Perfect little world can shake up by something unknown but powerful going in your own body, right? On this journey which has just begun (in new terms) for me, you are welcome to join if something similar is going in your life or has happened in the past with you.
I am going through something that’s not very clear and is confusing, especially because I am extremely healthy person with all the vitals absolutely revealing nothing. It has been less then a month but experiences with the system, doctors, my body, stereotype mindset of people around me and my personal understanding of my body is compelling me to keep this diary.
What will it be and when will the answer arrive?
-Petite Female at 5 feet 3 inches height
-Weight 105 lbs, normal avg. BP 95/60 until now
-No smoking, no drinking, no caffeinated drinks except one tea with lots of milk every morning.
-Fairly active with no health issues ever other than normal fevers and colds.
-Last year blood work revealed Lyme disease. No signs or symptoms so they don’t know whether it was a recent or old presence of Lyme bacteria. Treated with antibiotic.
-8 years ago diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, took meds for 6 months and changed life style. Never took it again. live with pains in body but does not create hurdle in my everyday life anymore.
-2 healthy kids.
Friday: 19th Feb,2016
It all started one Friday night while I was happily relaxing on my bed reading a book. Kids were asleep and I was normally tired at the end of the week and the day. Suddenly, I felt “Boom” in my heart. So clear and loud that I could not ignore it. What followed was a 2 hour episode of more skipping of heart beat( that’s what it feels like but is extra heart beat if you try to understand it medically) that was regular and non stop. I could not fall asleep. Kept lying first 10 minutes thinking some miss firing is going on because I had an unusual cup of tea late in the afternoon. After 1/2 an hr I almost started thinking to the extreme and looked up where the closest ER was. Though, from what all I know from life and people around me, I observed my body to see if i had any other symptoms. No pains anywhere in the body, no numbness, no sweat or chills, no fever. Just plain crazy heart kaboom dancing within my chest. I put on a movie and started watching it but with constant awareness of the boom boom boom going on under my nose inside my body. I remember it was 11:55 in the clock when I last noted the time, I don’t know whether I just got tired and fell asleep or the heart beats normalized first.
Saturday: 20th Feb, 2016
I woke up with strong feelings of racing heart, shared with my spouse the last nights episode. He thought it was my hormones causing funny feelings as my period was approaching. By the afternoon I got tired so I took a nap. That was highly unusual for me as I never take a nap. But I did fall asleep and after waking up still felt tired and sensations of heart existed.
Previous two month background : We relocated across the country 2 months ago. Still settling in new city. I am currently not working. Family and friends have been found out to have some major health problems within last one month that did cause some temporary stress. Everything with them is under control with right diagnosis and medications so life is back to normal with no ongoing stress or anxiety for me.
I have been on a normal happy routine with my family, sleeping and eating healthily. My intuitions, positive thought processing, believe in nature and its amazing powers and many other learning and experiences in my life, make me a person who is considered overall positive.
Sunday: 21st Feb.
Heart Still racing, with erratic missing of heart beat feeling existing sporadically. Overall tired feeling. Looked up for a PCP to go and share the new changes going on in the body.
Monday – Friday : 22-26 Feb
The week flew away with palpitations, heart beat skips in the background, light tiredness but nothing to keep me from performing daily rituals. Friday evening my spouse went overseas for work for a week.
Monday: 29th Feb ( Leap year!!)
My left heel is hurting so badly that I can not stand at all. So, I went to my GP. Shared my palpitation concern as well. She referred to a cardiologist and ordered some blood work done on me. Feet was diagnosed as Achilles Tendonitis. I bought some heel cushions for layering in my shoes and started wearing them. Did ice therapy, exercise and ate pain meds. I noticed my BP was 125/85. Higher than my average normal but still in acceptable healthy range. EKG was done, revealed a healthy heart.
Tuesday: March 1st
New symptom I noticed was pressure in my chest. Tightness accompanied with shortness of breath. I thought I slept wrong and have some muscular discomfort.
Thursday: March 3rd
So far days have been going good with spouse gone and single parenting. Tendonitis relived but I am wearing my shoes as long as I am on my feet. Having special fun time with kids. Palpitations and awareness of heart beat still there but seems like a part of me now. Morning 10 am, my toddler was watching her morning cartoon while I was cleaning up the storm that comes every night in the house of two kids. Suddenly I felt my left shoulder and hand getting wide spread pain and in few minutes my arm went numb. I sat down. My heart started beating very fast and I experienced shortness of breath. The tightness in chest that lasted for last 3 days, aggravated so much that I panicked. And I felt dizzy so I dialed 911.
At the ER : 10:15 am -12 noon
EKG done twice : normal
Blood tests: Normal
Heart enzymes: Normal
BP in 135/85, before leaving 110/75
No emergency situation was stamped on my chart.
Doctor said you are not having a heart attack.
I said that is good but my hand is still numb and my chest is tight with shortness of breath.
Doctor said: your oxygen is 100% and it seems like an anxiety attack. Lets put you on Ativan, anxiety pill. Follow up with your GP.
I go back home with the symptoms that I came in with still there and more discomfort that added further fatigue.
Friday, March 4th
Fatigued. My gait has changed. Chest tightness is there along with funny elbow feeling in the whole left arm and fingers. Its numb. Shoulder is hurting as well. I feel nausea.
Visited GP. She wanted to hear what happened to me that I ended up in the ER. I shared the scary experience.
