My husband has suffered with Atrial Fibrillation for decades. As time has passed, his A-Fib has progressed from being a nuisance disorder to a daily disruption in his ability to function.
After consulting with his Cardiologist and an Electrophysiologist, it was decided that he might benefit from a Cardiac Ablation procedure. He was scheduled at Emory University Hospital in early January, 2013. I felt a sense of relief that just maybe something could actually help my husband and end the constant fatigue he had been experiencing for so long.
Normal Sinus Rhythm
The procedure took about an hour and the doctor came to inform me that everything went well and that my husband was in normal sinus rhythm. I was so pleased with the news and excited that a cure had finally been accomplished. Following the procedure, he was taken to the cardiac care floor where he would remain for several days.
After Effects of Ablation
During that first night, he began have breathing problems, chest pain, and his abdomen began to swell. After being seen by the on-call doctor and having a CT Scan done, it was determined that the lining around his heart was bleeding and leaking fluid which was collecting in both his heart, lungs, and abdomen. He was then rushed back into surgery, sedated and the leaking fluid and blood was drained. Following that procedure, another Caridoversion was done in order to restore his heart rhythm once again. He was then taken to the Intensive Cardiac Care Unit for close monitoring. After 24 hours, he was returned to the floor where he remained for several more days. We were again disappointed to find that his heart was back in atrial fibrillation. It seems that nothing will ever change that fact.
Following Discharge from the Hospital
After he was discharged from the hospital, we both were completely exhausted and disillusioned. My husband needed time to rest and recuperate from the ordeal.
In the end, we decided we could live with atrial fibrillation and the fatigue much easier than we could stand the disappointments of failed treatments.
After returning home, my husband continued to have trouble with fluid retention and was started on diuretics in order to keep this problem under better control. He is still taking diuretics one year later. His Cardiologist was in agreement with us about not attempting any further treatments for the atrial fibrillation. More than a year has now passed and my husband still struggles with fatigue, although he is feeling better now than he has in a couple of years. We take things one day at a time and plan our days around his energy levels. We are much more at peace with the situation now and have accepted it as our new normal.