Many of you have wished me well and sent messages of support over the last few months. Therefore I thought I'd write a quick blog to update everyone regarding my diagnosis of heart failure.
Some background first:
After experiencing additional fatigue, chest discomfort and breathlessness over a period of months I visited my GP. Due to the fact I've had high BP which had not responded well to medications he felt a visit to a cardiologist was called for, he made an immediate referral via computer to the rapid assessment unit.
My appointment day came and I was sent straight for an ECG, this showed tachycardia and left ventricle enlargement, initially he was unconcerned but ordered a profusion scan just to be on the safe side. Some weeks later I attended for the scan which, showed some reduction in the pumping function of my heart, this came as quite a shock not just to me but also the cardiologist too (Dr Irvine).
After seeing Dr Irvine in the clinic he felt an Echocardiogram was now in order, after another few weeks I duly attended for that. the shock this time was not only did it confirm the reduced heart function it showed it to be worse than initial findings.
I've attended cardiology again today (Wednesday), my consultant Dr Irvine is wonderful, though I must say a mere slip of a lad (making me feel very old). I feel at ease with him and don't have any worries about telling him my concerns namely fatigue/chest discomfort/palpitations/sweats and dizzy spells.
I often wonder if these symptoms are, heart related, stress, in my head or am I sticking my head in the sand and should be phoning for help?
Dr Irvine sat and listened to me, then gave his advice; " I don't think your about to have a heart attack and there's no evidence to support that" but " you do need to take the symptoms seriously and if they don't settle within 15 minutes you must phone for help" very reassuring. lol
Anyway, back to the present.
Today he's changed one of my BP medications for a beta blocker which will hopefully slow down my heart rate and bring down the BP. He's also ordered a MRI scan so he can see what's going on inside my heart and see if there is a fault in there causing the Tachycardia and reduced ejection fraction (heart failure).
So other than a new medication and MRI ordered I feel I'm no further forward, knowledge wise.
As for the joints, that pain never goes away and I'm struggling to walk more, the benefit of having something else to worry about has distracted me so I'm not so concerned about the body pain.
I do know I have my wonderful friends here, who I can turn to when things get to much or even if I just want to rant at the world. I'm very grateful for that and all your support.