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Old 03-24-2015, 01:52 PM   #101
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A timely quiz about Atrial Fibrillation.

Atrial Fibrillation Quiz | Lifescript.com
Didn't do too well, so back to medline.

Good luck on the tests, Alan....
Thank you.

Not surprising I scored the max on that test because of the recent reading I have doing on the subject.

I hope that it is encouraging that I didn't have the most common symptoms the quiz asks about. However, I had read or heard that presenting to the ER with dizziness is more life threatening than chest pains, so I was very sensitive about feeling a little dizzy as that is something very unusual for me.
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Old 03-24-2015, 03:14 PM   #102
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...and the hope is I can then go off comuidan which I have been on for too long now.
What negative (side?) effects of Coumadin have you had? Or are having?
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Old 03-24-2015, 03:32 PM   #103
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What negative (side?) effects of Coumadin have you had? Or are having?
Coumadin (and others) are anticoagulants. What they do is dramatically slow or even stop the normal clotting of blood. Afib patients are given these drugs as a preventative to strokes.

What happens during Afib is that the two upper chambers of the heart stop beating in normal synchronization with the two lower chambers and instead go into a sort of "quiver" that does not move the blood efficiently. Some of this blood can pool in the chambers, clot, and when normal rhythm is established clots can move, causing a stroke. Hardly anyone actually dies from Afib, but lots of people die or are paralyzed by strokes. The anticoagulants help prevent this.

The downside is that now you're a hemophiliac. It is the reason I'm selling my motorcycle - a minor spill that would normally result in mere bruising may now cause fatal internal hemorrhaging.
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Old 03-24-2015, 03:44 PM   #104
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The downside is that now you're a hemophiliac. It is the reason I'm selling my motorcycle - a minor spill that would normally result in mere bruising may now cause fatal internal hemorrhaging.
Yes, I am aware of all that (see my Post #48 in this thread).

You would not be a "bleeder" if your INR is between 2 & 3... I am told. Needing a blood thinner is, of course, a side effect of AFib and not a "negative" effect of Warfarin/Coumadin.

I was only curious because I have been taking Warfarin daily for fifteen years now and have had no effects that I know of... other than what the Prothombine Time tests show me. (Always looking for something bad to happen, I guess.)

Besides, I always thought people who rode motorcycles had a death wish anyway. <chuckle>
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Old 03-24-2015, 03:49 PM   #105
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I've noticed the difference - if I cut myself shaving, get a minor scrape or cut somewhere, etc., it bleeds for a lot longer that is normal. So it makes me a bit paranoid about taking a fall for any reason.
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Old 03-24-2015, 04:01 PM   #106
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I've noticed the difference - if I cut myself shaving, get a minor scrape or cut somewhere, etc., it bleeds for a lot longer that is normal. So it makes me a bit paranoid about taking a fall for any reason.
A few years ago we spent 2 weeks in a shared house at York University at a conference of genealogists and one of the guys there licked the foil of a pot of yogurt and cut his tongue. It bled for hours and he ended up going to the nearest ER where the nurse read the riot act on why people on coumadin shouldn't lick foil tops. (They did manage to stop the bleeding.)
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Old 03-24-2015, 04:03 PM   #107
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I've noticed the difference - if I cut myself shaving, get a minor scrape or cut somewhere, etc., it bleeds for a lot longer that is normal. So it makes me a bit paranoid about taking a fall for any reason.
Yes, that would concern me too. Very concerning, actually.

Scratches and even cuts (kitchen accidents) seem to stop bleeding fairly easily for me. At least, I don't do anything extraordinary to stop it. I haven't cut myself shaving more than a couple times a year but it always stops bleeding before I finish the job.

My INR runs around 2.0 to 2.2 -- sometimes as low as 1.9 (checked every eight weeks). Are you sure yours in within 2-3?
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Old 03-24-2015, 04:19 PM   #108
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My INR runs around 2.0 to 2.2 -- sometimes as low as 1.9 (checked every eight weeks). Are you sure yours in within 2-3?
I haven't the foggiest idea what it is. I have a doc appointment on the 30th this month and will add that to my list of questions. Thanks.
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Old 03-24-2015, 05:19 PM   #109
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What negative (side?) effects of Coumadin have you had? Or are having?
My INR is between 2 and 3, last test was closer to 2. I bruise easily and I want to be VERY active, kayaking, running, basketball and other activities. I had a blood draw and my arm was marked with a large bruise for 3+weeks. There are interactions with other meds I would like to take from time to time, and I have to watch my eating to make sure I get a similar amount of vitamin K , and a tight limit on alcohol of at most one a day, more like one a week for me now. I don't want to been ANY life meds if I can possible avoid it.
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Old 03-24-2015, 05:52 PM   #110
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... Sept 2013 I had my first ablation procedure...
I wanted to chime-in on my dad's experience with this procedure. He's had it twice (or maybe 3 times), and it's never worked in the long-term. It's worth a try, though, because although a-fib by itself has never been a big problem for my dad, whenever something else came along, then it became harder to treat the other condition; a balancing act between heart/a-fib/BP/warfarin, and trying to treat the other problems. So getting in sinus rhythm through oblation might be something to think about.
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Old 03-24-2015, 08:47 PM   #111
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Dreamer... have you considered that the beta blocker could be causing you to run short of breath when hiking up hill? Beta blockers tend to lower heart rate and I found would limit how high I could get it. I probably should not put this out there, but after I got my pacemaker I found online that the beta blocker is suspected as a possible contributor the issue that caused me to get a pacemaker.
I was getting short of breath a couple of years before I went on beta blockers. I have not noticed it getting worse, but try to more flat walking now.

