Thursday, June 9, 2011

my achy breaky heart

first of all, thanks so much for the caring comments/emails/texts/wwf messages! it's almost like you'd miss me if something happened. :)

background:
for a week+ (maybe two weeks at this point) i've been having a "racing heart" (i call them "episodes") at bed time and/or in the middle of the night. usually my pulse is somewhat normal, but it feels like my heart is racing. sometimes my pulse is actually fast. usually i feel like i have to catch my breath. i do not wake up sweaty; i do not remember any dreams. the only medication i take is allegra and vitamins (b6, primrose oil, inositol).

friday (6/3) - easy, hour-long morning run. allergy shots day. had a few adult beverages and didn't go to bed until 3:30am (slept til 9:30). one of those beverages was an 'orange bomb' which had monster energy drink in it. perhaps the extra caffeine had a delayed effect? no mid-night episodes, though maybe i was too inebriated to notice.

saturday (6/4) - mid-morning run on a trail (aka slow), 1 adult beverage at the wedding, bed time around 12:30? again, no mid-night episodes.

sunday (6/5) - evening mile repeats. felt a normal amount of discomfort during run. episodes before bed and in the middle of the night.

monday:
i texted my mom (a former nurse) for advice. she has had thyroid issues in the past and i thought this might be related. she suggested i go to a doctor. my mom rarely thinks an ailment needs to be checked out by a doctor... (and thankfully i've never had a serious problem prior to this).

had some episodes at work in the afternoon along with a heartburn-like feeling and general "pressure" (hard to explain). google racing heart + heartburn and learn that angina often feels like heartburn. not comforting.

woke up numerous times from 11pm-3am with more episodes and shortness of breath.

tuesday:
skipped my morning coffee (in case the caffeine is having an effect). for the record i only drink 1 travel-sized mug of coffee 5-days a week, i am not constantly visiting the coffee pot at work like most people. one of my co-workers tells me it's the caffeine from eating too many m&m's, but i've laid off those for the most part since going dairy-free.

after waking up, i just didn't feel normal. i'd like to assume it was because i was thinking too much about what is going on. i tried calling around for an appointment with an internist but only found a noon slot with my general practitioner (who i really didn't want to see because he is your typical doctor - short appointments/little talking, happy to scribble on his prescription pad to fill his quota with pfizer).

i went to tell my boss what was going on and that i'd be gone for a little bit later in the day. he offered to take me to the emergency room because if it was him, he'd go, just to be safe.

waiting for my expensive bag of spinach
honestly, i was getting scared. knowing my gp would be worthless (a blood test would have to be sent out to a lab anyway) i decided to play it safe. josh took me to the er around 9am and i was released back into the wild around 4pm. my blood pressure was checked a bajillion times, ekg was monitored for almost 7 hours, blood work came back mostly normal and i was administered one bag of magnesium (mine came in at 1.7mEq/L, a "normal low" is 2.0). i had to pee but i did not want to have to use a bedpan so i held it.

part of the blood tests were on my thyroid levels (normal) as well as to check for heart disease/issues. i didn't know you could test the blood to see if there was muscle damage to the heart, that's pretty cool. the doc ruled out the "bad stuff" and set me up with a cardiologist for further testing (appointment next tuesday). i asked if i needed to take it easy and he said i could do my "normal activity". i assume that includes running...

but, i haven't run since sunday. i was going to try a short, easy run wednesday evening but a thunderstorm popped up so i watched more netflix movies instead. i think i may reach the end of netflix soon.

so... that's where i am. it's not a very exciting story since i walked myself in the emergency room but i am totally fine with a 'boring' story.
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52 comments :

  1. Interesting stuff and glad you wrote about it. I have had this happen a few times as well. My heart rate feels like it picks up and is irregular and I lose my breath, but it lasts about five secs. Doesn't happen often.

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  2. Hmmmm I'm guessing they may get you on the mill for a stress test. Hope it's nothing serious and you can continue your awesome running and everything else.
    Those pics of you w/IV made my heart skip!

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  3. Hmm. Let me know what the cardiologist does. I haven't shared this a whole lot, but I have heart problems that I was born with and even had a heart procedure done back in 2005. If there was ever a test to be done, I've probably had it. So, if you have any questions feel free to ask and maybe I can help answer them - maybe. I've also had those episodeds, but mine was related to an irregular heart beat, where it beats entirely too fast, skips beats, and the like. I also have a valve that doesn't close all the way and that allows blood to flow through when it shouldn't. Nothing to be really concerned about though. Anywho, if you have any questions, I'd be happy to try to answer them. I'm no doctor (ha!) but maybe I can calm some of your fears!

