Tag Archives: heart

It has been 2 weeks and a day since the ASD closure.

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I am feeling some better now. I hurt more that usual, but I do not know why. I went early to have an echo on Thursday August 9th because I called and told them how rotten I felt. The echo shows the Gore Helex is where it should be. Now if the thing stays that way and I do not get really allergic to the metal in it I might feel even better.  Not as good as I would have if some of the damn doctors I have been to over the years had figured out what was wrong with me and not just put it off on mild depression. Get a clue doctors, anyone would be mildly or more depressed if they never feel good.

I wonder if I should have not got a Gore Helex and had surgery to fix the hole? I guess time will tell.

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ASD Closure?

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I had a second ablation on May 16, 2012. It was for V Tach. That worked for the V Tach. I started to notice another type of beat right after the ablation. I thought it was V Tach though it did not feel quite the same. I had called one heart doctor’s office and asked  about a weird beat. Asked them if it was normal for that to happen after an ablation and would it stop. They really did not know that I was talking about. I had appointments with both heart doctors the next week .

I was at Dr. Mohoney’s office on Thursday when it happen again and they caught it on a EKG. It lasted about ½ hour this time, it had never lasted that long before, but it has not come back since.

The different beat is Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia. It comes on fast, can last several days or less than a minute, can be stopped by coughing or straining or cold water in the face. Drinking water has worked for me. Might come back now, next week or 5 years from now or never.  Can cause heart failure, can be stopped by an iv of a drug that can only be gotten at the ER. Big copay for that.  Big surprise, there is an ablation for that too, but no medicine to help it.

I went Friday the 13 of July 2012 to have the ASD closed. The doctor did a TEE and got a weird look on his face. He explained that the hole is now larger/longer because of the ablations and the hospital had to order a different type of closure. He could not use the one he was going to use because it would have to be placed where it could erode the aorta.

Today I look on MyChart where I get e-mails throught my GP’s office and see now I am going on the Friday the 27 of July to have the septal closure done. But who knows, your guess is as good as mine. The heart doctor’s office did not call me, did not ask me a thing, just set it up for this time and did not even let me know about it Friday afternoon. I have to let my boss know as soon as possible because she needs to get a sub. I am calling Monday morning to confirm this and ask them why they did not call me with the information on Friday afternoon.

This is what I am having put in my heart.

GORE HELEX® Septal Occluder used for ASD repair.   W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc.

The GORE HELEX® Septal Occluder is a transcatheter closure device used to treat ASDs. It is a disc-like device that consists of ePTFE patch material supported by a single Nitinol wire frame. The device is folded into a special catheter and inserted into a vein in the leg. Using a guide wire, the device is advanced through the atrial septum. When the catheter is in the correct position, the device slowly is pushed out of the catheter until it covers the defect. The device bridges the septal defect. Over time, heart tissue grows over the implant, and it becomes part of the heart, permanently correcting the defect.

Ablation and beyond.

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I had the ablation done on January 10, 2012 it took 6 hours.  The first 4 days after I felt fine and was encouraged. Then I am not sure what happen, but I started to feel really bad, I had chest pains, trouble breathing, and just felt terrible. I called the doctors office and was told to call back if I got worse. I called back several times and finally talked to the nurse that did get some tests done, the tests did not show any problems, but it took another week for me to feel as good as I had right after the ablation.

It is now February 28 and I still do not feel as good as I did before I had the ablation done.

I do not have the Afib beats now, but I do have an extra bottom heart beat that is worse now. The doctor is talking about another ablation for that. I am not sure I want to go through another ablation, but when the beat is really acting up I feel so worn out.

I was in the hospital for 4 days 2-21-12 to 2-24-12 to start a new medicine, sotalol. That replaced the multaq. On Friday 2-17-12 when I was at the doctor I told him I was having trouble breathing. That is better now.  The bottom beat is better now I think. It is hard to tell. This is such a long drawn out ordeal. If the beats every get taken care of then I have to have the hole fixed or if the extra beats can not get taken care of I have to get the hole fixed and just live with the medicines and the beats. Atrial fibrillation is a discouraging condition.

I am going to keep walking and lose more weight and I plan to feel better.

