Like many other posts I've read here, I was recently diagnosed with a PFO...they think. During my Echo with bubble study, bubbles appeared on the "wrong" side before I even valvesalva'd. Of course, 2 days after this appointment, I flew from the US to Korea and have been here for the past 3 weeks. I have my first cardiologist app't the day after I land back in the US.
My initial symptoms were shortness of breath, particularly when exercising or climbing stairs. I used to run 1.5 miles in < 12 minutes...4 years later, I'm lucky to go that far in 15 minutes. In the respiratory Dr office, my pulse ox dropped from 95 at rest to 90 after walking down and back up 2 flights of stairs. I also was tired so often...nothing felt better than just lying down and going to sleep. I was worried that I was just lazy, but now wonder if my fatigue was related to PFO rather than lack of motivation.
I've never had migraines, but I do get sharp pains in my chest a couple times a month--they last 10-20 seconds, then they are gone. Also, my fingertips will frequently swell, itch, feel hot, and go numb (but that's probably related to the unexplained hives I get everday).
In reading about other peoples stories, it sounds like I should just quit whining and move to a lower altitude (no migraines, no strokes, nothing serious) but that doesn't seem like a very good solution. I love climbing mountains and finished my 14th climb to 14,000+ ft within the past month. So how can I manage to hike 15+ miles with 5,000 ft elevation gain without a problem, yet I can't run 1.5 miles?
Not really expecting an answer, just nice to put this out into the ether for consideration.