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Old 01-23-2012, 06:14 PM   #1
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Jimmysyd HB UserJimmysyd HB User
Stress even after Good Diagnosis

Hi,

Wondering if someone can give me advice.

I have had plenty of tests recently, Blood, ECG, Echo, 24 Holter, X-Ray. Even a trip to the E.R.

At the end of all that, I have Ectopic beats and 24hr monitor that showed a 1000 or so premature beats. (at least for that day.)

The Cardiologist says I am OK and to stop worrying and to stop feeling my pulse all the time and go on with life as normal.

I am a 38 male, This is my story in a nut shell. I came from working full time over a year ago to caring full time for my mother who is in heart failure (she really has serious health issues.) I am overweight greatly and for 2 months have been walking 3-5km each day and on a healthy diet and already lost 5 inches off the waist, the weight is coming off and I am taking positive steps.

Now for my issue. Even after all this I still get the irregular beats (which I know I will get, thus getting the full cardio work up.) And when I sense a new abnormal Rhythm I freak out. (I have told the cardio all my Abnormal Rhythms pattern and he seems unconcerned.)

I thought the results would put my mind at ease, it has, but I still suffer every time I do something or go out that my heart will fail on me and that something is wrong and they misdiagnosed me.

I have gone from not feeling palpation's, to now feeling them because I think about them so much in that I do not want to get them. (that thinking about not wanting to get them, actually gives them to me now I believe.) CRAZY

I am stressed alot, sometimes the whole day, my stomach then give me butterflies. My doctor gave me a sheet about Anxiety because all reports from Cardio, Specialists, and even what I tell him all show I stress to the max. (Only regarding my health though.)

I do have good period when I get my mind on something and I feel great.

I keep looking the web for issues relating to myself, thinking I will find something that will give me all the answers I am seeking, and of course when I find something similar, their story can either make me feel better or worse depending on their diagnosis.

I know I should stop stressing, stop looking for bad things on the web. But I just keep on stressing and doing stupid things.

I have tried deep breathing exercises, and meditation, it helps for a little while, then I eventually because I have little to do during the day except look after my mother, my mind gets back onto myself and well the vicious circle begins again. I have cut caffeine, soft drinks, etc.

Has anyone got any advice after all of this how to get rid of this impending doom that I will drop dead and my heart will give out.

Before I discovered these abnormal beats and went to the doctor I was feeling pretty good. Never had palpation's or fear about my health. But from that day, the palpitations and stress have just appeared to be coming more regularly.

Last edited by Jimmysyd; 01-23-2012 at 06:15 PM.

 
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RisaA (01-25-2012)
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:54 AM   #2
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Re: Stress even after Good Diagnosis

Since you offered me such a nice post in my thread, I thought I'd come over here to offer some of my perspective.

Of course, it's all just my theories and opinions, as I'm no doctor, but this sounds very similar to what I experience during just extreme episodes of anxiety. I get the impression that you're aware of this, but I know it's a lot easier said than done to just accept that that's all it is. One thing that I've learned about health anxiety (or even hypochondria, as I suffer from), is that it's hard to trust what a doctor tells you even when the news is good... you always feel like they missed something. However, a lot of the trick seems to be in finding a doctor that's experienced in dealing with patients that suffer from this degree of anxiety, as well as just reading experiences from hypochondriacs that have made progress in overcoming their fears. NOT looking at medical websites about your symptoms--this, in almost every case, it seems, makes anxiety worse.

Also, I always like to suggest looking into cognitive behavioral therapy when friends and family talk to me about having anxiety. It's helped me quite a lot. Obviously, I still get episodes whenever I hear bad news (or even just ambiguous news), but compared to where I used to be... there has been a big improvement. Sometimes it's a matter of finding a good therapist that you can feel comfortable with, but once you do... generally, it really helps. I've stopped looking at medical sites as much, and instead have programmed myself to do other things that help to disengage my brain... even just drawing or coloring in a silly children's book. Something that keeps me focused whenever I feel the need to research. Or I come here and read about people that have overcome, or try to talk out what's going on with me. Anything other than looking up every symptom and then scaring myself into a full blown panic attack.

I know it's easy for anyone to say, "The doc says you're fine, so just accept it", but it's not as easy to apply that. I completely understand. I think it's worth the effort, instead, to look into what might be at the root of all the anxiety and take some steps to work through it. Perhaps when it comes down to it, the anxiety won't even be related to present health problems, but something else underlying (like in my case...).

