My Crazy Story
My name is Vicky and even my doctors will tell you that I never do anything "normally". Sorry if this runs a little long!! In 1984 I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, not just one kind but 2. They removed my spleen, several lymphs and took several liver byopsies. I underwent 11 weeks of radiation treatments, but back then they had to do "mantal" because "targeted" radiation hadn't been discovered then. I'm starting there because it lead to several issues. In 2008 I was diagnosed with a thyroid issue, not uncommon because of the radiation.
Then 2009 I was diagnosed with breast cancer, partially because of the radiation. I opted for a bilateral mastectomy, as I didn"t want to wait around for it to show up in my right breast. I underwent 4 months of chemo and Neulasta and as expected it made me very sick. I also developed a heart mumur.
In May 2010 I saw my PCP and mentioned the murmur and she said "You never had one before" she checked, I did, and she refered me to a cardiologist who ran a complete cardio work up. When the results came in she wasn't to concerned about the murmur she wanted to know when I had the heart attack. They decided it had to have happened during chemo and sent me to have a stent put in and while doing that checked on the murmur issue. It turned out to be a small calcium deposit called Aortic Stenosis (AS) it was considered mild. All of my life I have had a low BP and a pulse in the mid 90's. They tried metoprolol to slow it down, but all it did was lower my BP even more. So I had an echo every year and my PCP did ekgs off and on.
In 2017 my head decided it wanted to lay on my right shoulder after a number of test it was decided that I had developed Cervical Dystonia which was causing the dizzy spells and balance issues. In the normal person the brain tells the nerve to take a message to the muscle, in Dystonia the nerve gives the muscle a different message. So off to the neurologist and the only treatment is Botox shots, which don't always work. I learned how to minimize the dizzy/balace issues.
Then last summer I started having of and on dizzy spells when sitting or laying down. PCP ran ekg, it was just like the one before and so he ordered a 30 day monitor. It showed a couple of times where my heart rate jumped up well over 100. Cardiologist ran an echo and it showed that the AS was now in the moderate stage and keaking a little, but nothing else. PCP did ekg in Jan. nd it came back normal. Since then my dizzy spells happened more often and with some of them I would nearly pass out, April's ekg was just like all the ones before. May 28th in the space of 2 hours I had 5 dizzy spells, 1 of which I did pass out. The next day they started in again with 15 t0 30 minutes between. Contacted my PCP he said stop my blood pressure med and see in at 8am the next morning. He ran an ekg, no changes since the last one. He hoped it was just reaction to meds and it would clear up as they wore off. Next morning it started in again with more of the passing out, coming to with jerking. Messaged PCP he told me to go to the ER of the hospital in the next town, they were larger and had access to tests our small hospital couldn't. He told me what they needed to check. When I got there they hooked me up to a monitor, ran ekg, an echo, chest x-ray and blood work they didn't find anything, but could see I was in distress. So decided to admit and monitor. So they brought in a portable ekg and hooked it up before disconnecting the other one. One of the nurses was watching both machines when I had an episode, my heart rate dropped to 26 and they caught it on paper. The ER doc came in and said they knew what was wrong. I had a Complete (3rd degree) heart block. My hearts electrical system was not working so the chambers were sort of on their own. Up to CICU I went, a nurse with me at all times, a lot more test and multiple blood draws. I also had a NSTEMI (non-ST elevated myocardial infarction) and further tests showed my original stent had a blood clot and 2 other areas were blocked. So they replaced the first one, cleared out the other blocks and put stents in them as well. They also found my mytral valve has a mild clacium deposit. We waited 48 hours to see if my heart would conbert, it did a little but not all the way, I now had 2nd degree heart block. So I ended up having a pacemaker put in to make everybody work together. It's been 2 weeks and I am not having any dizzyness or passing out, but am still very tired all the time. I hope tomorrow they will lighten up some of the restrictions,
I had never heard of any degree of "heart block". I don't know how I am supposed to physically feel at this point. I can handle the mental stuff like depression and anxiety as I have been dealing with them for more years than I can count. I can say that writing this all out has helped in a weird kind of way.