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PAC's and panic

Hello everyone,
First off, I should say I suffer from Panic attacks and anxiety BIGTIME. This may be adding to the whole situation. I am a 51 yr male in good health, exercise regularly. I have always noticed over the years, what I thought were "skipped beats" in my pulse, which I take after a run. (I run about 1.5 miles 4 times a week). Well, I did my run last week and afterward took my pulse and noticed a lot of "skipped beats" more than usual. I freaked out with panic, and ran the the ER. They did all their tests, blood work, EKG's, etc... and was told that everything was good, all they could find was that the  "skipped beats" are in fact PAC's, which are of really no problem. I was still quite shook up, and the Chief of the ER came in and said basically the same thing, that they were of no consequence. I followed up with my family doctor who told, once again, the same thing, that they are no big deal, to just relax. I asked if I should continue running and exercise, and he said "Absolutely!!".
My problem is that I find myself taking my pulse WAY to frequently and getting nervous when I feel them. Everyone tells me not to worry, and yet it still scares me. Here is the key point -- IF I never took my pulse, I would never know I had them. I feel great physically. All other tests and blood work come back good. I had a Nuclear Stress test 10 months a go and that came out good.
I guess what I need to hear is that other people have these and they cause them no trouble. My Family Doctor put me on Xanax, which does calm me down, and I am able to deal with it a little better. Does anyone have any words of comfort for me? I sure could use them. I apologize for such a long post, but hopefully it will let you see hove panicky I get.
God Bless you all,
PaulTheWorrier
8 Responses
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Avatar universal
I am writing to give my heartfelt "THANKS" to everyone who posted here. Words cannot express the relief it gave me to hear from all of you. Your kindness and encouragement really helped me at a very bad time. I have since been to my Cardo, and he did all HIS tests, ekgs, bloodwork, and a full blown Stress test. All of which showed, yeah, PACs, and, yeah, a couple PVCs, but nothing at all to worry about. He said my Stress test acually came out excellent. So what do I do about putting those two fingers on my wrist waiting for the next weird beat?? He said "Knock it off"... I also found out I have a bad Heital Hernia (Spelling?) which he said can often make the situation seem much worse.
All in all, he said "see you next year. Go forth and sin no more".... So it seems dealing with the mental aspects of this situation are more challenging than the phsycial aspects.

My thanks to everyone. What a wonderful group of folks. I hope to be able to help someone else someday like you helped me.
God Bless you,
Paul
Helpful - 0
363281 tn?1643235611
Oh wow, can I ever relate to your post. I have PAC's not a lot, but, when I do, they control my life and I can do NOTHING. I get so scared, to be honest, they are running my life. I no longer go out unless with someone, I am afraid to exercise, I constantly feel my pulse. I am a mess and my anxiety makes it worse.

I just had a holtor test, and it came back great. It said I only had 13 PAC's, and one half hour of tachycardia where my heart rate was 132, I think that was after I ate and the monitor had just been put on 'cause I was really scared when the tech put it on me.

So, I should be happy, right, well, WRONG, I am STILL worried, and I am afraid it did not pick up everything. I was in Seattle for a mini vacation and checking out some Medical Assisting schools, they were great, but, I had two PAC's and after that, I did not want any part of them and all I did was cry off and on the rest of the week. My fiance` is really worried about me as my depression is getting worse over this. I can not function. My doctor/counselor tells me to make myself do things and to fight this, but, I feel I just can't. I can not take tranquilizers, they work opposite on me and I am twice as bad.

I hate the "weird" feeling I get in my throat and the "dropping" tummy feeling. I also have GERD and a very active hiatal hernia.

I was wrong, the day I heard my results on the phone about the holtor, I was flying high, but, then, later the next day, I had a "flutter" and I was back to square one. Oh, I hate these damn things.

I have had an echo, and as you probably guessed, it was great too, so is my blood work. I am ashamed of myself for being scared, but, hey, that is me.

Anyway, I can sure relate to you all, it is awful, and if there is any comfort it is in knowing there are others like us and we are not alone.

Susie
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I've had the blasted things for over 30 years and I'm still here.  Sometimes the skipped beats are so bad they garble my voice, tip me into a wall and feel like an unbalanced washing machine.  I have permanent indentations from keeping my fingers on my wrist, just kidding, but  I have spent more time checking my pulse than I like to admit to.  Even though I know "what's the point?", I still have the fingers on my wrist, just waiting for the NEXT ONE, so I know what I already know, it's a skipped beat.  It's really goofy and since I'm not having them now as I type, I can laugh at myself.  But it's really not funny when I am having them.  I'm turning 60 this year and the docs tell me I'm still ok, the funny beats are benign.  But like Zachs says, you just become more focused on all the new sensations and this can and does limit your enjoyment of life.  I know that all too well.

I also have a Generalized Anxiety Disorder, which makes things really interesting (panic, dizzy, fear, fuzzy thinking, unable to cope, etc.)  I keep a Xanax handy and when it gets bad, pop half a tab to calm things down.  I don't want to be on a daily dosage of this stuff.

About a month ago I was so bad that I listened to a friend and tried something they recommended.  I started drinking more water (48 to 64 oz/day) and added a product to it that provides  trace minerals, calcium, neutralizes chlorine and has a little bit of silver (to kill off the bugs in our water). I have had just a few PVC's/PAC's in over 3 weeks and felt better almost immediately the first day (not a single thump or bump) and am not taking so many anxiety pills.  I'm hoping this continues because even after 30 years, those buggers still freak me out.  Being a creature of 30 years of habit, I am still waiting for the next one and feel like something is missing (thank goodness it is) Could I have been dehydrated for so long or missing vital nutrients or both?  Who knows, I'm just praying this keeps the buggers at bay.  So far, so good.  There are a lot of people on the forum who have tried a lot of different products and have had success.   There are even a couple of studies on the use of nutrients that are promising for those who have benign skipped heart beats.  But as BionicBabe said, be careful of what you read.....I came across some articles that scared the you know what out of me......thank goodness for this forum and words of comfort and experience.  These benign beats will NOT do us in.

