I am a junior in college and I am 20 years old, I weigh 122 lbs. Since September 2008 I have been having rapid heart beat and an almost popping sensation in my chest where my heart is. It started off feeling as though my heart was a balloon and it was trying to expand in my chest and when it got full it popped, forcing air out of my throat and causing me shortness of breath. This started to happen maybe once a week...and then once every few days...and then once a day...and finally a couple of times a day. One time it was so bad that I had to sit down for fear of passing out. So i went to my doctor and they referred me to a cardiologist. The cardiologist put me on a loop monitor but after wearing it a month and sending in recordings the cardiologist concluded that there was a slight arrythmia but nothing to be concerned with. So my mom took me to an electrophysiologist, who ran the same tests and told me that I need to do a catherization and an ablation. Well my mother did not like that idea so finally she took me to another cardiologist. All the while in January I took tropol but got off of it because it made me sick, then cartia but that made me really dizzy, and finally ending ith verapamil which did nothing but calmed it for a few moments. As I went through months of more tests and more failed conclusions the symptoms got worse. Now I am having chest pain (sharp sometimes going all the way to my back and dull and achy staying just in my chest region), very heavy pressure on my chest (sometimes restricting my ability to breath normally), and more heart palpations. It has now gotten so bad that I am unable to sleep well at night, I am woken up by rapid heart beats and a "popping" heart and shortness of breath, I get tired just taking a shower or climbing the later to my loft bed in my dorm room. I am writing to you now with great pressure in my chest after having tried to go to bed for about an hour. The last cardiologist told me that there was nothing in his tests that showed it was anything serious and there was nothing more that he could do. I am writing to you now to see if you know anyone who could help me. I am a 20 year old trapped in an 80 year old body. I can't sleep, I can't run and play sports with my friends, I can't go out, I can't even laugh for long periods of time because the palpatations start and the horrible feeling I get takes over. I am so tired and so scared and I just want it to stop.
Please help me.
Sorry you are having such a bad time, sorry too that I can't be of more help than you have already gotten from medical doctors. I do recall the one proposal for an ablation, you didn't however, state what the condition it would correct is. That knowledge will not help me much, but it may help me and others give more specific experience, such as ablation as or has not worked for them for the same condition. Ablation is a rather serious procedure, so one would not do that unless there was a strong reason, and it sounds like you have several reasons.
Has any one talked with you about anxiety? Emotional stress can/does aggravate heart rhythm problems, so one effort that may pay off is to be as calm as possible and try to distract yourself from thinking about your heart to see if that helps at all.
Why get an ablation, which can have serious risks, sometimes even death if the cardiologists says that it is nothing serious. If you wore a loop monitor for a month and it did not show anything serious (it probably showed some PAC's , PVC's , maybe a short run of SVT) than it is not worth risking your health on an ablation. Sounds like an ablation is more risky than the heart problems you are having. If I were you I would start you on Celexa maybe 30 mg a day along with a regiman of Xanax 0.5 mg twice a day. That should calm you down and help your situation.
I would recommend an EP study at least and then perphaps they can ablate the spot that is acting up. If a heart rhythm expert said you need one, why would you not listen to him? It seems rather rediculous to live your quality of life and then refuse a possible solution when it is offered. Having an EP study can at least let the doctor map the pathways and either assure you that there is no serious problem, or if s/he finds something, they can ablate it to try to fix it.
If you go on not knowing, you are going to drive yourself crazy. And I definitley wouldn't trust a cardiologist: they oftentimes don't know all that much about heart rhythm issues as symptoms and findings can be so ambiguous. Your electrophysiologist seems to be on the right track. He too is not soo concerned but he has enough reason to suspect that it COULD be something dangerous and wants to do a minimally invasive EP study to determine what is wrong.
In the mean time, I would suggest seeing a psychiatrist and talk about getting on an antianxiety medication as well as having a few benzodiazapine pills around for when you get really freaked out. Everyone is different but for me, I don't like to take antianxiety meds but do take a benzo from time to time when my palpitations are really acting up. It lets me stay cool and ride it out. Without the pills, i'd have missed too much sleep, gotten fired from my job for bad perfomance, etc.
Good luck. And you don't have an 80 year old heart. So many people our age have this kind of diseased heart.
I work in the OR as a nurse and there is nothing minimally invasive about an EP study. Especially when they shock your heart to make the abnormal rhythm occur. I have seen 2 people die from an EP study, granted they were 62 and 65 years old. When the doctor shocked the heart to make the abnormal rhythm occur, the heart went into V-Fib. They tried for 10 minutes to to get the heart back into a normal rhythm, and it never did. The patients both died from the same exact way. If the electrodes they place around your heart induce this bad rhythm, there is no guarantee that they can restart your heart back to normal. Ask your EP they will tell you that. Also it is possible that your vessels could be damaged and you could bleed to death internaly. There are risks involved with an EP study, at your age I would not do it unless it was absolutely needed.
More than likely you have had an echo done and your heart is structurally normal. You dont have heart disease so the risks you have for serious heart problems is very low. I have lived with PvC's, PaC's, NSVT, and bigeminy for years now and I am just fine. Your condtion is more than likely benign, listen your cardio doctors, they know what they are talkiing about.
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