I hope this helped! Again, I'm no doc, but I've been through a lot as far as health issues and anxiety, and I've gotten pretty good at recognizing when I've gone past the point of rationality and into pure anxiety-fueled territory. It's just hard getting your body and ingrained reactions to follow suit, which is where CBT makes a big impact.

Good luck, and know you're not alone.

Last edited by RisaA; 01-25-2012 at 06:59 AM.

 
Old 01-26-2012, 10:26 AM   #3
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Re: Stress even after Good Diagnosis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmysyd View Post
... I came from working full time over a year ago to caring full time for my mother who is in heart failure (she really has serious health issues.)
I am so sorry that your mother is having to suffer from Heart Failure! That must be very stressful for both of you. I've had Heart Failure for about 25 years and living with it can be quite an unpleasant ordeal; with frequent breathing problems, fatigue, chest pains, heart rhythm problems, etc. I wish her the best of health care and hope that she gets much better!

How is she doing? How much time are you able to spend with her?

Quote:
I am overweight greatly and for 2 months have been walking 3-5km each day and on a healthy diet and already lost 5 inches off the waist, the weight is coming off and I am taking positive steps.
Congratulations! That is awesome! Proper exercise and diet are two great steps for making you feel better, both physically and mentally!

Quote:
Now for my issue. Even after all this I still get the irregular beats (which I know I will get, thus getting the full cardio work up.) And when I sense a new abnormal Rhythm I freak out. (I have told the cardio all my Abnormal Rhythms pattern and he seems unconcerned.)
In order not to "freak out" you need to empower yourself by understanding as much as you can about your abnormal rhythm and then doing as many positive steps as you can to reduce or eliminate the majority of your rhythm problems.

In my 25 years of struggling with Heart Disease issues, I have learned that there are many things that cause my abnormal rhythms. I have also been able to take some steps to reduce my abnormal rhythm problems to the point that most of the time I am not aware of how my heart is beating (which is a good thing).

You have already started on a path to better health through diet and exercise. Being overweight is usually a good indicator that the metabolism is not functioning in a healthy manner. A dysfunctional metabolism will result in increased rhythm problems, higher blood pressure and other health problems.

Other things that can mess up one's heart rhythm include allergens, irritants, pollens, pollutants, smoke, automobile exhaust, VOCs (volatile organic compounds like Formaldehyde), chemicals, caffeine, too much sugar/carbs in the diet, etc. So...... avoidance of these things can also help.

Buts..... the bottom line is: If you have taken all possible "healthy" steps to minimize your abnormal rhythm problems, and you still get them, you also need to be on medications that will help to reduce abnormal rhythm problems.

Quote:
I thought the results would put my mind at ease, it has, but I still suffer every time I do something or go out that my heart will fail on me and that something is wrong and they misdiagnosed me.
The heart is one of the toughest, strongest organs in the body. It is an amazing pump! Your heart beats about a million times in one day and about thirty five million times in a year. During your lifetime, your heart will beat more than 2.5 billion times! The heart is so strong that it can still do it's job pretty well, even if it has been significantly damaged, like mine!

The top part of my heart if 50% bigger than it should be. I'm in permanent Atrial Fibrillation, which means that the top part of my heart is beating similarly to a bowl of jello. I've got three leaky heart valves. However, through positive steps and good understanding, my heart is getting better and I feel better and at 70 years of age, I am not nervous at all about my future. Even though my life is very restricted I still enjoy life and am looking forward to the future with anticipation and not worry.

I am not a doctor, so I can't tell you whether or not you have something to worry about. But if you are like the many MANY millions of people who suffer from rhythm problems, then you are probably looking at a long and healthy lifespan, especially if you continue to take positive healthy steps.

Take care, and the best to both you and your mom!
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CHF, A-Fib, HBP, Diabetes, Asthma doing great

⇒ Avoid allergic & non-allergic irritants/triggers
⇒ Low calorie ovo-vegetarian diet
⇒ Power walk, weight lifts, pushups
⇒ Coreg 25mg bid

 
Old 01-26-2012, 11:42 AM   #4
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Re: Stress even after Good Diagnosis

Machaon,

What a great post! That was very comforting and inspiring, and even made me feel better about my own current heart issue. I hope this helps Jimmysyd, as well. Congrats on your increasing health, and your positive outlook. That's awesome. :]

 
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