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PACs i hateeee you!

Feb 26, 2012 - 5 comments

So about two weeks ago I got the diagnosis of my heart monitor. I had a 'few' ectopic or abnormal premature atrial beats. She said they were benign and everything looked normal. What a relief right?

Nope!! Just a few days ago I started getting intense PACs. I hadn't felt any at all in weeks! And now they are constant, like 2 or 3 an hour. And its really feeding my anxiety. It's like I can feel them coming and I've actually been having tightness in my chest and nausea that follow! I've also had a pounding heartbeat for the past few days which makes me feel sick as well.

Just when I thought I was getting better and consciously learning to deal with the problem, it gets worse! I'm having trouble sleeping again, I'm going to try a lorazepam tonight and see if that relaxes me enough to get at least a few hours of shut eye.

I know I shouldn't be as worried as I am since PACs aren't normally dangerous, but I'm terribly frightened that all these years of my heart beating extras or skipping and what not, that if later on down the road it will lead to an actual heart problem or worse :( what if my heart just wears out? I'm a healthy 21 year old and living in fear of having a heart attack or just dropping dead from heart failure or something. I want to enjoy the time I have with my son and I just live in constant fear and worry. What in the world can I do??

If God made these things liveable, why do I feel like I just can't? I need some help :( please!

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1124887 tn?1313758491
by is_something_wrong, Feb 29, 2012
Sorry to smile a little when reading your post :)

Yes, I know exactly how disturbing PACs can be. But you need to see reality here. You are making up scary scenarios that are not making sense at all. To tell you some facts:

- The heart chambers do not care (or usually even sense) if the beat is a PAC or a normal sinus beat. You can't "wear out your heart" from PACs.
- PACs are NOT a sign of, or a cause of, a heart attack. In extremely rare cases, PVCs can be, but that's extremely rare, and not relevant in your case.
- When you feel the discomfort from a PAC, it's not the heart you feel. It's muscles tightening, adrenaline rush because you get scared or upset, etc. People that are not afraid of PACs (or PVCs) rarely get those symptoms. That's the explaination.
- Your fear is, by 100% certainty, increasing the amount of PACs (which by the way is really low) you have during a day. As an example, people may have thousands of PACs and PVCs before graduation, etc, caused by stress, coffee, not enough sleep, expectations, etc. After a few days, they more or less go away.

There are people at this community having 20-25.000 PVCs every day. You probably have less than 50 PACs. I'm sorry (or happy) to say that you worry about something completely benign and meaningless, that we all have, and that is best forgotten.

1979414 tn?1337806949
by camsmommy727, Feb 29, 2012
Thank you! Thanks so much for your very educational and reassuring post :)

I know lol I laugh at myself too, but I can't help fearing the worst. Really, it's like a complication to my anxiety and my Dad raised me to think that the worst can and will happen. Every time I would get in trouble in High School he would always say, "It can't happen to you, right?" And I can't erase that from my mind!

Anyway.. yes, these PACs have been very disturbing. I honestly don't know what had been bothering me for those few days I felt like they never even stopped, but now it's kinda back to normal. I feel about 1-2 a day and I've been more calm. But still the chest tightness, it feels like it may be my chest wall muscles or something like when lifting a heavy weight.

I am so gald you shared these facts with me, it really does make a difference. Almost to where I don't need to worry.. but I am a woman, worrying is undeniable here haha. I guess the reason I am so afraid of them is because I have not been told the facts (before this) and I thought they were some sort of denotation to an abnormality leading to problems. It's very true now that I think about it, when a PAC occurs it feels almost like a flutter and then some discomfort (and with me a hot flash and an anxiety attack, if it was intense). But now I see what actually happens. I have often thought that my fear would definitely increase the amount, now I know. I have heard of people having thousands a day and referring to their symptoms added to my worry. I have cut back on caffeine, coffee, alcohol, and reducing my stress. I get at least 8-9 hours of sleep at night (or I try) and they haven't been as bad. Sometimes they are, sometimes they aren't.

I feel much sympathy for those who can constantly feel this. I am hoping that mine do not progress to that, I'm already having a hard enough time adjusting to it now! I'm glad to hear that I worry about something completely benign, but I am also sorry that I do so because it's causing more problems that are meaningless. I try to forget it, and every time I do.. there it is again!

