Here I go again. heart or mind

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armyvet&wife
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 10/10/2008 5:42 PM (GMT -7)   
cry   hello old friends - been feeling really great lately. Lost 25 lbs and got my blood pressure down to normal level
maybe a lil too low 98/66 is the lowest range with 120/80. yet today I got the worst "panic attack" ever. Well at least I thought it was
I got a few heart flutters after exercising and got lightheaded and started hyperventilating. so I did like I usually do pop a view klonopins and then breathe thru a paper bag/  This episode just worried me beause I had been panic/heart flutter free for quite a while/
 
 
So I decided to head over to Dr office my heart rate was 146 (my norm is 68) bp was 129/75  crazy uh
He listedned to my heart and said her heard that murmur. Immediately went to get an EKG and have not heard from the Doc since
He is a military Dr. so sorry i dont have much trust in him also, he was rushing me and not letting me really talk. I told him i have white coat syndrome so i usually get nervous and ancxious at the Dr office but myheart rate stayed in the high 90's for a few hours.
 
So my dilemna is that I am worried I may have pathological heart murmur (damaged valves) versus the innocent heart murmur.
Or it just may be the anxiety rearing its ugly head again. I just dont know. I feel so depressed at this point because no one understands my fear.
 
Maybe someone here understands. please write if you do. You all always come through for me and make life a little easier. I truly love this site. Thanks for reading.
 
 
 
 
Diagnosis, Heart Murmur ?? /Panic Disorder, Depression -10 years
Rx: Librium 25mg daily, Lexapro 10-20mg daily, Klonopin .5mg as needed. for anxiety
Rx

ArmyVet&Wife
 
Dx: Panic Disorder,Anxiety, Depression, PVC's (Heart)
Rx: Lexapro 10mg-Klonopin .5-1mg as needed
 
 


greenhope
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 113
   Posted 10/11/2008 1:24 PM (GMT -7)   

Armyvet&wife,

This is my first post although I have been reading this forum for the past month or so since being diagnosed with heart disease.  It's a long story and I will share more details later.  However, I am writing to let you know that I understand how you feel, because for a while I thought I was going crazy because the doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong with me.  I kept thinking, am I making up all these symptoms?  However, my instincts told me that I wasn't, since I have never been a sickly person.  Some of my symptoms included fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pains and anxiety.

It turns out that I have a hole in my heart that is creating all sorts of complications.  But it took an ER doctor, 3 cardiologists, 2 neurologists, one pulmonologist and countless tests to finally figure out what was wrong with me and what to do about it.

I guess what I am trying to get at is that, even if you already suffer from depression and panic attacks, you could still have a heart condition that is exacerbating these conditions.  I strongly suggest you go see a cardiologist and have them run some serious tests, not the simple EKG's they normally do while you are at rest.  I have had about 6 of those done in the past year and they all come back normal, even though I have a hole in my heart that is causing large amounts of blood to be traveling back and forth between the right and left sides of my heart!!!  I am also a runner, so I think for me an EKG at rest is a worthless test.

There are echocardiograms,  echo. with bubble study, transcranial dopplers and the gold standard for detecting all sorts of heart defects without being too invasive, the TEE or Transesophageal Echocardiogram which can and should be done on you to rule out any possible heart conditions.  Be persistent - there are a lot of doctors out there who don't believe you are sick and are quick to brush you off.  I am 40 but lucky enough to look younger, I run so I keep in shape and I have a clean medical history since I rarely get sick.  Needless to say, most of these doctors were having a hard time believing that there was anything wrong with me.  But, I persisted and I prevailed and I hope you can do the same. 

I wish you the best of luck.  Keep us posted.  I will share more details on my condition in a future e-mail.  My MAIN heart condition is a PFO (hole in heart) with an ASA (atrial septal aneurysm), and these have caused many other complications.  I wanted to let you know this because most of my future postings will probably be in one of the PFO forums.

Take care,

 

 

 

 


armyvet&wife
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 10/11/2008 2:35 PM (GMT -7)   
 
Greenhope,
 
Thanks so much that was very, very helpful. I did not even think about those other tests. I knew about the echo because my daughter (15) had some of the same issues (ANXIETY AND IRREGULAR HEART BEATS) a few years back- We've both had 24 HR holter monitors, Ekg'S (boo) your right idea   ekg'S only measure for those few seconds. And also, I've had a stress test (treadmill).(NORMAL) But have yet to have that Echo since 1998- ten years ago when I was FIRST told I had an innocent heart murmur by the Military Docs.. They did that stat for me because at the time I was Active duty, now that I am "just a family member" they take their sweet time. 
 
