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Wonky heart and my story~ can you help me please x (Read 4909 times)
Rachey
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Wonky heart and my story~ can you help me please x
Aug 07th, 2008, 3:29am
 
Last May after sufering from a form of agraphobia on and off for yrs ( like not going on a bus on me own etc...scared of shops and going too far) I decided one day to ride my bike 7 miles to my Mothers (in the next village) My hubby said "don't do it rach... you are taking too much on... take little steps not a big step like this" I said to him that I would be fine as I feel great lately and gonna take the bull by the horns and go for it!...SO off I went BIGGIST MITAKE OF MY LIFE!!!! ...after about 4 miles on a long lonely road...it hit me ..."what the bloody hell am I doing here on this road on my own" and I started to feel the adrenaline come into my body and the old heart started pumping...... I thought well im here now so i better just have a breather and calm down and set off again so I did....then on entering the village ..the sun came out (boiling) and I was going up a hill and i started to feel the ectopics kick in a little (not had them for yrs) I thought oh dont start! ..any way I rang my sister and said ...I have done so well but just feeling a little anxious and she replied by saying..do you want me to come and get you in the van.... I was so relieved and said Oh yes please.... and was glad and thought great I dont have to panic anymore....then she said...oh Rachel I forgot I aint got the car...well that was it.... the panic rose in my body and my heart went so fast and out of rythym with one ectopic after the other.. I just decided this was my time to die...i couldnt breath, ... then i saw a freind who said are you ok..... I said no im havn a panic atttack, I said to him to take my bike to my mums and I will meet him there, he asked me how I was going to get there... I told him not to worry just go .... so the next thing I did was stop a car in the road ... I said please ..I know I dont know you but can you please take me to my mums ( told them where) they saw I was in a state and whilst it happening my heart was Haywire...no rythm...fast over 200 easy! ...then the minuete I got into the car (safe)....it calmed right down and by the time I pulled up at my mums door...heart rate back to normal...72 bpm and regular.................... I know this is a long story..... but since that day I have suffered with ectopic heart beats....panic attacks again and irregular heart rate from time to time...I have times when I get better then a bit of stress and there off again.... do you think I have damaged my heart since that day or do you think I just started off the anxiety web..... I am sick of it... I t has made me partly agraphobic again...scared to walk anywhere ...even when I go upstairs they kick in..(but I am thinking about them) odd times I forget and run upstairs and then think Oh I didnt get any then.... I want to get better,,, I aint been to the doctors because I cant ... I have a phobia ( not just scared) a phobia of doctors.... But I am getting to the point that I will go soon, might have to ask him to prescribe a valium to be able to get throught the surgury doors...(not joking i am that bad) I feel like my body is in constant high alert...like sitting in a dentist waiting chair all the time ( if you know what I mean)....any reassurance would help me greatly.... does anyone else get the ectopics one after the other for a few beats... I an get about 12 in a row...then all well...but if I walk somewhere I can get tons of them...I think it is stuck in my head from excersising that last may that I will get them... I go around the village on me bike... and thats it...for over a yr now... on a good day I will walk around town with my mum and feel great (normal...) with no heart things at all... I feel it is all in my head...and need to get better cos it is ruining my life.... I wake up in the night at times with it missing beats (like a feeling of an extra beat under rib cage..but a missed beat in my pulse) but then sometimes like a big extra thump mr the top of my chest...not getting them as often now..... I just feel that if I was reasuured they would go....I relate every heartbeat to that day so now walking sets them off ..on a bad day...Sunday I trotted around the car boot with hubby...not one..had a great day...came home had something to eat and wham!!! irregular!  I am petrified... I wish I could be like you lot and go to the doctor...even coming on here is a massive step...as I have read this forum for ages wanting to post...so here it is...sock it to me!!!! Hopefuly it isnt to bad a news xxx
rachelhughesdiary.blogspot.com   I have an online diary dedicated to life with these blasted things xxxxxxx  Thank u so much xxxxx :'( :'([size=14][/size]
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Rachey
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Re: Wonky heart and my story~ can you help me please x
Reply #1 - Aug 7th, 2008, 3:30am
 
Sorry i thought me little pic would come up small..... can delete if you want LOL
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kchendrix
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Re: Wonky heart and my story~ can you help me please x
Reply #2 - Aug 7th, 2008, 8:21am
 
Welcome and I think that if you look over the pages of this forum you will see that there are many stories such as yours.  I am no Doctor but I have shared similar experiences as yours,  and our minds tend to be like a run away freight train, and we think, think , think and over think.

