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Thu, Sep 26 7:38pm · Another Chest Pain story in Heart & Blood Health

Has anyone ever heard of having a step up in oxygen in the right side of the heart without a defect to explain it? I had a right heart cath to rule out pulmonary hypertension (3 echos said I had it in mild to moderate form and I am having shortness of breath as well as at home drops in oxygen during simple tasks like walking – o2 recovers quickly but has dropped as low as 61٪). Pulmonary hypertension was ruled out by the right heart cath. However there was a significant step up in oxygen in the right side of my heart indicating a possible shunt (hole in the heart). The right side of the heart is supposed to be oxygen poor as blood is headed back to the lungs to pick up another load of oxygen. In my case a hole in the heart or other defect was ruled out though bubble echo and heart MRI. Doc said cirrhosis of liver could cause this problem but because I don’t have cirrhosis that I don’t have a reason to be short of breath. (I do have non-alchoholic fatty liver.) Despite this info, I continue to have shortness of breath/fast, shallow breathing that lasts hours and I continue to have o2 drops and lightheadedness with activities of daily living (just walking into the kitchen for example.) I’ve videoed my pulse oximeter to prove this is happening, but so far it hasn’t been an issue in a doctor’s office. During the last in-office 6 minute walk test it took 2 minutes for my heartrate to raise above 70 then 92 was the lowest my saturation dropped. (Of course the hall I walked was short and cluttered with equipment, but at the very list my heartrate should have seen some kind of movement immediately, I am obese and not athletic.) I don’t think the nurse reported the heart rate issue to the pulmonologist and my cardiologists keeps telling me there is nothing wrong with my heart. Last week I was in the ER short of breath – nothing – but while there my BP dropped to 103/34. All this data indicates there is a problem, but docs are saying I am fine and nothing is wrong. I can’t influence right heart cath readings, and I don’t feel that I am doing anything to influence other readings. Has anyone ever heard of something similar to this?

Wed, Jun 19 11:26pm · Mysterious shortness of breath in Lung Health

On a lighter note, my daughter said it is not "OCD" but instead "CDO". She says that way it will be in alphabetical order. 🙂

Mon, Jun 17 12:28am · Another Chest Pain story in Heart & Blood Health

I am glad your new doc is taking you seriously. My chest "pain" is more mild pressure with shortness of breath, lightheadedness, fatigue, drops in o2 when walking (only sometimes) etc. Since 2017 I have been to ER probably a dozen or more times, each time heart is ok. Stress tests unchanged from previous studies, halter monitors one or two isolated hiccups (the kind of irregular beats they take note of) but nothing consistent enough for real problems. Right heart showed an issue with oxygen levels being too high on the side of the heart that should be lower in oxygen, but because additional tests did not reveal a heart defect doctors are saving there is "nothing wrong" with my heart. Lung function tests normal. Basically docs say my chest pressure not heart or lungs, so I have appt this month with GI doc. I have acid reflux controlled with meds and a history of esophageal strictures. We shall see if GI doc can help find problem. Since all of this started I've gained 75 pounds and my ability to function has dwindled. There is real data showing issues, but so far my problem has not been found. Don't give up – I know I am not – your answers will come.

Wed, Jun 5 11:34am · Mysterious shortness of breath in Lung Health

That is cortect.

Wed, Jun 5 6:48am · Mysterious shortness of breath in Lung Health

Autonomic nervous system is a possibility, especially if other neuropathy exists. But even then, a neurologist has to think so too before it will be investigated
I have overactive bladder due to nerve damage (tested). Bladder and diaphragm both autonomic, but neurologist sitting on info. Sigh.

Tue, Jun 4 9:54pm · Mysterious shortness of breath in Lung Health

Thank you for the encouragement. I am a fighter. I will push through. Next I will look to see if this is a GI track issue. I have a history of esophagus problems that caused chest pain. The liver can also sometimes instigate shortness of breath. I will keep pushing.

Tue, Jun 4 9:03pm · Mysterious shortness of breath in Lung Health

Well I guess I am back to square one. Despite the right heart cath readings that revealed a step up in oxygen saturation there is "nothing wrong with me". The bubble echo and heart MRI did not find the problem so one does not exist (so they tell me now). I just don't understand how invasive tests can show one thing but because the non-invasive test disagree the problem doesn't exist. Similarly, I was in the ER again yesterday with severe shortness of breath and chest pressure – nothing. I was even told the low blood pressure reading which caused the machine to alarm for 30 minutes was an inaccurate reading. The ER monitor tracked my BP at 103/34! Lately it has been dipping into the 90s over 40s in the evening while up and around cooking and eating and cleaning up after supper as well as watching TV. But my BP is not an issue. Lastly, video recorded readings of pulse oximetry showing o2 drops into 70s when walking is "not a problem". It makes no sense. How can so many different machines in so many different locations and scenarios catch issues yet there is no problem? No doctor has mentioned panic attack for me and I don't think that is the problem (especially with heart cath readings), but maybe it is all in my head. I don't really think so, but when you hit so many road blocks you can only begin to second guess your own sanity.

Tue, Jun 4 7:44am · Mysterious shortness of breath in Lung Health

Yes. Over and over. Only thing found so far is left to right shunt in my heart. This means oxygen-rich blood is skipping my body and going back to lungs for a refill even though already full. Doc says this can definitely cause shortness of breath, lightheadedness, fatigue, falls, etc. So far he hasn't said what, if anything, can be done about it. He said he would call this week after he reviews additional test results. It is just frustrating to KNOW there is a problem, but to also feel like since the problem is not "their" problem (doesn't fit in the typical box of their "specialty") that the problem does not exist in the minds of doctors. I know the people in this discussion fully understand what I mean. Sigh.