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Fear from PVC's - how do you cope?
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Fear from PVC's - how do you cope?

I can barely stand it any longer. I live in constant fear that something horrible is going to happen to me. Im 38 years old and I dealt with Hyperthyroidism for several years. During that time, I had palpitations and an overall fast heartrate. I became very healthy conscious since I had so many different symptoms - and that just lead to anxiety and panic attacks. In Nov 2009, I was having random skip beats and finally my Dr sent me to cardiology where I did the 24 hr monitor (only recorded 4 pvc's) and I also did the Echocardiogram and stress tests. All came out normal. So I put the occasional PVC's aside in my mind as normal and sometimes I would see it relate to hormonal patterns of the month. I quit caffeine completely and everything went along fine. Well about 3 weeks ago - I started getting these fluttery feelings and what felt like multiple skip beats. Maybe every few beats. They would come in clusters. Sometimes they will last only a couple hours and nothing the rest of the day. I ended up in Urgent care a week ago and of course they did an EKG and nothing. In fact while I was in there - I had NONE. I had them horribly before that and even had a run with them when I left. Dr said he felt it was stress and I should try a test with anxiety meds. I went and saw my primary the next day - he suggested Beta blocker as needed. I hate taking any meds - side effects contributes to my healthy anxiety. I can handle the feeling of the PVC's but the fear I feel is indiscribable (I know you all understand though) I have continued to have these runs of them everyday now for a few weeks and I do notice them sometimes when I am lifting or exerting myself. I never get lightheaded or short of breath although sometimes I feel a weird sensation in my thoat. Just panic is all I feel. I have had some chronic stress in my life the last few months but Im not feeling stressed at all when I feel them. My primary put in another referral to cardiology, so hopefully I can get in soon again to ease my fears. I would do anything to be free of these. I am just so afraid something is wrong.
Thank you for just letting me vent and cry!

Christina
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Avatar_m_tn
Been there, still there!  I really is hard to be relaxed when the heart begins to skip every other beat for awhile - certainly feels like it is going to stop at any moment....Mine are episodic and I cannot predict when my episodes are going to suddenly appear which makes it very difficult to determine what might trigger them.  Mixture of pauses from every other, every second and every third beat for a period of time, then a regular rhythm returns. This pattern can cycle randomly -  some days more often, other days they are few and far between   After 2 trips to the ER and a complete cardiac workup the prognosis was no heart disease, just benign PAC's and PVC's.  Now I just have to learn to live with a fluttering heart.  Just remember as long as they are benign they won't kill you.  Hang in there.
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Avatar_f_tn
I agree with what curmudgen said. The one thing you can do is wear a 24 hour holter around the time you normally would have a lot. The cardio will most likely agree to that.
Hang in there, the rest of us are here too.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you! Its so nice to know Im not alone!!
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Avatar_f_tn
Just one purely medical question:  I assume your thyroid has been checked recently?  Arrhythmias, as you probably know, do occur commonly with thyroid disorders.

If your thyroid is OK, and your heart has been repeatedly checked out and found to be OK, too, then, as you suspect, the problem is how to deal with the fear.  For people who have a medicine phobia (pretty common, actually), treatment is necessarily going to be more difficult.  You might try talking with a psychotherapist to see if you could learn some biofeedback or other mental exercises to help you calm yourself.  Another resource that might help you is a small, inexpensive book by Dr. Claire Weekes called "Hope and Help for Your Nerves."  It explains some of the physical manifestations of fear and offers some techniques for dealing.

