The medical team was phenomenal. I have more energy. I don't feel the erratic heartbeat, my blood pressure is better.
— Mary Margaret Bee
Strike Back at Atrial Fibrillation
Treatment for common heart condition restores St. Louis resident's active lifestyle.
South St. Louis County resident Mary Margaret Bee was bowled over by her phenomenal transformation after undergoing a heart procedure at St. Anthony's.
At Concord Lanes bowling alley in south St. Louis County, Mary Margaret Bee is lining up to try to throw a strike. “It’s wonderful to get to do this again,” she says with a laugh.
It’s hard to believe that Bee is the same person she was a year ago. Daily hot flashes, regular episodes of rapid heartbeats, low energy and a growing number of panic attacks left some of her friends wondering if Bee was under too much stress or depressed.
But the patient care technician knew better because she had high blood pressure and a family history of heart problems. “Both my parents and brothers have had major heart conditions,” she explains. “I knew my heart rate was too fast, too often.”
A rapid or irregular heart rate is a classic symptom of atrial fibrillation (AF). Caused by misfired electrical impulses regulating the coordinated contractions of the upper heart chambers, AF puts patients at risk for stroke or heart failure when blood pools in the heart, increasing the risk of a blood clot forming. It also can make patients feel tired because the heart isn't pumping enough blood to the rest of the body.
Bee was first prescribed medication to restore a regular heart rhythm and prevent blood clots. Last year, she underwent a nonsurgical cardiac ablation procedure at St. Anthony’s Medical Center to remove abnormal heart tissue and get her heart rate back on track.
“The medical team was phenomenal,” she says. “I was only in the hospital overnight. Now I have more energy, I don’t feel the erratic heartbeat, my blood pressure is better and everyone tells me I have a better outlook on life. Life is just terrific!”
For information, please call our Health Access Line at 314-ANTHONY (268-4669) or 800-554-9550 or visit find a physician online.
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