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Posted: 2/26/2006 7:48:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/26/2006 7:49:07 PM EDT by southeast_scrounger]
I'm in my mid 30-s, reasonably healthy, but have had 4 atrial fibrillation episodes that landed me in the ER. One required cardioversion (the paddles...OUCH!) and others were controlled via digitalis drugs. One ER overdosed me on dig, and when I sat up to get my BP taken I flatlined for a few seconds. Actually, it wasn't scary at all...most peaceful time of my life. Any other members technically 'check out' for a bit? It's odd, but the lack of a pulse and BP was strangely OK with me...I remember telling the doc "It's cool, it's cool..." while I plopped back onto the gurney. Hope my final ride goes so smoothly.
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 7:55:54 PM EDT
Mine is a pretty constant A-Fib.

I'm used to it by now.
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 8:02:00 PM EDT
Don't have it myself, but am familiar with it.. When did you begin to notice it?

Run in your family at all?

Hope you remain well, you are too young to "check out" from something like this.

btw- Do you have any weird side symptoms from the digitalis?
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 8:08:00 PM EDT
Yep...33 years old and was diagnosed in 1999. I was pretty out of shape at the time and they put me on a beta blocker for about six months. I gained about 35 pounds and was lethargic as hell. The cardiologist asked me if I would be willing to undergo an experimental procedure where they ablate (burn with a laser) the exact area of my heart which was sending the improper electrical pulses which caused the a-fib. I agreed and the strapped me down buck naked on a cold table with about 25 people in the room, crammed a catheter down my pecker (after I told them not to), ran a cardiac catheter into my heart from my thigh, and proceeded to torture me with electrical shocks and different drugs for about three hours trying to get me to go into a-fib. They'd give me one drug which made me very cold and then another which made me very hot. It was the worst three hours of my life. Worst part??? It didn't work. They couldn't trigger the a-fib so they couldn't determine which spot was causing the problem.

I had been cardioverted several times prior to the "procedure" and when it was over I refused to go back on the beta blocker. I got off my ass and got back into shape and didn't have any problems with it for several years. Now I'm getting fat and lazy again and it's starting to come back. It usually happens when I haven't gotten enough sleep and compensate with too much caffeine.

I don't know if it's true or not but the cardiologist told me that it's actually pretty common in pro athletes (not that I'm anything close to one) and that Larry Bird played in the NBA with it for years.

They tell me that it's not a problem unless I let it go untreated for more than 48 hours. Supposedly after that much time a clot could form in the chamber that's not pumping correctly and then when I you go back to a sinus rythm the clot could be pumped out and end up killing you. I usually wait about 36 hours before I go to the ER but (knock on wood) I haven't had to do that in several years.
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