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Old 09-25-2006, 07:32 AM   #1
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I am obsessed with my heart!

This is driving me absolutely insane! I know there are plenty of people on here that can relate so I think I just want to vent a little and hope for some words of encouragement. I have had so many issues with my heart in the last few months. I have had so many tests and they can't seem to find anything wrong. I got put on beta blockers for the tachycardia and they were working real good for a while, and then they started making my heart rate too slow. So now I take only half. Every day, the second I get out of bed, my heart races. I take my beta blocker and eventually it slows back down (sometimes too slow, though). I did something really stupid on Friday. I was reading this board and someone mentioned that they were afraid they had long qt syndrome. I had no idea what this was so I looked it up. STUPID!!! I read that one of the symptoms was having a fast heart rate upon awakening. I have been a total mess ever since. Now realistically I know I probably don't have this. I am sure that with all of the tests I have had it would have been seen by now. But then there is always that "what if?"

This past Saturday my heart rate was high all day. We took my dogs to a pool party and I was out in the sun, so that probably wasn't good. Then, to make matters worse I went out with some friends Saturday night and drank and stayed out until 6AM. I haven't done something like that in 10 years. Ever since then my heart rate has been pretty erratic. One minute it will be really fast and the next really slow. When I woke up this morning it was like 120 and it hasn't been that fast since I started taking the beta blockers. Of course right now it is at about 56, which is almost as bad as the tachy.

The thing is, I am totally obsessed with this. I'm to the point where I wonder if there is anything wrong or if I'm bringing it upon myself??? I am CONSTANTLY checking my pulse. Honestly - I can't stop doing it. And when I feel all of these weird rhythms it just makes me panic even more. Would anxiety really cause changes in my heart rate like that? Where it beats really fast for a few seconds, then slow, then fast, etc. Would anxiety really cause me to have a fast heart rate every day when I wake up? It even happens on the weekend where I can sleep in and I don't have to go to work.

I'm having another holter done on the 9th but I'm so afraid something will happen before then. It probably won't, but I feel that this is going to be the longest two weeks. I don't know how I much longer I can deal with this. Sometimes I think I'm on the verge of a breakdown. I can't imagine living the rest of my life worried about my heart like I do. I have been to two different therapists and they didn't help me at all. I have had nothing traumatic happen in my life and no one can really figure out the root of my anxiety. I just don't know what to do anymore.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. It helped just to type about it.

 
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Old 09-25-2006, 09:11 AM   #2
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Re: I am obsessed with my heart!

Leela, you are not alone! I was diagnosed several months ago with Anxiety Disorder. I take blood pressure medications (including a beta blocker), 1 mg of Clonazepam daily, and occasionally .25 mg Xanax as I need it. In my limited experience, and also according to what I've read here on this board, anxiety simply does weird things to our bodies, particularly our hearts. Not necessarily dangerous, just weird, and that people without anxiety probably never notice.

The best advice about taking your pulse: don't. Before you had anxiety, did you ever walk around taking your pulse? (I understand, believe me, I've done it.)

I read somehwere that the highest BP of the day is generally upon waking. I'm not sure about pulse rate, but I have awoken many times with a racing heartbeat.

A pulse rate of 56 is not slow. Mine can go above 100 with anxiety, but then drops down into the low 40's, and that is OK. I run 15 to 20 miles a week.

Just try to relax. Don't check your pulse. Try to get some exercise every day, and get lots of rest. Anxiety is deceiving. Don't let it fool you (once you've ruled out everything else). Try not to let it disrupt your life.

I have felt exactly the same way you do (and sometimes I stll do). Hang in there. There are lots of us out here going through the same thing!

 
Old 09-25-2006, 09:49 AM   #3
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Re: I am obsessed with my heart!

