Monday, February 20, 2006

Is There a Doctor In The House? I Need Medical Advice!

Desperately trying to get into shape for the warmer months, I’m constantly trying to advance my workouts. I used to be a big fan of free weights and building muscle—to burn fat, but that didn’t work for me. I found myself getting ‘thick’ oppose to thin and toned. Not the goal here. Then I started running. A friend of mine at the gym suggested I first start off slowly. She told me to start off with a jog, and then work myself up to a run. I did this, and became addicted. I loved the feeling afterwards. It was such a rush. I began to shed pounds and find myself losing weight faster than ever. (Mind you---I always do a warm up as well as a cool down before and after each workout.)

Then I ran into a problem. I started getting very bad heart palpitations. During my running sessions, everything would be okay. It was when I went about my day and especially in the evening—my heart felt as though it was punching me in the chest. It was a huge flutter-like feeling. I thought I was having a heart attack. I spoke to my trainer at the gym I go to, and she suggested I see a doctor. (Probably a “CYA” type of advice—but a wise one.)

I went to my doctor. He found no abnormal beats or flutters. I wanted more information, because I was not walking out of there without a reason why my heart felt as though it was having seizures in my chest. He sent me to a cardiologist. They gave me a stress test, a echocardiogram and I had to wear a Holter monitor that was all wired up around my chest, stomach and back. I had wires floating out of my shirt—I looked like a half-assed robot. I even went to the gym with it. I had to report when I worked out, and when I felt the most stressed, and of course, when the palpitations came on.

Of course nothing happened. I ran—nothing. During the whole course of the 24 hours, nothing happened to me. No palpitations, no stress, nada. So needless to say, the report showed that my heart was normal. They took the weird robot-like contraption off me, and let me loose into the world again.

This should have made me feel better. It did…somewhat. Then I started getting them again when I ran. I stopped running. I couldn’t deal with my heart having these weird fits. My doctor explained that it was only PVC’s. (Premature Ventricle Contractions) The extra beats originate from the lower pumping chamber called the ventricle, which causes a big ‘thump’ or a feeling that your heart has stopped for a second. It’s scary. My doctor said that it usually does happen to healthy people and that I should ignore it.

Ignore it? How? It’s my fricken heart flipping out while I’m trying to get it healthy!

He said that it was nothing to be concerned about. He also advised me that when I work out, and one comes on---to just say, “Oh it’s a PVC---and keep on with my workout.” What if I just drop dead on the treadmill? "Oh it's just a heart attack, I'll be fine." Bleckkk.

Now, I am aware that getting medical advice over the internet is a huge 'no no'. But…I have no other choice here. I have been to numerous doctors and they tell me not to worry.

Can anyone give me some advice regarding this? Or does anyone else go through the same thing I do? It causes me to have a lot of anxiety and discourages me to run again. If I stop working out, I gain weight quickly. I’m trying to avoid any weight gain and I want to get back to my regular regiment.