Annual check up - mostly good

Just returned from my cardiology appointment. Good news was that my replacement aortic valve that was put in four years ago is working fine. I am and feel fit and well.

The not-so-good news is that as I got out of the taxi outside the hospital, I felt the adrenaline rush of a fight-or-flight response kick in and my heart started to bang away. It didn't feel fast, just hard. I am well known for being the Queen of white coat syndrome.

My blood pressure had been 123/68 when I left home with a pulse of 61. When they took my obs I was 190/121 then 193/90. Nurse wouldn't tell me my pulse but when I took it in the waiting room it was 85+. By the time I got round to an echocardiogram, which I always have, I was in AF.

I have agreed with my cardiologist (who is lovely) that I will have a 24 hour tape. I expect going to have that fitted will start it off again. Currently on Bisoprolol and Digoxin. Not sure what the future holds as regards AF. I am asymptomatic and may well have bouts of PAF that I don't know about.

Cardiology wise I am to be reviewed in 18 months.

12 Replies

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  • My goodness Mrs Pat that was a high BP!

    I have the ability to make mine go sky high if I get stressed at all. Once when I rang the 111 number they suggested I may have had a stroke (the worst word you can say to me) and sent an ambulance. I immediately went into headless chicken mode. Up zoomed my BP and in the ambulance going to hospital it was making an alarm sound, guess that probably made it go higher. Truth was I hadn't had a stroke at all and my high BP was all self made. Oh the power of our minds!

    Now whenever I have a heart tape I feel absolutely wonderful, could climb mountains, but soon as its off the trouble starts again.

    Will they be sending the results of your heart monitor to your GP and what if it shows something isn't right? Will you see your cardiologist then?

    Jean

  • The cardiologist I see is in London but I am having the tape done locally. The cardio is arranging directly and will write to GP with result (I think). I will be keeping an eye on things to make sure that the left hand knows what the right is doing!

  • I have a suggestion. I understand how your mind controls y0ur body and your heart rate in general and how bad you must feel if afib makes you worry and meds prevent you from sleeping.

    .A) Whynot try a meditation class?. For example any mild qi gong class. This will definately relax you.

    B) How about music that has been scientifically shown to relax you? .For ex. Mozart symphony #40 in G minor. There was a large study where 3 pieces of music were tested. The scientists were interested in the effect of music on blood pressure. The music they used was: ABBA, Strauss waltz, and the Mozart I listed above. Abba had no effect; Strauss had a small effect'; but the Mozart symphony 40 lowered blood pressure dramatically.

    C) Also any workshop led by Jon Kabat-Zinn : or any of his books. He is the master of the mind body connection and a list of all his books are listed on AMazon.

    1) Full Catastrophe Living:using the wisdon of your body and mind to face stress, pain, and illness.*****

    2)Wherever you go, there you are.*****

    3) Calming your anxious mind.

    4) Letting everything become your teacher.

    5)The present moment.

    6) coming to our senses

    7)THE MIND'S OWN PHYSICIAN: A SCIENTIFIC DIALOGUE with the Dalai Lama on the healing power of meditation.*****

    ****** very good.

    You can also look at these websites:

    1)soundstream.com/jon-kabbat-zinn

    2) the greatcoursesplus.com (look for jon-kabbat-zinn)

    3) eomega.org/workshops/teachers/jon-kabbat-zinn ( as far as I know Omega is a holistic school in the USA in NYS in the city of Rhinebeck which is off rt. 87 in the catskills area--I was once there for an international qi qong conference workshop.)-i do not know if they host workshops in other countries, but I do know they sell cd's and dvd's of workshops as well as books.

    You also might find interesting The Mind and Life Institute-which organizes dialogues between the Dalai Lama and Western Scientists, and also to read about jon-Kabbat-Zinn's extensive science background and nobel prizes. It is a very interesting and helpful combination of information , talents, and skills that creates benefits for people.

    I am certain that all this listed above is healthier than "headless chicken" mode. the mind and body can heal each other and themselves, but sometimes they need alittle help/guidance-as per the books and cd's above. Try it I know you will be pleased.

  • Thank you for your kind and detailed reply. I did a mindfulness course earlier this year which I enjoyed and found helpful. Unfortunately I failed to keep up the practice. I will certainly be returning to it.

    I have also signed up for a taster session in Tai Chi. This is something I have dabbled with at home but it might be more beneficial to participate in a class. By the way, I am in the UK.

    While I await the 24 hour tape, which I suspect will result in yet more medication being thrown at me, I will explore my options.

  • Back to 134/75 with pulse rate of 64 this morning after a reasonable night's sleep. Average for me. Not in AF as far as I can tell though feel the odd bump.

