Hi, This is my first message on this forum. I posted on the heart forum first, but had not gotten a reply, and had not seen this forum at that time. I’ve been reading and researching posts on this board now for a few weeks, and I just cannot express how much it helped me to read others with this issue. I sat and read yesterday and today for hours, nodding my head, shaking my head, agreeing out loud, smiling, laughing, and trying unsuccessfully to choke back tears (not too manly, I know . As all of you have undoubtedly experienced, I have had a rather rough time the last week or so. I wanted to know if anyone had some thoughts on this.
I’m not positive on all the etiquette, (I did read the guidelines though ) as I have not posted much on this type of forum, (I’m a car forum junkie til now!) but it helps to talk a little. So here goes.
Back ground; I’m 34, and in good shape. Never had heart issues before. About 4 months ago I experienced an SVT, (I think indigestion is what woke me up initially). HR Peaked about 160 bpm and faded. Did the expected, went to the ER, check for MI, Thyroid, etc. etc. normal. EKG normal, slightly high Cholesterol and Trig’s, but lower and under control now. Happened once more the next day, and again nothing by the time they hooked me up. Doctor said reduce stress, anxiety, and give up caffeine. Did that. Things seemed to be okay. About a month ago I started to get the skipped beats (PVC’s I guess.) Again, stress was blamed (which I do have, but am reducing). The skipped beats have been happening pretty consistently for the last month now. At times once or twice an hour, sometimes every 3-5 minutes when I’m thinking about them. I don’t feel them when I work out 4-5 times a week, and they don’t bother me at night when I sleep. However, one afternoon a few weeks ago, I started to notice them occurring more rapidly, and before I knew it, I started to tach out like I did 4 months ago, and it scared the CRAP out of me! Felt a hot flash, sweating, unreality, rapid heart rate, I even drove to the ER, but changed my mind in the parking lot, after talking to someone on my phone. I know it sounds weird, but I said out loud that I wasn’t going to do this again or let it control me, and it started to fade and I calmed down, and went in to my work. It happened again the next day, same situation, (right after eating lunch BTW) but I “talked myself down” again if that makes sense? It only lasted a couple minutes or so, and I seemed okay afterward, other than the skipped beats still. I did the Holter last week, waiting on results, made a couple event recordings with a micro ER and they turned out “unremarkable” as well. I have an Echo scheduled 3/6 as well. I’ve now had 3 similar episodes yesterday and today, but they passed as well. It seems to happen when I am alone and start to think about “things”, (my pulse, feeling sick, pain etc).
My question is, because I seem to be able to force myself to relax and calm down, does it make sense that I am having Panic attacks? Or have people had the PVC’s cause the Rapid rates and subsequent panic? Is anxiety or stress known to cause PVC’s? A lot of what I’ve read sounds very similar, but I want to know if anyone has similar feelings or opinions.
BTW, many of the people around me seem to think that I would be the LAST person to have panic attacks, because of my profession and what I teach. It’s hard to not be embarrassed or feel silly when many around me blow it off as “nothing”. I feel like I should be able to get on top of this damn thing, but it is really exhausting me! Anyway, I really appreciate the opportunity to discuss this, and any thoughts would be very much appreciated. I really do apologize for the length of the post..
Jacob, Sound like panic to me, but its good that the dr's are checking your heart out. If your in good shape and no family history of heart problems your probably fine. So many people have heart palps and thats suppose to be normal from what dr's say.
I have them sometimes.
As for you panic attacks- keep talking yourself out of them. Don't let them rule you! I've been there and thats scary. You get scard to go places by yourself and just want to stay home where you feel comfy. I have been able to also deal with mine now by telling my self there is nothing wrong its just panic. I dont want to live like this either because its tiring and crazy to let my body and mind act like that.
Good luck to you.
I've had the skipped/fast beats and the pounding heart off and on every since I can remember.
My Dr. says it's the number one symptom of panic disorder.
I'm also able to "talk myself down" at times, other times I need my medication to help me.
Like you, I made several trips to the ER, only to be told that my heart was fine.
Just as a side note.
My Father died of a massive heart attack at the age of 51, he was never sick a day in his life and my Mother had a triple bypass at the age of 53.
So this is always on my mind.."What happens when I get close to that age?"
My Dr. told me it's only natural that I would worry, but he said I take it to the extreme.
In my head, every little twinge, or pain is a heart attack.
The more I think about it, the worse it is.
I don't blame you for having all the tests done.
I have an EKG every year, just for my own peace of mind.
When it comes back normal it puts my mind at ease.
More than likely when your tests come back normal you'll find some peace of mind too.
But, sometimes even though I know there's nothing wrong with me, other than the panic disorder and the OCD...I still freak out, even with my medication.