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  4. That's super scary! You should be glad you have so many supportive people though- your mom, your boss for offering to take you to the ER, Josh for going with you to the ER... I really hope everything is okay and that this is just a few episodes and maybe some sort of medication can get rid of it? I don't blame you for not running because I'd be super paranoid too if that happened to me.

    If you do run, just take it easy, tell someone where you're going and when you'll be back, and I'd run somewhere that a lot of people were around... fortunately your appointment is coming up soon so even if you don't really run until the appointment, it's not like you have to wait long.

    *hugs* feel better soon!

    A.L.

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  5. I strongly wish that everything comes to a good end and there is nothing complicated. Best Regards

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  6. That is scary, and hope that everything is ok. Good to be careful though and get it checked out.

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  7. While I'm so glad to see they didn't find anything serious I am praying that it will continue that way! Maybe it's a good thing you are buddying up to Netflix!

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  8. Boring is definitely good in these scenarios! Glad you seem to be okay ... hopefully the cardio appointment will give you some answers, but not if it means something is wrong. Here's hoping for no more episodes in the mean time.

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  9. Boring story is good when it comes to the E.R.

    I'm no doctor (but I play one on t.v. : )) Not really. But I used to have racing heart episodes. I was absolutely shocked to find out they were anxiety attacks. Do you think you could be sufffering from anxiety?

    Whatever it is -- wishing you the best. Thanks for giving us the details!

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  10. Hi L

    This happened to me back in the summer of 2008. They ran tons of tests here in Barcelona and got me super worried. I had to give up caffeine for 6 months! Then they did more tests. Conclusion: I have Mitral valve prolapse which is not a big deal and unrelated to the racing heartbeat and I’m probably a worry wart. The cardiologist told me, “Keep on running, the more the better! It’s the best thing you can do for your health!”

    I hope you’re up and running soon.

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  11. I have never had a racing heart rate so can't really offer any advice though I am thinking of you and wish you well. I guess you need to take a second look at your diet and perhaps avoid caffeine or energy related drinks in the evenings.

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  12. Glad you're theoretically okay! Who would comment on my blog if you were gone?

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  13. Great they ruled so much out and you can continue your normal activities.

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  14. Hope you are much better soon and feeling back to yourself. A friend of mine had something simliar happen to her about a year ago and after several visits to a cardiologist they never could really pin point what was causing it. Hopefully you can get something figured out. Take care of yourself.

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  15. Glad to hear you're ok, but I know it's frustrating to not really know what's wrong yet. Hopefully it's just stress, which I've kind of had before. Take care of yourself!

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  16. Glad all is coming back "normal" so far....good luck next week with the heart doc! We women have so many hormone issues, it's amazing how much they affect our entire body! Just wait until you get to be "my" age-holy shit, it's hormone revolt!

    Seriously though...do your activity level as you feel, not feeling it-don't do it. Eat your spinach!

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  17. Well dang girl, that's certainly a valid excuse to get out of the contest against Marlene! I hope it all turns out ok, of course. Hahah...I liked how you assumed you could run, like not asking specifically about running was confirmation it was ok ;).

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  18. I hope they find answers and you get better soon!!

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  19. How scary. :-/ Not to make anything worse but I know someone who missed a couple months of training a few years ago (!!!) due to irregular HR. They never quite pin pointed a cause, but apparently that's not "all" that uncommon? I hope they're able to pin point something for you to avoid that kind of hell. Fingers crossed.

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  20. Good thing you've got an understanding boss!

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  21. oh man, take care of yourself and I hope you figure it out soon so you're back to normal! sending lots of feel better vibes your way!

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  22. Ugh that doesn't sound fun but glad you are taking care of it and it doesn't seem to be anything TOO scary. Hope you get some answers soon and start feeling better!

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  23. Sounds scary! Take care of yourself!

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  24. I hope you get a big dose of "put your mind at ease" at the cardiologist and that all is well. You are in my thoughts and prayers!

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  25. Well, thats a great way to get out of going to work - just kidding! Hope you start feeling better - and maybe the fact that you are NOT on M&Ms is causing the problems.

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  26. i am also totally fine with you walking yourself in and out of the er. and also that we can continue to wwf while you are not laid up at the hospital. glad you are good!

    btw, my mom is also a nurse and NEVER says go to the hospital. so when she says go it's usually serious or could be. yay for nurse moms!

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  27. Ack! Glad that the tests so far have been mostly positive. Did the doc think that having low magnesium could impact your heart at all?

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  28. Sure hoping you find out what's going on...take care!

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  29. I hope you figure this out soon! It is so frustrating to not feel "right" but to now have an answer or solution either!

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  30. That is scary stuff! Hopefully you are able to get the full info on what you are dealing with eventually.

    I had something that sounds somewhat similar - I had heartburn a couple years ago mainly due to stress, and the symptoms can almost feel like a heart attack.

