Friday, March 12, 2010

Why I Started this Blog

I often peruse the internet looking for info. on my heart arrhythmia, and I always end up finding many scared people who are experiencing heart palpitations like me. After a battery of tests, most doctors tell their patients that the palpitations are benign (with no presence of cardiac disease), tell them to cut out caffeine, write a prescription for an anti-anxiety medication, and tell them not to worry. The doctor usually points out that most everyone experiences PVCs at one point in their life but that not everyone feels them. The patient is just unlucky that they are sensitive to feel them. The patient usually feels better until they hear some story of a woman's heart skipping a beat and keeling over. Just doing a very quick google search I found an example of a man frightened over his symptoms.

I am a 27 year old active male, 6'2" 190lb. For about six years I have experienced "skipped" beats where it feels like my heart stops for about half a second (although it probably isn't even that long). The skips are sometimes strong enough that I feel a brief loss of breath.
I have seen a doctor on two separate occasions (the last time was probably 2-3 years ago) and both times I was told that my experiences were normal and not to worry. Although I may be imagining this, it seems as if the skipped beats have become more frequent as time goes on and that their "strength" has become greater - if i am speaking when one occurs, I sometimes must pause to catch my breath. It all happens very quickly, but it can be frightening and causes me some degree of anxiety.
The frequency of my skipped beats seems to be in direct proportion to my stress level, but they can occur seemingly randomly. They also seem to occur with some regularity while resting after physical exertion or during exertion.
I have read quite a bit recently about MVP, PVCs, and palpitations. Do my symptoms sound like one of these? From what I have read I would guess that these are PVCs and are usually benign, but I really don't know. What I fear most is that eventually my heart will skip a beat, but will get "stuck", won't return to it's normal rhythm, and I will experience a sudden death. Morbid, I know, but a genuine fear.
Any information (including *any* self-help techniques) you can give me concerning my situation would be greatly appreciated.

This poor guy! I know what he's going through. You want to believe in your doctor, you want to be courageous enough that they won't bother you, you want to live your life BUT IT'S YOUR VITAL LIFE ORGAN. If it's awry, you feel terrible. If I get a spasm in my calf, it's annoying as hell but it doesn't scare me in the least. But if my heart is out of whack, I start to see my life flash before my eyes.

If I still haven't answered the original question of why I started this blog, it's three-fold.

1) To educated myself and others about heart palpitations
2) To share my life story and how I have dealt with this pesky dance in my heart
3) To inspire others to be their own health advocates and to demand that doctors/employers/family/friends take their condition seriously.