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Old 11-27-2004, 04:28 PM   #1
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Question Describing It?

I find it very difficult to describe or explain what exactly the sensation I feel during a PVC/PAC event is, and most of the descriptions I've hears involve metaphores - "it feels like a ....." But accurate descriptions help the doctors to figure out what may be going on. So my question is, how exactly *do* you explain a symptom that can't be seen or measured in terms of what you actually *feel* to someone who isn't experiencing it?
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Old 11-27-2004, 05:49 PM   #2
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Re: Describing It?

That is a very good question. I tried to explain my weird heart beats to my cardiologist and im not sure he understood. I told him it felt like I was having a normal heart beat, then a much harder one following, and then normal again the next beat. I think he took it to mean I felt my heart racing out of control. He gave me an event monitor to record it. I have used it alot. I go back to the doctor on Tuesday and ill find out if it's found anything then.

 
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Old 11-29-2004, 03:54 AM   #3
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Re: Describing It?

Generally speaking, yeah, single "thuds" are safe if you've been checked out and there's not underlying medical problem. Most of the population gets them at some time or another, some people notice it more than others.

After I posted this thread I started searching for stuff on the net out of random curiosity. Run a search on google for 'heart sounds' and you'll get a link to a site called assuculation assistant (sp?), it has all the normal and abnormal heart sounds on it. Doesn't help much with describing the feeling, but if you're randomly curious like me you can pick up stethescopes at a lot of pharmacies fairly cheap. It's kinda neat to compare what your heart sounds like when it's making those wierd feelings, to what the site says those sounds indicate.

Of course this is in NO WAY a substitute for medical evaluation!
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Old 11-29-2004, 06:52 AM   #4
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Re: Describing It?

Karlie, yes i've had ones similar to what you describe. They made me feel really hot all of a sudden, not really lightheaded though. It did make me feel very alert or something. These are scary! I have anxiety issues as well. Right now I am very very anxious!!!

 
Old 11-29-2004, 07:43 AM   #5
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Re: Describing It?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrontierDriver2
... I tried to explain my weird heart beats to my cardiologist and im not sure he understood. ...
To me, most of the time, the problem is not with how the patient communicates with the heart "expert". The problem is whether or not the cardiologist can communicate well with the patient.

The cardiologist knows that there are many ways that the heart can misfire. He sees hundreds of patients, most of them with the same type of symptoms. He sees a lot of patients with PACs and PVCs, and various forms of tachycardias (heart racing) and HE KNOWS, or should know some common reasons why patients get these misfirings, especially the PACs and PVCs.

The Cardiologist also knows how to check to see if there are serious underlying problems and knows if he should take a more aggessive role to solve the patient's heart problems.

I really think that most doctors think that most of their patients are stupid and cannot understand simple heart information, just doesn't care, just doesn't want to take the time needed to effectively treat the patient, or that the doctor didn't do well in school and is just in it for the high paying career.

The sad thing is that patient, after patient, comes out of the same cardiologist's office with the same feeling of helplessness, although most of them have very similar symptoms. Doctors love it when the patient blames it on themselves for not communicating well with the doctor. Doctor's also love blaming the symptoms on the patient by telling the patient that it is the patient's nerves or anxiety that is causing the problem. That way the doctor can collect a large fee, do nothing, and the patient blames the failure to get proper treatment on themselves.

Last edited by Machaon; 11-29-2004 at 07:46 AM.

 
Old 11-29-2004, 06:09 PM   #6
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Re: Describing It?

Well luckily, my cardiologist has communicated well with me. He didnt beat around the bush about whether something could be wrong, he told me straight out that there was nothing wrong with my heart. He was also very detailed, listened to all my symptoms, and didnt play me off as being crazy.

My family doctor is good too, but he isnt very thorough when it comes to testing. He told me my heart muscle was thickening and not to exercise too hard. That literally scared me half to death! But according to my cardiologist I really have nothing to worry about in the heart area.

The reason I said my cardiologist might not have understood about my heart beats was he gave me a beta blocker and said it would stop the heart from beating too fast. I really havent had that problem. Lately my heart rate has been too slow!

