We thought we had the AFIB under control then I went to Bradycardia my heart rate was super low.
It ranged from 42 to 46 beats per minute. What this does it make you feel cold inside your body like you are standing in a freezer. There’s not much blood moving at all.
I saw the cardio on Friday but he had me quit the Amioderane before I saw him.
I started a new script Warfarin to prevent blood clots.
I will see a heart valve specialist at Baylor/ St Lukes’s/ Texas Heart Institute next week.
This will see if I am a candidate for valvoplasty this is to get the AFIB under control. Evidently, my mitral valve is very small it’s stenotic. This makes my atrium very large and this causes too much blood to pool it is like flooding out the atrium and flooding my lungs.
It seems that the AFIB will continue and get worse each time this happens.
I am grateful we are outside of Houston and have access to some of the best Drs in the world. My current cardiologist has always listened to me and my concerns he is a great Dr.
Over the next few weeks there will be a lot more testing on my heart they have to make sure this will do me some good.
I will update you when I have more information to share.
Monday night while watching TV, my throat closed up, and my heart started racing.
I found my Kardio Mobile my cardiologist had me buy and checked my heart rate.
It said AFIB I tried it 5 times and all 5 said AFIB. Off to the ER, we went. This thing is great for anyone that has heart rhythm issues.
I walked into the ER and told them I was in AFIB and they took me straight back this was a good thing because there was about 40 or 50 people in the ER.
My heart raced up to 178 beats a minute then down to 130 back and forth never going below 130. It took 3 IV injections of metoprolol and a digoxin pill to get it down to 120 as time went on slowly by 7 a.m. Tuesday it was in the 70s. I had about 12 hours of fast heart rate, and my whole chest felt bruised.
I developed fluid in my lungs from the afib but they kept me until Wednesday evening and finally I could go home.
They upped my metoprolol dosage and added amiodarone to the mix, so far so good. They said the fluid would go away from the fluid pills it was mild fluid in the lungs caused by being in AFIB. My current heart rate is 57 – 62.
It seems the mitral valve that is already damaged gets worse during AFIB, but when the heart rate returns to normal, the valve returns to its previous state.
I feel okay I have been a little more tired than usual but last time it took me about a week to get over the AFIB episode.
I am thankful I did not have to do cardioversion again and everything turned out okay.
On Monday and Tuesday I take my mother in law to the church and the ladies get together and make quilts and rosaries.
This past Monday I took her to church and all of a sudden while inside the building I got extreme left sided center chest pain. I was sweating really bad but the AC was out in the building for some reason. Then I got short of breath and my arms and shoulders got tingly and numb.
Since I do a lot of reading and have always been interested in medical information I knew what it was but at the same time I knew I was in a room of 12 ladies in their mid 70s – 95. I did not want to have a heart attack and scare them all to death. I got in mother in laws van and drove home its like a 10 minute drive. I called Jack and talked to him all the way home.
When I got home he wanted me to go to the ER right then but even though I knew what was happening I was in denial. I tried to blow it off that the peanut butter toast I had for breakfast gave me indigestion even though it had never done this before.
About 3:30 I emailed my cardio told him my symptoms went from left center chest pain to numb arms and shoulders but then the pain traveled from the left to the right after about 3 hours. He suggested I go to the ER right away so by this time was around 5:45 p.m. We were in the ER about 6:15 p.m. The really bad pain that was a 10+ was now around a 5 and on the opposite side.
We get to the ER and there are 60 people in there. I wanted to just leave but we stayed. There were people all around with puke bags and stuff all I could think of was all the germs in that room circulating all around. I kept my mask on and did not dare to take if off. I kept telling myself not to go the restroom.
We found out there were no empty rooms in the hospital they have 293 beds.
I was taken back fairly quickly for a EKG it was a bit squirly but not crazy. A few hours later finally blood work was done and my troponin levels were high that is the enzyme that tells if you have had a heart attack. At this point the Dr informed me I had a heart attack. I was immediately put in a ER room and put on a heparin IV for the next 6 hrs. During that time my blood was checked 2 or 3 times and for some reason my Troponin levels were going up and not down.
Troponins are a group of proteins found in skeletal and heart (cardiac) muscle fibers that regulate muscular contraction. Troponin tests measure the level of cardiac-specific troponin in the blood to help detect heart injury.
Next thing I know this nurse rushes in the room early a.m. takes my ice water and on her way out the door says no more drinking anything your going to surgery. Finally the nurse that was in charge of me came in there and explained the cardiologist was concerned about heart damage and I was going for a heart catherization and a stent.
