Hi to you all . . . this is my first post.
As I’m writing this I’m having another bad start to the day
and really need some help with my situation as not one doctor or specialist I’ve
seen so far has been able to help me in any way . . . apart from telling me my
heart is not the cause of my problems.
I’m a 60 year old male, BMI just slightly above what is recommended,
always been active and have no history of heart problems in my family. For the past two years or so I’ve been
finding myself increasingly short of breath after having exerted myself
physically. It started with my feeling
breathless, nauseous and physically exhausted after I’d had a really hard day doing
physical activity (such as gardening or major work on a house renovation). Increasingly over the past two years I've found
that the level of activity it takes to make me feel really unwell has decreased
to the point that now, if I just spend an hour doing gentle physical work, or
even taking a walk, I’m totally exhausted.
Breathlessness, feeling like I may vomit, a feeling of heaviness all
over my chest area, fatigue, stiffness in my shoulders and neck are now normal
for me after exerting myself only mildly.
But the thing I can’t understand is why I often feel fine
when I’m actually in the process of doing the work or during a walk, and
sometimes for the rest of the day, but feel total exhaustion the day after? It often takes me two or three days before I
feel well again and my energy levels are back to normal.
I’ve seen my own doctor many times and each time he’s always
told me my heart is in good condition.
Not totally convinced, I asked him to refer me to a cardiologist and a
lung specialist. I was tested and told
my lungs are fine and show no reason for my shortness of breath. I had an echocardiogram and the cardiologist
found that I have both “very insignificant” aortal and mitral
regurgitation. I had a stress test done
(cycling) and a 24 hour holter test.
Both of these, he said, showed nothing which would cause my
problems. He said I don’t need to have
my heart checked again for at least three years. My own doctor said that if he were to pick
100 men off the street, 50 of them would have the same sort of mitral and aortic
valve issues and that it is definitely not a problem. The lung specialist said the same.
So, if I listen to the experts, I shouldn’t be writing on
this forum at all. But, when I read
about the symptoms that many people with heart problems have, I have to wonder
if my experts have got it right.
I don’t know if it may be a part of my problem but if,
during the night, I’ve strayed and slept on my left-hand side, for even a few
minutes, I start to feel unwell. It’s as
if I’m “bunching up” my shoulders and chest together and in some way
restricting my lung capacity (difficult to explain). But then I immediately find it difficult to
breathe and start to feel sick. By
then, no matter what I do, I can’t get rid of that feeling and it’s with me for
the rest of the day, along with the exhaustion, total exhaustion, and stiff
neck and shoulders. I know sleeping in
a bad position can cause neck and shoulder pain but I can’t see it causing
shortness of breath and total exhaustion for at least a day after. I also know that patients with heart failure
often can’t sleep on their left-hand side because it makes them feel unwell. Could this be a regurgitation thing?
So I’m not convinced by my doctors that my heart is OK. I hope they’re right. But what should I do now? I can’t keep on like this because I don’t
know what I should or shouldn’t do to make my days normal again. I don’t know how to manage this on a daily
basis and my doctors, after two years, have not helped me. Has
anyone on this forum had the same symptoms?
Can anyone make any suggestions?
Thanks in advance anyway.