Tuesday, February 2, 2010

On Being Crazy

On Friday I went to see the American P.A. I showed her my EKG and told her what had been going on. She wasn't thrilled about the medication I was taking and didn't see anything abnormal about the EKG. While I was in the office my heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation levels were all perfect and she didn't think I really needed medication in the first place. She is an amazingly kind person and I really like and trust her. She had twins at 26 weeks (who are fine now) so she "gets" me. She indicated she thinks--as I assumed as well--that this is largely hormonal. She explained what her thought process is when someone has the symptoms I have and she made it clear she does not think I am dealing with anything serious.

And then, after our guests left Saturday night, my heart decided it wasn't done partying. I put up with it for a bit, tried to sleep, and eventually got up and took the medication; the issue resolved itself immediately. Sunday was fine and as evening approached I got a little nervous (because that's when it usually happens) but I had no issues and all was well. Monday (yesterday) was not as good. During my appointment I felt great so they didn't do a repeat EKG. TOIAW and I went to a late lunch/early dinner and after walking home my heart rate was elevated which I attributed to walking quickly in the cold while trying not to fall and fracture my skull because now that a lot of the chunky ice is gone we have a nice thin layer of black ice. Two hours later my heart rate was still high so I caved again and took medication. My heart rate went down so quickly I think it might have been resolving itself already.

But I had this other odd thing going on: My right arm felt tingly/numb like it was "asleep" but I could still use it. I asked Dr. Google who mostly said it was unrelated to heart issues and probably a pinched nerve or something but when did I do that? I had been fine when I started walking home from the restaurant! I was beginning to think I should just check myself into a treatment program for paranoid hypochondriacs. Instead, I called my sister-in-law and while we were talking the arm thing mostly went away and then I went to bed. We agreed that I should call the P.A. this morning to discuss it. When I called, though, I was told she is out of the country so I spoke with the local national physician who works there also. He is also very kind and he was aware of my situation. We discussed everything and he told me he thinks it's anxiety-related and if I just think or do something else it will eventually go away or I could take the medication but only until the transfer (which is fine because, generally, I don't like to take medicine and I'm even more leary in situations like this because I think, 'rather than treat the end state--the rapid heart rate--let's try to determine why this is happening in the first place'). So, yeah, it is a medical doctor's professional opinion that I am anxious and crazy to the point that it is having a physical effect on my body. Awesome...


AKD said...

I don't think you're paranoid at all. Do you happen to have an old family doctor (here in the States or elsewhere) that you trust, and who wouldn't mind chatting with you over the phone? I'd also just want to make sure I had a firm answer on things. I've been experiencing some racing pulses, too, and am going to talk to my dr - I think it's good you're being so diligent.

JJ and Michelle Cartmill said...

You're not crazy! You're hormonal, and you are handling a very sensitive and emotional issue the very best you can. Seriously, there is not one woman that you and I know that would not be anxious right now! You are doing an amazing job, and your doing it while your homones are being put on overdrive. I googled this, to show you that a doctor says that jet taking the homones alone is enough of a reason for a rapid heartrate and feelings of anxiety. I love you and can't wait to hear all the great news over the coming days and weeks! XOXOXO!

"Estrogen dominance may cause arrhythmias

One cause of palpitations may be the rising FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) as the body tries hard to stimulate ovulation. The estrogen dominance and progesterone deficiency common to perimenopause probably add to this scenario. In a normal menstrual cycle estrogen begins to
rise markedly through the first 14 days of the cycle.
After ovulation, progesterone rises to help prepare the uterus for a potential pregnancy. The progesterone has a calming, relaxing effect and helps in the metabolism of estrogen."