I’ve been bothered a lot lately by palpitations, made worse by attempting to increase my Levothyroxine dose to manage my underactive thyroid.
I experience PACS, or premature atrial contractions, every day. They feel like a flutter in the chest and almost as if my heart is flipping about. I’m assured that they are not dangerous but any disturbance to my heart rhythm unnerves me because of my SCAD heart attack history. They sure as hell feel dangerous that’s all I can say!
Since the change in my medication (which my GP has now reduced to its former level) the palpitations are more frequent and last longer which makes me not a very happy bunny!
I’m taking a beta blocker which helps to regulate the heartbeat, but this makes me slow and tired, which, combined with not taking enough thyroxine, leads to weight gain and sleeping in the afternoon! It’s not good.
There are things I can do as follows – with my grumpy responses attached!
1. Avoid alcohol. I miss having a few drinks on a night out. I can still drink in moderation and most of the time it doesn’t bother me, but just occasionally I’d like to be able to let my hair down.
2. Avoid caffeine. I used to avoid it altogether, but now have a cheeky coffee every now and again. Espressos are gone for me forever I fear and I miss them!
3. Avoid unnecessary stress, so for example, don’t watch horror films, engage in high risk sports or get involved in heated debates. I can abide by this rule mostly but Brexit has tipped me over the edge on heated debates!
4. If I do get a bad run of PACS, do breathing exercises, saying ‘calm and relaxed’ on the out breath. Easy if I’m at home. Impossible if I am singing in a concert or on an aeroplane.
5. Practise yoga: This ticks the box for me. No grumpy response, but I am frustrated that I am advised not to do plank or put weight on my chest because of potential dissection.
6. Try to keep to a regular sleep pattern, going to bed and getting up at the same time each day. Fine unless you are a frequent traveller or have bought A Game Of Thrones box set!
7. Take regular exercise. Yes but I miss running.
8. Divert my attention. PACS are most noticeable when relaxed, so I keep my mind occupied as much as possible: blogging works for this! So does being grumpy, buying shoes and napping in the afternoon.
9. Gardening. Fantastic except I’m not allowed to carry pots, dig, or pull up weeds any more!
10. Avoid chocolate: bugger that!