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21 hours ago · Questions about Eliquis in Heart Rhythm Conditions

@catmom777 Hi catmom… I love that name. I have 3 kitties. One of the mistakes we can make as patients is to think that there is a causal relationship with something as in your example of linking your symptoms to a prescribed drug. While it might be true; it also might not. There are many variables in body chemistry, and a real scientific experiment has to eliminate other variables to be valid. Electrolytes are very important because all your muscles and nerve impulses are dependent on electricity that this generated by the charged ions crossing cell membranes. Your body needs sodium and potassium for this which are both positively charged. Potassium is absorbed because the sodium is kicked out of the cell by a "sodium pump" which by removing positively charged ions creates a void that is filled when the positively charged potassium ions enter the cell. The sodium crosses the cell membranes easily, but not potassium which is why your cells have to work to kick out sodium so they can absorb potassium. Both are necessary in the right amounts. Listen to your body and how you felt after the saline infusion. Your heart is the most important muscle in your body, and it generates it's own electrical signals to coordinate the heart beat. It's like a precision dance, and the atria have to pass the blood to the ventricles so they can send it out to the rest of the body. Thanks for sharing your experience. My elderly mom takes Eloquis and doesn't have symptoms of dizziness. there can be many other reasons for it too, some drug related, some physical problems in the inner ear, and sometimes problems with the spine that causes muscle spasms that move the upper cervical vertebrae which affects nerves and causes dizziness. That one I know about and have that in my own health experience. It's good to ask questions as a patient, and learn from it.

21 hours ago · Questions about Eliquis in Heart Rhythm Conditions

@catmom777 You did the right thing to use your blood pressure monitor and call for help after your erratic heart rate. I understand not wanting to go to the emergency room, but if in doubt, you should go. Those could be symptoms of a heart attack to wake up with a crazy heart rate if you hadn't just had a nightmare. In a heart attack, part of the heart muscle dies weakening your heart. Don't take chances with your heart. I took myself to the emergency room one day when my resting heart rate was 120. It was a breathing problem caused by a chest full of phlegm due to an infection and my heart was compensating trying to deliver the oxygen my body needed.

If you haven't already, please see a cardiologist. You need to discuss your decisions about taking prescriptions. I know we all have concerns about bad effects from drugs, and it's good to ask questions about them, but a decision that you make on your own can be serious. Don't guess with your heart. You do need to figure out why you are having an electrolyte imbalance and if there is another disease behind that causing the issues that then affect your heart. The kidneys are part of the balance by excreting wastes and reabsorbing nutrients. My mom had some kidney problems and her potassium blood levels were very elevated which put her at increased risk of a heart attack, and for awhile, she had to eliminate potassium in her diet. She had an emergency treatment with something to bring down the critical potassium levels. Her kidneys eventually recovered and she is OK now. I think this happened as a result of the numerous pain medicines she was given in a long recovery after breaking her pelvis,ankle and foot. She had gone through a 3 month rehab stay and they were always dosing her with drugs, and I caught them overdosing her in the hospital and saw how it affected her breathing. She also developed slight jaundice because her liver wasn't happy after all that either.

My dad was a heart patient, and I saw what he went through and cared for him in end stage heart failure. He had an electrical problem where his heart did not correctly initiate the signals to coordinate his heart beat. He had afib, and I saw that on the monitors every time I was in the emergency room with him. He had a pacemaker/defibrillator that saved his life several times. I sent him to the emergency room many times when he didn't recognize the problem. He also had had a head injury years earlier and lost the ability of critical thinking and reasoning. He took a drug for the electrical heart problem. Eventually, he had an ablation to stop the erroneous signals from the heart node. He had a first heart attack at 50, then 2 years later, a quadruple bypass.

So please consult a cardiologist and discuss everything you take, supplements, prescription drugs that you take, and those that you are waiting to see if you need before taking them. Discuss your diet and if it is deficient in nutrients. The decisions about regulating blood pressure with medications and regulating heart rate should be made by a medical professional and as patients we should be an active participant in that discussion with our doctors.

21 hours ago · Questions about Eliquis in Heart Rhythm Conditions

@catmom777 Call Medicare and ask about billing. My mom is in on Medicare and also has a supplement insurance plan, and a prescription plan, so that pays everything with her medical bills. Medicare providers have to accept the rates that Medicare sets, and I don't think they are allowed to bill the patient. If there was anything else, the Bluecross plan picks it up. Medicare can answer.

Sleep apnea can be a big part of the issues and can contribute to heart disease, so I think you are right linking that to afib. You'll feel a lot better after you address that. A friend of mine had some anxiety being caused by sleep apnea because she was always in fight or flight mode all night when she stopped breathing. She said getting a CPAP machine made a huge difference. She had gone through a hospitalization when they had trouble figuring out what was wrong. Would it help to sleep only half reclined in a recliner until you can get to the cardiologist? It might keep your throat from closing off if you are not laying flat. That's a guess. I don't have sleep apnea.

21 hours ago · Questions about Eliquis in Heart Rhythm Conditions

@catmom777 You found the missing piece of the puzzle, so now embrace it, and go out and advocate for yourself to take care of these things. Now that you are more aware, pay closer attention to the details and clues about your health. Don't stress over it, but be aware and informed, because with knowledge and acceptance there are choices to be made. If you have more critical issues before your appointment with the cardiologist, please go for help. Good for you, you're on the right track now!

1 day ago · Art for Healing in Just Want to Talk

I wanted to share a story I recently discovered. The Mayo Brothers had a connection with Northwestern in Chicago, and commissioned a portrait of themselves and gifted it to Northwestern. Here is an excerpt and a link to the story.

