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Old 11-09-2003, 01:10 AM   #1
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Joe210 HB User
Unhappy Still no answer...

Some of you might remember I posted here before with my symptoms and problems. I have since been away getting all kinds of test... taking all kinds of medication and still have no answer.

For those who might be able to help this all started 3 months ago... I was sitting down when I got this strange feeling... I stood up and my heart went crazy racing and I felt dizzy and light headed. I ran to another room and was going to call 911 but decided not to since I had one of these "episodes" two years earlier which went away after a few minutes. What was so different about this episode is that I had this strange hot feeling go through my body... then I got real cold around the heart area... I honestly thought that I was going to die with the cold feeling... I thought that was it. After it finally passed I then felt strange... and have not felt normal since then. Which was way back in August. After this happened I begin to have alot of pain in my back, chest, shoulders, left arm, neck, jaw and stomach. I also had a ton more of widespread symptoms that seem to confuse everybody. These include bowel problems, chills, twitching, headaches, alot of skipped beats, staying cold or getting real hot, clammy hands, massive sweating, cold sweats, trouble sleeping, trouble eating, weight loss, anxiety, roaming pains, dilated eyes, trouble with looking to the upper right, coughing, neausea(sp?), muscle wasting, growling in chest, possible acid reflux and more. Some of those are new symtoms that I never posted before and just got not that long ago. This IS getting worse... My main problem is my chest and heart areas... for the first month or so I had trouble with my heart beating fast and staying well over 100bpm. Then came the chest and back pains.... dull and sharp. So I go to my doctor and he sends me to a cardiologist and to get alot of blood test.

Cardiologist has echocardiogram, treadmill stress test, EKGs, Chest Xray, 24hr monitor, 30day heart monitor(still wearing it) done over the past few months. So far the only thing he found was mild regurgitation of my heart valve and he said it wouldn't cause any of my symptoms and don't worry about it. I am still working with the 30day loop monitor. I figuar it is probaly my last hope at finding the problem as my doctor thinks if there is a problem with the heart it is the electrical system.

I have had an endoscophy and colonoscophy done too... both came out normal. This bothers me because of the massive growling in my chest. This scares me because I had never had it in my chest before until all this happened... it can get really bad to the point where I feel really sick and my heart will start to skip. I had it so bad one day that the gurgling caused all this tightness in my chest and I had extreme pain to the point that my heart did all these odd beats and my bloodpressure shot way up to 160 over 80 or 90. I got really hot and it felt as if I was soaking wet where I was sweating... the paramedics had to wipe my chest off to get patches on me. My heart rate was about 160 when they checked it and decided to take me to the hospital to get checked out. They ended up giving me Ibprofen 800mg tabs and telling me the pain was non-cardiac... but they would have liked to catch the skipped beats... why?

I have had several test done on my thyroids too... nothing found there either. I had lyme test, mono, white blood cell and several more test done.

After the episode I had in August I had about 5 or 6 more of those odd things where my heart would race, I would feel a hot burst in my chest and then cold... they were worse each time. After each one I felt so much worse and got new symptoms to the point that I wanted to just live under a rock until it all passed. All of them led up to getting the 30day loop monitor and since I have had it I had that one episode and that's it. My heart now feels like it beats slow and hard. It drives me insane... it is like a loud thumping in my chest. It still races some but not as much... I felt better when it was racing... now I have nothing but pain in my chest 24/7 and my sides/back are bad too. For the last few days my jaw has been hurting and my head hurts bad as well. It flutters alot now and feels so strange... I feel it beating strong in my neck and my pulse is close beats togeather. I can't sleep because the beating is so hard on my chest that it makes me feel strange... I can't explain it... it is so awful. Today I was sitting and the left side of my chest started viberating... when I would breath it would make a rrrr sound and feel like water gurgling in the left side of my chest... it got so bad I had to stand and walk around for a bit. Is that the regurgitation? It just seems so bad that my pulse is so slow now and the beats are close tegeather... it seems I get worn out easy and my heart beats slow even while I walk. It is so strange....I have been hurting in my left side and chest for the last several days it is a dull pain that won't go away. I have had sharp pains as well and I have noticed a large lump in my chest... when I touch it it sends pain to my neck and back. My chest twitches! Both my eyes twitch... My neck feels strange like the left side is tinglings or feels numb.

