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Old 01-21-2002, 10:22 AM   #1
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Feels like my heart stopped...very afraid!!!

For the past week I've had 4 episodes where it feels like my heart has stopped. When this occurs I feel light headed, like I might faint & It feels like the blood has drained from my body. It lasts for about 5 seconds then beats normally.I'm so afraid. I've had an irregular beat for years now & a lot of testing (about a year ago) that's come back normal aside from pvc's & pac's. At first I thought it was the pvc's acting up again, but this feels a little different. Does anybody know what this could be? I'm going out of my mind with worry & can't get into see my new Dr. until Feb. 12th. I do take 25mg. of atenolol every day & that helps some but I've heard that, over time, it can make them worse. PLEASE,PLEASE,PLEASE any advice from someone who knows would be so appreciated.
My stress level is really,really high right now, so I'm wondering if this could be the problem. I was getting so much better too. I can't stop crying....please help, soon! Thank you, Kris

 
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Old 01-21-2002, 01:41 PM   #2
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Re: Feels like my heart stopped...very afraid!!!

hello....

You said you've had a irregurlar heartbeat for years, Im assuming this is just your heart beating irregular, speeding up and slowing down while you beathe and those things besides PVCs/PACs .. If it has turned to pausing now and makes you feel faint, this should be taken to you cardiologists or local doctor's office immediatley. There are conditions in which the heartbeat can slow down and even pause in the middle of of everything making a person feel faint or black out.... your dotor would issue a heart monitor, probably the king of Heats II® to catch these pauses...This could be a sign of sinus node dysfunction....The sinus node is the heart's natrual pacemaker and when it is 'sick' ..it causes irregular heartbeats, pauses, tachycardia...ect.... the only way to treat this condition, especially in the cases of slow heartbeats at times and/or pauses in the heartbeat is a pacemaker.... but don't be worried right now, it oculd be a variety of things..some maybe note ven serious at all...but regardless, a heart should NEVER pause like that and make a person feel faint, You'd be doing yourself a huge favor to be seeing the doctor asap......do you have medical insurance? On a just-in-case basis, if you need a pacemaker or ever need one, it's about the only way to get one unless you rich ;o]

Feel free to write back i you have any questions and I will get oyu some more info on sinus node dysfunction and you can look into it and see if it matches up with your symptoms....but always remember, it could be a few diffrent things... I'm taking into consideration you already had a irregular heartbeat and not pauses and giving a wild guess...have a good one....

 
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Old 01-21-2002, 06:17 PM   #3
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Re: Feels like my heart stopped...very afraid!!!

Hi Aerosmith...
Now I'm really scared! I almost didn't post for this reason, but thank you for responding.I have had PAC's for almost 12 yrs.(I'm 33 now) when i became pregnant w/ my 1st born.Then about 2-3 yrs ago I started w/ the PVC's (which scare the hell out of me @ times!) I've had the holter monitor,ekg,echo,stress test several times. They all came back normal. This delayed beat started a week ago when I became under a huge amount of stress (a lot of people are expecting a lot out of me & I can't say no. Also I have panic disorder & massive anxiety).I was wondering if my meds needed to be adjusted? All I know is I'm terrified it will happen while driving or out in public,etc. Could I die from this? I can't get into see my Dr. until mid Feb. b/c I'm a new patient, what should I do? Yes, I do have insurance, thankfully! I can't go to my cardiologist w/out a referral from my Dr. & since I'm a new patient she has to see me first. Great medical care, huh? Would you please write back & tell me about the condition you mentioned? I know you're busy, but I would really appreciate it! Thank you so much! Kris

 
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Old 01-21-2002, 08:54 PM   #4
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Re: Feels like my heart stopped...very afraid!!!

I did not mean to alarm you, sick sinus syndrome is one of many possibilities. THe fact that is started when you were stressed may point you downa diffrent path...PVC's arise froma single aggrivated cell within the ventricles...out of millions..... One pvc may cause a symptom and look a certain way on a EKG, while if another cell generates it, it may produce completely diffrent symptoms and appear a entireely diffrent way on a EKG...thus the term "multifocal" pvc's ..meaning the arise form diffrent areas of the ventricles..the same can happen with PAC's... stress triggers pvc's more commonly than any other know stimulant...and if this stress got to you, a diffrent cell within your ventricles may off started generating PVC's ...PVC's are know as extrasystoles or extra beats...but at times can cause a emporary pause of the heart and then a thud or a pound as the heart continues....this pound may not be felt and it may just feel like the heart stops, and starts...'skipped' beats..ocasionally it may make a person feel lightheaded or dizzy.... This could just as easily eb the cause of your problem, especially if the feeling of your heart stopping is brief....This diagnosis by your doctor would mean nothing is wrong and your still healthy.

