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Needing some help. Not sure if I have a heart condition but due feels like it and I feel like I'm losing my mind. September 2018 while at work I had a huge thunk in my heart, my headset then raced wildly and went erratic. First doctor thought I'd had a heart attack. My EKG showed slight abnormalities. They put me on the stress test and again I showed abnormalities. I then had a catheter put into the heart and was cleared of any issues. The problem is on a regular basis I get this horrible chest tightness for days ad a time and my heart can beat ad over 100 or in the high nineties for days at a time. Other days it can be as low as 50 for hours ad a time. I can have random episodes where I feel my heart beat four times rapidly and it feels like it's in my throat. I get lightheaded at times and a feeling comes over me like I'm just not right. I can't exercise at all because any pressure on my heart causes it to feel like it's going to burst. I can have a free weeks where I feel quite normal but then bang I'm back to the symptons. Other days I feel like my heart is doing things but my pulse is around 77. Generally I feel unwell and now I'm getting bad anxiety about going into public because I'm scared of having an attack. I feel like I'm losing my mind, I can't work because I feel unwell a lot. What can I do?
Arline3366, February 7, 2019 2:53pm EST
My remark may be "off the wall," but does something cause you to have panic/anxiety attacks? I had a bad one getting off a seaplane in Alaska and going up a ramp -- it really, really scared me -- first and only one I ever had, thankfully -- heart rapidly beating, breathing very difficult. My symptoms were similar to what you mentioned.
Heartfe6878, February 7, 2019 3:03pm EST
I read your email and was touched by your journey.....You asked for help and the help I can suggest is to get a second opinion at a Major Teaching hospital or Major Heart Hospital head of department in the Arrythmia Center. or a major high count EP who has done hundreds of ablations.. . I would go to the Heart Rhythm Society webe site and put in your zip code and see what EP is in your area....Be sure to ask how many ablations the EP has done....The more the better. So it is research time. I do not know where I would be if I stuck with my first cardiolgoist who was supposed to be the best. He left early to go to a Kings game and I had a Pericardia effusion problem complicating my afib.Did not even read the echo.But each time I have moved to the next doctor..The more sucessful I have become in manageing my afib....
One Question that I might ask you is have you had your thryoid looked at and UTI followed or any infections followed and correlated to the episodes?
Do not give up...Just keep perservering...There is a answer or atleast help around the corner....Just keep knocking on the doors and asking for help.. It will come if you do this. My mother always said the Squeaky Wheel gets the grease....
Edhammer, February 7, 2019 3:15pm EST
Sounds like you have had a rough ride these past months.You have already gotten some advice. Having dealt with arrhythmia, it sounds like it could be that. I’ve not dealt with panic attacks, so I can’t help you there. I would suggest following up with a cardiologist with a background in electrophysiologiy. Remember the heart is a “pumping device” as well as an “electrical device” so you need to see a doc with a strong background in both. While arrhythmias like atrial fibrillation may not be life threatening in themselves, there is danger from a clot being formed and a potential stroke occurring, if not controlled.
welcome to the forum!
BJB, February 7, 2019 3:17pm EST
If you have not seen a cardiologist, that would be a first step. A general practitioner may not have the experience to deal with your problems. Ask that cardiologist to check for afib, definitely. I know about the anxiety caused by heart problems--I have spent many an anxious night and day until I finally was able to foresee what could happen in afib--and that I have always come out of an afib episode okay!
DkinAA, February 8, 2019 11:03am EST
Get to a cardiologist -- if you have paroxysmal afib, like many of us do, it comes and goes. Feeling freaked-out anxious is "normal" for this condition, but as you get it under control, and get used to it, it gets easier to handle psychologically. If you are having an episode at the doc's office, an EKG will definitely show it. If not, you can wear a "Holter" monitor for several days - a portable EKG setup - bit of nuisance, but it gives the docs the data they need. If you have afib, starting an anti-coagulant is routine, and it will protect you from the main danger of afib, which is stroke. This helped me relax a lot, and then you and your doc (preferably an EP as advised) can start working on how to deal with the condition. Mine improved a lot just with improvements to weight, diet, exercise and treating sleep apnea (all good things in themselves!).