STUPID FRIGGING THINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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April C
New Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 8/28/2006 8:28 AM (GMT -6)   
Newcomer here, and although I'm sure you're all very nice I can honestly say I REALLY wish I'd never felt the need to find this site in the first place. Here's the scoop....toward the end of January, I was driving back home from visiting a friend who lives about 3 hours away from me. I'd gotten up that day, went to school, then went to work. Got off work, drove out to visit her, we had a few beers and chicken wings, then I left to drive home. It was about midnight, and I was tired and wanted to make it home without wrecking, so I stopped and got a Starbucks double shot (in the little metal can), then another coffee, then a 32 oz. Pepsi. I'd had caffeine earlier in the day before I drove out there, also. On the way back home, right as I drove into the edge of town and was literally about 20 min. from home, I had what I'm being told was a "panic attack". Nothing like it had ever happened to me before, and although at the time I thought I was having a heart attack, I brushed it off as a caffeine overdose and let it go. Well then in the following 3 to 4 weeks, I had 2 more of those attacks. After the 3rd one, I quit going to school, quit my job, and started staying home. After the 3rd one happened, I ended up drinking that night because I was so stressed out about it. I ended up drinking way too much actually. The next day, I was hung over needless to say, but I still got myself up out of bed and went out with my mom and niece.
While we were out, I had a skipped beat. That scared me and added to the stress of the weird attacks I'd been having, so I further freaked out. All of that set in motion what's been going on for 7 months now. I've been to the ER, to family doctor, and to a cardiologist. Wore an event monitor to try to catch the "skips" and "shocks", and the doctor told me I had 'benign' PVC's and PAC's, and very rare ventricular and atrial couplets. He also told me I had an ABNORMAL ekg, showing nonspecific ST-T wave abnormalities. He then sat there telling me I had nothing to worry about, that I had a healthy heart, and that this was all anxiety (I've also had an echo and an echo stress test done). How can a 29-year-old woman NOT worry when a cardiologist is telling her she's got PV this and PA that, couplet this and that, and "abnormalities"? Since being told all of this crap, I researched it all myself, and found out that people who have abnormal ekg's or couplets are at an increased risk of sudden death. Does anyone here know whether or not that is actually true? I've found this stuff on websites, and it's very disturbing to me. I'd tried many different things to get these things to go away, and the problem is that I don't see myself having a normal life again unless they're either completely gone like they were before all of this started or unless I'm totally unafraid of them, or preferably both. How can a 29 year old woman be plagued with this crap? I know plenty of other people my age who have NONE of these problems. So I find it very difficult to believe that this is connected to my age. If I were 40 or 50 it would make more sense, but I'm not even 30. If my heart is supposedly normal like the doctors say, then why would it do what it's doing? People keep telling me that anxiety causes them in my case, and that they will go away if I can get my anxiety under control. But all of this started back in January when I wasn't feeling particularly anxious at all. I'm having a hard time right now trying to find hope of ever having a normal future again (work, school, normal functioning) because the thought creeps into my head of "what if I'm screwed with having these things for the rest of whatever life I've got left"? What's even worse is that I can't try these beta-blocker drugs like most people can, because again I guess I'm abnormal also in the fact that I've got very low blood pressure, usually only around 100/60 to 90/60. It is always very low, so the doctor doesn't even want to try that drug with me at this point. I don't understand it. I totally cut out caffeine (even to the extent that I don't eat chocolate), alcohol, have never been a smoker, don't do drugs (I did the typical experimenting earlier in my 20's like most people do but have not done anything like that in years), don't eat horribly artery-clogging food and have even tried to start watching what I eat, and am very small with a high metabolislm. I've been checked for everything else too - diabetes, thyroid, the whole works. Unless something has changed in the past 7 months, I don't have any of that stuff.
I've fallen into a severe depression because of all of this stuff starting, I don't feel like a normal 20-something person like I should feel. I haven't done anything with friends in so long that I can't remember the last time I went out for fun. My room has turned into a place I just throw things down in and don't ever come into it anymore, in fact I don't even sleep in it (sleep in the guest room instead). I'm so afraid of those stupid PVC's and PAC's that I even have nightmares about them. I don't really care whether they're benign or not, they scare the crap out of me everytime they happen. And because I was told I have an abnormal ekg, it makes me worry about them even more. This has taken over my life so much that sometimes I don't even go to shower or get dressed, I just lay to my right side in a rocking chair and watch TV, I guess because I don't see the point of trying to do anything when I'm so nervous about these things and when the next time will be that I get one. My personality has completely changed since all of this started, it's completely wrecked my life, and have even considered hypnotherapy to try to get relief somehow. Has ANYONE here found ANYTHING that truly HELPS slow down or stop their PVCs/PACs aside from medications? If anyone knows anything that I don't, please share because I'm at my wit's end. This is tearing apart both me AND my family, to the point where my mom has actually started getting these stupid things because she's so stressed about me. HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I can see and understand your fustration with all of this but please in the future when posting do pay attention to the forum rules and regulations regarding language/slang words which I have edited from your post. Thank you ~ Elisha