Here's some quick, summary info on sick sinus syndrome...
A wide variety of abnormalities of sinus node function.

Sick sinus syndrome includes persistent sinus bradycardia, sinoatrial block manifested as sinoatrial Wenckebach, complete sinoatrial block, and sinus arrest (sinus impulse fails to activate the atria). In the latter, a subsidiary escape pacemaker may not emerge, with consequent hemodynamic collapse and syncope. Various extrinsic effects on cardiac rate can lead to syncope. Sick sinus syndrome is considered to be an intrinsic defect of the sinus node. However, many patients have features that suggest that abnormalities are not merely confined to the sinus node; coexisting atrioventricular nodal abnormalities are common.

Bradycardia-tachycardia syndrome is an important variant of sick sinus syndrome, in which atrial flutter and fibrillation alternate with prolonged asystolic periods.

Symptoms, Signs, and Diagnosis
Many types of sick sinus syndrome cause no symptoms, but when heart rates are persistently and inappropriately low, lethargy and fatigue are common. Prolonged asystole causes syncope. Tachycardia phases are often perceived as palpitations.

A slow pulse, especially if irregular, may suggest the diagnosis. The ECG, particularly a 24-h recording that embraces symptoms, may be diagnostic (see Fig. 205-23). Electrophysiologic tests are no longer advocated for diagnostic purposes because their specificity and sensitivity are poor. Cardioinhibitory and vasodepressor forms may be revealed by tilt table testing.

Treatment
Symptomatic patients require permanent pacing. Recent evidence suggests that dual-chamber systems (DDI, DDDR, DDIR--see Table 205-2) may delay or prevent the occurrence of AF and should be considered in all patients. When AF is already manifest, a VVI or VVIR is appropriate. Antiarrhythmic therapy may be indicated to prevent paroxysmal tachyarrhythmias. In many patients with cardioinhibitory and vasodepressor forms, -blockers, perhaps surprisingly, have as important a role as pacing.

....no matter what, don't take anything I say on this board as a diagnosis...I don't know anyone here, their medical background, and im not qualified to make assumptions over the internet, no one is...Your doctor is the only one who can get this diagnosed right...I don't mean to alarm you..sick sinus syndrome is just something I currently looking studying very in-depth about ..until you see your doctor you may want to lok into sinus node dysfunction and PVC's and the wide range of symptoms they can cause...among other arrythmias and ectopic heartbeats.... I just want ot elt you know I was not telling you I even think you have sick synus syndrome...it's only one of about 100000000 possibilities ;o] .. relax and if you have rounds with it one night..mauybe the ER could catch one on a EKG....


I know all about those insurance companies... The referrals get ridiculous...I have to see my GP before every 3 month check-up at the heart clinic....

have a good one, and let us know what you think and find out....

Besides PAC's and PVC's...most people don't know about aonther ectopic heartbeat...the PJC ...premature juctional complex...I call it complex because PAC's and PVC's are actually premature atrial/ventricular complexs....not contractions.... the heart does not always fully contract with a PAC or PVC.....food for thought ;o] .... lol

-JD

 
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Old 03-05-2002, 02:35 PM   #5
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Re: Feels like my heart stopped...very afraid!!!

Hi..I'm getting ready to ask a question myself BUT I read your message and I wouldn't wait for testing with the docs etc..If your that scared, go to the ER and get it all done, even if you have to stay overnite..Thats what I;m doing if this keeps up..DEB <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/smile.gif">

 
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Old 03-06-2002, 09:45 AM   #6
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Re: Feels like my heart stopped...very afraid!!!

I went to my new Dr. & told her all of my concerns. I like her a lot so far. She did put me on the King of Hearts monitor for a month - yuck! My skin is so raw from the adhesive electrodes, but I've only had it for less than a week, & no major episodes. This is the first time in my life I've ever wished for an "episode" to happen. After hearing my history & doing an EKG, she thinks that exercise will help tremendously, so I bought a tread mill & walk every day.She said with biofeedback (which i can't do b/c insurance won't cover it) she can take me off of my Atenolol since it doesn't seem to be working much anyway. I don't know, maybe it's stress.I'm thinking of taking a yoga class or something. I just want it all to end. I'm too young for all of this & I want to be able to enjoy my life with my husband & kids w/out worring if I'm going to die of heart failure or a heart attack. Incidentally, I had an "episode" the night before I got the monitor, figures, huh?