    One night I also felt my heart racing because I took too much nyquil after not having taken it in a long time - so my heart started racing. It almost felt like I was having an out of body experience or something.

    So not sure if anything that I experienced relates to you, but it might be because of stress or dehydration or caffeine or something along those lines that pushed your heart to start racing at night. Definitely I would say to back off on strenous running for a bit until you feel better, don't want to stress your heart too much.

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  31. i'm so glad you went!!!!! i would have done the exact same thing. but made my mom come, too :)

    i'd say don't give up on looking for an answer. if the cardiologist doesn't have any, either get a 2nd opinion or try another avenue.

    i'll also second marcia re: stress- it can aggravate medical issues you may already have or even fire up new ones.

    don't be a minimizer!!!!!! i will do the worrying if you don't, and i will keep tabs on you to make sure you are okay :) i would wait to run until after you see the cardiologist. it's not that long and could be worth a lot? xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoooo

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  32. I am hoping that they could find something out on Tuesday. I know you are going to continue to run regardless. I have those heart racing feelings sometimes, but that's if I am in trouble.

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  33. Yes, BORING/NON-EVENTFUL = GOOD in this case!!!!!!!

    So relieved that you went to get things checked out and that everything was looking good.

    Electrolyte imbalances causes heart issues, we keep our patients electrolyte levels above very specific levels, otherwise they can have minor (or major) arrhythmias. At work we always say magnesium is a 'heart protective' electrolyte!

    Anyway, thanks for keeping us posted, so glad to know you're OK :)

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  34. Boring is DEFINITELY good in this case.

    That's scary. I hope they figure out what's going on with you soon!

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  35. Boring is no doubt a good thing here. I'll take it any time.

    Let's hope they are able to figure somethings out and good for you for not going to the GP....waste of time.

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  36. I am glad ur story was a lil boring. Too much excitement and drama wouldn't be so good fot your heart. I thought about a thyroid connection but thought that would be too obvious :)

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  37. Stay well! Glad the story is boring.

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  38. I'm glad for a boring story if that means you're okay! And stay well!

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  39. Be smart and be safe until the docs run all their test. Better safe than sorry!

    Hope they get it all figured out quickly. Maybe your heart is turning into a super human Kenyan heart in which case you'll need to change your blog title "CaughtTheKenyans.Com" :)

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  40. Luckily Lindsay. I am glad to see that these well and so everything has been days of hospital.

    Greetings from Spain.

    I follow. Take care beautiful!

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  41. I am interested in what you find out....I know I am super vigelente about my heart rate and have gone through the same things you have with no real answer......

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  42. as I was reading, I was thinking mitral valve prolapse too. Did they mention, or test for that? My sister has it. It's very common in woman. Sometimes, I can feel my heart "flutter",and it "kind of" takes my breathe away sometimes. I'm sure I have MVP too, but have been diagnosed or tested.

    Please keep us posted. Thanks for sharing.

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  43. Sorry you've been going through all of this but glad that they've ruled out a lot of the bad stuff. Hope you start feeling better and that the appt on Tues goes well!!!

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  44. I'm agreeing with some of the above that a boring story is DEFINITELY good when it comes to the ER. Wishing you the very best the next few days before this cardio appt. Hard to wait and wonder....Thoughts and prayers going your way:)

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  45. Yikes, Lindsay, I hope everything turns out okay! This is the problem with constantly being backed up on all my blog reading...I end up tuning in to all these things late :( I think you know Nat's had some heart issues of his own, so if you want to talk to someone who's been through some of the scary tests and waiting time, I hope you know you can email me!

    Take care of yourself, and get better!!

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  46. Eeeks...I sure hope you are doing OK...I'm glad you went to the ER to get checked out!!

    Hoping to see you in just 2 short weeks...Ethan is looking forward to it too!!!

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  47. Yikes! You're definitely right not to mess around with your heart. (I think that's another song--wait no, that's quit playing games with your heart.) Anyway, relieved to hear you're doing well, and I hope you get an answer soon!

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  48. Very late with this, but hope everything turns out OK. You definitely did the right thing by 'walking' into the ER (better than wheeled, right?) I'm sure you're itchin' for a run, but take things slow and hopefully it never happens again!

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  49. BORING is great, I'm glad it was boring. I was thinking about you ever since I saw the picture...gheeseee, wheezy girl, you scared me!
    Is there an end to netflix? Really?
    Take it easy, I hope these episodes don't come back, that's baffling.
    Hugs!

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  50. Glad to hear that nothing serious (at least according to the doctors) seems to be going on. Glad you went to the ER. Too many people want to self diagnose because they really don't want to hear bad news.

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  51. OMG and yes boring is always best!

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