Anxiety

Hey Folks! I’m six days post PM insertion. I think recovery is going well. I’m still tired and have a new symptom of bpm that shoots up to the 130s when I stand up. My EP has increased my dosage of Flecainide so hopefully that will get better.  However, my biggest road block throughout my heart journey has been my terrible anxiety. I have been on meds for 14 years for my anxiety. The crippling anxiety attacks I have been having since my ablation in December 2018, are next level. Of course the anxiety only makes palpations worse. Has anybody else experienced this? Does it get better? Has anybody found anything that helps put their mind at ease? I live in fear. I just want to get my normal life back. 


7 Comments

Anxiety

by Kimmiee2 - 2019-06-20 23:14:50

I started meditating for 30 minutes a day and it helped when I was at home 

When I went back to work it got better.i hope it gets better for you soon 😃

Hello Amanda and for sure you are not alone, it is very common !!

by MartyP - 2019-06-21 12:32:27

Anxiety and Depression - For me it hit pretty hard. At the beginning, I napped a lot and felt just lousy. I would tell my wife my head was “fuzzy”. It was hard to feel “OK” with myself, particularly in the mornings. I went to my GP and after talking with him, we decided to start taking an anti-depressant, in my case the 50 mg Zoloft generic. I had been on it for about 3 weeks and it started to take off the lows, for me there are some side effects, some can be troublesome, but it wasn’t good enough.  The dosage was upped to 150 mg. and Ativan .5 mg was added as needed for really bad times.  So lesson learned – your body has changed, your life has changed, it will take time, but IT WILL PASS. 

PVC’s - Premature Ventricular Contractions - wow, no one told me about these. For me they felt like my heart was pounding and if I check my pulse it feels like a skipped beat, but it’s actually a PVC. I remember “Tom” saying that he had them for ten years and his doctor said “they won’t kill you”, but for a newbie they are uncomfortable and scary. For me, before I knew what they were, I thought something was very wrong and at 1:00 AM my wife took me to the emergency room - 5 hours later, nothing found. ------ So the lesson learned … Talk to your doctor and ask lots of questions about what you can expect and what you are feeling, your heart won’t stop, but it will be different”.  What I think I found a little later on, at least for me, when I’m not doing much and my heart rate gets into the high 50’s or low 60’s; again my lower rate is set to 55) I tend to get more PVC’s sometime 2 a minutes - they are scary until you know what they are. I do take Magnesium with Taurate that I get from Amazon and for me it keeps the PVC’s in check for me. 

Stress and PVC’s - for me it’s like oil and vinegar, they don’t mix. One morning was particularly stressful, nothing special just rushing to get a few things done before I had to go out. The PVC’s started right in and lasted on and off for a few hours. ------- So lesson learned - try hard to reduce stress as much as you can, but if your heart starts to pound at least you know what may have caused it.

Stress and PVC’s - for me it’s like oil and vinegar, they don’t mix. One morning was particularly stressful, nothing special just rushing to get a few things done before I had to go out. The PVC’s started right in and lasted on and off for a few hours. ------- So lesson learned - try hard to reduce stress as much as you can, but if your heart starts to pound at least you know what may have caused it.

So .... you now have this machine in your chest and it will keep you alive and let you live a "normal" life.  In a few months, for the most part, you will likely forget it's even there.  You will remember it when you touch it (assuming it's not where you can't feel it) and it will bring a smile to you as you know it is your friend and protector.  Consider giving your PM a name; mine is "Sparky" !! 

Let me or others know if you have other questions or concerns - this site has many, MANY experts !!

"We Know a Lot Because We've Seen a Lot"   

Anxiety

by Selwyn - 2019-06-21 13:55:23

Hi Amanda, welcome to the club. 

14 years is a long time to take medication for anxiety. 

Whilst drugs are effective short term, long standing anxiety is best treated with Cognative Behavioural Therapy.  Some medication can cause 'sea-saw' symptoms similar to anxiety and result in a vicious circle of symptoms. 

You are best not taking action without some supervision for the withdrawal of your drugs for anxiety from someone experienced in helping people come off anxiolytics. Symptoms can be quite disabling. It can take many months to come off medication. 

Now you have a pacemaker, the beta-blocker drugs may be helpful for anxiety, as the slow heart rate is unlikely to affect you.  

You may like to read the following :

http://www.citap.org.uk/BackToLife.pdf

Written by a friend and work colleague of mine, sadly Pam died 9 years ago.  

Other help in the UK  for Brits :

http://www.btpinfo.org.uk/contact-us (Bristol and District Tranquiliser Project)

Best of luck,

Selwyn 

Anxiety is Very Correctable

by Swangirl - 2019-06-22 14:45:50

Anxiety is NOT a mental health problem where your chemistry is abnormal and you need to take medication to normalize it (bipolar, OCD, Schizophrenia etc.).  It is a thinking problem and cognitive behavioral therapy CBT, EMDR, and other treatment modalities are very effective in training you how not to indulge the negative and fearful thinking.  There are even online programs for this.  

I'm always amazed how people don't want to take responsibility for the problems they are causing themselves but want to believe that they are powerless over the feelings and behaviors that come from their groundless fears.  Thinking about all the worst case scenarios just pumps your body with stress hormones and 99% of the things you fear never happen.  Long term medication just numbs you out and eventually becomes ineffective. 

Anxiety is very curable.  I'm a psychotherapist who has had thousands of clients over my long career able to master their faulty thinking and find peace from anxiety and panic attacks.

anxiery

by kmg021 - 2019-06-24 20:42:08

I can relate   I too have anxiety and it has worsened since my PM 10/2017.  I am on meds and they typically do help.  I think for me it was just the whole unexpected need for the PM.   I am only 47.  I was told excersise,  yoga , and thing like that help.  I also see a counselor.  I am now trying medical grade cbd.. will let u know if this helps 

 

Marty P..

by bionic cookie - 2019-06-28 10:42:27

i like your comment to get more comfortable with your pm..as it is a part of u now..mine is "cookie"..ive been thew into all this about 2 mos ago,surprising need of pm..while im 2 weeks out now..but in hostipal the tec said it will be a size of a wafer..oh course i thought vanilla wafer..i told my daughter it just more hardware..and now,im bionic.so now im a bionic cookie..ANYWHO, thank u for a positive in this crazy world...I KNOW i am thankful for technology BUT,changed life....bionic cookie

Anxiety

by PK1960 - 2019-07-07 14:36:50

I am a little disappointed that anyone would “lecture” someone with anxiety - how about using support and compassion to help them through their journey to better overall health? I understand many of your points but obviously with only a degree in psychology do not have your background and career of “helping thousands”, but I do believe that care, compassion and support needs to happen first. I apologize, I’m not attempting to begin a debate, I was just shocked at what I personally saw as a cold response to someone needing encouragement.

peace💜

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