Catheter Ablation for Atrial Fibrillation; My Story

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Bruce Zissen says:

I made it through my Andean trek without a problem, actually hiking up to
16,250 feet in altitude. Just the normal altitude sickness, but no
arrhythmia. I came off the mountain feeling kind of smug and invincible.
On day 300 of steady sinus rhythm, around the last week of March, 2014, I
big-time overdid it with alcohol, greasy food, and stressful drama. Do I
have to mention that I woke up in A-Fib the following morning? Since it
was entirely brought on by my own behavior, I felt angry and ashamed of
myself, and spent the next four days kicking myself in the butt. I told
the EP, who called it “week-end heart” and said most likely, once the
disturbance ”worked its way through’ that I would be OK again. I has put
back on Coumadin again. I went in and out of A-Fib for about a week, and
as he predicted, one day, around the first of April, the sinus rhythm
stuck, and I’ve been back in perfect sinus rhythm again since then. Sixty
days today, as a matter of fact. About a month ago, in sinus rhythm I took
my grandson to a ball game, and a foul ball was hit to us. We got piled
on, by about six guys going for the ball. I ended up with my gluteus on
the metal armrest of the seat with about four guys on top of me. What
started out as a sharp pain in the butt, and a medium bruise, turned into a
giant hematoma which overtook my entire left side from hip to knee in a
dark purple, and terrible pain. (At least grandson got the ball). My GP
said that it was the biggest hematoma he’d seen in 25 years of practice.
He said he couldn’t contradict the orders of the EP, but since I was in
sinus rhythm, if I temporarily suspended the Coumadin, it would help my
injury heal much quicker. But I would have to do that on my own accord, if
I chose to. Well, I chose to stop the Coumadin, and healed up nicely in a
few weeks. The EP was out of town, so I did it on my own. When I informed
him of this, he said it was OK, and as to returning back to the Coumadin,
it would be my choice as well, since I believe I am in solid, long-term
sinus rhythm again. I chose to stay off it. So….. lessons learned: The
ablations did not completely cure me of the A-Fib, I am still prone to
that. A cucumber, once it becomes a pickle, can’t go back to being a
cucumber. But the ablations certainly did clean up the poor electrical
pathways in my heart. I’m sad, because If not for that one lapse of
judgment, I would have over a year by now. But I have learned, that I am
not invincible, nor cured, and have a responsibility to do my part in
maintaining my steady heart rhythm, and some humility. And I am grateful
that I got through it, past it, and will do my best not to forget this
wake-up call. Good luck all of you.?

Bruce Zissen says:

I’m back to 90 days of perfect sinus rhythm after the relapse I had a few
months ago. I had 300 days of sinus, then about 8 days of in-and-out
a-fib, then 60 days of sinus, then 1 day of in-and-out a-fib and now 90
days. I can’t say I’m cured, but for a person who had several years of
persistent and permanent a-fib, 455 out of the last 460 days of sinus
rhythm feels pretty great. And I know what I have to do and not do to keep
it. The ablations were the best thing!?

c Smith says:

what a brave soul he is. I am scheduled for an ablation soon. I sure hope
it works the first time.. Anxious nervous depressed and every emotion in
the book,,, but im gonna do it. It is better than being in afibb and
breathless . The meds worked on me for 4 yrs and they stalled out… So
now to aggressive treatment. No one knows what this is like unless you go
thru it. Hard to explain to family and friends. ?

kevin lee says:

Thank you for taking the time to share your story. My dad has one
scheduled and its comforting to know what to expect.?

Bruce Zissen says:

I’m in my ninth month of perfect sinus rhythm, and am in Peru ready to
start a trek thru the Andes. I just spent a week in Quito, Ecuador, the
entire time over 9500 feet elevation. No problem. Just to check things out,
I took a brisk hike up to the 13,500 foot level. Only normal shortness of
breath, elevated pulse rate, and steady sinus rhythm. Note: My friend had
an ablation two weeks ago, and is still in the hospital, with serious
complications around the puncture spot in the groin. Hmmmm? The heart part
went fine. ?

Mumtaz Changezi says:

Hi Bruce, you have quite a story to tell. Thank you for sharing it. I am 65
and have had AF for the last 30 years. I am now going for the ablation.
Your story helped clear my mind for the decision to go ahead it.?

ruth kamen says:

Thank you so much! I am scheduled for a cryoablation for afib on november
18th and your video has been so helpful! I am still off and on in afib and
more on than off and symptomatic with dizziness and just a bad feeling. I
am scared but also feel fortunate to have the chance for an improvement
and hopefully a cure! thanks again!?

niko1986 the one says:

I’m so happy for you. My mom also has this af 🙁 she is only 55 years old.
i hope she will cured?

Scott Griffith says:

I am 48 years old and have had two afib events in the past 12 months. One
was on Father’s Day in 2013 which landed me in the hospital for a couple of
days. After being prepped for being shocked they noticed that I had
returned to a sinus rhythm. In just a few weeks the cardiologist took me
off all meds except a baby aspirin a day. Just recently, on Mother’s Day
2014 I had another afib event. This time my heart did not race past 100 and
returned to normal within six hours. I have not had an event since then and
today is Father’s Day 2014. With both events I had gotten very hot working
in the yard (I live on the Gulf Coast) and drank something very cold which
triggered the event. Of course I am trying to avoid that possible trigger.
My cardiologist still wants to perform an ablation procedure and I am
considering it since I do not want to remain on a blood thinner for the
rest of my life. The issue I am having is since my occurrences are so rare
and appear to have a specific trigger will she be able to find the specific
points in my heart that are causing the problem? Anyway, thank you for
sharing your experience. ?

James C Mils says:

Thanks for posting this video. My afib is paroxysmal. I was hoping to
“cure” it by avoiding triggers and trying life style changes. It hasn’t
worked. An ablation has been recommended by my cardiologist, but I am
afraid of the procedure. Your video is helping me make the decision and I
thank you again for your insights and the willingness to share your

Bruce Zissen says:

I’m coming up on six months of perfect heartbeat. I’m in the process of
slowly being tapered off The anti-arrhythmia medication. And feeling great!
Good luck to all of you. ?

tony stone says:

Hi Bruce your video was great, thanks so much for sharing it with us all, I
have atrial fibrillation for the second time now and am waiting for a
second cardioversion to try and put my heart back into normal rhythm. i’m
glad things turned out well for you in the end.?

gregpeck22 says:

Thanks for your video on the ablation procedure. I very glad you are still
in sinus rhythm. You’ve given inspiration for me to go check out this
procedure with my cardiologist. I’ve had long standing persistent AF for 4
years now. Would like to get back to sinus. Best to you in the future!?

scotchmist47 says:

Hi Bruce. I just signed up for a second catheter ablation. I was a wee bit
down after the first one did not work and I have been having some negative
thoughts about having it done again. Wow! Your story has really gee’ed me
up. I really do appreciate how lucky we are to have this procedure
available to us and am thankful for the dedication of all the people that
make it possible. Many thanks for sharing your story and hey . . . Many
Happy Heartbeats To You . .

vivilloni says:

Congrats man, the best to you. So glad to hear your story ended up well.

Bruce Zissen says:

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