Atrial Fibrillation (AF) in your early 40' may not seem such a lucky shot at first.
It all started with a weird feeling in my chest, a feeling that my closest family dismissed as work-related stress. Then I bought an Apple Watch to measure my pulse and began to receive these AF alerts during the night, followed by AF EGGs during the "crises". Thanks to that device I decided to seek medical help.
It didn't work well.
In Sweden, it is incredibly hard to find a good doctor and to receive proper medical care. They even make jokes about this unfortunate situation on their TV shows!
Well, you can read the details in another post that I wrote, but the gist is that I didn't get any help there.
Eventually, I got diagnosed by a Danish cardiologist, and soon after by an Italian specialist in heart arrhythmias. The morale is that:
AF is not easy to diagnose if the doctor is unprepared.
👉 Seek for a specialist if you suspect to have it.
So what about my Lucky Star?
In normal cases, AF strikes in your late 60', when your heart is already starting to weaken down, and you may have lived a long life of McDonald's burgers and endless couch potato's weekends surfing through your Netflix's TV series.
When that happens, there is little you can do, but quickly start on medication, mostly blood thinners. Those will reduce your chances of getting a stroke, but will also introduce a whole lot of side effects in your life.
I'm only 40. I'm midway through Life.
Hopefully, not even really there.
👉 I can change my habits.
I'm lucky because I have the possibility to steer my life clear of some nasty habits and start working on a long-lasting health plan that will keep my heart in good shape until my time is due.
You get the health you eat!
Is it all about good food?
Let's not be foolish here, I don't plan to cure AF with nutrition and a healthy lifestyle alone. I am aware that I will need medication (I'm already on beta-blockers) and I know that I will likely have to go through surgery to fix the symptoms.
Medication and surgery will likely give me a jump-start on the goal of feeling normal again, but then I can keep it up and avoid most of the long-term illnesses that are related to the body's inflammation.
👉 Atrial Fibrillation is tightly related to the body's inflammation.
Inflamation is what screws up your life.
But AF is only my current disease. Murphy's laws teach us that "Anything that can go wrong, it will go wrong". So I take AF as a strong alarm bell that tells me that is about time that I open my eyes to a few facts of life:
- Life will end 😕
- Quality of Life matters 😉
- I can affect my Quality of Life 😎
Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay...
Now that I got my eyes opened to some simple facts of Life, I am in the position to make a choice. I won't just stay passive like the guy in the old famous song.
I'll stand up to AF and to myself and demand commitment and change. Fully aware that it won't be easy, in the acceptance of the occasional "failure to comply", but also full of energy for a new start.
And I'm luckier than most because I share my Life with Lia, a marvelous woman that is working hard on her anti-inflammatory diet and shares so many good recipes on her socials and on her website! Check it out!