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My Treacherous Heart

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by EVEAGOO, Aug 31, 2022.


    EVEAGOO New Member

    I went through a period around 12 years ago where I would get heart flutters, hard beats, and erratic beats. Went to a cardiologist and was told that there was nothing structurally wrong. I wore a holter monitor for a month and they found nothing more than a few episodes of intermittent tachycardia and bradycardia. Symptoms gradually subsided and disappeared. I was 33 and in much worse physical health then.

    About three years ago I had my first ever panic attack and have been slowly feeling like the chickens are coming home to roost with regard to childhood trauma, an aging mother (who has afib - seemingly during periods of anxiety) and my own aging (I'm 47). About three months ago they have really ramped up to 1/week or so. I have also had a return of these flutters, hard beats, and erratic beats. As soon as I feel them, a flash of panic washes over me. All of my other TMS symptoms have disappeared (no more sciatia, carpal tunnel, cricks in my neck, etc.) It seems that all of my attention is on my heart.

    Could it be because I have finally started CBT and am digging into childhood trauma? I think so. Still, it's pretty scary. I've forgotten how tied up I was about it back then. I'm again seeking assurance that THIS TIME nothing is wrong. Right now, I'm reading Claire Weekes' book and working through it as best I can. I am continuing to exercise as normal and have no new symptoms. In fact, the sensations almost never happen when I'm doing anything strenuous. I'm just fine deadlifting, but they'll hit me while I'm sewing a button. I AM 12 years older, but I'm so much healthier than I was back then. I don't have health insurance any more, but I have a doctor who checks my labs and everything looks great. I don't have the money to go through another series of tests with a cardiologist. So I'm hoping I can still ride on the all clear I was given 12 years ago. When it's suggested to see a doctor to rule out something serious, that's once and for all, right?
  2. MWsunin12

    MWsunin12 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Please forgive me if this seems bold, but I write this to you because it was true for me. When I was 47, I started into peri-Menopause and then into Menopause by 50. I have had heart flutters and irregular beating, and anxiety feeling which came on pretty regularly at your age. Decreasing or fluctuating hormones can create these symptoms. The thing is...they do pass...unless you attach fear to it (which I did for awhile). Then, anxiety keeps it all going. I don't think you have reason to fear.

    EVEAGOO, TG957 and JanAtheCPA like this.
  3. Booble

    Booble Well known member

    Good news. You had the exact same flutters, hard beats, and erratic beats before and the doctors confirmed they are nothing dangerous.
    It turns out those things are very, very common and nearly everyone experiences at some point, multiple points really, in their lives.
    They do feel scary when they are happening. It feels like "there must be something really wrong!" --- "an emergency is about to happen" -- but really the way the cardiologists explain it, it's just a little blip. Doesn't mean a thing.

    Sometimes we get more of them when we are dehydrated so drink up a good glass of water.

    Stay focused on your TMS work. The panic attacks start the adrenaline cycle with the brain/body on extra high alert.
    Are you journaling/writing at all? I was stuck in a bad adrenal cycle right prior to starting journaling. Waking up in the middle of the night with my heart racing and pounding for no apparent reason. All because I had had one bad scare where I thought something bad had happened which turned out not to have actually happened. When I started writing to deal with emotions and childhood things the adrenaline rushes stopped.
    EVEAGOO and JanAtheCPA like this.
  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi and welcome @EVEAGOO. Of course, we aren't MDs or even any kind of health professionals here (I'm a retired CPA :p) but you're certainly describing a big picture which indicates that an immediate assessment is probably not necessary, giving you the time to address your current symptoms as TMS. You've received good advice from Marcia (Marcia!! Hi!!) and Booble, and as @Booble said, you need to commit to staying with this work.

    You are describing me, although I discovered Dr. Sarno at age 60 and am now 71. I'm definitely in better shape now than back in 2011, when I was on a path to becoming housebound. Hope & Help For Your Nerves was the second book that saved my life. I can do 20 minutes of good cardio and get my heart rate over 110 in an online exercise class, but then have a panic attack with tachycardia and dizziness while walking up a slight incline outside. But I stopped worrying about those incidents and learned how to recover quickly with self-talk and self-soothing techniques, thanks to this work.

    I would recommend that you do some kind of program. There's the SEP, the Structured Educational Program which is on our main wiki, or Alan Gordon's Pain Recovery Program here on the forum - both of those are free. There are also good paid programs, which cost nothing compared to individual therapy. Look at the online program offered by Nicole Sachs, which I believe includes membership in her private FB group among other things. There's also the Curable app, which has helped many people with daily exercises and additional offerings.

    Good luck!

    EVEAGOO, MWsunin12 and TG957 like this.
  5. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Jan gave you excellent advice, I am adding two more to the list:

    1. Claire Weekes was much more effective for me on the audio than in writing. I played her audio several times a day, her voice is magic.
    2. Meditation is the best tool for anxiety that I know of. Thanks to meditation, I am now symptom-free and lead happy life. I worked with someone who had severe tachycardia and panic attacks all throughout the day. Medications did not work for her and caused serious side effects. It was so bad, she had to leave a grocery store after 5 minutes there without groceries. After 6 months of daily meditation ( ~ 1 hour in a single sitting) she stabilized to the point that went for weeks without any symptoms.

    One more: it is very common that anxiety or depression go through the roof when people start their TMS work. Explanation is very simple: your symptoms are result of suppressed emotions. You start digging into your emotions - they come to the surface. You will be in the endless cycle physical pain-emotional pain, unless you learn how to manage your emotions and heal from your emotional traumas.
    EVEAGOO and JanAtheCPA like this.

    EVEAGOO New Member

    Thank you for your kind words. I have suspected that I am in perimenopause as my menstrual cycles are becoming more irregular. I've found several podcasts and Youtube videos about palpitations and adrenal surges being related to these hormonal changes. One thing I found interesting is that American women seem to struggle more with these symptoms. In Japan, for example, it's almost non-existent. Women there embrace this new chapter of their lives while women here tend to fight any kind of ageing tooth and nail. I wonder if it explains why we also have more symptomatic fibromyalgia and endometriosis. Trying to "have it all" comes at a price, I believe.

    It makes sense to me that peri-menopause itself brings its own conflict and with it an increase in symptoms. Every month I'm reminded that my fertility is fading. I also remember that just as a loving mother can have unconscious rage, so can a woman who never had (or was too afraid to take) the chance to become one.

    EVEAGOO New Member

    I am a terrible procrastinator but I am encouraged by your reminder to start again. I keep a notebook by the bed and I tend to wait until things have gotten out of hand instead of doing it as a daily maintenance.
    Booble likes this.

    EVEAGOO New Member

    Thank you Jan! My husband and I both went through his free program here over a year ago. But I admit, I wasn't in the right frame of mind so I definitely need to do it again. Thank you for reminding me. We also got his book and I have been slowly going through it.

    EVEAGOO New Member

    Oh I know what you mean about Dr. Weeke's voice. I have enjoyed her audio clips that I've found on Youtube. This is one of my favorites: It really is like listening to a beloved great-aunt.
    Thank you for your insights.
    TG957 likes this.

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