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Anxious soul
Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 3/5/2008 7:57 PM (GMT -6)   
I am new here so will begin with my history to shed some light on myself.  I am a 45 year old female.  I was hospitalized at the age of 40 for having a questionable EKG. In the hospital, every heart test was performed including an angiogram.  The results of these tests was Mitral Valve Prolapse.  Before the heart episode I had experienced several months of panic attacks which subsided without the use of meds.  At age 42, the panic attacks and generalized anxiety returned.  I took paxil for 1 year and ativan as needed.  Though I no longer suffer from panic attacks or GAD and am med free, I now have PVCs.  The PVCs became noticable to me about a year ago.  Since that time, I have had several EKGs, treadmill tests, echos, and blood workups.  The PVCs show up on the tests, but the doctors say all is fine.  My GP prescribed a beta blocker, but my cardiologist told me not to take it so I don't.  I have a very stressful job, have had a severe trauma, and am in menopause but none of those cause me the stress that these PVCs do. I smoke and self medicate with 2-3 drinks after work to take away the fear (I know, a vicious cycle.  I'll spank myself to alleviate that job for the rest of you LOL).  My last workup was in Nov. 07.  Recently, I have been having an increased number of "felt" PVCs.  Is it time to go back for more tests?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 3/6/2008 12:02 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Anxious,
I'm sorry to hear you've had such a horrible time with the PVCs! If five years have elapsed with otherwise normal EKGs, stress tests, echos, and blood chemistries, it might be perpetuating the cycle of anxiety to go and get all that testing again (with likely the same results showing up - especially if your most recent tests were only three months ago). Do you have a good family doc/internist that you trust? Obviously the best idea is to run your concerns by him/her and get a professional opinion under your belt.

I think it's very telling that you have a very stressful job, trauma (do you mind if I ask what kind?), and are going through menopause but feel the PVCs cause you even more stress. The problem is, PVCs ARE very stressful, but are exacerbated by stress. It's like a vicious cycle. You might ask your internist or cardiologist again about using the beta-blockers; many people feel significant relief from them, but they are not for everyone. Also check out the other threads on this forum about "heart palpitations," "irregular beats," "PVCs," "MVP," etc. and I think you'll find a lot of people who are in the same boat as you are, and perhaps some advice that you can take.

I do know for certain that alcohol and tobacco will make PVCs worse. So if you are serious about getting rid of those PVCs, it's probably time to get serious about breaking those habits. Keep us updated...
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Anxious soul
Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 3/6/2008 7:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for your reply. I am planning to make an appointment with my cardiologist in the near future even if it is just for peace of mind. Some of these flutters that I feel occur in the soft part of my throat between the collarbone. I am assuming they are PVCs as well. I also get what I like to call little electric zaps throughout various parts of my head every day. I used to fear them as mini strokes, but I think those are a direct result of stress. I do take 81mgs of aspirin daily though, just in case. I have made great progress in not letting these symptoms rule my life by playing little mind games like "can't let it get in my way today, too much to do", "save your sick days for something really serious or to play hookey", "keep the little ones to yourself or no one will believe you if there is a major problem" etc.

I know smoking and drinking has to go, but not quite ready to do that yet. Both are minimal at this time. My trauma is that my son was murdered 2 years ago (at age 20) and it still sits in the pre trial stage over and over all of this time. The loss of a child is an overwhelming thing to deal with, a life changing event, the lack of closure adds to it exponentially. Even though I have passed through the 7 stages of bereavement, I still catch myself anticipating seeing him in the driveway as I return home from work with arms folded and toes tapping with the "where have you been?" look:) It is a good memory to have.
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