"The portrait was presented to Northwestern University in 1929, partially in gratitude for an honorary degree of Doctor of Science bestowed to Dr. William Mayo in 1929* and in honor of Dr. Charlie Mayo's Alma Mater (Northwestern University), MD Class of 1888 and MA 1904. Dr. Charlie was awarded an honorary LLD in 1921. For many years there was an annual lectureship in surgery in his name at the medical school. He was recipient of the Alumni Merit Award in 1934 and was a trustee of the University."

https://galter.northwestern.edu/News/return-of-the-mayo-brothers-portrait-to-galter

1 day ago · Music Helps Me in Just Want to Talk

I would like to introduce a beautiful song from one of my friends who is a singer songwriter and a music therapist. I contacted him a few years ago to ask about music therapy and how it could help me because I was afraid of major surgery. At that time, I had seen a few spine surgeons, and none wanted to help me. It was good to know that I was doing all the right things with music trying to cope with my situation as my pain symptoms were getting worse. What I did was to take measurements of my blood pressure before and after I listened to music that I loved, and I learned to lower it 15 points by doing this along with deep relaxed breathing. My friend told me to use the rhythm and timing of the music to synchronize with my breathing, so I was breathing slow and in time to the music. This was the beginning of how I learned to cope with my anxiety, and I learned to defeat it. I came to Mayo and had the spine surgery that changed my life. Please enjoy this beautiful song and may it bring you hope in these troubled times. Be kind, stay safe, and know that you are not alone.

2 days ago · Allergies, Antihistamines and COVID-19 in COVID-19

@cavstat I have allergic asthma, and my experience is that if I control the allergies, I control the asthma and tend to avoid needing to use rescue inhaler medication. I do allergy shots that are specifically made for me by my doctor's office after each individual component is tested for the maximum dose I will tolerate before it causes a reaction, and that is the treating dose in the vial of the extract they make for me. I've also recently been taking generic Zyrtec everyday, but according to my doctor, antihistamines loose their effect if taken repeatedly, so shots are are better control as long as they are current. Avoidance works too by putting on a mask or using a HEPA air filter. Honestly, I don't like giving myself shots, and don't want to do that when I'm overly tired because I have to be concerned about maintaining a sterile injection. Retesting needs to be done every couple years because the shots did work, and lessened the allergy response, so a different dose is needed to be effective. I have to do them about every 4 days to keep shots effective or more frequently if there is a lot of exposure like when molds are very high during damp warm weather. Adding an antihistamine on top of the injection helps. I also have a physical issue with one side of my chest that doesn't always move properly because of muscular tightness related to thoracic outlet syndrome. If I get too much phlegm that gets trapped, because my lungs are not moving enough to clear it, I tend to get a bacterial chest infection and need antibiotics to clear it so thinking about the flu or COVID-19 does make me worry a lot. Recently, I became aware of another issue that was contributing to too much phlegm in my chest and that was from very old root canals in my teeth that failed and were sending infection and cadmium into my jaw bone, and causing inflammation in my body. I made the decision to get Zirconium (ceramic with no metal) dental implants and had my bad teeth removed 4 weeks ago as preparation. Right away, I had a lot less phlegm in my lungs, and my breathing is a lot more relaxed now, and I take fewer breaths per minute now as a norm, and I feel much better. I know that are a lot of factors that affected my breathing and I think that I may have finally broken the pattern I had of having repeated chest infections from trapped phlegm that had been going on for a couple years.

When you have overlapping symptoms, it may be hard to distinguish illness from allergy, and that is so much more important now because of COVID-19. Now that my lung are functioning much better, I am more attuned to any changes in symptoms, and can address it right away, and then if my treatment works, I know that it was allergies at work. The symptoms are slightly different between allergies and viral infection, and there is a good comparison table on this Asthma and Allergy Foundation page that Colleen shared. – Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know https://community.aafa.org/blog/coronavirus-2019-ncov-flu-what-people-with-asthma-need-to-know

Any inflammation in the body adds up and keeps the immune system busy, so it makes sense to me also that this will distract the immune system from fighting a COVID infection. As for the question about antihistamines, using them has helped me stay well, so I presume that they did not weaken my immune system. Time will tell if I have broken the cycle of bacterial chest infections, and I think everything I'm doing has helped including physical therapy and doing self PT work at home. I have stopped all my PT and non urgent medical appointments because it is too risky to be exposed to others while this pandemic is getting worse on the steep upward curve. Our immune system doesn't know what to do with the Coronavirus, and I have been reading about how it is attaching to receptors in the lungs and heart, and how there are sugar molecules associated with it These receptor sites are also the targets of drugs for management of heart disease and this suggests a need to study the mechanism of how the Coronavirus attaches to and damages heart and lung cells. From what I am reading, it attaches more easily that other viruses. Viruses use cells by injecting their genetic material, and redirecting the host cell to manufacture multiples of the virus which kills the cell, and the new mass of virus is shed from the cell. All of this causes lung damage and may also be happening in hearts as was suggested as a possibility in what I read. The heart speeds up if the lungs don't deliver enough oxygen. Here is a link that explains some of the heart issues with this virus.

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/coronavirus-covid-19-why-some-heart-patients-especially-vulnerable

Sat, Mar 21 2:01pm · Isolation: How Do We Handle it? in COVID-19

This is an excellent essay that describes what we are facing now with needing to be isolated and our feelings of wanting community interaction. We really do need each other now more than ever. https://medium.com/@shannonstoby/that-time-we-realized-we-needed-each-other-c6be092498a2