Fear can be treated successfully, but those who are serious about getting relief are more likely to find it if they are aggressive about seeking help and flexible in their approaches to treatment.
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Avatar_f_tn
After reading all of your posts, I must say, that it does my "heart" good to know that I am not alone in dealing with this condition.  I do not have any answers for anyone as I have only been suffering with palpitations for about 4 months now so I am new to the group.  A group which appears to have a lot of members.  I wonder why, if there are so many of us suffering from the same condition, aren't there more answers.  Right now, however, I am just feeling very fortunate to have found this forum where I know there are people who really understand.  The fact that I AM NOT ALONE, is relief in itself.  Thanks to all of you who post!!
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1569985_tn?1328251082
Xanax and beta blockers helped me a lot.  I am also now on Norpace and Coumadin.  As we age, our hearts sometimes need a little help.  I am not crazy about the meds either, but they allow me to function.  In less stressful times, I need less medication.  Good luck to you.  Others have found ways to cope, I hope you will too.  It IS scary -- no doubt about it.
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Avatar_m_tn
You made the statement (in your post) "as we age" our hearts need a little help? Im curious, how old are you? And, what do you mean by that statement.  I'm a 53 yr old female and i've been dealing with PAC's and a ( sometimes) fast heart beat since i was about hmmmmm 23. Inderal took care of the problem, for the most part, for about 27 yrs and then i had to switch meds. i currently take 50 mgs of metopral, which doesn't work so well. I'm wondering will i have to take more as I age. I know, no one can answer that for sure....but I'm wondering.
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941118_tn?1312285526
I hate taking meds too, but I have learned that our life spans are increasing because there are wonderful medicines out there that prolong our lives.  I know that most of the people on this board have benign pvcs, but if my heart is irritable, for whatever reason, age (I'll be 55 soon), stress, and there is medicine available - I'm going to take it.  I take 50 to 75 mg of metoprolol and an occasional klonopin.  I have not gained weight from either, and have not experienced any unbearable side effects.  I think the pvcs would be even worse without them.
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1465650_tn?1316234760
In my opinion some meds are not needed. The root of the problem needs to be sorted before meds are prescribed. I was diagnosed with SVT but before the diagnosis all the doctors wanted to do was give me anxiety pills. Kept on telling me it was stress and anxiety. One doc even prescribed me with beta-blockers without even being diagnosed with anything. On the day of my diagnosis (SVT full blown attack) a nurse came up to me while I was in the midst of an Adenosine push and said "good to know it wasn't all in your head"
If the palpitations are benign then it is time to start getting on with your life. When the palps are bad then go out for a walk, do something to take your mind off them. It is hard we all know that but there has to be something out there, something that while doing it will take our minds off these life destroying palps.
I have recently decided that I will spend no more of my time worrying about SVT, skipped beats, extra beats or if and when my time will come. I am going to enjoy my life, take every day as it comes and if something happens then deal with it and move on. I have ruined and missed out on the last 2 years of my life thanks to SVT. I have decided it will not ruin or make me miss out on anything else.
Enjoy your life, we only get the one
xxx
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Avatar_f_tn
I understand that many are helped with meds, but I want to remind everyone that all meds have side effects. There was a time the docs would not give anyone anything for benign pvcs because of the risks associated with them. (more rythm issues, heart block etc...)
After careful research, I went to my doctor (EP) and he offered me beta blockers. I said no drugs and he said "well I dont blame you there, they dont always do much of anything, but they can cause problems". Anxiety drugs are something i will warn others about as long as I am able. There are some people on here that have been helped greatly by them and thus far have not suffered ill effects, but I was not one of the lucky ones. When I was on Prozac years ago it caused me to acquire first degree heart block. Now I have to be careful to not take things that cause cause it to worsten. The last thing I want is a pacemaker. I went drug free until I got what doctors said was CFS. Then I was put on the Effexor and that drug has literaly been the cause of much pain. Anyway, just be careful.
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187666_tn?1331176945
I'm with Janpes on this. Once we find out what's going on with our hearts and hear that it won't kill us, it's time to get on with life. Yes, we'll feel the flip flops and flutters (like I am right now). We'll get speedy bits perhaps. And maybe even occasionally get the long run of SVT that needs to be managed. But personally, I'm not going to sit around waiting for it to happen any more than I'll sit around waiting to die. I know both will hit me at some time but for now, I'll just live my life: the good, the bad and the ugly.

