Rosalie Ungar is the author of IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib. This post was first published on August 14, 2017.
Can A-fib be an isolated incident, a sporadic episode or chronic?
Tomorrow I’ll be 80! I never thought I’d live this long, especially with all the health problems I’ve had since I was 15. Yet, I am better in every way than I was at 60. I judge life in decades. My 70s has been the best.
My first recognizable A-fib incident happened when I was 43, young by my standards. The next one was 2 years later. Both discoveries were accidental. I didn’t feel any of it until the instructor in an exercise class told us to take our pulse. I couldn’t find mine. The next time was in a doctor’s office for something unrelated. The 3rd time, almost a year later, I had what I thought were heart palpitations. All were A-fib.
That began the journey of dealing with A-fib for the next 30 years. Sometimes I could feel it in my pulse with beats going fast then slow then fluttering. Not able to get a count especially when it fluttered, I’d give up and try again a few minutes later. That routine went on for varied amounts of time…sometimes a couple of hours or a day or 2 days. I got scared.
It wasn’t until I was 69 that I had the cardiac ablation, then a relatively new procedure, that I’ve described and detailed in my memoir IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups and Downs of Life with Atrial Fib.
I read that as people get to my age (80) many are candidates for A-fib. Then I read and hear that younger people are candidates too, men and women equally. Curing A-fib is less complicated than recovering or possibly dying from a stroke. Each day new developments make treatment easier and it is almost always successful.
At last I feel like a grown-up approaching the decade of my 80s. Finally I am learning to live in the here and now.
Learn more from my memoir IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib