Monday, April 30

Issues of the Heart

I know I mentioned a couple weeks ago about having to go to the ER twice...here's what happened.

For as long as I can remember, I have always complained of my "heart hurting." My mom says I started saying this as soon as I could talk. I'll be fine, and then all of a sudden I get this tight, sharp chest pain right in my heart. It'll last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. In elementary school, I had a heart monitor to try and detect what the issue was. It looked like a little clip-on radio and had several wires connected by stickers onto my chest. I had it at 2 different times, but we were never able to capture it on the monitor. Through high school and college, it happened less and less, and now I only get this pain once a month or so.

However, on Sunday night, I got this same pain, associated with other symptoms I've never experienced with it. I suddenly felt very dizzy and lightheaded, my heart started racing, I had the tight chest pains, and my left forearm was throbbing while my fingers were tingly and numb. It started around 8pm, and I was hoping it would just go away. Around 11:00, I googled 'symptoms of a heart attack for women' and these were all on the list. I doubted that it was a heart attack, but we decided it was probably best if we got it checked out. Surprisingly, I was very calm the whole time. We got to the ER and they quickly hooked me up to (what seemed like) a thousand machines, with stickers all over my body. They did an EKG and everything seemed okay. Two hours later, we were on our way home.

I felt fine all day Monday and Tuesday morning. On Tuesday afternoon, I was at work, feeding the baby, when the same symptoms started again. My heart was racing, I became really short of breath, lightheaded, dizzy, HOT, and the same tingly/numb feeling in my left forearm. Luckily, the dad was on his way home so I called Doug and asked him to come get me. When the dad (that I nanny for) got home, he started asking me questions about how I was feeling, and I became scared when I couldn't really answer him because I was so short of breath. 

When Doug came to get me, I started to panic because I couldn't walk very well. In the car, I was going to look up directions to the hospital on my phone when I saw that my hands were completely stiff, and I couldn't move them at all. And they were kind of deformed, looking like a claw. That's when I really started to panic (and I think that's when Doug did, too). My breathing became shallower and faster, and the panic attack really set in. (I later found out that the claw-hands are a symptom of a panic attack)

When we got to the hospital, I couldn't walk so Doug scooped me up and ran me in there. I just remember that I was hyperventilating and they were all trying to get me to slow my breathing. They did another EKG and again, everything looked okay. I was sent home with instructions to see a cardiologist and to rest.

The next day, I saw a general practitioner who referred me to a cardiologist. We really have lucked out with doctors here, they have all been great. So after talking with the cardiologist, he thought the pain could be caused by a nerve issue or mitral valve prolapse, which basically means that one of your valves doesn't close completely, a little blood leaks and it could cause pain.

The next day, I had an electrocardiogram and treadmill stress test to see if we could figure out what was going on. The only issue was that these episodes didn't happen when I was being active...I was always at rest and relaxed when they came on. So it didn't happen during the test. He determined that I have mild mitral valve prolapse, and that may be the reason I've always had heart pains, but as for the episodes, we don't really know what caused it.

I haven't had another episode since then, but for about a week afterwards I had the heart pain way more frequently than usual. Now I am feeling fine, but he said if they continue to happen he'd like to put me on another heart monitor to see if they can catch it.

So I'm feeling hopeful that whatever those 'episodes' were, they won't be coming back any time soon. He said things like this can happen in clusters and they may never happen again, so let's hope for that!

I'll be back tomorrow with a much happier post!

24 comments:

Katie said... Best Blogger Tips

Dang girl! I'm so sorry. That's so stressful. Sometimes not knowing is the worst part, so hopefully having a possible diagnosis will help. And hopefully you won't have anymore episodes anytime soon.

Liz said... Best Blogger Tips

Eek. How scary! Praying for you!!

LBR said... Best Blogger Tips

my goodness how scary! So glad you are catching it though. I'm sure it's nothing new for the doctors so you can rest easy in that! Saying a prayer!

Mrs.305 said... Best Blogger Tips

Man how scary! My husband has an enlarged mitral valve an has had some of the exact symptoms and they come and go its so weird. Glad your alright!

Kira said... Best Blogger Tips

I'm glad you are okay and I hope they don't come back!

J and A said... Best Blogger Tips

My goodness girl, that is scary stuff. I am so glad you are ok and I hope you never have to deal with this again. Sending huge hug!!!

Lindsay said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh my goodness, that sounds so scary! I would have had a panic attack also. Keeping you in my prayers!

Allison said... Best Blogger Tips

Yikes! Glad everything appears to be better now! That's scary.

Lauren said... Best Blogger Tips

oh goodness girl...so scary! hope they just go away & never come back!

Sarah Burton said... Best Blogger Tips

Goodness gracious! So glad you're alright! Hopefully they won't ever come back!

Cole said... Best Blogger Tips

That's so scary! I'm glad you're feeling better, and I hope they get to the route of your chest pain.

Alex said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh hun that's so scary! I hope everything just keeps getting better for you. I'll keep thinking of you <3

Ruth said... Best Blogger Tips

That is scary. I hope they get the issue figured out soon.
hugs

Sarah @ Simply Sarah said... Best Blogger Tips

Bless your heart! I hope that you get to feeling better! Thinking of y'all

Brittany said... Best Blogger Tips

Julie, I think I just had a heart attack reading this. I'm so relieved that you're feeling better, but that is SO scary!! I can't imagine what I would do if I were you!!

Again, I'm so grateful that you're okay!

Fun fact for the day: Brian Littrell from the Backstreet Boys has mitral valve prolapse. So, clearly, you're in good company. Haha!

Ashley said... Best Blogger Tips

this post made me teary-eyed Julie. Praying for you sweet friend. Love and miss you lots!

Angel said... Best Blogger Tips

SO scary!! my dad had a heart transplant eight years ago, so i totally know how it is to be stressed and so worried about what's coming next.

i hope you're feeling better and i'll be praying the episodes don't happen again!

Heather Nelsen said... Best Blogger Tips

How scary, Julie... I'm so glad you're okay!

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