please help, I think I'm dying

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I'm on the brink of phoning an ambulance, I'm 18, had a few drinks tonight and my heart keeps skipping beats and feels like it's stopping, I've had this before but i can't cope. My heart stops then makes me cough then my heart beats really fast. Have any of you got any advice, i genuinely feel like death is approaching me

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  • Posted

    Did you have any substances with the drink? Many drugs have an effect on the heart.

    When you had it previously was it after drinking?

    Saturday night is not a good time to get an ambulance and A&E will be full others who have been out on the town.

    The 999 operators have a long annoying check list you have to satisfy before they send an ambulnce. I went to the out of hours doctor at our local hospital after going into AF. He advised me to go home and see my GP for an ECG in the morning as I would be sitting in A&E most of the night. As it worsened over night I phoned 999 around 6 am. I did not satisfy her tick list and she would not send an ambulance and suggested that I go to A&E under my own steam. I told her I did not have a car, it was a half mile to the nearest bus stop and was too early to get one and hung up on her. She bravely called back and said if going by taxi I should take my phone wityh me in case I felt worse and needed to call for an ambulace:-)

    My wife fell in the street last year and someone dialled 999 and an ambulance was there within minutes.   Obviously they dont want people causing obstructions on the pavements.

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    • Posted

      Hey Derek, thanks for your reply. I didn't take any other substances, i just had a few beers at home with my mate. I was just sitting down then all of a sudden my heart felt like it stopped for a second then started beating really fast. But perhaps the acceleration in my heart rate was due to me panicking about the skipped beat or whatever. My mate was sitting next to me and he said he could actually hear my heart beat which made me panic even more. I didn't call an ambulance in the end, and my heart eventually slowed down by itself but i couldn't relax. I can't relax anymore because I'm just worried about experiencing it again.

      I've had these skipped beats before when I'm not drinking, basically my whole life at the moment consists of worrying when I'll get the next one.

      . i had no idea calling 999 is as annoying as you described, what's up with the whole check list business?!

      .

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  • Posted

    Arrhythmia is worsened by drugs and alcohol or brought on by them so if you do either I'd stop immediately. 

    A&E will involve seriously overworked junior staff if this is a Saturday night and they may get the type of cardiac episode you are undergoing wrong. 

    They'll just bring the rate back down and tell your GP to refer to a consultant. 

    So if you've not tKen yourself off to hospital make an appointment with your GP, describe the symptoms as best you can and avoid drugs, alcohol and any drinks containing caffeine. 

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    • Posted

      Hello, thanks for your reply. I don't take drugs or drink caffeinated beverages, and I only drink occasionally. I've experienced these skipped beats before but I've never experienced them whilst drinking apart from last night.

      . i didn't go the hospital but I'm going to see my GP tomorrow, even though I've been before and all he did was give me like a 5second ECG and then basically tell me not to worry and i have to wait like 7 months to go to the nearest cardiology unit.

      . thanks again for the reply

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  • Posted

    I know it is hard but the first thing to do is not panic it is very very scary and since this seems to be first couple of times it has happened you obviously are frightened.

    From how you describe your symptoms it sounds like ectopic beats ( extra heartbeat which actually feels like a skipped beat) and possibly a touch of svt but a doctor would diagnose easily.

    It is one of those horrible things though that the more you worry the more it happens so try not to as hard as this may seem it is not life threatening just uncomfortable as you can feel it .

    Please try not to worry and see a doctor just to get checked out often if it becomes ongoing it can take a pill to stop them x

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    • Posted

      Hey Amanda thanks for your reply, it's absolutely terrifying, I can't relax because I'm just waiting for the next skipped beat or whatever to happen.

      . I really hope I don't have SVT sad I just want to be able to relax, but with SVT isn't your heart rate irregular? Because when my heart starts racing it always seems to maintain a regular rhythm, Do you think it's possible that i experience a skipped heartbeat and then start panicking thus leading to the acceleration of my heart rate?

      . I'm going to see my doctor tomorrow, even though i have been to see him before and all he did was give me like a 5 second ECG and then examined me with a stethoscope and basically told me not to worry and that my heart seemed fine but fast. I have to wait around 7 months for a referral to the nearest cardiology unit rolleyes

      . thanks again for your reply x

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    • Posted

      Hi there hope you're ok today when you go to see the doctor please don't worry and I'm thinking they will tell you everything is ok when listening to your heart I only say this as was diagnosed at 12 with svt which I take beta blockers for and going good.

