Alright, I will start in what I hope is a logical order.
Firstly, I am 21, 6'4, around 115kg with a large body frame, ie, maybe a tad overweight, but nothing that bad. Since my episode, I am in the process of healthifying myself however, so it won't last.
From birth, I have had an extremely obvious heart murmur. Apparently surgery wasn't required, but I have been told that it's able to be heard by just listening to my chest.
A bit of background: I have smoked cannabis mostly everyday for just over a year. Primarily, this is used to get to sleep, as I do have insomnia problems otherwise. In order to regulate it, I have taken occasional breaks of a week, and one break of over 5 weeks in order to ascertain that I am not experiencing any problems. While the majority of the time, I smoke once a day, in the evening, there are periods of holidays where I smoke more than that. This isn't common however. I also smoke tobacco occasionally, as in between 0-5 cigarettes a day. I also periodically take breaks from this, in order to make sure there are no problems.
On New Years Day, I had an episode of SVT. It occurred after stretching, while on the toilet. (I don't know if this is relevant, but I am going to just say everything) My heart rate initially was extremely strong, I would estimate between 250-300bpm, and was beating so hard that while sitting down, my body jerked with each beat. This lasted around 5 minutes or so, at which point I called the ambulance. When they turned up, about 5 minutes later, hooked me up to an ECG which showed a constant heart rate of 230-250bpm. They mentioned that bumps on the road can stop it, and they did. (Embarrassing turning up, and having the problem disappear) The initial ECG was a 3 lead, when I got to the medical center, they put me on a 12 lead. They said I should be fine now, and sent me home.
While this issue in itself was extremely worrying (By far the closest I have been, or at least felt to death) it is the problems after it which cause me the most amount of worry. Firstly, I now get anxiety when I decide to go to sleep. It is irrational, and due to the fact I consider myself an extremely logical and rational person, I find it highly annoying. Not to mention it feels like ****, and I can't sleep. The big problem here, is that I worry about my heart, which creates nervousness, which in turn injects adrenaline into my blood, which in turn raises my heart beat, which makes me more nervous and worried. As you can see, its a vicious circle. This is my first problem. (While I have this anxiety at night, my body temp rises, and I get sweaty. Im too hot under the covers, and too cold out of them)
The second problem, is that when I smoke Cannabis now, I get the same anxious feeling, and my heart rate rises to an estimated 110-120 beats. However, this is measured via a stopwatch and counting my pulse, so I cannot say how accurate it is. Could this be related to my past ritual of smoking cannabis in order to get to sleep?
I am also far more prone to notice my heart beat these days. Not sure if these can be constituted as palpitations, or simply increased awareness of my heart due to the episode.
I went to the doctor two days ago, who prescribed me Zipoclone in order to help with sleeping. This also serves to reduce my anxiety at the time, not sure if its meant to do that, but yeah. I also have been referred to a cardiologist later on, for a full checkup of my heart.
I realize that most of this post sounds like a description, however, what I want to know, is how serious this anxiety and SVT is, what I could expect to for myself, and just any other general advice people would have for helping me get over this.
I am not a very emotional person, and this anxiety is really bugging me. I honestly don't know what to do. Frankly, I need help, so I am going after it. I'm more than willing to answer any questions, or clarify anything. I have been completely honest in everything that I think may be relevant.
Hi there. I can't really comment on much beyond the insomnia and anxiety part. Since I've discovered that I've got some heart "issues" I've had similar issues, and I understand the frustration, and the vicious cycle part of it. Hearts... we take them for granted until they start acting up and then it's not so much fun, is it?
For me as well, sleeping has been one of my biggest difficulties in no small part due to anxiety and that heart awareness you describe. I think the best thing for anxiety is to try your best to not dwell on your heart. For the most part, it's not really productive anyway, right? Just thinking about it doesn't do anything other than make you worry. It sounds like you're getting what help you can, so beyond that, the best thing to do is live your life as best you can so that your mind is else where. At the same time, if you do need some support and want to "talk" to other people going through similar stuff, these boards are pretty good for that.
I am aware that dwelling on the problem can in fact be the cause of it in general. I believe that this may be one of the reasons why it only occurs during night time. When I am trying to sleep, I rid my mind of all thoughts, however, this leaves it right open for when I next feel my heart, which then sparks the vicious circle. Which leaves me with three options, A) keep thinking about stuff, and not be able to sleep. B) Get anxiety or C) Take my little blue pill. So far I am going with C, I may start trying A, until I am so exhausted that I fall asleep anyway.
I have quite a few good friends, and a lovely mother who will always be availible if I ever need support, but thanks a lot for the offer, and who knows, I may actually take it up. Times like these are when friends and family are the most important.