I can't thank you enough again for sharing these releiving facts with me. I think I will actually write them down and remember them next time I am panicking. I sure do appreciate it :) you are actually more help than my doctors.


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by Susie0624, Feb 29, 2012
Mandy....I just had my ablation Dec. 29th as my PVC's kept me awake at night.  They are now virtually gone.  I get the odd flutter when my husband walks in the room etc. lol.  I just wanted to touch on your anxiety, which I also keep at bay.  Try getting the book 'From Panic to Power' by Lucinda Bassett.  It is like my bible and when I think I'm thinking about something too much and getting myself worked up I just read a bit of it and feel completely normal.  So many people have anxiety that trigger these other things it's kind of amazing.  Good luck, my friend....Susie

1979414 tn?1337806949
by camsmommy727, Mar 01, 2012
Susie.. thank you so much for sympathizing with me. It's nice to know there's good people like you to share information with. That's not the first time I've heard of that book, so it must be good. I'll have to look at it on my kindle! Thanks too, for the advice, I know for sure these have got to be definitely from my anxiety. It's a proven fact when you're awake at night sitting on your forum while arguing with your fiance!!! God bless and take care darling.

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by Kim_1970, May 24, 2012
Pacs....To me they feel like a skipped heart beat.  I hate them too.  
I have had them for several years.  I have troubles with anxiety and am a very driven, type a personality. (I made A lower case cause I am trying to change that!) Not sure if you read my other posts but I came to this forum after I got diagnosed with supra ventricular tachycardia back in November.  Not sure if you know what that is but simply it is a very fast heartbeat that would come upon me and last for hours. I thought all along according to my primary dr that they were panic attacks because I also am a somewhat anxious and worrisome person.  The pacs were mixed in there as well.  Darn those.  So having the fast heartbeat problem that would make me some what faint I ended up in the ER as a result and got a dr I thought I would never have till I was old and grey (cardiologist) he put me on beta blockers and other heart meds.  Let me remind you anxiety and panic was always involved in my weird heart rhythms.  
This last year has been one of my most difficult in whole life. My 16 yr old got knocked out at school(boy), 13 yr old daughter has major spine surgery due to scoliosis and 11 yr son had emergency appendectomy.  I am in sales and that is a very focused high energy job, that and being married (to a man!) 3 kids and living rural- not in town and driving all the time made and makes for a high adrenaline life style.  It all fell apart this year.  So after diagnosis of this heart business and medicines I got this really annoying thing called tinnitus where my ears ring 24/7.  It can be a side affect of lots of things meds, even anxiety and stress.  I guess I have slight nerve damage in that ear for some reason?
So I went ahead and did the ablation (3-16-12) for the tachycardia since that scared me more than anything as I would almost faint several times while driving and having a spell......
I am finally off all meds and still having the pacs.  I think the pacs are due to stress and anxiety even being just generally happy and "jacked" up on life seems to cause them.
Last night I went to my daughters 8th grade grad and I had them during that and then after I had a piece of chocolate cake and whew did I get them!!  I actually had to lie down and I was a little winded by them?? Have not had chocolate in long time.
You see I have been on this special diet called anti inflamitory diet, basically I eat like a saint, lots of veges and meat,brown rice, whole grain, nothing processed, you get the picture.  Hoping it will heal me or make me feel better.  I am also doing yoga, meditation, and chiropractic.   Eating good and yoga and being still (meditation) is REALLY helping me a lot.  Still seem to get pacs though....

I WOULD DO ANYTHING TO FEEL BETTER!   I remember reading on one post by itdood on here about he would roll in dog crap if it made his pacs get better!!!  I laughed so hard cause these things get in your brain and they become and emotional thing. Is something wrong is really right.  I love his/her posts.  Amazing...

So thats my story in a crazy nut shell.  I am trying many things to get this thing behind me.  Stress and anxiety are BAD for us and I am working on that (going to counselor too).  I seem to be stuck in the "habit" of being anxious after this traumatic year for me.  I get anxious even thinking about my schedule ahead and getting the kids from school and activities.

I figure all this just may result in a whole new me.  A little more relaxed and maybe I can ditch the "type a" personality and trade it in for being easy going and relaxed.  Ahhhhh.

Be well my friend, and keep looking for answers.....  Kim

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