I was 27 working as a fashion designer in NYC when one day while I was packing an order, I bent down and stood up and my heart started beating in a way I had never felt. I couldn’t control the beats with my breath like I normally could. It was beating so fast I didn’t know what was happening to me. Was I having a heart attack? Why couldn’t I slow down my heart?
Having suffered from panic attacks at the age of 18- 20, almost 7 years earlier., I knew this was very different. I called my then boyfriend who worked all the way downtown and he made his way to my office to help. About 40 minutes into the episode I finally (embarrassingly) called an ambulance. I drank so much water during the 45 minutes before I called for help, that when the ambulance arrived, I had to go to the bathroom so bad I could hardly stand it. The emergency responders told me I had to wait until I got to the hospital. really???
Upon arrival to the ER, my heart rate was at 260 for over 55 minutes and I was given a shot of adenosine. This immediately stopped my racing heart after what felt like an elephant stepping on my delicate chest. I had no time to harp, as I never had to pee so bad in my life…
I stayed in the hospital that night and had all the usual tests…which were, all normal. I would later discover that all of my tests over the next 10 years would continue to be all “normal”. Except what happened to me was far from normal and the fustration only built as to why no Dr. could tell me why this was happening to me…
I was released without a diagnosis…My worried father made an appointment with the “best” cardiologist at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in NYC who explained that it was most likely an SVT and could be a one time thing…there was NO reason given to me for why it happened, or what I could do to prevent it…only that as it was the first time, they wouldn’t recommend medication yet. So on I went…fairly confident it was a one time thing….until my next episode…
Over the course of the following 10 years I had several more SVT’s and went to over 10 more Dr.’s. I was told a multitude of things…here are some examples…
1. I should have ablation now, before a pregnancy as SVT’s seem to become more frequent during pregnancy
2. My blood work was perfectly normal and there was nothing they could find that was wrong with me aside from having SVT’s.
3. There is no reason they could explain as to why these SVT’s began at age 27 and I never had them before…(although I will say that upon reflection, I vaguely remember once when I smoked pot in high school my heart was racing out of control…) Maybe that was my first SVT? (I dont some pot at all anymore, I havent in over 20 years. I never did any other drug in my life)
4. I could go on a beta blocker that may or may not help.
5. I could have heart ablation that may or may not work, and I may or may not wake up from the surgery with a pace maker
6. I wore holter monitors several times that never captured an actual SVT so some Dr’s were actually still not willing to say I really had SVT
7. If an SVT occurred I could….
- try an “Ice Bath” on my face
- Bear down
- massage my “vagus muscle” (not recommended whilst alone, as you my pass out)
- go to the hospital
- push like you are having a bowel movement
So…from the age of 27-35 I went on with my life basically just never knowing if and when an episode would happen (nothing like a little something to constantly worry about…I guess going on a safari was out of the question…do they have adenosine there?).
Truthfully although the fear of having one was anxiety provoking, it was nothing compared to the crazy panic I felt when they did happen..and it was nothing compared to the health crisis I would face after the birth of son at age 36.
I gained 60 pounds and delivered a 12.7lb baby at the age of 36. (yes, I said, 12.7 lbs!!!)
No, I did not have gestational diabetes. My life mate is 6 5″ and I just had a big baby!!!
I had one SVT (while exhausted and also worth noting after I ate 2 slices of pizza…((this later becomes important))) during my pregnancy and feared for the health of my unborn son. I was able to stop that SVT and thankfully I didnt need the adenosine whilst pregnant. (A lot more on pregnancy and SVT in the blog)
After delivering a healthy child, I lay in the hospital recovering and just then a new version of my symptoms began which would plague me for years to follow. I was in bed, and all of a sudden, everything stopped, just like it does 2 seconds before an SVT…my heart mis-fired and I crindged…I waited…and somehow, my heart resumed its normal beat…What just happened?…my heart “almost went into an SVT? I called the Dr.’s into my room…what a better place for this to happen than a hospital…Well guess what…no answers..again…Mis-fires, are a huge part of having SVT, a mis-fire is when your heart “tries” to go into an SVT but doesn’t. In other words, about 5 seconds of terror.
That was the first of the series of what would become my new normal…feeling like my heart was “going” to have a n SVT…and it not actually happening…..feeling like I was crazy, only I wasnt. I was however, exhausted, drained, depleted, and handed my little baby boy to care for, when all I craved was a deep longing for my own nourishment. I felt the real definition of exhausted. Learning how to nourish myself became a major crucial layer into recovering my health, becoming a mother, and healing my SVT.
My symptoms at the time were:
- feeling”off” like something was missing, or not right, like I needed a certain Vitamin only I didnt know which one!
