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How do you live with ventricular tachycardia?
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How do you live with ventricular tachycardia?

I have been very active (running, soccer, weightlifting) and have been healthy (heart rate 60 or less; blood press 112/78). Over the past several months I had a steady decline in stamina. Tried to run (tough to do 11 min mile), play soccer (had to quit because I was just sucking wind), and had resting heart rate of 75-80 and could easily drive it up to 170 with exercise. Had stress tests, blood tests, pulmonary tests, et to try to figure out what was wrong. Finally, one evening I was trying to play soccer again and went to the sidelines where an ER doctor took my pulse and said I had an abnormal rhythm that I should have checked. I was happy that I might have discovered the problem although unfortunately all that night my heart felt like it was going to jump out my throat and next morning I hit the ER. After restoring my normal rhythm, they confirmed I had no blockage and the heart muscle was fine. After attempting an ablation and giving up, they inserted an ICD.
So now, I seem to still have the symptoms plus minor chest pain. The doctors staff seems to be very reluctant to allow me to do anything. No driving, no weight lifting, no running (leisurely walks are ok). I am wondering is the rest of my life going to be in an easy chair? That would be hard to take. Are there any other treatments? Are all v-tac patients so restricted and this is what I have to look forward to?
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16 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_m_tn
Paul,

Do you have a diagnosed cardiomyopathy? What type of ventricular arrythmia did they find? Was the ablation unsuccessful?

I am surprised they would just go ahead and put an ICD in you without trying other options unless they diagnosed you as having a cardiomyopathy. I would for sure get a consultation done at the CC or the Mayo clinic. Who has been treating you?
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Avatar_m_tn
The only diagnosis I got was ventricular tachycardia. Based on what little they told me in the hospital, they felt it was too risky to attempt the ablation. I think they were attempting the ablation then woke meup and told me they were putting in the ICD because they were afraid to take me off the "machine" I was on. I have not yet had the follow up visit with the cardiologists. It is a group at Riverside Hospital in Columbus Ohio.
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Avatar_m_tn
Paul,

I'm so sorry to hear about your troubles. I will be praying for you. Since you are so close I would immediately get a referral to the Cleveland Clinic specialist in the area of VT and VF...I am sure they have someone who are experts in the field...keep us posted. I would also contact your guys at Riverside and find out more about the diagnosis...CM, etc...God bless
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Avatar_f_tn
How old are you, Paul?
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Avatar_m_tn
well I sure seemed to be asleep because there are big gaps in my memory while in the lab/surgery room. They woke me up and said they tried ablation and were concerned about going further and that they wanted my verbal ok for ICD. I asked them if meds would do it and they said they were concerned about taking me off the "machine" I was on. So it sounded pretty serious.
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Avatar_m_tn
58 years old. Maybe I am expecting too much but I sure would like to play soccer again.
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Avatar_f_tn
How recent was the ICD placed Paul?  Since you have not done the follow up visit yet, I would say it was not too long ago. They asked me not to drive for around 6 weeks after implant.  I wasn't allowed back to work for six months.  They warned me not to lift heavy weights so the leads could set in to place firmly.  My stamina did not increase quickly, but it is pretty good now.  I am not going to run an 11 min mile, but I never did before.  Work back up to what you can.  OK, maybe you wont be able to do an Iron Man, but you are still up and going, that is something to be happy about.
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187666_tn?1331176945
I've had 3 ablations for tachy (atrial) and wonder what machine they had you "on." I was hooked up to an EKG, some fluroscope (very cool to watch the leads move around) and had the 4 leads poked up my groin and into my heart. An unsuccessful ablation for you - they couldn't trigger the v-tach (that happens all too often) or they couldn't bring it under control? I vaguely remember there was talk of me possibly ending up with a pacemaker but that was discussed before I went in. My Dad got an ICD and it was great for him after the time of healing. I'm sure this is discouraging for you since you've had such an active life. Personally, I've never been able to run much less play soccer or any other sport. Still, the alternative for you could be worse. Your cardio knows the most about what's going on in there. Sounds like it's time to have a talk with him/her. (sorry I'm rambling all over the place, just tired)
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Avatar_n_tn
I WISH I COULD GET SOMETHING LIKE THAT, BUT TOLD NO BECAUSE I DO NOT HAVE ARVD CANT GET ONE NO STRUCTURAL DAMAGE OUT OF LUCK. MY HEART PLAYS TRICKS SOMETIMES IT JUST STOPS FOR ABOUT 10-15 SEC THEN IT WILL BEAT LIKE 200 BEATS IN A MIN THEN IT WILL DO PVCS THEN JUST BACK AND FORTH. I HAVE THIS ALL DOCUMENTED I HAD TO STAY IN HOSPITAL FOR A WEEK AND THEY JUST WERE IN SHOCK THAT I WAS STILL ALIVE. I AM NO STRUCTURAL HEART DAMAGE JUST SICK ALL THE TIME I HAD 3 ABLATIONS NONE WORKED JUST KEEP GETTING WORSE EVERY YEAR THAT GOES BY. AMD I AM 33.
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61536_tn?1340701763
You're so close to Cleveland, I would consider a second opinion through the Cleveland Clinic, just to see if there is anything else that can be done for you.
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Avatar_m_tn
I learned today what you told me. Thanks much for your comments. Maybe there might be some hope for me yet
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Avatar_f_tn
Hope what you learned was good.  Best wishes for a speedy healing.
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221937_tn?1189759427
What meds did they put you on? Would you consider doing any herbal and vitamin supplements? I was given 6 to 18 months to live almost 17 years ago, the doc always tells me it is a miracle that I am alive, but I actively pursued alternative therapies to augment the ones prescribed by the cardiologist and here I still am. I have learned a lot of things the hard way, had my ups and downs and though my heart disease does limit me the thing that truly hampers me the most is my back.
I have had a biventricular pacing device with defib for 18 mo because of arrythmias I believe were caused by taking Viox for 4 years for my back.
Thatch
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Avatar_f_tn
Do you know your EF?
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221937_tn?1189759427
It was measured at 19% in 1991 during a cath and at 31% with an echo last month. Different cardiologist last month, though I still see the 1st one about once a year. I sculpt hardwood in my backyard and was able to get in 3 hours 2 days ago in 95* heat. Half a spoonfull of ribose and a NADH  for  ATP and I am off to the races. If you want to boost your energy levels read up on the Miocondrial Electron Transport Chain. I also take an amino in the Dopamine chain to keep my mood up. I know some good things to keep oxygen levels up so that I don't get short of breath as quickly too.
Thatch
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Avatar_n_tn
what herbal and vitamin supplaments do you use?
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