There’s a hole and it ain’t in the bottom of the sea. Heart part 3

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So I have the echo. I get a call from Dr.G.  and he said that he wants me to have a TEE transesophageal (pronounced trans-esoff-a-gee-ul) echo, done by Dr.M.”in this echo the echo transducer is placed in the esophagus (pronounced esoff-a-gus) or food pipe that connects the mouth to the stomach. Since the esophagus sits behind the heart, the echo beam does not have to travel through the front of the chest, it offers a much clearer image of the heart, particularly, the back structures, such as the left atrium, which may not be seen as well by a standard echo taken from the front of the heart.”

He says that the echo that was done in his office shows a hole in my atrium, an atrial septal defect (ASD) is a form of congenital heart defect that enables blood flow between the left and right atria via the interatrial septum.

You might wonder why the other echoes did not show this. I am sure they did. The real question is why did the technician doing the test and the doctor looking at it not notice what it took last technician a few minutes to see.

So I go in the hospital and have the TEE. It is an outpatient test and yes I have a hole, it has always been there, it is the reason I have AFib. It is reason I would faint if I tried to do a lot, never feel good, never have a lot of energy.  It explains a lot. The TEE  was done on November 15, 2011.

Of course that does not help the AFib or the years of no energy. At least I did not have a stroke which is the way some people find out about their ASD.

This doctor wants to fix the hole, but the ablation needs to be done first. Ablations do not always work the first time, but it is the best/only treatment there is for AFib

Heart part 1

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I had not heard of Atrial Fibrillation on the first of May 2011. By the middle of May I had gotten sick and did not get better as fast as everyone else that got sick at the same time.  Just about everyone I knew was sick around the end of April/the first of May. By the time I went to the doctor he told me to go to the hospital and I heard of Atrial Fibrillation

“In Atrial Fibrillation (A-Fib) the upper part of your heart beats (quivers) faster than the rest of your heart. If you could look inside your chest, the top part of your heart would be shaking like Jell-O or beating more rapidly than the lower section of your heart. You feel an uncomfortable flutter in your chest or like your heart is going to jump out of your ribs or that your heart is “flip-flopping around.” Your pulse is irregular and/or more rapid than normal. Someone described their A-Fib as “…like a motor idling too fast in my chest.” Or “like I had a maniacal bass drummer hidden away in my chest.” You may feel lightheaded (fainting), very tired, have shortness of breath, sweating and chest pain, swelling in your legs.
Somewhere in your heart extra electrical signals are being generated which cause the top part of your heart (the atria) to contract and quiver rapidly and irregularly (fibrillate) like a bag of worms. The atria can contract as many as 300-600 times a minute.” http://www.a-fib.com/Overview.htm

This is AFib. This started a long winding trail of screw-ups. I did not see the cardiologist in the hospital that my family practice doctor called when he told me to drive myself to the hospital. I was assigned to a group of doctors that was there one day and then the whole group took the weekend off.  One of the test I had on Friday the 13th did not show any blockages. The other test, an echo, did not show anything that the hospital could see but a heart that had the beginning of damage caused by AFib. By the time I left the hospital I was so bad off I could hardly walk. Another group of cardiologists that was on call and looked in on me over the weekend would not tell me anything or do anything for me because I was not their patient. I was dumb enough to switch for a little while to this second group of doctors. I did get a little better at home, luckly I got away from that hospital. I will never go back there as a patient if I know where I am going.

I then waited for an appointment with the doctor. I went and was asking a lot of questions that he just did not want to answer. He kept saying the AFib was under control and that was good. It was not good, I could not sleep with my heart beating like a drummer on crack. It never stopped. The first group of doctors had put me on a new drug for blood clots called pradaxa because I asked if I could take relafen with it. He said that was okay. NO it was not. I stopped the relafen as soon as I was out of the hospital and could read information about pradaxa. The second group of doctors said it was okay to take celebrex with the pradaxa. I did continue that. I am not sure it is safe, but I must have something for pain. I was also taking carvedilol (Coreg) I was to come back in a month and have a limited echo and talk about electrical cardioversion and medicines. I go back and the doctor tells me I can not have a cardioversion because of a heart attack. (I did not have a heart attack.) I can never take any of the medicines to keep my heart in rhythm, I can stay like I am and get slowly worse and then get a pace maker. The doctor did tell me he had been out of school for 25 years and he did not know anything about the new treatments for AFib. I  did have the limited echo. It showed improvement in my heart function and it did not show anything else that this doctor or this technician could see