I had surgery at 8 a.m. on Tuesday. I kept praying to god to watch over me and take care of me I still have lots of life I want to live. I tried my best not to fall asleep but the drugs knocked me out but I woke back up and talked to the Dr. a a few times. It is only 62 degrees in the catherization lab I was freezing. The nice thing is there is a 70″ screen and you can watch the procedure as its happening IF you are awake.
I had a blockage in the left anterior descending artery which branches off the left coronary artery that supplies blood to the left side front of the heart. I learned I had heart damage from this heart attack. The inside wall of the LA upper portion inside is damaged. I am grateful my cardiologist was able to meet me at the hospital and do my surgery.
The cardio said the blood thinner I was on saved my life it was Clopidogrel I was given it last September after the aorta illiac stent was put in. He changed me to a super blood thinner Brilinta 90 mg 2 x a day that should prevent any further heart attacks. It had only been 10 months since my last stent. It is those inherited disorders that will catch up to you at some point.
They ordered breathing treatments because I was very short of breath but my oxygen levels were 93-95 so I did not need or want oxygen I hate that thing in my nose or on my face. I was given the breathing treatments every 4 hours and the dr called in a script for a home nebulizer with 2 medications. This could be a side effect from the heart attack and it seems to be getting a bit better every day.
I finally got to come home Thursday night around 7:00 p.m. The cardio ordered cardiac rehab but I am not sure when I get to start it. I might have to wait until I see him for the follow up visit in about 3 weeks but I did call rehab to check on it.
My after affects of this heart attack I feel like I have been ran over by a freight train, chest is bruised and sore and I am exhausted. My whole body aches. Walking 500 steps seems like 5000. I have been through a lot in my lifetime and never have I ever felt this bad. I already have about 8 bruises from the blood thinners.
From what I have been told and read it says it can take up to 8 months to fully recover from a heart attack. I am stubborn I will not push myself to hard but will try to walk short walks a few times a day by short I mean 500 steps.
Never ignore symptoms and then go into denial. Pay attention to your body and what it is trying to tell you. Now I know for sure what a heart attack feels like I will get to the ER right away if this ever happens again. I am hoping by sharing my story I can help save someone else’s life.
I have spent the last few weeks at Dr. Appointments, testing and getting my results on follow up visits.
I have had 3 EKGs, 1 regular stress test, 1 nuclear stress test, 1 echocardiogram and I wore a Holter monitor for 24 hours. The only results that are not back yet are the Holter Monitor.
I have mitral valve stenosis this was discovered about 12 – 14 years ago. Almost every year without fail I have gotten my yearly echo that is until I got breast cancer and then I had other priorities to take care of. No one should ever put off their yearly heart testing that was not very smart of me but I have no one to blame but myself.
Mitral valve stenosis is caused by Rheumatic Fever but I never had that as a child or an adult. This was verified with my parents. Think of stenosis as a hose that is being stepped on and blood can not flow through the valve properly there is leakage spewing and backflow.
My mitral valve is what they call Moderate/ Severe, there is moderate regurgitation or leakage, as well as my Left Atrium, is now enlarged. There is an estimated right ventricle systolic pressure of 45 – 50 mmHg. I am sure this will be verified by a heart catheter in the very near future.
The symptoms that this causes me are cough, chest pain, and soreness like a bruised feeling as well as dizziness and fatigue.
The Cardiologist says right now we have to get my pulse rate down to around 50 it runs 74- 80. To do this we have decreased my thyroid medication, changed BP meds to a channel blocker 2 x a day. He even added Lasix even though I am not retaining fluid he thinks there is fluid we are not seeing. All these things will ease up the pressures around the heart and hopefully help some of my symptoms.
On top of all this, I have lung issues emphysema and asthma so my lungs are not in the best shape.
In order for me to have Mitral Valve Replacement surgery the heart and the lungs have to be in the best shape, we can get them with medication. With getting an artificial valve replacement I will have to be on 2 blood thinners for the rest of my life.
I have a pulmonologist appointment this Friday and we will see if there is anything else we can do for my lungs to get them ready for this surgery.
Hopefully, by January this surgery can happen. It is open heart surgery which means more recoup time for me. The thought of cracked ribs scares me to death as well as being put on a heart-lung machine but I am trying to stay calm and not overreact.
I am sharing my story with you all in the hopes I can help someone else. I want others to learn through my experiences and I will do my best to keep everyone updated as new things happen.