Hi Leela,
I'm sorry to read that you're feeling anxious. Try not to take your pulse (I know, easier said than done!). I hve noticed lately that my heart rate has been higher even on the same dose of beta-blocker. I have also talked to people who have to change their beta-blocker dosage sometimes due to a higher or lower than normal (for them) heart rate. I know if my heart is beating like 55 and it's time for my beta-blocker, I hold off on it. Or, if my hear is beating like 110 and my regular dose hasn't helped, I'll take like 1/4 of a pill more. Remember, our heart rates aren't always the same all the time. They shouldn't be, they have to adapt to our bodies, our environment, all sorts of things. I have read about Long QT also and it scared the crap out of me for a while. I started reading the QTc on my EKG printouts and mine is scary because mine is kinda close to the borderline: my QTc is usually like 433 or 436. Some sites say it should be below 430, some say 440, most say 450 for women. I did talk to my cardiologist about it and he said that in young people, Long QT was one of the first things cardiologists looked for. Plus, the great majority of Long QT patients have relatives who have either died at an early age or who have had a cardiac arrest suddenly at a relatively early age. Many patients also experienced fainting as a child, especially after swimming or running around playing. It's a scary thing to read about, but it is RARE, and I know a cardio has checked you out, so I think you can cross this off your worry list. Don't worry about your heart rate of 56, that is totally normal, especially in a person on beta-blockers or a fit person. When I was at the peak of my running, my heart rate would barely hit 40 while I was sitting very still and quiet. I know we've talked about how beta-blockers are helpful and a hindrance to us. If you're not on a high dose, though, your heart rate is going to be controlled well. It won't get dangerously slow, so don't worry about that. Even on beta-blockers, when i wake in the morning, my heart rate is high. The medications usually don't truly last a full 24 hours (or 12 hours, whatever they're supposed to) so by the time we get up in the morning our meds have worn off, plus there's that little "adrenaline rush" of waking. I've been taking my Xanax XR in 2 doses, one in the morning and one in the late evening and it seems to help blunt that effect of the morning racing heart and shaky feeling. Take care, you are ok, you've been checked out thoroughly. Like most of us, you're just fixating on normal bodily functions. HUGS!

 
Old 09-25-2006, 10:59 AM   #4
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Re: I am obsessed with my heart!

leela,
im also a on a beta blocker i take a half a day and i have noticed my heart rate will get too low as well like when i wake up and i stand it will go alittle over a hundred then at as the day goes on it gets lower and lower after i take the beta blocker...it even gone to 45 at night scary! i dont know what worse it being too dang high or too low and beats me if i know whats casuing this... my blood pressure tends to be ok somewhat low at times but not that low its the dang heart thats off thats why we feel llightheaded all day

 
Old 09-25-2006, 11:49 AM   #5
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Leela_C HB User
Re: I am obsessed with my heart!

Thanks for the replies everyone!

Soccerdad - you're right, I never checked my pulse before all of this nonsense started. In fact, I was NEVER worried about my heart before. I had a "borderline abnormal" EKG at my PCP's office about a year ago and I have been a mess ever since. I know I need to stop checking my pulse. But you're right it is easier said than done. I am so embarassed if someone catches me doing it. Like I'm picking my nose or something. I know that sounds ridiculous, but I do it so much and I know I shouldn't be doing it at all because it just adds to the worry. I know I need to exercise, but that actually scares me too. I do swim some evenings, but I won't do it unless my boyfriend is home and sits outside with me just in case. Trust me, he thinks I'm a total nut, but he has become more understanding over the past year or so.

CircusSquirrel - is your heart rate fast every morning? Mine is and it has been faster ever since I got the whole LQTS thing in my head. You're probably right, though. I take my bb when I first get up, so by the next morning it has probably already worn off. It usually comes down about 30 minutes after I take the bb. I was actually shaving a little extra off of my half, but I have been taking the entire half of the pill the past few days. I wish I could get the xanax XR, but I have a hard enough time just getting a few xanax anymore. I don't abuse them and they really help me, so it frustrates me that the docs are so apprehensive about prescribing them. I may talk to my PCP about getting the xr and see how that does.

Niki - as usual we seem to have the same stuff going on. Is your heart rate high as soon as you get up from sleeping? That is when it is the absolute worst for me!

Thank you all for replying and your support. I feel like a nut actually typing this stuff. But I know that so many others go through it and sometimes I just need some reassurance.

I hope everyone has a great day!

 
Old 09-25-2006, 12:16 PM   #6
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Re: I am obsessed with my heart!

