Heart failure update

Heart failure update

Hi everyone

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.

Beth xxx

13 Replies

Hi Beth, sounds like you've had your fill of hospital and doctors appointments. Bless you. Sounds like they are trying to get you sorted which hopefully wont take too long - and hopefully the new meds. will go a long way to helping you.



Thanks Judi

I forgot to mention is during this time my mum has been in hospital quite poorly, I've lost 2 long standing friends and my former sister in law who I was very close to.

Somehow I've managed to get through this stressful period so hopefully my symptoms will diminish now the stress has gone.

Beth xx


I think these times of loss do put a huge strain on us Beth and sure your recent experiences are no exception. Hopefully the beta blocker will make a big difference to you. Tilda xx


Goodness what a lot you are dealing with!

Hopefully June will be a better month for you! x


Hi Beth

You are dealing with alot at the moment - admirably I must add.

Wish you all the best,

Take care Sci x


BIG HUGS to you Beth xx


Hi Beth

I am glad to hear that you are in the capable hands of a cardiologist (especially as you have had a rough time of it lately) who sounds like he knows what he is doing, albeit a slip of a lad. Although the results seem alarming, at least he now knows what to treat you for and you have been put in the picture.

Hope you feel better soon with the change in treatment.

Wendy xx


Thanks Wendy, I must admit with the beta blocker I've only taken it twice and already feel so much better in fact I now wonder why my own GP never game me something like this yrs ago. But with hindsight it is easy to complain now. Also, of course there's no additional stress at the moment either.

Thanks xxx


Oh poor you Beth, what an awful time you are having, I hope they are able to resolve your problems. Know what you mean about the docs being young, we had one on the ward a few months ago and my 16 year old looked older than him lol, sending hugs and prayers your way xx


Hope things improve for you soon Beth as you've certainly been having more than your fair share of troubles.

Best wishes

Paula x


Beth, i wish you a speedy recovery with you heart problems,you don't need that on top of suffering with the ra. Sending cyber hugs your way. Love sylvi.xx


Hi Beth

big hugs and hugs !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! all this must of been so stressful for you where do we finded the strengh take it slowly one day at a time , thoughs are with you .


Wishing you well.. beta blockers not only help with Bp they can make you feel better in yourself too ( some are prescribed for anxiety too),xx

My very best wishes hope you feel better soon you are one brave lady xx


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