      Am 45 and have ectopic on and off now for year sometimes they had cleared up completely then came back with vengeance few months ago and like you was terrified thought no-one i.e. doctors not listening and robbing me off but seen lots cardiologists and did research and know not life threatening just uncomfortable especially when resting as we are more aware of the thump feeling.

      Anyhow did end up in hospital thought it was heart attack put down to believe it or not my thyroid lots of blood tests confirmed this.

      Your thyroid can cause ectopic and irregular beating as it controls the muscle itself again lots of research done on my part (think I should have been doc nice pay packet lol wink )

      Anyhow again worrying does 100% aggravate condition and pills when properly diagnosed help calm and stop .

      So PLEASE try not to worry have been there worn t-shirt and trust me never is as bad as what you are thinking it is.

      Good luck at doctors Amanda x

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    • Posted

      Hi J goodman

      What you describe sounds very much like ectopic heartbeats which are of little significance to a doctor but can be terrifying when you feel them especially when you first experience them and havnt been reassured they are benign. The racing heart is probably a reaction to the fright you got after feeling the ectopic added to the fact you had some alcohol which is a stimulant. That said the only way to relax your mind and limit the chance of reaccurance is to visit your doctor and explain what has been happening and ask for a referral If he says you dont need that and you are reassured thats fine but if not explain that you want a visit to a cardiologist to run some tests to give double reassurance from an expert. My bet its ectopic beats. Im 51 and have suffered these from the age of nine somtimes very infreuent and sometimes quite reguarly. I used to panic and my heart would speed up but I have learned to try my best to relax and distract myself during episodes. On a positive note its not happened often and may go away completely with good diet , limited alcohol, no smoking and regular good sleep.

      Good luck and stop worrying Ive had them for years and Im still here. There nothing but a nuisance. Just get reassurance and enjoy life. 

       

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    • Posted

      I just joined this discussion, and even though it's a year go this is the first thing i have read that has made me feel any sort of better. WebMD is Not my friend, and anytime I look something up about irregular heart beats and palpitations I am scared that much more about what is going on. 

      I am 27 years old and going throught the process of trying to pin point my irregular hear beat and all the flutters I keep feeling. I started feeling this way around my sophmore year of high school. I was just reading a book, and my heart experienced a funny skipped beat. Nothing too worry about, but at that instance anxiety hit me hard and has stayed with me to this day. I worried about dying, I worried about it every day. My parents took me to see my doctor they did an EKG, and a holter monitor test on me. Found nothing but fast rapid heart rate. I have been on anxiety medication ever since.  The anxiety got better, but my funny heart kept on doing its thing. I just pushed it away. I get palpitations almost daily; some make me stop in my tracks and cough. Sometimes it feels like my heart drops for  beat or two ( a very weird suction-like feeling) in my chest. I am almost ALWAYS aware of how its beating. When I work out it races pretty hard. I went back to the doctor the other week and demanded to get more tests done. I want to make sure it's nothing really serious. I have an echo scheduled soon, and another round of holter monitoring. I am so so terrified that they will find something scary. I can't sleep or eat anymore. I'm just waiting... I want to be ok, I want to live a long life. I worry about having children and being pregnant, how will my heart handle that? 

      After reading some of these responses, especially your advice I was able to calm my mind for a little bit. I am so glad I found this post. even a year late. 

      You may not see this, but just know that reading what you wrote helped me so much. 

      Thank you. 

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    • Posted

      Dear Anna,

      You have come to the right place for help and assurance that you are not going to die and you will live the life you want to. As you can see with all of us and our posts, we have irregular heart issues just like you. I was once assured the drummer will keep on beating even if he beats out of sync sometimes. As I have said in alot of previous posts, when mine started just about 3 years ago, I felt just like you. But anxiety and round the clock monitoring will only feed the fear. Keep a log what brings the ectopics on and try to get enough sleep, eat healthy and watch caffeine and alcohol, everyone's triggers may be different. Try to ignore them and know that you will not drop dead. I am here for you just like everyone else here and stay off Web MD. This forum has helped me the most also.  BTW  I get ectopics everyday! Let your doctore give you some peace of mind.......mine did.  He offered meds but alot of them do not help,.  So I just live my life to the fullest.....TRY......and know we are all in this together,  Just a side note, if your heart beats really fast, sometimes an ablation can fix that.  Mine use to beat over 200 bpm!  No more.  But I still have the ectopics.  Sorry this is so longsmile Do not let fear rule you.....live girl!

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for your reply.

      Today is my heart echo and I am nervous of course, but positive that it will all be ok. There are some very strong individuals on here that don't let fear rule them, and reading this is exactly what I need. I really appreciate the support.

