Still learning

This month I had a remote reading successfully sent to my doctors' office. I get a copy of that in my medical test results, but that is all, just a copy of the same thing that they see. Not being a medical professional, I can't make sense of much of it. I'm wondering if any of you have had someone go over the information with you at first to explain what each reading means. I guess it is not really necessary that I know everything, as long as I see "normally functioning pacemaker", and as long as the office doesn't call me. I did see (I think) that it had detected 96 episodes of a-fib over the past 6 months, the longest being for 6 hours. This seemed like a lot more than I felt I was experiencing, but is it all that bad as far as a-fib goes? The good news is, 13+ more years of battery life! 


1 Comments

Still learning - and you are doing well

by Gemita - 2021-08-26 19:13:02

Dear TLee,

You had 96 episodes of AF over 6 months, longest lasting 6 hours.  You ask if that was bad.  It depends how long each episode lasted, how high your heart rate was and how symptomatic you were?  The fact that you didn’t feel so many episodes tells me that your AF is being controlled, that you are winning the battle. 

At my last annual in person check I had had approx 1,200 episodes of AF, longest lasting 14 hours and actually that wasn’t so bad either, especially since the year before, my total number of AF episodes exceeded 2,500.  Of course, It depends on the duration of each episode of AF.  The longer each episode lasts before converting back to normal sinus rhythm, the more likely it is that your AF is progressing.  For example you might have an in and out episode of AF of only a minute or two in duration, multiple times a day and you would therefore see a sudden increase in the number of episodes recorded.  I can get this all the time which adds to my AF episode burden, but as long as these episodes are self terminating, self limiting in duration, this would be a good sign.  Of course we all know that AF begets AF which is why it can so easily progress, but it doesn’t always do so.  My AF was diagnosed in 2014 with a rapid ventricular response rate.  I was unstable daily from my attacks.  Today my episodes are fewer, of shorter duration and I am less symptomatic.  

I would ask your doctors the percentage time you were actually in AF during the 6 month period.  A percentage figure should be recorded.  That figure might be more meaningful than the number of episodes.

In my clinic in the UK no one goes over my downloads in detail with me during a pacemaker check.  They wouldn’t have the time, although a significant event recorded (say a very high heart rate) would be discussed.  I usually request a copy of my records and study these and then discuss any areas of concern with my doctors.  I have been told to send a transmission into my clinic whenever my AF causes difficult symptoms.  However my doctors are always more interested in “how I feel”, “whether I am symptomatic”, rather than in those numbers/percentages!

 

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I am not planning on letting any of this shorten my life. I am planning on living a long happy battery operated life. You never know maybe it will keep me alive longer. I sure know one thing I would have been dead before starting school without it.