In my opinion we have associated fear with the wrong things,  we have triggered our fight or flight response to associate with the wrong things.   So we have to unlearn this worry habbit somehow.  It won't be easy, but it isn't about where we are that keeps us safe, it is about what we are thinking .    When we associate a panic attack with where we are at the time of the attack we start to avoid going there,  when we avoid these things we make the monster bigger then what it really is.

I used to get panic attacks crossing the Bay bridge here in Maryland,  I used to do it only 1 time a year, for awhile We owned a vacation house at the shore and the only way there was across that bridge.   The more I crossed it the less senisitized  I was, the less panic I had and eventually it didn't bother me at all.   Somewhere we learned to fear the wrong things,  and we have to teach ourselves there is no monster under the bed, by looking under the bed and seeing it for ourselves several times,  the more we avoid looking under the bed the bigger and meaner the monster becomes.    We can hide under the covers and shiver in fear until we fall asleep, or we can look under the bed and conquer the fear.   We have to be willing to live with uncertainty in some aspects...   I am talking to myself here as much as I am trying to help you..

Best of luck  

Kevin
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If livin' don't come easy , don't stop your own voice, cause the worst part of living is having no choice. (America)
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Steff1573
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Re: Wonky heart and my story~ can you help me please x
Reply #3 - Aug 7th, 2008, 9:31am
 
Welcome Rachey,

First, you are not alone!  Everyone here suffers from extra beats and we worry too.  Some more than others, but we have something in common and can relate to what you are experiencing.  I use to suffer from panic attacks and at the time I was scared too.  They eventually went away after I exposed myself to think I was scared of.

I remember when I would get a panic attack I would avoid every place I thought was a trigger because I thought that caused my panic attacks.  Back then I did become agorphobic because I was scared to have a panic attack in public for fear or embarrasing myself or others seeing me.  After counseling, I decided I had to face the fear.  So I went out in public, to the grocery store's and eventually I lost my fear of leaving my home...  And after much self-talk that I would be OK, I started overcoming the attacks, which seemed to come out of nowhere, I know!

You can beat this panic!!  It takes some time and a lot of hard work on your part, but it can be done and you will only be stronger having gone through this.  A book I found very helpful when going through the panic attacks was a book called, "help for your nerves, by Claire Weeks."  She is extraordinary when it comes to explaining what happens and why and yes it definitely has to do with the "fight or flight response."  Our bodies are in a state of constant fight, always aware and hyperviligent to the world, our bodies, etc and so we are always on guard and on lookout for dangerous accounts.  We must learn to re-train our thinking and take control of what is really real, and what isn't.

As for the ectopic beats, yes I have had runs, and many right after the other...  Right now I am getting constant pvc's (extra ectopic beats) every 3 heart beats..  It stinks, but from what my Cardiologist says and what RLR (A physician on here says) they are normal and do not lead to catastrophe.  The only catatstrophe they will lead to it what WE allow in our "minds."  The more we obsess about their nature, the more frequent they will become because we are gearing up our fight or flight repsonse constantly to act accordingly to perceived danger when there is not any.

I too am going through such a hard time in accepting this fact right now.  But it really does make sense.  Even when we "think" we are not anxious outwardly, we are.  If we are getting ectopic beats and think even for a minute, "0h no, this is it, I am going to die," or get frustrated as to why they keep appearing and feel helpless, then yes we are anxious.  it's totally normal to be concerned, but if we have had all the tests (EKG, Echo, and stress test) and are told our hearts are structurally normal, then the pvc's really are benign and this is what I am having a hard time with as well.

I think well if my heart is normal then WHY do I keep getting them?  And why so frequent.

Well, if I keep worrying and have chronic anxiety, I am only making them worse and it becomes a viscious cycle.  

You will be ok!  I know its hard when you feel so bad at times, but in reality (all other things aside) you will be OK!  And you will get through this in time.

We are here for you if you ever need to talk.  

Hang in there!!

Steff   Wink
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Karen03
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Re: Wonky heart and my story~ can you help me please x
Reply #4 - Aug 7th, 2008, 10:01am
 
I don't think Kevin or Steff could have said it much better than that!!!  I really got a lot out of what you have written here, thank you for thatSmiley  I have read several of your posts over the past month or so, the two of you seemed to have really absorbed what RLR has said, and it sounds like you're on a brilliant road to recoverySmiley  Hopefully, I won't be too far behind (as I'm off to see a Psychologist who can help me with my anxiety, and in turn, calm down these dreaded palps!).
Rachey, as you can see from what Kevin and Steff wrote, you're in great company!
Hugs,
Karen
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Rachey
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Re: Wonky heart and my story~ can you help me please x
Reply #5 - Aug 7th, 2008, 12:37pm
 
