~Follow up on visit to Cardiologist

Hello dear ones worldwide.

Just to say I finally settled down after my temporal artery biopsy which is 7 weeks ago and still healing well.

The sudden reduction of steroids after negative histology to GCA almost sent me off my head - my legs and arms trembled and I wanted to hide in the cupboard - this was terrible and know for future reference. My Rhumy apologized to me for not suggesting I take it slower being as I have a very sensitive system. He said that's what they do for asthmatic's.

Cardiologist visit as per last post was to sort out my breathlessness - echocardiogram revealed the following:

1. Mild regurgitation in both mitral and tricuspid valves.

2. L atrium mildly dilated at 4.2cm.

All other areas fine in accordance with his letter, heart presently stable in his opinion.

This news came as a shock to me - have had open heart surgery 1988 to correct genetic ASD (atrial septal defect) which my Mother had.

Didn't ask any more questions as I needed to quietly process the news in my own time.

I go back to have 24hour halter monitor fitted for my b/p was raised at time so hope to ask him more questions.

Can anyone comment on my new symptoms please? The thought of more open heart surgery further down the tracks fills me with dread.

Could the changes to my valves be PMR related and/or steroid related and could these valves heal once off steroids?

My husband & I did have a terrible norovirus last February which we were hospitalized overnight for and wonder if this had some bearing on my valves too?

No sign of having had Rheumatic fever he said after I asked.

My reduction of Hydrocortisone going well, tapering 2.50mg every 14 days - very slow & my body coping well. I am proud to say now 1mg down thus far.

Any feedback most appreciated on heart issue please - didn't sort the breathlessness & not related to these symptoms he believes.

Mean't to say that lung fields were clear and my resting ECG as usual shows T wave inversion in the anterior leads which has been since last heart surgery.

Oh......... by the way when asked how on earth I could have these heart issues was told its just ageing end of story.

I had to bite my tongue hard, how convenient to say this and not offer any other theories!!

I am just early 60's and was fit and healthy (albeit stressed) prior to PMR.

Blessings to you all in the hope that your weekend has been enjoyable where possible.

5 Replies

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  • Hello Megams, I was diagnosed with Mitral Valve Prolapse causing the valve to leak slightly some years ago. This diagnosis followed a severe sore throat which the GP diagnosed as viral so refused to prescribe antibiotics. This led to meningitis with a consultant being unsure as to whether it was viral or bacterial. It was his thorough examination that revealed the prolapsed mitral valve. No treatment has been needed thus far and the only symptom that I experience, apart from high blood pressure, is some breathlessness mainly on uphill walks.

    I hope it reassures you to read this and to know that it is one of the most common heart problems and rarely needs treatment.

    Your cardiologist sounds as though he is being quite thorough with his investigations.....even if he has fallen into the convenient trap of blaming age when he doesn't have any other answers - "early 60's" as well, for goodness sake! Make sure you prepare a list of questions for your next appointment with him, and I hope you get some reassuring answers.

  • Bless you Celtic - your information is reassures me and great to read that you actually had a thorough medical professional who left no stone unturned.

    Did it only involve the one valve and would you know if this has healed or has it still stayed the same?

    As the mitral valve sits within the atrium, was your atrium slightly enlarged as well?

    I find your comment about walking up hills most interesting as I have been known to struggle walking up hills and have noticed of late that my legs feel heavy and tired at odd times.

    Thank you once more and much love from NZ

  • Megams, yes in my case just the mitral valve is affected. Since diagnosis, it has only ever been monitored on one occasion with the prolapse then reported as being stable.

    The echocardiogram showed some intra-ventricular wall thickness, probably due to hypertension, but I was assured by my cardiologist that this can be a subjective reading and can vary.

    Your "heavy and tired" legs may simply be due to the PMR but it might be an idea to put that on the list of questions for your cardiologist just to rule out any possibility of it being connected to the heart problem.

    It's good news to hear that your hydrocortisone tapering is going well - you deserve some good news after what you have been through recently. Although only virtual ones, I hope you can feel the hugs I'm sending!

  • Double blessings to you Celtic.

    My legs are great when walking on the flat like the beach near by but no good on hills and been that way since I tried climbing a step hill Easter 2014 - my PMR not diagnosed then altho I would hazard a belief that it was with me last year with my several falls and general decline in health I experienced.

    Going to chat to my GP tomorrow and ask lots of questions. Can't stand waiting until I see Cardiologist again.

    Thank you for your lovely reassuring comments as always and "yes" can definitely feel your lovely hugs, so appreciated. The same back to you from NZ:)

  • PMRpro - I see in the top box there are 2 replies to my Cardiac post, one from Celtic which I have just managed to reply & one from you.

    I cannot bring it up on my screen at all - not sure what's happened here?

    Are you able to resend please? My sincere appreciation in advance if you can - I value your opinion.

    Kind regards from Megams

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