Back on the merry-go-round, or just caffeine?

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Protimenow

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I've got a pacemaker. It seems to have resolved my arrhythmias -- until the last day or two.

Last night, I laid down, and felt extra beats in the right side of my neck. I've gotten short of breath recently.

My electrophysiologist directed me to take a magnesium and take my verapamil early.

This morning, I still had the arrhythmia - but not quite as badly.

I may have figured it out -- the past few days, I've been drinking Crystal Light with caffeine added - and having more than usual. I haven't had that stuff today -- and the arrhythmia may still be there, but much less noticeable.

Now that I'm off caffeine, I'll keep watching things.

If this thing persists, I'll update this thread. I sure hope that I don't have to get back on that rhythm merry-go-round (which may involve a very dangerous ablation), or have just found another thing that I can't have anymore.
 

ATHENS1964

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Protimenow,
coffee is one of my triggers. I notice irregular beats when I drink a large cup of coffee for a few days.
Hope they’re gone.
And coffee and maybe tea make me arrhythmias
 
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Eva

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Any kind of caffeine, including chocolates which I love very much but I’m limiting myself.
 

Protimenow

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In retrospect, maybe caffeine contributed to my major cardiac crises in March, April and May of this year. My wife was having Starbucks Hot Cocoa (Starbucks power, regular milk), and I was having Ovaltine, Hot Cocoa from a packet, and adding some instant coffee to it.

Although I didn't feel symptoms - until I DID - I drank that stuff for many months. I didn't think that it had any effect on me.

I tried it again in June, and it was too damned sweet.

I haven't had any of that stuff since May (maybe earlier), and may have even dropped some weight.

So far, I don't think chocolate has affected me - there's not a lot of caffeine in chocolate - but one day, I may consider dropping it, too.

Would I rather keep living or enjoy chocolate? In the words of Jack Benny - in the scene that got the most laughs in the entire run of his radio'show (a robber told him 'your money or your life') and his answer was 'I'm thinking it over.'
 

Eva

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Ovaltine! I bought it last month and enjoyed a cup every morning. After a few days, I felt flutters. I stopped it, flutters stopped. Too bad, I love ovaltine.
 

Protimenow

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I got the damned arrhythmia again tonight - around 5:30 PM (just like the other night).

The arrhythmia went away, but it felt like blood pressure was off -- I couldn't get a good pressure using two different meters - they were probably confused by an irregular heartbeat. I was just about to get an Uber and go to the hospital to check it out.

The arrhythmia may have been caused by the carbonated water I was drinking (carbonated water is supposed to cause arrhythmias in some people).

It looks like no more carbonated water, and no caffeine (other than some in chocolate) for me -- I'll see if the arrhythmia resolves when I discontinue these.

I'll also see if my electrophysiologist gets a message from my monitoring service if my rhythm shows up on their nightly report.
 

Protimenow

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Not caffeine. Not carbonated water. (At least, I don't think so).

I'm still getting short of breath after doing practically NOTHING. Arrhythmias fool my blood pressure monitors and watch into thinking that my heart rate is in the 50s or even lower - but pacemaker keeps it at a minimum of 70.

The pacemaker monitoring apparently doesn't show anything (as far as I can tell).

I haven't heard anything from my electrophysiologist - he's supposedly looked at the latest data from my pacemaker monitoring.

I may finally sign my Power of Attorney and go to Urgent Care for an EKG.

This is no fun at all.

(I don't drive to the doctor or urgent care - I take Uber. That way, if I get stuck there - or take Uber to E.R., the cars are still at home and I don't have to worry about them. All I take with me is my phone, a plug in headset, long charging cable and portable power supply -- and I may bring some books this time out.)
 

Protimenow

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Eva:
Thanks -- all is not well.

It took me a week to finally get an appointment to see my electrophysiologist.

My blood pressure was fine. My EKG only showed slight tachycardia. The reports from the monitor of my pacemaker only showed some occasional, minor events.

So far, so good.

When the doctor put the sensor for the pacemaker on my chest, over the pacemaker, he got a different story. Apparently, the pacemaker (and not just mine, of course) can send an accurate report of heart activity. I was showing SVTs and PVCs. These are things that the pacemaker didn't report when it was monitored.

The doctor thought that I may be having an issue with one of my coronary arteries.

