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My Journey Part 1....PVC's, a dark descent into life full of fear....

Mar 23, 2008 - 8 comments
Tags:

s, fear,arrhythmia

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scared

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PVCs




From July of 2006 to Oct of 2007, I allowed myself to become a fearful victim to Arrhythmia's, namely my PVC's.
They controlled every aspect of my life. From going grocery shopping to traveling. From enjoying intimacy to exercising. From eating to sleeping. Everything I did was PVC controlled and planned as if I could have dropped to the ground clutching my chest at any moment. Just when I thought the PVC's were getting better, they worsened with a vengeance. I went from 2000 to 5000 a day, to 10,000 to 25,000. They were so bad last June (2007) that I invested in not only one defibrillators, but two,...and believe me when I tell you, they weren't cheap, nor were they easy to get.
I would have walked across a valley of hot coals to get one....mentally, I think I did.  Even now, I still have one of them in my house, and one in my truck. Everyone in my life knows how to use them. Embarassing as it was/is, I made them practice.

When I went camping or traveled, the quickest route to the nearest hospital was always mapped out ahead of time.
I also had an extra cell phone battery, aspirin, and an EpiPen packed neatly inside the defibrillator case......just in case...
I carried 2 kinds of tranquilizers on me at all times, they were a constant companion, another safety net, so to speak. Xanax for quick relief and short duration, and Valium for long action...for those really bad days.
You know the kind...when your hearts flopping around like some fish out of water every other beat or your having those nasty little runs that make you gasp, grab your wrist to check your pulse, followed by hours of full fledged panic. My obsession and fear of the arrhythmia's and my attention to every heartbeat, slowly bled into other health issues. Over those 15 months, I made 8 trips to the ER, and 5 to the QuickCare. The doctors there knew me by name. One doctor even asked me if I wanted to rent my own private room for a few months. Had that been possible, I probably would have taken him up on the offer at that point in time.

Around month 6, I quite talking to my family and close friends about my heart, nobody understood the aweful feeling and fear or what I was going through... The only ones that understood what I was going through with my PVC's were my friends here...those fighting the same unseen "benign" demons... but demons non the less.
I lived in constant fear, mixed with a kind of unsettled anger and dismay. I lost hope, faith, and felt sorry for myself at times. I grieved and mourned the loss of my old life. I became reclusive, emotional, and a shell of the person I once was to all those that I loved.  My brother once told me that I looked like a scared, beaten down child. Living in fear does that. I had my own private wing in a living hell that I didn't know how to escape. I woke up with fear, spent the day with it, and then let it tuck me into bed at night.

I spent countless hours researching every aspect of the heart, and possible causes of PVC's, NSVT, and IST.
I've probably logged close to 1200 hours or more on online medical journals. I took extensive notes. I called friends and family members in the medical professions asking questions and looking into everything I came across that affected/effected the heart and it's electrical pathways. Had I gotten paid for doing semi-professional level medical data research thru Docline, etc., I would have grossed over $17,000.00. My consuming fear had paid $ 0.00.....
Although I realized that PVC's were benign in a healthy heart, the fear that gripped me with the repeated sensations was overwhelming. The mixed research results didn't do much in alleviating the fear some days either.
And  the spiral continued......


~~The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.~~


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by Jerzeegal, Mar 23, 2008
As I was reading this it could have been me writing it. The quote at the end is SOOOO true.  I still deal with anxiety regarding my pvcs and pacs and continue to have good days and bad days in relation to how well I cope at any given time but there is one thing I am practicing that I am copying from my dogs ( I know that sounds odd doesn't it.)  and it kind of goes along with your quote. Dogs live in the here and now so that's what I am trying to do. Live in the here and now and not think about the palps I had yesterday or if I am going to have them tomorrow. It's going to be enough that right now I'm not feeling them.. I am not anxious and I am going to enjoy today with my family.

