Interesting weekend!

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sbwertz

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Well, I was in the hospital for a couple of days with a type of AFib called Atrial Flutter. Heart rate at 140 and wouldn't slow down.

I will have to go back in a couple of weeks for an overnight stay for an ablation on the nerve that short-curcuited. It isn't a serious problem, but they want to make sure it doesn't come back.

Monday morning about 10 am, I was working in the kitchen when suddenly I had a lot of pressure in my chest. I thought I was having a heart attack and called 911. The paramedics came and said it wasn't a heart attack, but I needed to go to the ER to get my heart rate back down. They tried four different drugs before they found one that worked, and had it back to normal by about 3pm but wanted to keep me overnight so they could do an echo-cardiogram on Tuesday. It came back normal. Apparently, as you get older, sometimes the coating on the nerves thins, and two nerves very close together can actually short circuit. That is what happened. My pulse went up to about 400 for a few minutes, then stabilized at 140 and stayed there until they finally found a drug that stopped the AFib. It was scary, but not really dangerous, since they were able to break the cycle and get it back to normal. I have some pills to take if it comes back before I can get in for the ablation.

I feel fine, and have no lasting after effects. Scared me half to death, though.
 
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jttheclockman

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Scary for sure. Anything to do with the heart. I find myself getting paranoid for every flutter or pain in the heart region these days and feel this is the big one. Tough getting old. Not for the weakminded. Take care and stay safe.
 

moke

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My wife is scheduled for the same surgery on the 30th of this month. She has has had three separate incidents where she had to go to the ER.
It scares me to death, but she is a advanced practice nurse, specializing in heart, so she just takes it in stride....I am scared everytime, but I know as a long time LEO that you never show fear to the patient. She says the ablation is really almost a no risk operation...so if she isn't scared, you should not be either. What does bother her is with COvid they now make you gargle with betadine before procedures.
I guess there are several things you can do to try and bring it down yourself...coughing, baring down, etc...it has never worked for her.
Best of luck.....
 

Curly

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I hope things go well for you Sharon.
I have a friend that had the same but the drugs didn't work and they had to stop his heart and then shock it back to into proper rhythm. So killed him and then jump started him. He had the ablation soon after and has been good since.
 
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That is scary Sharon, hope all goes well with the ablation.... Dianne has had atrial fibulations since she was in her 20's and after they did the mitral valve replacement, her cardiologist wanted to try an ablation on her to try and stop the fibulations... didn't work for her, so she now has
a pace maker. So far it's working well and we've had not more fibulations since it was put in about 3 years ago.
Hopefully you won't need to be that drastic.
 

Bob in SF

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Sounds like you are on top of it.
Here are few (unsolicited, well-intended, medical literature-supported, sometimes overlooked tips and observations regarding common atrial arrhythmia triggers) - since I've seen my share of fib and flutter patients over the past 45 years, amid a well-documented steady rise in the prevalence of these conditions in the USA - approaching 2% (and some studies report 5% prevalence after age 65) of the general population -
Watch out for:
Dehydration
Low serum magnesium and potassium (and combined deficiencies commonly coexist in atrial arrhythmia patients)
Even mild inadequately controlled hypertension
Stress
Even mild hyperthyroidism
Even mild sleep apnea (which should be managed with CPAP if other measures fail)
CoQ10 deficiency
Hydroxy vitamin D deficiency given the high density of VDR's (vitamin D receptors) in the heart and cardiovascular system
Too much coffee/caffeine
Excessive sugar, salt, gluten intake
Smoking history
Mitral valve problems (sounds like your echocardiogram ruled this out)

Current micro-invasive cardiac arrhythmia ablation techniques are remarkably successful. I remember when these conditions required open cardiotomy ablations up through the 1970's; and I was lucky to observe cardiologist Dr. Mel Sheinman's pioneering catheter methods when I was a trauma surgeon at SF General Hospital through the 1980's. You will do well.