I have been put on almost every anxiety pill known to man and none of them helped... Xanax, lexapro, ativan, zoloft... there are more I forgot the names. well one of them helped me sleep and that was it. You know what? The only one that helped I was taken off of for fear of getting addicted. So I have nothing but some pills for acid reflux that make me feel sick and don't help one bit.

I have been sent to all kinds of doctors and people are starting to think I am stupid or something. I don't like to be by myself right now for fear of something happening. Which I figuar comes from anxiety playing a role in this.... the anxiety comes from me not knowing what is wrong and doctors giving me medication and then taking it away and sending me to more specialist. My family and I are in so much of a pit as far as money goes it isn't funny.

I am now seeing a nurologist who wants to do an MRI of my brain. Great. What's next??

THE PROBLEM IS IN MY CHEST/HEART/NECK AREA! arghhhh! I am so worried now that I figuar my life is screwed and this is it... they are going to drag it out and find nothing and I am going to be like this until my heart gives out or something. I know I shouldn't worry and I know I have anxiety but nothing is helping and my chest/heart symptoms are getting worse. I feel as if something could happen at any time and I can't do a darn thing about it!

This has robbed me of my life...

Scared, worried... mad.

God bless...

Joe.

(PS. I have had a few skipped beats that hit so hard it caused me to cough... is that normal? Also I feel really sick whenever I yawn like I want to vomit... what causes this? Thanks)

Last edited by Joe210; 11-09-2003 at 01:22 AM.

 
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Old 11-09-2003, 05:15 AM   #2
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docrum HB User
it sounds like you have a somatisation disorder

 
Old 11-09-2003, 09:08 AM   #3
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I obviously can't diagnose you without doing an examination and looking at your past medical history, but it really sounds like you're having palpitations and paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia which is complicated by panic attacks and hypervigilance.

Now, before you disregard what I'm saying because you think I'm saying it's all in your head, I'm not saying that at all.

Allow me to explain.

Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia is a fancy way of saying that, from time to time, one of the pacemaker areas in your heart decides it's going to be irritable and it fires a couple of extra times and your heart beats fast for a bit. Now, with some people, they don't feel it...others feel it as a flutter in their chest or their heart pounding. It can be scary, and that's the first step of the process of this problem......

at this point, the person begins to pay very close attention to every little itch, scratch, movement, pain, ache etc. etc. This is called hypervigilance. Normally, if you really think about it, you probably have a headache right now...but you don't notice it because your attention is drawn away from it. But when you are hypervigilant, you tend to pay attention to every little detail. Classically, hyperviglance in men is directed towards chest painy stuff or testicular things.

Now we get to the panic attacks. Panic attacks are NOT in your head...it is a real physiological process that occurs in your body that makes you feel the way you do. There are two main branches of a certain part of your nervous system called the autonomic nervous system--the parasympathetic and the sympathetic systems. The parasympathetic system tends to relax you...rest and digest it's called. The sympathetic nervous system is more of a "fight or flight" system...it is activated when you are aroused, you need to fight, you're excited, you're playing sports etc. etc. etc. Now, normally, when your sympathetic nervous system is activated at the times I mentioned above, it doesn't feel wrong...but when it's activated when you're just sitting there, you start to feel REALLY bad and it may include any of the following:

shortness of breath
chest pains
heart pounding in your chest
blurry vision
nausea/vomiting
a feeling of being smothered
a feeling that you are going to die
chest growling
feeling hot and or cold
feeling faint
fainting
etc.

I think what has happened to you is that you have a small and totally harmless problem in your heart, and after you became hypervigilant, you started working yourself up and now it's being complicated with panic attacks. I can guarantee you that when you get this MRI done (which I'm telling you is a waste of money for the health care system) it'll come out normal. You can get a back x-ray...it'll be normal. You can get 1000 colonoscopies, and they'll all be normal. Your problem is with your sympathetic nervous system.

I can also guarantee you that, if the doctor was to deal with the panic attacks and hypervigilance directly, ALL of your problems will be solved. I want you to know that this is a serious thing, I'm NOT making fun of you, and I am NOT in any way, shape or form telling you that you are crazy. You are a healthy young gentleman who can feel healthy again in due time!

