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Hi I am a 36 year old female and was diagnosed with svt a few months ago. Since my early twenties I have suffered with panic attacks and tachycardia of which the cardiologist feels may well have been symptoms of svt. I have had two major attacks in the last three years, the first was on the motorway where I pulled over and within half an hour it had resolved. When I got home I saw the Gp who sent me to the hospital for 24 hour ECG, but my heart was well behaved during the test! I had no idea what was happening to me but knew it wasn't normal and must be some kind of arrythmia.
For the next few years I had minor attacks lasting a few seconds to a minute. It always seems to happen when i'm bending forward I could have a few attacks a day then nothing for a couple of weeks. I am a district nurse and my job involves bending over patients to do dressings etc and on many occassions my heart would miss a beat and then race really fast, my natural reaction was to cough and bang my chest hard and luckily each time it went away without me having to leave the job in hand.
A few months ago I was at home and bent down to pick something up off the floor and BAM! off we went again but this time it did not stop I felt extremely anxious as my chest was moving so fast with the force and rate of my heart, I felt short of breath and dizzy. My partner drove me to A&E after about twenty minutes, I was then rushed into resus and they gave me Adenosine after failed attempts to bring it back to normal rythmn by the breathing exercises. It was all very frightening. My heart rate was 220 bpm.
I was referred to a cardiologist but paid to see privately as I was anxious and worried and unable to work. The cardiologist explained that this defect is an abnormality from birth and the heart is often healthy. The missed beats or heavy beats are called ectopic beats and everyone has them but not everyone notices them and in people with this condition it can trigger svt. He did me a fab diagram of exactly what happens during an attack if anyone is interested in seeing I can reproduce. He said nobody has died from svt and it won't damage your heart unless you had an attack that lasted for weeks continuously without seeking help and I can't imagine anyone doing that! However it is extremely unpleasant and although these attacks often stop by themselves you should go to A&E if you feel very anxious and the symptoms are severe.
He started me on atenolol which slows the heart rate and also to calm me down as he said I was so stressed my heart was racing without having an attack. He told me the main triggers for svt are caffeine and stress. (I cut out caffeine after my first attack and it did reduce the number of attacks I had). He has referred me for ablation but I think it's going to be a while as it's 4 months and i've not even had a consultation.
When I started taking atenolol I felt wonderful, for the first time in ages I wasn't aware of my hearbeat. However 4 months on and I feel generally unwell, dizzy and depressed. Gp has suggested trying Verapamil which I started today so I'll have to see if I feel any better on these. Since starting the medication I've had 4 minor attacks, each time I have held my nose, closed my mouth and blown down my nose really hard which is an exercise the consultant recommended. It has worked every time and each one only lasted a few seconds.
My main worry was what if I went somewhere deserted ie: out walking and three miles from the car and I had an attack. The consultant said if that was to happen I would walk back to the car, nothing bad would happen to me however unpleasant it felt, and drive to A&E if it had still not resolved. Simple as that.
This site has helped me loads in understanding what is happening to me. I wish everyone luck and courage.
[i:948995736c]This message was automatically imported from the original Patient Experience[/i:948995736c]
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