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SVT and now Bradycardia
Hi, I am so glad I stumbled across the American Heart Association and the support network. I am a 62 year old female who started experiencing full-blown SVT's around 2011! My family always talked about having heart flutters, so I have lived with and ignored "heart flutters". It wasn't bad until around five years ago when I was awakened at 2am in a hotel room with my heart racing around 180 bpm. It scared me so bad I called 911 as I didn't want to die alone in a hotel. Since that time I have had other episodes (walking the dog, swimming, hangnig up clothes) and am thankful for the Apple watch where I can record heartrate, record an EKG, and monitor sleeping heart rate.
I never had heard of an electrophysiologist until one very thorough doctor suggested I see one based on past EKG's (not at her practice but in my record). Come to find out for years my EKG's have been abnormal and yet not one cardiologist mentoined it SMH. My internist was worried when she did an EKG and just kept sayiing, this isn't right, I'm sending you to a cardiologist.
Even though I never see the electrophysiologist - you always see his PA which is frustrating - he did put me on Metoprolol and I asked for the implanted loop recorder for my peace of mind. Since being on medication, I have not experienced an episode but stay on my toes waiting on one to happen. But, now my heart rate is scaring me. When sleeping it can be anywhere from 38-42 bpm (this happened over the last year) and again, I'm thinking I do not want to die in my sleep. I know the electrophysiologist has the monitor programed to alert if my heart rate reaches 30 bpm but I'm going to ask him to tweak that as my cardiologist said when you get to 35 bpm, it's pacemaker time. Who do you believe??? I have taken myself off the Metoprolol because I do not want to lower my heart rate any further and yet, I'm scare of when another episode may hit. It's a double-edged sword and I'd love some advice/thoughts/input!
I'll add that on top of all this, last years PET scan showed a 1% decrease in bloodflow to the heart, this year it was 6% and thus, I am scheduled for a CT Angiogram to try to figure out what's going on. My father passed at 70 due to congestive heart failure and I am so afraid I'm on that same track! I live daily as a ball of nerves due to all of this as I feel like a ticking timebomb, but also try to stay active by either walking around four miles or swimming for 45 mins. - either activity at least four times a week. Thank you.
AHAASAKatie, August 17, 2020 9:58am EST
Thank you for sharing your concerns with us! There are many survivors on the Support Network who experience anxiety and stress about their condition as well. I do think following up with your EP and sharing what your cardiologist has told you about bpm is important. They need to be aligned and working together to help you. I can share the resources we have on Heart Failure, different implantable devices, and lowering your stress level. Plus I know many of our members will be able to share their thoughts as well. Please know that you are not alone, we are here with you. Best Katie
TessC, August 17, 2020 7:10pm EST
I have SVT as well, but I don't know how low my HR gets at night. If I was having your same problem, I would ask the cardiologist if aother medication would still work but not lower HR as much. I have read there are many kinds of meds and perhaps the doctor knows of ones that do not lower the resting HR so much.
I also never got to to see the EP, but only his PA. It is frustrating and increased my stress levels, so I've had to get answers and relief elsewhere. This forum is great, as well as the videos of cardiologist Sanjay Gupta. Good luck!
Raindrop32, August 23, 2020 5:52pm EST
I'm on metoprolol for another subtype of SVT. It definitely does lower your HR, that's part of what it's designed to do. Your sleeping HR of 35 bpm doesn't sound way too low, as it normally gets pretty low as your body remains in rest mode.
When your HR is low while you are awake, are you experiencing symptoms such as unusual fatigue, falling asleep too easily at inopportune times, inability to maintian energy and stamina during physical activity, lightheadedness, near-fainting, or fainting? How is your blood pressure? My cardiologist told me to watch out for symptomslike thise while on metoprolol becasue they may mean that I need a lower dose. Or, as TessC said, maybe you need another medication that will help the SVT without "overshooting."
Also, make sure you use medical guidance when stopping metoprolol (or other beta blockers) becasue you need to wean yourself off it (stopping abruptly can increase all your cardiac symptoms including the above, because that messes with the hormonal control of your HR and BP).