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Off to the cardiologist

23 posts in this topic

Posted

I've got an appointment with a new cardiologist today. I receive medical care through the VA. Saw one cardiologist already, but he couldn't figure out what the problem is so I get to start all over today with a new doc. First thing we're going to discuss are the two aneurysms I have. Second thing will be the passing out I've been doing since April. You'd think they might at least be able to find out why I just get dizzy and pass out. This doc I'm seeing today is supposed to be one of the best, not just in the VA, but one of the best in this part of the country. I hope all those good reports I've gotten about him are true. I know I'm in for a battery of tests and procedures, but that's fine if he can just figure out what the problem is and get me back on track. And I'm hoping the aneurysms haven't grown too awfully much. One of them is close to the size that demands surgery right away. Don't really want to consider surgery before Christmas.

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Posted

Rough stuff. Sincerely wishing you well.

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Posted

Good luck. As much as we like to believe otherwise, medicine is not an exact science. Took a several tries and a lot of perseverance to get my afib problems resolved, but I'm doing great now. Hopefully, you will get well too. 

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Posted

Wishing you good luck sir.

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Posted

I have nothing but good things to say about the VA.. I love the care they provide.  That's in FLA.  I have no idea where this white squirrel place is.  Best wishes with the new doc.

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Posted

Passing out and dizziness, I would go to a neurologist versus a cardiologist. prayers that the problem is found.

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Posted

Hang in there Steve....I hope they can figure out what is going on for you and you get some relief.  I have Tachycardia...heart issues are no joke but it could be something else...lets hope/pray so. 

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Posted

I have nothing but good things to say about the VA.. I love the care they provide.  That's in FLA.  I have no idea where this white squirrel place is.  Best wishes with the new doc.

I have to say that the care in this area has improved in the last couple of years. There are still times when I get a little PO'ed, but all in all I'll say my care is fairly good.

As for the 'white squirrel place", I happen to be in Olney, IL. There are a couple places in the States that claim to be "home of the white squirrels" and at least one place in Canada. Doesn't matter to me which one, or ones, happens to be right. Seeing snow white squirrels running around is pretty neat.

 

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Posted

Passing out and dizziness, I would go to a neurologist versus a cardiologist. prayers that the problem is found.

You're pretty much dead on. I got fairly good news yesterday. First, the aneurysms haven't grown much at all, so nothing to do there except go back in three months, get another CT scan with contrast, and keep monitoring them. That was a big relief. I was afraid one of them might be growing at a rate that triggered surgery.

As to the passing out (they call it Syncope), the problem is neurological. It seems that my brain and my heart aren't working together the way they are supposed to. The exact cause will never be determined, but either the heart sends a wrong message to the brain first, or vice versa, then the opposite responds in the wrong way. For whichever reason, my brain sends a signal to my heart to slow way down, but that's the exact opposite of what the heart really needs to do. This happens during a period when the heart actually needs to speed up and pump more blood to make sure it gets to the brain. When it does the wrong thing and slows down there isn't enough blood getting to my head and BANG, I get dizzy and pass out.

The good news is we now know what the problem is. The bad news is that there is no treatment for the condition. I can help reduce the number of events by making a few changes. I need to increase my intake of water. When I get up from being horizontal like sleeping or lying on the couch watching TV I need to stop in the sitting position for about 30 seconds before standing up. My outdoor activities are going to change, for sure. Heat is a definite factor causing the episodes. At about 82 degrees I need to make definite changes in what I do. At 85, if the humidity is high, I need to consider putting off any strenuous activities. Above 90 and I'm severely limited. And above 95 and I'm no longer supposed to leave air conditioning. Then there are some diet changes along with reducing any and all stress as much as possible.

Hopefully I can make the changes and reduce the number of these episodes. It'll take some getting used to, but I think I can manage it.

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Posted

You can do it Steve.  Just think of the nasty alternative.  You shouldn't have to worry about high temps for some time.

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Posted

I have been having vertigo and dizziness attacks. Last time I had vertigo, it was inner ear related. This time most teste indicate it's not inner ear, but rather central nervous system. Going to the neurologist later this month.

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Posted

Wishing you the best Steve, may God be with you..

 

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Posted

Thanks for your thoughts. The toughest thing I'm having to do right now is learning to go SLOWLY on every task I tackle. It's a complete reprogramming of the brain to NOT jump right in and "get 'er done". Did some organizing work in the garage yesterday. The wife kept telling me to slow down and take breaks, but I kinda ignored her and sure enough, before I realized it I felt that dizzy, swimming head, feeling sneaking up on me. Managed to sit down before I passed out. I honestly didn't think I was doing too much, or going too fast, but obviously my body said otherwise. I'll eventually be able to retrain myself into working at a different pace. It's just hard right now.

Thanks again, guys.