 
Old 11-09-2003, 12:20 PM   #4
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I agree 100% with butterfly! I am not a doctor or a know-it-all, but I do write from personal experience. You are not alone and there are people who care. At about age 22, I had agoraphobia (a panic-type disorder). I'm MUCH better now, but I still have some fears that I'm coping with that cause some anxiety. I also have PVCs (started a few years ago and I'm now 48) which scare me stiff from time to time. I'm certainly not crazy, but panic attacks, though characterized by irrational fears, are nonetheless REAL. There is certainly help for you out there, but YOU MUST take the first step, recognize the problem for what it is, and seek treatment if you want to get your life back and it seems that you do. There are lots and lots of treatments, like seeing a psychologist/psychiatrist, going on panic-reducing medication, meditation techniques, behavior modification (this helped me alot), and support groups, to name a few. There's also a book that I highly recommend called "The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook" by Edmund J. Bourne, Ph.D. (winner of the Benjamin Franklin Book Award for Excellence in Psychology). Sometimes you need a combination of treatments for a while. No shame in that. You also need to just CALM DOWN and try to sleep right because tiredness worsens panic and PVCs. No one I know of ever died from a panic attack or PVCs. However, panic and general stress can and does cause or exacerbate numerous other physical/organic problems such as PVCs (which you seem to have), gum disease, and digestive problems, for example.

As I mentioned before, you first have to recognize the problem for what it is. That means realizing what it isn't--all the things that the tests have ruled out. I went through much the same process of numerous tests coming back negative until my doctor told me see a psychiatrist or change my lifestyle. I was sooooo ****** at the time, because I was sure his comment was his way of telling me I was a hypochondriac or kook, which I considered an insult. Granted, he could have found a nicer way of getting me the help I needed, but he was right, nevertheless.

You have my very best wishes for a fully recovery. Write back once in a while and let us know how you're doing, ok?

 
Old 11-09-2003, 12:43 PM   #5
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gigi777 HB User
Awesome posts guys! You both explained it so well and i agree with you 100%. I too suffer from pvcs and much anxiety. Ive also been thru the hypervigilance, just never knew that was what it was Thanks for the great posts!

 
Old 11-09-2003, 12:43 PM   #6
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luvmyhubby HB User
Hey Joe

Hey Joe, sorry to hear you are still feeling bad still!

I hope you get the answers you are looking for real soon.

 
Old 11-09-2003, 03:44 PM   #7
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Joe210 HB User
Thank you so much for the post! Those post have helped me understand a great deal about what could be the problem. I thank you so much for taking the time to post that and I am so glad that you did... I just have a few questions.

Sometimes when I get skipped beats it is a harder jolt then other times and it will make me have one big cough like... is that normal?

It has been a while since I had one of those bad episodes with the heart racing way up in the hundreds... could any of those episodes have damaged the heart? The more serious ones happened after I had the echocardiogram. It seems my heart beat is slow now... and when I do things it still beats slow but real loud and heavy thumping. Plus when I walk or even when I sit I get the strange feelings around my heart... not like a skipped beat but just a strange sensation... I don't know if the valve that I have mild regurgitation in could cause it or not.

Also I seem to hurt alot in my sternum - chest area and left side. Sometimes the heart area will feel strange when I have these pains... the heart beat seems to be heavy when they happen. I just worry because I can't do anything without pain... when I try to walk the pain get's worse. I get these bad dull pains in my jaw that last all day too.

Sorry for all the questions but this is just getting to me. I also don't understand why the anxiety medication hasn't helped...

God bless,

Joe.

 
Old 11-09-2003, 05:24 PM   #8
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Hi Joe- I need to ask you a couple of specific questions-
Exactly what kind of doctors have you seen so far, apart from cardiologist, neurologist and I presume a gastro person?

One more Q.- Which doctor diagnosed muscle wasting and how is it manifesting itself?

zuzu xx

 
Old 11-09-2003, 07:39 PM   #9
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Joe210 HB User
Quote:
Originally Posted by zuzu8
Hi Joe- I need to ask you a couple of specific questions-
Exactly what kind of doctors have you seen so far, apart from cardiologist, neurologist and I presume a gastro person?

One more Q.- Which doctor diagnosed muscle wasting and how is it manifesting itself?

zuzu xx
Besides those three specialist I am just seeing my family doctor and I have been in the ER a few times.

My family doctor mentioned muscle wasting to me and my neurologist noticed when I was kinda weak when he made me push on his arms. He said I may have it or so it seems I do but he wants to do the MRI if lexapro pills doesn't help me. What is odd is they haven't done any test for muscle wasting... they just assumed I had it from my sudden lack of strength. I really don't know... it just seems that my arms went flat and the muscle area is like bumps and really sore. I am weak and it pops all the time... my legs seem to be this way too.

