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Old 05-26-2005, 01:54 PM   #1
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PVC, pulse & ultrasound

Just a few questions if anyone could help me with them.

I've posted here before because of my high pulse rate. It usually never runs under 90, even first thing in the morning. So I finally was sent to a cardiologist today. He wants to put me on a 30 day heart monitor as he susupects PVC's. They do not come all that often and that is why he wants me on for 30 days to try and catch a few. Also I'm getting an ultrasound of my heart done. Can anyone tell me what these both of these involve? I know I have to wear the monitor but how is it put on? Also he said that there is a button to hit when I feel a PVC, does this mean that a wire will be hanging from me? Does anyone know what exactly they do for the ultrasound? What the process is? I know I should have asked him more questions, but I was quite shocked that he wanted to do all of this. My bp was only 100 over 72. An hour later at another doctors appointment it was 122 over 75. I've heard that low blood pressure can be a reason for a pulse rate to go up, but since it was fine at the second appointment I don't understand my high pulse rate. I don't drink caffiene at all. I do smoke about 1/2 pack a day. One more thing, and I'm sorry for being scattered. I've read that aniexty can contribute to PVC's but is there actual prof of this? Does anyone else normally run around 100 pulse, and have been told they are fine? Thanks to anyone who can answer my questions.

 
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Old 05-26-2005, 06:06 PM   #2
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Re: PVC, pulse & ultrasound

I can't address your issues about a fast pulse, I'd like to get mine above 50! However, I have had several heart ultrasounds and did wear a home monitor once for 24-hours.

The heart ultrasound is painless. A technician places you on a table and takes a sensor about the size of a computer mouse and moves it across your skin in the area of your heart. Sound waves bounce off of your heart and a picture appears on a monitor screen. The worst part of the ultrasound is the cold gel used to ease movement across your body.

My doctors order an ultrasound annually to see if there are any changes in my condition. It is a non-invasive procedure that will better help the doctors determine how they should proceed with testing and treatment if it is necessary.

The heart monitor that I wore had quarter-sized adhesive sensors that were placed in 5 or 6 areas on my chest and sides. Wires are then attached to those sensors and the wires are connected to a small monitor that fits in a pocket or hooks on a belt. It sounds like the button he wants you to push is on the monitor and he may be wanting you to "mark" a PVC when you detect one.

Neither of these two tests are painful and they give the doctor valuable information.

Good luck to you; I know how frightening unfamiliar tests can be.

 
Old 05-27-2005, 07:10 AM   #3
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Re: PVC, pulse & ultrasound

Thank you both very much!

I'm hoping that everything comes out OK, and that it is just anxiety. I've had a major disruption in my life since January, that has put me in a state of constant panic. Hopefully that should all be resolved by the end of June or mid July. The more I've read about anxiety and what it can do to you (heart palps included) I'm hoping that's the case. I've never really had any major health problems (knock on wood). I'm 29, 5 foot 5 inches at 107 lbs. Both of my grandmothers are alive and 88 & 90. My maternal grandmother who is 90 was born with 2 holes in her heart, has a leaky valve, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, but was doing hopscotch last week. My mother and 2 of my aunts are fine. My mother has been a smoker for 40 years, and all of her testing comes back fine as of now. The last aunt just recently learned that she also has congestive heart faliure. She's smoked for 50 years, she's obese and 65 years old. Yes, I know I need to quit smoking but hopefully my history will help me here. My paternal grandmother has smoke for over 70 years and is just now starting to tire, but still with an "OK" heart. However, both of my grandfathers are dead one from emphazima (sp?) and the other from lung cancer. Smart for me to still be smoking huh? They were both in their 70's when they passed.

As far as the heart monitor, since I have to wear it for 30 days, and if it's just held on with adhesive how does that work? How do I shower and things? The whole thing is just unnerving. I'm afraid that my heart will just stop, and that will be that.

Thanks again!

 
Old 05-27-2005, 07:15 AM   #4
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Re: PVC, pulse & ultrasound

Oh, my father's heart, bp, cholesterol are fine. He's a little overweight, but in good health. No problems with my sisters either.

 
Old 05-27-2005, 08:50 AM   #5
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Re: PVC, pulse & ultrasound

Makingitright,

Wow, you have a great family history, which is certainly in your favor!

I don't know about the showering issue with the adhesive sensors. When I had my monitor on they told me to sponge bath but that was for only a day and one can get away with missing one shower. I imagine that they have a solution--perhaps teaching you how to take the sensors off and reapply?