Good thing you received rapid care - very important to minimize arrhythmia-related oxidative cardiac stress and associated cytokine production in the current pandemic.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery - Bob
 
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sbwertz

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Phoenix, AZ
Sounds like you are on top of it.
Here are few (unsolicited, well-intended, medical literature-supported, sometimes overlooked tips and observations regarding common atrial arrhythmia triggers) - since I've seen my share of fib and flutter patients over the past 45 years, amid a well-documented steady rise in the prevalence of these conditions in the USA - approaching 2% (and some studies report 5% prevalence after age 65) of the general population -
Watch out for:
Dehydration
Low serum magnesium and potassium (and combined deficiencies commonly coexist in atrial arrhythmia patients)
Even mild inadequately controlled hypertension
Stress
Even mild hyperthyroidism
Even mild sleep apnea (which should be managed with CPAP if other measures fail)
CoQ10 deficiency
Hydroxy vitamin D deficiency given the high density of VDR's (vitamin D receptors) in the heart and cardiovascular system
Too much coffee/caffeine
Excessive sugar, salt, gluten intake
Smoking history
Mitral valve problems (sounds like your echocardiogram ruled this out)

Current micro-invasive cardiac arrhythmia ablation techniques are remarkably successful. I remember when these conditions required open cardiotomy ablations up through the 1970's; and I was lucky to observe cardiologist Dr. Mel Sheinman's pioneering catheter methods when I was a trauma surgeon at SF General Hospital through the 1980's. You will do well.

Good thing you received rapid care - very important to minimize arrhythmia-related oxidative cardiac stress and associated cytokine production in the current pandemic.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery - Bob
I have my blood test results
No dehydration...I live in Phoenix! I drink about a gallon of water a day,
magnesium and potassium both normal
My normal blood pressure is in the 90/60 range
No indication of sleep apnea. Husband has sleep apnea and says I don't exhibit any of the symptoms when I am asleep.
Stress...always! It's a pandemic!
Thyroid normal
Not sure what the test for CoQ10 would be, so don't know. Husband takes Qunol, I could start taking it
I drink one big mug of regular coffee and sometimes one of decaf in the morning, have for many years.
I've been pretty much sugar free for twenty years, Dr. says don't limit salt because of the low blood pressure (can go as low as 80/50), my diet is rather high in gluten
Have never smoked
Echocardiogram normal.

He said as you get older, the coating on your nerves thins and sometimes two particular nerves in the bundle going into your heart actually short out. This causes a circular path in the atrium instead of the normal path from atrium to ventricle, resulting in rapid pulse. The ablation will destroy the offending nerves.

My brother had a cryoablation for Afib last November, and it was successful. His Afib was the result of some heart damage from a motorcycle accident.
 

Bob in SF

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Sounds like you'll do very well - no significant contributory risk factors.

The blood test for CoQ10 level is pretty widely available - my many musician patients remember best and play most fluently when their levels are in the .8-1.2 range. Qunol is great stuff.

Decreasing caffeine consumption helps; and reducing gluten intake can reduce triggering, whether or not blood tests are positive for antigliadin antibodies.

Always best to maintain Hydroxy vitamin D levels in the (rheumatology literature confirmed) ideal range of 50-80ng/ml - studies suggest that OH-D levels below 40ng/ml increase triggering.
 

sbwertz

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Phoenix, AZ
Sounds like you'll do very well - no significant contributory risk factors.

The blood test for CoQ10 level is pretty widely available - my many musician patients remember best and play most fluently when their levels are in the .8-1.2 range. Qunol is great stuff.

Decreasing caffeine consumption helps; and reducing gluten intake can reduce triggering, whether or not blood tests are positive for antigliadin antibodies.

Always best to maintain Hydroxy vitamin D levels in the (rheumatology literature confirmed) ideal range of 50-80ng/ml - studies suggest that OH-D levels below 40ng/ml increase triggering.
I do take a D supplement daily.
 

sbwertz

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Any suggestions for treatment for the phlebitis I've developed at the IV site? The IV was at my left wrist, and I have swelling, redness, hard lumps and pain all the way to my elbow. I'm using naproxen and warm compresses.
 

sbwertz

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I've developed a complication. I seem to have developed phlebitis at the site of the IV. My forearm is swollen from my wrist, where the IV was all the way to my elbow! They say it will go away by itself in a couple of weeks with just warm compresses and NSAIDs, but boy is it painful.
 

skiprat

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Sharon, I’m pretty sure I've read every post you’ve ever made and I doubt I’m the only that believes if anyone here can overcome anything, then it’s you. I’m absolutely confident you will be just fine. Just take it easy for a bit and follow the advice from your medical team.
 

sbwertz

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The arm is MUCH better today. Still red and swollen and tender to the touch, but doesn't hurt to move it today. I can cook two-handed! TV chefs make cracking and opening eggs one-handed look easy, but believe me, it ISN'T!
 
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