 
Old 11-30-2004, 03:47 AM   #7
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Re: Describing It?

i feel like this too! im never exactly sure how to describe my weird heart beats cos i seem to have so many different ones! and the dr just sits there looking at you and nodding and i feel like such a hypocondriac (dont no if thats spelt right). im only 18 & i'v been having palpatations & skipped beats for probably about a year now, but they've got worse in the past few months. sometimes it feels like it misses a beat then the next one will be a really big thump, or it suddenly beats fast for a few seconds. some times it feels like it sort of hicupps. the other day it went really weird and out of sync, it suddenly beat really really slow, then fast, normal, slow, fast etc. it lasted about a minute or so and the only reason i knew was cos i'd been having more weird beats than usual, about every few minutes or seconds, so i was listenin to it on a stethascope. im going back to the doctors in a week but she didnt seem interested in doing any more tests or anything to find out if there is anything wrong, (i had blood tests, all normal & an ecg which showed my resting heart rate as 119 and the right ventrical slightly enlarged) i was also getting palpataions lasting about 10-20 minutes with dizziness and cramp type pain round my left collarbone along with the 'mini' palpataions but i haven't had the long ones since i think october. all the dr said was that she could put me on beta blockers. any way this is kind of longer than i ment it to be, sorry!

 
Old 11-30-2004, 06:08 AM   #8
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Re: Describing It?

I describe it as an "apprehensive hollow feeling in the middle of my chest with a couple minutes of irregular heartbeat."
I figure, if a cardiologist doesn't know what to make of that, I'm seeing the WRONG guy!

 
Old 11-30-2004, 06:24 AM   #9
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Re: Describing It?

Hi, I've had PAC's off and on for several years... have decided they are at times of stress (daughter's wedding and moving in one month!) and also hormonal upheavals with menopause. Have done monitors, cardiologist evaluations, etc etc and nothing serious found. BUT, recently they checked my blood levels and found low potassium - now taking potassium supplement (prescribed by DR) and levels are normal... PAC's almost non-existent.
At the time I went in with VERY frequent extra beats (test showed almost 30 per minute) lasting over 24 hours, I told them it felt like a hamster doing flips inside my chest. Seemed to describe it pretty well! Bottom line is, in my opinion, get any sort of weird rhythms checked out; often they are benign or easily fixed... like taking a supplement. In case they are a more serious problem, don't mess around - see a doctor. Happy Holidays to all.

 
Old 11-30-2004, 07:35 AM   #10
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Re: Describing It?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bambi86
i feel like this too! im never exactly sure how to describe my weird heart beats cos i seem to have so many different ones! and the dr just sits there looking at you and nodding and i feel like such a hypocondriac (dont no if thats spelt right).
The doctor knows. He just doesn't know how to fix your heart problem, so he wants to make you feel stupid, or like the symptoms are your imagination. Did he suggest stress? Most do. It is an easy "solution" to your problems, it lets the doctor off the hook, the doctor can still collect his fee, and you then feel like it is your fault.

Those that get caring, competent doctors (the small few), are the lucky ones.

Quote:
im only 18 & i'v been having palpatations & skipped beats for probably about a year now, but they've got worse in the past few months. sometimes it feels like it misses a beat then the next one will be a really big thump, or it suddenly beats fast for a few seconds. some times it feels like it sort of hicupps. the other day it went really weird and out of sync, it suddenly beat really really slow, then fast, normal, slow, fast etc. it lasted about a minute or so and the only reason i knew was cos i'd been having more weird beats than usual, about every few minutes or seconds, so i was listenin to it on a stethascope.
The heart can misfire in many ways. Your heart beat can be effected by what you eat, what you drink, what you wear, what touches your skin and what you breathe into your lungs.

You get a lot of different types of heart beating problems. Why is that? Well..... your hormone system and your heart's electrical system are very complex. What you feed your body, can effect how your heart beats. You heart beat depends upon the balance of calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, carbohydrates, etc., and the balance of hormones in your body. So, on any given day, on any given hour, on any given second, your heart can misfire in a different way.

