Burping Up My Heart

No, really, it feels as if my heart is beating into my throat and I actually have to force a burp in order to feel rhythmic again.  I can only enjoy that for no more than a minute before the next heavy chest bump starts.  Talk about being thrown off course. Yikes!

About sixteen years ago, after enduring six weeks of almost non-stop “heart burps”, I was diagnosed with normal PVCs – premature ventricular contractions – leaving me with benign arrythmia.  It was a great relief to know I did not have the bad type of heart arrythmia.  And it was wonderful to be given a medication that has controlled my heart hiccups, as I also like to call these PVCs.

From what I can explain via the doctor is that the heart has two pacemakers.  Only one is used, but my second one throws in a beat of its own.  I don’t like to use the word palpatations because by most definitions that means a racing heart.  This is different.  I can be relaxing, even ready to fall asleep, and that thrown-in beat feels like the heart is going to pump right out of my chest.

When it first started, I felt a little panicky.  Well, okay, maybe a lot.  I thought I was going to pass out or die.  But in the beginning, the episodes were isolated.  Then for whatever unknown reason, the arrythmia went crazy in 1995. 

My saving medication, Sectral, allowed me to carry on mostly episode-free.  There have been breakthroughs, usually mild episodes that I barely notice.  I have been pretty lucky for the most part.

Suddenly, however, the PVCs have returned. I was recently prescribed Megestral, an anti-cancer drug.  Its purpose is to stop a never ending, heavy period (sorry fellas).  So, it did its job but a side effect for me is strongly feeling these extra beats again, often at night.  The Megestral is reducing the effectiveness of the Sectral. 

All these years I have taken for granted the controlled rhythym of my heart.  Now that some other medication is tampering with the system, I remember how crazy this feels.  I can be totally serene, and then the next minute I am pounding a fist to my chest in an effort to calm those extra beats down.  The fist pounding makes me feel better, even though I know, in reality, it is probably not actually physically therapeutic for me.  Mentally, of course.

The joys of burping up the heart, huh?  I know this is temporary, but I have traded one problem (45 day long period) for this hiccuping heart.  As I am slated for a hysterectomy soon, I don’t have to be on the offending medication for very long.  Then I can take the P out of the PVCs and have normal rhythym again.  Luckily, I’m not talking about my dancing skills or that’d be a whole other story!

About andreamarjulie

Just trying to navigate a life circumvented by chronic migraines. Sometimes I write about managing with those, but at other times I am prone to deviate a bit.
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