  • Do you take anything for your blood pressure, Mrspat?

    BP - along with AF - can be so fickle and tends to let one down when one least wants it to. It can't do that so easily over 24 hours so a 24 hour tape might be reveal a better situation than yesterday did.

    Such good news that your valve is working so nicely.

  • Not currently on anything specifically for BP Rellim but Cardio says she will make recommendations to GP after tape. Would prefer to discuss lifestyle changes and/or causes of stress/anxiety and how to deal with them first. I have some ideas.

  • Yes, I know someone who's been treating her BP (recorded at 236/110 three years ago) apparently quite successfully with diet and exercise and a water pill but no other medication, although she probably takes something homeopathic.

  • @MsPat

    Hi- I thought of 3 other things that trigger afib- one is high blood pressure because over time it changes the architecture of the heart (ex. dilates the left atrium with doWnstream other bad changes);

    the 2nd is any infection.

    and the 3rd is inflammation in the body in excessive amounts. this is the sneaky one. Normal body metabolisms produce COX 2 and also genetic tendencies to manufacture too much inflammatory cytokines can do the same. The problem lies in the fact that COX 2's produce MMP's (matrix metalloproteinases), which basically consume your collagens; collagens hold all your cells together (extracellular matrix) including your heart cells. This puts your heart under aLOT OF STRESS AND CAN TRIGER AFIB.

    The solution is to inhibit the COX 2 production somewhat and RX> drugs called cox 2 inhibitors are very bad for you. However there exists a natural cox 2 inhibitor called Nexrutine, which is actually the bark of an Asian cork tree. Not so weird as it sounds when you consider that the supplement Pycnogenol is the bark of a french maritime pine tree.

    Whether nexrutine is okay for you to take--you can determine by looking up each of it's many constituents and seeing if it is contraindicated for any condition or drug or other supplement that you take. In other words, just because it is excellent and helps me does not necessarily mean every one can take it. You can find this info by looking on the web side biofoundations.com and type in a search for nexrutine. towards the end of the post it should list all the many components. If you click on each one it will list the benefits of that component. Nexrutine has been used extensively for thousands of years in Chinese medicine and obviously having it available in a capsule is easier than "finding a tree and chewing on the tree trunk"-(ha ha) although of course the bark was scraped off and probably boiled into some sort of tea.

    HOW can you know if you have too high a level of MMP's in your body?

    Guess what?? There is a blood test for MMP (matrix metalloproteinases). But an indirect measure would be a commonly available test that it is easier to persuade your doctor to prescribe. that is a blood test for high sensitivity CRP ( c reactive protein)--a common heart health test. Basically, for optimal health it should be less than 1. 3 puts you at risk for a cardiovascular event. and if you have high levels of MMP's, your CRP will be rally high-- like 14,19,56,78 etc.

    Nexrutine and also 5-LOXIN will lower MMP. 5-LOXIN is a capsule of boswellia . Boswellia is used in Ayervedic medicine to lower the amount of LOX-5 your body produces. This is another inflammatory cytokin.

    Also there are genetic tests for polymorphisms that will tell you if your body makes to much of all this bad stuff. This shows genetic tendencies caused by a single nucleotide change. The genetic expression can be changed by what you eat and supplements you take, by meditation, tai chi etc. Some of these test should be covered by insurance because they have been shown to be clinically significant and the insurance Medicare in the USA even pays for them. These would be the test for 5-MTHFR ( which if you are positive means your body is not metabolizeing folate properly and you need to take reduced bio available B vitamins with 5MTHF which is a patented reduced folate. methyl form of B12 and 5P5 form of B6); the other test is for the P450 detox system: and the third is for your APO E type, which tells how your liver makes and processes LDL. The 5-MTHFR poly morphism indicates a risk for certain cardiovascular issues.

    the tests my husband and I took in 2007 were prescribed by a MD who also had a PhD in genetics and were done by a company called Genova Diagnostics. Included were 3 panels: 1)cardiovascular and cancer risk;l 2) P450 detox pathways; and 3) immune system.

    The Tai Chi class I have been taking, with much benefit to my cardiovascular system is from international Taoist Taai Chi which has classes in many countries.

  • Did you have AF prior to getting your new aortic valve? (or have I asked you that before?)

    Mine started after the operation in May 2012. The possibility of that was the one thing my research had not brought up.

    My tissue valve is working fine and I have my annual echo next week.

  • I think you did ask me before. Yes, I had AF before the operation, probably about 6 years before. I was born with the defective valve.

  • Mine just calcified over 76 years.

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