SVT episode, do you go to hospital? At what point?

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i have SVT and have episodes probably monthly at the moment. im 38, very fit and healthy and my heart is healthy as well. i have known about my svt since i was about 30..i have had one ablation but they couldnt do it as it was too close to the AV node.

i can manage most at home with a pill in my pocket approach and various techniques to help it (hot bath, really cold shower, cold drink feotal position, blowing hard into a syringe etc) sometimes they help, but sometimes it wont shift. heart rate is 180bpm if im laying down relaxing (i put on that terrible relaxing music that sounds like whales, but it probably stresses me out more as it is annoying!)

the episode yesterday was the worst one I have had, i had a really painful chest (it was worse if i laid on my right side for some reason) and i also had a migrane like pain in my head. dizzyness, could hardly speak as it took too much energy (when my partner spoke to me i just answered in yes and no in the same tone!)

i always put my heart strap on and my timer to check how long it is going on for, i never know if i should go to hospital or not, but I felt so unwell this time with it, i went (it was doubly scary with C virus). when i got passed an hour of feeling that bad i decided to go.

they did all the usual stuff and i reverted after 6mg of adesonine. the most worrying thing was, they usually let me escape fairly quickly after an episode and ive reverted, but they said that the blood test for my heart came back high, so it needed repeating, they repeated it and then it came back even higher, then they waited another three hours and repeated. this time it was lower and they sent me on my way. i dont really understand what happened there does anyone know? i am a bit worried as I am unlikely to see a specialist anytime soon again - i have reffrered myself through docs but the pandemic is more important than my benign heart condition..i just was hoping on here someone could reassure me.


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  • Posted

    You went through quite an ordeal, Eddie. I'm glad you're on this side of it. I much enjoyed your whale music comment. I sometimes think that we have to pretend to like that stuff only because we're supposed to like it. That said, I just flashed back to some research I did long ago involving hydrophones (underwater sound detectors). They're lots of critters out there doing lots of strange communicating..

    Anyway, I'm guessing that the multiple tests you mentioned were for your troponin levels. Has to do with your heart muscle (myocardium) and can be an indicator of damage done by insufficient blood/oxygen supply. I'm guessing they did that since you experience such chest pain, a possible indicator, again, of blood/oxygen shortage. Something like your skeletal muscles aching during heavy exercise.

    Apologies in advance, if I'm telling you something you already knew. You have me wondering why I've never experienced a troponin check during my multiple emergency room visits for adenosine. Probably because I never experienced chest pain. Or, maybe U.S. physicians don't routinely do that as part of the SVT conversion process. Maybe they figure the adenosine torture is enough already! Maybe when we get to a better side of the pandemic you can ask the right people the right questions about the blood work they did.

    Proximity to my AV node was the most likely reason for my failed 1st ablation, by the way. My second has worked beautifully, and I wish that could be an option for you.

    I do sense something promising in your post: your attitude. Seems to me that this pain-in-the posterior stuff has not completely hammered you emotionally. If that's the case, keep building on that. Here's wishing the very best for you.

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  • Posted

    Hi Gene

    Thanks for such a lovely reply - you're right about the whale music and silly things we do because we think it should work!? i probably was listening to whales mate or something unrelaxing like that!

    i really appreciate your reply, as it is a pretty tough time with cvirus, svt and new things happening. youre right that emotionally im pretty rational about it al, i wasnt when it first kept happening, but now i know drill and that is isnt life threatening, i can take a step back. i dont like change though - i checked passed hospital visits and the same blood test has never come back high. ill call my gp on monday to have a quick chat, see if they think it is more pressing to see the cardiologist or not.

    you give me hope with your ablation, I decided not to go for a second attempt - the risks of a complication are really low, but for the amount of episodes i was having it felt an unnecessary risk to take..but not i am back up to monthly issues i will go back through the process.

    has your episodes passed now youve had the ablation? i also got panicked in the er as they said i has an AF ecg, which isnt what i have been diagnosed with.

    lots of ifs, maybes, wonders - that is why SVT is rubbish !



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    • Posted

      Thanks for your courteous and fun to read response. My 2.5 SVT-free years after my second ablation have been maybe the most appreciated of my life. I still have lots of obnoxious ectopics and short "runs", especially when emotionally stressed, but since that's the only life I'll have, I'll accept it. Tell you what, though, if my SVT came back, I might try listening to recordings of chipmunk chirps, along with the mating whales.

      Your plan sounds solid. Here's hoping you get good news. I occasionally wonder if we SVT sorts are more likely to experience AF. Haven't found much with web searching, and haven't remembered to ask my cardiology people.

      I'm optimistic for you. I think you'll get encouraging news. Looking forward to hearing so. And, you grabbed my attention with your pandemic comment. I never expected such a beast to so dominate our lives. Take care.

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    • Posted

      Hi again Gene,

      I really envy your SVT 2.5 years free - what makes me most happy is the fact you appreciate them so much, I really hope I get to that point. The skipping beats can be a bit annoying, bit they've never really bothered me, I probably have had SVT a lot longer than I think - I remember being at one of those fancy spa places and being in the sauna then jumping in cold water and my heart doing something very funny. I just figured everyone had funny heart beats sometimes! Chipmunk chirps and mating whales could actually be the cure for SVT, I'll keep you posted.....

      Good point about AF and SVT, my personal experience of seeing various specialists, is I still have no clue what's wrong with me, despite them quickly (and often patronisingly) trying to explain! One specialist said AF, then Bart's heart centre said SVT but when the episode goes on for a length of time is degrades into AF, then the hospital this week saying AF. I sometimes think about going private, but if it is just a benign condition, what's the point! But if it is AF, it is a bit worse, I think.

      Thanks for your kind words of support - I'll know more when I call the doctor tomorrow - and here's hoping she thinks it isn't urgent to see cardiologist as I won't be able to see one easily anyway. On the bright side I ran 10k this morning (apprehensively, as exercise can trigger me), and no sign of the beast, I won't let it rule me...

      You're right strange times with the pandemic, even if I do want to have an ablation, it probably won't be for another year. Unless it is urgent.

      Hope you are safe and well during this time - I'm enjoying having a US penpal with Svt 😉


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  • Posted

    I was also used to an episode once a month even taking the varapamil tablet daily. Have you tried the modified valsalva maneuver to reset your heart rhythm. I found that, for me, it worked better than the normal one.

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