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Heart Issues, progress at last?

AFCDorset

Roofer
As some of you know, I have been dealing with heart issues for most of the last two years. It has been a constant battle with the NHS with me having to pay on several occasions to get anything done.

Since the end of 2020, after my Cardio Ablation, I have been living with an irregular heart beat, caused by a 'miss-firing' heart valve. This is controlled by medication but causes a sense of unease, sometimes agitation and significant loss of strength and energy. Repeated requests for help have largely been ignored and what responses I have had have been of the 'your condition is stable, nothing more we can do' variety.

So back in November I opened my wallet once again and had a local cardiologist perform a full evaluation, this included a CT scan and a number of blood tests. The good news is that the tests showed that my heart has minimal physical damage (not bad at all for a 71 year old heart) which means that other treatments are viable.

First thing to try is a drug called flecainide, to regulate the electrical impulses to the heart valve, it was prescribed on Monday and the first dose taken Wednesday. Remarkably, the next morning, Thursday, the effect was noticeable, the agitation was much reduced and over the next day or so, the incidence of irregular beats were reduced. During Saturday, Mrs AFC reckoned that my rate was stronger and more consistent than she had felt in some time, quite positive.

So, off to the gym in a few minutes, be interesting to see how that goes.
 

AFCDorset

Roofer
Take it easy in the gym mate ffs ! Good Luck anyway !
Thanks for the support, very kind.

I keep the gym fairly gentle, about 45 minutes CV plus some work on the mat. Strangely the regular, rhythmic exercise is easier than say, doing housework which I find exhausting...;)
 

AFCDorset

Roofer
Just got back.

Definite progress, best numbers in recent times, not massively so but pretty good, encouraging.

Now will be the next test, recovery after any kind of exercise has been an issue, often feel a bit unsteady half an hour to an hour after. We shall see, but pretty good at the moment.

Mrs AFC has just had a feel, pulse is 58, virtually perfect sinus rhythm, no 'wibbles' (our technical term for missed or extra beats) and good 'volume'. Again all very positive.

Bear in mind this is just 3 1/2 days after starting the new medication.
 
Just got back.

Definite progress, best numbers in recent times, not massively so but pretty good, encouraging.

Now will be the next test, recovery after any kind of exercise has been an issue, often feel a bit unsteady half an hour to an hour after. We shall see, but pretty good at the moment.

Mrs AFC has just had a feel, pulse is 58, virtually perfect sinus rhythm, no 'wibbles' (our technical term for missed or extra beats) and good 'volume'. Again all very positive.

Bear in mind this is just 3 1/2 days after starting the new medication.
Great news AFC . Each day in every way you are getting better:)
 

AFCDorset

Roofer
Tell us more about your wife having a feel
She is a high end nurse practitioner, monitoring heart issues and anti coagulation used to be her bread and butter. frankly she can give me better care than the NHS ever does, though sadly, since retiring she no longer has prescribing privileges which is a pain.

As for your amusing turn of phrase, if the improvement continues, she might well do rather better than merely 'copping a feel'.

(We were out the other night and there was drinking and dancing, lots of dancing! Might actually be on the mend...🤞)
 

HughJanus

Roofer
Glad to hear that things are getting better for you.
I’m not sure that confessing to plying your wife with alcohol with a view to having your wicked way is a good idea on t‘internet
You know how these things can be spun by the pratarazzi
 
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AFCDorset

Roofer
Thanks for the support guys.

Just 4 days into this change of medication and the improvements are palpable, genuinely encouraging.

The symptoms that I have been complaining about for most of the last 12 months are much reduced, gone in some cases, just annoyed that it took this long to get here.

Been out to the pub for an hour or two, it used to be our way that we would do this on a Sunday evening, sit and discuss where we are at and what we have planned for the week, tonight was different and our discussions were much more positive than for some time.

Not a lot on this week, bit of a 'do' on Wednesday involving Japanese food and, hopefully, a band on Friday.
 
Glad you’re doing well Dorset. This doesn’t speak well of the NHS though. There are times when the US system has its pluses.
 

AFCDorset

Roofer
Glad you’re doing well Dorset. This doesn’t speak well of the NHS though. There are times when the US system has its pluses.
Thanks for the support.

Right now I am feeling very conflicted. The recent change in medication instigated by my private cardiologist has been been very successful, only 5 days in at this point but very pleased.

