Shawnmcc40
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Shawnmcc40, January 30,  2020  4:04pm EST

New to this forum - Suffer from PVC and PACs

Hi All-

After reading some of these posts it seems that my symptoms are not as severe as others.  I suffer from regular PVCs and PACs. I have had numberous stress tests, worn holter monitors 4 times over the past 4 years (48 hour monitors) and had a few echocardiograms.  All come back with nothing substantial.  I'm pretty sure my cardiologist and PCP think i'm insane.  I never had anxiety until i started having these occurences.  I regularly have panic attacks because of my heart rate/beat cycle, usually a few a week.  I'm scared to exercise because of the irregular beats i get when i do any moderate physical activity.  Feel like i'm totally in tune with heart activity, so much so that it has taken over my life.  Have any of your dealt with this type of anxiety and do you have suggestions to overcome it?  I have seen a psychologist and that didn't help.  Can't really talk to friends and family because i just feel like they think i'm a worrier and dismiss my condition.

 

Thank you!!

6 Replies
  • NewPacer73
    NewPacer73, January 30,  2020  4:35pm EST

    @Shawn: It may be just me, but so far I haven't met a cardiac patient with any substantial condition that doesn't experience anxiety. It's because we know we need a brain and a heart to survive and neither one lets us know ahead of time that we are in trouble. I've been really trying to get something done about that part of cardiac issues, but it takes a long time to turn on that aspect of cardiac care. We can't see what's going on inside when we have those symptoms, so we don't know when to turn to get advice. Don't ever feel like you're crazy. What you are experiencing is normal. The problem is to figure out how to handle it. If you are located in an area that has a Mended Hearts chapter nearby, try joining and going to their monthly meetings. They have every kind of heart issue, including happy looking people with total heart transplants. Each cardiac patient knows this is normal, so they might share ideas in one on one conversations with them. Know this. You may need support. It's your heart. It won't take long to find somebody you can link up with from your cardiologist's office or with Mended Hearts. I have found that talking to other heart patients, posting on this blog, and other reaching out efforts helps me get my issues into perspective. We care. And we know what you are dealing with because it is not uncommon with us too. Hugs. Keep posting. Look locally for support. And know you are not crazy because your heart is giving you anxiety side effects.

  • Ralaz
    Ralaz, January 30,  2020  4:52pm EST

    Shawn,

    Thank you for sharing what you are experiencing. Knowing that you have seen your PCP and Cardiologist is a good thing! Having had the stress test, echocardiogram, and holter monitor gives them a lot of information that there is nothing structural or mechanically wrong with your heart. Having noted that you get PVC's and PAC's will not be of great concern to your cardiologist. Although you feel some of them, they are harmless and not of major concern to the doctors. You will not have a heart attack from them (I'm hoping they explained that to you). They are just occasional extra beats, unless you are getting an exhorbinant amt. Which is sounds as if you are not. Everyone gets  PVC's and PAC's. You may just feel some.

    If you are getting anxiety from knowing that you get extra beats I would suggest you ask your PCP for a mild anti-anxiety med for this. Your job is to keep yourself healthy both body and mind! Get some exercise, eat right, and LIVE your life. Mended Hearts is an Excellent Plan! Engage yourself in your life. You will not die from PVC'S or PAC's!

    I hope this helps!

  • Loumulv2429
    Loumulv2429, January 30,  2020  5:29pm EST

    You sound exactly like me. I'm not sure how many you are having or how often? I've had them for 20 years but have gotten worse and  I got fed up this past summer when I was in bigeminy for much of the day every day. I always had the 24 hour monitor which, well you know how that goes...it would catch me on a not so bad day. I got  48 hour one after my last bout from hell and it finally caught it...I was having 20,000 plus a day....I was so relieved for my doctor to see it, because like you it makes you feel like no one believes you. She sent me to an EP and he's the first person who looked me in the eye and said I don't have to live this way. Meds for me made it worse as it just slowed my hr and lowered my bp....I opted for the ablation and it has changed my life....so far...lol....fingers crossed it stays this way. I would suggest to you find a good EP, get that monitor back on...do a 30 day monitor if need be and go from there. You don't have to live this way! We all have stress and will forever in some capacity. Arrhythmias are an electrical problem, meds are bandaids IMO.... they may lessen feeling them, but if your like me and many others, we feel every single one. It's hard to relax/ meditate with a fish flopping in your chest! There is hope....don't settle for any doctor to tell you to live with it. It's a disturbing debilitating thing to have.  Good luck to you!!!! 