Wow guys, thank you so much.... I never thought till I come on here that anyone had the same symptoms as me ...  some stories are even worse with some folk having them every 3rd beat for ages, I only get this during a panic attack .... but it goes after about 10 mins..then i just get the odd ones....but the runs of them ater I eat are horrid its like theres no real heart beat ( but there must be or i would be dead) I never get dizzy with my palps or even breathless...its just the irregularities and thumps....usually after a massive burp they go.....    thank u guys for ur help...made me feel better xxxx Kiss
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Re: Wonky heart and my story~ can you help me please x
Reply #6 - Aug 7th, 2008, 5:53pm
 
Rachey,

I love your big picture!  You look like a woman who loves life, so don't let these palpitations slow you down!

From all I've come to understand, your "thumps" sound like what we all suffer here, and your particular triggers seem to be anxiety and digestive issues.

I know you're scared to see a doctor, but it will REDUCE your anxiety to hear that these are just benign palpitations, which they most likely are. Once you accept that, you have to do all you can do to understand and resolve your anxiety and your eating habits.

For me, it was important to avoid large meals, sugar, carbonated bevs, and excess caffeine.  I'm fine with my one cuppa day, but if I have a second, I'll thump away!  You will have to experiment and find your food/digestive triggers, and see if this makes a difference.  When I feel the palps after a meal, I say to myself, "these began after eating.  They weren't there before, therefore, I have aggrevated them by what I ate."  (I am always talking to myself with these kind of affirmations!!)  It greatly reduces the anxiety when I have an understanding of what is going on.  If you haven't read what RLR has to say about the vagus nerve and the stomach, be sure to read, and reread when you need assurance.

Getting panic attacks under control is a another whole issue, and it takes a lot of work.  You'll find a lot of great advice here, and a lot of support, and it CAN be overcome.  I have panic issues, but have come a very long way lately, so I am a sympathetic ear!

Just coming here is a step in overcoming these pesky palps!  Hang in there Rachey!  This too shall pass!
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Re: Wonky heart and my story~ can you help me please x
Reply #7 - Aug 7th, 2008, 5:57pm
 
Hello and welcome to the forum. Indeed, you will find great support among the members here.

Let's talk about your symptoms for a moment. The underlying cause for your "wonky heart" has to do simply with fear and absolutely nothing to do with the heart itself. The reason that many people in your same predicament become frightened is because much like your experience on the bicycle, you panic because you are outside your realm of safety and security. Many people are unable to feel confident in certain situations as though they are suddenly all alone to deal with any eventuality that might come along.

The body is simply responding to the fear as it would under any other circumstances where a real threat is at hand. The symptoms your are experiencing are merely the changes the body is undergoing to deal with the threat it senses. The threat doesn't have to truly exist, but rather only your perception that it is there. Does that make sense?

Let's use KCHendrix's example of monsters under the bed. As a child, the darkness can cause a lot of insecurity because our senses are deprived, particularly vision. In other words, when parents come in and turn on the light, the child is suddenly calm again because they can utilize their vision to see that no monsters are there. Their heart stops racing and they are no longer afraid. Now let's apply this to your own situation.

When you leave the security of home, you are leaving behind certain cues that your senses use to let you know it's safe and predictable. If you are agoraphobic, most people with this affliction begin to mentally measure the actual distance they are going from the security of home rather than their destination. The farther they move from home, the more anxious they become and less confident. In other words, there are monsters under the bed at this point.

If you feel that you have no escape or feel trapped by your circumstances, ie traveled too far to get back home quick enough or that something is about to happen to you that will make you helpless, then your body will begin to respond to the fear and panic thresholds can occur. The fact that you came across someone you know and then were able to get a ride, even if under risky or embarassing circumstances, you suddenly felt safe because you are being taken to your point of safety and security.

People with agoraphobia and panic disorder typically try to engage in a very predictable and routine lifestyle that, while boring to them, constantly provides safety by virtue that their senses recognize and anticipate everything around them to be safe. Only when they are faced with unfamiliar activities or situations does the body's senses begin sending misinformation that something is terribly wrong, when in reality nothing is wrong at all. It is only your perception that something bad is going to happen that makes you panic.

It's important for you to understand that regardless of any insecurities and difficulty with agoraphobia, the heart palpitations will never cause you any harm. They are unable to damage the heart and only represent an unintentional signal due to the body responding to fear.