- constant electrical mis-fires of the heart that may or may not lead to an SVT, they happened while I was breast-feeding
- feeling hot
- did I say I felt hot? I mean I was hot all the time, Hot, as in all my gorgeous turtlenecks were in the give away pile, because I was never to wear one again (its 6 years later and still never again). Hot, as in wake up in the middle of the night take your shirt off HOT. Hot as in I needed cold water and ice water all the time and wouldnt leave home without it.
- Heat intolerence. Different from feeling hot. Heat intolerence is not being able to bare being outside in extreme heat.
- exhausted adrenals
- general panic and anxiety
- never wanting to travel or leave my neighborhood, or house for fear of an SVT happening outside of my comfort zone
- Not being able to even remember the girl I used to be, carefree, jetting off to London or Paris at a moment’s notice. The THOUGHT of getting on an airplane and this happening seemed like the LAST thing on earth I would ever want to do.
I suffered for 3 years, exhausted, unable to function, cancelling plans with lifelong friends, afraid to do all the normal things I used to do, missing parties, leaving early, not being able to leave the house with out my bag of SVT tools…Ice, cold water, vitamins etc. Loosing friends because they were unable to understand my situation or I was too embarrassed to explain it, not going on planes for fear of it happening on a plane. Afraid to be alone with my son,…I was overwhelmed. Sad, sick and miserable and searching for help and answers…except I couldn’t find any. I never felt like the Dr.’s were listening, or on my side, or were even trying to make sense of my symptoms or help piece things together. If I did want a Dr that would even remotely help, they were holistic and didn’t take insurance, adding a financial burden to my misery. .
What I do want to underscore, is that I was also happy. Even though I was plagued with not feeling well, and wanted help from Dr’s that I wasnt getting, I adored my son, loved being a mother, and felt beyond blessed to have a beautiful happy child.
In hindsight I think what I was experiencing was that body, which I had been pushing for years, was just not going to allow me to treat it poorly anymore. The pregnancy left me having to rebuild from scratch. I required much higher levels of nutrition, I needed to release and heal old pain and wounds from childhood, and I needed to really rethink my goals and life purpose and make sure I was doing spiritual work that fed my soul and helped others. While physically I was feeling anxiety, SVT, exhaustion, constipation, headaches, Spiritually I was feeling a push to grow.
This blog is a journey of my path toward healing, finding my own answers, and the relief that eventually came. Parts of this blog were written at the beginning of my journey 7 years ago, as well as now, and I can hear and see the difference in my voice. I have grown from a frustrated girl who searched for answers and protested changing unhealthy lifelong eating habits, into a woman who finds my answers and guidance within. I feel sorry for the me back then sometimes, because I can vividly recall and see my cries for help. I was begging the western medical system that I grew up leaning on for answers and they disappointed me every time. I HAD to go the holistic route to really get to the deep layers of my healing that I intuitively knew were possible. Now, holistic routes are far more accepted then they were then, and even now, people are still reluctant to admit things like that there are emotional layers to dis-ease. It is my true hope that this site inspires you to find the healing that works for you, that you deserve and that will help you reduce your SVT’s so that you can live your own life to it’s fullest.
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Below is copy from this original page when I first started the site: I love seeing how my voice, opinions and confidence has grown. I left it below in case you want to see where I began and why!
Having a Heart issue is so complicated because SVT’s are not HEART disease. Many of us have beautiful healthy arteries, that are not clogged, What is happening to us is an “electrical” problem not a plumbing problem and as such, there is not a lot of information on how to support it.
I have no idea where this blog will led me, all I know, is that I am here to share and lead whomever into the small healing tools that I have used to help rebuild my health, nourish my body , heart and mind and allow me to live fully again. More full than ever before, and dare I say I am thankful to my SVT’s for leading me on this path of healing. that I never would have embarked on without the feeling of sad desperation that lead me here.
I believe SVT’s can be healed and supported naturally and think that there are so many paths to explore before we jump to fixing the symptom instead of healing the whole person.
I’m not so much interested in how to stop my heart once its beating fast, but in finding out why it wants to beat fast to begin with.
I want to support it and feed it and balance it in every natural way possible because I understand that if I simply fix the “beat” without fixing the “whole”, eventually a new “symptom (fast beat etc..) will just pop up in some other weak area of my body…
Our health issues are our clues, they are our bodies only language that they have to speak to us…my misfires are a language, that I have to work hard to understand. I share my findings with you , so that you can find hope and ways to stop suffering from this scary condition, and practice preventive healing method
My sincere hope is that you will find ways to help your body heal so that you can live a happy, healed nourished life for yourself and for your family!
Love & Healing, xoxox Laura