Posted 4/30/2017 2:41 PM (GMT -6)
Hi, I am new to this forum and could use some advice and answers.
I am a 44 year old male. Exercise always felt like crap to me, even as a kid. Despite this I always considered myself to be more active than the average person but certainly not athletic. My jobs always required physical labor, no sitting down, 16 hour days during busy times, no air conditioning.
about 8 years ago I was diagnosed with anxiety and panic attacks. Any drugs to treat this have failed. At first I laughed at this diagnoses. Yeah I was always high strung but could handle anything. Today it is out of control, I definitely now have a mental disorder. Everything scares me and I can't leave my home. This started back in September of 2016 when I could not catch my breath during a three mile walk that was my daily routine. I ended up laying on the ground three times during that walk. Before this I loved to be active, going places, even if I had anxiety.
However since my anxiety diagnoses years ago, I got bounced around for every symptom that I had. In my opinion tests were always done half way and not complete. In the end every symptom was always blamed on anxiety. I got shortness of breath more and more often. I would walk and noticed obese people that had desk jobs could out walk me. When swimming I could no longer hold my breath very long. I had an episode of memory loss years ago that was blamed on a med change for anxiety, no brain MRI was performed. Chest pains and problems with my vision. (snowy vision) Digestive problems.
Recently my pulse would shoot up randomly to about 160 b.p.m. mostly when trying to do light exercise. On a hot day just standing up will cause a heart rate of 145 or so and I feel light headed. They say exercise is good for anxiety so as the years rolled on I pushed myself as things became physically harder for me to do. The more I pushed myself the more I felt poor.
Anyways I had an echo and bubble study done. I had immediate bubbles show up so I know and was told that I definitely have a PFO. I do not know the size of the PFO. (was not checked that far) The fact I have a PFO was downplayed by my famly doctor as being insignificant. Many, 25% of people have them and this is something that I had all my life.... bla bla bla. So I focused on treatment for anxiety because I was to believe that a PFO is not a big deal. Treatment has not worked for my anxiety.
So questions I have are...
1) I have high diastolic blood pressure. Stolic is usually normal. Could this be caused by the PFO? Doctors have ignored this as stress related.
2) Did anybody get "panic attacks" from a PFO? Did they get better after closer?
3) Can my symptoms such as visual problems be a type of migraine related to a PFO?
4) Can being out of breath easily be related to a PFO?
5) Doctor told me that if you can't hear the sound of a PFO with a stethoscope it is not worth worrying about. Is this true?
6) I was told that I do not have pulmonary hypertension. What tests need done to determine this? I know a PFO can cause this and I do not know the size of mine?
Any other advice? Should I make a TEE scope the top of my priority list? I thought it was low priority however I read other places that a PFO can become bigger with time and become a problem typically in your mid 30's to 40's? Hello that's when my diagnoses of anxiety started. I know I have a big anxiety problem now. However when you feel like crud constantly and feel like you are going to fall over I am not sure if the sensations are PFO driving my anxiety up or if the doctors are correct that it is all in my head. I have many more symptoms. I have had tinnitus since September. Doctor did not even look into my ear for wax build up, that too was blown off. I am not very trusting of most doctors because they act like they don't care. Thanks for your time.