Post Edited By Moderator (els) : 8/31/2006 8:48:58 AM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 297
   Posted 8/28/2006 9:39 AM (GMT -6)   
I have PAC's and PVC's and my heart goes tachy from time to time. Stress and anxiety definately make things worse. Caffeine is certaintly a trigger and once triggered, they can last on and off for days, weeks or months. I am 42 and have had them for over 5 years. I've had my heart tested many times and it is structurally normal so they are benign. My cardiologist has them.

My blood pressure is typically in the 90-low 100's over the high 50-60's. If this BP does not cause symptoms like fainting, then it is fine. In fact most doctors would think it was GREAT. Blood pressure typically rises with age so take heart. Yours will probably go up.

I know people who started having PAC's and PVC's as children. Believe it or not-they are still alive in their 50+'s. I would suggest that you go to and do some reading there of people who have PAC's, PVC's or palpitations. You can do a search on the site to read more from people who can relate to what you are going through.

Oh, I also have an abnormal EKG. I was 38 when I was sent in for an EKG and was told it indicated I had alreay had a heart attack. I was young, fairly healthy, active, had a beautiful baby girl that I wanted to live for. It was shocking and scary. Cardiologist did a thallium stress test to see what we where dealing with and turned out that my heart simply sits in my chest cavity slighty turned causing the abnormal EKG. In other words- NO previous heart attack.

Since that time I have learned that LOTS of people have abnormal EKG readings especially if read by one of the new computer generated EKG machines. It takes a cardiologist to interpret an EKG. It is incredibly complicated and takes ALOT of training. Those machines are simple a screening tool.

Last October my daughter had a fainting spell and was sent to a Children's ER for testing. They did an EKG. It was abnormal. It showed that she had possible left hypertrophic ----?(I can't recall the big long name.) However it scared the *&%^ out of me but I remembered about the abnormal EKG thing and did not panic. To rule this very serious and life-threatening condition in or out, they had to do an echocardiogram on her. They did not even release her from the hospital until they did this and had it read by a pediatric cardiologist. Turns out, she does not have the condition. The echocardiogram is the definative tool to decide this. However she has to go in yearly now to have her heart checked with more EKGs and echocardiograms.

My point is don't panic or get depressed! If the echo and stress test show that your heart is fine, then the odds are better that you are fine than they are that you are not fine. You are young. Don't waste your life being crippled by fear. Maybe some counseling would help with meds for anxiety or depression while you are coming to terms with these issues. ????JUST a thought. Sitting around being inactive will hurt your health more than an abnormal EKG reading and palpitations.

Keep posting April and let us know how things are going and how you are coping with these new issues in your life. I believe that things will get better. There are lots of people on this site which deals with these annoying issues. We all HATE them!!! Hang in there! God Bless!

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 8/28/2006 4:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi April,

I have these "benign" PVC's, too. Like you, they are driving me crazy. I've had anxiety & panic issues since February and this has made my PVC's so much worse. I had a holter monitor and my cardiologist told me that in 24 hours I had over 1000 PVC's. But of course, not to worry! Hahaha. What kind of joke is this? 1000 PVC's and DONT WORRY? Since that lovely visit to the doctor, the PVC's are now much much worse! I can hardly go even a few minutes without them, and alot of times they just run on and on and on every few beats. Sometimes they are every-other beat and I do think I also feel couplets sometimes, too.

