Friday, January 21, 2011

The rapid heart rate question

Wed. Jan. 19, 2011

I certainly didn't expect, at my age, I'd have to sit down and rest after climbing one flight of stairs. It's sort of funny, I think I didn't know how to relax before. I was one of those people who take on to much sometimes. Now, I am being forced by my body to relax. Ha!

I live on the 2nd floor, and anytime I need to go downstairs for anything, I have to strategize carefully. I frequently forget things at the bottom of the stairs where I take off my coat and shoes and end up kind of kicking myself, because it takes a chunk of time out of my day when I have to go down or up. Down used to be the worst, because I was always afraid I was going to fall forward. Now, I have gotten used to the dizziness and don't fear falling as much, but the "winded", light-headed, heart pounding a mile a minute feeling I often experience when nearing the top of the stairs is the worst. I'm sitting here now because I was in the middle of sorting laundry and forgot something downstairs and had to go get it, and then I had to sit down. But at least I am in the mood to sort laundry. My headache has been pretty mild, meaning tolerable and not debilitating as it can be, for the last few days, and I've gotten a lot done! And yesterday after acupuncture I felt great! I actually did some stretches and leg lifts in the afternoon, and then we went to see a movie! I haven't been to a movie in months. There have been so many times Dani and I have planned to see a movie, and I've bailed cause of my headache. We saw TRON. It was pretty entertaining and I had a great time, but what was with those suits? How are you supposed to get away from the bad guy in a glowing suit that practically serves as a beacon? Why didn't they turn their suits off when they were trying to avoid getting killed? I guess it wouldn't have been as cool. *eye roll* So anyway, I can't complain! I've sat long enough now. Off to do laundry!
Fri. Jan. 21, 2011

I am in the middle of a battle of wills with my GP and all the other health care professionals I am currently seeing. They seem to keep pointing to the "anxiety" label whenever I bring up these concerns about rapid heart rate brought on by exertion, accompanied by lower extremity "weakness", shortness of breath, dizziness, intensified headache, and the overwhelming need to sit down, even if my only available choice is to sit on a curb. I might be a few meters away from my home, but I'll still need to sit somewhere in order to regain my balance and allow my heart rate to return to normal. I used to have "panic attacks", and then they stopped for years. Here I was thinking I had conquered them through cognitive behavioral therapy, but they are back! However, I wonder if they were ever truly "panic attacks". It definitely helps to try to relax and center myself while these attacks are happening, but I am absolutely certain that they are triggered more by exertion and the act of standing and walking rather than by stressful events.

My GP is sending me for another resting ECG (electrocardiogram). *Sigh*. I am sure it will turn up nothing as my heart rate doesn't sky-rocket to 140 bpm when I'm resting! It happens when I exert myself, but only slight exertion will do it. Taking out the garbage (light-weight garbage btw, less than 15lb) should not make your heart rate jump 50bpm unless there is something wrong, and that something wrong, that happens when I stand and walk is probably not going to show on a resting test! Arg. I suppose I will just follow the protocol and bug her some more about it after the results come in. Maybe they can try some different tests after this that are more likely to show results. I hope someone other than me sees what's really going on soon.

1 comment:

  1. Mention POTS to your GP - Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome - It's the latest possible diagnosis my GP has for me. And you'll need to see a specialist to have it properly diagnosed - Dr. Waxman at TO General is the only cardiologist in Ontario. I might not be right about POTS, but it is a possibility.