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calamityjane

ventricular tachycardia

Posted by @calamityjane in Heart & Blood Health, Nov 27, 2011

Does anyone have this condition and how do you deal with it ?

martishka

Posted by @martishka, Jan 7, 2012

I have SVT, also atrial fib and flutter. I am looking for a permanent solution.
What kind do you haVe?

calamityjane

Posted by @calamityjane, Jan 7, 2012

I have ventricular tachycardia. I havent found a solution, I do take atenolol for it,seems to help a little.There is an ablation procedure, but at this time Dr. doesn't want to do this yet. It's very frustrating waiting around. This has put my life on hold for 1 year now. Would like to hear more from you. Thanks for the post.

martishka

Posted by @martishka, Jan 7, 2012

HI, I am assuming you have SVT which is supraventricular tarchycardia. I usually clock in at around 225-250. I am now on a new med after my 4th failed ablation in Sept. I take a beta blocker. But i also struggle with Atrial fib and flutter. I am currently looking into a referral to the Mayo Clinic. The ablation for SVT has a very high success rate so you shouldn't be discouraged by my experience. I know people who had it and never looked back.
Good luck

calamityjane

Posted by @calamityjane, Jan 7, 2012

How long have you had this?

martishka

Posted by @martishka, Jan 7, 2012

I have had the SVT since i was a little girl but it wasn't diagnosed until I was 24.
And you?

calamityjane

Posted by @calamityjane, Jan 7, 2012

I found out last January a month before I turned 50. May have gotten it from Biaxin for a tooth / sinus infection. Does it scare you?

martishka

Posted by @martishka, Jan 8, 2012

It used to but I have come to learn that this is NOT going to kill you, just make you feel lousy. I went sailing this summer for 4 months in remote areas and had quite a few problems and dealt with it. I never heard of getting something like this from a drug- or if you do, shouldn't it stop when you stop the drug?

calamityjane

Posted by @calamityjane, Jan 8, 2012

It has quieted down alot since I stopped taking Biaxin, But hasn't completely gone away. It's possible I've always had it. I had genetic testing to see if I carry a gene that would cause this, that was negative. Dr. told me to stop driving for 6 months,I'm starting to drive again, but it makes me nervous, I have a 9 year old and she always wants to go somewhere like we used to.I'm also on a leave of absence from school this semester. I've been pushing for an an ablation, but Doc wants to wait.Last treadmill test was better.There are many drugs that can cause VT, or make it worse if you already have it.

martishka

Posted by @martishka, Jan 8, 2012

You're a teacher?? I was! I retired....
I never heard of having to stop driving. Do you faint? I have alot of symptoms but haven.t stopped anything- when I am having a problem I prefer not to drive but that's because I get nervous. I know that the first course of action is drugs and if that doesn't work, an ablation. I need two different kinds of ablations- a pulmonary vein ablation for Atrial Fib and an "ablation" for the SVT. On my last one they triggered the SVT but got AF instead and couldn't cardio convert me. If you are pushing for an ablation I'd get a second opinion and check the dr's track record - ask how many he/she has done and how many were successful. Good luck

calamityjane

Posted by @calamityjane, Jan 8, 2012

No I'm a student,decided to go back after my older children grew up. Then we adopted ,she's in fourth grade, thought it was time to go back.I finished my first year. One day I was driving home from school and I felt dizzy, thought my sinuses we're acting up again.Went to the doctor, he sent me to the hospital.went into Vt on the treadmill,I felt that I was going to faint .Ran several tests, they didn't find anything wrong with my heart. Had four treadmills this past year, the first three I felt like I was going to faint, the last one I finished with only every third heartbeat missing. Now when I feel faint they told me to tense up my muscles or cough this helps but its still scary.I'm going back in the fall, I really miss it. At first I thought what am I doing here at 50, then I really started to enjoy it. I think I will get a second opinion. Whats cardio convert mean? Did your ablations help at all?

martishka

Posted by @martishka, Jan 8, 2012

HI there,
I don't want to mislead you. I have SVT and I don;t know if that is the same as VT. No one ever told me that I was missing every third beat. Also, I was never given a stress test as part of the diagnosis- it was on the ECG/ I have found the advice they gave you to convert yourself into a normal rhythm, very helpful. Basically , there are three things you can do- bear down as if for a BM, immerse your head in a sink full of icy water and press on your eyelids (have to be very careful with this one as you can cause yourself to faint. I think all of these are a type of vagal response. i never heard of "tensing your muscles".
Cardio convert is when they use electricity to put you into a sinus rhythm. When you have an ablation they have to trigger the problem so that they can "map" it and then they can ablate it or use high frequency waves to kill the cells that are causing the problem. THey cardio convert you into a sinus rhythm. You are totally unaware of this during the procedure. I live in Victoria BC and we have a pretty good EP Lab with excellent care. I also have a nurse that I can call to discuss any concerns I have- she is part of the Heart Rhythm Team. I would go to some learning sessions and speak to someone about the procedure to make sure it is good for you.