Leela - you sound like me. I am obsessed with my heart, too. I don't worry about cancer or any other disease, just my heart. I obsess over a symptom for a while and then move onto something else. I used to be hypersensitive about my heartbeat. I could feel my pulse just by sitting still, without even feeling my neck or wrist for it. I was just so aware of it all the time. I still am sometimes. I have a high heart rate to begin with. On my Holter monitor, my average resting heart rate was 96. Sometimes it is lower, like right now it is in the 80s. When I get up in the morning, my heart races. After I eat, my heart races. When I have acid reflux, my heart races. When I'm nervous, my heart races. Sometimes when I have a high-anxiety day, my heart will race all day. My cardiologist told me to stop worrying about it. He said some people have a high heart rate like me and that is fine and it is the adrenaline that is causing my heart to beat faster at times. I tried beta blockers and could not tolerate them. I took Toprol for 2 weeks and I did feel better, but I was too tired and lightheaded. Recently I tried Inderal and felt horrible on only 1 dose, haven't taken any since. My blood pressure runs high at the doctor's office, too. That is the main reason I worry about my heart. At home when I'm not nervous, my blood pressure is fine. But at times, I'm so nervous about taking my blood pressure even at home, it will be high. My doctor told me to stop taking my blood pressure because it is fine. So that is what I did. I put my home monitor away and I refuse to get it back out.

My advice is to stop taking your pulse. Ignore it as best you can (trust me, I know that is easier said than done). Also, don't search the internet about your symptoms. What you find on the internet will make you crazy. You could search the internet for a hangnail and you'd find a website that says that a hangnail is a symptom of some heart condition or other horrible llness.

Anxiety can cause your body to do all kinds of weird things. Just try to keep yourself busy to keep your mind off of it. That is what I have to do. I'm sure you are fine. I've been exactly where you are. I remember when I was waiting for my appointment with the cardiologist, there was like a month wait to see him and I was just sure I was going to die before I got to see him because I knew there was seriously something wrong with my heart, but I was wrong. I'm fine and I'm sure you are, too. Take care. =)

 
Old 09-25-2006, 12:44 PM   #7
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Re: I am obsessed with my heart!

Hello, I too am like all you. I have a fast pulse rate. Unfortunately, I also have pac's and pvc's, which I have been told for the last 5 years, are harmless. However, I obsess over them, and now will try to avoid anything, and I mean anything, that will get my heart rate up over 130, because that is when my heart starts skipping. I find it weird that when it is racing it starts skipping, and yet they say I'm ok? I am also trying to believe them, but can't convince myself. My heart used to be normally in the 60's, and now it is in the 90's, at resting. The Dr.'s say that is because I have gotten out of shape. (I am very slim and in the ideal weight range, but have lost muscle tone due to not wanting to work out) They say the heart racing in the morning is normal, but when I get up, it bumps up to 130 or 140, AND then the heart skips. I just got back from my Dr. today, who says I have severe anxiety, and wants me to take Zoloft and Ativan at nighttime, and after two weeks, if my heart is still bothering me, then she will also give me a beta blocker. She is hoping that the anxiety medication will make it so that I don't focus on my heart so much. I am very scared to take my medication though due to side effects, even though I know I can't live like this. Even when I read your posts, I know I'm not alone, but I still think that I'm that one rare person that they overlooked and I have something more serious. BTW, never heard of that long QT, and I am not letting myself look it up, because then I will be convinced I also have it. (I drive myself nuts) Best luck to everyone! Michelle

 
Old 09-25-2006, 02:16 PM   #8
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Fiona84 HB User
Re: I am obsessed with my heart!

Hi,

Sorry, I think it was me mentioned Long QT Syndrome in the past few days. :-( I wouldn't want anyone else to needlessly worry they have it, because it is driving me crazy. I am scared to work out now in case I go into cardiac arrest. A friend of my friend just died from cardiac arrest at 21...I'm only 22,so....I just hate this!!!

It is reassuring to read about he fact that it runs in families and/or shows up while you are a child. I never fainted or anything as a child but even when I was a kid I had heart palpitations. Maybe it was Long QT syndrome? I had my parents take me to the doctor when I was about 11 and they didnt run any tests, just used a stethoscope and sent me home! I wasn't convinced, even then,haha. My anxiety went away but just came back in the past year or so. I hate it! I have had two EKGs but I'm worried they didn't catch it. I dunno. I'm going back to my PCP in the next few weeks but she is sick of me.

