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Old 01-25-2011, 09:14 PM   #1
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Nolanm HB User
Chest pain, arrythmias, palpitations, shortness of breath, ect.

When i was 20, one day before work I was hanging out at my families lake house watching TV. Suddenly I started to feel like something was wrong, or about to happen. I called my father into the room I was in, and a few seconds later my heart rate started to increase. My entire body turned pale, even though i was very tan at the time, and my heart literally looked like it was about to explode out of my chest, and it was beating extremely fast. My hands were ice cold to the touch (so my father said) and i was very dizzy. For whatever reason instead of calling 911 my father called my mother who was a nurse, but the house phone was by me so i called 911 muttered heart attack and said i can't talk ( because i could barely breathe, i really couldn't talk much). It took about five to ten minutes for a fire truck to arrive. By then my heart had calmed down considerably, but was still going 215bpm when they measured it. I was taken to the hospital (with the lights off mind you, i guess they didn't think it was serious since i didn't pass out). By the time I arrived at the hospital, my heart had slowed down some, but was still agitated and would jump up to 160bpm then down to 100 then back up, then back down ect. By the time i received a BP measurement it was about 140/86. I stayed over night, and in the morning was diagnosed with supra ventricular tachycardia.

A little background, I smoked cigarettes from about 16-18. I also drank alcohol on a fairly regular basis, about once a week since I was 16. I remained active though, and stayed in fairly good shape. At 18 I was 6'5 220ish. At 20, I was 6'6", about 230 with not much fat on me. Now at 24 I'm roughly the same, 6'6" and about 228.

I saw a cardiologist a few weeks later and went through a tread mill test, and an echocardiogram. The tread mill test was difficult, and i was no longer in decent shape. I was definitely not pleased with how quickly my heart rate and blood pressure increased while only running for a few minutes. The echocardiogram showed mitral valve prolapse, a slight, slight regurgeitation? And picked up on what i believe the print out called diastolic dysfunction stage 1? However, when he gave me the results he did not mention the diastolic function, and said that overall my heart looks fine. I was then given a halter monitor, which picked up some PVCs and a few odd arrhythmias. SO, I had an ablation performed about a month later. However, the Dr. did not find anything that needed to be ablated, and said my heart looked fine, and just mentioned that it was super sensitive to adrenaline. I was then put on Metoprolol 50mgs a day, and told to call back if i had problems.

Well, I did have problems. After the first incident at the lake, My heart rate has never sped up like it did again, or gone above 120 at rest. However I experience a slue of symptoms quite frequently. From 21-23, the symptoms were not quite as frequent, but it still made life difficult. However they have gotten much worse, and more frequent as time has gone on. Through out this time period I went back to my cardiologist many times who puts me on a halter monitor, doesn't see anything to troubling, and calls it a day. I experience chest pain, shoulder pain, a burning sensation in my chest, a cold sensation in my chest, shortness of breath, left hand pain/numbness, left arm pain/numbness, a feeling of my threat closing, a taste of metal in my mouth, nausea, dizziness, and pretty much any other stereotypical heart attack symptom you can think of in various degrees, and often without any kind of agitation (stress or exercise). I may be sitting in class and suddenly i feel an "oh ****" or "I'm doomed feeling" at the snap of a finger. Usually my heart will skip a beat or two, or i can feel it beating in my chest prior. Or sometimes it skips a few beats after the "I'm doomed feeling". Then my chest hurts, then my throat starts closing, them I'm sweating all over, then I can't even concentrate or breathe and I'm super dizzy. The symptoms do not always occur in the same order, and are not always the same. Sometimes i can exercise without experiencing any symptoms, and other times I can't exercise at all due to my heart acting up immediately following strenuous activity.

I have recently gone back to my cardiologist who apparently did not remember me. When i first went back to see him, i explained how i had been feeling, and he gave me a halter monitor to wear for 2 days. It picked up some PVCs, and some beats that were a little abnormal. instead of a steady beat, every 20 beats or so one took a little longer than the rest. He then suggested i see his buddy Dr. *****, who performed the ablation the first time about 3 years ago. I let him know we already went down that path with Dr.***** and he had forgotten and asked ME what he said. So, i told him, and he said well the proper treatment is indeed metoprolol and sent me home. However, these symptoms are becoming harder to deal with, and often times I don't feel that I can do activities that I'm required to do such as walk a mile across campus, and when i do do them, i experience chest discomfort about 1/2 the time. At the end of most days, my heart just feels tired, and burnt out. But when i wake up in the mornings, i generally feel better.

My blood pressure often quickly changes. I have a monitor and check it quite frequently. One minute it might be 117/60 or so, then 20 seconds later it jumps up to 140/87, with absolutely no movement, or changes. My pulse will often do the same, from about 77-90ish, within 20 seconds, with no movement.

I've thought about the possibility of anxiety affecting or causing these symptoms, and for a few years I was not able to tell if anxiety or the "sudden feeling of doom" would bring the symptoms, or if symptoms would bring the "sudden feeling of doom". Sometimes, i still can't. However, if i take anxiety medication, I generally feel out of it and spacey even in small doses, so i do not think it is anxiety.

Does anyone have any suggestions? or maybe have gone through a similar experience? (thank you to those who have taken the time to read this by the way)

 
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:44 PM   #2
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Goodween HB User
Re: Chest pain, arrythmias, palpitations, shortness of breath, ect.

Hi Nolanm,

I have the same problem. We don't exactly have the same lifestyle, but I'm not sure lifestyle is the problem. I'm 6'0, 180.....non-smoker, non-drinker.

I've had the exact same symptoms, and the same reaction from doctors. After plenty of appointments and research, my condition seems to be the common, unscary vasovagal response (vace-o-vay-gull).

< edited >

One of the most interesting symptoms is "fear of impending death," which I have experienced too. Don't worry, this isn't a dangerous condition.

I've learned that these things make it worse:
-eating crappy fried foods
-going to the doctor
-talking about injuries or medical problems
-stress
-fear
-nervousness
-caffeine
-frantic driving

And these things make it better:
-drinking water frequently
-eating frequently
-putting my head between my knees
-anti-stress toys like Buckyballs and Perplexus
-learning that my dad has the same reaction, and it's not a huge deal.

Maybe you don't agree with 100% of the symptoms of this reaction, but it's as close a diagnosis as I've found.

Last edited by hb-mod; 01-26-2011 at 02:56 PM. Reason: Please do not post unapproved website links, per Posting Policy. Thanks! (Use "Resources" tab - near bottom of screen)

 
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