For a variety of reasons my ablations were never completed. So unfortunately, I didn't have any benefit from them. that is why I am pursuing a second opinion, hopefully at the Mayo Clinic. If you have to pick a heart problem to have this is one of the better ones- benign, doesn't deteriorate. The trick is managing it. I never took time off from work because of it. I usually had my problems on the weekends, evenings, but rarely at work (ha!_
BTW, both of our kids are adopted too!

calamityjane

Posted by @calamityjane, Jan 8, 2012

I also had an ECG, while on the treadmill,thats where it showed up. I recently changed primary care Dr. I felt that I wasn't getting enough answers to my questions. My cardiologist is excellent,he's the top one in my Town. I trust him completely. You are fortunate to have a nurse to call to answer your questions. My new Dr. is a woman, she takes the time to answer my questions, if she doesn't know she finds out. I am feeling better already knowing that she's taking care of me. My mother had heart disease,triple bypass.a pigs valve and the same male Dr.. I am glad I don't have to deal with those issues. I live in Maine, its very cold right now about 12 degrees. My friend went to the Mayo Clinic for her surgery, she's doing well now. You mentioned a beta blocker, I take atenolol ,do you find it makes you tired? I tried flecanide, it didn't work very well for me. May be switching to metotoprolol soon,Doc said I might not get so tired. Thanks for your postings.I find them informative.

martishka

Posted by @martishka, Jan 8, 2012

Good morning, I used to live in Maine- Southwest Harbour , on a boat for the summer.
I'm on Metoprolol, is that what you mean. I was put on it in emerg this summer
25mg two times a day. I had to leave our boat and see a dr during our sailing trip because everytime I moved I had a heart issue. When I got home my cardiologist immediately put me in the hosp, did an ablation and it failed. I feel pretty disappointed. Meanwhile he has doubled my meds so 50 mg 2X day. Most beta blockers will make you feel tired because they reduce the need for the heart to beat so strongly- you need less oxygen. I think you just have to fight that side effect. I did take inderal a million years ago and my memory tells me that it was more debilitating than this drug. I think I will be off this soon. I have a standing order for an ECG everytime I have a problem so the dr can see what is happening. And I have collected alot of data!
Do you see a regular cardiologist or an electrophysiologist? Ablations are EP studies and are performed by specialists- the electrophysiologist. There are 5 here in Victoria and that's who I see. I think they know a lot more since their specialty is rhythm problems. If you have an ablation where would you have it done? Hope all goes well for you.

calamityjane

Posted by @calamityjane, Jan 8, 2012

Good evening. We love the coast, go to Bar Harbor in the summer.Yes same med, I look forward to trying it.I realize that I need to be more informed. I do have an electrophysiologist, he's great. I would have the procedure done in Bangor, Maine if he does it. Before I met him I considered Boston Mass.my Aunt is a nurse out there and I could stay with her for awhile.Thank you, I hope all goes well for you too.

calamityjane

Posted by @calamityjane, Jan 17, 2012

Hi hope your well. Haven't written a post for awhile, it's been a little hectic around here. My son is getting ready to move to China. Im not crazy about the idea, but I'll have to get over it. He got his new high tech hearing aids and they don't work as well as the old ones,trying a new pair Thursday, hope they are better. He's a good kid, made the deans list and got invited into the honor society. I still worry about him . He's lost alot of his hearing, makes it harder for him in another country, especially China.Hope everything is going well with you.

jennybell1

Posted by @jennybell1, Jan 25, 2016

Do either of you know if this can reverse on its own? Because this came on all of a sudden, so I was hoping it would be something that could go away on its own as well.
Also anyone heard about the relation of SVT with gluten? I came across a blog yesterday and many of the people on there were attributing this to a gluten allergy/intolerance. Not sure about that one, but its worth researching I guess.

I hate how this makes me feel and my anxiety peaks when I have an episode which obviously makes it worse. I dont want to drive for any periods of time bc Im afraid I will be in the middle of no where when it happens and I feel like Im about to have a heart attack. Its taking over my life slowly and only adds to my anxiety issues. I wish it would just go away already.

Thank you both for sharing your stories. Makes me feel better that Im not the only one dealing with this - not that Im happy any of us have SVT.

martishka

Posted by @martishka, Jan 25, 2016

HI, My tachycardias often reverted on their own. This was when I was on meds (one for rate and one for rhythm) My cardiologist had me chew a pill when it happened and I did use ativan for the anxiety. A small dose under the tongue. It is an anxiety producing syndrome. I am very thankful for one of my cardiologists because at that time (20 years ago) I had two young children and I was afraid to go on a year long sailing trip to remote areas. My dr convinced me to go, with a letter in hand for emergency should I need it. ( I didn't) It was a great year.
My triggers seemed unpredictable- it would happen at the most obscure times or activities. I think if it is interfering with your life you should consider having it fixed. They have gotten very good at getting rid of SVT with an ablation. Also, I have never heard of gluten as a trigger, but I have heard that red wine, caffeine and chocolate could be triggers. I hope this helps you.

jennybell1 likes this
gonefishinmt

Posted by @gonefishinmt, Jan 26, 2016

After going back and reading their posts from 2011 forward, I certainly join @jennybell1 in thanking martishka and calamityjane for sharing their history with SVT and similar conditions. Some very useful information there. Re triggers, in my case stress and caffeine were the most easily identified. I was a real Starbucks fan. An ablation is really nothing to fear - it was an outpatient procedure and I was able to go home afterward. I was kept awake enough to respond to questions during the ablation which lasted a couple of hours as the EP doc was persistent but in the end unable to simulate the condition. I came away with some pretty good bruising around the groin and midriff areas which was a bit sore for a few days. The EP doc worked with my cardiologist - important to have both - in determining treatment options. They replaced my beta blocker with Cartia, a calcium channel blocker. Since then my episodes have been milder and far less frequent. While I'm keenly aware that I have this condition, I've never let it stop me from doing the things I want to do. My cardiologist has warned me not to be too cavalier about it, but I know the triggers, I know the early symptoms, I know the techniques to use to convert (although the face in a bucket of ice water trick has never had much appeal and my cardio doc recommended against it) and I know when I need to get to the ER to get treatment. The point I make is this: be concerned and learn all you can about this condition, consult with a good cardio team and follow their recommendations, but don't let the fear of having SVT take over your life to the degree that you feel trapped and cheated out of life. Like many others, I have several other conditions to contend with in addition to SVT so I try to keep all of it in perspective and maintain a positive attitude. Never stop learning.

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