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questions about irregular heartbeat
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questions about irregular heartbeat

My son who just turned 18 has asymptomatic irregular heartbeats occasionally.  MOst noticeable when he is at rest.  He does not feel them nor does he have any disturbing accompanying symptoms. The only way they were found out was I do check my childrens pulse once in awhile to make sure that everything this is fine.  ONLY reason I check their pulse sporadically is because I am a 25 year PVC sufferer who has finally learned to live with them and I must say I am doing very well with this!  I took my son to our family GP and she gave his  heart a long listen with the stethoscope and also asked him some questions.  Later she called me at home and told me that he was fine.  His heart sounded good with no abnormal sounds and she told she would not order any more tests because he seemed a little alarmed when she was checking his heart and she doesnt want him to get obsessed with his heart.  I agree with this, I dont want to get him worried, but since he is totally asymptomatic is this okay?  Should I insist on more testing? I guess the main question I would like to ask you is if he had something "wrong" with his heart, would he have some other symptoms that he would be aware of? Also doctor, if you were to see an asypmtomatic 18 year old in your office with same history as above, would you also not order further tests?  I guess I just need some good reassurance so I can just move forward and stop worrying.  Thanks for your time.
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239757_tn?1213813182
annako,

I can't do anything else to reassure you from what we have stated in the previous answers to your questions. I understand worry about our children's health, but you seem to be taking this beyond what would be a normal level of concern and should probably look into other ways of adjusting to your PVCs than taking your sons pulse.

good luck
25 Comments
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97628_tn?1204465633
College girl is correct. If you look back through the postings this poster has asked this same question several times before, both of the doctor and of the readers in general. Her son has no symptoms and his heart checks out healthy. She herself is convinced he has an arrhthymia without medical evidence and seems to be projecting her own admitted personal cardiac anxiety (which she thinks she's cured of) from herself onto her child.
I don't think any reassurance will prove helpful.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi there,

It's obvious from your post that you feel something sinister is going on with your sons heart.  I understand that, having 3 children of my own.  You say you suffer from pvc's (I do too) and as we all have been told by our doctors, they're nothing but a nuisance in a structurally normal heart.  

Also, heart variability is actually a very good thing and indicates a healthy heart.  Maybe what you're feeling by taking his pulse at rest is simply that, normal variations of his heart rate.  When you breathe in, your heart speeds up and when you exhale it slows down.  

I'd also like to point out, that if you feel he is suffering from pvc's like you, that doesn't mean something is horribly wrong.  If you search the forum and type in pvc you'll see a ton of responses and the doctors pretty much say the same thing to them all.  

I truly sympathize with your concern over your son.  I think the doctor makes a valid point though, try not to obsess over his heart health as he may sense from you that you feel something is wrong with him.  You don't want him to become frightened.  My case in point...I suffer from dizziness nearly everyday and never realized how much I must voice/show it until my 6 year old started claiming she is now dizzy all the time.  Obviously she is mimicking me and my concerns.  

I know you want the best for your son, every good parent does.  Just be watchful of your concerns and if they really are overwhelming, then maybe seek some counsel for them.  Goodness knows that many times just talking over a problem with someone helps tremendously.  Good luck to you and your son and best wishes!

momto3girls
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Avatar_n_tn
Would you share with us other PVC's sufferers how you have dealt sucessfully (without going bonkers)with your PVC's and how often they affect you.  Thanks
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Avatar_f_tn
To answer your question beanzz, the only way that worked for me is just facing them head on and just ACCEPTING them.  Whenever I would feel my heart flipping all over the place instead of stopping in my tracks and putting fingers to my wrist to feel just how erratic it was, I would continue on with what I was doing, whether it be cooking, cleaning or walking in the mall.  Before I started accepting them, I would avoid places where I would get a bad run of them.  My doctor advised me to face them, meaning to go back to the place I wanted to avoid and just get through it, and I did. I know that all of us PVC sufferers have heard this time and time again, but you really have to just do it over and over.  Even if you fail and just can't, go back in a week and try again. Facing them takes away the fear, and without the fear they are so much more managable.  Nowadays sometimes I notice them, sometimes I dont, but I certainly dont panic about them anymore.  It is so amazing how not fearing them anymore and not thinking Im gonna drop dead from them has boosted my quality of life.  People who meet me now dont even know im a PVC sufferer.  Its a good way to be and I wish you luck in learning to accept yours and enjoying life just that much more!
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Avatar_f_tn
Sorry beanzz, to answer your second question, I feel them every single day, sometimes just a few, sometimes many.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for your insight on attacking these things head on. Tonight I am supposed to take a youth group to an all night event and was just thinking I was going to cancel it because of these darn "PVC's" As I have only been getting them the last few weeks while on a diet and the doctors can't explain them. Prayerfully they are not anything serious as I am still waiting on for an appointment with a Cardiologist. Thanks for the positive attitude.
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137307_tn?1330977597
Anna,
You have asked this question before.  You need to move on, it isn't healthy for you or your son.  I understand your concerns but you have asked this before.

