Panicking over this heart thing again

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Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 43
   Posted 3/17/2006 8:57 AM (GMT -6)   
Ok I did a really really stupid thing and looked this stuff up online again.  Now I have found scarier more disturbing possibility. Something called Atrial Fibrillation. What are the chances of this being that vs PVCs?  I knew I should have just left things where they were.  It was a bad idea to start looking things up again.  Especially before I go to the doctor lol.  Now I will have something to really worry about the doctor finding when I go.
Well on the good side of things my mom told me last night that she was experiencing something similar to what I have and had a holter test done.  She said she had 100's of skipped beats a day and the doctor told her she was normal. She said she told him normal how can you call that normal.  He told her that you couldn't expect the heart to beat the same all the time.  So hopefully that is a good sign for me. Maybe that tells me that I have a good chance for it not to be something major since she had something benign. 
I know that there is no real heart related problems in my family. My grandfather on my dad's side being the only exception.  He died from either a stroke or a heart attack. Not sure which one though and can't seem to get a straight answer out of my grandmother. He drank and smoked all the time.  My father died from something but his heart was fine. My mom is in her sixties and has high bp but no major heart problems seeing as how her holter was 2yrs ago. My sister nothing, my grandmother nothing and my grandfather on my mom's side nothing.  Grandmother on my mom's side was breast cancer.
So anyway I know I'm rambling but would appreciate someones input on the atrial fibrillation vs PVCs..  I swear the one thing I can definately testify too. These things get worse when you start stressing geeez.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 3/17/2006 9:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi bandit,  It is good to be informed about the possibilities but just remember that you cant control it.  Stressing on it is not going to help anything but make you feel worse.  It is a good sign for you that you dont have a family history of heart disease or problems and that you are young.  In my case I have an extensive family history of heart defects and disease.  I am not sure what the difference in between Atrial Fibrillation and PVC's are without looking them up myself eyes .  And of course I am not a doctor and wouldn't want to try to diagnosis.   How soon is your doctor appointment? 

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 297
   Posted 3/17/2006 10:29 AM (GMT -6)   
According to what I have read if it was atrial fibrillation, your pulse would be too high for you to count and it would be irregular. I'm talking about 150-200ish. If it was atrial flutter, your pulse would be too high for you count and it would be regular. I've read maybe up to 350ish. Actually I think that is what I experienced in bed the other night. If you think you have an episode of one of these, try to bear down REALLY HARD like you are having a bowel movement and cough. That is called the VALSALVA movement and it can disrupt an episode. I have used it alot for things. If that does not stop it, call 911 and go to the E. R. and let them handle it from there. PVC's are basically just skipped beats. You would feel isolated thuds throughout the day. Although you could feel a short run of the skipped beats too throughout the day. Good news about this is that in a structurally normal heart, atrial fibrillation is actually well tolerated. Believe it or not there are people who live in almost constant A-fib. They ARE on medication! There is an increased risk of clots and therefore of a stroke from A-fib and that is why doctors put you on a blood thinner to dramatically lower this risk. They will also prescribe medicatin to try to either control the rate or rhythm.

That is why you must go to the doctor to find out what this is. Whatever it is-it is something the doctors can work with and do something about. If it is PAC's or PVC's or a combination of the two, you probably won't even need medication although beta blockers can be used to lessen the effects of them. It won't stop them though-sorry!

I AM NOT A DOCTOR!!! I am only telling what I know from lots of reading the last 5 1/2yrs. You must see the doctor to find out for sure! I know this is hard and frightening especially since you are just learning about these things and trying to sort them out. You will feel better when you know what you are dealing with. I won't lie though after 5 1/2yr I still struggle with the fear when something happens. :(

Sometimes I feel so alone and depressed from dealing with them that I just want SOMEONE to talk to me saying that they understand and try to reassure me. My husband is loving and wonderful But does not understand. He will often just say, "You must not feel that way" or "That's not going to happen." I don't feel validated and there does not seem to be many on this site that experiences these things that I have found or perhaps they deal better than I do and don't want to share. These things are shaping my life and keeping me from going places and doing things with my daughter and husband. I just want to stay home where I am close to medical care if I need it. DON"T BE LIKE ME!!!!

SORRY-I've said way too much. I just wanted to help and give you some reassuring information but instead I turned it into a downer! The truth is it probably is just the premature heart beats BUT NO ONE CAN KNOW until you wear a holter to record them. The holter is easy to wear and painless. Keep the journal of your daily activities when you wear it and put down when you feel the thumps and thuds because that is how the doctor is able to correlate what you are feeling to what is happening on the monitor. It is very important and I have known people who wear a monitor but do not keep the journal. Then the doctor thinks that even though you are having PACs or PVCs you aren't feeling them. Good Luck
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