I am new to the arrhythmia/ablation world, so please pardon me if I don't use the proper jargon. I am a 38-year-old female. I have experienced occasional arrhythmias that would last for an hour at most, since my late teens. For a brief, perhaps irrelevant background, I had anorexia from age 13-19, was obese from age 20-26, and have been a healthy weight with good eating and exercise habits ever since. I do not drink or smoke (anything). During my 20's and early 30's, I would take Magnesium taurate for the increasingly common arrhythmias, which really seemed to do the trick. At the beginning of this year, I began to experience longer, more intense episodes of ectopic beats, and then in February, my heart would jump from 60 bpm to 190 in half a second, and stay there for hours at a time. Finally, for I had not seen a doctor for at least 15 years, I went to the ED twice in April when the episodes of tachycardia would not stop. I was diagnosed with AVNRT/SVT. I could not be converted with adenosine, but diltiazem was successful. I was sent home the first time with extended-release diltiazem, which did not work and my heart jumped back into tachycardia that last approximately 11 hours before ending up in the ED again. Echocardiogram revealed no abnormalities and cardiologists scheduled me for an ablation the following week.
I had the ablation done in May and have not, thank God, had an SVT episode since. However, the instances of PAC's seem to have increased markedly. I am still on diltiazem, both extended release and the 60mg, which seems to be less and less effective. There doesn't seem to be much consistency to when the episodes occur, and wouldn't be troublesome if they didn't last so long -- anywhere from 6 to 24 hours. Most commonly, they seem to happen AFTER moderate cardio workouts (I used to do HIIT training for 45 minutes, 5 days a week. I can't now!) or in the evening regardless of what I've done or eaten. The beats are extremely disruptive (not "a nuisance", as one cardiologist described them); they're often every 2-5 beats for hours and hours, accompanied by chest and back pain and lightheadedness. While I experience PAC's all of the time, these prolonged, 'intense' events are occurring anywhere from 1-3 times a week.
I wore a monitor for 12 days, which managed to catch one or two "intense episodes", but I haven't seen my doctor yet to go over the results. My doctor says that if the diltiazem stops being effective, he'd put me on flecainide, which I really don't want to be on.
I don't know what to do! I am trying to be calm, to not think about it, but I never know when these are going to hit, how long they'll last, etcetera. I don't understand what is happening or why. I have also started taking taurine and l-arginine, in addition to magnesium taurate, hawthorn, berberine, and just general things like vit C, zinc, and fish oil. Yesterday, I rowed for 45 minutes, and within 20 minutes my heart started, not "skipping" beats, but...vibrating/gurgling/pausing/thumping, every 2-7 beats, which lasted from 1630 until midnight. I am physically exhausted.
I am really sorry for writing so much. I'm trying to be "adult" about all of this, but my life has truly been transformed into something I don't recognize.