Supra ventricular tachycardia (the ghost)

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I am a 31 year old male and have been suffering with this monster for the best part of 20 years. My first episode was as a young lad playing football down the local park to my latest attack been randomly riding my pushbike down the road. My symptoms are pretty simple any workouts or tough physical activitys and my heart trips into an erratic beating frenzy, i believe it's Been as high as 250 Bpm maybe higher but while the attacks are happening the last thing I do is count the beats, I get scared just like most sufferers would. Breathing through a paper bag eventually trips my heart back into a normal rhythm and later hospital tests reveal no scarring or lasting damage. Throughout my mid teens to adult life I've been back and forth to doctors surgerys and hospitals trying to get to the bottom of the rapid heart beating part of svt. I've had all the help from all the right people but still the ghost has never been captured on tape. I've had the echocardiogram and the electrocardiograph but the ghost never shows up when the doctors are around. We've tried spider graphs and other recording devices too but no it just refuses to be caught on tape. I believe we are close to capturing it now and the hospital has fitted me with a new piece kit called the loop recorder, this baby is inserted under my skin and comes with a Bluetooth device at home and a hand held record button. I'm expected to just bring on my own episode by doing a workout yet the hospital won't allow me to do this under there supervision which is frustrating, I believe svt will not kill me all tho it puts multiple handicaps on my lifestyle and the medics agree it won't kill me but for me to have to bring on my own attack and deal with it is quite a daunting thought. Well I will stop rabbiting on now and man up as they say and get myself in the gym but it's always good to talk.

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  • Posted

    Are you living in the U.S.?
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    • Posted

      I was thinking you must be in another country because of the way you were talking but also couldn't understand why the hospital wouldn't do stress test in hosp. Just something to think about though ..if the doctor doesn't know what is going on with you and they haven't seen your ghost flutters can they really say for certain that you won't die or that this isn't serious? Perhaps having a 30 day event monitor would be a better test for you.
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    • Posted

      Hi cate. I've had several in hospital treadmill tests but the staff say there test is designed for older patients although they took my heart rate to 160 Bpm. My symptoms come from power explosions such as kicking a football full power or doing a 100 metre sprint etc. I was diagnosed with mitral regurgitation to start with and still am but then after my numerous explanations to doctors and nurses they say it sounds 99% svt which can be dealt with by killing certain nerves in my heart. I have a loop recorder inserted under my skin which records and communicates with the hospital daily through a Bluetooth device at home and also carry a hand held device for my own recordings. Common sense tells me if I have an episode and my heart shoots up to 200 + Bpm a heart attack could easily kill me off but I just have to keep confidence in what the professionals say.
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  • Posted

    I wore a loop monitor for two weeks everytime I went for a run to try to bring on an episode. I was able to record it and the cardiologist was able to see how to proceed. I'm a 56 year old marathon and ultradistance runner from Canada with exactly the same symtoms you have. I only get it during a run and I was put on a beta blocker which helps, I can still run. I regularly run 120 to 140 km per week with a Saturday long run of 35 to 55km. I have no death wish and if there were a danger, I would stop running but the cardiologist as assured I am not harming my heart by running these long distances. In fact, 30 years of running has made my heart very strong. I am waiting for cardiac ablation surgery which I should be going in for this month.  Keep your exercise programme going. Good luck!
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  • Posted

    I can totally relate to your whole story! I am a 31 y.o female. I got my first holtor monitor at 12. It has been a long road to catch these suckers on tape, but with the help of an internal loop recorder (whom I have dubbed the 'cyborg' as it is nessled into my left boob!) it was caught. It was bittersweet because now I could be properly diagnosed, but it was also scary that perhaps the doc would say that something was horribly wrong. When I went to see the cardiologist to discuss the results he said I was showing both signs of SVT and aFib, which would happen after the SVT attack. Although, my echocardiogram was well in normal range. The Afib has come on within the past year or so as I can tell a difference in the beats, but that news was enough to convince me to get the ablation. (The cardiologist thinks the SVT was causing the Afib, since I have had it for so long untreated.) At 12:30 today, it will be seven days out from the procedure. I can tell a difference in things, even through I'm still healing. I can bend over fast, without thinking about it! This is a big deal as this was one of my major triggers. Also made me quit softball and kickball because all the up and down would always send me off into an SVT fit. I am comfortable in my decision as I am so sick and tired of living like this. Like you, I have had it most, if not all, of my life and I was over it taking me down. "Ghost" is a great term, those suckers haunt you and show up when you least expect them, but try as you might, you can't just close your eyes and make them dissapear. Right now, I still have some skipped beats and some fast beats, although they are NOTHING compared to an attack and is to be expected for approx 8 or so weeks out. Since you are like me and have dealt with it as long as we have, these little blibs in heart rate are nothing more than a nuisance and a small price to pay for getting rid of this beast.

    I'm not going to lie though, this thing hasn't been all cupcakes and rainbows, my anxiety has kicked in as a result of it, but it is starting to settle down. The procedure itself was fine. I don't remember anything even though I was under 'conscience sedation' and apparenly I was pretty happy when they told me they got it because I was singing coming out of the cath lab! lol. They had to go both up through my groin and in through my carotid artery (my SVT was a tricky B!) with a total of 5 holes. By the next day, the bandaids were off and you couldn't even tell they had went in my neck! Technology is pretty great. I still have my loop recorder inserted and will, according to my doctor "have it in until the battery goes dead" so he can continue to monitor my heart. I have had it in for 7 months now and I don't even notice it anymore. :D

    I will say, enjoy the gym now. I am going bonkers because I can't work out. I used to jog at least every other day and now I have been down for a week!! AHHHHH!! I am so impatient, but I have to remember that even through I don't have any marks, they did tinker with my heart meats!

    Good luck Sedriko!

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