable about my condition. I’m seriously considering looking into going to the Rochester Mayo Clinic. I live in East Texas, so it will be a long trip. I don’t want to make the trip if I’m not real hopeful that something really positive can come of it.

May 27, 2017 · Any new help for long time CHF diagnosis?? in Heart & Blood Health

I was diagnosed several years ago with CHF. I think I’ve been through the full gamut of treatments. I have had been prescribed many medicines, including beta blockers (Coreg), I’ve had several ablations (including sinus node), and have had an ICD for 5 years. In the past two years, I have had 2 cardio versions. I was told yesterday by a nurse practitioner in my electrophysiologist’s office that I was in aFib about 98% of the time, and that future cardio versions would not help. He did double my Lasix for three days to eliminate some fluid. I am at a point where I just really don’t know what to do I am a 67-year-old female and feel that I am too young to surrender to this disease, but don’t know which way to turn. Any suggestions?