Three years ago, my sweetie pi had an emergency aortic valve replacement, so I figured I would go to his Cardiologist. It was when I asked for the telephone number of the cardiologist that I told my husband why I needed it. I had an appointment within the week and it was during this initial visit, he took a base line EKG and nothing out of the ordinary. Listened to my heart, took pulse and bp - all seemed ok.
I was also given a prescription for a low dose of Nitro incase I need it - and on May 30th I had a little heart event in the afternoon and ended up taking a Nitroglycerine tablet (a very low dose). I was hoping it would just go away but when my sweetie pi saw me and asked what was wrong (I guess I had a funny look on my face) - I said that was having a little bit of pain in my upper chest and I had some tingling down my left arm and even the last two fingers on the hand were tingling too. It was steady for about 5-10 minutes - it was not getting worse but not going away either - and that was when he asked and I told him. It was then that I took the pill and sat downstairs in case I had to take another one and we had to get to the car really fast He did not freak out but was very concerned so we sat together while we monitored what was going on. After about a half hour all was ok and no other issues for the rest of the evening.
Then on May 31st I was scheduled for the stress test and an echo scan the following Tuesday. During the stress (treadmill) test my heart was beating normally the entire time, which I thought was very strange though one "blip" did show up on the trace.
Just before I left for Maine, I had the Echo scan. I had one skipped beat during the scan which the tech said he was able to catch on the recording. He could not say much but indicated that my ejection rate looked good as did my arteries.
I was not schedule for the test result follow up until I returned from Maine. Oh, and while away I had no chest pains but I did have a few palpitations which I notices were happening the day after I did not get a very good nights sleep.
Last week, I had my follow up.
Yes there is something wrong with my heart. The palpitations were clearly visible on the stress test traces plus my heart rate and blood pressure shot up in the last two minutes of the 8 minute test. On the Echo scan, they also showed up plus the diagnosis of “lack of thickening” of the heart wall (I can’t remember what part of the heart) – this means that when then heart contracts this area is not or is not fully contracting thus the lack of thickening.
So now, I am to take my blood pressure at least 3 times per day and write it down for them. NO heavy exercise until given the A-OK
I am scheduled for a nuclear (dye) stress test. This is so they can actually see what is happening in the heart wall, this is scheduled for July 25th. After that they will also have me wear a hear monitor for 24 hours and I have to record what I am doing when I feel the palpitations so they can correlate the trace with my activities. IF they find anything funky after that I might have to have an angiogram. If it is minor I might just have to take beta-blockers.
As to what caused this, no idea. But my father had some similar issues in the 70's so my sister thinks it may be the same thing as I am about the age where his palpitations showed up but back then they never could identify what the problem was.
As my sister has said - Aging is a one-way ticket to nowhere and it's not fun. It is a pain in the ass.