About Me: Female, 63, Eastern Idaho, ID, member since Apr 2011
Here is my SVT story. I started noticing that my heart was not beating quite right in my early 20's. (I am now almost 60) If I had anything with caffeine in it or took aspirin, my heart would pound hard and fast (not as fast as SVT), I'd get sweaty and nervous and I'd h
[More]ave diarreaha. So I avoided those things that caused those symtoms. I also noticed that if I had a breakfast high in carbs, my heart would beat harder. Then in my late 30's I had my first SVT attack. (I had quite a bit of stress in my life raising teenage girls). It didn't last long and converted on its own. Some weeks later, I had another attack that didn't go away so the ambulance was called. (Embarrasing! I was an aide at school and helping a math student at the time. He thought it was his fault.) They got my episode on tape and then I converted so I didn't have to go to the hospital. I saw a cardiologist and was diagnosed with afib and put on 3 1/2 pills of digoxin a day. I stopped taking that after a year because it would sometimes make me sick. I had a few more episodes where I went to the emergency room to get it to stop. One of those times, the er doc told me I had to stop this from happening becasue it would damage my heart. We moved to another location and I saw another cardiologist. In the meantime, when I had an episode, l figured out that if I would take a deep breath in, my heart would convert back to normal. I explained this to the doctor and he called that a vagal manuever and gave me a few other manuevers I could use. (I wondered why I hadn't been taught these before) He did all of the usual tests, said my heart was healthy and put me on tambocor which I took for about a year. I thought the tambocor was possibly the cause of my weight gain and lethargy so I stopped taking it. The attacks started coming back occasionally, but not like in my 30's and early 40's.
About 10 years ago, I went back to the cardiologist after a few bad attacks and he did all the tests again, and had me wear a king of hearts monitor which didn't catch the attack. I'd heard about ablations by then and he said I wasn't a candidate for one and told me to take baby aspirin every night. Since then, I've gone back to the doctors for heart pain thinking that I was having a heart attack. They'd do all the tests again and they always turned out fine. One rude doctor told me he thought I had pleurisy and to go home and take ibuprofen. (Didn't even xray for it and was down right rude!) I decided then I would neve go back to the doctor for this.
I've been in all kinds of difficult situations when an attack has hit like a parent teacher conference, greeting a parent on the first day of school, or sitting outside my uncles's hospital room waiting for the doctors to come out. Each time it happens, I've learned to stay calm, (it's called survival) and find a way to indescretely take the deep breath in until I feel like my lungs are going to explode.
Last Jan. or Feb., I had an attack (lots of stress in my life again with a daughter getting divorced) while watching my grandson wrestle. I stayed calm, took the deep breath in and nothing happened. I tried for about 10 minutes and all I could think of was that I was going to die right there with my kids and grandkids and 100's of other people around so I walked down a long flight of stairs with my husband and headed to the car, leaned the chair back, relaxed even more with the deep breath and it finally converted. It was a bad one! After that attack, my heart was jumpy and out of rhythm for another week. Back to the doctors that I vowed I would never go to again. I saw a gp (figured he could do as much as anyone to see if my heart was damaged). He told me I was just in a few years earlier and that everything was fine then but agreed to put a 24 hour monitor on me. The results came back with all kinds of arrythmias including a diagnosis of ventricular tachycardia. So he sent my to my cardiologist again. He looked at my results and said there was a lot of "noise" in the 24 hour monitor report, or in other words the whole report was bogus and I didn't have vt which he said must have scared me out of my wits to have that kind of diagnosis. For the first time, he did question whether my first diagnosis of afib was accurate. (I didn't have a serious attack on the 24 hour monitor )He said he thought it might be supraventricular tachycardia so he put the king of hearts on me again. I was worried I wouldn't get an attack recorded again, but right in the middle of teaching Social Studies it happened. I was happy and scared at the same time. I adapted the lesson to group reading and discussion, and left the room and pushed the button and filled the recorder. Then I tried to convert the heart to normal but that didn't happen. I finally went home to throw ice water on my face and send in my recording. It finally slowed down on its own. By the end of the day, I heard from my cardiologist and they set an appointment with an ep.
When I went to see the ep, he looked at my results and said my heart was beating between 240 and 250 bpm and finally diagnosed my condition as as AVNRT which is a type of SVT. He also said it could be WPWS but wouldn't know conclusively until an ep study was done. He said he has people coming into him all the time that he can't help, but he said mine could be cured. He was actually excited about it. Then he asked why no one had sent me to him before. I told him my cardiologist didn't think I was a good candidate. I left excited, scared, and disbelieving that my life could be anything different, and wondering what that would feel like.
My ablation is scheduled for June 7th, a week from today. I hoping for the best. As a side note for anyone who may read this, my ep told me I should have gone to the hospital when I had those attacks because they could have recorded them on a 12 lead monitor which would have been helpful to him for the ep study. Also, if I had gone someone probably would've had the correct diagnosis for me a long time ago. I'm just glad I finally know what is going on and that it can be fixed.
I've been doing pretty good, still trying to drop some weight. I don't get on here very much anymore either, I was just checking my email and saw you had left me a note so I thought I would get on and say hi and see how you were doing. Have you had anymore svt episodes?
Hope all is well with the family have a wonderful mothers day.
Glad to hear you had a nice holiday with your son and his family. Hope your sister is doing better now, and that you were able to get your acid reflux under control.
The doctor was really good this time. I actually felt like he was listening to me. He asked if I wanted to wear a monitor again 24hour or the event monitor, but I said no because I don't feel like it is an SVT. He thinks it might just be a fast heart rate so I agreed to go back on a beta blocker not crazy about taking another pill. I go back in a month to see if this helps hopefully it will. Since the surgery my heart rate has been quite a bit higher than before so first I guess we'll try to get it slowed back down to a more normal rate. In the mean time see if the beta blockers help the racing.
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