And I completely agree with how you say "Hearts... we take them for granted until they start acting up and then it's not so much fun, is it?"
Another question to add however. How long is this likely to last? The cause... doesn't seem as traumatic as it should, to cause these types of problems.
Wow was that ever a post and its great that you are so honest about everything. The first alarm i have going off is what you said that when they hooked you up the the leads they caught your heart rate over 200 (not good) the second alarm was when you said "I've been referred to a cardiologist for later on" I question was it SVT or A Fib but none the less two points to make here. One is that like a tach on your car and it eases into the red when you are taching out your car because too much is going on w. the engine and it might blow is the same theory here....you were taching out. The second opinion i have is E.R. docs are not specialists in the matter of the heart but in as we say "Treat 'em and street "em" which means take care of as much as you can and refer them out to someone else. You need to make that appt. w. the heart doc asap my friend. This is something you don't want to wait on until it becomes unmanage-able or too late because you were definately taching into the red here. The third point is you need to lay off of the cannabis until you see that heart doc because it definately influences your heart rate. Its like you are playing russian roulette with your life to me. For the E.R. to send you home and say you should be fine now is not fine. They should have at the very least put you on some sort of beta blocker to help you instead of giving you a sleeping pill. We don't know what happens to our hearts when we are sleeping and i am sure that is why you are having trouble sleeping. In putting my two cents in on this one you need to make an appt. with a heart doctor NOW because your life could depend on it.........good luck and keep us posted.......
Firstly, do call a cardilogist and get in as soon as possible. A beta blocker may be the ticket for you...it will help keep your heart from taking off and does sometimes help with the feelings of anxiety. Secondly, quit smoking. Marijuana can cause your heart to race and back in the day it was my experience that it made me more anxious when I smoked it if I was already worried about something. Anxiety is a vicous circle. You get anxious and it causes stress hormones to be released that cause your heart rate to go up. Then you get more anxious ab out your heart and it goes up even more. It's very hard to quit thinking about it. Try changing your routine before you go to bed. Take a warm bath, read, do something that relaxes you. The worst for me is lying in the bed stressing because I can't go to sleep. I usually get up and go watch tv or read until I fall asleep. Good luck.,
I agree that friends and family are your first line of support. What the forum here offers is people who are having similar issues. Especially at your age, heart problems just aren't that common, you know?
As for how long it's going to last, good question. I think getting into a cardiologist, the sooner the better, as the others say, is your first step. Not only to get to the bottom of it and start any appropriate treatment, but I think it should also help put your mind to rest as well.
Firstly, I have just taken my Zopiclone, and as such have only skimmed the details of the posts. I will not read them fully now, as it will spike my anxiety, which, is lower than it was before, so yeah. Not to mention, apparently memory loss is also a side effect.
However, cindy, I can be 99% sure that it is SVT, not A Fib. (will double check with my doctor later on however)
But, I just want to note, I have only had one actual problem with my heart. The SVT occurred once, and left. All that I have left from that, is anxiety. The only other problems with heart rate, were when I smoked weed a while ago, which bumped my heart rate to 110-120 due to anxiety.
And one last point I managed to fail to put in at the start. I am a vegetarian, I still eat eggs, and dairy products. I also do not take any additional vitamin supplements for it. However, at home, where I am now, we eat REALLY well. By that, I mean healthy, we cover pretty much every base.
Cheers for all the responses, I will read them in the morning. (Hope everything makes sense, the Zipoclone is starting to hit me)
Just wanted to touch on that part of your story about the ambulance ride. When I had my first really really bad svt, I went to the emergency room. I walked there (15 blocks) and sat outside on some church steps for about an hour before actually going in because I hoped and prayed it would just stop on it's own. Since I looked perfectly normal, the e.r staff weren't too excited about my report of rapid heartbeat. The triage nurse spoke to me a bit then put the little finger pulse monitor on my hand and some alarm went off on the machine. At that point, I was rushed into the emergency room for an ekg. By the time the technician got to me the svt had stopped. At first I felt kinda silly for having gone to the e.r for nothing but it was the kind doctors and nurses that explained what had happened to me that put me on the path to hopefully getting better. So don't feel bad about that ambulance ride : )
Hah, I have absolutely no regrets for calling the ambulance, and would do it again in an instant if it happened again. I live in New Zealand, so it cost me $80 for the whole thing, I have no medical insurance or anything of the like. It was on new years day too, heh.
As for the Cardiologist, you need to be referred to get an appointment, I have been referred, and since i am already in the system with a heart condition, it should not take me long to get an appointment. It will likely be after February however, as the hospital is over 3 hours drive away, and my schedule is quite busy until then.
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