June 25, 2017

Heart Rhythm Society Creates “A-Fib Feels Like” Atrial Fibrillation (AF) Public Service Announcement

The Heart Rhythm Society has created a public service announcement, A-Fib Feels Like, that is designed to help afib patients and the public understand the symptoms of atrial fibrillation. What do you think about it? After watching it, please share your comments below.

Watch:  A-Fib Feels Like

Comments

  1. Christina Pickard says:

    I am 53 years old and have had a fib for years . Last summer in May I had an ablation and they accidentally put a whole in my heart that lead to fluid in lungs etc. I spent two months in hospital. It eventually healed and I started to slowly walk and exercise up to five miles a day. I could only get so far thought. Last 2 weeks my walking slowed down due to shortness of breath and a fib came back I am in a fib now totally and cant breath to leave the room hardly. I went to the emergency and received a drug that slowed down my heart rate but continue to have a fib and no improvement in my breathing. I see a cardiologist next week. Cardio-versions have never worked more than a day. Will another ablation fix this problem. Heart and lungs are fine , no fluid and I do exercise allot when I can I seem to fight against a wall. Suggestions ?

    • Hi Christina,
      I’m so sorry to hear about your experience with procedure. Ablations are very helpful for some people, but many also require multiple ablations over time, as you are learning. You may be interested in checking out our patient discussion forum. Here you will be able to ask others about their experiences with ablation and other treatments, and learn more about managing afib. Here’s info on getting started.
      Melissa

  2. After a hard workout I chugged some very cold water and it sent my heart into Afib. I had no clue what was going on and went straight to an ER via ambulance. My heart rate was close to 200 Bpm. At the time I was 28 years old. I’m 32 today and still get palpitations but have not gone back into Afib….that I know of. It was really scary. The ER used medicine and that’s all it took. It took less than 24 hours to convert back to sinus mode but this has caused a constant level of general anxiety ever since. Today I’m still on 50mg of metorpol xl and am supposed to eat a banana every day as well at take magnesium.

    Honestly, the whole thing totally stinks. I wish it never happened but it did.

    Sometimes when I have a huge heart palpitation, I’m like, “okay us this it? An I going into Afib now?” So far it just goes back to normal. I put my finger on my neck and my pulse is very good.

  3. David Delong says:

    PSA – Pharmaceutical Service Announcement. All of sudden now that there are soon to be 3 new drugs to treat the risk of stroke with AFib we get this market expansion ad

  4. I am 69 years old and last Thursday I had my first atrial flutter. It was 140 to 146 bpm. I went in to the ER on Friday. They lowered the rate with one drug and converted the rhythm with another. I was there 8 hours.

    This was my first real heart issue other than high blood pressure. I have used lysinopril to keep the pressure lowered for several years.

    The sonogram showed several things. The cardiologist interpreted and stated that I had severe lvh and mild bilateral enlargement. I also had mild to moderate regurgitation on the valves.

    The only other thing is that I started Ibuprofen 2 weeks prior for a shoulder issue at 600mg 3 times a day.

    I think the cause of the flutter is the hypertension caused lvh but I am not sure if the ibuprofen could be a contributing factor.

    What is my prognosis and what more can I do? My weight, cholesterol,etc. is low. I exercise regularly.

    I have a type A personality that I have mellowed to type B. My heart still overreacts to stress, anxiety, etc. with higher blood pressure. Is there a way to control this overreaction?

    Thanks
    Dick

  5. Harry Roop says:

    I really enjoy this site and hope others will understand our plight. Those who have never had Atrial Defibrillation should count yourself lucky. It’s the most uncomfortable sickness I have ever had. It just shuts your breathing down and you are constantly out of breath. I play golf but because I go into AFIB, I can’t play right now. This is what it feels like to have an AFIB attack while playing golf. Tee off and then run for one full block and get ready to hit your ball again. Hit it and run another full block at full speed and try to to hit your again. You will be so out of breath, you’ll thing you’re going to die. Can you imagine doing that for 18 holes. I need to do something. I plan to see my cardiologist and hope he can help me play golf again. I can’t even mow the lawn. If you have any ideas to help with some solutions to set my heart back again before it starts, I would appreciate anything.

