What does Atrial Fibrillation Feel Like To You?

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tc1414
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 5/22/2008 7:31 PM (GMT -7)   
For those of you who have been diagnosed with or experienced Atrial Fibrillation, I was wondering if you could share your experience and what it feels like to you while you're "fibbing", so to speak. In particular, what symptoms do you get, what sensations do you feel and where? Some questions might be can you actually feel your atria contracting rapidly? Does your pulse rate always elevate? What does it do to your head (dizziness, etc)? Thanks for sharing!

lillian54
New Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 5/24/2008 11:00 PM (GMT -7)   
  I had one episode of afib a few months ago. It began suddenly and dramatically - very rapid (HR about 160) and very forceful heart beat. I have a lifelong history of PSVT and PVCs/PACs and this felt nothing like that. It felt like a had a sack of fish flopping around in my chest - nothing at all like a regular heart rhythm. I have read other people describe it this way also. All things considered, I didn't actually feel that bad - I didn't feel like I was going to pass out or anything - just scared and confused about what was happening. I told my husband what was going on and he was concerned enough to call the emts. It took several hours in the ER and a few drugs to get my heart back to normal sinus rhythm. I read a statement by a doctor who said half the people who have afib don't  know it; of those who do know, half aren't that bothered by it and the other half are driven absolutely crazy by it!!

Piano
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 846
   Posted 5/31/2008 4:10 AM (GMT -7)   
I don't normally hang out here -- my usual abode is the Prostate Cancer forum. but I happened to be passing by.
 
I had a bout of AF following surgery for colon cancer about two years ago. Three days out from surgery, while still in hospital, I was trying to do without the patient activated morphine drip for the first time. Then the AF started. Very fast heartbeat, with it seemed some big pauses where my heart stopped completely. But other than that, I felt fine, although not active at the time.
 
An amusing event that I still remember is that my irregular heartbeat really screwed up the semi-automatic blood pressure machine the nurses use -- it could not read my BP. It was some time before they found someone who knew how to do it the old way -- with a stethoscope and cuff!
 
I spent the night in the cardiac unit where they put me on a special drip -- after about 12 hours my heart returned to normal. I have never had AF before or since. The doctors said it was a side effect of the surgery and the drugs I was on at that time. 
 
Piano

Kerryfairy
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/11/2008 4:16 PM (GMT -7)   
To me it is an extremely rapid and forceful irregular heatbeat, where you can actually SEE my chest thudding. It never made me feel dizzy until an episode i had a few months back, which did make me feel like i was going to pass out but that was because it had gone on for hours and my heartrate had reached 260.

ericsmom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 1042
   Posted 6/22/2008 5:16 PM (GMT -7)   
I had the same symptoms that you are all stating.  The worst attack ever.....lasted a few days, and it caused a blood clot to my lung.  So I wouldnt be letting it go too long.  I ended up in ICU for a week...another time I had an episode that lasted all night and when it was still going on in the morning, I tried to take my pulse but it was tacky and near impossible to read.  So..off to the ER I went and they stabilized me there.  Since then, I just get a few skips and jumps now and then, but they dont stress me out anymore.
Hope this helps someone, the meds I take (warfarin, propafenone, and bisoprolol) seem to have it under control now.
 
Diane
Fibromyagia, R/A, Diabetes, Atrial Fib, depression

Prednisone(May 1, down to 1 mg/daily), methotrexate, folic acid, metformin, diamicron, bisoprolol, plaquinal, fenofibrate, pantoloc, wellbutrin, propafenone, ibprofen, warfarin, methotrexate


What doesn't kill us, makes us stronger


south74
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 3/31/2009 8:40 AM (GMT -7)   
I have a fib...just found out a few months ago....my heart races...but not that often....usually when I am carrying something heavy or bending over....my heart flip flops....and skips beats...it is soooooooo scary....my pulse is usually about 95 beats p m or higher....when i am just sitting still...but i dont have the crazy heart racing like everyone else says they do....mine is more of a flopping feeling....and i do get dizzy ...all the time...i take an asprin a day....and I am starting toprol xl today....supposed to be taking it for a long time now but i suffer from anxiety disorder so i am afraid to take meds sometimes....but i am going to take it today....I HAVE TO MAKE MYSELF......I wish you all the best....
and God Bless You,
Angela

rzlgu91
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 3/31/2009 10:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Wow this sounds exactly like what I have lol...