My BP is also in the 90-100 over 60 range, so a beta-blocker wouldn't be a good idea for me, either. I am 38 and have had these things since I was in my 20's but NEVER this bad. Every cardiologist I have ever been to says they are benign. I've been to the ER a few times and always told they are benign. Just last week I went to a psychiatrist (see, I'm not kidding, they are driving me crazy) and HE HAS PVC's too. He says he has had his since he was a teenager and his father was a doctor and told him they were benign, so he never let them bother him. He has 4-5 every minute. OK, so how do we "learn to live with them?" that's the big question. Right now mine are terrible, every few beats I am getting them. GRRRRR.

The only thing that helps me is to stay busy and try and keep my mind off of it. My cardiologist says the possible side effects of medications are worse than the PVC's. I do take ativan for my anxiety and panic, at first it calmed them way down, but not anymore.

I hate them, too! And I want my life back! Hope you find some relief.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 600
   Posted 8/28/2006 9:53 PM (GMT -6)   
:-)  I just had to post a quick little note. please try to relax a little, i feel for you, i could feel the anxiety in your post, i have been there too, for over a year i was afraid i was going to die, i personally started to have serious sleep issues and finally  after screaming and kicking started a low dose anti anxiety drug, it is no crime to take a med that will help you with the anxiety. after living past the time period of a year and a hlf, i now figure i am going to live, and you must also, and get out of that rocking chair young lady. my heart goes out to your mom too, i am sure it is scary for her to see you all balled up in hte chair.  go back to work, i know that sounds a little cold, it is not meant that way, so take it as it is, i wish for you to get on with life, you are going to live a long time.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 8/30/2006 8:30 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Dreamgirl, I wanted to tell you that I thought that was a great post. It helped me alot when I read it yesterday and I came back to read it again today. thanks. sami

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 8/30/2006 12:32 PM (GMT -6)   
I've had PVCs since I was 10 or so, I'm now 27.  Had the whole work-up and everything.  They are annoying, but one thing I've found that usually helps a LOT is getting out and exercising.  My cardiologist back in the day told me to take a swift run around the block one night when they were very annoying.  It worked like a charm.  When I was a cross-country runner in high school, and when I began running half-marathons, I found that my PVCs were much improved.  Seriously, you should try it.  When I get a long run of them I stand up and do a bunch of jumping jacks!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 600
   Posted 8/30/2006 7:10 PM (GMT -6)   
:-)  thank you for your kind words Sami, i was afraid i sounded a little harsh.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 8/30/2006 7:47 PM (GMT -6)   
I've been looking for a job and your post hit me just where I needed it-- gotta get on with this LIVING business. Actually (knocking wood) my PVC's have been improving since I've been focusing on other things. And like Sarita, exercise helps mine, too. Been watching the news about Red Sox player David Ortiz (BigPapi) and his palpatations. Even tho' I am a Yankee fan I feel for him- wonder what it's like to be a famous athlete and be in the hospital? Bet he gets the royal treatment! Hope he's okay-- and the rest of us, too!!!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 8/31/2006 10:16 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi April, Welcome to Healing Well, we are happy to have you.  You have gotten some wonderful advice and feedback from some of our veteran members which I totally agree with. 
I am 32 years old and last year out of the blue just passed out one morning in the middle of my living room floor.  Thank God my mom was coming by that day and found me; called EMT's and was taken to ER.  It was determined that I too have extremely low blood pressure but mine tends to run at 50's/30's and sometimes wont even register on a blood pressure monitor at all as it is so low.  After tons of tests and weeks in the hospital they found Sick Sinus Syndrome of my heart was causing Bradycardia (slow heart rate) which was beating in the 20 and 30 range per minute.  I got a pacemaker for that.  I also have an autonomic disorder that was diagnosed this past January that has been the cause of this and is going to drastically shorten my life span.  For the first few months it was very easy to panic over everything that my body did or that I was unable to do.  I already had depression and anxiety/panic disorder before all this.  But as I started to heal I had to make the decision to make everyday of my life count and not hide and be scared that I was going to die.  I find that not looking too far ahead helps me, just living for today and doing things throughout the day to make me feel better that are just for yoga or taking a walk which helps the anxiety greatly.
I don’t have PVC's so I cant understand what that feels like but it seems as if your doing everything right by changing your diet and dropping the caffeine.  I truly hope things get better for you real soon.  Take care


Co~Mod: Depression

Moderator: Heart & Cardiovascular Disease

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