I am a healthy, active, young, 36 woman and I guess they figure oh well smhair
Like I said before I lost 25lbs,but am still overweight. I am working hard daily thru exercise and eating right to get down to a healthy weight of 150 since I am 5'8. so that's about 40 more lbs :)
 
Just seems like when things are going good-this crap starts up again. Except this time I am going to take your advice and demand
the more conclusive test as you mentioned. Thank you a bunch for taking the time to read and respond. It really made my day. Hope you are well and continue to keep active and motivated. I will also be out there wit ya in a sense not running but walking those hills really fast :)  TAKE CARE. 
 
what medication or prognosis for your PFO- wow that sounds scary..... how do you cope?    you are in my thoughts!!!!!!
ArmyVet&Wife
 
Dx: Panic Disorder,Anxiety, Depression, PVC's (Heart)
Rx: Lexapro 10mg-Klonopin .5-1mg as needed
 
 


greenhope
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 113
   Posted 10/13/2008 5:56 PM (GMT -7)   

Hy armyvet&wife,

I think it's wonderful that you are losing weight and eating healthy!

How do I cope?  Well, needless to say, this situation has been devastating for me.  Thankfully, I have a wonderful family and friends that provide undying love and support.  I think, in these difficult situations, it is one of the best coping mechanisms.  I have a beautiful 16 year old boy who is my reason for living, a lifetime partner who supports and loves me no matter what, 2 wonderful sisters who understand, a mother who is always there ready to catch me when I fall and the incredible memory of the amazing man who was my father who is with me in spirit and guiding me in the right direction (he died at the age of 58 of a fatal heart attack - heart disease runs in our family).

Unfortunately, my other coping mechanism, exercise, cannot be tapped into since I am always so tired.  I can't run, dance, do yoga and all those wonderful things that provided stress relief.  But you know what?  I have the hope and expectation that I will be able to do this again sometime soon... this keeps me going.  Thankfully, I live close to the beach, so I do what I call my "beach therapy" and lie there and get some sun and meditate, I float in the water and I look forward to one day being able to run on the sand again, right on the shoreline, like I used to do when I was healthy!

My prognosis is that I have a "small" PFO (hole in my heart) which is causing LOTS of shunting back and forth between the two upper chambers of my heart - not good.  I am only on baby/low dose aspirin right now.  I have my PFO closure next week and will be on Plavix for 6 months after that to prevent any blood clots from forming around my new device.  They will use the Amplatzer occluder since my cardiologist tells me is better to treat both my PFO and ASA (atrial septal aneurysm which is a floppy wall that separates both sides of my heart and puts me at higher risk of stroke).

Take care and let me know your progress with your tests.  I will keep you posted as I go through my procedure and recovery process.

 

 


greenhope
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 113
   Posted 10/14/2008 3:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Selmer,
 
You are absolutely correct, people should educate themselves.  Before I was diagnosed with a PFO/hole in heart, I had no idea this condition even existed!  Today, I consider myself an expert.
 
Most people who have this condition have nothing to worry about.  They will live and go through life with this condition without even knowing of its existence because they never experience symptoms.  However, people who have also been very healthy and start developing certain symptoms over time, as in my case, need to also be aware that such a condition exists and could be causing these symptoms.  Maybe it will prevent people from going through months of agonizing uncertainty and having doctors look at you as if you are crazy or making up your symptoms.
 
I had the very difficult but important job of telling my 16 year old son of my condition, its symptoms, and treatment options.  I thought it very important for him to be aware of this situation.  This way if, in the future, he experiences symptoms similar to mine, he can immediately tell his doctors of this congenital heart condition which MAY be present and MAY be causing his symptoms, rather than have the doctors go on a wild goose chase like they had to do with me.  I also hope that I am teaching my son resiliency, persistence and strength and courage through challenging times.  And that, yes, it is OK to cry.
 
Thank you for your insight and clarification for those who needed it.

armyvet&wife
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 10/22/2008 8:34 PM (GMT -7)   
thanks greenhope,

Please do keep us posted. I liked the thought of the beach, that sounds so relaxing an tranquil.
One day at a time right........ Thanks for sharing, please keep intouch!!!
ArmyVet&Wife
 
Dx: Panic Disorder,Anxiety, Depression, PVC's (Heart)
Rx: Lexapro 10mg-Klonopin .5-1mg as needed
 
 

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