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941118 tn?1312285526

PVC Meltdown

Ok, I am at the end of my rope.  I've only posted a couple of times, but now I really need some help from the good people of this board.  I have HAD ENOUGH of pvcs ruining my life!  A little background - 54, chubby, female, generally sane and happy.  Have had pvcs for 17 years, on and off with a few bouts of prolonged suffering.  Hospitalized 12 years ago to start on rhythmol (which worked beautifully, but doctor took me off of because he was afraid of it).  Tried Verapmil - worked for a few years, now on Metroprolol - sometimes 25 mg per day, sometimes I sneak in an extra half.  Sometimes take Kolonopin (I have ailing parents, and a teenage son, a daughter studying abroad, and family members that constantly need financial support).  I have a wonderful supportive hubby who I feel sorry for because I am always pvc sick if you know what I mean.  Highest daily number is 17K.  Pvc free off and on over the years.  Had normal stress echo a few weeks ago.  Have always had normal tests - ekg, stress, echo, chest x-ray, etc.  After a bad bout in July 09, I have been plagued by bigeminy and trigeminy for 18 or so days out of each month since September.  I was seeing an EP for the last ten years, who was helpful, but always waiting with the ablation knife, and was not good at helping me manage pvcs.  I haven't been emotionally ready for an ablation, but I have been told that my pvcs are unifocal and easily accessible.  I decided after much thought to "down grade" to a regular cardiologist, someone locally (my EP was in a major medical school affiliated hospital, difficult to get on the phone, had to wait months for appts, etc.).  My new cardiologist is a sweetheart, who also suffers from pvcs and is easy to reach, wonderful staff, and is interested in helping me manage these damn things.  I have an appt. with a very, very recommended EP at a major hospital in Boston next month - he is one of the best.  I want to get an opinion on an ablation.  I didn't fully trust my old EP or the hospital - saw it as a little po-dunk - Boston is an hour and half away.  It was a big step for me to switch my care around.  I had been with this EP for a long time, but he had me scheduled for an ablation - if I could lose 20 pounds in 1 and half months time!  Plus he didn't suggest a new holter monitor (I hadn't had one for over 18 mos) before the surgery.  I would have thought he would want to check the location of the source before he did the ablation.  I just had to make a new plan, and so far I am happy I did.  I also switched my primary doctor because she told my to just live with the pvcs, ablations are horrible, people who get them are crazy, she has patients that have burning chest pain for the rest of their lives from ablations, etc. etc.  I now have a sane sensible primary who takes things slow, weighs options, and when the time comes, will help me figure out how to proceed.  Sorry this is a lot of information.  OK  fast forward to the present - I am ready to jump out of my skin.  My biggest complaint is that my pvcs have gotten worse in frequency and duration.  Also, years ago they would be reduced with exercise, now they INCREASE with exercise, and sometimes I can be pvc free and they kick in after exercise and last for days, weeks - and I can get into bigeminy so easily.  So I have stopped exercising - which gives me great joy and has been a big part of my life and helps me maintain my weight - which could be better.  I have always seen myself as physically active, but now I don't work out.  I'm even afraid to go for a nightly walk with my husband.  I went to Europe for 10 days, walked everywhere - was with my husband and daughter - happy, happy, happy - hardly any pvcs.  Came home last week and boom, there they are again!!!!  I know it could be adrenaline/stress, I have cut out all the triggers - no caffeine, chocolate, weekly martini - three great loves of mine!!!  But none of it works.  As a matter of fact I had cafe au lait and cafe con leche (double yum) - full caffeine in Europe and it didn't bother me!!!!  I guess I am asking for assurance, friendship, commiseration, words of wisdom, opinions, anything to help.  I see my cardiologist on Thursday and he wants to talk to me about clean eating (he has a nutritionist on sight) - he offers this because a lot of his cardiac patients who have had heart attacks are seriously overweight - he thinks it might help me even though I am not seriously overweight, or have had a heart attack.  I hope I don't sound whiney and I don't sound snobby because I travelled to Europe, etc.  I had to see my daughter after so long and my hubby and I share with whoever needs a helping hand if we can. (I just read what I wrote and I thought it sounded "uppity").  I am just an average person trying to have a better life without pvcs.  Help before I jump in front of oncoming traffic (just kidding)!

