This morning, I had a procedure known as a “cardioversion“. This is a procedure in which the doctor shocks the heart much like you see on TV except that, in a cardioversion the purpose is to make the heartbeat get back into rhythm.
At this time, it appears to be a success. The atrial fibrillation is gone. It is replaced by an arrhythmia called a “bigeminy (bi-gem-i-ne)”. This reflects a slightly abnormal heart rhythm that is usually of no serious concern in the absence of other cardiovascular disease. This condition describes a state where your heart alternates one “normal” beat with one “premature” beat.
As the afib was causing a lot of discomfort and inconvenience (like cancelled fishing trips and no exercise), this result makes me happy. We will not know how long the treatment will remain effective until it stops. The cardiologist says that with luck it may be good for over a year.
There was one problem that made the procedure a little more stressful. (I find it stressful when someone is going to apply a strong electric shock to my heart!) The warfarin (anticoagulant or blood-thinner) was not at a high enough level in my blood stream. The doctors had to do a “Transesophageal echocardiogram” which is a procedure of placing an ultrasound device down your throat and into the esophagus to get it close to the heart. It is very uncomfortable. However it enabled them to determine that there were no blood clots in the atrium of my heart and to go ahead with the cardioversion.
I am told now that I should start biking, fishing and exercising to “test it out”. All is good at this time. Thanks to all for the positive thoughts and the prayers that were aimed my way.