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Ventricular Fibrillation? Please Help!
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Ventricular Fibrillation? Please Help!

Hey everyone..  I've been really scared the past year.  I've had heart palpitations off and on for the last 15 years..  Since high school.  They started occurring more frequently my senior year and I started having panic attacks.  Went to the ER a few times.  Blood work was done and an EKG at my pediatrician all came back normal. So i was sent to a psychologist.  After meeting with the psychologist (and being on Wellbutrin) I started to calm down and eventually the heart palpitations became very few and far between.. Didn't happen very often at all..  That was 97..  Years go by and all is more or less good.  Cut to 2004.  I'm in NYC and waiting or the bus when out of nowhere I feel my heart "fluttering".  I had the sensation to cough.  After a few seconds it didn't stop on it's own and I began to feel faint.  I leaned against the post thinking I might pass out, but then the flutter stopped and I was ok.  It didn't freak me out completly and I didn't have a panic attack or anything, but It stayed on my mind.  Didn't go to a doctor because I thought it was a fluke.  Years go by..  Cut to Summer 2007.  I'm at a bookstore by myself in the afternoon.  Just as calm as can be looking at books when all of a sudden I felt my heart "quivering".  Not a normal palpitation, not a strong beat, but just quivering.  Felt like a faint knocking back and forth, extremely fast, in my chest.  Again, the sensation to cough..  And the quivering does not stop... It is continuous. After about 5 seconds my vision starts to go dark and I begin to feel faint. I start considering calling out for help,, but the rythym corrects itself and goes back to normal.  Again, I was freaked out a bit, but no panic attack or anything.  Thought it was just a fluke.  Then 2months later.  I'm at a bachelor party in Vegas.  1 am at a club dancing my heart out..  When I feel the "quiver".  Again, is continuous and doesn't stop..  I start trying to get my friends attention through the music but the rythym corrects itself and I"m ok.   Again, worried for a bit but no panic attack.   All is ok for a few years.  
    Cut to 2011.  January at work.  It happens, the quivering, the need to cough. Doesnt' stop after a few seconds and just the beginning of feeling faint but it corrects itself.  Then only 2 weeks later, again at work, the exact same thing.  No panic attacks or excessive worry but I do worry a bit.   Then about 4 weeks later, I'm at home 3 am playing video games, relaxed and sleepy.  I feel about 2 seconds worth of the quiver.  But it stops quickly.  And I got really anxious thinking it might happen again.  And about a minute later it did.  The quivering, the coughing...  I scramble to my front door thinking if I pass out in my apt. no one will find me!  But only the beginnings of feeling faint and it corrects.  But this time I get EXTREMELY anxious.  No panic attack, but because it happened so late at night and in my home I get incredibly scared. Start looking online that night for symptoms and come across Ventricular Fibrillation and it sends me into a depression and panic.  The next day was so anxious and depressed.  "normal" heart palpitaions all day.  Then that night I was so anxious my heart was jumping all over the place. I went to the ER and of course my heart is completely fine by the time I get there.  They do an EKG and it comes back normal..  THey monitor my heart for another 30 minutes and appartantly all is fine.  The doc gives me a prescription for Lorazepam and says it's only a problem if i pass out or feel like it.  I tell him that IS what's happening but he sends me on my way.  I  HAVE NO INSURANCE!
A short episode happened again 5 days later.  Then again a few weeks later while driving in my car!  I hurried to pull off the road for fear I might pass out.  But the rhythm corrects itself.  That was May 2011 and the last time.

So since 2011, when I had those 5 occurrences in 3 months, I've never been the same.  Depression..  I've gained SO much weight because I'm scared to get my heart rate up to high.  I used to jog all the time and be very fit.  Now I'm 80 lbs overweight!

Does this sound like Ventricular Fibrillation to you?  It's not a strong beat, or a skipped beat.. It feels like my heart is literally shaking in my chest... and goes on for 2- 10 seconds.  In the library I almost blacked out, other times I don't.  But it's scaring me so badly.  And now I am so anxious to be anywhere I feel it might be dangerous to pass out..  like the subway, or a movie theater or an airplane or just being somewhere secluded where there are no people around.  I need answers so badly!  But I don't have any medical insurance!  How will I ever get a full cardio workup?  If it IS Ventricular Fibrillation it needs to be diagnosed ASAP right?

FYI there is no diagnosed heart disease in my family that I know of.  No heart attacks, but my mother did have palpitations all her life.  I am 34 year old male. I used to be fit when these things started but am now 80 lbs overweight due to anxiety from it.  