My periods of erratic heart rate are much reduced and even when in decent rhythm, the number of 'ectopics', irregular or miss-placed beats, have been reduced close to zero. My general sense of unease, mild agitation say, caused by the arrhythmia has largely disappeared so feeling much better and more positive overall, energy levels seem to be improving too, so maybe some strength is returning but that may take a little longer.

That is generally very pleasing but the fact that I had to live with these symptoms for a year is what is really annoying. I spoke to my GP in the first instance, who referred me to my NHS cardiologist, who frankly was not interested. Further badgering managed to arrange a 24 hour heart monitor which showed little change from the results a few months earlier, as I expected.

His response was that 'I was stable, at no immediate risk from heart attack or a stroke and that there was nothing more to be done'. suck it up in other words. I tried a few things, supplements, diet etc but little in the way of positive results. So I got my wallet out, consulted privately and after sone tests and a scan, embarked on the current treatment.

Still early days but very positive, why the hell did it take a year to make these changes?
 

What?

Roofer
It's entirely your fault for bothering doctors (who are very busy planning their early retirement or moaning on the TV) with trivial issues about your heart. You could have gone private ages ago and saved them the bother of examining you.

I don't see what your problem is, it's not as though you're dead!!
 
Thanks for the support.

Right now I am feeling very conflicted. The recent change in medication instigated by my private cardiologist has been been very successful, only 5 days in at this point but very pleased.

My periods of erratic heart rate are much reduced and even when in decent rhythm, the number of 'ectopics', irregular or miss-placed beats, have been reduced close to zero. My general sense of unease, mild agitation say, caused by the arrhythmia has largely disappeared so feeling much better and more positive overall, energy levels seem to be improving too, so maybe some strength is returning but that may take a little longer.

That is generally very pleasing but the fact that I had to live with these symptoms for a year is what is really annoying. I spoke to my GP in the first instance, who referred me to my NHS cardiologist, who frankly was not interested. Further badgering managed to arrange a 24 hour heart monitor which showed little change from the results a few months earlier, as I expected.

His response was that 'I was stable, at no immediate risk from heart attack or a stroke and that there was nothing more to be done'. suck it up in other words. I tried a few things, supplements, diet etc but little in the way of positive results. So I got my wallet out, consulted privately and after sone tests and a scan, embarked on the current treatment.

Still early days but very positive, why the hell did it take a year to make these changes?
I understand your frustration AFC, but that is history now. Just focus on the good health you are feeling now, and live everyday with gratitude buddy, you know that most Doctors are not that great.
 

AFCDorset

Roofer
In the whole of 2021, the only time I have visited the GP surgery was for blood tests and a medication revue. Box ticking exercises to make sure they hit their targets. No doctors seen, no patients about either. Tried to ask about my heart but no interest from the practice nurse.

Quite a busy morning today including some housework then a walk to the supermarket for a few bits and bobs, about a mile each way. Bit tired now but the sense of wellbeing allows me to do more and hopefully build up some strength.

Given that I am at a stage when I am 'managing' my symptoms, Mrs AFC would be more than capable of monitoring and looking after me, but being retired she has no access to electronic support/information or prescribing rights so I have to live with the BS that I have documented on here.
 

AFCDorset

Roofer
Out and about last night. Met in a pub, not quite local to us for drinks. First visit to that establishment, proper pub, not some fancy 'bar-restaurant', open fire, lots of people, no masks no social distancing and dogs.

Lots of dogs in fact, including two enormous Rhodesian ridgebacks, one of which appeared to have it's own pet, a tiny smooth haired dachshund, that he totally looked after. Played with a French bulldog, chatted to his 'mummy', whilst supping some Proper Job, real old school lovely.

Then round the corner to a 'Pan Asian' restaurant, very heavily Japanese orientated. Ordered a fair number of smaller dishes that all got passed around and shared, sushi, maki rolls, Bao buns, crispy but moist chicken, octopus, the whole nine years.

All washed down with some nice 'Riverina' (NSW) Chardonnay. Food not entirely to my taste, but excellent quality and, for me, very different, good evening all round.

Buses are a bit thin on the ground later in the evening so we walked the last mile or so home. Given that it had been an active evening, plenty to eat and drink, the walk was not at all taxing, which is encouraging for me.

Then I got home and caught up on the football. Shit!
 
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