I hope I don't think I'm picking on you, but I don't understand how some people get in to ask questions multiple times, when other people can't even get in.  My father has been wanting to ask a (non pvc/tachy/pac related) question for months now and he always gets that message that they aren't taking any more questions.
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Avatar_f_tn
It's easy to say "move on" but when you think there is something wrong with your child it is not that easy to do!  My daughter has very pronounced sinus arrhythmia and when I felt her pulse bounding all over the place it scared me to death.  I am a PAC/PVC sufferer, too and don't want her to go through what I do and the fear it causes.  So, it's not just that easy to "move on" and anyone who has ever had PACs/PVCs likely knows this.
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Avatar_f_tn
i hope you arent checking your sons pulse anymore, based on the facts that his physician said hes fine, and that she expressed concern that he is beginning to become alarmed. At this point i think it would do more harm than good.  If everyone looks through the archives, our own forum doctor strongly discourages this. If you are having a hard time accepting his health and its time to move on, there are alternative ways to find solice rather than to keep pushing for more tests and possibly push your child into anxiety attacks which im sure you're familiar with and dont want your son to get. I'de say as long as your doc says he's fine, and your son isnt complaining of anything, try and let it go.

Ide also just like to add as a side note, to everyone. This is a forum and people are going to have differences of opinion. Its not ok to attack anyone for their point of view. When you put your problem out in the open you are inviting people to comment on it, and aside of outright rudeness (which i havent seen) i see no need for defensive rudeness or attitude
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Avatar_n_tn
I DO suffer from PACs/PVCs and I DO know how hard they can be to deal with so what I am saying comes out of sympathy and also concern.

Anna: Are you sure that you have finally come to accept these in your own life? Maybe you are simply transfering your own anxiety and fear to your son. ??? Maybe. ??? You have asked this question before and it is unlikely that the doctor is going to change his answer. Maybe, just maybe, some counseling on how to deal with these yourself would help your anxiety for your son. If you really believed that they are not going to hurt you, then you could accept that they are not going to hurt your son. ??? If your son does not feel these things and is not bothered by them and the doctors say he is fine, leave him alone. When they begin bothering him, he will come to you for advice, but only if he thinks you are not going to freak out. Then you can take him to the doctor for additional testing. I know that you don't want to act in such a way that would cause him to begin 'obsessing' over his own heartbeat, like so many of us on this site do?

And to Anna and Everyone else: Do not say that I just don't understand how it is to worry over your child! I DO. I have gone through many health crisis with my daughter! The latest being a fainting episode which resulted in an EKG which indicated that she has left hypertrophic cardiomyopthay. A follow-up echo indicated that she did not but we have to do yearly follow-ups to make sure it does not develop. She also has moderate asthma which we could not get controlled without the help of a pediatric pulminologist and suffers with a ticcing disorder which affects her body movement and speech! So I know how it is to worry about your child's very life. If I did not force myself to listen to and accept what her doctor's tell me, I could easily make her an emotional and physical cripple. However she and I do not view her as 'sick' and she is a very active child who does participate in sports regularly because that is what the doctor's say will benefit her most.

Sometimes I think that peace of mind is the hardest thing to come by and I pray that we all are able to live in it most of the time.
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Avatar_f_tn
I apologize for asking two questions so close together.  I was under the impression that we can post 2 questions in a three month period.  I am afraid I was wrong and I sincerely apologize.  I do understand that this forum is for everyone to ask questions and I am sorry that I took someone elses turn.  I promise I will not post for a long time.  That said, I just want to tell Christianirc to tell your father that the best time to try and post is very early am.  I have found no problems getting a question in both times I have posted.  Hope your father gets his question in and gets some answers.
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Avatar_f_tn
Its interesting you should mention the pronounced sinus arrhythmia in your daughter.  Can it really be that pronounced that it feels quite irregular?  I was told that its just a speeding up and slowing down, no real noticeable missed beats.  Can sinus arrhythmia present itself like that also?  Looking forward to your answer.
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Avatar_n_tn
For the sake of your children, you must stop checking their pulses.  Kids notice these things and can't help wondering about them.  I know I did when a doc checked mine when I was only four or five years old.  Even then, I remember thinking, "OK, what's this about anyway?"  The memory remains vivid to this day.

Having any parent check for physical symptoms, even only occasionally, is going to cause worry.

