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Viral Illness causing Stabbing Chest Pain, Skipped Beats
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Viral Illness causing Stabbing Chest Pain, Skipped Beats

Hi there.

About 4 months ago I suddenly fell ill with fever, night sweats, oral lesions, diarrhoea (lasting about 3 weeks).

5 Weeks after symptoms began I started getting stabbing pains in my chest when laying on my left side in bed. I also had chest pain throughout the day. Doctor detected a murmur and ordered an Echocardiogram. The Echo showed a bicuspid aortic valve (aorta dilated to 4.2cm) and otherwise normal heart function. In particular, no endocarditis was detected. Chest pains and stabbing pains soon subsided. BPM/Blood pressure were always normal throughout the ordeal

3 Weeks after the echo I started getting very forceful heart beats all day long for a week with no interruption. By forceful I mean I could feel each beat in my throat and feel my body sway under the pressure of each beat while standing. I could even hear my heart beating when standing in a quiet room. After about 7 days, the forceful beats subsided. Again, this whole time my BPM/Blood pressure were normal

Now, about 1 week after the forceful heartbeats disappeared I began having arrhythmias, in particular, skipped heart beats (beat beat beat silence........ beat beat beat beat beat silence........, etc). Its been 72 hours since these arrhythmias first started occurring. My digital blood pressure monitor, which I've been using constantly for several weeks, always detects arrhythmias now (it never detected one before 72 hours ago). My BPM and Blood Pressure is still normal. Right now its 119/64 with 77 BPM. I have a slight feeling of shortness of breath, but its very slight. I'm not in any other discomfort.

The irony is that I completed a 24 hr holter monitor test just half a day before the onset of these arrhythmias so the cardiologist may not see anything unusual on the holter.

My Simple question is this: Does anyone have any idea what's happening with my heart? Should I go to the ER?
4 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
Unfortunately, nobody on this forum will be able to tell you what is going on with your heart.  Its possible that the arrhythmia's that you are experiencing are PVCs or PACs but they could be something entirely different and the only way to know is to catch these on a monitor.  Finding the cause of your symptoms is also important and it sounds like your doctor is on top of things.

I highly recommend that you call your cardiologist to let him/her know that you have new onset palpitations (especially in light of your previous symptoms/test results).  You may need to wear a monitor for a longer period of time to catch these (if they end up being intermittent). Also, if you ever have symptoms that are concerning enough to you that you even think an ER trip is warranted, then please go.  Never wait on advice from members of an online forum for something like this - you know your body and symptoms best.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks Spade22
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi - I just wanted to let you know my experience over the past 18/12 in that it has some similarities - and also to say that throughout this period of time I have been very frightened at times  and much more concerned than cardiologists tend to be -and although it has taken all this time to narrow the problem down - I'm still standing!
Briefly as I can -I had a virus Feb 2011. Although I had pre-existing ectopic beats the virus triggered arrhythmias like I had never known -alsorts of funny patterns of beats and pauses accompanied by a range of symptoms -lightheaded, short of breath, racing heart, sweating...One off ECG's were alawys normal (everyone on this forum can relate to that). By the time they gave me a 24 hour Holter it had settled down a lot so missed it. A 3 week Holter however did the trick -got some very pretty patterns on the trace that translated into a range of arrhythmias - and I started on Flecainide.

I also had all the other symptoms you describe -chest pain, awareness of the heart beating forcefully, visually seeing my chest and stomach looking like somwthing from Alien! HR always between 85 and 100+
My BP was never monitored closely ! but i monitor now and sometimes low, sometimes high. Ectopic beats are worse with low heart rate -eg at rest, in bed, when you go suddenly from activity to rest.
My echo's are absolutely fine and despite some other complications I have my heart has eventually settled on medication. I cannot have an EP study or ablation due to my other complications but if the arrhythmia doesn't go away, that is a very good way of properly diagnosing what is happening.
I have however for 18/12 had constant vertigo - like I'm always on a gently rocking boat, worse on turning head or turning over in bed and just yesterday i saw a general physician who diagnosed Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo -ie a problem in the labrynith in my ear caused by the virus 18/12 ago and not my heart!! which is treatable.
The moral of my tale I think is be persistent, make sure they ask detailed questions(ie dizzy means one thing to you and I and possibly another to a physician which can influence their interpretation and diagnosis)
Virus's these days tend to be dismissed but whatever i had was unusual and unidentified but has caused me (and my 14 yr old daughter who also has mild symptoms after the same virus) a long and difficult 18/12. Keep some sort of diary -try to link activity with occurences, actual duration and rate intensity on a scale eg 0-10. In that way you have objective evidence to share with the cardiologist not just memory which gets distorted by woryy and anxiety. (You know, we've all said we didn't sleep all night when it is highly unlikely)
And if your symptoms get very intense or don't ease, then yes as per previous entry, do go to ER. Even if it is anxiety making it worse, sitting at home worrying about it will exacerbate it anyway.
Good luck and take care.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hey everyone. I just signing in to say that I've seen a HUGE improvement in my geographic tongue ever since quitting soy. I was drinking  1/2 a litre per day on average of soy milk. I developed a soy allergy or that the soy interfered with my zinc absorption. If you're getting geographic tongue, I strongly recommend you look at your diet very carefully. Good luck to everyone
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