Get Technical Info for a Deeper Understanding
Technical medical writing isn’t exactly the Sunday paper, but it can be helpful when you need some detailed answers or trusted reassurance. In fact, some sites are the perfect complement to your doctor and hospital visits, especially when you find test results difficult to interpret, or you haven’t received the explanation you were hoping for in person.
- Journal of Atrial Fibrillation (JAFIB) – This is an online medical journal for the masses: it contains a large amount of peer-reviewed research, editorials, case reports, and anecdotal information from doctors. If you’re up for an enlightening lesson in the medical aspects and challenges of AFib, you’ll have your pick of articles; those who prefer something more direct and accessible will appreciate the sections like “Meet the Expert Doctor” and “Patient Corner”, where you can get straightforward answers and good direction for care givers.
- Medscape Cardiology – Medscape’s cardiology section is a wonderful one-stop shop for info on heart health, featuring an array of topics on different heart conditions. News, editorials, and experts columns are updated regularly, and patients can get new and clear insights into AFib care. Given that the website is devoted to general heart health, there is quite a bit of extra info on this site, but it does offer a lot of relevant info for those willing to put in a few extra minutes.
- Learn the Heart – Created, compiled and maintained by heart doctor Steven Lome, this website has a huge amount of quality information about cardiovascular medicine and heart health. There is a good deal of professionally-oriented medical info, but all patients can access and enjoy the quizzes and memory exercises, and you may find that the numerous articles on ECG interpretation help you understand your own test results.
Build Your Support Network
Doctors and AFib patients alike will agree that a strong support network can make a huge difference in how you live with your disease and handle the challenges that come your way. If you’re feeling isolated or disconnected, connect to other people who understand what you’re feeling, and can offer comforting conversation online or in person.
- CardioSmart – The American College of Cardiology has put together a great website for patients with heart conditions, and their caregivers. An array of tools like risk calculators and mobile Atrial Fibrillation apps can help you keep on top of your self-care, but it’s also a meeting place for the Afib community. Join a discussion in the forum, or connect with other people affected by heart conditions through Mended Hearts, a network of volunteer-run support groups, in-hospital visits, and health education workshops.
- Daily Strength AFib support group – Daily Strength is one of the best places to go for online forums surrounding a variety of health conditions. The section on Afib is no exception, with a range of open discussion and experts answers, plus an active and caring community to lean on. Since there are so many members, lots of topics are continually updated, which means your thoughts and questions are more likely to draw timely answers than they would on some other sites.
- Heart Rhythm Society – If you’re on the hunt for a new doctor or need some help finding a specialist, you can visit the Heart Rhythm Society website to search for suitable physicians. You can narrow your search to a specific state or a few specialities, and while you’re there, check out the patient information sheets for good info on AFib treatment.
The more proactive you are in your self-care and Afib education, the more you will get out of support groups and forums. Keep an open mind and a bright attitude, and you’ll make new friends and strengthen your network of support before you know it.