I also agree with bbxx - medications can be helpful but you have to weigh the benefits and the risks. For me the heart medication had more side effects than I wanted to face. Yes, I have some Diltiazem I can use when my heart is unusually bad but I don't want to have that stuff percolating through me every day, slowing me down. When my heart pops up to 200 and I have chest pain, then I'll consider taking the med.  LOL
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Avatar_f_tn
I LOVED how you worded that! "I dont want the have that stuff percolating through me"
I am easily entertained. lol
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you guys for all the info, enouragement etc. I sit here in tears as I am enduring a cluster of these right now. I guess what has increased my fears is the new and different feelings of the PVC's I am feeling. When I was first checked out in Jan/2010 - I only had the occasional skip with space in between etc. Now in the lasy few weeks that have come back - but now in clusters, or several in a minute, every few beats and palps mixed in etc. I guess I just want to be told again that they are benign. I think we all need reassurance every now and then. I have had so many EKG's when I go in and always nothing. I am afraid to do any exercise or even mild exercise until Im checked. I know I need to move on once Im told they are fine. Its just so hard when your heart is the one thing keeping me alive! I have spent the last 6 years dealing with medical issues and have wasted my life in worry, fear, stress and anger over it. Im ready to quit feeling like Im being punished.

My thyroid levels are checked monthly and that are all still normal. I have been off thyroid meds since 10/10 and and my antibodies test for Graves came back negative after 6 years. I never had PVC's (that I was aware of anyway) when my thyroid was off - just palps.

What scares me is how when Im moving about I get them but when I sit down and relax they go away. Thats why Im afraid to exercise.

Thank you all for sharing your exeperiences - it provides so much comfort!!
Christina
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Avatar_f_tn
I know how you feel. I get them sitting or moving. They are terrible to deal with. ONce you adjust to one sensation you have another new one. Pac, Pvc, couplets,  Afib, Vtach, etc...
I think if I am not miraculiously healed soon, I will request a implanted monitor. Not for sure, but considering it.  
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1464004_tn?1384139333
Hi Janpes, I have to throw my vote in with you. You said exactly what I have said in other posts. We can't let these stinkin things run or ruin our lives. Anyone who has seen my posts on here knows I have some of everything. PVCs/PACs PSVT ( gotta hate that Adenosine) and a plethora of other health issues including post thyroid CA. Now I'm in the midst of a gallbladder attack ( my own durn fault, keep eating bad things ). I was riding the edge of a panic attack all day. I have to make a 5 hour car trip tomorrow to go to Jersey for my grandbaby's 2nd birthday and all the usual crap keeps popping up. Am I gonna have an episode on the highway somewhere? Am I gonna be able to function for the entire weekend without going through the usual happy crappy? All the usual concerns.

