Has anyone been at a doctor's office, or possibly at the ER and received an ECG during an episode of PVCs?? I have read a few posts from frustrated PVC sufferers who have worn event monitors, or taken several ECGs and remained symptom free...only to have a PVC flare up moments after leaving the doctor's office or taking off the monitor...Cruel irony. MY PVCs used to only be brief sensations in my chest and throat, and would pass within a few seconds. I never experienced long episodes of PVCs until recently, and I can sympathize with all who suffer for hours/days at a time. A few weeks ago, I was very distressed during an hour long PVC episode, and finally decided to go to the ER, as I couldn't reach my family doctor. Fortunately, after a considerable wait, I was given a ECG, and it caught the PVCs. I was having Ventricular Trigeminy, or PVCs every third beat. I thought it was the smoking gun...an ABNORMAL ECG...finally proof that something sinister was going on with my heart. Needless to say, the doctors were not at all alarmed, and diagnosed me with benign PVCs. I was given all the usual tests (chest x-ray, echocardiogram, graded stress test, blood work) for precautionary reasons, and met with a cardiologist. Both the cardiologist and later my family doctor supported the ER doctor's diagnosis. Has anyone else been suffering from PVCs, but not been able to record them on an ECG? If you have had an episode while wearing a monitor or having an ECG, is it safe to assume that the doctor's can make the proper diagnosis? I am trying to accept the PVCs as normal, and find ways to curtail the symptoms when they occur, or prevent them all together. The "recording PVCs" scenario seems to be coming up on several posts, so I thought I would throw it out there again...any input would be appreciated.
yes recorded my pvc's at many dr's visits...here's my infamous "nothing is wrong" ECG: http://www.medhelp.org/user_photos/show/135108?personal_page_id=861727
scroll through my pictures you'll find ecg/ekg's where I was told they were normal, benign and nothing to worry about...check out the one on 7/26/2009 where the ER dr says I had very frequent multi focal pvc's and prolonged QT, it wasn't until I had an EP Study on August 28th they found mine weren't so benign =)
Yes, I recall you are the one who has had the concerning experience of more then one incorrect diagnosis. "Not so benign" is a scary concept!! Were you dealing with other symptoms besides the PVCs? I seem to recall a few people have gone through similar situations, but their PVCs were accompanied by dizziness, shortness of breath, passing out etc. Was this the case for you? Interested to hear what motivated you to keep going back to the doctor....We all have a skeptical feeling toward our "benign" diagnosis when we are experiencing a bad episode of PVCs.....
Just referred back to some other threads, and realize I was indeed recalling some of your previous posts - eg - "cardiologist's worst nightmare"....I really sympathize with your situation, but it is good to hear that after years of symptoms, you finally received a proper diagnosis. It's hard to believe you were having issues since the age of 9. I assume that genetics must play a role with PVCs...children are likely to experience the same issues as their parents as they get older...makes sense, but I really hope my kids never have to deal with this!!
Yes, I have a diagnosis of malignant arrhythmia's not found until my EP Study, neurocardiogenic syncope and orthostatic intolerance but no cause of any of these. I have a ton of questions and no answers really so I'm still searching like everyone else.
I've complained a number of times to the same dr's. I had the same primary for years and she just ignored my symptoms and did and EKG and told me nothing was wrong. The Ekg showed nothing so she didn't follow up and told me it was stress related.
Even though I have documented fainting, dizziness, shortness of breath, fainting with exercise & exertion, and arrhythmia's since age 9, dr's ignored symptoms - 5 different primary's since 1999.
My pvc's didn't just "morph" into being malignant; it had to be there before, unless I was abducted by aliens :P If they did turn from benign into malignant...that opens a whole new can of worms and a ton of more questions.
This is why I tell everyone if you feel something is wrong we each know our bodies best and need to keep pushing for answers - medicine is not an exact science and dr's can be wrong or there would be no malpractice insurance needed =)
It was quite by accident I found mine - I fell & broke my foot and went to a different dr in the clinic I had been in since he had an office about a mile from me. During the visit he did a full checkup because I hit my left side in a door frame and he thought I pulled a muscle. If he had not heard what he did and sent me to a cardiologist I would not be here today.
I'm convinced genetics do play a major role in many of us; and dr's don't know the answers so the easy thing to do is ignore them and placate patients by medicines and surgery.
Well, it's good that you recorded the PVCs and that your doctors know what the sensations in your chest are caused by.
Concerning "Abnormal EKG": Different machines have different rules for what's considered normal, borderline and abnormal. I guess from my 19 EKG's I've recorded, 14 are normal, 4 are borderline and 1 is abnormal. The 4 borderline ones were sinus tachycardia. The abnormal one did show a old heart attack - obvious misinterpretation.
PACs and PVCs usually qualify for "borderline EKG" if there aren't any other findings. I know that some machines interpret frequent PVCs as abnormal, maybe that's what happened to you?
Anyway, if you should do a Holter monitoring now, it would be useful to quantify the PVCs, if you have thousands a day, it would be different from if you only have short events of PVCs.
I assume a cardiologist investigated the abnormal EKG, to see if there were other changes present and to classify the PVCs, some are more benign than others.
sometimes my mind just isn't all here; and I miss typing part of what I'm thinking...glad I read that again.