Please help me someone!
9 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_m_tn
PS-  I have never smoked.  I use to bing drink from 99-2004. But haven't had any alcohol in several years.
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1807132_tn?1318747197
Boy, I wish we could tell you exactly what is going on but not even the doctors who pop on every once in a while can tell you for sure.  It is possible you are experiencing VT though the good news is it sounds like if it is it is NonSustained.  In general if your heart is in good working order they don't consider NSVT a threat to your overall health.  I would consult a doctor about this to be sure but that is what I have read.  That said, ventricular tachycardia is a bit more dangerous then the atrial arrhythmias but without a diagnosis you are possibly worrying about having VT when you could just have an svt or atrial flutter.  I highly suggest making an appointment with a cardiologist.  It might be a couple hundred dollars but it is important to know what you are dealing with.  I would think they would have you wear a heart monitor.  Since you don't have episodes everyday but you do have them at least once a month an event monitor, a heart monitor that you wear for a month and hit a record button when you feel an episode, sounds like your best bet.  If they offer a 24 hour holter I would question them about the month long monitor.  Once your episode is captured you will likely not need to wear the monitor anymore and you will have definitive evidence of what arrhythmia is occurring.    Depending on what you have you can then consult with your doctor about the best ways of managing it which might be not even needing to do anything at all, maybe taking some meds, or possibly being offered an ablation though without insurance they are very expensive.  But in general try to not panic that you have vt until you are actually diagnosed with it.  The less you stress about whatever it is the better off you will be.  But please do go and see a cardiologist.  The visit isn't that expensive in the whole scheme of things and if they want to do tests like an echo to determine the overall health of your heart discuss your financial situation with them and I am sure they would be willing to work out a deal but you really should at least consult with a cardiologist for your own peace of mind at least.  Take care and keep us posted on how you are doing.
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1807132_tn?1318747197
I just saw your headline reads as Ventricular Fibrillation.  It is doubtful you have that because from what I understand VF does not convert on its own and would likely be deadly in very short order.  If you have a ventricular issue it is more likely tachycardia or it could even be something more simple like a pattern of pvcs but again it could also be an atrial issue like svt, afib or aflutter.  And again, the fact that it converts on its own is a good thing.  Anyways, I just wanted to clarify there is a difference between VT and VF and it is very doubtful you are experiencing VF.
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1124887_tn?1313758491
Even without being a doctor, I can guarantee you one thing: You do NOT have ventricular fibrillation.

Ventricular fibrillation = death. It doesn't convert on its own, and it's the same as cardiac arrest. There are cases where people fall when the arrhythmia occur, and the blow to the chest as they hit the floor has the same effect as an electrical shock, but it's very rare.

That said, you may have some kind of arrhythmia that should be investigated. Some of it sounds fairly benign and innocent, but the fact that you are close to fainting sounds a bit concerning (if it's not just that you are afraid). You should get it monitored. It may be atrial fibrillation, another supraventricular arrhythmia or another arrhythmia, impossible to say.

I don't know in detail what healthcare you can get without insurance. In my country, you would get a cardiac workup through the public healthcare.

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Avatar_f_tn
I agree, if this is your problem, you would have to be shocked out of it, without that being done, you would be dead.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have much the same problems but without either sync or pre sync..but can be up all night with ectopic beats. I just think they are etopic..but as the person above pointed out, ventricular ectopy can't convert to VF..can it??

Will VF or any other cause of cardiac sudden death show on an ECG if not symptomatic?? I also have slow conduction caused by a very rare congenital heart defect involving an extra membrane in the left atrium. Blood flow normal.

I have become terrified. I drink alcohol to relax me, I never have, or at least never notice any ectopic beats when I go to bed that way. But then, soon enough the alcohol shall upset the heart rhythm enough to cause a worse situation.

And all the time scared about V Fib..can it develop from ectopic beats?? Is there ever a mild form of V Fib that is just waiting to kill you??

Thanks from a very worried individual.
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Avatar_m_tn
I am also suffering from heart palpitations and I am sometimes wondering the same thing: How to be sure that these palpitations are not going to be fatal at some point? The problem is that, in order to judge what kind of palpitations you have, an EKG must recorded at the time that you have the palpitations. If the palpitations occur infrequently (less than once a week), it is generally very difficult to get an EKG of them. Most EKG monitors allow for a recording of about 2 days, and the monitors that are not attached to you continuously are difficult to use for palpitations that last for a few seconds only (once you have the monitor in place, the palpitations are usually gone).

So determining exactly what irregular heartbeat you have might be difficult. However, if you would have some money for a doctor, you might want to ask one to determine whether your heart is structurally normal (using an echocardiogram) and possibly have a stress EKG done (the dangerous heart rhythms seem to occur more often when you strain your heart).
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Avatar_m_tn
WOW!  I know its been 2 years since your post, but I am VERY curious if you got diagnosed because your story is EXACTLY what I am going through.  I am in Canada and have coverage, but our medical system takes so long, I have been bounced from Dr to Dr for 9 months and still don't know what the isuue is.  I have episodes almost every day, cannot work, and ALWAYS feel nauseous & faint.  Let me know if you got it figured out.   I hope you are ok
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Avatar_m_tn
I also am very interested to know results as school boy is.. Started panic attacks years ago and now taking a mild anti depressant to lower my anxiety due to family issues and loss of a sister. I have high blood pressure border liner diabetes which is controlled for 30 years and gerd.. I think I will ask for a test as my father and mother had heart problems although totally different causes.
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