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308074 tn?1289690946
Hard Thumps in the heart, followed by breathing problems
I dont really know how to explain this problem that well...And I hope that no one gets confused...I cant seem to figure out why I sometimes have a problem with my heart.  Im fine one minute, then the next I feel my heart thump hard, and after that I have to control my breathing, change how I breathe.  I cant lay on my left side hardly ever because it seems that there is a lack of oxygen to my heart and it thumps hard.  Its just usually 1 thump, followed by the breathing issue.  I cant rest my arm on my chest (like right now Im typing, and my arm is on my chest, and I can feel my heart slowing, getting ready to thump hard).  I can sometimes feel the thump coming, because my heart slows down.  It happens when I talk, when I bend over, when I stand up too fast...When I go to bed...EVERYWHERE!  My doctor says its asthma, but wouldnt I have the breathing problems, THEN the heart thump?  Im confused, and I want to know whats going on!!!  My doctor just wont do nothing about it, and the nutcase dr. I went to at one time told me that it was asthma!  I have tons of other issues Im having (that the doctor hasnt even cared to discuss with me), and I have no idea if its related at all!  Like double vision, muscle pain, seeing dots, when I am outside in the daylight, there are tons of circles and wiggley lines, I really cant explain that one good enough, I get burning pains in the head that clear up rather quickly.  The list goes on and on...But maybe some of those can help explain whats going on with me.  Thanks for reading, and I sure hope someone can help, or give me some insight as to what it COULD be!  God bless you all!
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Avatar universal
You are describing what happens when you have (most likely) what's called a premature ventricular contraction or PVC.  In this situation, the heart gives an earlier-than-usual heartbeat, which you don't feel because it hasn't had time to get a full load of blood to pump out.  The chambers of the heart are elastic, though, and this odd timing gives the left ventricle, the biggest pumping chamber, a chance to fill a bit more than usual.  At the next regular beat, the heart gives a really big push to send the larger amount of blood out.  That is thump you hear.

The breathing problem is probably a panic response.  It's caused by instantaneous and natural fear from the unfamiliar thump.

You feel the heartbeat more strongly when you're on your left side or when you put your arm over it because (1) the heart is a bit left of center, and (b) its pointy end actually can touch your ribs when you roll onto your left side.  The heart is not hurt by this--it's normal, but unusually sensitive people feel it more.

Many of the other symptoms you describe (visual effects, head pains, assorted muscle aches) are strongly related to anxiety.  There's no blame in this; it just goes along with being sensitive, but it can louse up the quality of your life if you get fixated on it.

As you have probably noted, when you stop and think about it, in spite of all your symptoms, you can physically do pretty much anything you want:  You breathe OK when not freaked out.  You do not have disabling pain.  You can walk, run, work, go up and down stairs--in short, all the things a person with a serious physical illness cannot do or do with ease.

I would suggest that you read about premature ventricular contractions, and then check out this site, where there are discussions about fear and unusual heart sensations:

http://mental-health.wegohealth.com/cardiac-neurosis.html

At some point, you will probably want to tell your doctor that you may need help dealing with anxiety.
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