I have decided to just do what I have to do. Goddess forbid I have an "episode " on the road, I know there will be a hospital somewhere near the highway if I need the dreaded Adenosine. I can't let this beat me down. I want to go to Jersey, enjoy my family and have a great time with the kiddies at Chuck E. Cheese-then come home and get back into my routine without incedent...is that too much to ask? I think not.
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1465650_tn?1316234760
Thank you Elli, now go and get that gallbladder out. Had mine out year and half since and haven't looked back since.. It would be one less thing for you to worry about.
Good luck on your car trip, relax and enjoy the birthday.
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941118_tn?1312285526
Hi Janpes!  I just love your attitude lately, you have been inspiring me to stop feeling sorry for myself.  Some of you may know that there has been a recent switch in my pvcs.  They now come on at rest and I feel better throughout the day when I am moving around.  Instead of coddling myself I should just get out there and take a walk and get out of my own head!!!  Thank you for whipping me into shape and just stop the darn wallowing!  Thank you Janpes and bbxx and all.  This is a great thread.  Hang in there CMoore.  You are talking to "seasoned" sufferers, we know what we are talking about!!!
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1465650_tn?1316234760
Thank you hun. I just don't see the point in wallowing my days away anymore. I figured that I am ALIVE and that those darn SVT attacks wont kill me. you know the saying "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" thats how I feel right now. I am here living enjoying my kids bickering :0(, fighting about who has what and how much...lol
I am here living amongst the seasons watching summer turn to autumn and waiting impatiently for the first snow to arrive. I am here living my dream, the dream is to be alive and seeing my kids grow up. I have had to cope with a lot the last year and half, probably not as much as some but have had my share, but do you know what? I am still here :) :) :)
We get only the one life and I DO intend to leave a legacy for my kids. They had to go through a lot too while I was sick and somehow I can still see the pain in their eyes. I want them to remember me and laugh (at me not with me...lol) thats why I will not sit in the chair anymore and let this win.
CMoore as Dmacd74 said hang in there, we have all been where you are, some of us are still there but it does get easier especially with a great community like this giving out support just when it is needed. We are all here to help you through the rough times and to laugh through the great times and the great times will come again, I know!
Good luck and keep in touch and take care
xxx
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you all for the encouraging advice!!  Like I said, I've only been suffering from this for 4 months so I guess  that's just not enough time yet to get my head around the fact that as annoying as this condition is, it won't kill me!!  Honestly, there are days when I am almost sure that it is!!  I realize I didn't give any info on myself.  I am 40 yrs old, just recently quit smoking, have given up caffeine, am on the beta blocker propranolol, and several different vitamins and supplements.  None of these changes have helped.  I guess I keep hoping for the magic answer that will "cure" these palps and skipped beats and let me return to my normal life.  Also beginning to realize that I may have to learn to live with them.  That is a hard thing to swallow.  I think in time, it will probably get easier.  It is nice to have this forum for support, advice, and comfort!!  Just not quite ready to accept that this may actually be my "normal" from here on out!!
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1996045_tn?1327325767
I know exactly how you feel.  I am a 37 yr. old male. Everyday I experience these and I am exactly like you.  I feel that something is going to happen and extreme panic is all i have.  And I think that brings them on even more.  I wish there was a quick fix for these things.  I am trying to get my cardiologist to write me up another order to wear a 24 hour holter just to be on the safe side.  My life has plumeted from having these things that's for sure.  I hardly do anything anymore.  Good Luck to you.  
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Avatar_f_tn
If your heart has been carefully evaluated and found to be essentially healthy--and if you have not taken classes in cardiology that make you pretty certain you know more than your doctors do (don't laugh; it's pretty common)--then at some point, you have to accept that your cardio isn't shucking you:  Your heart really is OK.

So, if your heart is basically all right, what is your major problem, the thing that is driving you nuts?  Of course, it is panic and fear.

Now, it's a matter of finding the right doctor to deal with THAT problem.  For most of us, that means a psychiatrist who specializes in anxiety and panic.  My experience is that doing this can give you your life back.

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1996045_tn?1327325767
Thank you very much.  That sounds definitely what i need to do.  I am going to still wear a 24 holter one more time just to put my mind in the right direction.  Thanks for your reply achillea.
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Avatar_m_tn
I was about your age when these things started to worry me.  I'm 50 now and have learned to accept them.  I had all the tests, wore event monitors, echo's, ecg's or the years.  It seems impossible at first but after a while you will learn to live with them.
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Avatar_m_tn
I am very pleased for you that you can be so positive. I am on propranolol and they were ok for few months but now my palip back again.I am not that strong like you which. My doctor told me if I stop takin this tablets I wil have stroke.Now  I started panic which is not good for my palip.I dont know what to do. In to weeks time I am going for holiday but I start worry if somthing happen to me
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Avatar_f_tn
hi all am new here.... as much am relived to come across this forum as much i am mad also.... if this si so common how come there is no cure for it? i sometimes wonder if cardiologists get them at all... i know they are not life threading i just want them to go away.... they first started when in 2005... and since then been on beta blockers... but with different doses... i am at the highest dose now.... 30mg 3 times a day... i can deal with the flutters but hate the clusters or couplets!! everytime i feel frustrated or sad or even scared i start looking for answers on the net... unfortunately found no cure
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