What Lays Ahead? Heart Condition

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Nicolette

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I was in hospital twice last week and it has been identified I have a heart condition - the complexities of which are not yet clear however all the insignificant causes of arrhythmia have been eliminated. At this stage the doctors are saying there is an 'electrical' problem with the atrial part of my heart.

From the understanding I have this best describes my condition:

Atrial fibrillation

AF is the most common type of serious arrhythmia. It's a very fast and irregular contraction of the atria. AF occurs when the heart's electrical signal begins in a different part of the atrium than the sinoatrial (SA) node or when the signal is conducted abnormally. When this happens, the electrical signal doesn't travel through the normal pathways in the atria, but instead may spread throughout the atria in a fast and disorganized manner. This causes the walls of the atria to quiver very fast (fibrillate) instead of beating normally. As a result, the atria aren't able to pump blood into the ventricles the way they should.
(Source - The Encyclopedia of Science).

While resting my heart was going into erratic spikes of 140 - 170 beats per minute (bpm) where is it should be 60 -100bpm. Its funny as the symptoms weren't dramatic and when Dial-A-Nurse said they were putting me through to the ambulance I felt like I wasn't that sick to warrant such treatment. Good thing is that while I was trying to make up my mind about the ambulance, to have them come or whether to cancel it, I remembered that the doctor's surgery had a notice that if you were experiencing heart symptoms or lack of breath go straight to the hospital and do not wait for your appointment. Also, it entered my mind that they had a heart monitor in an ambulance so if it was nothing they could tell me before wasting a trip to hospital.

Interestingly the day before I was asking a client, who has had a heart attack, what the symptoms were as, while I didn't think my heart was a big deal, at the same time I knew something wasn't right.

When I got to the hospital I have never been swamped by people so quickly let alone the speed in which they ripped my clothes off and had wires everywhere. I was told I was lucky I did call the ambulance as prolonged exertion of such a rapid heart rate can cause more serious problems - even heart damage if left untreated. I have since read it can cause a stroke or heart failure and I'm on aspirin to prevent any blood clots to the brain.

The first prescription of medication did not sit well with me resulting in the second hospital visit and now I'm off beta blockers and on a calcium channel blocker (differently family).

Based on the hospital, the current prognosis is lifetime medication or perhaps surgery. I have an appointment with a cardiologist on Wednesday which I was lucky to get as most are a 6 - 8 week wait. I figure I'll take it as in 6 -8 weeks damage could be done to my heart as I saw it happen to someone when the hospital couldn't identify anything the first time around.

My GP wants me to see a cardiologist who specialises with the electrical (pacemaker) part of the heart, which I said I would do, but I'm still going to see the general cardiologist on Wednesday as I have heart palpitations now while being sedentary and on medication.

I'm not scared or panicky which is good but I won't mess around. So far I have been blessed by great ambulance staff (Medics), great nurses at the hospital, great doctors at the hospital who were thorough while being supported by a really good GP.

All should be well.... It just an unknown road ahead. Currently I am not allowed to exert myself and to be honest, I don't feel comfortable doing so.
 

intothelight

Sponsor
Nicolette,

It is wonderful that you will be able to see the cardiologist right away. Keep listening to the doctors and also find out everything you can so you are prepared to ask the questions that you need to.

My heart goes out to you as it is so scary to be "well" on day and then facing a major medical issue the next. So be very focused on self-care, especially the basics.

(((Hugs)))

Deb
 

maddog

MyPTSD Pro
Nicolette, to continue this rather amusing, but very well intended pun, my heart really goes out to you too!!

Quite frankly, you wouldn't want mine coming too close though, it's a bit of a mess, as I also have a complex heart condition that has included what you describe. It sounds as though you are being calm, pragmatic, fully informing yourself, making good medical connections, asking lots of questions and supplementing the answers with your own research and common sense, and these are the ingredients of a speedy and safe road ahead.

I won't go into specifics here, but if you would like at any stage to chat to someone who has been down these roads, please message me.

Take care of yourself. Self care is really important, and positivity, and taking the whole journey one step at a time. Kinda like PTSD really...

Maddog
 

Srain

MyPTSD Pro
Scary experience and you did all the right things as Deb said. It sounds like you have people that are very on top of everything and like you can put your trust them which can be such a relief.

Please take care and continue to try to let us know how you are doing, you matter so very much!

You are in my thoughts and prayers,
(((((((Nicolette))))))
Rain
 

amethist

MyPTSD Pro
So glad you did not mess about and did not take the "Wait and see" route.

Sometimes heart issues can cause big problems but can be fixed and be easy to deal with, once you get in the door.

Take care and as we all keep saying to you, slow down a bit more, it will help your long term recovery.
 

Lucycat

Sponsor
Oh Nicolette!!

So sorry you now have this to face. However I am pleased to hear you are so upbeat about it. I do hope that you are quickly sorted, and the palpitations go away.

and yes, I have to agree with all the others who have already told you ; SLOW DOWN! Sorry I don't shout often - but will you ever listen?;)
 

Whitneys story

MyPTSD Pro
((((((((((Nicolette))))))))))

So glad you listened to your self. And received excellent care. Slow down means: your health is more important than any career!

Be kind to your self and stop and smell the roses. Sending healing energy, Hugs Whitney

We are a huge team of forum members, don't be afraid to ask for help. It is the least I can offer. More Hugs, Whitney
 
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