God bless,

Joe.

 
Old 11-09-2003, 08:41 PM   #10
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Thumbs down

Hey man, im having alot of the same issues as you, and my doctors have no clue what it is either. Im 17, i turn 18 tommorow, and every night im afraid to go to sleep because im afraid i won't wake up. I have strage feelings in my chest, muscle soreness, muscle spasms, headache, slightly blurred vision, and other crap too. I had a really bad cough several months ago, and i wonder if they might be linked. Maybe if we talked we could figure out if it's the same thing thats ruining our lives.


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Old 11-09-2003, 09:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Sometimes when I get skipped beats it is a harder jolt then other times and it will make me have one big cough like... is that normal?
Hey Joe...yes...it's normal, and it you didn't notice, you're doing it again! You're being hypervigilant and anxious. I can guarantee you're totally normal.
Quote:
It has been a while since I had one of those bad episodes with the heart racing way up in the hundreds... could any of those episodes have damaged the heart?
Well, I guess damage to the heart can be measured by heart failure or a heart attack, you haven't had either of those, so no, I think your heart is 100% fine.
Quote:
The more serious ones happened after I had the echocardiogram. It seems my heart beat is slow now...
That's usually the way it happens because you get more anxious after the doctor's test because you think (s)he missed something. Once again, I guarantee that if something was wrong, it would've been found on the echo.
Quote:
and when I do things it still beats slow but real loud and heavy thumping. Plus when I walk or even when I sit I get the strange feelings around my heart... not like a skipped beat but just a strange sensation...
A 'strange sensation' is classic for hypervigilance. You are paying sooo close attention to any little pain or pressure you have in your chest and it's being blown out of proportion in your head.
Quote:
I don't know if the valve that I have mild regurgitation in could cause it or not.
What makes you think you have regurgitation? Did that show up on the echo?
Quote:
seem to hurt alot in my sternum - chest area and left side. Sometimes the heart area will feel strange when I have these pains... the heart beat seems to be heavy when they happen. I just worry because I can't do anything without pain... when I try to walk the pain get's worse. I get these bad dull pains in my jaw that last all day too.
Have you ever been to the hospital for this type of pain? And if you have, did the doctors say there was anything wrong? If they didn't, it was unlikely you were having a heart attack, and once again I think this falls under the roof of our word of the day...hypervigilance.
Quote:
Sorry for all the questions but this is just getting to me. I also don't understand why the anxiety medication hasn't helped...
Don't be sorry for the questions! That's what we're here for. I'm not sure why the anxiety medication hasn't helped, unless you're not on the right dose, you haven't been on it for long enough for the effects to kick in, or you're not taking the medication when you should be taking it...are any of the above possible?

 
Old 11-09-2003, 09:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe210
Besides those three specialist I am just seeing my family doctor and I have been in the ER a few times.

My family doctor mentioned muscle wasting to me and my neurologist noticed when I was kinda weak when he made me push on his arms. He said I may have it or so it seems I do but he wants to do the MRI if lexapro pills doesn't help me. What is odd is they haven't done any test for muscle wasting... they just assumed I had it from my sudden lack of strength. I really don't know... it just seems that my arms went flat and the muscle area is like bumps and really sore. I am weak and it pops all the time... my legs seem to be this way too.

God bless,

Joe.
I don't understand why your neurologist would even consider an MRI. What is his/her reasoning for doing so?

