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    ACEYPENGUIN   5,811
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Setbacks... argh!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

So, my heart has been racing at over 100 bpm for a resting rate. It was occasional for a while now, as in months, but the last few weeks, it's been constant. And then my breathing... my upper chest and throat constrict and get all tight when I talk or do much. My voice also dies out. I also get lightheaded...

All of this has brought my "getting back in shape" routine to a screeching halt. EKG, bloodwork, Echo all done. A few blood numbers slightly out of range, but nothing that sets off alarms for the doctor. Next stop is yet another appt in the morning to check my oxygen levels and some more tests... and likely get a heart monitor to take home for a day or so... oh, the joy.

You can tell I'm so thrilled. Honestly, I'm getting sick of being ... well... sick. This has also put everything else in my life to a screeching halt as well... If I can't walk 20 feet without nearly passing out, I can't go to work or school. I'm frustrated as hell.

I guess since my dad is a heart patient, they're focusing more on my heart. Also, that's been going on longer anyway... but what about my breathing? Since my doc is unavailable tomorrow, I'm seeing another one. I think I've seen this one before. it's a new clinic to me, but the name sounds familiar.

Ugh. Not a happy penguin.
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SHIRAZSOLLY 2/27/2013 2:33AM

    Heart function can easily be affected by lung function (says I, the anatomy and physiology tutor). Deoxygenated (low oxygen) blood comes in from body circulation through the right atrium (top right of the heart) and enters the right ventricle. Contraction forces it up into the lungs, where it picks up oxygen and then it flows into the left atrium (top left). Then it enters the left ventricle. Then contraction forces it out into circulation to the rest of the body.

Pulmonary restriction (usually from fluid buildup due to illness) can cause the heart to labor. If your lungs aren't bringing in enough oxygen your heart will have to beat faster in order to deliver the same amount of oxygen to your tissues.

It may be that you have a heart problem like your family history suggests. Or it may be you have a temporary lung problem. A virus maybe, or walking pneumonia, or you are developing asthma. Any of the latter can be treated. Don't get too worried yet. It may all be ok.

If they send you home with a holter monitor and it picks up dysrhythmias, even they do not necessarily mean you are doomed. An EKG - especially a portable one - can only tell a small part of the story. It reads electrical activity of the heart only and is used for interpretation. If anything is borderline or confusing, usually they will follow it up with a stress test or ultrasound. For instance, my own EKGs for YEARS said I had an enlarged right atrium - which was an interpretation of a dysrhythmia, not an interpretation of an actual image. An ultrasound showed I did not.

Sometimes when lung function is controlled, all the heart symptoms disappear.

I know tachycardia and difficulty breathing are troublesome. I have been dealing with both my entire life (check out my page). But my symptoms are better and I have worked with patients and their doctors (I am still a student) and members of my own family with similar symptoms. I have seen instances where cardiologists unfortunately shoo patients out of the office as if there is absolutely nothing wrong with them when they have no obvious cardiac disease. If that is the case, take as much documentation as you can to a good primary physician or PA or internist and hopefully they will be more considerate of your feelings.

Chin up, penguin.

Comment edited on: 2/27/2013 2:41:39 AM

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FITANDFIFTY2 2/27/2013 12:58AM

    I hope they are able to diagnose the problem, soon! That is so scary! My resting heart rate used to be 120.. crazy! After my weight loss, it is now 70.. so much better . I wish you the best Spark Friend!! Hugs to you!

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