I bet many of you don't know what that means. Some of you may be saying isn't that a type of plastic? The kind of PVCs I mean are Premature Ventricular Complexes, which are a type of heart palpitation that many people get once in awhile and most people don't feel. It's basically when your heart has an extra beat. For those that don't feel them it isn't too much of a bother (unless they are caused by some "underlying heart condition"). For those that do feel them it can feel awful, like as if you are having a heart attack. I started getting them about 10 years ago and they were very few and far between. When I first felt one I was very confused because I didn't know what was happening. I was just sitting on the couch watching TV and then boom out of nowhere my heart had a big thump/gush kind of feeling. It was so weird. It was almost like my heart was going to fall out of my chest. I had a few more of those in the following days and decided to see my doctor. She had me do a holter test, where they hook you up to a little portable machine, with electrodes attached to various places all over your chest, and you wear it for 24 hours. During that time you write a little diary of everything you did and at precisely what time, so that they can look at your heart activity. Anyways nothing showed up and my doctor said that it was probably nothing, and that women can have heart palpitations from time to time, and not to worry. So I didn't worry, because really I had so few that it wasn't too bothersome.
Fast forward to last year and they started coming more often. I was having 10 or more of these episodes a day. So again I went to a doctor and had another holter monitor test done. At every time that I charted one of these episodes (those ones that feel like my heart isn't working properly and that something is wrong with it, like my heart is dropping out of my chest or I am having a heart attack) they noted a PVC. I had probably 8 that day. The doctor said it was fine and that they were just PVCs and not to worry. She was nice enough to explain them to me and how they worked and that some people feel them and others don't, but really not to worry.
So now I know what they are, these strange things that happen to me, that make me feel dizzy, and lightheaded, and really out of sorts, and are actually kind of scary. I certainly don't like them, but if I only have them once in a while they are manageable. And really they come and go. I go whole weeks without them sometimes, and sometimes I have a bunch one day, and none the next.
Fast forward again to three days ago. I started getting a lot of them, like 5-10 a minute for many hours, I had been told by my doctor that if you suddenly get lots of them that you should go to the hospital. So I did. While at the hospital my left arm started to go all numb and tingly too, which was also scary because isn't that another sign of a heart attack? They hooked me up to some machines and did a few tests, took some blood and sent me home soon after. Said it was those PVCs again.
Fine, but how can I feel like this? If my heart feels like it's not working right and it feels like there is a problem, why is it lying to me? And why is it progressively getting worse? I've read on some threads, out there on the internet, of many others feeling this way and considering this to be a major nuisance (it's even hard to drive when it happens), but everyone says the same thing, unless there is an "underlying heart condition" they are not a cause for concern. So how do you know if there is any "underlying heart condition"? No one seems to want to check into it further. Not my family doctor, and not the people at the hospital. Do I demand to see a cardiologist? How can they tell by a few small tests, for such a short period of time, that it is nothing?
Has this ever happened to you?
For more information about PVCs, check this link.
PS I really don't want to sound like a complainer. I know there are more horrible things going on in the world right now. My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan.