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maryd

Heart Symptoms but no answers.............

Posted by @maryd in Heart & Blood Health, Jun 28, 2012

I have been experiencing shortness of breath, fluid retention, fatigue since 2005. I have not been able to fly in an airplane without getting chest pressure and difficulty breathing. After the flight, I feel ill and have chest pressure for several days. This all started with a respiratory illness in 2005. I had a fever, sore throat and body aches for a week or so. Things cleared up and I felt well for about a week but than developed an almost constant dry cough. i complained to my doctor but she would not prescribe an antibiotic. Felt is was a virus that had to run its course. A few weeks of the dry cough led to pains in my chest and a trip to the ER. The ER doctor said I was not having a heart attack. A few blood tests and a chest xray were done and I was sent home. I felt horrible for months after this episode. Fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath and an inability to exercise persisted. Stress tests, echos, chest CT and even cardiac CT and cardiac Cath was done. Nothing was revealed by these tests. I continue to have these symptoms. My life has not been the same. Has anyone experienced anything like this? I think it's heart failure or valve damage from whatever I was sick with in 2005 but nothing is showing up on the tests that I've had. I am now to the point where any exercise regimen that I try to start brings on symptoms of fluid retention, weakness, and shortness of breath.

bobed

Posted by @bobed, Jul 20, 2012

I experienced similar symptoms but no cough. Started about a year and a half ago. Had tests done including a heart cath. This was spring of last year. Last summer, started feeling fatigue, and short of breath. Had to sit upright to sleep. This lasted about a month, then all symptoms went away. Felt great until about 3 weeks ago. Symptoms started back, got really bad. Finally went to Emergency room due to short of breath. Diagnosis: Congestive Heart failure

maryd

Posted by @maryd, Jul 20, 2012

Thanks for sharing your experience. Can you please answer these questions? 1.)How did they diagnose the Congestive Heart Failure?
2.) Was it just based on your symptoms of shortness of breath or did they do more tests?
3.)Do they think it's what you have been having on and off since a year and half ago?
4.)What do they think caused the heart problem to begin with?
5.) What did they treat you with?
6.) Did your symptoms seem to start after you had been exercising for a few days or weeks?
Sorry for so many questions. I'm just really desperate to find a reason for my symptoms.
I hope you are feeling much better.

bobed

Posted by @bobed, Jul 20, 2012

Went I went to the ER, I could BARELY breath. They did an X ray, an echocardiogram and before long, the ER Dr. announced the news. My symptoms started last year, and then just went away. Thats why I advise you to keep digging for answers. Last summer I didnt even go to DR. It just went away. I have hypertension which has been hard to get under control for years. I think my case is due to hypertension, combined with heavy drinking and smoking, so a large part of my treatment will be lifestyle change. The irony is that even though I drank and smoked, I also excercised. I have been told as of right now, not to excercise. Whew! You know its serious when they tell you that. Have you been to a DR WHILE you were having symptoms? Im thinking this comes and goes, and thats may be why they don't catch it at first. Im also taking a host of medications, some of which I was already taking, some new, such as warfarin(bloodthinner). One more thing. This hit me FAST. And I do mean FAST. 3-4 weeks ago I felt great. As good as Ive ever felt. Then it started, first with a tight, distended feeling in stomach. Then on to breathlessness. Any more questions, fire away, Ill try to help.

maryd

Posted by @maryd, Jul 21, 2012

Thanks for answering all my questions........I really appreciate it. I'm also wondering if you had been exercising at all a few days or weeks prior to the episode that you had 3-4 weeks ago. Do you know what your ejection fraction was when they diagnosed the heart failure? Normal would be greater than 50%.
My first episode started after a bad upper respiratory infection 2005. I went to the ER but it was a Saturday night and they did not have any CT or Ultrasound staff there. The doctor seemed reluctant to contact the people that were "on call." I can't help but wonder that if an echocardiogram had been done they may have found "heart failure." I was short of breath for a couple of months after that first episode. I think you're right about being examined during my symptoms. Sometimes I have had an echocardiogram when I'm feeling symptoms but they don't show much. I have never had a normal EKG since the first event in 2005. EKG always shows non-specific changes now. The docs don't really say much about that. It's a mystery for sure. My hunch is that I have a valve that is narrowed from an infection that started in my respiratory tract and than went to the heart muscle. This would cause the heart to have to circulate blood against the resistance of a narrowed valve which would tire out the heart muscle much like hypertension does . Anything that tires out the heart muscle could eventually lead to heart failure. I have an appt. at Mayo soon..........I sure hope they can help me. My dad had an aortic valve replacement in his 60's so maybe that has some significance for me.Thanks for reading my blogs and giving me helpful information. I hope you continue to do well on your medication. I know it must be very hard to be told not to exercise. Is there any chance that could change in the near future?

bobed

Posted by @bobed, Jul 22, 2012

Hope to start excercising right away. Have a Dr. appointment this week. Hopefully he will give me the go ahead for excercise. Went to a car show yesterday and walked around for a couple of hours. Had a couple of short breath episodes, but nothing extereme. As I said, keep digging. There HAS to be something wrong. I dont say this to make you worry, just being realistic. Probably not all that serious, but you need to find out. Just going by my own experience.

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