 
Old 11-09-2003, 09:58 PM   #13
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ralve HB User
Hi everyone and Joe, it's good to see you writing on here again, I haven't seen any of your posts in a while. Do you like the 'new' healthboards? I guess I'll get used to it, but for right now, I don't like it as much, only because I really don't like it when things change. I'm sick of change, we are moving around alot, and life is so uncertain all the time, so even little things, like when I look forward to coming on here and getting some answers and it's different, can be a tiny bit upsetting. This sounds really stupid, I'm sure I'll get used to it within a couple of weeks, I just like the old boards.
Anyway, it sounds like you're still not feeling too well, but you know, most of your symptoms sound so familiar at one time or another! The 'cough' reflex is very common with palpitations, I've had that alot. Think of this, when I used to get the palpitations at first, my whole body would jump with each and every one, once when I was in the ER, I was laying there really jumping with each one, it was something I totally couldn't help at all. Anyway, now I have a PVC at least every 20 beats or so, and I don't jump in the slightest. It's just amazing what your nerves and your body will do. I am sitting here right now feeling PVC's probably every ten beats or so.
I only get nervous about the 'sudden death' thing, because that's what my Dad had, but I've been reassured that he had something very rare. And, really, he didn't complain of palpitations that much at all.
Do you eat pretty well? I really notice that my body is sensitive to what I eat. I even heard a report on the news the other day that gluten, that I guess is in wheat breads and other breads, can cause all these symptoms, even anxiety. So, there are so many things that you think are healthy, but your body might have an allergy to it, you have to experiment around, and eliminate things for a while, and see if it helps. Try to eliminate dairy for a while, replacing what you need in that with something else. I've heard alot about dairy, but I haven't been able to stop that yet cause I really love it, and I eat alot of yogurt, which helps with other symptoms that I have, mostly heartburn. Eating yogurt really seems to help with that, and I also love milk.
Anyway, I hope you are doing well, and try to read a couple of those books that I mentioned before, one of them is that Dr. Andrew Weil, who specifically talks about problems that people have that can't be helped by doctors, but rather can be helped by holistic means, and dietary changes.
Good luck! Val

 
Old 11-10-2003, 02:45 AM   #14
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Joe—the cough, pain in your jaw and along the left side of your neck are common symptoms of PVCs, which are not serious. You also said your doctor told you that the valve regurgitation is not serious either. No matter what else you may or may not have (whether serious or not), it’s certain that you have panic attacks and you need to recognize that. You seem to make them worse with the hypervigilance and accompanying negative self-talk. It’s a vicious circle and you really need to get a grip on them to take your life back. You can actually make the PVCs occur more often and intensely and suffer the debilitating consequences of the symptoms of panic (shortness of breath, feelings of dread, palpitations, aches and pains, etc.). These symptoms are real, but the causes are panic—irrational fears and thoughts that spiral out of control. You said it yourself, as follows:

“I have been sent to all kinds of doctors and people are starting to think I am stupid or something. I don't like to be by myself right now for fear of something happening. Which I figuar comes from anxiety playing a role in this.... the anxiety comes from me not knowing what is wrong and doctors giving me medication and then taking it away and sending me to more specialist. My family and I are in so much of a pit as far as money goes it isn't funny…This has robbed me of my life... Scared, worried... mad.”

Here’s some advice from someone who’s “been there and done that.”

• I’m guessing you may be a chronic pulse-taker. Make a promise to yourself that you will keep which is to stop taking your pulse every time you feel something going on in your chest. Try it for 24 hours and then try to stretch it for longer.
• When the palpitations, aches and pains start:
--1. Try to ignore them.
--2. Get up and walk around for a minute. This will help divert your attention and help “reset” your heart rate to accommodate the need for more blood in your legs.
--3. Breathe from your diaphragm.
--4. Do something simple and repetitive like play solitaire or count to 500 slowly.
--5.Concentrate for a while on something else. For example, think about a big problem that needs to be solved, like world hunger, for example. Think about all the steps you’d take if you could to solve this problem.
--6. Counter every negative thought with something positive.
-----• I have pain in my chest…I’ve lived through this before and I’ll get through it again.
-----• I could be having a heart attack…It’s probably just a panic attack and no one dies from them.
-----• I feel weak and faint…My fears cause an adrenaline rush so maybe I should just let this pass.
-----• I feel hot and cold, sick to my stomach…what’s the worst that could happen from a panic attack?
-----• My heart is beating erratically…It’s probably just those harmless PVCs the doctor told me about.
• Get plenty of rest. If you cannot sleep at night, try to take naps during the day.
• Look in your local phone book, find a psychologist or psychiatrist and make an appointment and keep it. If you can find one who specifically works on panic/anxiety disorders and is the same sex as you are, that’s even better.
• Go to the book store or go online, find a book about panic and anxiety, buy it and read it. I’ve suggested one in my previous correspondence, but there are other good ones you may prefer.
• Sign up for some sort of stress reduction class, like Tai Chi, yoga, or some kind of meditation.

Be patient. Recovery won’t happen overnight. In any case, get ready for a lifestyle change you can look forward too. Good luck!!

 
Old 11-10-2003, 04:22 AM   #15
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Dgarneau...that was an awesome answer!

 
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