I don't have a full answer but I can empathize with you as I have had
similar feelings and experiences and have also sat in the hospital
parking lot waiting...I have had many tests on the heart all negative
thank God...I take l/2 tab of lowest dose Xanax and l 25mg Atenelol which
seems to keep the pvc/pac/s down...reading these forums have truly
helped...being anxious about it makes things worse...follow through
with your DR and stay with these forums
For people that have been examined by their Doctor, and whose heart is structurally sound, arrhythmias are an unfortunate aspect of existence. It is truly unfortunate that many of us can feel them.
For example, my wife works for my Cardiologist. She says that they see patients with so many PVCs that she is unable to take their pulse. She says that an EKG will be done on the patient and given to the Doctor. The Doctor looks at the EKG and then examines the patient, listening to their heart, asking if they have any symptoms, and the Doctor may or may not need to order more tests. Sounds like a routine day at the office, with one exception, many of these patients are totally unaware that they have an arrhythmia. These patients are often referred to the Cardiologist because their arrhythmia was discovered during a physical examination at their Family Doctor. And to make it even more incredible, near the end of the examination, my wife said that the Cardiologist will take the patients pulse at their wrist, feeling the arrhythmia as it is occurring. Then he will ask the patient "Do you ever get any palpitations?" Often the patients will say "no". If the patients heart is “Structurally Sound”, meaning no problems with valves or blood circulation to the heart, and electrical pathways are intact, the Doctor will often not even tell the patient that they have an arrhythmia, lest they become obsessed about it.
You need to remember that the human body is not perfect, but it is wonderfully designed. For example, the SA Node is the heart’s natural pacemaker. But what if something happened to the SA node? Well, if the SA node fails to discharge, the AV node will, and keeps the heart beating at a slower rate until the SA Node recovers. It is the heart’s ability to keep beating without the SA node that makes it more vulnerable to arrhythmias, since a cluster of cells on the heart can become irritated and discharge, and the rest of the heart follows suit.
Bottom line is that if you have had a good work-up and it has been determined that your heart is healthy, you should have no need to worry. Many people are walking around in life with rhythm disorders that are potentially very serious, yet cause no symptoms. These people may have no PVCs, but have an electrical rhythm pattern that is likely to become unstable. If they were fortunate enough to have had something that bothered them, and caused them to seek medical attention, they would be better off.
You, on the other hand, from what you have said, have a stable rhythm pattern but have skipped beats. The Doctors know that your problem bothers you, but is not likely to deteriorate into something serious. Not only do Doctors have the benefit of experience, but they have the benefit of the Electronic Age where Doctors around the world share their experiences with rhythm disturbances.
Lastly, I just went through the last year of experiencing 600 or more PVCs per day. I even developed a Trigeminy Pattern at times, where my heart would have two normal beats and a skipped beat, this would repeat continuously for an hour or more. My Cardiologist and Family Doctors were unconcerned since they knew the results of my testing. Odd thing is that one day they just went away (the PVCs, not the Doctors ;-)
Your mention of sitting outside of the Hospital during a bad bout with your skipped beats brings another matter to mind. I have been plagued with PVCs in the past, and dragged my wife along with me to the Hospital. Quite often, while sitting in the Emergency Room, they have gone away, since I was less anxious than at home. Anxiety will lead to more skipped beats, since anxiety leads to more adrenaline, and more adrenaline leads to more skipped beats, which leads to more anxiety, etc. You may consider asking your Doctor for a mild tranquilizer to be used infrequently, they have helped me through difficult times, but they have to be used sparingly or they loose their effect.
Best to you and yours.
Have you had a Holter or event monitor? That seems the logical next step so the doctors can get a look at your arrhythmia. Since Holters are only usually worn for a day or two, it's sometimes better to have a loop monitor or one that has a greater chance of catching the arrhythmia.
Your symptoms are very typical of a lot of us here. They come and they go and at different extremes. SVT causes dizziness and a fast heart rate post-exercise (it's what I have, or hopefully had as I just had an ablation). Many of these palpitations are caused by an electrical problem in a structurally normal heart and diet changes don't make a huge difference --- although I could certainly bring mine on by drinking more than two glasses of wine. For some folks it's a heavy meal.
You need to see your doctor and get diagnosed. He/she may recommend medications to control your symptoms.
Thank you all for responding and taking the time to post your heart felt responses to my messge. I apprereciate it greatly. Thank you especially Atraud. You are very wise on this subject and i love reading your responses.Thank you all and God bless.
I have another question. I sometimes get a really fast heart rate after i have been laying in bed for awhile and then i stand up. I also get this after i sneeze or walk up a flight of stairs. Could i have a weak heart? And will exercise help me develop a stronger heart?
I couldn't answer your previous post any more eloquently than Artaud did. His response was spot on. One of the MOST definable triggers for PVC's is anxiety. That's not to say that anxiety is your diagnosis, or that anxiety is the only trigger...however, when you begin to feel PVC's and become anxious...the cycle starts and the more you worry, the more they occur, so you worry more and on and on until often you finally find yourself at the Dr. or ER because you just can't avoid it anymore. Here's the funny thing...after you go through the tests AGAIN, and hear that you are fine AGAIN, they seem to all but go away. Go figure...peace of mind is a definite alleviator of these symptoms.
Your lates question indicates that you are questioning your Dr.'s diagnosis. According to your original post, your cardiac workup showed nothing abnormal (structurally). Trust me, if your cardiologist noticed that you had a weak heart, he would have told you. And if exercise was a no no, you would have been told that as well. Exercising will strengthen ANY heart, and is recommended for all of us, whether we suffer PVC's or not. However, it is true that when you are struggling with persistent symptoms, it is very hard to exercise, as it is counterintuitive that exercising with a skipping heart is a "good" thing.
If you have ANY concerns about starting an exercise program, contact your cardiologist. And, you may desire to do what many of us have done. Set up an annual appointment with your cardiologist. Not because you have a heart condition...because from what you've posted, that is not the case. This yearly exam will allow your cardiologist to keep an eye on you, but more than that it will provide you with an annual dose of "peace of mind," which I discussed earlier. A yearly discussion with a cardiologist does wonders for your mind...which can do nothing but bolster your heart :-)
Your posting could have been a description of me three years ago, Overwhelmed by anxiety, afraid to be on my own, afraid to leave the house - terrified that I was about to drop dead, even though the doctors said I was okay. Couldn't sleep, spent the day lying on the sofa, afraid to move, 'phone in hand ready to ring my husband if I felt ill. At this time I was having probably thousands of missed beats a day. Three years on, I go for months without any and then have them for say a week or so. There is no trigger - sometimes anxiety, but usually they come and go as they please.
Arnaud has given a wonderful posting above. If you have had all the tests and your heart is structurally sound, then you are, and will be, okay. I realised I couldn't do much about the missed beats, so I decided to do something about the anxiety - I started reading cognitive therapy books. It has helped me to see my health issues a bit more logically - David Burns, 'Feeling Good' and R. Leahy, 'Stop Worrying, Start Living' were helpful. Also, 'Self Help for Your Nerves' by Dr Claire Weekes was a great comfort.
I too felt like my life was over - it has been a struggle but I am now almost back to my usual self. Many people on here have had thousands of missed beats a day for years - they are still okay, it hasn't harmed them. Hang in there, don't let them ruin your life. I wasted about a year being totally overwhelmed by anxiety about my heart - it was only when a more pressing medical problem came along that I found something else to worry about. When the panic and anxiety comes, don't fight it - let it wash over you. I hope you feel better soon. Best wishes.