Call me Debbie
8 Responses
Avatar universal

Been there, thought that and I savor the days when I am PVC free.  You are like so many of us that are plagued by benign PVC's that come and go with no rhyme or reason.  I really hate the periods of bigeminy and trigeminy...constantly worrying that they will get worse.  Anxiety doesn't help them go away.   Your vacation in Europe that was PVC free is a clue to you that when you were distracted you didn't think of them or you didn't notice them or they were absent.  You are not alone.  Hope this helps.
967168 tn?1477588089
if your pvc's are increasing with exercise or have changed dramatically in symptoms you should talk to your dr about this.

I'm perplexed though - you walked on vacation and no pvc's, yet when you exercise you have them? what type of exercise makes them worse?

If nothing else, keep walking as exercise to keep your heart healthy and strong.  The last thing you want to do is give up exercise which can lead to plaque build up, bp problems and maybe later on your heart won't be as strong when you need it to be.
Avatar universal
That said - I would do any and all non-invasive tests available. Following a really scary episode of PVC's last month I had and ECG, Echo, CT scan with contrast, and with previous stress and echo data, was found to be free of cardiovascular disease.  What a relief, but I still have benign PVC's that drive me crazy especially since they are episodic and come and go.  I am not a candidate for ablation and probably would only consider doing so unless it was the last resort.  Anti-arrhymics have too many side effects to even consider.   There is a thought that an irritable vagus might be the trigger and some have found relief from antacids or magnesium supplements.  So we grin and bear them as best as we can. and we try what we can to alleviate them and grasp onto whatever seems to work.  Hope this helps.
221122 tn?1323014865
I am also with you and plenty sick of it.  At least you're lucky enough to have found a doctor who has some sympathy.  I have had a regular doc for a few years that I liked until the PVC issue came up and he told me he "just didn't understand why something that will NEVER hurt me, can ruin my life,"  One of those old, "Just a crazy woman" speeches.  Then he admitted he never had them.  I lost all respect, and I mean that.

I hate them like everyone else.  I just do NOT know why we have to feel them if they are nothing.  It doesn't make any sense.  I long for the times that I am PVC free, but still have not been able to figure out any rhyme or reason, and I've been trying for 30 years.  

At least you got to go to Europe.  I went to Disney and had them the whole time that it ruined MY vacation.  Now that I know it can do that, I don't even know if I want to make any more reservations.  Just tired of it all.  We all are.

I am glad you had your European trip to remember.  I doubt I'll ever get there.  I had a bad experience with my heart on a plane...that will be it for me.
1147530 tn?1314825196
Snobby and uppity because you went to Europe?!  That's just silly to think you have to excuse yourself for doing something exciting, exotic and out of the ordinary.  I know you were kidding but still you put it out there and it seems to be a trend in this country to always excuse ourselves (women esp.) for doing extraordinary things or for being successful out of the fear of being rejected by the observers who do not share our joy.  It frustrates me to know that people can't happily share their good experiences without having to minimize it out of fear that they will be badly judged/envied.  I'm thinking we should rejoice in each others' successes which in turn might give us the motivation to live optimally.  
Just saying.  It's inspiring that you were able to go to Europe, and was palp-free (nice bonus) and told us about it .  :)
Avatar universal
Ohhhhh goodness--your post made me smile-smile-smile- I could just tell you have an amazing personality--anyway--I dont have anything new to offer---but I just had to tell you how I just loved your post-lol
I knew right away I liked you when you said "chubby, female, sane and happy".
And as far as travelling----not snobby--just lucky :)
Pvc--yes--lots--hate them---can relate..but it
Sounds like you are looking to talk to others who had the ablation success--so I will stop talking long enough so you can get imput from others.
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