Understand that the palpitations are not originating in the heart, but from a nerve that is connected to your heart, your lungs, even your tummy. People become very frightened because it feels as though these interruptions could somehow cause the heart to suddenly stop beating, but it is not the case at all. Let's use the example of someone calling the wrong number on the telephone. Surely you've called the wrong number before. Well, when you place a call, the signal goes to the wrong person and when they answer, it's simply a matter of apologizing. Nothing happens to the phone or the person answering it as a result of a wrong signal. The very same thing is true for your heart. Your heart is simply answering a signal that was unintentional and it will never cause damage to the heart, nor will your heart ever stop beating as a result of these signals. Your heart is beating good and strong from an entirely different signal from inside the heart and this extra signal from outside is just added to it. But it can never interfere with the heart's own signal. See what I mean? In other words, if you place a call to the wrong number, it won't make the phone company lines all shut down. That could never happen because of how the phone system is wired. The very same is true for your heart. These extra signals can never, ever stop or damage your heart because of the way your heart's system is wired. See?

So take a deep breath and relax. You do need to get more comfortable with seeing your family physician simply to have a regular check-up. Your fear is that they will discover something horrible and your life will be over. You'll be just fine. Always plan a really nice reward for yourself when you have to go see the doctor or do anything that causes you discomfort. That way, it'll be a great relief and enjoyable moment once you leave the doctor and realize all the worry was for nothing but your fears about monsters under the bed, so to speak. Right?

You'll be just fine.

Best regards and Good Health
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Rachey
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Re: Wonky heart and my story~ can you help me please x
Reply #8 - Aug 8th, 2008, 1:44am
 
[color=#0000ff]My Goodness.....   you are amazing RLR....  thank you so much... how fantastic you are to give your time and advice free to folk... What a good person you are, and others on here too, thank you so much for your advice and kindness....i feel like ive been hugged by you all...Its hard to take in what advice I have been given and apply it to me as I keep reading the posts over and over but a little voice says..."Yes, but your different Rachel, you have runs and runs of them while you exert your self, your differnet" ....I am gona have to learn acceptance arn't I... THANKS AGAIN YOU WONDERFUL PEOPLE....GOD BLESS YOU ALL XXX Kiss Grin Cheesy
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Re: Wonky heart and my story~ can you help me please x
Reply #9 - Aug 8th, 2008, 4:12pm
 
Well, you're not different. Many persons who experience palpitations of this type work diligently to mark a difference in the manner they experience them by comparison to others. You must realize that the body does not respond similarly in all instances and you must never try to generalize from the standpoint that only a certain familiar description is appropriate for palpitations which are harmless.

They can form in rapid succession, under exertion or rest, they can be sensed as a thump, a flutter and even an absence of a heart beat, but in all instances they are being derived from the same source.

Best regards and Good Health
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Rachey
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Re: Wonky heart and my story~ can you help me please x
Reply #10 - Aug 8th, 2008, 4:58pm
 
Thank you.. i have held onto your words today and when i had them whilst riding my bike i just dsmissed them and thought ...oh bless my little ticker... it is unique the way it beats... it tock ticks instead of tick tocks..... lol..... thank u thank u thank u xxxxxx Roll Eyes
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Re: Wonky heart and my story~ can you help me please x
Reply #11 - Aug 8th, 2008, 5:34pm
 
Rachey wrote on Aug 8th, 2008, 4:58pm:
Thank you.. i have held onto your words today and when i had them whilst riding my bike i just dsmissed them and thought ...oh bless my little ticker... it is unique the way it beats... it tock ticks instead of tick tocks..... lol..... thank u thank u thank u xxxxxx Roll Eyes


I LOVE this!!!  I'm going to add it to my list of things I say to myself!!  You gave me my big laugh of the evening!!

Good for you!
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Re: Wonky heart and my story~ can you help me please x
Reply #12 - Aug 9th, 2008, 1:07am
 
Rachey, I too have been guilty of thinking that nobody has *exactly* what I have and maybe my condition is *different* (read: more serious!) than others ... but as you have read there really is a huge variation in how we all experience these things, and guess what -- it's all normal. You just need to get your body to come down from the "high alert" that you describe and you will begin to feel much better. Big step in dismissing those ectopics on your bike ride -- way to go!!!
Carol
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Rachey
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Re: Wonky heart and my story~ can you help me please x
Reply #13 - Aug 10th, 2008, 1:22am
 
LOL....glad i made u smile xxxx Grin Grin Grin Grin
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Re: Wonky heart and my story~ can you help me please x
Reply #14 - Aug 11th, 2008, 7:34pm
 
Thanks again for the link Rach!!! Smiley
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