"This book is incredibly complete and easy-to-understand for anybody. I certainly recommend it for patients who want to know more about atrial fibrillation than what they will learn from doctors...."

Pierre Jaïs, M.D. Professor of Cardiology, Haut-Lévêque Hospital, Bordeaux, France

"Dear Steve, I saw a patient this morning with your book [in hand] and highlights throughout. She loves it and finds it very useful to help her in dealing with atrial fibrillation."

Dr. Wilber Su Cavanaugh Heart Center, Phoenix, AZ

"Your book [Beat Your A-Fib] is the quintessential most important guide not only for the individual experiencing atrial fibrillation and his family, but also for primary physicians, and cardiologists."

Jane-Alexandra Krehbiel, nurse, blogger and author "Rational Preparedness: A Primer to Preparedness"


"Steve Ryan's summaries of the Boston A-Fib Symposium are terrific. Steve has the ability to synthesize and communicate accurately in clear and simple terms the essence of complex subjects. This is an exceptional skill and a great service to patients with atrial fibrillation."

Dr. Jeremy Ruskin of Mass. General Hospital and Harvard Medical School

"I love your [A-fib.com] website, Patti and Steve! An excellent resource for anybody seeking credible science on atrial fibrillation plus compelling real-life stories from others living with A-Fib. Congratulations…"

Carolyn Thomas, blogger and heart attack survivor; MyHeartSisters.org

"Steve, your website was so helpful. Thank you! After two ablations I am now A-fib free. You are a great help to a lot of people, keep up the good work."

Terry Traver, former A-Fib patient

"If you want to do some research on AF go to A-Fib.com by Steve Ryan, this site was a big help to me, and helped me be free of AF."

Roy Salmon Patient, A-Fib Free; pacemakerclub.com, Sept. 2013

A-Fib Patient Story #30

Twelve Years with Few Symptoms Then Successful PVA(I) But Still on Meds

by Bill, 2008, Update 2011

Thank you for jogging my memory that I had agreed to tell about my battle with A-Fib in hopes it would be helpful to others. Calling it a “battle” in my case may not be accurate in that the only symptom I experienced was tiredness which could be attributed to my age, and that I am about 20 lbs. overweight.

I am told that I will always have this type of heart disease; but it is under control and I live, for a 88 year old male, a fairly normal life.

The fact that I do tire when participating in rigorous physical activities could be due to conditioning which I am working on. For the last two months I participate four evenings each week for one hour high impact aerobics. Also, I ride my exercise bike for an hour each day. I am determined to loose that weight and improve my stamina.

Advice – Attack Aggressively

My advice to anyone who has been diagnosed with A-Fib is to attack it aggressively.

I lived with the symptoms over twelve years before considering PVA. The reason being that the only symptom I had was a recurring tired feeling. Finding A-Fib.com on the Internet and taking your [Steve Ryan] advice, I arranged to go to the Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. My attending physician was Dr. Edward P. Gerstenfeld of the Un. of Pennsylvania. I can say, without reservation, Penn is all about being the best.

My Pulmonary Vein Ablation (Isolation) was a painless procedure. I could hear Dr. Gerstenfeld talking with his associates while identifying and then mapping the areas that needed to be ablated.

After the procedure when I was returned to my room, Dr. Gerstenfeld came in and said he thought they had found and ablated the areas that were responsible for my symptoms. I said, “I could hear you discussing the procedure the entire time.” He smiled and said, “If that is so, why were you snoring at times?”

He did say it may be necessary for me to return for what he called “a touch-up,” but I left feeling good about the experience and the professionalism I experienced at Penn Medical Center.

Before leaving Penn, I was cardioverted and referred to Dr. Robert Brewer at the Lexington Clinic. He prescribed 225 MG of Rythmol three times daily, but I went back into A-Fib. Dr. Brewer then prescribed 250 MG of TIKOSYN twice daily, cardioverted me once again; and for the past six months I have been in sinus rhythm.

I over-exerted myself once with aerobics and I went into A-Fib. But within two days of taking it easy, I was once again back in sinus rhythm.

I discussed this with Dr. Brewer, and he advised me to ease into aerobics. “Don’t try to keep up with those 30 year old girls who have been doing aerobics for five to seven years.” I went into the class saying, “Okay girls you can kick, I’ll just kick higher and longer.” You know that man thing, “Anything you can do I can do better.” Dr. Brewer added that this indicates that TIKOSYN is doing what it should do—keep you in sinus rhythm.

I am going to a class reunion in Florida the second week in March. I will be riding my Honda Rebel. If all goes well, I may go to Sturgis, South Dakota this summer for a big bike rally.

I will be happy to answer any questions anyone has about my A-Fib history, and I thank you so very much for your good advice.

E-mail: Justbillone (at) aol.com

Update 3/2/11:  Back in A-Fib

This past year I allowed myself to become de-conditioned (gained 30 lbs. and discontinued daily exercise) which most likely contributed to being back in A-Fib. My recent visit to a heart clinic in Asheville, NC, shed little light on this issue. Only that since I have been in and out of A-Fib for two years now, it is unlikely I will be able to get back in sinus rhythm. I am no longer taking Tikosyn which apparently did not contribute to keeping me in sinus rhythm. So I am no longer the “poster child” for the PVA procedure.

Editor’s Note:
Bill’s experience is important, because it shows that a Pulmonary Vein Ablation (Isolation) procedure can be a success for an A-Fib patient even though one still has to take an antiarrhythmic med like Tikosyn.

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