Quitting my Job because of SVT :( Anyone else done this?

Posted , 9 users are following.

Anyone had to quit/change their job because of SVT? Title says it all, really. I'm a 20 y/o female, fairly healthy. Been at university for a while.

Found myself a nice job this summer, working with kids in a camp. It pays very well. It's my dream job, at this point in my life.

The only problem is that the camp is located by a lake in the middle of nowhere.

The nearest hospital is a 9 HOUR drive away.

One could fly, in about 50 minutes, but, seeing as I am already an anxious flyer, the thought of flying whilst having an SVT attack scares the heck out of me.

There is a small village with a small GP clinic, but they can't treat SVT.

There's also a small hospital 3 hours drive away, but it doesn't seem very good. Also, I don't have a car whilst I am here, so I wouldn't be able to get there.

So, I'm in this predicament:

1. I am happy and excited to work in this camp, in lovely surroundings, beautiful nature.

2. I know there is a pretty big chance of me having an SVT episode, which would just ruin my time here.

If I get SVT, the local doctors - who cannot treat SVT - told me I should have to call for an ambulance. The ambulance would take me to the doctors, who would confirm that my condition is untreatable by them. They would then call for an emergency airplane to take me to the city - 9 hours away by car, 50 minutes by air.

(Yes, I would get a small airplane to myself. This is one of the remotest areas in Europe. Critical patients get flown out on an airplane. Apparently, this is more cost-effective than running a proper hospital in a village that has fewer than 1,000 people.)

Being shortsighted, I didn't spot the problem when I applied for the job.

I just thought it would do me good to work in the countryside for a change, plus I've been getting tired of the city. But, now that I've arrived here in this extremely remote area, I am panicking. And we all know that anxiety only increases the chance of an episode.

My SVT always requires Adenosine to convert. Otherwise I'd be perfectly happy to be far away fro a hospital. But knowing that I could need Adenosine at the drop of a hat scares me - knowing that so far away from it.

As of now, it is my first day in this remote area. I find myself panicking at the thought of an SVT, and having to go through all that s**t, just to get to the hospital.

One part of me wants to just get on with this job and stop worrying about SVT,

whilst another part of me - logically - keeps reminding me of the fact that I do get severe SVT episodes, frequently, and that they are only getting worse. I am waiting for ablation. And that if I were to get an episode, it makes sense to make it as easy as possible, instead of placing myself in this extremely remote area. 

I could easily find a summer job in the city. There are also anxiety triggers for me, there, but knowing I am only 15ish minutes from my hospital always puts my mind at ease.

Anyone got any advice for me?

Anyone got experience of quitting a job because of your SVT?

What would you do in this situation?

Would you "toughen up" or would you go back to the city?

Does it make any sense at all to put myself in such a difficult situation?

Also, I am worried that my co-workers at the camp won't understand my SVT.

I definitely have to avoid certain activities in order to stay away from SVT triggers, such as overexercise, over-stress, etc. You all know it. I wonder if I'll be perceived as "lazy" or "incompetent", when in reality I am trying my best to be a high-functioning human in spite of SVT.

Anyone have experience of co-workers' reaction to your SVT?

What should I do? smile


0 likes, 20 replies

20 Replies

  • Posted

    I've never backed away from anything because of SVT and I've been managing it for about 35 years.   There is no reason you can't be a high functioning human - it's all about perception.  Everyone's SVT triggers are different and there is no reason you can't keep up with everyone else doing normal activities.  My biggest triggers have been hormonal (PMT) and sleep deprivation.  I've exercised as much as I've wanted, been pregnant, pushed out twins, run triathlons.  At no point have I ever been told to hold back, so I haven't. My longest episode was 7 hours and it did me no harm, as would be expected.

    There are beta blockers which you can take a small dose daily to prevent onset of SVT.  Perhaps speak to your Dr about that possibility.  Either that or take a job that is closer to hospitals if it's going to cause you anxiety.  Don't be a victim of SVT - it's really not that serious and it's certainly not life-limiting.


    • Posted

      I admire your mindset! I hope one day I can be as strong as you, mentally speaking. I guess a huge contributor to my anxiety around SVT is that I've had it severely from the age of 10. It went undiagnosed for 9 years after that, causing me a lot of childhood traumas when I had regular debilitating episodes, thinking I was going to die, and my parents never helped me (they have their own issues).

      I have already been ordered by my cardiologist to take Beta Blockers and Calcium Channel Blockers every day, in high doses. Atenolol and Verapamil. Doctor wants me to do the ablation but I am anxious. Need to get over my nerves! Thanks for your two cents. Can you please share with me where you find the strength to "not worry" about SVT? Did you do the ablation? Also, if you don't mind my asking, did it start when you were young, or later in life? I wonder how that affects our ability to deal with it.