Have a great day

Jerz

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by frethead, Apr 08, 2008
Yikes.  I get everything your saying and could easily fall into the same scenario again if I let myself.  The paragraph referring to your now keeping your family in the dark is so true;  it just doesn't make it any better having them flipping out or thinking I am whining too much and in fact just adds to my stress level.  

I am fairly new to being diagnosed with heart problems but I knew I had a "whacky" heart for the last 25 years (I am 40).  I just figured it was kinda cool until my doctor found out and freaked out.  After all the cardio tests that I had I felt myself slipping into your exact experience for about a 6 month duration.  Now, I try very hard to just ignore them as best I can.  Really the only way to get through it for me on the bad days is too just say, "Hell, I have a had good life and if is my time thats okay".  I guess this could be construed as a defeatist mentality but it is easier than living in constant fear.

I wish you the best in your daily battles and hope you keep your chin up.  

J

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by carcie6409, Dec 07, 2008
I found these posts fascinating--so many of the comments made me feel like less of a screwball for having the damned arrhythmia beginning to be an obsession.  Just seems hard to think that something that makes one feel so crappy is not harmful, doesn't it?  Whether mine is totally "innocent" or not is yet to be determined--but no matter, there has been nights when I felt afraid to go to sleep.  Dealing with the medical system is yet another frustration, at least I find it so.  There are physicians out there who think women's symptoms are all neurotic--add that to becoming a senior citizen when some seem to think we're all senile--and I could scream at times.

I like the idea of having a little security blanket of tranquilizer -- think I might just suggest that to my cardiologist.  At least then it might be possible to get some rest in the worst of times.

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by pennyc333, Dec 29, 2008
This could have been writtn by me too!  I have had PVCs for about 5 years now.  No one is sure why I started having them.  I have been to 2 different cardiologists and were told the same thing by both . . .  don't worry about them they are not harmful.  Acutally, the second cardiologist I went to said he had them himself and that he plans on living a full and happy life.  Made me feel better that he knew what they felt like and he also knew what I was going through.  Some days I feel them and just let them go and sometimes I feel them and immediately begin the full "panic attack" routine.  I am a Christian and believe in God and know that I am not supposed to worry, but sometimes I just can't hellp it.  I also see a therapist.  She has been very helpful.  She also has them.  She said that I have associated them with something bad or dangerous and that is why I panic when I feel one.  She said to start associating them with something positive.  So when I feel one, I try and tell myself it is reminding me I am healthy and happy.

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by jmcacdon, Jan 06, 2009
Wow pennyc333, that is my story almost to the letter! I am going back to my therapist today. He has me on Prozac, but I don't think I am depressed or stressed in general. I think it is the PVC's that make me stressed and anxious. I never used to be this kind of person... always worrying.

This site does make me feel better just knowing I am not the only one.

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by worried_chi, Jul 28, 2009
WOW! I was diagnosed with a case of very mild myocarditis and was hospitalised for 6 days cause they couldnt figure out if it was a heart attack or a virus. I was completely terrified im only 34 female and was in total disbelief. Finallly having had an angiogram they found my heart was ok and it wasnt a heart attack but most likely a virus. While in hospital I noticed the monitor dipping whenever I had a funny heart beat...I didnt thik anything of it but now 3 months later I get them constantly, holding my finger to my pulse doing research on internet sites.. crying thinking Ill drop dead any minute. I dont talk to family because in their eyes im fine and I was told that by my cardiologist but  my husband tells me im nuts and im not being positive he thinks I just cannot accept that im fine. If I didnt have the skipped heartbeats id be able to accept that. THEY DONT UNDERSTAND!!  they cant feel what im feeling!! These stupid skipped heartbeats are driving me nuts! Thank you for all your posts I know im not alone!!! I wish us all health and a long long long life. God bless!! xoxox

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by Mom2four85, Jul 29, 2009
glad to know others feel the same - I'm going to start a journal also in hopes it helps me deal with my feelings about this condition that's taken over my life.

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by horseluver4, Apr 05, 2013
:-( so sad! i feel that very same way right now!

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