Tired of daily symptoms...tests not revealing much

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hearty_soup
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 8/19/2009 12:08 AM (GMT -6)   
I've been symptomatic with PFO for about 14 years (I'm 28), and have had migraines since age 3. When I started having heart related symptoms I was very active and it would only happen when I ran. I would get lightheaded/dizzy, heart pounding very fast, short of breath, vision would go dark, hearing would go out, etc. Over the years this has gotten worse, to the point where I cannot do much of anything and my symptoms occur.

I've had TEE to confirm PFO, and had Echo's w/ bubble study, bubble brain study (can't recall the name), Holter monitors, heart MRI (which showed no other structural abnormalities), and a Stress Echo on treadmill. Other than having the PFO, there's not much else going on. How can this be? My symptoms are constant and impacting my life terribly. I'm 5'6" and 120 lbs, and I have 2 small children that I should be able to run around with and play with. My cholesterol is high due to heredity, at 286. We will definitely work on fixing that.

During my Stress Echo, I started feeling symptomatic within 1-2 minutes and my heart rate immediately went to 140's. I pushed myself to go for nearly 9 minutes, with my heart rate going to 180's. I did not feel well at all. Today I got the results and am confused. The "Resting Findings" are all listed, but under "Stress Findings" only LV is listed. It basically says my LV is normal. What about all the other parts of my heart that are listed under "Resting"?? What happens to them during exercise, which is the whole reason I thought we were doing the test...to see what my heart does during exercise. It also says trace mitral regurgitation and trace functional tricuspid regurgitation, which I've read are nothing to worry about...but I'm curious if it gets worse during exertion.

Does everyone's report only discuss the LV under Stress? Shouldn't it have more info on the rest of the heart during exercise?

Post Edited (hearty_soup) : 8/19/2009 8:20:33 PM (GMT-6)


withnail1969
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 8/19/2009 10:57 AM (GMT -6)   
Sorry to hear you are having such a hard time. I'm unable to comment on your tests but wondered if you are going to have your PFO closed if it is distrupting your daily life so much. Best of luck with getting answers.

hearty_soup
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 8/19/2009 8:36 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm not sure if I should close it or not. From the information I have so far, no one is sure what could happen after the closure device is put in. I've heard both terrific and horrible things. Though, the though of living with this until I have 2 strokes is terrifying. I have a mostly blocked right subclavian vein, which may or may not break off and travel to my lungs, heart or brain.

I've tried Coumadin (my blood couldn't reach a therapeutic level or something?), daily Aspirin (couldn't live w/ the side effects), and a few Migraine medications. My neurologist is starting a research trial for migraine patients with PFO but it's still up in the air about what should be done. Right now he's put me on Depakote (aka Epilim) to try to break my daily migraine cycle and Midrin as needed.

I'm not sure what I should do. I would prefer to have it closed surgically, rather than be part of a study for closure devices. Both are so risky.

withnail1969
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 8/20/2009 8:11 AM (GMT -6)   
I had a stroke last June and though it took months to diagnose my PFO I knew instantly that I wanted it closed. I did as much research as I can and had the procedure last week. It's a tough choice and one other people can't really help you with I guess. I was worried leading up to the procedure, I'm now 40 and have two young children so I had to make the right decision for them as well.
I had the closure done on Friday with a Biostar device. I'm so pleased to be on the other side of it now. I hated taking warfarin (coumadin) so am now on Clopidogrel (Plavix) and baby aspirin. What side effects are you getting from the aspirin, is it with your stomach?
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