    • Posted

      I remember my first episode at 13 but my Mum says I complained about it prior to that age.  It was never investigated so I wasn't diagnosed until I was 24 and old enough to get myself to the Dr during an episode. 

      I guess my strength comes from always being told not to worry so I never have.  It's an inconvenience but it's not going to kill me.  I have refused an ablation so far and I've chosen not to take daily medication.  When I was diagnosed it wasn't an option except for people who had very severe SVT - now it's offered to anyone, even after one episode.  I have chosen to put up with the inconvenience for now and may or may not choose to have an ablation sometime in the future.  Knowing about and utilising the modified valsalva has given me more of a feeling of control.

    • Posted

      Annie may I also ask how often you do the modified valsalva manouvre? Is once enough, or do you repeat it?

      Also would one attempt the carotid massage simultaneously perhaps?

      My episodes have been so severe that until now only Adenosine has controlled them. Also I find that holding my breath increases my extra heartbeats, and it gives me a really strange feeling in my heart, but of course that’s a small price to pay for getting back to normal rhythm. 

    • Posted

      Once is enough.  I've had to have Adenosine plenty of times - it doesn't mean that the episodes are severe and it doesn't mean that the mod valsalva won't work.   What I did get though were emergency Drs who knew about the mod valsalva and were willing to give it a go before we moved on to Adenosine.   I had tried the normal valsalva many times with little success.

      And no it's never comfortable holding your breath and bearing down while in SVT but that doesn't mean it's dangerous.  It's only for a few seconds.  Holding your breath will increase your heart rate any time that you do it.  

      Carotid massage has never been successful for me so I don't even try anymore.  There is no need to do carotid massage simulateously - the procedure is clearly set out in the study publications/video.  Very easy to show someone how to help you by letting them view the video on your phone.


  • Posted

    PS also check out the modified valsalva for SVT.  It was a study done which shows great success using a drug free valsalva combination of moves to convert SVT.  Very different from the usual bearing down, this often actually does work and I've avoided adenosine the last 4 episodes I've had after needing adenosine many times previously.

    Moderator comment: I have removed the link(s) directing to site(s) unsuitable for inclusion in the forums. If users want this information please use the Private Message service to request the details.

    • Posted

      The link wasn't unsuitable.  It's a link to a youtube video which shows a hospital based research trial showing very good results for a modified valsalva to convert SVT.   Very suitable for a population of people with SVT looking for answers.  You're happy enough to have a link to a medication trial here.

      If anyone wants to look at it they can enter the term and find it on youtube.

    • Posted

      Thank you for the link! The moderators on this forum removed it, foolishly! I have looked up the video and will certainly try to do this manoeuvre next time I get an episode. Thank you so much Annie
    • Posted

      Also, I see the trial was conducted in at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital. I lived in Exeter last year, never knew they were onto this huge breakthrough!
    • Posted

      I know - ridiculous right?   Remove a helpful link from the very group of people who need it.

      PS with doing the manoeuvre I find that I can't achieve it on my own at home.  I need to be able to relax while someone takes my weight (or the back of the bed) while I lay down.  

  • Posted


    I think we all have the very same feelings of anxiety when a hospital is not at our ready. I always try not to allow my fears to ruin my plans, but it’s not easy. I hope you are able to figure out a plan. 

    • Posted

      Thanks! Yeah, I did figure out a plan. I came back to the city. I already feel so much better
    • Posted

      Also, have you had the ablation? Curious to hear everyone's experience since I might have mine coming up, but nerves are getting in the way.

    • Posted

      I’m so glad you’re feeling about being in the city.  No I’ve never had an ablation, I’m on metoprolol for my svt. 
  • Posted

    Many SVT people modify their lives significantly as a response.  Many others successfully adopt a "no big deal approach".  Annie seems to be in that latter category, and I'm so pleased for her.  I spent much time in that first category for 50 years, and even after a successful ablation nearly a year ago, the possibility of an SVT episode still affects my thinking and sometimes my behavior. I am doing better, though, and am grateful for that.  

    I encourage you to get the best medical advice you can, consider having an ablation, and take a good look at cognitive therapy to help you with your understandable anxieties. With successful treatment, you could have many decades of a much higher quality of life. That would be something truly special.  I wish the very best for you.  Take care. 


    • Posted

      I'm a health professional and I see chronically ill people all the time.  I refuse to waste a moment of my life in the role of being "sick" when I'm completely well and my heart is perfectly normal when not in arrythmia.  You only get this life once!

      I can't emphasise enough looking at the Modified Valsalva Manouver study online.


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