Is it dangerous, can it be left untreated?

Because every time I go to the docter and explain how I get a very rapid heartbeat to where I can actually see my chest moving and it stops abruptly, they say it's perfectly normal.

The longest mine has gone on has been 10 mins. Otherwise, I have no health/heart problems (that I know of anyway).

Harryheart
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 40
   Posted 4/29/2009 3:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi

I had ablation for A-Fib 2 times. Each time a rapid pulse told me I had some kind of a problem. EKGs confirmed A-Fib.

Harry

Guitarnut
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/17/2009 9:50 AM (GMT -7)   
I had a bout with afib a couple of years ago. I have a history of PAC's and that particular week they were happening every few beats for several days. Since I was told they were nothing to be concerned about, I wasn't. I woke up at 5 am and needed to hit the bathroom. While in the bathroom, I got extremely light-headed and nauseous suddenly. I was very weak and couldn't walk without help.

I went to the ER and was told I was in afib. I wasn't feeling anything strange in my chest at all and when I lay flat on my back, I felt completely normal. I was given Cardiozem and reverted several hours later in the ICU. I haven't had a problem with it since.

cello
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 6/22/2009 12:19 PM (GMT -7)   
I had Atril Fib off and on for many years, the symptoms I had were: an uneasy feeling (like anxiety), the heart beat felt irregular and I was grasping for air. I had an urge to sit down or lay down because I was feeling week and tired. Since I was having heart surgery for another problem, my surgeon decided to do a direct "Maze Ablation" to treat permanently the A.F. It has been three months since the surgery but I'm not considered cured from the A.F. yet, because the ablation takes six months to produce effect, the cuts they perform during the ablation, have to develop scar tissue to stop the transmission of aberrant stimului. Right now I haven't had any attacks of A.F. because the doctor put me on Metoprolol, but he said that once the Maza Ablation begins to work, I might not need the medication anymore. He said the the ablation is the only known cure for A.F., it can be done in a direct approach during heart surgery or indirectly through a catheter without surgery. Atrial Fibrillation is not considered a lethal arrhythmia, but it can create blood clots in the heart that can travel to the brain and produce a stroke. The danger of causing a stroke is the main reason why it's being treated.


 


O'Malley
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/20/2010 6:30 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm new to this forum.  I was just diagnosed with Atrial Fib via an EKG.  Had no symptoms at all.  I've been on Warfarin for 2 months at 4 mg a day with 1/2 pill three times a week and whole ones the other days.  I've had no reaction from that at all.  The cardiologist wants me to start now on Sotalol and in reading all the warnings that came with it, I've been terrified to start it.  But your threads have given me more confidence in this medication.  Have any of you not been hospitalized for three days when first starting this medication?
 
The warning says this is the way you should start it and I read a thread where the gentleman did go to the U of Penn hospital.  Should I ask my doctor about that or have any of you simply started the medication and are okay with that.  Thanks for any and all information.

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 8/20/2010 8:49 AM (GMT -7)   
To minimize the risk of induced arrhythmia, patients initiated or re-initiated on Sotalol should be placed for a minimum of three days (on their maintenance dose) in a facility that can provide cardiac resuscitation, continuous electrocardiographic monitoring and calculations of creatinine clearance.
 
I would talk to your Dr. re the need to be in the hospital where you are monitored before taking this medication. 
 
It is always wise to be your own best advocate.
 