I don't know what my blood levels are since I am on one of the newer drugs. My mother had some type of heart problems (wish I had paid more attention and asked more questions while she was still alive) and had a blood clot while in the hospital. They put her on medications and discharged her. My stepfather found her sitting up with her newspaper when he returned home from work. She was 63 years old when she died. I am now 62 and make sure that I take my Xarelto every night.

What was the issue that made you get a pacemaker? Maybe I need to research this myself or check with my doctor.
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Old 03-25-2015, 10:40 AM   #112
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Had my first visit to the cardiologist today.

I have paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation, which means it happens occasionally, lasting a few minutes to a few hours and then stops on its own. He showed me on his laptop a calculator that indicates the chances of stroke given all my risk factors and the result was 0. So for now it is just an aspirin a day as far as medication goes. (Yay!)

He stressed that it is nothing I have done to cause this and that I shouldn't slacken off on the exercise at all. I talked about the low heart rate and how last year I had noticed it drop to 36 on a couple of occasions but again he said that given my exercise regime and long history of low heart rate that it was nothing to worry about. (He took my pulse again while I was sitting there and it was 52).

He is 100% sure it will happen again, and as I age it will become more frequent, so unless the upcoming tests show abnormalities in the heart it will be a case of just watching.

I am now wearing a heart monitor for 48 hours so he can see if there are any irregularities in heart rate that I don't notice.

In 2 days I'll have an echo-cardiogram and next week a nuclear stress test. I then see him again on April 29th, just before we set off on our 6 month holiday.
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Old 03-25-2015, 10:51 AM   #113
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Excellent, Alan!! That sounds like the best possible outcome for this scary episode. It sounds like your doctor is taking a cautious viewpoint by monitoring and testing further, which is desirable.
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Old 03-25-2015, 10:55 AM   #114
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Had my first visit to the cardiologist today.

I have paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation, which means it happens occasionally, lasting a few minutes to a few hours and then stops on its own. He showed me on his laptop a calculator that indicates the chances of stroke given all my risk factors and the result was 0. So for now it is just an aspirin a day as far as medication goes. (Yay!)

He stressed that it is nothing I have done to cause this and that I shouldn't slacken off on the exercise at all. I talked about the low heart rate and how last year I had noticed it drop to 36 on a couple of occasions but again he said that given my exercise regime and long history of low heart rate that it was nothing to worry about. (He took my pulse again while I was sitting there and it was 52).

He is 100% sure it will happen again, and as I age it will become more frequent, so unless the upcoming tests show abnormalities in the heart it will be a case of just watching.

I am now wearing a heart monitor for 48 hours so he can see if there are any irregularities in heart rate that I don't notice.

In 2 days I'll have an echo-cardiogram and next week a nuclear stress test. I then see him again on April 29th, just before we set off on our 6 month holiday.
I'm sure you are quite relieved, and grateful that at least so far management of your condition will be pretty low maintenance and not interfere with your travel plans. I'm glad the cardiologist was so reassuring and encouraged you to keep up your activity level.

I am quite relieved for you! This is really good news all things considered.

Audrey
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Old 03-25-2015, 11:35 AM   #115
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Most excellent news, Alan! Now get out there and do your thing - but remember to take along at least one pair of long pants...
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Old 03-25-2015, 12:04 PM   #116
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Good news indeed!
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Old 03-25-2015, 12:31 PM   #117
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Absolutely great news!
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Old 03-25-2015, 01:22 PM   #118
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Thanks folks.

While wearing my heart monitor I have to keep a log of activities and I was told to do my normal activities, so I have just got back from the elliptical trainer, dripping with sweat. Keeping clean and not too smelly is going to be a challenge for the next 48 hours.
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Old 03-25-2015, 02:03 PM   #119
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Outstanding news - those baby aspirin aren't very onerous at all as drugs go. Congratulations and have a great adventure on the road.
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Old 03-25-2015, 02:09 PM   #120
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Great news Alan! I have an appointment on the 30th and a long list of questions for the doc.
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