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  • Palpitations


    Author: Rich (---.ip.alltel.net)

    Date: 06-20-02 13:04

    Well,well,well. It sure is great to find this site! I thought there was not much about HCM online.It sure is great to see this page along with the very helpful forum page.

    Let me introduce myself,My name is Rich and I'm 38 and recently diagnosed with HCM,after living 37 1/2 years trouble free,with barely a use for an asprin I find myself in the throws of heart disease along with treadmills,electrodes,holter monitors,Thallium injections,EKGs,ECG's etc. and mounds of paperwork from the insurance company.Not to mention whole new vocabulary of words I can barely pronounce let alone spell.

    I'm 170 lbs,5'11", relatively active and a reformed smoker,non-drinker. After the first round of testing and diagnoses I was put on Toporol XL (50mg-day) rather than go ahead with an ICD. After 8 weeks one of my 2 cardiologists changed me to Atenolol(50mg-day) and I think it was merely to do me the favor of saving me some money at the drugstore with the Generic beta-blocker.

    My concern is that while on the Toporol my palpitations just about disappeard from a daily,hourly bout with them to about a one episode of noticeable skipped beats in a 4 week period. Now with the Atenolol it seems after an adjustment period of a month my palpitations have come back stronger and lasting longer than ever! They start around Noon and last all afternoon till I'm just about ready to doze off in the evening. It feels like my heart pounds 3 strong beats then skips the 4th and the following beat in rythym is extremely forceful! Enough so that I can feel a rush of pressure up my neck and head.This sometimes leads me to mild muscle tension headaches.

    My questions are : Is there a chance that there are differences in Beta blockers and thier effectiveness? Is there a possibility that my subconscience(sp) is creating the palpitaions? reason for that is that if I'm in the midst of something mentally taxing or some other diversion during the typical palpitaion period(s) they simply are gone! and it is only later in the evening do I relize that I have made it through evening without any discomfort or pounding beats.

    It's as though if I can create a distraction then no palpitations or conversly if I'm dwelling on the palpitations they become worse or really intense and frequent.

    Should I be calling my cardiologist(s)? Another problem is that my older cardiologist feels medication is the answer for me while my younger cardiologist is clearly suggesting an ICD.

    Any thoughts on these problems?

    Thanks and nice to meet everyone, Rich


    [Re: Palpitations]

    Author: Lisa Salberg (208.47.172.---)

    Date: 06-20-02 13:51

    Hello and welcome to the HCMA,

    I am glad you found us and we are happy to help.

    I would suggest we get thing started with some more information which is best done over the phone - please call the HCMA office to arrange a telephone meeting and we can spend some time getting you up to speed in HCM lingo!

    to answer some of your questions - Yes there can be a difference in how you respond to different medications and if you feel better on one drug then anouther, tell your doc which you prefer. - Yes it is possible for youn top be more aware of your heart beat at sometimes more than others - -Face it you just got some pretty unsettling news about your HEART - of course you are going to be a little more aware of your heart beat , especially if it is skipping beats etc...

    Re meds vs. ICD - these are 2 different issues in a sense - Meds are used to reduce symptoms(in most cases) ICD's are used to protect against sudden death - no medication can protect you from sudden death like an ICD.

    We always suggest you see a doctor that is well educated in the field of HCM, which normally requires travel to a center of excellence - we can help you find a center that best fits you needs.

    I look forward to speaking with you soon.

    Best wishes,

    Lisa Salberg




    [Re: Palpitations]

    Author: Board Moderator-Sarah Beckley (---.28.37.184.Dial1.Chicago1.Level3.net)

    Date: 06-20-02 15:33


    let me add a couple things to Lisa's post.

    First, only an HCM specialist can properly evaluate you for an ICD. It isn't something you just get b/c you have HCM. Most of us DON'T need them, but there is no way to know until you get checked out properly. If you go back and read the other threads in this board, you will find all the risk factors discussed several times.

    Second, I've taken both Toprol XL and atenolol (Tenormin). They are very different. Toprol XL is an extended release version of a beta-blocker, and is not the same as atenolol at all. It is worth the money to change back and stick with what works untill you get to a specialist.

    Glad you found us



    [Re: Palpitations]

    Author: Rich (---.ip.alltel.net)

    Date: 06-20-02 20:28

    Excellent advice from both of you. I will call you Lisa as soon as I can free up some time and get up to speed.

    I'm pretty comfortable with both my cardiologists,one is young and aggressive about treating my HCM the other is actually an Electrocardiologist(?) and in his fifties and much more methodic about my treatment.He claims to be treating HCM patience for many years and is very familiar with it. He is not a fan of ICDs and I sense that the 2 are at odds about this form of prophylactic treatment for me.

    I am curious about something though, just from a couple of hours of surfing this page and others I noticed that HCM "seems" to be more common in women,is that just coincidence? or do men just not talk about it?



    [Re: Palpitations]

    Author: Board Moderator--Sarah Beckley (---.dsl.mindspring.com)

    Date: 06-21-02 00:18

    Dear Rich

    I think that the gender difference on the board is a reaction to the disease. Statistics show that men and women get it about equally and in my family, for example, it is 50/50 exactly.

    You will find a lot of women here doing research b/c their husband or children have it.

    NOTE: This is a post from the previous forum message board.

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