Welcome to HealingWell.
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.
www.healingwell.com

"If you can't change the world, change your world"

Aprile
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 8/25/2010 1:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello,
 
I have AFib and have been on Sotalol for over a year now. I did have to be placed in the hospital for 3 days when they first put me on it. I also have SVT, IST with the AFib. I have had one really bad episode with my heart rate into the 600s. They tried to chemicaly convert me with no sucess. They then used Cardioversion 4xs to get me back into normal sinus.
 
I have been on numerous cardiac drugs trying to control this and so far Sotalol works best.  Before it my resting rate would be 130-212 with episodes in the 300s. I now have a rate of 60-75. With very few break through attacks.

anxiety out the roof
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 111
   Posted 8/26/2010 9:07 AM (GMT -7)   
I was in the hospital yesterday with AFib. Meds allowed me to get my normal rhythm back. The cardioligist told me that AFib could be fatal if left to continue to beat so rapidly. He told me it was the leading cause of stroke because it causes blood clots. So if you are experiencing it- I would get to a hospital to get the beat down to where the heart is once again pumping enough blood.

bassetlady
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 8/28/2010 10:04 PM (GMT -7)   
I had a trip to the ER just yesterday for Afib. I have had it for two years, but was actually diagnosed on a emergency basis in May of this year. In the beginning, it was only about once a month, and the fibs only lasted maybe thirty minutes. They just got progressively worse, until I finally HAD to get some help. I began having them every few days, and they were harder and longer. I am on my third medication now. They tried two different beta-blockers, but the side effects were horrible! I have psoriasis, and psoratic arthritis. The betas made my psoriasis go CRAZY! I am now on another type of drug family altogether. Some kind of Calcium blocker, I think. I am 63 years old, and had never heard of Afib until now. By the way, what does it feel like to me? As though my heart is banging against a wall in my chest! Sometimes, I also get nausea and dizzy, depending on how long and how fast it is. My first time here, and I am glad to read of the others experiences with this malady. Thank you!

LA Brooks
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 2/10/2013 6:09 PM (GMT -7)   
I have frequent palpatations which I suspect are A-Fib, however, I have a pacemaker. Can the doctor tell if its A-fib when you have a pacemaker?

Ramoncito
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/7/2014 6:30 PM (GMT -7)   
I have found that when that happens to me, if available I fill a large bowl with ice and water and then dunk my face and part of my head into the bowl for a few second and normally that shocks the Vagus nerve into returning the heart back to normal rhythm. It has worked for me all the time but I have noticed that my episodes are getting more frequent and I am going to be wearing a monitor for 3 weeks to try to determine the cause of them.

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 3/7/2014 7:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Ramon,
 
"Vagal maneuvers. You may be able to stop some heart arrhythmias by using particular maneuvers, which include holding your breath and straining, dunking your face in ice water, or coughing. Your doctor may be able to recommend other maneuvers to slow a fast heartbeat. These maneuvers affect the nervous system that controls your heartbeat (vagal nerves), often causing your heart rate to slow. Don't attempt any maneuvers without talking to your doctor first."
reference: Mayo Clinic Staff
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic
and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.



"She Stood in the Storm & When the Wind Did Not Blow Her Away, She Adjusted Her Sails."

johnokate
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/22/2014 12:24 AM (GMT -7)   
You all sound American-from an Irishman-I was a doctor for 40 years yet had no appreciation of how terribly debilitation severe AF is until now at 74-very difficult to describe-dizziness,short of breath,nausea very scarey especially while driving-think I'm going to conk out. Carotid massage,Valsalva manouevers-al had no effect. On many drugs as you are.. I've bought myself a wonderful miniature ECK recorder-It looks good in my 1st aid kit. Aspirin is innefective so I take warfarin to prevent  having a stroke.
 
Edit for verbiage: telling people to take rat poison, even if joking, may lead someone to try it on their own. Thank you for your understanding.

Post Edited By Moderator (stkitt) : 6/22/2014 1:41:31 PM (GMT-6)

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