What were the steps leading up to your diagnosis?
Before my initial episode of AFIB (which scared the crap out of me) I hadn't had any problems with my ticker since 2004. I had a heart attack while on the road in California and I was stented, took a lot of healthy steps and lost 35lbs. I quit smoking and came off the road – I was formerly an over the road trucker.
After my first AFIB episode I spent two days in the hospital and converted to normal sinus rhythm with out any intervention. I was diagnosed with AFIB by my cardiologist, who changed up some of my meds. My second episode landed me back in the hospital and I was prescribed Sotalol, which I was not able to tolerate. My resting heart rate dropped to the high 30s. So I'm kinda taking it easy.
What lifestyle changes have you needed to make?
I’ve lost another 15lbs, lowered my sodium intake, and quit all alcohol and caffeinated beverages. I've since retired – I'm 66 and wanted to wait to get my full SS. My EP has prescribed Metropolol as needed. So far I have had one episode that lasted about 3 hours. Also, I'm trying to walk at least 30 min a day.
Who has been there for you? How?
My wife stays on top of everything I need to do and she makes sure I stay on track. My cardiologist has since retired and I have a new doctor at the same practice. He seems like a good heart doc. My EP is also very capable and has taken great care of me.
My wife stays on top of everything I need to do and she makes sure I stay on track.
Don't wait around to see if it will get better by itself – it won't!
What accomplishment are you proud of?
Losing weight, quitting smoking and quitting caffeine.
What's your advice to someone else living with AFIB?
Seek help with your AFIB and get answers. Don't wait around to see if it will get better by itself – it won't!
About Kenneth Jolly
Kenneth Jolly is a professional musician doing studio work and live performance in the Nashville, TN area.
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