    • Harry,

      Thanks for the kind words about the site. Do golf and mowing the lawn put you into afib, or are you in afib all the time? If they cause afib, then it’s possible you’re getting dehydrated from doing them, so staying fully hydrated may help. If you’re in it all the time, have they tried restoring you to normal sinus rhythm through medications (rhythm control drugs) or electrical cardioversion? Good luck.

      Mellanie

  6. Harry Roop says:

    I have Atrial Defibrillation was diagnosed 5 years ago. When it kicks in, I can’t breath, I get scared, want to drive to the nearest ER and don’t know what to do. My cardiologist is on and is doing his best but I wonder if he knows what to do. I have tried everything from Apple Cider Vinegar to Bananas, water, ice pacs on the face etc. I just can’t stand it anymore. I waited a year to go on vacation and golf with my friends for a week in Myrtle Beach, SC. My AFIB was with me every day. I could not play, eat, sleep or do anything except go home and suffer some more. Although my doctor treats me for it, he gives me no meds other than Warfrin and blood pressure meds. My blood pressure is fine. Should I try Ablation?

    • Harry,

      Have you seen an electrophysiologist, a cardiologist who specializes in the heart’s electrical system? He or she might try some different strategies. Is the blood pressure med for managing your heart rate (called rate control medication)? Perhaps they could try rhythm control medications to get you back in sinus rhythm.

      Mellanie

  7. jaffray Geddes says:

    i am nearly eighty have A/F and take Beltoc/dialtizen/warferinand Dioxgen?
    recently my pulse rate has started to go slow and misses a beat, seems to
    stop fo a while , this is a worrying stressful factor what would be the reason for this now slow pulse rate? Perhaps I should see my doctor about the medications? Usualluy come evening it sets off on its anti rythm speed,
    and I find difficulty in going to sleep and take a sleeping tablet.
    Any advice from someoen?

  8. I’ve had A/Fib for 9 years and finally had an ablation in March, 2011. I was not ready to have this procedure in the beginning as no one could tell me that this was going to fix it. I wanted to wait until the doctors could get it right. I have missed out on a lot of things due to my heart rate being so high and being tired and out of breath all the time. It took 24 days for my heart to get into sinus rhythm after the procedure and honestly I wake up each day hoping I am in sinus rhythm. What a relief after feeling my heart flip flopping for 9 years. The only problem is I’ve researched a lot of outcomes and the ablation is not a permanent cure forever. For some, A/Fib returns because the heart heals itself – it’s a matter of time – 3 months- 6 months – 1 year, etc., I guess I just have to stay positive.

    I am so elated that finally people are getting to know what A/Fib is all about and that it has finally come to the forefront in the medical community. Most doctors have no idea how to handle it. Keep up the good work and hopefully there will be a one time cure for us all.

  9. Good sound bite for what it is; I think the risk and results of a TIA (“mini-stroke”) or CVA (stroke) cannot be emphasized enough in our ‘baby boomer’ nation. I say this having had afib and a TIA. Now I am 2 years post a total thorascopic maze at Ohio State University with Dr. John Sirak and afib free on no prescripion meds. I would not hesitate to have this procedure again, or another procedure if it should ever become necessary because afib and medications were so awful and made life miserable.

  10. I had afib for over 4 years, in the beginning it was every few months. Then if I got upset over something it would happen. I never knew when it was going to come. At my daughter’s wedding rehearsal I had white wine. That started it for three days in a row. The doctor told me to just rest. In recent months I was getting it every other day. I was on three different medicines. I am 56. May 17 this year I has an ablation. I was scared, but put my faith in God and my Doctor and I have not had one since. You are asleep throught it and I knew I was in good hands. If, it is an option for anyone, I would say do it. Hopefully it was my cure. Only time will tell!

  11. Bill Whitman says:

    I have had afib for one and one half years, have been cardioverted each time. The last time it took three shocks over two days in the hospital to convert me.
    That was one month ago. The pitiful thing is there are few options. Doctors just have know idea what to do, some I have been to seemed not to even want to deal with it and just leave me in afib (probably because they don’t know what to do) medications that amount to poison I am not going to take. I am going to go to the hospital each time and get converted until I can go to the Cleveland Clinic and have a mini maze, this supposedly has a lot higher success rate than an ablation. AFIB is a curse no one should have. Further it should be considered a disability.

  12. Ken Sturmer says:

    Good start, but until everyone has health insurance, theres little point in upsetting people. I have it, but can’t do a damned thing about it but see the doc every six months and keep my fingers crossed!

  13. Melanie as I said before I am Tikoyn 1000 mg a day. I am on 6mg coumadin for afib aflutter. I know i am not suppose to have vitamin k, so i am very careful. The problem is I get get my coumadin levels no higher the 2.2. This week it was 2.0. Do you think drinking silk has any reasons for this? I cannot have dairy products so I drink lots of silk. It does not mention vk on the labels. But my vitamin has 80 mcg which I take 1xday. Will this have any affect on the levels? I do not whant my blood to get to thick because of stroke. Thanks Marvie.

  14. Richard Borgstrom says:

    For Joan Kustad, awaiting her ablation in 3 weeks:

    I’m 83 – and I have had aFib for several years. My cardiologist suggested an ablation. I had it done 5 weeks ago He told me to be patient for 10 to 12 weeks afterwards while my heart heals. I have been feeling fine. The AF seems to have stopped. I will see him again in July for his evaluation. In his experience he has had 80% success or better.

    I was in the hospital just overnight. When my friends and family ask me how I’m doing, my routine answer is this: “I am feeling about the way my surgeon and his nurses told me I was going to feel.” They were right on!

    If you are a religious person, simply regard this incredible medical advance as one of God’s healing miracles. Ablations were not available for my parents. They both died of heart disease. How can we be so fortunate?

    Your chances of a good outcome are very good. Your chances of dying are
    miniscule. Good odds, it seems, to me.

    My words to encourage you are to keep telling yourself that “although this is a new experience for me, it is routine for for my surgeon and his/her team, so I am going to relax and and let them do what they routinely do; and do what they tell me to do afterwards.

    Good luck!

  15. Barb O'Dell says:

    I did not know about the 500% increase in stroke. I am 75 & have had a-fib almost 10 yrs, can’t take strong drugs, my Dr had talked to me about a pacemaker when I e-mailed Mellanie, she ask if I had a sleep study. I went for that test which showed I stopped breathing 17 times in an hour. I will be wearing the c-pap soon at night , the Dr thinks that will help my a-fib. I also started taking fish oil (1000 mg) in Feb this year. My a-fib has really slowed down.
    Mellanie has been a great help to me,

  16. dear melanie.
    my new ob-gyn was the first to discover my irregulrities,he asked me apologetically if he can check my heart since i am a brand new patient.when i okay’d it,he asked me if i had any heart problems,i said,no,so,he advised me to go for a dardiac ekg,i had to ask strangers for a doctor,it was thursday,on monday when i went to the md i had machine gun pumping,and thought that everyone could hear it..thank god for dr g,thank god for his alertness,no,i wasnt weak,no,i was in full capacity,and yes,i thank god every day.

  17. The clip is short. I did not know about the 500% increase in stroke. But, sometimes there are NO symptoms. What do those of us who are asymptomatic do?

  18. Sharon Bochkay says:

    My first symptom was ” spaghetti legs”. I felt something was wrong. It actually awakened me at 5 am the first time. When I got out of bed I was weak but it took awhile to realize my heart was the problem. Everyone should know how to take their own pulse and what the normal parameters are.

  19. Michael Hennessy says:

    We need to get the word out. Older people that get or have a-fib/flutter tend to overlook it attributing it to the aging process. This is a beginning, along with Mellanie it WILL make a difference!

  20. joan kustab says:

    I am having an ablation for Atrial Fib in 3 weeks and I am very scared. I am 68 and have been on 3 different Atrial Fib medications and now the only recourse is to have the ablation. Anyone who has had the ablation with good results, I would love to hear about it. Joan

  21. Short but to the point. The 500% stroke risk is something even I did not know and is scary.

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