Without checking me for my complain of pain in left arm and chest tightness, she suggested I start an anti depressant and talk to a counselor. Told me to read a book called why Zebras don’t have heart attacks. She also suggested to meet with the cardiologist to make sure everything is okay. I did not feel like talking further to her. She could have at least checked my hand and chest and ribs to rule out something ….broken ribs…lung problem….I don’t know. My BP was 124/75.
Monday, March 7th
For the first time in my life I met a cardiologist. After normal EKG, BP 126/76. He listened to me for 1/2 an hr with his questions and explanations in between and tried to address my concerns. His main points were:
– You have no risk factors at all
– You are young and healthy
– You have had no major health problems or any heart problems
-The two concerns that are making me suggest you to go for a treadmill stress test and holter test are your symptoms and the fact that your aunt died with a heart problem at young age of 55. ( My dad and grand dad also have heart problems but genetically I guess you inherit your moms? Unless your father’s sister has genetic inheritance?)
I go home. Felt heavy discomfort to lift my toddler in arms and chest. Slept good.
Tuesday, March 8th
First great morning after 2 weeks! No pains, tightness or fatigue. Yippee.I decide to go to the library with my toddler after the morning chores.
At the library we spent 10 minutes downstairs while returning the books, looking for music cds and talking to the librarian. We headed upstairs for children section, like always taking the stairs. After the 15th stair was done, I felt heavily out of breath. I found a bench and sat down. Staying calm and focus I started focused deep breathing. In a minute or so pain started in chest and left shoulder. Within next couple minutes my left hand was in pain and completely numb. I just sat, focusing to breath as normal as I could and observing the pain. I texted my spouse to come get me and in the meanwhile if things get worse I knew I would have to call 911. He arrived in 22 minutes that seemed like longest 22 minutes ever to me. My chest pain had gone down substantially but tiredness came over along with arm and shoulder pain that stayed. we went home taking the elevators down.
At home I spent whole afternoon and most evening on bed. Just lying and not doing anything. We were able to call and talk to my cardiologist who suggested we go to the ER. After what happened last time, I said, I will only go if my pain worsens and gets intolerable. He still insisted we go to the ER. At the end he said get Aspirin and start taking that everyday until we find out whats wrong. He ordered for an echo-cardiogram for me to be done for next day. I avoided the ER. I was fatigued and slept at 7:50pm. I woke up at 2 am feeling uncomfortable. Twisting and turning in bed and finally slept back at 5:30am.
Wednesday, March 9th
Woke up very tired again. Low energy. After every 10 minutes of movement and normal activity I am getting to the stage of heavy breathing and being light headed. From my last two experiences I know chest and arm pain follows it. So I started listening to my body to see if I can avoid any more such episode. Taking slow steps. Resting every 10-15 minutes. Funny thing is that as long as I am lying down and not doing anything, I feel fully charged up and recovered. The discomfort in chest and arm feels very low as well. But after eating, cleaning or cooking or even talking I am feeling discomfort of different levels.
My echo-cardiogram was done. A non invasive 1/2 hr procedure like ultrasound. Dr. said they will contact me if anything concerning is visible which he doubted.
I asked how to deal with this scary chest and arm pain upon climbing the stairs? He wasn’t sure again whats wrong and wants to see me perform stress test. My spouse asked him if all this could be anxiety to which he replied with no solid answer. He said nothing is ruled out and taking anxiety pills will not harm but might help. He said strictly to not stress myself or test myself further with any physical exercise until 16th March. And keep an eye on the blood pressure.
Friday, March 11th
I am taking anxiety pill and asprin everyday now. I have not heard back from the doctors office yet so I am assuming nothing concerning was found on echocardiogram. Feeling wise- I am less tired but left arm and shoulder still in pain and numbness is there. Slept good last two nights for 10-11 hrs.I am moving slowly, breathing deeply and not even letting my body reach to the point where I might get tired. It is damn hard to live like this. It is bothering to not feel normal and be able to take a walk to drop or pick your child from school. It is crazy to not be able to lift your toddler. But for my own good…right?
Ruling out of any heart disorder is in process. My elders believe its stress and fatigue that has weighed down on me to the extent of causing physical problems. My plate is too full and I am not sharing it out is what they are feeling. Are they in denial? Or am I not understanding my own body? My brain is in disagreement with them because I don’t see any visible stress and anxiety within me. I am sleeping and eating well. I am able to focus. I have no panic for anything at all. And the recurrent chest pain with limited daily activity along with shortness of breath and arm numbing is definetly saying something else to me. But what will be better if I get a choice to pick – heart disease or anxiety? LOL
I can still not imagine how painful and distressful going through real life health problems can be on people. It can eat you out of your normal life till you learn to accept the changes and learn to live with the handicaps that your condition imparts on you. But I can feel for sure that it can suck your positive attitude pretty quickly. And to remain grounded and hopeful and breathe the life that you still have is important!
I am keeping calm and giving lots of good quality oxygen to my cells. Resting as much as I can to heal from within and using the two meds as helpers. I am eager to get relieved of all the symptoms first caring what is causing it second.
I will keep writing so stay tuned to find out what reveals….
Heart Diary 2016.
p.s: I have been reading articles and research papers on Anxiety,MVD, new theories that chemicals dont help anxiety, Treadmill stress test, young healthy women and misdiagnose of their heart conditions.
Is it a heart attack – or a panic attack?