All Journal Entries Journals
Sort By:  

A little history

Aug 21, 2009 - 0 comments

My cardiac adventures began about 17 years ago when I had chest pains that seemed severe to me.  But stubborn me, I walked around for three days before I finally broke down and went to the doctor.  They referred me to a cardiologist who diagnosed mitral valve prolapse.  But he told it wasn't really anything to worry about, just to recheck in a year.  Ok, I'm good with that.  I get palpitations a lot, but he says they're nothing to worry about.

Fast forward to 2 years ago, during a physical, my family doctor thought I should have the MPV checked out, since I hadn't for a long time.  So she sent me to a cardiologist for a checkup.  When there, they did an ekg and echo, put me on a holter monitor, and had me come back in a week for a followup to get the results of all this.  

At the followup, he told me my ekg had an abnormality - a brugada sign.  I'd never heard of this, but he wanted me to see an EP about that, and so I was scheduled for that appointment in about 6 weeks.  The EP was taking a vacation, apparently, and was backlogged.  So I go home, get online to learn what the heck brugada was, and was stunned to learn that it caused sudden cardiac death, usually during the night when sleeping - and they have me waiting 6 weeks.  But ok - at this time I was 49 years old, and mostly the SCD hits younger people.  That eases my mind, but it was still a bit of an emotional rollercoaster.

He also told me that I don't have MVP.  Huh?  It can go away?  When I asked him about that, he said that imaging is much better these days.  Okay, I guess....

The EP, when I first saw him, asked me if I'd looked it up, and wanted to know what I thought about it when I did.  I told him that I was 49 years old and still here.  He said "exactly!"  But his main concern was to get me tested as brugada is genetic and I have kids.

Long story short - I was tested and don't have brugada.  YAY!  My official "diagnosis" at that time was abnormal ekg.  He said the palpitations I felt were PVCs and PACs and were most likely benign.  This was great - I had no real problems!  

A summary of my first, what I call major, arrythmia

Aug 14, 2009 - 0 comments

We were on vacation at Miami Beach and while I was in the water, not doing anything strenuous I suddenly felt really tired.  Got out of the water and it was a chore to walk up to our towels.  I remember thinking, wow, I didn't think just sitting in the waves would tire me out that way.  Noticed heart beating oddly.  Sitting seemed to make it a bit better, but when we got up to leave the beach, I could only walk a short distance before I needed to stop and rest.  

I have a history of palpitations and PVCs that I've gotten used to and am not really scared of anymore, but I've never felt this way before.  Extreme fatigue, heart beating erratically, short of breath, slight headache and achy feeling in the back of my throat.  Pulse was jumping all over the place in no regular rythym.  Our car was about 9 blocks away, and after about 3 blocks and stopping twice, I finally just asked Erica to get the car and pick me up while I waited at a bus stop.

Resting again helped, but everytime I stood up it was like whoa, I'm so tired.  When we got to the motel and I got out of the car, it hit again, so went in and laid down.  It was really odd - I could feel my heart thumping in my back against the bed.  I think that's what really bugged me the most.

After about 30 minutes, it seemed to settle down, and all the fatigue and other symptoms left and I felt totally normal.  The entire episode was about 3 hours.