One word of advice: you're 29 and you still have many years ahead of you. Stop smoking now and let your body heal it's self from the effects. I've smoked for 33-years and have severe vascular disease, CAD, CHF and Hypertension. I'm fighting now to quit and trust me, it is a harder fight at 56 than it is at 29. You have the great family history but don't rely on that and damage your body in the meantime with cigarettes. I know, I hate the stop smoking lectures too!

Good luck and let us know how your tests turn out. I'll keep you in my prayers.

 
Old 05-27-2005, 10:59 AM   #6
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Re: PVC, pulse & ultrasound

silver2sea: Thanks so much for keeping me in your prayers, and rest assured I will keep you in mine.

I know I need to stop smoking. I'm a horrible smoker anyway. I can't stand the smoke in my face, in my house, I get so mad at myself when I'm one of the only ones who needs to step outside at a party. Problem is, is that the more I think of not having them around, the more I want them. The patch worked for me before I quit for a few months. But I'm not comfortable wearing it now because of my pulse rate. Because it is constantly on. I wasn't trying to make excuses to keep smoking through when I mentioned my family history. If I came across that way. I was just looking for the re-assurance that with the woman still going strong, it might help with my heart "problems" now. I know I wouldn't be so anxious about my heart if I had never been a smoker, but I'm running on 15 years of smoking...and feeling like such a fool for starting. Are your problems directly related to your smoking for sure? Or do you have a family history of these problems?
Sorry if I'm being nosey, and please don't feel the need to answer.


To anyone:
If anyone could help me understand better about this I would appreciate it. If there are 4 valves, how do some people just fall over dead, without at least being able to make it to the hospital? Wouldn't the other 3 keep working long enough to get medical treatment? My father-in-law drove himself to the hospital when he was having his first heart attack, and said he thought that's what was happening, but really just felt uncomfortable in his chest. It wasn't a mild attack either. Now my father-in-law's cousin was laughing one second, and dead the next because of his heart, and didn't have any previous heart attacks. I do not understand this at all. My father-in-law had one more about 12 years later, had surgery and about 4 months after that passed in his sleep. I understand that because he never stopped smoking, losing weight, drinking (socially) after his very first one. But what made him be able to drive himself for the first one while his cousin just fell over??? I guess I'm trying to assure myself, that if something happened to me, I would have time to get somewhere and not just die. I don't understand what makes THAT BIG of a difference?
sorry so long, but thanks to anyone's insight.

 
Old 05-27-2005, 11:30 AM   #7
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Re: PVC, pulse & ultrasound

Hi,

Thought I would chime in on the heart monitor. My husband had a 30 day monitor. It was called an event monitor. It is put on with sticky pads on your chest but they give you a lot of them so that you can take the monitor off each day to take a shower. The monitor is small so you can clip it on a belt or in a pocket. After he got used to it - he forgot it was there.

Good luck to you.

 
Old 05-27-2005, 11:51 AM   #8
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Re: PVC, pulse & ultrasound

I do have an extensive family history of vascular and heart disease and is without a doubt the cause of my problems but the smoking exacerbates the problems.

After posting my original post to you, I decided it isn't any easier to quit smoking at 29 than it is at 56--addiction is addiction! There are other smoking aids besides the patch so I would suggest that you ask your doctor to send you to a smoking cessation program if for no other reason than to investigate all of the remedies. I go to one at the Mayo Clinic in AZ which is associated with the University of Arizona. I haven't quit yet but I'm getting closer and if I can get past this fear of failure I know I can do it.

By the way, check out the post on another thread from Willdo regarding the study of APO A-1 Milano! This may be the wonder drug that seriously reduces heart disease!

http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=273079&page=2&pp=5

 
Old 05-31-2005, 01:25 PM   #9
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Re: PVC, pulse & ultrasound

So Sunday and Monday my heart was beating out of my chest at times. My pulse was running anywhere between 95 and 115. So I called this morning, and the cardiologist brought me in for my echocardiogram and the 30 day monitor. I was a little nervous with the echo. The tech told me before I took it that if she saw anything with concern she would call the doctor to look at it right away. When it was done, she said that I should have the results by the end of this week or the beginning of next. She was kind of gruff so I didn't go further with her. But she's been doing them for 20 years and my doctor is only in his early 30's so I'm assuming that she would know if there was something to be alarmed at??? I'm not saying that my dr. wouldn't see anything wrong, but with her experience she would notice something wrong if it was right??? Or do they just know how to do the test? I DO KNOW that the doctor has to evaluate it no matter what, I'm just trying to ease my mind by thinking that if my heart was about to stop or something that she really would have been able to see something wrong, and just was not blowing smoke when she said that to me. Can you tell I'm paranoid??? lol I just took my pulse and it's at 90.

