Rosalie Ungar is the author of IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib. This post was first published on July 24, 2017.
Reading the sports in the Columbus Dispatch I saw where baseball’s Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona would not be managing the American League All-Star team following a procedure to correct his irregular heartbeat.
He had a cardiac ablation performed after doctors detected a heart arrhythmia resulting in dizziness, fatigue and rapid heartrate. He’s only 58. The article never mentioned the words ‘atrial fibrillation’. In less than a week after the ablation, Francona was back at work.
The point is that A-Fib can happen to anyone…even to a leading sports figure at the young age of 58. Most of the publicity around atrial fib indicates that it’s an “old age” heart problem. It’s not. Mine was diagnosed at age 43. Maybe it was going on before and I didn’t feel it.
It wasn’t until years later that the cardiac ablation became a possible cure. I had that procedure in 2007 and it worked just like Terry Francona’s appears to be working.
Statistics show that A-Fib happens to as many women as men. Figures also show that 70% of men diagnosed with it get treatment. Only 30% of women diagnosed seek treatment. Why is that?
Regardless of gender, A-Fib patients are candidates for a debilitating stroke or death.
The cardiac ablation is a minimally invasive procedure. See for yourself in my memoir IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib.