Afib adventure

That my heart skips a beat now and then is not an unusual occurrence. Many others have this condition. But recently this gentle hiccup was joined by persistent shortness of breath that kept me awake all night one night. Next morning I took myself to a clinic to check into it.

Good thing I did. My cardiologist, Dr. M, confirmed what the clinic doc had found: I was experiencing atrial fibrillation, commonly called Afib.

“So,” she told me,” you have Afib,” then she smiled and said, “We can fix that.” She then described a procedure called cardioversion, in which a patient is placed under anesthsia, his heart is very briefly stopped, then is restarted by a charge from electrical paddles. In most cases, the heart immediately resumes a more regular rhythm, replacing the erratic Afib pattern.

This sounded great to me, but before I could undergo such a procedure, I had to take a blood thinner for three weeks or more to eliminate the possibility of blood clotting. During that period, I felt miserable, weak and constantly tired. I struggled to catch my breath. Following one especially bad night of trying to breathe, I wound up in the hospital’s emergency department. A few hours later, I was being prepped for my cardioversion procedure.

It was successful, I’m happy to report, and now I am home again, feeling much better with a regular heartbeat and so very grateful for modern medicine, the many compassionate professionals who practice it, and the loving family members and friends who have rallied to my side to help.

2 thoughts on “Afib adventure

  1. Raleigh, I’m behind in my emails due to traveling. Thanks for sharing your story. So happy to hear your procedure was successful and that you are recovering well.


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