      Thank you again.

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    • Posted

      Hi Anna, Hope that you had a good result from your echo.

      Always remember the saying.... There is nothing to fear apart from fear itself.

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    • Posted

      Hi Amanda, I've been up all night again and I was reading through some of the patient discussions and I've come a ross your reply to this young chaps' question. I just want to ask I suffer with ectopics and narrow tachycardia but lately I cannot sleep . As soon as I get into bed my heart pounds (it actually hurts), my head feels like its going well explode, my chest feels tight and it feels like the heart expands and then whooshes out the blood - could this be thyroid? Cheets
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    • Posted

      Your reply helped me feel better about what I have been going through. I just got anxiety about a year ago. I was on Zoloft for about a month and it made me sooo sleepy I couldn't take it and stopped taking it. I get heart palpitations that scare the crap out of me sometimes and sometimes they jus happen and I'm okay. Anxiety it self freaks me out bc I've never had it and it freaking sucks. But I can just be sitting home watching tv and my heart skips a beat and I feel like I'm going to die! I've learned to deal with them and anxiety. A year ago I had a EKG done at the hospital and I was in it for about 2 hours and everything was fine. Like a month ago I had my Doctor do like a 5min EKG but it came out normal but at times I don't feel like I have a normal heart beat bc of the palpitations. I also got a heart monitor test scheduled for December. I've learn to jus not make a big deal out of them and not ride my anxiety and let myself know I am okay but it doesn't always work. I've learned more to cope with it though when I read stories and know that I'm not the only one it's more calming for me. The internet is thee worst tho! It makes you feel e more scared when you look up words or google what your feeling and it gives you worse case scenarios. Lol We will all be fine and it will get better. I try to drink once week versus everyday bc I love to drink and it helps with my anxiety and palpitations when I limit myself. But it's okay. Jus letting yourself know that it's okay and your not having a heart attack or dying or going to die is the thing. It will pass. I've had one really bad panic/anxiety attack that lasted for literally like 12 hours n I thought GOD himself was taking me to the heavens and I survived so it will be alright. Jus let yourself know it happens and your okay

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  • Posted

    Hi. It sounds to me like you are having premature ventricular contractions (PVCs). This is where an extra beat occurs in your ventricles. Because this beat happens earlier than it should do, the heart pauses to reset. This is likely to be what you are feeling when you say it feels like it stops. These are really common and unless you have structural heart disease are unlikely to cause anything to worry about. Alcohol definitely brings them on! Your fast beats afterwards could be short bursts of SVT. SVT can not happen unless there is an extra beat, so it makes sense that a short burst of tachycardia would follow a PVC. That said, SVT feels very different to a slight quickening of the heart due to an adrenaline rush. I have SVT and it feels like it is coming from a different part of the heart. It is MUCH more noticable than a normal heart rate. I feel it in my neck and throat. It is regular but very fast (my top HR was 230 beats per minute). They stop VERY suddenly. Literally within 1 beat. If your heart is gradually going back to normal it is more likely to be related to the adrenaline surge you have after the PVC. My advice would be to see your GP. Request an echocardiogram to rule out any structural defects and possibly a 48 hour monitor so they can try and catch the pesky PVCs. Other than that, try and relax (hard I know!) They won't kill you, they are just annoying. I would also advise that if you want to drink alcohol, stay away from anything fizzy as this gets into your bloodstream quicker and never drink on an empty stomach. By the way. I have had 2 ablations for my SVT and I still get short runs and plenty of extra beats. Still here though wink
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    • Posted

      That's really good advice. I do know how scary any change in rhythmn/ extra beats in your heart can be and it does help to hear that although horrible, they are generally not life threatening. I have ectopics on a regular basis and seems to be worse when my stomach is playing up. I also suffer occasionally with SVT's and I do struggle with these. So far I have managed to stop them myself but I have also been taking beta blockers and stopped exercising because that seems to be what bring them on. I'm so upset that I have to live like this though and wondered about ablation - would you recommend it? Have you ever found your symptoms come on after you increasing your heart rate?