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Posted (edited)

OK. I'm learning. Today was the first time since seeing the cardiologist that I followed his instructions to the letter. I started doing some work in the bathroom and was bent over and in a tight squatted position. Just as I finished what I had been doing I realized I was breathing a little hard and had a little "swimmy" feeling going on in the head. So I stopped, grabbed my mug of ice water, and hit the lazy boy. First off, taking a break after only working for 45 - 60 minutes just felt wrong. Then taking a full 25 minute break after that little work just goes against every fiber in my body. But I forced myself to sit there quietly, drinking water, for a full 25 minutes. Hey, the doc said to take a 25 to 30 minute break. I just couldn't make it for 30. 25 had to do. And I continued doing that the entire day. Every time something felt wrong, I took a break of at least 25 minutes. I figure I got about half as much done as I think I should have, but the work that got done is done right and looks good, and I didn't pass out or even get wobbly on my feet. I guess I'll EVENTUALLY get used to this. Still doesn't feel right though.

Edited by smhardesty

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Posted

Do you by chance take Metoprolol? I was on a 25 mg dose twice a day, and started having lots of problems with light headedness, felt like a was going to pass out, and had trouble breathing, felt like I couldn't draw a deep breath. Those are a couple of the side effects of it. My cardiolgist halfed my dosage, and the symptomes have pretty much cleared. The vertigo and dizziness I still have I had before my heart attack in July.

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Posted

You gotta do what you gotta do, Steve.  Even though the breaks don't feel right, they're working for you.  So keep following the docs advise.

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Posted

Classicgas makes a good point about meds causing problems. Have you had a recent change that could be causing an issue?

I had a heart attack in 2014 and the end result was being diagnosed with conjestive heart failure. If I overdo it I get short of breath. I have learned to pace myself. I do as much as I can do without exceeding my limits. 

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Posted

Do you by chance take Metoprolol? I was on a 25 mg dose twice a day, and started having lots of problems with light headedness, felt like a was going to pass out, and had trouble breathing, felt like I couldn't draw a deep breath. Those are a couple of the side effects of it. My cardiolgist halfed my dosage, and the symptomes have pretty much cleared. The vertigo and dizziness I still have I had before my heart attack in July.

Well. Now that's kind of discouraging. Guess what the cardiologist just prescribed for me. Yep, Metoprolol. And at 100mg per day, 50 in the morning and 50 at night. I had been taking Lisinopril and Indapamide. He took me off the Indapamide when I saw him, and plans on taking me off the Lisinopril if the Metoprolol works out for me. The other prescription he is concerned with is Simvastatin. Might have to change it too. Sure hate to hear that about the Metoprolol.

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Posted

You gotta do what you gotta do, Steve.  Even though the breaks don't feel right, they're working for you.  So keep following the docs advise.

Yeah, you're right, of course. I have to somehow retrain myself to doing things differently. I can't keep passing out every time I take on some project. It's not the passing out that is the problem. It's what I'm doing at the time I pass out. If I happen to be on a ladder, running a saw, or lifting something heavy over my head, I could hurt myself pretty badly if I zonked out. It's just hard to work for a half hour, then take a half hour break. 

Classicgas makes a good point about meds causing problems. Have you had a recent change that could be causing an issue?

I had a heart attack in 2014 and the end result was being diagnosed with conjestive heart failure. If I overdo it I get short of breath. I have learned to pace myself. I do as much as I can do without exceeding my limits. 

Hadn't had any changes recently that would be the cause. The cardiologist just thought the Indapamide might be causing problems since it's a water pill. He was concerned I might be getting a little dehydrated when I do some work.

Yeah, this shortness of breath thing is really kind of scary. I was always really active and it took a lot for me to get winded, but any more it takes so little that it kinda scares me. Just squatting down doing something causes it to happen. The cardiologist said that's because when you get in a squatted position your heart has to pump harder to move the blood down to your legs. Any time the heart works harder the lungs have to work harder. Man, the things I've learned in the past few years amazes me. ;)

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Posted

I've been informed on several occasions that, as I have little tolerance for ineptitude, ignorance and stupidity, I have no heart.

The upside is that I should never have need of a cardiologist.  B)

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Posted

My wife takes Metropolol with no problems, so it may not be a problem for you. I am or was on Brilinta, that lists similar side effects, as well as lipitor. I am now on the generic of Plavix instead of Brilinta, far cheaper. Brilinta is nearly $350 a month. Generic of Plavix is $30.

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Posted

Everyone reacts differently to the various drugs. It is good to know the side-effects so that you can ask the right questions when you are talking to your doctor. It never hurts to keep those folks on their toes.

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Posted

I get all my meds from the VA. Co-pay of $8 per month, per prescription. Otherwise I'd never be able to afford it all. Taking 16 prescriptions right now. At $8 per it still adds up. I feel for guys I hear that have to pay out of pocket for all their meds. I don't know how some do it.

Yeah, side effects for some of this stuff can be worse than what they're meant to cure, or treat. I get some serious muscle cramps with the Simvastatin. Kinda hoping the cardioligist decides to switch it out.

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