Here's my tale of woe.....Sound familiar?

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I've suffered from ectopic heartbeats since 1973, and will never get used to them. Years of remission on and off inevitably came to an end and back they have come. I utterly detest them. On an anxiety-triggered theory I have tried counselling, hypnoses CDs, magnesium gel, diet supplements .... you name it. Nothing has helped. I also have occasional runs of atrial tachycardia.

I had a catheter ablation for AF in 2001 but they didn't cure the ectopics. At the time of writing this, i'm awaiting the outcome of a 5-day monitor recording which I wore a couple of weeks ago. I see that a few UK hospitals  undertake abation procedures for ectopics so I'm not through with my search for a solution. Age is not on my side, however - I'm 76 in December.

A big problem with me is the way I now react to them. I don't have avalanches of these as much as I used to. Nowadays they more often tend to occur singly and completely randomly, and this triggers an anxiety response which has become so acute that I am prepetually on edge, waiting for the 'next one'. I often wake up in the morning feeling like total c...p and the anxiety symptoms (stomach and chest tightening, etc) reappear on cue as I brace myself to struggle through another day - nothing to look forward to any more but walking on egg shells. The feeling that these one-off occurrences produce has changed with my level of fear - they now feel like mini-elecric shocks, a sensation I find hard to put into words. If I could only access some means of coping with these, or enabling me to ignore them rather than their becoming a focus of my life, I'd cheerfully settle for that. 

Ectopics ruin concentration, and life in general. I hate them so much for the way they have limited the enjoyment of life. The rotten thing of course is that, although they are as debilitating in their own way as many other more visible afflictions, they're happening inside of us and attract little comment or sympathy ('What's all the fuss about'? etc).

Sound familiar? Any ideas of how to lessen even the perception of these dreadful symptoms would be welcomed a thousand-fold.

 I often wonder if I did anything to deserve this (a warped outworking of karma?) It's moderately reassuring to know that I'm not on my own and that there are many sufferers out there with similar symptoms. 

Good wishes to everyone.


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  • Posted

    I'm sorry your journey sounds like it has been a really rough one, and it is hard to explain to others what it actually feels like. Yes you are not alone and at least somehow it does make one not feel so isolated and crazy. Try to hang in there... will be praying and thinking of how it's going with you, let us know your results and how things turn out.

    Take care...

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  • Posted

    Totally can relate to your journey but specifically the 'mini electric shocks' which occasionally I experience rather than the 'usual' ectopics. They are sharper and jolt you, very slightly taking your breath away. 

    When my ectopics really peak I know getting stressed doesn't help and that if I can relax they improve. I seem powerless to stop them completely but have found sleeping much longer and generally resting for a day eases the peak frequency. I can peak with c 1 in 5 beats being ectopic so the frequency you usually experience would be a good day for me.  I know its hard to take on board the much repeated mantra that usually ectopics are not considered dangerous but the fact that you have experienced these since your 30's would seem to be support for this claim. As you say you are not alone and good luck to all who are suffering. Dont let them beat us! 


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  • Posted

    Hi Don,

    Yes I know what you are going through as they try to rule my life also.  I would be careful as my ablation did not cure them either.  Ablation did cure my bouts of SVT. I find ignoring them and managing my stress is key.  Diet, getting proper sleep etc. really helps. You are not alone!  I have had them for about 5 years now and I do think it is just a fluke of nature for us all.

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