  • HaveHope
    HaveHope, January 30,  2020  5:49pm EST

    Hi! Glad you were able to find this forum to share your story with those of us experiencing similar issues. I'm fairly new to this group too, only been a member since November 2019. I have had PVC's and PAC's for 20 years, only recently did they get super bad which caused me to have 8 ER trips. I had an Echocardiogram and it was normal. I had to wear a monitor for 21 days, which just ended about a week ago. I get results from my cardiologist on February 11. I will share with the group what my cardiologist says, although, I did see a notification in my cardiologist patient portal and it was one result from the monitor on 12/31/19 and it quite frankly scared the crap out of me! It showed what they called an "urgent" event, and it was called "AVB type 2" and I was never made aware of this "event" other than the symptoms I was having and recording at the time. Of course I looked up what a AVB type 2 is and now I'm freaking out! Not sure what to do now....like do I go to the ER if it happens again? My husband refuses to take me to the ER anymore because at the ER they don't do anything really, only one time when my HR was in the 200's they gave me meds to bring it down otherwise all the other trips they just monitor me for a few hours, do some blood work and send me home saying to follow up with my cardiologist. That's the scary part, how do I know when I really need to go to the ER or not....

    My husband doesn't understand, he thinks I'm fine, and doesn't know what to do or say, my kids are worried, but they don't know what to do or say either, so I feel very alone in this situation. I am thankful I found this group though, it does help to know there are other people out there that understand the issues, the fear and the struggles and who can share some advice or suggestions that helped them.

    Hang in there, you are not alone. 
     


     

  • Shawnmcc40
    Shawnmcc40, January 31,  2020  11:28am EST

    Hi guys-

    Thanks so much for these replies, they are greatly appreciated and all very good advice and observations.  My PACs/PVCs come and go, i would say i have them 60-70% of the time.  The number is about 2000-5000 a day when i have them (based on holter monitor results).  They are more excitable after i eat and after i do any type of physical activity, thankfully they are relatively dormant at night so they rarely interrupt my sleeping habits.  I am on Metroprol Tartrate, 25mg 2x a day.  Sometimes a take a 3rd if my symptoms are really bothering me (suggested by my cardio dr but i take that extra one only when needed).  In turn my anxiety has given me panic attacks that can make my heart rate go to 150-170 bpm at rest.  So now i worry about having another panic attack and my ectopic beats.  Funny how anxiety can not only make your irregular heartbeats worse but they can give you additional problems.

    Controlling my anxiety has and will be a priority of mine.  I like the idea of a support group, sounds like i def need it.  I am on light anxiety meds but i don't like to take them.  I have Crohns disease and i'm on all types of meds for that.  So i try to limit, as much as i can, the extent of my medications.

    I did find listening to Dr Sanjay Guptas on YouTube was reassuring and definitely puts things in a positive and different perspective (good tip i saw on here).   But so easy for the mind to wander and typically it is on negative/doom & gloom thoughts.  I lost my father at an early age and have two young boys at home, so that is the thing i'm most afraid of.  Might try another psychologist too.  I feel for all of those that have gotten anxiety because of cardiovascular issues, it is more debilitating than the condition itself.  Well at least for me it is.

    Thanks so much!  Sorry for the rambling.

     

  • nicknickx
    nicknickx, February 6,  2020  1:54pm EST

    It's crazy how similar you and I are sounding right now. I've been having PVCs for about a month now but they started out only once or twice a day. Sometimes once every couple days. Over the past couple days I've had them over and over, back to back. I wanna say they've been happening every few minutes now. I can't seem to figure out what's triggering them. I've been to the ER more than a few times for them and they write them off as something benign and try to attribute them to anxiety. The last time I went, I was told they are completely harmless and more of an annoyance than anything. A very scary annoyance for me. I'm now trying to convince my cardiologist to hook me up to a holter monitor so he can see what I'm talking about but something tells me he's not going to take them seriously either.

    I also feel completely in tune with my heart now. It's distracting and taking over my life. If you need someone to talk with...I'm here for you. I don't really have any advice to give as far as helping with anxiety, BUT, I do know talking with someone who's going through the same thing is helpful. So, I'm here. My email address is: nwsmith1984@gmail.com.

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