If for no other reason than to keep your children happy about their youth and health, I urge you to make an appointment with a psychiatrist to talk about your fears.
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21064_tn?1309312333
Those of us who are parents definitely understand your love and concern for your children.  Never stop loving and listenting to them : )

You mentioned that you've had pvcs for 25 years and other than some anxiety, you are healthly, right?  Nearly everyone has skipped beats now and again, and I'd venture to say most don't feel them.  I've had them for 30 years, and prior to my ablations, I had them in the tens of thousands per day.  Yet, I'm considered to be at low risk for CAD and in good health.  My cardio has them, my grandmother had them and lived to be 85, and I still get them. Don't let these things stress you out...Think of them as heart hiccups, annoying, but in the VAST majority of people, nothing more.  

You did a great thing for your son by taking him to the pediatrician when you were concerned1! If the doctor had even the slightest concern (they can tell a LOT by listening), he/she would have pursued any necessary tests. Try to set aside your fears and encourage him to take good care of himself by eating right (at least most of the time...lol), getting rest (again, most nights) and by exercising. He is at such a spirited age and there's so much ahead of him...Ah, to be 18 again : )

connie
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi - my daughter was sent to a pediatric cardiologist and after listening to her heart for a long time, he said "yes, she does have VERY pronounced sinus arrhythmia and that is why her heart seems like it's skipping."  He said that it was normal and nothing to worry about.  I also have very pronounced sinus arrhythmia and feel my heart skipping when I'm upset or anxious.  I've worn numerous monitors and lots of times when I feel these symptoms it's just sinus arrhythmia though I do have PACs and PVCs, too.  My daughter's happens a lot when she's sleeping which I guess is due to increased vagal tone.  It was VERY upsetting to me the first time I felt her pulse and felt these skips but I accept what the cardiologist says and try not to worry about her!
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for your answers.  Just for the record, I do not constantly check my childrens pulse. Like I said before its very sporadic, like maybe once a month.  This I was told was okay by my family GP as she stated there no harm in making sure that things are really okay with the heart rhythym.  I reallly have overcome my issues with my own PVC's and I am not putting them on my children.  Personally, I think I would feel better if I could check their pulses everyday, but I know that is selfish of me and I just dont do it for fear of transferring any unwarranted anxiety on to them.  However I must stress that the magic words "he has a structurally  normal heart" has never been said to me because he has not had any further testing besides a good listen with a stethoscope.  I hope now you all can see why I am a little more concerned than is normal.  If wewere to put him through the tests then he has the potential of becoming very worried over somthing that is really nothing, but if we dont, then is his heart really fine?  Such a fine line and so hard for me to come to terms with what is the right answer.  I hope that this has maybe shed some light to you posters on this site who seem to think that this is just an anxiety issue for me that I need to get over.  Thank you.
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Avatar_f_tn
If you want to check on your sons heart rhythym, take him to a physician who is qualified to do so. Its generally just a bad idea to do it yourself when you aren't qualified to make a diagnosis and can be working yourself and your son up for nothing, and if your doctor is really telling an unqualified person to try and diagnose a heart rhythym disturbance from home, ide suggest another doctor. The reason your son does not need an echo is because he has no symptoms of anything at all.. In most cases a structurally abnormal heart is accompanied by some kind of symptom. This is how physicians know to do echo's and diagnose such problems. Im sure your concern for your son is genuine and driven by love, But i think you need to take a step back and look at what you're doing from a different perspective. People in this forum who suffer and relate to you can say you're probably taking it to far,if you want to hurt yourself with the anxiety, thats your perrogative, but when you seem to be starting to involve your child of course there is going to be some concern. A trained, extensivly educated, qualified and certified doctor is telling you He's fine. Another is telling you you're taking it too far, Something is going on here within yourself that is beyond normal concern and you should address. Im sure you will find alot of the support you need right here.
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97628_tn?1204465633
Your opinion is totally valid.  The reason he has not been referred for further testing is he's not complaining of being sick and nothing has been detected upon exam to indicate his heart is abnormal.  Many of us are parents here.  That's what's most disturbing about the situation. Having this fixation for oneself is a totally different thing.  The question has been asked and answered, repeatedly. I do not believe reassurance is of any use in this situation and the conclusion that kids don't know when parents are anxious is a dubious one. Kids are very smart and sensitive.
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21064_tn?1309312333
"However I must stress that the magic words "he has a structurally normal heart" has never been said to me because he has not had any further testing besides a good listen with a stethoscope."

I really believe that if your son's doctor felt there was ANY reason to evaluate his heart further, he/she would have ordered the necessary tests.