 
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Old 03-10-2002, 04:06 PM   #7
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Re: Feels like my heart stopped...very afraid!!!

I've had episodes like that and had a 24 hour monitor and an event monitor for a month. They also told me I have mitral valve prolapse at that time. I had pvc and pat's with a heart rate of 180. I got a book called, Taking Control living with the vitral valve prolapse syndrome by Kristine Scordo. People can have these symptoms even if their echo is negative for mvp. It's a autonomic nervous system dysfuntion...dysautonomia. The book is great because it has about 15 different people discribe their symptoms and how they deal with it.

 
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Old 03-11-2002, 06:38 AM   #8
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Re: Feels like my heart stopped...very afraid!!!

I was told a while back that I didn't have that. How are you tested for that though? A woman I know told me she used to have mitral valve prolapse but then it went away. Can it do that, come & go?
I still haven't had "the big one" yet & this monitor is driving me crazy! My skin gets ripped off every night. Thanks for your response!

 
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Old 03-11-2002, 06:49 PM   #9
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Aerosmith22 HB User
Re: Feels like my heart stopped...very afraid!!!

True MVP can't come and go... the type associated as just being a 'floppy valve' ..or of a normal structure can change from echo to echo. Dysautonomia is diagnosed first by symptoms, and confirmed through testing, such as a tilt table test. It observes your blood ptressure while standing, most people are faint, and have dips in BP while standing.. They also show puffy hands and feet that turn bright red, than blue, and ache.. because the blood is pooling in both areas.... Not to pleasant, I use to black out a lot ;o]

-JD

 
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Old 03-14-2002, 12:22 PM   #10
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Re: Feels like my heart stopped...very afraid!!!

My dr. just called to tell me i have ventricular tachycardia. I've never been so scared in my life.Does this mean I'm going to die? What are ths treatments, what do I do now? Oh. God....please help me. This has got to be a nightmare!!!

 
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Old 07-04-2013, 03:40 PM   #11
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Re: Feels like my heart stopped...very afraid!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by khorne View Post
For the past week I've had 4 episodes where it feels like my heart has stopped. When this occurs I feel light headed, like I might faint & It feels like the blood has drained from my body. It lasts for about 5 seconds then beats normally.I'm so afraid. I've had an irregular beat for years now & a lot of testing (about a year ago) that's come back normal aside from pvc's & pac's. At first I thought it was the pvc's acting up again, but this feels a little different. Does anybody know what this could be? I'm going out of my mind with worry & can't get into see my new Dr. until Feb. 12th. I do take 25mg. of atenolol every day & that helps some but I've heard that, over time, it can make them worse. PLEASE,PLEASE,PLEASE any advice from someone who knows would be so appreciated.
My stress level is really,really high right now, so I'm wondering if this could be the problem. I was getting so much better too. I can't stop crying....please help, soon! Thank you, Kris
hello, I to have the same episodes, I cannot feel my heart beating, I get dizzy and a couple of times I have fallen over. I was wondering if you had any luck with a diagnosis. I am not happy with my continual change od medication which never seem to stop these episodes. It is very frightening.Please let me know how you got on and if your episodes have gotten better. thank you .

 
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Old 07-04-2013, 08:33 PM   #12
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Re: Feels like my heart stopped...very afraid!!!

If you are having Vtach, you cannot wait until Feb. to see a new Dr! You have to see a cardiologist immediately and get on medication to supress the PVCs, V tach. Vtach is a run of PVCs all together. It can be just a few, or can last longer and become dangerous. Atenolol is a good medication but you are on a very low dose at 25mg a day. It should not make this worse, if anything, your dose may need to be raised. But there are other meds that can be used too, alone or in combination with the beta blocker. Some things that can trigger PVCs and V tach are smoking, low oxygen levels, severe anemia, excess caffeine or stimulants, anxiety. I would avoid ALL caffeine (coffee, tea, chocolate), have your oxygen level checked (fingertip saturation test), avoid smoke, even second hand, and try your best to remain calm, even if you have to take an anti-anxiety agent. Most people that get treated medically do fine. Also, be sure your potassium level is ok, especially if on diuretcs or Digoxin. Your current cardiologist can check all these things and correct any identifiable problems.

 
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