Best of luck to everyone else going through this!

 
Old 09-25-2006, 02:53 PM   #9
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cosmooo HB User
Re: I am obsessed with my heart!

reading that u used alchol and stayd out late [that alone can cause the symptoms u describe , please under stand that im a survivor to the extent that ive had clinical anxiety for 40 years and still do [but i can wrestle with it like a pro lately ] for u no alchol , smoke, caffiene, coke , any recrational
drugs /work in as much exorsize as possible , kind of like cleaning up
meetings on anxiety [better not to hang alone ]


later my best cosmooo

Last edited by ms_mod; 09-25-2006 at 04:27 PM. Reason: Please always use the proper words, not text message or chat room lingo which can make your posts very hard for some members to understand. Ms_Mod

 
Old 09-25-2006, 03:42 PM   #10
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nikigrl8883 HB User
Re: I am obsessed with my heart!

finoa you said your friend died of cardiac arrest!? at 21
! what the heck was wrong with him or her do you know

 
Old 09-25-2006, 03:52 PM   #11
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Re: I am obsessed with my heart!

dont look it up leela i made the mistake of doing that now i think i have it to and today the beta blocker isnt working

 
Old 09-25-2006, 04:31 PM   #12
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boxerlover227 HB Userboxerlover227 HB Userboxerlover227 HB Userboxerlover227 HB User
Smile Re: I am obsessed with my heart!

Hi Guys!
I looked up this disorder long QT syndrome as well, I know I shouldn't have but it clearly mentions that it is most likely hereditary and that there is fainting, along with deafness, and seizures with this disorder, and of course rapid heart rate.. Most have symptoms starting at age 12, sometimes later in life but there would be all the symptoms mentioned above during exercise, stress, etc.. which would lead to death... I haven't really seen anyone post that the do in-fact faint.. More like you feel faint.. Or that you have seizures.. etc.. So this leads me to believe that I highly doubt any of us have this disorder. Unless you are experiencing symptoms like mentioned above.. I just wanted to reassure you that looking up this disorder and thinking that you have it, is just another obsessive thought that is trigger by the fear that our anxiety portrays! Just my thoughts!!

 
Old 09-25-2006, 04:44 PM   #13
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Re: I am obsessed with my heart!

well boxer ive come dam close to fainting ..too close...and along time ago when this started i thought i was haveing some type of seizure thats the reason i had an eeg and started seeing a neurolgist

 
Old 09-25-2006, 05:34 PM   #14
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Re: I am obsessed with my heart!

I have fainted 7 times in the last 13 yrs and I have had palpitations off and on since I was a small child but I do not believe I have long QT syndrome because I have had heart tests and I hear long QT is usualy pretty easy to spot for a decent cardiologist or even a technician.Also I was told by numerous doctors in two different states here in the US that my problems are anxiety/stress related.Really long qt is mostly hereditary,symptoms come on with activity,and most find out very young or have sudden death very young like small child young and yes it is fairly rare.I would say if anyone is worried about this then if you had an EKG or holter monitor call the doc and ask them if they looked for long qt and if not ask them to.They would have your records to check or have another EKG from what I read it is pretty easy to spot most times.

 
Old 09-26-2006, 07:43 AM   #15
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Re: I am obsessed with my heart!

I guess I should have thought about what I posted before I did. I did the same thing to you all that I did to myself - getting everyone all nervous about Long QT. I'm so sorry! The point that I was trying to make is that I looked that up and since my mind is so messed up I automatically thought I had that. I don't really think I have it. Like I said, with all of the tests I have had it would have shown up by now, I'm sure. It just feeds into my obsession with my heart. It is quite ridiculous, and I know it is, but I let it control me.

So today I'm back to having my heart rate barely 50 and I can feel every beat, quiver, palp, etc. I think when the rate is slower we can feel more of the sensations. This stinks!!! I wish I could not worry about this.

Thanks everyone for your posts yesterday. I actually felt better just reading them. I think I'll go back and read them again since I'm back to worrying about all of this nonsense again (not LQTS - just the erratic beats).

 
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