We met with the cardiac specialist today. He is actually a specialist in Cardiac Electrophysiology. In essence, there are a number of options for my treatment. A pacemaker is actually about last on the list. This is not what the original cardiologist led me to believe: “Walk Don’t Bike”
The list includes several other possibilities but the upshot is that Laurie and I have chosen to go with a procedure called Cardioversion. Essentially it is a mild electric shock to coax the heart back to a regular rhythm. It works about 75% of the time and is not permanent but can be repeated. If it works, it could last as much as 5 years before it would need to be repeated. It is an outpatient procedure.
If it works even temporarily, it can give us an idea of whether the symptoms I have are directly related to atrial fibrillation (AFIB) or maybe another problem.
If it does not work, then we will proceed down the list of cardioversion and drugs, other drugs, something called ablation (which seems dangerous!), ablation and drugs, and finally pacemaker.
The cardioversion is currently scheduled for August 6, 2012 because I have to start taking warfarin and adjust to that first.
A shout out and thanks to all my family and friends for the their love, support, and patience.