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Raffa99

      It is hard to accept when you have to modify your lifestyle to cope with these problems. I too have made certain sacrifices. I haven't had caffeine for 6 years, I hardly drink alcohol. Late nights are a no-no and I have a low tolerance for exercise. Depending on where your SVT is originating depends on how successful an ablation would be. Mine was pretty easy to zap and since the procedure, although I have had brief runs, 5 minutes maximum, they have been easy to stop or have stopped on their own. Don't expect miracles though. I have had far more ectopic beats since the ablation. I am also a bit of a strange case where I also have multi-focal atrial tachycardia which seems to be impossible to get rid of. Ablation works really well for many people but I wouldn't enter into it lightly.If you can cope with your SVT and they happen rarely (once a month or less) and stop without you needing intervention then I would probably keep on with the beta blockers. I was on no medication before my ablations and now I am on beta blockers and ivabradine. My ectopics are worse when I am stressed and tired. They don't seem to happen when I get my heart rate up, but after exercise they are worse when resting. It feels pretty horrible, but it helps to know that your heart wants to beat. If you put a piece of heart tissue in a test tube it would beat on its own until it ran out of oxygen. They are amazingly resilient organs.

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    • Posted

      Hi Sarah87793

      Thank you for your reply and I definitely will take all your comments on board when deciding about the ablation although I very much doubt if they will do it as the SVT's that I get are luckily, not very often. It is more the ectopics and unusual rthymns that I seem to get that bother me most. Some days I find it just completely terrifying and exhausting. It definitely is linked to how my stomach is doing at the time plus a number of other factors. I do think that stress is the major contribitor and unfortunately I am permanently stressed. I too have given up caffeine and alcohol and try to avoid situations which cause me anxiety but that's not easy. I find it very difficult to explain to friends as they don't understand and would get bored if I kept on so it is nice to have this forum where people do get it. I was interested in what you said about after exercise so I tested that and had a fast walk with the dog ( aren't I brave!) and actually I was ok whilst on the move but back in the car, my heart felt horrible getting back to normal. You do seem to have accepted your condition and have a lot of knowledge about it but you must feel frustrated that more can't be done. There do seem to be a lot of people struggling with lots of similar problems and it is sad that more can't be done but maybe in tme and with more research? I just wish that each time it happens, I could believe the specialists when they say that I won't die!

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Raffa99 I know what you mean. The ectopics drive me mad too. Its like your heart has hiccups. Mine was doing two together then a gap then two together the other day, then it decided to do about 5 together before it went back to 'normal'. Every day is a battle and it does take real inner strength to carry on with life as normal...going to work, socialising etc. I get VERY tired and by 10,30pm I am pooped! The medication doesn't help the energy levels either. People say, "aren't you brave" and " I can't believe how you cope with it all" but let's face it. What choice to we have. Sitting at home doing nothing, doesn't make it any better. If anything we notice it more! Unfortunately we have to accept that this is how it is for now. You may go through phases where it's better than other times. Try and focus on when you feel well and just push the fear to the back of your mind. I try and tell myself there are worse things to suffer from and be thankful that I don't have cancer or ALS! The chance of you dying from ectopic beats is pretty much zero. You have far greater chance of being hit by a bus! The way I try and cope is to think that ectopic beats will happen whether I worry about them or not (more likely if I worry). SO.... would I rather spend the time between enjoying my life and not worrying about the next rogue heart beat. It takes a bit of time, but you'll get there.
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    • Posted

      Hi sarah87793. I would have replied sooner but I couldn't get back on the site for some reason. I wanted to say thanks because you have helped me a lot just by confirming that I'm not alone or making it up! Poor you with the ectoptics grouping together like that. Does it make you cough? I have to, to try and get the rhythmn back. You're right about the energy levels. Just coping with the 'misfiring heart' is enough but the beta blockers make me really sluggish especially in the morning after I have just taken them. Only on a tiny dose too. I feel sometimes like my heart wants to beat quicker but it's being held back but I guess that's the whole intention of them. Not sure if this is a good thing though? I get very tired too but I can't sleep very well so I do go to bed late. I'm also anaemic so sure this doesn't help things. You are completely correct about the way to look at things and today I am doing just that. The last week however has been a different story as the irregular beats have been continual and I have just wanted to stay in bed. As you say though, they are only more noticeable and when I'm not busy I notice them more and worry more. My specialist told me his friend ( also a Dr. ) has a heart that misses every other beat all the time and he can't take beta blockers as his heart rate is only 50 something anyway!! He has learnt to live with them and cycles for miles in competitions etc. I guess that's the power of the mind! Keep battling and I also think you are very brave!

