Cardiologist Appointment

When I got there he started by asking how I was feeling since last time. I said “good” and he said I looked well. I was very pleased to show him I was out of the wheelchair.  Then the results came.

So, I still have the valve insufficiency. (This is not the same as mitral valve prolapse, just to be clear.) The primary issue is mitral valve insufficiency, but I also have pulmonic and triscuspid insufficiency; the latter are always “trace to mild” and haven’t changed in two years.

The other thing is that my heart function was decreased. He said it was at the lowest end of the spectrum to still be considered normal; my left ventricular function measured as “low normal.” I’ve always been over the base 55%, but this time it was at 55%, so he wants to watch it.

I apparently have a new heart murmur in the mitral valve. Perhaps this happened after the recent flea incident, during those three weeks I had chest pain and worsened symptoms? Oh, and I had wheezing in my lungs, no doubt the result of whatever caused me to be coughing those three weeks. By the time I got to the visit, my cough had stopped, though. He said I can expect a worsening of all this when going through things like infections and physical stressors.

He asked if I had any symptoms such as swelling in my feet or ankles, shortness of breath, fast heart beat, coughing, and frequent urination, specifically waking in the middle of the night to urinate. My answer was yes to everything. He didn’t mention that these are all symptoms of heart failure, but it’s me, and of course I know that. All of these things will happen if I’m not careful, but with my adaptations I’m usually able to avoid them, which he suggested I continued doing. I told him about having a lot of trouble breathing when I lie down, which he noted, and said to come back sooner than our scheduled 6 month check up if it starts waking me up at night. Strangely, he also asked if I had nausea, so that must have some related thing, as well? I spontaneously get nauseated for any number of reasons, but, doesn’t everyone?

Then we talked about my arrhythimias–they are there, but just didn’t occur very frequently! (If you recall, my symptoms had actually started to resolve by the time I wore the event moniter, ahaha.) Which makes more sense to me than the previous declaration of “it was just tachycardia.” He actually took the time to explain and show me the event monitor results sheet, and point out where the beats were messed up. Many times, the sheet said something to the effect of not being able to show the abnormality because of the heartbeat was too fast? How is that even possible? Anyway.

He just wants to monitor me, I guess to see at what rate things will progress. There’s not much that can really be done right now, besides what I already do. I’m treating the infections, I take CoQ-10 and L-carnitine daily for my muscles, so I hope things will delay themselves for as long as possible.

What I didn’t mention to him, is that the hearts of people with myalgic encephalomyelitis have decreased cardiac output the day after exertion. It’s one of the few ways you can actually prove our disability: We are in clinical heart failure the day after we exert. If I had thoroughly exhausted myself the day before the test, I could have SHOCKED this poor man with how much it could fail! But, I couldn’t mention it at the risk of him then disregarding the decrease and not wanting further followup, as I’m not about to just assume–as incredibly likely as it is–that’s all it was. But I had a doctor visit the day before I did the echocardiogram, so this was most likely what caused the decrease in heart function. For the next test, should I rest up the day before to see how I fair on a “normal” day? Or let loose and allow people to actually SEE what my muscles do after exertion?

Other than that, I got the results of my bloodwork and yes, my eosinophils are indeed elevated again. But good news is, I haven’t had any more random hives or allergy symptoms, so hopefully they’re on the decrease now that I’ve got the Bactrim. I’m also anemic again, which, coupled with the eosinophilia, is exactly what my bloodwork looked like when I got the fleabites the first time. Hopefully things will even out. My cardiologist said at least there wasn’t a raging infection that would put me in imminent, immediate danger. My white cell count was good! In the 30s! It used to stay in the 20s for several years, but lately it’s been pretty stable, and that’s good. :)

Basically: Bloodwork reflects hopefully-resolving infection, fleas did a number on me but I’m okay, and as usual, we’ll monitor my heart problems, which are minor as long as I stay within my limits.

a rainbow at night

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