Take comfort in the knowledge that your tests have come back great. Our hearts are wonderful machines that have many fail-safe mechanisms in place to reset the beats everytime one is out of sync.  If you have done research on the net, you would see that almost every living being has these skipped beats once in awhile.  Some people have 1,000 to 10,000 a day and live a full, long life.  Try to keep the fingers off the pulse points and know that you are not alone, when things get scary, you have this wonderful forum to come to.  The people here have really helped me during some really bumpy phases.  Take care and comfort that you are not alone and you will be fine.  
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Avatar universal
Anxiety over heart issues is difficult to deal with. I caution you, Johnbo34 and everyone else, the sites on the Internet which give information about various symptoms can be very misleading. Much of this information that is available deals with worse case scenario statistics, which will only further the anxiety.

Paul, in my experience the ER is not a place to get a diagnosis, especially not one related to your heart. If you are still concerned, try to see a cardiologist if you can and ask for an echocardiogram and a haltor monitor. These tests can rule out any serious problems, then you'll know for sure and that should greatly help with your anxiety. Meditation is also extremely helpful.
Helpful - 0
703870 tn?1273024642
Yeah.. You may want to have a Upper GI scope done to make sure you don't have any errosions that could be causing the discomfort in the chest area.  I've changed my diet majorly since November and have noticed a extreme difference in the severity of my indigestion, boating, and occational heartburn/acid relux.  I drank at least 6-7 Coca-Cola's a Day, at least 1 meal a day from a fast food place, smoked 2 packs a day.  Quit all three. Shed 20lbs in 3 months.  

I have noticed my anxiety level has decreased, or If I do have anxiety or panic, that it subsides alot quicker.  But I still have the chest discomfort and heart skips. They have not completely gone away. I still do drink alcohol though, 3-4 times a week.  I'm thinking I may have to do a 30 day detox and see if maybe my symptoms subside a bit more.  I still have to life a life though.  :)

Zach
Helpful - 0
716924 tn?1235869479
Howdy Zachs

You know I was thinking the same thing..glad you are as well. Yeah that feeling of a lump in my throat or chest is a trickey dude. I always have that feeling of having to clear my throat, and a Dry cough. It does produce mucas but its clear and not off colored at all (Sticky as well), also constent nasal congestion. My voice does go kinda hoarse from time to time. Doc gots me on a H2 blocker for reflux at the moment(Zantec 300mg). But I still have not been to a gastro doc yet.
Helpful - 0
703870 tn?1273024642
Hey Guys.

I think amoungst most of us here that suffer from Heart Health related Anxiety know all to well that when new symptoms arise or we feel something a bit different than before, or anything in the chest area for that matter, we instantaneously fall stricken of fear. A sense of no where to go or run type of feeling, and it feels like your body cavity is collapsing. This definately fuels even more unwanted bodily sensations that linger on for hours after a panic attack.

I'm 32 and have dealt with many different heart sensations since 19 years old. I have to admit in 13 years dealing with these skips, wobbles, aches, thumps, that I've grown extremely aware of my bodily functions which has sincerely hampered my quality of life. I'm so greatful that my Wife after 16 years together has stood by me and comforted me.

I also take my pulse everytime I feel something squirming in the chest area and I can feel the PVC.  I also feel PVC's without taking my pulse. I also have PVCs that kick me in the chest.

In the begining when first noticing weird heart beats, they would come in 15-20 minute cycles, and skip every other beat. Soft,^Hard,^Soft, ^Hard, ^Soft, ^Hard., etc., etc.. Then after a couple years I started to notice the short pauses, with a harder compensating beat after the pause. These are the ones that get your attention, and can happen just out of the blue a few times a day, or they can come in successions of 3 or 4, and even mine sometimes turn into a short run of NSVT, which I've only expereienced a dozen times in 13 years.

Johnbo34:  That lump feeling in your throat could be a sign of Acid Reflux.  Do you find that your voice always crackles when trying to say a long sentence with 1 breath?  Or hoarsness voice? Sore Throat once or twice a month?



Helpful - 0
716924 tn?1235869479
Paul, I feel yeah brother.
I am somewhat in the same boat. I am 34 though. I had a death in the family which triggered all this mess.(My uncle of a heart attack, he was 49) since that time I have been a wreck. Did all the cardio work as well. Nuke Stress,Echocardiogram and a 48 hour and 21 day holter monitor. The nuke stress and echo came back good,and from what my cardio doc said actually a litttle better than avg, However, the Holter Monitor picked up PVC's and PAC's. Ugggggg. He has recently released me and said no futer test are needed, however the fear and ANXIETY are killing me. I am still freeked out about these things and its hard for me to not just worry about it. The cardio doc also agreed with my wife and said it is all probally due to anxiety or my acid reflux. (Got a appointment with my family doc to futher investigate this on wed) Here is a list of the on going symptoms that I am having.
Chest sensations,Skipped beats (Isolated and far between though), feeling like something is stuck in my throat and or chest, Sharp stabbing chest pain that are brief in duration,Lightheaded/dizzy feeling,constent worry,looking up symptoms on the internet 100 times a day,taking my pulse and BP 100 times a day, you get the jist of this dont ya.

Hang in there and hopefully we can come out of this dark drape that is hanging over us and get back to normal.

John
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