I'll be getting an angiogram, once the insurance approves it - and, perhaps, depending on when the hospital can handle this probably non-emergency procedure.

So - for now, I'm trying not to push myself beyond my limits.

I've finally gotten the power of attorney documents signed and notarized, to provide some peace of mind and a bit of protection for my wife.

I may post when I finally have the angiogram scheduled.
 

Pete81

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Hi PTM, sounds like an awful lot is happening there with you. If times aren’t already challenging enough, and then having to wait for insurance approval. I hope you manage to get your angiogram and clarity on your situation soon, working towards something that can deal with all these nasty arrithmias.
 

Seaton

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Hope you manage to get this resolved soon @Protimenow.
Fingers crossed you can get your angio sooner rather than later.
Best to you and will be looking out for your updates.
 

Protimenow

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Nothing is clear. I finally got approval on Thursday and saw the doc on Friday. EKG didn't show much happening, but signals picked up from my pacemaker DID. He thought that my shortness of breath could be because of a partial blockage of a coronary artery, and told me that if it got bad, to go the E.R.

It was much worse on Friday. I went to the E.R. I was admitted.
Yesterday (Tuesday), I had the Angiogram that showed ---- nothing, my coronary arteries were all fine.

He prescribed Lasix and gave a referral to a pulmonologist. I'm thinking that if he gave me a diuretic, I should see a urologist.

The theory is that there's fluid that compresses the lungs, then compresses the heart, causing the shortness of breath.

I notice that if I lay down soon after eating, I get the arrhythmias. I may have something abdominal going on, which causes something? to swell, pushing up on the diaphragm, putting pressure on the heart or lungs.

Fun times.

At least it was good to get back home.

Thanks for your kind wishes.
 

Protimenow

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I'm not sure about theories.

I've been short of breath for the last week or so, after minimal exertion. My BNP was elevated - but the doctors didn't seem to care.

I'm taking Lasix, but don't feel as if I'm losing any fluids.

I may have seen a bit of improvement, just from doing some deep breaths. I hope this continues.

I'm also reviewing a book called The Power of Breathwork -- I'll see if this helps.

And thanks, Eva
 

carolinemc

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Protimenow,
coffee is one of my triggers. I notice irregular beats when I drink a large cup of coffee for a few days.
Hope they’re gone.
Try decaffe, it will not work on the heart as much. I drink sodas, so every once in a while i get decaffe to mellow out and it helps the heart. Changes of the habits are hard to do.
 
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carolinemc

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I'm not sure about theories.

I've been short of breath for the last week or so, after minimal exertion. My BNP was elevated - but the doctors didn't seem to care.

I'm taking Lasix, but don't feel as if I'm losing any fluids.

I may have seen a bit of improvement, just from doing some deep breaths. I hope this continues.

I'm also reviewing a book called The Power of Breathwork -- I'll see if this helps.

And thanks, Eva
On the lassix they may have to up the dosage, mine is. They have me on Lisinopril 40 mg. And man better make a path for me to the John. LOL!
 

Eva

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....
I'm taking Lasix, but don't feel as if I'm losing any fluids.

I may have seen a bit of improvement, just from doing some deep breaths. I hope this continues.

I'm also reviewing a book called The Power of Breathwork -- I'll see if this helps.

And thanks, Eva
YW, Protimenow.
if you like, try cabbage soups...soups are good for our unusual cold weather in CA this years! Cabbage is a good natural dieuretic! many other foods and herbs are good. But for me, cabbage, parsley, watermelon work great!.
 

Protimenow

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Thanks for the suggestions.

I'm not sure that I need a diuretic. According to my electrocardiologist last week (I was the last patient of the year), my heart is doing okay. The coronary arteries were wide open (which make me wonder if I actually needed a stent), I had only a few arrhythmias that the pacemaker picked up. I have no edema in my legs.

But I still get short of breath, and my balance seems to be getting bad again. I'll be seeing a pulmonologist when he gets a cancellation -- and I have no idea how soon that will be.
 

Mister_James

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Did they check your heart valves? If the Mitral valve is not opening that causes the left side of the heart to remodel and that causes arrhythmia and since blood is backed up that causes pulmonary edema. The left side has blood from the lungs so the backup adds fluid to the lungs and shortness of breath.
 
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