I have alot to say here but I'll do my best to keep it as short as possible :-)
I began to notice small skips and pauses in my heart rhythm at about age 25. For a few years I was told "don't worry it's just caffeine/anxiety" etc. By the age of 27 I was having runs of arrhythmia which scared the crap out of me. Three holters/event monitors later the doctor finally noticed short runs of AFib, PVCs, PACs and some SVT. I was told not to worry about it "a little Afib is of no concern unless you're in it all the time and the SVT won't kill you." All of this has been getting more frequent over the years. I am now 36 and lately have been having more problems than ever. Tachy episodes coming several times a day and bouts of PVCs all day long sometimes. I have even had 2 episodes of syncope and several sizzy/vertigo/breathless spells asscociated with arrhythmia. My EKG's always show sinus rhythm (I'm usually not in an arrhythmia when they are taken) but my T-Waves are often inverted sometimes in 1 lead, sometimes in 3 different leads and sometimes are totally normal. My T-Waves have even changed in one or two leads within a half hour. (consecutive EKG's taken with the same lead placement.)
Finally started seeing an E.P. who ordered a month long event monitor. I'm still wearing it with about a week left. So far he has found on it: several short bursts of what appears to be Sinus Tach (avg 160-180BPM) and another form of SVT which generally gets to 120-150BPM for several seconds. Also noted PVC Couplets, Triplets and a few short runs of 5-8 PVCs in a row. (non sustained V-Tach). I normally get a tingling pressure in my chest that feels much like a gas bubble 15 minutes or so before my arrhythmias. This strange sensation is with me almost all the time now.
All of this is starting to drive me stark raving mad. My entire life is consumed by fear and anxiety. I spend just about every waking minute wondering if an arrhythmia will hit me. The runs of PVC are especially alarming.
To make matters worse, the E.P. has told me he doesn't want to try an ablation since there is so much going on in my heart. He seems to think it would be futile. He says if my SVT or AFIB becomes predominant or highly sustained then he might reconsider. He says I should do my best to live with it. Yeah...ok. He also says Beta Blockers would be a bad idea since my blood pressure routinely drops to about 85/55 especially at night.
I had a heart cath done just a few months ago and the Cardiologist who performed it said I had no blockages. My Echos show my heart is pretty normal. No valve leakage or excessive chamber sizes. However I did notice that my left ventricular posterior wall has increased in thickness from .8 (a year ago) to 1.12 (a month ago). Cardiologist claims it could just be due to the way it was measured.
My main concern is the seeming LACK of concern by the EP and Cardiologist. This stuff is causing me some real problems and alot of anxiety. It just keeps getting worse and worse over time and I'm worried there's going to be some real damage to my heart at some point.
I have also been diagnosed with COPD (early stages) and Sleep Apnea. I smoked for several years but quit last year. I don't drink anything with caffeine and I use no drugs or alcohol.
Here are some questions I have.
1.) Shouldn't I be pretty concerned about having non sustained V-Tach?
2.) Should I be going to another E.P. for a second opinion?
3.) If Sleep Apnea is causing alot of this (has been suggested) can the arrythmias generally be reversed or is the damage already done?
4.) I have been told that having a structurally normal heart with no blockages makes it improbable that I'll have cardiac arrest but my Oxygen is a bit low (usually 95 but sometimes as low as 93) and my C02 level is high. Do these things put me at risk for SCD?
5.) Does anyone out there have a very similar story and set of circumstances? It'd probably help alot to have someone else to talk to who can relate.
Any info/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Sometimes I feel like I'm just about at my wit's end with all this.
I'd like to include some info off of my latest EKG just for any doctors who might be reading this. I can't show the actual wave forms but the info at the bottom reads as:
Vent Rate: 87 BPM
RR Interval 688 MS
PR Interval 142 MS
QRS Duration 78 MS
QT Interval 358 MS
QTc Interval 405 MS
QT Dispersion 58 MS
P-R-T Axis 13* 27* -5* (degrees)
25mm/s stable 40hz
My T-Waves were inverted only in lead III this time, but other EKGs have shown inversions in 3 different leads and sometimes no inversions.
Any of these values look odd?
Thx in advance for any comments. Looks like an awesome forum.