A-Fib advice please

Good afternoon Everyone. About 4 months ago I was lying on my couch, I had not done anything tiring, nor was I in anyway stressed. Just watching TV. Out of the blue my heart started racing. The beat was rapid & erratic. I drove to hospital as there were horrendous storms causing long delays.

In hospital I was hooked up to various machines & all the alarms went off, which they continued to do all night. I was given beta blockers & blood thinners & within
12 hours my heart rate was perfect & I was allowed home.

I have continued to take the medication & I check my heart rate every day. It ranges between 60 bpm & 70 bpm which is very normal.

Yesterday I had a letter saying I had been referred to the Cardiac department at my local Conquest Hospital. They are going to connect me to a 24 hour ECG unit & I continue my life as normal.

To my mind this is a waste of time as I will produce “normal” results due to the medication I am taking. I cannot see the point in this procedure unless I come off the medication I am taking.

Thoughts anyone please ? Anyone been through this ?

Best wishes

Good afternoon Steve2,
It would seem as if you are fine, however it can do no harm to let them “do their thing”. I assume you would not have to pay for this?

Good afternoon CliveV … Clearly my heart had a problem. I went from my usual,
at the time, of around 70 BPM to around 180 BPM. It kept to this high erratic rate for the next 9 hours. Then I was given the blood thinners & Beta Blockers & within
4 hours my rate was back to lower than my normal. Without the medication my BPM would have remained both high & erratic.

Surely the medication masks the problem, keeping my BPM artificially low.

If there is no cardio version to shock my heart back to normality then I will have to take this medication for life.

As I’m sure you are aware taking blood thinners is dangerous for someone with Parkinson’s.

The treatment is on the NHS so costs me nothing.

Best wishes

Then absolutely go for it.
It will at the very least give you peace of mind by knowing what the problem may be, or isn’t.

Hi Steve,

they’re trying to make sure your heart rate is properly controlled all the time. Sometimes it can go quite fast without the patient being aware and the heart rate can be quite variable so might be normal when you check it but not at other times. I’d have the test, it will do you no harm.

Anticoagulation is not more dangerous in PD or at least no more than it is for any group of patients who are more prone to falling. The stroke risk without the anticoagultion is far higher than any risk of bleeding from falling.

All the best Podd

Good evening Podd & thanks for your reply. Both my younger brother & only Uncle died from Strokes so I am in the at risk categories.

BUT I was already on High Blood pressure pills & Amitriptyline who all have fatigue as a likely side effect. Add to that the Bisoprolol [Beta Blocker] I have been prescribed for my A-Fib which has a side effect of “Extreme Fatigue” .

As you might gather some days I feel so tired I can’t do much.

So I would rather not take this drug whereas it’s partner in crime Apixaban [blood thinner] I accept as sensible.

So in a perfect World I would like the Cardio-version they suggested on my hospital discharge letter.

I imagine that they are too busy to do a non-urgent procedure & would rather medicate with drugs, which in fairness do work very well … but I am so blankety blank tired. Giving me the 24 hour ECG is just a box-ticker.

And I nearly forgot the Sinemet I take which has insomnia as a bed fellow.

Some days I am so tired & I can’t sleep.

Ho hum.

Best wishes

Morning Steve 2 My hubby had to use one of these 24 hour ECG 's but it was fitted at the hospital and he wore it at home, it could be the same thing, but would it do you any harm if you went and had an ECG at least you would know where you stand (for want of better wording) because the male side of my family died though heart attacks they wanted to put me on Stattins i said no !! i take enough meds for PD with out adding to them, You say you are always tired hubby same this could be your heart trying to work over time, do you have a PD nurse as they know which tablets will go together, maybe you need your meds looking at and they need altering, You don’t say how old you are (a lady can ask but a man should not ask how old she is) Life is too short to be getting tired we still have to try and keep going, Please post again let the members know how you are doing.

Good morning mary1947 … I turned 70 two weeks ago. The 24 hour ECG unit will be fitted at a local hospital mid April this year. I am more than happy to wear the unit for 24 hours, my question is whether I stop the Beta Blockers first.

I see my PD nurse a day before the 24 hour ECG unit gets fitted.

Of the drugs I take … Amitriptyline [For Neuropathy & Arthritis] & the
Sinemet [Parkinson’s drug] are both excellent & I would not want changing.

The blood pressure drug I would change but I have only recently been put on it.

Then there are the Beta Blocker & Blood thinner drugs which I am talking about.
I would rather not take the Beta Blocker but then my A-Fib might reurn.

I will of course talk to my PD nurse as you sensibly suggest. But there is not a lot of manoeuvre room changing drugs wise.

Thanks for your interest.

Hi Steve2 the other option if you wish to speak with some one is to call Parkinson’s UK there is always some there, All the best Steve keep posting let us know how you are,

Hi Steve,

there are other drugs that can control heart rate that aren’t beta blockers. If the bisoprolol makes you really fatigued you could change to another drug. Your GP should be able to do that for you.

Hi Steve
Four weeks ago I had a problem with my BPM too. It kept going down to a dangerous level of 37. I was taken to hospital by my husband. They immediately put me on various machines and kept me in over night. The machines kept bleeping because my BPM was carrying on being very irregular from 37 it was going up to over 100 and then down again. I saw the cardiologist the following morning who advised me that my only option was to have a pacemaker. I was shocked when I heard that. I immediately spoke to my son who is a cardiologist in the states. I also sent him a copy of my ECG. He also advised me that having a pacemaker was my best option and apparently there are no side effects. It helps the heart to keep a normal level of BPM and it avoids future complications. I went ahead with it and now I’m much better.
With regards to your case, please do go for further check ups. I believe they will stop giving you the medication while you are on the machine so that the readings will be accurate. This will enable the cardiologist to decide which option is best for you. To have a pacemaker or carry on with the medication.
Good luck

Good morning Celeron1 … Thank you so much for your interesting reply.

Since writing my original post I did phone the Cardio Unit at the hospital & ask whether I should stop taking my medication. They phoned me back saying that
I should carry on taking it.

So I assume my 24 hour ECG will show a normal 24 hour reading & I will continue on the medication I am taking.

The Blood thinners I think are a good idea as my only brother died of a stroke as did my only uncle. But the Beta Blockers I’d like to stop as I feel so much fatigue.
Plus I’m already taking Amitriptyline, Blood Pressure Pills & Sinemet which all have the fatigue side effect.

I have been told that there is over a year’s waiting list for Cardio procedure in my area. My issue is very low priority I would imagine.

Ho hum.

Best wishes

I believe afib can be silent and you may not be aware of problems, the checks will put your mind at rest .