I have also had Ekg's that show normal and no arrhythmia's, even though I know I was in the height of my pvc 'storm' and felt them happening.
My ekg from Nov 21, 2008 showed only Bradycardia; which I question because I remember having 3 ekg's taken in that visit and the nurse commenting this can't be right and redid the EKG's yet I only received 1 EKG from the doctor when I requested.
My sleep study just 3 days before my EP Study said I had NO arrhythmia's whatsoever...yet I had just had an EKG the day of my EPS that showed I was still in bigeminy as well as every other ekg from June 25, 2009 - August 26, 2009...how can that be? I don't have a clue.
I had a holter/event monitor a few years ago, and came back with very few PVCs. My issue has been the longer episodes, lasting hours at a time, that really cued my anxiety recently...hence the trip to the ER a few weeks ago, and the cardiac assessment that followed for "precautionary reasons". The problem remains, that many who have my same symptoms, can have all the tests, but if they aren't in the midst of an episode, there are no abnormal findings. I was glad that the ECG picked up my PVCs, so in a sense, it was lucky that the episode didn't subside before I was hooked up...from my perspective, the doctors were able to witness exactly what I was dealing with, and the diagnosis came back as benign. I can go weeks without noticing anything at all, so my episodes are hard to catch!
To quote you from your post.....
"Fortunately, after a considerable wait, I was given a ECG, and it caught the PVCs. I was having Ventricular Trigeminy, or PVCs every third beat.... I am trying to accept the PVCs as normal, and find ways to curtail the symptoms when they occur, or prevent them all together....Needless to say, the doctors were not at all alarmed, and diagnosed me with benign PVCs."
Random episodes of bi- and trigeminy are par for the course. They come along with episodic benign PAC's/PVC's and there aren't many ways to curtail or prevent them unless the cause is extrinsic to the heart, eg., electrolyte imbalance, dehydration, drug reaction, etc. The one component we can all control is level of anxiety.
Yes, you can have an ECG that doesn't reflect what you are feeling at the moment. I was on an event Holter monitor - I would record an episode of PV's and then transmit ECG to hospital...what I felt were the worst PVC's were actually recorded as having very few. On several occasions, especially during two echos and an ECG I had no PVC's. Other posts have reported similar experiences.
The bottom line is after all the tests and you still have no intrinsic heart problems, like many of us, the best we can do is try to accept them. They will not kill us even though they feel like they will.
Clearly the medical system isn't perfect....and unfortunately a misdiagnosis is always a possibility...truthfully, I think that is what EVERYONE fears deep down on this site...all the reassurance in the world never completely eliminates that underlying fear that something really is wrong...a ticking time bomb. I am trying to keep it all in perspective. I have had all the tests done again over the last few weeks, and as per my post above, I am a little more reassured because the ECG recorded one of my bad episodes before it subsided...I asked my family doctor about an EP study a week ago, and he told me he was not recommending any further tests/consults at this time. I don't have any other symptoms that you have described, and I exercise daily, so I will have to put a little faith in my doctor, the ER doctor, and the cardiologist who performed my recent echo and graded stress test. I can go weeks between episodes, and notice absolutely nothing, so my real hurdle is learning how to manage the symptoms when they flare up. I have cut out caffeine, drinking tons of water, and taking magnesium daily...I need to manage my anxiety and try to enjoy the days that I am PVC free rather then waiting in fear for the next episode...much easier said then done! I really hope my kids never have to deal with this.
""A ticking time bomb".... If you ever thought about how complicated the human body? There are so many other weak links that you haven't thought of that can kill us, not too mention a fall on the ice. Those of us with episodic PVC's are lucky... think of those folks that have them 24/7. Going for hours or days free of PVC's is to be enjoyed not to be used to worry about when the next episode is going to happen. That said since I am PVC free this morning I am going to take a long walk along the shore line of Acadia National Park and savor the day.
Thanks for your reassurances...much appreciated. I am trying to get in a better frame of mind. My trigeminy was recorded, and at that time, I was feeling like I was about to go down for the count...I am glad I went to the ER, as monitors can be worn for weeks with no symptoms...so nothing shows up...I am really trying to accept the condition, and the consistent diagnosis of benign PVCs...I must admit, when I read about misdiagnosis, my mind wanders...surfing the internet on this stuff can also be very destructive!! I have no other associated symptoms, so I will focus on not letting these episodes control my daily life any longer. Like I said above, it is a struggle, and takes time. It is comforting to know others have the identical symptoms, and have the same diagnosis.
It really is a struggle to accept pvc's are "normal" and I think most would agree pvc's can make you anxious even if you don't normally feel anxiety. We feel that pause or extra beats and think our hearts are going to just stop, but in reality it takes ALOT for that to happen normally.
What's good is you don't have the very frequent episodes and no symptoms such as I've had. I trusted doctor all my life...42 years that nothing was wrong with me even though tests showed there was something - they ignored symptoms & test results...but again I'm one of the RARE ones, who are in that 1%-5% that unfortunately have something wrong.
Live your life and don't let pvc's or anything else rule what you do or how you live. Thankfully it took a very long time and who knows what trigger for them to mess with my heart because before then, I did what I wanted and never let what I was feeling bother me =)
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