Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017

Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017
Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Cardiologist Second Opinion - Tues., July 15

Atrial fibrillation (AFib): The most common type of irregular heartbeat. The abnormal firing of electrical impulses causes the atria (the top chambers of the heart) to quiver (or fibrillate). The most common symptom is a quivering or fluttering heart.

Other common symptoms of atrial fibrillation: Some people have no symptoms and their condition is only detectable by a physical exam. Others may experience one or more of the following:
  • General fatigue
  • Rapid and irregular heartbeat
  • Fluttering or "thumping" in the chest
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath and anxiety
  • Weakness
  • Faintness or confusion
  • Fatigue when exercising
  • Sweating
  • Chest pain or pressure
There are different types of atrial fibrillation: paroxysmal (goes away on its own within a week), persistent (irregular rhythm lasts longer than seven days, does not return to normal sinus rhythm on its own and will require some form of treatment), and permanent (condition lasts indefinitely and patient and doctor decide not to continue attempts to restore normal sinus rhythm). All types of AFib increase your risk for stroke. Even if you have no symptoms at all, you are nearly five times more likely to have a stroke than someone without atrial fibrillation.

[Above information from American Heart Association website.]

What does this have to do with us?

Bob was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation a couple of years ago. It is the paroxysmal variety. Over the weekend, Bob was not feeling well and it lasted longer than normal. Last week, the doctor had put him on a different medication. Apparently the new medication did not agree with him. His face and chin puffed out to about double size. He stopped taking the medication.

Yesterday, he went to see his cardiologist because of the way he felt over the weekend. The cardiologist said that since the medications don't appear to be working, Bob may want to consider a catheter ablation procedure. Today Bob is going to a second cardiologist for another opinion.

If the second cardiologist concurs, Bob may be going into the hospital on Wednesday or Thursday for the procedure. Bob hopes that once the procedure is done and he has healed, he will be able to go back to playing basketball and running marathons with no further AFib symptoms.

Here's hoping Bob's second consultation points him in the right direction to receive optimal care for his AFib. I am behind his decision 100%.

Travel Bug out.


  1. Always upsetting to get news like this but I am sure Bob is going to be just fine. If there is anything I can do for either of you, please let me know.

  2. Hi Susan:
    My name is Kathleen Engel and I am an editor at Health Monitor Network in Montvale, NJ. My company publishes guides on various health conditions that are distributed free to patients through doctors' offices. (You can see our site at healthmonitor.com.)

    Right now I am working on our next Guide to Living with Afib, so I read your post with interest. Susan, if you'll send me your email address, I'd like to send you a PDF of our last issue, so you can see what the guide looks like. And I was wondering if your husband is taking an anticoagulant medication. I am interested in interviewing your husband for a story similar to those 2 featured in our current guide.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Kathleen Engel
    Editor, Health Monitor Network


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