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Avatar universal

PVC's ruining my life

I'm a 32 year old RN. I've been to the ER twice in the last 2 months for PVCs. They keep me up at night, wake me during sleep. I've tried cutting out alcohol, caffeine, nose spray. I've tried stress reduction, deep breathing, exercising. Nothing helps. The PVCs do wax and wane, seeming to intensify over a couple of days, then go away for a couple days. They seem to be occurring more regularly though, and they scare the hell out of me. While on the ECG monitor in the ER, I was having 8 or 9 PVCs a minute, with a few 2 or 3 beat runs (couplets and triplets) causing the monitor alarm to go off frequently. I will see my primary care doc in 2 days, and ask for a referral to a cardiologist for an echo and a holter monitor. I do have a family history of heart problems; my grandma and grandpa on my mom's side have both had heart attacks and grandpa a quadruple bypass in his 60's. I have been taking Metoprolol for 6 years, and the ER doc added Cardizem. I still have PVCs. They depress me, I feel alone. I can't sleep, I can't concentrate. My anxiety is through the roof. People seem to think that because I'm an RN, I should know my body, and I should know what to do. But I assure you that I definitely DO NOT know how to help myself except to go to a specialist and rule out any serious problems. I feel a strong sense of doom when these PVCs hit me. They are WAY worse at night, especially when I sit or lay down, and I forget about trying to sleep. If I happen to nod off while sitting up, I awaken to a choking feeling, like I can't catch my breath. I'm scared to be home alone in case something happens. I'm scared to drive in case I have a heart attack. I feel that these PVCs will stop my heart, or cause a blood clot from insufficient/uncoordinated pumping. Being an RN, I know about the worst-case-scenarios. But any normal person would be equally terrified by their hearts acting in such a way. I can feel every single abnormal beat. Then my heart races afterward. It's a vicious cycle and I'm scared and tired and worried. I know that anxiety only worsens the problem. I have always been hesitant to even consider using anxiety medication, but I feel that I should try taking them. Any one else out there feeling as weary and beat down as me? I have added this forum to my favorites tab, because it does help me to read about others out there who also identify with some of what I'm experiencing. I know I'm not alone.
15 Responses
212161 tn?1537898045
YES . I have been where your at and it is very scary.

just went threw all the heart test to make sure my heart is ok so when they start I might feel some better lol

I have pacs and ive had them since I was 20, I am 54 now, and they still scare me

as I have gotten older they now come more often and stay all day
went to er in sept was having them every fourth heart beat for over 10 hours, er said just pacs go home lol

had the last weds for 12 hours

so your not a lone. lots on here and we are all still alive. ive been so careful of what I eat and drink, trying to keep them away and yes your anxiety makes worse they say

here if you need to talk write/message me any time hang in there they will get better .      Heart
Avatar universal
Thanks. The thought of being stuck with these for 30 years, as you have been, really bothers me. I hope there's some medication or procedure I can have to stop this. Have you ever had ablation? What meds are you taking?
1464004 tn?1384139333
I was a nurse years ago and have worked for cardiologists for many years. You know what they say, doctors(and other healthcare workers )make the worst patients, myself included. We know in a healthy heart PVCs are benign but we worry ourselves crazy anyway. I've had PVC, PAC and SVT for almost forty years now. Have had my heart worked up many times and still get scared when I'm going through a bad bout (like now). The only thing I can say is, get your heart work up, maybe it will give you some piece of mind, and keep coming here it helps.
Avatar universal
I sympathise. I have had pvcs for 10 years now. They come and go, but terrify me during a bad spell. I had a trip to ER with bigeminy - cardiologist said I was fine and to go home. Try reading Dr David Richardsons answers about pvcs on the All Experts cardiology forum. He is a professor and his standard response is that in a structurally sound heart pvcs are benign, however frequent. I even printed off all his answers to read for reassurance. When you are feeling every thump for hours at a time, it is hard to be reassured though., but it does help. There is also a research paper by H L Kennedy ' Long term prognosis asymptomatic ectopics' - people with over 500 pvcs an hour had the same long term prognosis as the general population, ie. No risk of early death.
Avatar universal
Thank you so much for posting about Dr. Richardson.  I am surprised that it got past the medhelp censor, but glad to see another site where a sensible doc tries to give helpful answers to worried people.
Avatar universal
The whole time I was reading this, I had tears in my eyes! you are by far, not alone!! I have had the similar wake up, choke thing also. I think that we are just so scared, that we are scared to even sleep!
My doc has put me on cardizam also, and recently upped the dose to 240 mg. It is helping, they are not gone, but more tolerable. When they are "bad" or what my doc likes to call an "episode"..(which I find funny...I've never watched a 4 month "episode" of anything) I am utterly terrified. I don't like to leave the house or even the chair.. or I will rush to get things done "in case" I drop dead. I make a lot of sense! Of course I have anxiety meds also. They seem to chill me out a little. Nothing like Xanax to keep ya from thinking your dying!
Everything I read say " in a structurally normal heart" well, to bad for me, I was born with a bicuspid arotic valve...nobody has answered me on if I'm in danger of something due to this...who knows!!
I just rambled on so you would know...we all do this..fret, fret, fret. I feel for you and my prayers are with you. Keep posting! It makes me feel better to talk to people! God Bless
Hi Wendy! I know this was an old post, but I wanna let you know that I also was born with BAV. I have had 3 different cardiologists confirmed and assured me that (1) BAV is not considered structurally abnormal heart, and (2) BAV does not cause nor relate to PVC, PAC, or any other ectopic beats/palpitations at all whatsoever. We have a normal heart structurally, just not normal aortic valve. BAV will never cause nor is ever related to palpitations. Now, on the other hand, people with MVP will tend to cause and relate to these ectopic beats.
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