Apprehension and fear | #TeamBartsHealth blogs

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Apprehension and fear

St Bartholomew's Hospital

Going back to see my atrial fibrillation (AF) consultant and team at Barts, I had so much apprehension and fear days before.

Going through my mind is that going to the dentist is worse - at least my appointment at Barts would not be a drilling exercise for pain.

Back in May this year it was time for my general check-up on a Friday afternoon, I felt like I was "Shaking All Over". When arriving in the reception area, which I might add is comfortable and the system they have with the digital display is very helpful, 2.15 pm was the time of my appointment; my name appeared on the digital screen.

I was greeted by a nurse to take my heart rate and other tests, the "White Coat" feeling kicked-in. Nothing to worry about I was told, perfectly in-line having AF. Then to see Richard Schilling's team and highly-skilled member of his team told me I need my medication altered, was one of the reasons attending the clinic because various GPs had altered it so much.

Richard Schilling then met me with two trainee doctors, what a place to learn for these doctors, nowhere better to learn the latest techniques, that was it, I was free to go, "you are doing fine, good to go and collect your new medication".

I made for the exit doors and the outside quad, thinking I am calm now, relief had taken over, there is no doubt Barts AF department are leaders in their field, the team make you feel relax with their professional approach and their caring skills.

It was a life changing event when I was diagnosed with AF in 2008, when I collapsed returning from America on business. I used to play tennis as a good club player, I always asked myself why am I out of breath, in those days there was no process in place to look for AF. Ten years have gone by, my lifestyle has changed, I have cut-down on my work, walk a lot and watch my diet and lifestyle. I am now 67, live the best life for me and have‎ learned a great deal from the team at Barts.

Now for the dentist!

- Professor James Knight, a patient at Barts AF Clinic

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