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drschools, May 31,  2016  6:08pm EST

Afib at work

So I've had arrhythmia this whole Memorial Day weekend. It didn't really stop me from doing anything physical, but made me wonder... "am I in afib?".   This afternoon I was just about to finish up at my job and felt my arrhythmia picking up to such a degree I started feeling panicky and a little light headed. Fortunately my doctor is about 2 minutes away and had told me to call him and come over to get an instant EKG if I felt I was going into afib. So, I called, went over, and got the EKG.  Well, guess what... no afib detected... just "PVC" = "premature ventricular contraction".  This really is another step for me in understanding what the heck is going on with me and my heart. I really have not been able to tell the difference between afib and PVC until today.  Today's arrhythmias were PVCs and not afib. I'm glad about that  as I believe PVCs are not as stroke risky (don't know why yet... and I'm not even that sure about that really... that the next question for the doc ... or any of you out there).  I wonder how many of you have arrhythmias that are PVCs and not afib? The more I research this the more complicated it gets of course...There are too numerous types of arrhythmias than I could list. They basically are categorized as to their origination ... atrium or ventricle.  So, I guess the question is how many of us have other  arrhythmias  along side or in addition to afib which sometimes mask the afib or  make us think we are in afib when we are not.

  • JBNZ
    JBNZ, May 31,  2016  10:12pm EST
    Hi,I have PACs and/or PVCs. They used to occur before an afib episode although my EP said they were unrelated. Since my ablation I do still get them but not afib, touch wood! Whilst the PACs/PVCs do still concern me and make stop what I'm doing to check my heart rate, I can always tell once I've checked my heart rate whether I'm in afib or whether it's just a PAC/PVC.John
  • Trish
    Trish, June 1,  2016  1:44am EST
    I have the same things...extra beats, missed beats but afib infrequently. My dr tells me these are benign and much preferable to afib. However, they don't feel benign---they are a constant reminder that my heart is not behaving. Strangely, the Paleo diet seems to minimize both afib and these wayward beats. No alcohol, tons of water and regular exercise are keeping me away from an ablation...for now.This forum is a great support system as well as tons of useful information.....lots more here than you will ever get from your 20 minute dr visits.Best wishes,Trish
  • Kpfoleyjr
    Kpfoleyjr, June 1,  2016  2:49am EST
    I have had PVC's for 54 years - started when I was just barely a teenager.  Mine only occur once at a time, and maybe every 4th or 5th beat at a time for a couple of minutes - never continuously.  When I had afib about 6 years ago, I thought it was PVC's again.  Usually I can make the PVC's go away by burping.  Gas can cause them.  The time I had afib, though, a good belch didn't make it go away, and I went to the ER; spent 3 days in the hospital getting tested and trying out medications. I'm on metoprolol and flecainide.  I haven't had any bouts of afib, but I still get PVC's, triggered mainly by gas, lack of sleep, too much alcohol, or not enough water - so I try to keep those in check.  If afib would come back, I'm pretty sure I could tell the difference between them and the afib.
  • Rita
    Rita, June 1,  2016  2:59am EST
    Very interesting, Thank  you for this info.
  • jjfoley
    jjfoley, June 1,  2016  5:42am EST
    Let me throw in another plug for AliveCor and their Kardia solution.  It's a credit-card sized device with an accompanying app for your smartphone.  Essentially it records a 1-lead EKG and saves it -- which is a heck of a lot more convenient than walking around wired to a 24-hour Holter monitor.Let me tell you my experience with PVCs.  I started feeling my heart flipping around more regularly than before, sometimes at night lying down, sometimes after physical activity... but I could tell it wasn't afib (or at least not persistent afib -- the rhythm was steady when it wasn't flipping.)  This got me incredibly nervous that I was somehow slipping slowly back into an afib situation.  I was able to use the AliveCor device to capture the flips -- it was incredibly validating to feel the ka-THUMP and see the spike on the little EKG readout -- and then I was able to show it to my cardiologist at a regular checkup.  He was quite familiar with AliveCor and more than happy to take a look and diagnose that, yes, in fact, those were PVCs.  He tells me they're benign and not associated with my latent afib condition.  Without capturing that on my own, I'd be trying to describe the feeling with nothing clinical to back it up.  Great peace of mind for me.(I'm not affiliated with AliveCor at all, just a happy customer.)
  • BethClark
    BethClark, June 2,  2016  4:54am EST
    About 4 years ago, long before aFib started, I started having a benign arrithymia that would last only a couple of minutes. A couple of times my heart rate got high enough that I thought I was going to pass out. I wore a monitor for a month and the monitor captured one occurrence of 180 beats per minute. From the recording the doctors were able to determine it was a benign condition. The doctor gave me a choice of going on Metroprolol or not and I decided to in case it would happen while I was driving. At the same time I noticed that if I nodded off during the day I would feel a fluttering in my heart for a few seconds when I was waking up. The monitor didn't record anything abnormal during that time. I continue to have that fluttering feeling in the same situation--if I'm waking up from nodding off. It never happens when I'm waking up from sleep at night. I keep wondering why this is happening. My cardiologist isn't concerned about it. But it is a constant reminder that there is something going on with my heart. I never intentionally nap during the day because I don't like the feeling. Does anyone else have the same experience? I seem to go through periods of time when it doesn't happen at all. I can't figure out any triggers. I haven't had alchohol for 4 years and rarely have any caffeine.
  • casade
    casade, June 2,  2016  9:42am EST
    I also have the Alivecor monitor with the Kardia app on my iPhone.  It is the best $99 I have spent in a long time.  I can record and email to my cardio dr. any abnormalities that I feel.  He also had very positive remarks about this new product.  He has 2 other patients who use it and he says the ECG that it produces is clearer than most event monitors.  My Afib was caught with a hand held event monitor which I had for one month.  I had it for 3 weeks with no issues but then I had an incident and recorded it and there it was, I was having an Afib episode.  SO now I'm on Toprol 25mg.  I have stopped most caffeine, drinking more water with minerals "Gerolsteiner", and reduce stress.If you have an extra $99 I would urge you to get the Alivecor monitor.  I will be traveling soon and I feel much better that I can bring this with me in case I need to use it.  For the record I don't work for Alivecor either, just a very happy customer.  Go to the website and read the reviews.
  • Fish
    Fish, June 3,  2016  1:26am EST
    Hii fully agreeFish from Pickering
  • MaryP
    MaryP, June 3,  2016  9:19am EST
    Hi!  I've had PVC's as well, which are like little skips or blips that usually correct right away.  In my case, the a fib has always been like a drum beating really fast, and then my heart going into a few normal beats, then back to the drum.  I haven't had that in a while, but sometimes panic attacks can mimic a fib.   It's good that you could check in so quickly with your cardiologist.  I've rushed in to mine as well, and usually by the time I get there, I'm back to "normal."   He told me the PVC's were not that worrisome, as many, many people get them.    I always try to stay hydrated and watch my sodium intake -- that seems to help for me.I'm so glad we all have this forum to discuss our experiences.  It really does help to know that we're all in the same boat!
  • Rita
    Rita, June 4,  2016  4:40am EST
    I believe I have had PVC's also but didn't have a name for them. Thank you for posting this. It only lasts for a second or two and disappear but for me are scarey because I think I am going into an afib. Rita
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