Two of my children have had echocardiograms. One had an "abnormal" EKG after a car accident, but was ultimately, given an "all clear" after an echocardiogram showed no reason for concern.  Maybe his EKG would still be onsidered "abnormal," but the doctor assured us there was no problem.  No follow up necessary despite a racing heart now and again.  The other one was diagnosed with MVP after a significant viral illness for which she was hospitalized.  Other than an EKG and echo every 3-5 years, she's also been told "no significant problem."  In both cases, the doctor "heard" or "saw" something that raised a red flag. It is important to trust your son's ped. or find one that you do trust.    

Is your son going to college soon?  Perhaps he could have a pre-college physical to help set your mind at ease.  He could have the physical as a matter of good health monitoring and you could get the added assurance that he is gonna be just fine.  

I'm not sure your concern stems from your arrythmia at all.  Rather, it could just be that he is your son and you will always look after him. Try not to worry.  I'm sure you chose an excellent pediatrician and that your son is just fine.

connie
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Avatar_f_tn
Again I will apologize for posting two messages so close together.  However I really dont feel that I need to defend myself but I find that both collegegirl and woodruf have been a little hard on me.  For collegirl to suggest that my doctor is unqualified by having me check my son's pulse is totally uncalled for.  My doc does not ask me to check it sporadically in hopes that I can make a diagnose, but rather that if I notice it always having some irregularity whenever I do check it, then maybe we do need to check further.  By no means whatsoever does she or myself feel I am qualified to diagnose any kind of heart rhythym.  I find it hard to believe that you can suggest that.    Woodruf, you suggest I get psychiatric help. You dont know me except for a few typed words on this forum and I feel that is was not called for nor do you have any validity behind this comment.  As far as I am concerned, us posters here on the heart forum that suffer from any kind of heart problem anxiety know that reassurance is sometimes just what the doctor ordered.  I come here on a regular basis for just that.  I recognize all of the names here posting comments and I think that you are here to get some answers and some reassurance just like I am.  So is it fair to say to me to move on, and get some psych help? Have you moved on and accepted your  heart worries? If so, then why do you return here for reassurance  just like myself? We all are here to support and help deal with all of the symptoms that we all feel and worry about.  Isnt that why your here reading all the questions and what the doc has to say?  However I am glad to say that in my opinion the vast majority of the posters on this site have been gracious and helpful and Im sure that I speak for many when I say, Thank you for listening and for your help.
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Avatar_f_tn
I never coveyed that your doctor is unqualified whatsoever. What i said was rather than try and check your sons pulse yourself, have your family physician do it, since she is qualified and you are not. Im sorry if you take offense to this, but i assume you've never been to medical school.
As for your comments on reassurance, everyone here, as well as the doctors have tried to reassure you, multiple times. You are not willing to accept anyones reassurance, so dont attack the people who are just trying to point something out to you that you might not see. Anything thats said in this forum is said out of concern for another persons well being. Why would i waste my breath if i didnt think what i was saying might be helpful. When you post your problems on a public forum you want a response and that is what you got. Dont single myself and another person out in saying we are the only people who are discouraging you as this is clearly not the case.
Im sorry if ive offended you, but i dont think im "picking" on you at all. I think you need to step back and look at your situation from another perspective.  I suffered from extremely bad svt and palpitations myself and have moved on, and personally, that doesnt involve checking a loved ones pulse. Maybe it does for you, i dont know, but its odd to me that the fact that you are so convinced something might be wrong with your sons heart is more important to you than the damage you might be causing your son with what you're doing. So personally im just going to disreguard your claims of me "picking on you" and hope you take something positive from the advice ive tried throw in your direction, because i think everyone has the same goal and wants to see other forum members feel better physically as well as mentally.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Annako,

I can understand that you're upset.  Being told you might need psychiatric help probably doesn't sit well.  I think these posters meant well in suggesting it.  Of course none of us actually know you, we're only going by the info. you posted.  

It is very obvious that you love and care for your son.  Your son is lucky to have such a caring mom!  I think everyone's point here is the fine line you mentioned...when does concern become too much.  I know you don't want to frighten your son.  Of course you don't.  Transferring your worries to him might not be apparent to you but it might be to him.  If he isn't complaining of symptoms then I'd let try to let it be.  I realize this is difficult, as I said, I have small children of my own as others do on this forum.  I love my own children more than I ever thought imaginable and the thought of anything being wrong with them is very upsetting.  I'd let your doctor guide you...try to stop taking his pulse, at least as frequently, and let his symptoms guide your steps for his health.  

I sincerely wish you the best!  Good luck to you and take care.

momto3girls
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Avatar_f_tn
well said :)
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Avatar_n_tn
"Woodruf, you suggest I get psychiatric help. You dont know me except for a few typed words on this forum and I feel that is was not called for nor do you have any validity behind this comment."

Annako, in this very public forum, you have posted that you have a 25 year history of pvcs, and that you have accepted them and are doing well.  Yet, you also post that you
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