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The Barry Manilow Interview (Page 1 of 3)

Today's Caregiver Magazine'He Writes The Songs'
The Barry Manilow Interview

Gary Barg: Watching you perform, it is hard to believe that you were dealing with AFib even while you were on stage. How did the disease manifest itself and what did you do?

Barry Manilow: About 15 years ago, I was driving home and it felt to me like my heart skipped a beat, which did not seem very important. But as I kept driving, my heart skipping a beat kept getting more and more out of whack. It was not just a little skipping a beat; it started to feel like it was—the only way I can put it is out of rhythm.

Your heart goes faster when you are jogging or when you are excited. You hear a boom-boom-boompa-dum and maybe it goes faster—boompa-doompa-doomp; it’s the same tempo. But with AFib, it goes out of whack—ba-doomp-boom,badooma-dooma-dooma-badooma-badooma wumpadoomp—like that. The first time it happened, I thought, well, I am dying or something. What’s going on here? And then it kind of went away and I did not do anything about it, which was wrong.

It came back about a week later. It is kind of insidious in that it does not come from stress, or from being excited; it does not come from anything. It just starts when it wants to start. I think I was watching television. I could feel my heart start to do that same thing; it was going out of rhythm again.

That is when I called my doctor and he knew exactly what I was talking about. He said, “You have got atrial fibrillation,” and described exactly what I had and gave me medication. It could have stopped right there. That is why I tell people, “Go see your doctor.” If you feel what I am talking about, if this sounds familiar to you, go to your doctor. That is what you need to do. You need to have a dialog and a relationship with your doctor so that you know whether it is getting worse or whether it is calming down and what medication he can put you on; you can live a very normal life. Just by having the doctor treat you with simple medication, it could stop right there for you. With me, it did not stop right there and with a lot more people, it did not stop right there.

 

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