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Questions/Afib/tick bite/ablation

Posted by jennifer92151 
Questions/Afib/tick bite/ablation
June 30, 2018 02:09PM
Hi - I don't post a lot but have been a member of this forum for many years. I am 66 and have had afib for about 15 years. My mother had afib and died from a hemorrhagic stroke. I have been doing the supplements and try to keep a fairly low salt diet. My afib attacks are usually every 4-5 months, and since I got on flecainide as a pill in the pocket a year ago, the episodes have only lasted a few hours. I have been to the ER twice for prolonged afib a few years ago, but it stopped both times before I was cardioverted. I take nattokinase and have not yet gone on eliquis. At the end of May I was bit by a lonestar tick. Either the bite or the bactrim I was prescribed by an NP for a UTI that i had no symptoms of, tanked my immune system, white cells and platelets. I was referred to an oncologist and then told that I did not have an immune disorder. All the while I was getting sicker and sicker. I ended up in the ER 4 times before my blood pressure bottomed out and I passed out. Someone along the way prescribed doxyclycline and they sent my blood to Mayo clinic for diagnosis. My disease ended up being ehrlichiosis (very rare in my area - and in the country) and i had very few symptoms, some fever, some chills but was so sick I thought I must be dying. One of the strange symptoms is anorexia and I was unable to eat or drink and became terribly dehydrated. They finally started giving me fluids and then electrolytes. I went in to almost constant afib and couldnt make them understand that this was not normal for me. Since I have been home, I have been in and out of afib every couple of days or so, for 5-6 hours at a time. The nurse practitioner cardiologist has me taking flecaninde in the morning and evening to try to calm my heart down, and that has seemed to help until today when I am again in afib. I work full time - am self employed - have a very stressful job with long hours and long drives. This all has happened in the last couple of weeks. I know that afib often gets worse as you age. The cardiologist nurse practitioner talked to me about ablation when I saw her a few days ago. She says it is better to do it when the afib has not yet become persistent. I feel like this is a huge jump and that I don't yet know what my heart is going to be doing in a few weeks. I am considering the eiquis but haven't made that jump either. I also have enormous fatigue from this illness, but everything seems to be improving slowly. I need advice. Do you think there is a chance my heart will revert back to the infrequent episodes of afib, or do you think the dehydration has permanently changed it. Thanks for any help.
Re: Questions/Afib/tick bite/ablation
June 30, 2018 05:35PM
Ah, I see, it was the ehrlichiosis that caused the dehydration. In your other post you said a tick bite caused it, which puzzled me. Yeah, ehrlichiosis can be a rough disease if it's not diagnosed early. I don't understand why they had a hard time diagnosing it. I've had it myself but I was treated immediately and was completely well again within days. I guess it's because I live in an area where tick-born diseases are endemic so doctors here tend to be immediately suspicious of unexplained fevers and treat aggressively.

Presumably you've recovered from the ehrlichiosis and are fully re-hydrated. If so, it's unlikely the afib is going to improve much. This is what afib does. It progresses toward persistence. Sometimes it takes years, but it can also be sudden. Mine didn't progress at all for 6 years, and then in the span of 18 months it went from 1-2 episodes per year to 2-3 per week. I would definitely consider ablation if I were you. Afib is always a downhill progression sooner or later.
Re: Questions/Afib/tick bite/ablation
June 30, 2018 10:20PM
Hello Jennifer - I'm familiar with Lyme disease as I learned years later that apparently I had Lyme infection since the markers showed up in a blood test years later as "latent Lyme markers".

Whether that was what caused the onset of my Afib, I don't know... but as a result of blood work results years later after the initial onset, I was directed to a group of Lyme Literate Doctors and some webinars that discussed the various forms of co-infections that come as a result of a tick bite... such as your erlichosis which comes from the bite of the lone star tick. There are a variety of symptoms that often go unrecognized as part of the 'syndrome' that need to be addressed and it's not an easy solution, by any means.

The LLD physician I followed was Joseph Burrascano, MD... and at this link, he gives the basics for what one needs to understand about lyme and related co-infections. Definitely much more complicated than most physicians think.

Ehrlichiosis — The Tick-Borne Disease No One Has Heard Of
Jun 5, 2017 -
According to the experts, ticks and the diseases they carry are expanding into new geographic areas. While the majority of Americans have heard of Lyme disease, fewer than 2% have any knowledge of another tick-borne disease called ehrlichiosis. (1, 2)

I have many reports on this topic and web links that I can share if you need help. Just send me a PM and I'll forward.

So sorry you have this struggle.
Kind regards,
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