Well, at least, probably not.
The doctor confirmed that PVCs are a benign arrhythmia. I didn't happen to be having any when I saw him. Blood pressure just fine, heart rate just fine. 12- lead EKG pretty fine. There's a non-specific abnormality of the T-wave. These things happen. He agreed that the tightness in my chest and my shortness of breath were probably respectively muscular and asthma. On the other hand, he also agreed that 6 to 12 PVCs a minute was a lot, and that maybe we should do some tests.
As expected, they want to do a Holter monitor (only 24 hours), and a stress test. I am grateful he decided on the Dobutamine stress test, rather than the treadmill one. He says that it will give a better picture of my heart. It is also unlikely to give me an asthma attack, unlike the treadmill one. Both are scheduled for a week from today.
He also referred me to a tool to help monitor and adjust my drinking. I know I drink more than I should. I am also uninterested in becoming a teetotaler. He said that AA has one model of dealing with problem drinking, but it doesn't really apply to everyone. We bonded over the issue. The site he recommends is Drinkaware, which is based in the UK. They evidently have a nifty app for your phone...which is not available in the US. WTF? There's a website, and I'm exploring it now. I've been bitching for years that I wanted some tools to help me moderate my drinking, but the only things I ever found were total abstinence sites. So, here's a tool. I hope it will help.
Follow-up in two weeks to make sure that I'm really not dying.
All in all, a short, cheerful, useful encounter, with expected outcomes and an actually helpful conversation about one area of my life that I do need to do some work on.
Oh, and he also doesn't think that Allegra is likely to be causing my PVCs, nor does he think I drink too much coffee. I suggested, and he concurs, that the reason I'm seeing more PVCs between four and six in the morning is because that's my down time, and I'm just more aware of them.
So, yay for good stuff. Yay for being unlikely to drop dead.