As for people telling you that you're the LAST person they'd think would have a panic attack....The attack doesn't care who you are or what you do.
It doesn't care if you're Male or Female, rich or poor, short or tall, gay or straight, fat or thin.
anyone can have a panic attack.
If it turns out that you have panic disorder, get yourself some help, but don't ever feel stupid or silly.
I learned a long time ago, that I'm not what most people would call "Normal", but that doesn't mean that me, you or any of us should feel stupid of silly, or hide what's wrong with us.
What we have is a REAL condition.
Arthritis and Asthma are real and so is panic disorder.
I know what you mean about "every little twinge, or pain is a heart attack." That is EXACTLY what I try NOT to do, and end up DOING ALL the time. I know what it's going to do, and I do it anyway and it throws me into another panic. Besides freaking me out, it pisses me off and I get mad at myself, and probably cause even more stess. It's so frustrating. I am going to get help if this is what it is. Thanks again, this is the most I've talked about this since it started. I know I'll get through it, I just have to keep from going nuts in the meantime!
I've always found..and maybe you will too, the more I talk to someone who understands where I'm coming from, the better I feel.
It's just like a weight being lifted off of you when you realize that you're not the only one who feels this way.
Hi Jacob, I felt that I had to respond to your post. Everything that you described sounds exactly like a panic attack. Of course, it's good that you are getting your heart checked out to ease your mind. However, if you do have panic disorder, you may still doubt that you're OK even with a glowing doctor's report. That's how I was. With my first and worst panic attack, I still would not believe that it was not my heart. That's a symptom of panic disorder. You still anticipate the worst and you "what if" yourself to death! As far as you being the last person you'd expect to get panic... I was too. As another poster wrote, panic does not discriminate between any of us. Many people say that they can "handle stress", but panic attacks are the body's way of saying "too much, step back and slow down". I have always been the calming, stable, strong person with a "good head on her shoulders", but alas, I was the one sticken with panic. It's a disorder and what you teach doesn't matter to panic. (psychology maybe?)
I'd like to recommend the book that helped me tremendously. It's called "Don't Panic: Taking Control of Anxiety Attacks" by R. Reid Wilson. You might have to have it ordered at your local bookstore. It describes the physical symptoms that go along with panic and how panic affects every system in your body when an attack begins. It is very enlightening and knowing the physiology of an attack made me understand the disorder better. Heart palps are probably the most frequently mentioned symptom as is people thinking that they are having a heart attack.
It will be well worth your time and effort to read the book. I wish you the best. Madison
Hi. I had what you were experiencing. I've had panic attacks for about 5 years. My heart rate would jump and I'd break out in a cold sweat, shaking and in my mind, I knew I was dying! I hated the thought of going to a dr. (I'm a psych major, I thought I should fix this myself). Eventually, I had a really bad cold and went to the dr. A nurse noticed my pulse was skipping and found out that I was "throwing PVCs". Not sure what that means, but I went to a cardioligist and got diagnosed with Multi-valve prolapse syndrome. Basically my heart's fine, just sensitive to adrenaline. I'm on beta blockers now! They really help with the heart rate and I haven't had a full-blown panic attack sense. I had a small one that I talked myself through while on beta blockers and finally went to a psycholgist. Turns out I"m OCD, Generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder. I'm on Paxil CR now and no panic! My heart only acts up when I'm sick or resting and aware of how I feel.
Your problem may be panic or not, check about going on beta blockers or paxil cr. It worked for me.
I really appreciate the info and the reassurance. (Sorry it took so long to respond, apparently someone’s AOL IP was banned and I guess I am at the same IP and couldn’t post from my regular computer). As luck would have it, I have been dealing with a broken clavicle and now a cold the last month and a half!! Not a good way to reduce the stress I guess!? I still get the beats, and have felt a couple of "minor" episodes coming on, but I have been able to talk my way out as you did. Since I started taking some Cal,Mag supps, I don't seem to notice the PVC's as much. But as you probably understand and already guessed, I then go and check my pulse anyway and still feel them!! I don't know why in the world I do that, I can't seem to help not thinking about them I guess. I will try to find that book Madison, I have a couple books by Claire weeks as well and am reading through them now. It's good to hear others experiences so I can be prepared after my Doctor visits. My Echo and Holter results came back. The echo showed no problems, and my holter showed Atrial and Ventrciular depolarizations (PAC's and PVC's I guess?)They occurred less than 1% I think, and the Cardiologist was not concerned. He said that they could acutally run electrodes into the heart to check the electrical pathways, but suggested I not do that as my symptoms did not justify the risks. Anyways, I wanted to thank you guys! This helps more than you know..
[This message has been edited by Jacob Lee (edited 04-04-2003).]
[This message has been edited by Jacob Lee (edited 04-04-2003).]