I've been under extreme stress. Can stress REALLY cause a constant high pulse and pvc's??

Thanks for reading, and any help is much appreciated as always!

 
Old 05-31-2005, 01:49 PM   #10
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Re: PVC, pulse & ultrasound

Makingitright:
I sympathize with your feelings of anxiety. I went through a similar situation recently, when suddenly late at night my heart started racing (this was 1 week after a death in the family and I was feeling bad about that). I thought something was terribly wrong: went to the ER, then my regular Dr. who referred me to a cardio. I did the echocardiogram an event monitor then a 24-hr. monitor. In the mean time, my heart would be fairly normal most of the time, then I would get this adrenaline panic feeling and my heart would start racing. This would happen over and over most nights (wasn't getting hardly any sleep) - and had horrible chest pains and headaches. Anyway, to try and shorten, the cardio found nothing that was causing these symptoms (he did find that I have a congenital defect that I need to watch, but is not causing problems now). Soooo, back to the regular Dr. who has me on a sleeping/anxiety drug to get me through for a few weeks. I've also been tested for anemia (which can cause rapid HR) which was negative and am now awaiting test results for hormone levels (I'm 46 - I think you're too young to worry about that one). My symptoms are much better, so I'm thinking it was mainly anxiety, although my HR still goes up high sometimes (normally it's about 65-68 and the other day it was 80 non-stop for about 36 hours and kind of pounding which is annoying!) I wanted to tell you that during this time I was pretty much a basket case, calling the cardio to see if I could get in to see him earlier for the echocardiogram and other tests after my initial visit to him and the nurse reassured me that if he had seen anything initially that concerned him, he would have admitted me to the hospital. This is probably the case with you. It's the worst thing having to wait, thinking that you may die at any moment. It's been about 8 weeks since all this started and I still don't really know what went wrong with me other than anxiety! Hang in there!

 
Old 06-02-2005, 06:08 AM   #11
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Re: PVC, pulse & ultrasound

Thanks for the replies!

I talked to my father last night, and found out that he always has had a high pulse. He says he usually runs about 85-90 and higher. He said usually he never goes over 100 though. My sister took hers yesterday for me and she was at 102 resting. Also my dad told me that his father always had a pulse around 100. Is this something that could be in my genes? I've never heard of that...but maybe????

Also, I called in my first time last night with the event monitor. They don't tell you if its normal or not...but said that they would contact the doctor if something was wrong...that's unnerving! I know that there must be a liability somewhere and that's why they can't say anything but YEESH! It's my heart!
Thanks

 
Old 06-02-2005, 04:25 PM   #12
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Re: PVC, pulse & ultrasound

I have several several pvc's a day, when i say several, i mean in the thousands! Yet my cardio told me i dont have to wear a monitor cause they caught it on the ecg (cuase theres so many) and said i have no worrys, tho he did recommend a albilation (sp) in the future to correct it, dont worry theres people out there that have it worse than you, but are still ok

for those who had the sergry, how did it go? was it smooth?

 
Old 06-03-2005, 08:36 AM   #13
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Re: PVC, pulse & ultrasound

Thanks for all the replies.

I got my echo results yesterday and she said that everything was normal.

The echocardiogram checks for everything except the arteries right?

 
Old 08-16-2005, 12:18 AM   #14
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Re: PVC, pulse & ultrasound

I had to do the exact same tests for the exact same thing!! Your Dr. probably wants to rule out any more serious heart problems with the monitor, such as A-fib. The heart monitor is worn like a pager, with 3 wires connecting to the adhesive on your chest. You take it off to shower, and to sleep. It IS a pain, but very much worth it in the end. The ultrasound will rule out any heart defects you could have been born with, and make sure the size of your heart is normal and blood is flowing good. Its a simple painless test, and real cool as you can see your heart. If everything checks out good its probably just PVC's, thats what I have. They are generally harmless, most people have them but only a small percent FEEL them. They can be dangerous if there is heart disease found, in which case meds will help. My Dr. put me on Zoloft, he said it was my anxiety, even though I thought I was fine. Now? I'm almost palp free, it really helped!! I feel them around my period and I still get a big skip now and again, but not daily like I used to have. GOOD LUCK!!

 
Old 08-16-2005, 08:36 PM   #15
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Re: PVC, pulse & ultrasound

A pulse rate of 100 will not enlarge your heart as this is in the normal ranges. A pulse rate of 120 bpm at resting for over years can and will enlarge your heart.

 
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