Quote:
im going back to the doctors in a week but she didnt seem interested in doing any more tests or anything to find out if there is anything wrong, (i had blood tests, all normal & an ecg which showed my resting heart rate as 119 and the right ventrical slightly enlarged) i was also getting palpataions lasting about 10-20 minutes with dizziness and cramp type pain round my left collarbone along with the 'mini' palpataions but i haven't had the long ones since i think october. all the dr said was that she could put me on beta blockers. any way this is kind of longer than i ment it to be, sorry!
Your heart rate, beat, function, etc., can be effected by many things. How your heart behaves is a moving target, based on what you ate over the past few days, your level of hormones, the level of pollens and pollution in the air, the clothes that you wore over the past few days, AND also what you encountered recently, like, just before taking the heart test. In order to really test your heart, you need to take something like a 24 hour holter test, which checks your heart's firing over a 24 hour period.

Do you drink coffee or other caffeinated drink?

Do you eat chocolate?

Do you smoke?

Do you take drugs?

Do you come into contact with dust?

Do you have allergies or asthma?

Do you notice the heart misfiring after wearing a particular outfit?

Do you have more palpitations after you go to bed?

Is there a certain time of day that your heart misfires more?

Do you get shortness of breath?

Does your heart misfire almost immediately after going outside?

Does your heart misfire a couple of hours after eating?

Answering these questions might get your closer to SOME of the things that can upset your heart and make it misfire.

Last edited by Machaon; 11-30-2004 at 07:37 AM.

 
Old 11-30-2004, 01:25 PM   #11
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Re: Describing It?

Bambi, the test results you described sound like something that needs to be more fully investigated and diagnosed - and if your doctor wants to brush it off and present you with only one option, I'd consider getting a second opinion.
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Old 12-01-2004, 02:51 AM   #12
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Re: Describing It?

thanks for the info. to answer those questions, i dont: smoke, drink caffeinated drinks, have asthma. iv just come off amytriptiline, a couple of weeks ago (iv had cronic fatigue/M.E for nearly 4 years now & the doctor thought it'd help - it didn't) i thought the palpatations would go away after that but they didn't. i did have a bad cough for over three years, which got better in the summer & has now gone. i had blood tests for that which showed i'd had a severe allergy to something & they did allergy tests but they never found out what i was allergic to, that was about 2 or 3 years ago. i do seem to have slightly more palpations sometimes when i go to bed, and they're also sometimes worse in the afternoon. i do get kind of out of breath walking up the stairs at school. my heart doesn't start misfiring as soon as i go outside, it happens where ever i might be, at home, or out. never noticed if it misfires more a couple of hours after eating - i'll check.

 
Old 12-01-2004, 04:13 PM   #13
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Re: Describing It?

Has anyone here ever had their Magnesium levels checked? If you are the type that urinates frequently or on any kind of diuretic you might want to have your doctor check it. It is not something they routinely check for though so please mention it to your doctors.

I have had low Magnesium levels for the past 2 yrs and I know when it's getting lower than usual because then I will start to have the "palpitations, missed heartbeats, and all the rest of the good stuff that is enough to make anyone nervous.

Magnesium is something we all need in our bodies and if you don't have the proper level in your system it will effect your heart rate. People who are prone to anxiety attacks have found that by taking magnesium their attacks have lessened.

I'm the type who is always in the bathroom because I'm on a diuretic and magnesium is lost through the urine so the more you go the more you lose.

You can use any search engine and just type "magnesium" in the search bar and the information will come up. I looked up "symptoms of magnesium defiency" and I had just about every symptom there was but I knew I had the problem to begin with. Now with the Magnesium Supplements I take my level is almost near normal.

You do not need a prescription for the magnesium but you do for the labwork. It might be worth mentioning to your doctor to check it.

I hope this helped someone.

Dianne

 
Old 12-08-2004, 03:15 AM   #14
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Re: Describing It?

had my drs appointment yesterday and (at last!) she is refering me to a cardiologist - hopefully now i'll find out whats wrong (if anything)

 
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