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Sarah , I'm new to this and thought I'd take a look into the issues people are expressing. I to about 7 weeks ago had strange skipping beats , lasted for about 9 days in total absolutely scared me to death. I took numerous trips to A&E bloods taken ,ECG  all came back fine . Thyroid all ok ! Following this I had a 24 hr monitor on then a 72 hour monitor docs said nothing wrong   Following this I pushed for a echocardiogram again all ok .. Even x-rays as I thought maybe I damaged something inside . But again all,ok so frustrating last Thursday they came back .. But not as bad as last time but still very disturbing and worrying . Doctors have not given me any other options or advice to the possibilities of why I have them but I hope they go again soon . But the common thing iread on here is where everyone is told there not life threatening .. So in a way I'm just trying to stay calm , I run gym it 3 times a week , never any issue there , but when I get then they make me very tired. I too was told they were optopic beats . But I'd rather not live with this problem . I'm off to a private hospital next week to hopefully get another opinion on things .. It's just comforting that I'm not the only one in this situation . I hope your finding a way round yours and with you well . 
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    • Posted

      No nothing just told me my examinations were all ok .. Which is why I'm going private fir a second opinion . At first they said eptopic? But I know it's not that . I have no worries, I'm not stressed . We'll unless I have the palps.. It's a shambles the doctors lately. 
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    • Posted

      Hi Darren 

      I just wrote you a reply and hit something on my iPhone and the whole thing vanished. Apologies if you got it and this is a duplicate!

      Did you feel any symptoms when you wore the 48hr ECG? Perhaps it didn't show anything because you had a couple of quiet days? 

      Did you notice the ectopics before you started running/going to the gym? I only ask as when you get fitter you have an increase in Vagal tone (google for more info). This makes your heart beat slower. Many athletes get this. In fact it is called athletes heart. Because the gaps between heart beats is larger, ectopics get chance to break through. They come in phases like you described and can be triggered by tiredness, alcohol, caffiene, upset tummy/wind and pretty much anything else! My friend runs a lot and she goes through periods of getting loads of flutters and ectopics for a few days and then they disappear. As long as you've had everything checked out, which it sounds like you have, I would try and ignore them (which I know isn't easy). Getting a second opinion is always a good idea. They may suggest a low dose beta blocker if your heart rate isn't too slow. Let us know how you get on. Sarah 

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    • Posted

      Hi Darren 

      I just wrote you a reply and hit something on my iPhone and the whole thing vanished. Apologies if you got it and this is a duplicate!

      Did you feel any symptoms when you wore the 48hr ECG? Perhaps it didn't show anything because you had a couple of quiet days? 

      Did you notice the ectopics before you started running/going to the gym? I only ask as when you get fitter you have an increase in Vagal tone (google for more info). This makes your heart beat slower. Many athletes get this. In fact it is called athletes heart. Because the gaps between heart beats is larger, ectopics get chance to break through. They come in phases like you described and can be triggered by tiredness, alcohol, caffiene, upset tummy/wind and pretty much anything else! My friend runs a lot and she goes through periods of getting loads of flutters and ectopics for a few days and then they disappear. As long as you've had everything checked out, which it sounds like you have, I would try and ignore them (which I know isn't easy). Getting a second opinion is always a good idea. They may suggest a low dose beta blocker if your heart rate isn't too slow. Let us know how you get on. Sarah 

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    • Posted

      You don't need to be stressed to have ectopic beats. They are very common, even my doctor has them.
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    • Posted

      Hi Sarah , thank you for your reply. I am fit I've been told by docs I have a stage one blockage, they tell me this is very common in athletic people as what you described I have slow heart rate . 50-60 beats per min. I'm actually at A&E as I text this as I have been lay in bed since 9pm trying to sleep as it's work tomorrow. And no matter what position I lay in my heart beat is flip flopping every 4 beats   Then 19 beats,15 beats it's up and down .its just come back all of a sudden as I was rid of them for about 6 weeks. Strange you said about upset stomach and wind , I seen things on the net about acid reflux certain foods etc. it's a mind field. However I had a issue with my stomach for about two years regarding digestion. My doctor told me it was constipation , I went private and to my relief I had massive gluten allergies .. Now I'm good as new .. I don't know if there is a connection. But as for my heart I try to remain focused , calm but as you probably know it's so hard to ignore it . Especially when your lay down trying to go to sleep . I do find sitting up takes away the sensation but it so impractical when your trying so desperately to sleep. How long have you had symptoms and what are they ... 
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    • Posted

      I understand that Derek , I was just stating that I don't have any common related issues that doctors link to palpitations. Stress, worry. Etc. thanks 
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    • Posted

      Hi. I know this post is over 12 months old but I just signed up on this site and I noticed these posts on SVT and palpitations. I've also suffered from palpitations for the last 15 years. In the beginning they were not that often but as of three years ago I was under a tremendous amount of stress where they came full on with my anxiety. Last night I had a bad case of them and it kept me up till 3:30 in the morning. Just wondering how you were doing now with the palpitations?
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