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JenniferG
03-02-2012, 01:12 PM
Today marks three years since my surgery. The time has sped by. Life is very busy and I'm one of the lucky ones who has no pain and can do pretty much anything. (Doc says no heavy lifting and no running.) I still walk most days and life's good.

Unfortunately 5 months ago I was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which is a thickened heart muscle, which is probably genetic, (as is my scoli, which my maternal grandmother had) though we don't know of anyone in the family with heart problems. This means I need to take beta blockers every day. The medication makes me feel generally unwell, but without it, my heart will gradually fail.

But again, I feel I've been lucky, because it was discovered, and is treatable and I'm still able to do anything I want.

I have my business and I have three lovely little granddaughters who play a big part in my life, to keep me busy. The surgery was the best thing I ever did for myself and it's not just on my anniversary that I think gratefully of Dr. Askin and what he achieved for me.

backissues
03-02-2012, 02:53 PM
Congratulations on your third anniversary!

You have been an inspiration and mentor to those of us who have come after you with pre-surgery and recovery. Though it has been three years, you remain an active voice on this Forum. Thank you very much for all your advice.

Luckily, the doctors found your heart problem and there is medication to help. "Better living through chemistry." lol

Wishing you many pain-free years ahead to enjoy your "new" back.

Cheers, Irene

kennedy
03-02-2012, 04:25 PM
jennfier congrads

jrnyc
03-02-2012, 06:14 PM
Jennifer, i am so glad to hear how well you are doing 3 years after your surgery...
you are the kindest person, and always ready to share your own experience on
this forum....
it is nice when someone so nice has such good news!
wishing you an eternity of continued support from your new, straight spine...
glad to hear your heart problem is being treated and under control...

jess...& Sparky

golfnut
03-02-2012, 06:29 PM
Jennifer,
Congratulations on your third year anniversary. You have given me such wonderful advice and encouragement, as well. I am sorry to hear of your heart condition, but it is good that it can be treated. You are an inspiration to so many of us on the forum. Thank you!!!!

JenniferG
03-02-2012, 10:03 PM
Thank you all for your lovely words. I've learned so much from this forum and "met" so many great people here, despite being half a world away, it's been a real pleasure.

We're going down the beach tonight, to have fish and chips on the sand and that will be our celebration. (Of course, I'll take a low beach chair for comfort!)

titaniumed
03-03-2012, 11:31 AM
Jen

Congratulations. You have done well especially since scoliosis curves run backwards down under. lol

Someday, I will come visit you. Its on my list.

Thx for all the great posts!
Ed

Doodles
03-03-2012, 02:23 PM
Jennifer--
Congratulations! I've always felt we were sort of kindred spirits being the same age--I'm 60 now too--got to change that signature!--and having very similar surgeries and just a few weeks apart. You are always such a positive help! I'm very sorry that the heart problem has surfaced but hope the meds will help and not continue to make you feel less than your best. Of course, it's so important it was found. Enjoy your beach celebration. Best wishes on continued improvement. Janet

loves to skate
03-03-2012, 02:50 PM
Jennifer,

I am so happy for you that your three year anniversary from scoliosis surgery has proven to be such a great success. You deserve it. Your compassion and advice to others is so mature and right on the money. Most of the time when you post, I have nothing else to say because you have already said it all. Thanks for being a major asset of this great Forum.

I'm sorry about your heart problems but glad there is medication to help. Hopefully after you have been on it awhile, you will start to feel much better. My brother was put on heart medication more than a year ago and is now finally getting his stamina back.

My best to you, Sally

JenniferG
03-03-2012, 02:50 PM
Thanks Janet! I've felt the same - kindred spirits - you're my scoli twin. <smiley face> Having very similar scoli experiences but more than that, you are such a warm person, I've always felt drawn to you.

Ed, I'll hold you to that. We have the HMAS Brisbane sunk just off the coast here which is fast becoming a popular dive spot.

Tell me, how's your neck? Perhaps you've written about it elsewhere. I'll have a look.

titaniumed
03-03-2012, 06:01 PM
No, I have not, my visit was yesterday.....My C5/6 is taking a dump and I have bone spurs in the area. Age related stuff. The rest of my spine is fine.

You just donít jump in and do surgery....itís the same situation as before and I will basically wait this one out. He recommended shots....I have no experience with those.

What are you going to do? I think the next time my neck acts up, I will lay down on my bed supine, and hang my neck off so the disc will expand.....I sure hope it doesnít herniate, that has got to hurt like the dickens.

I will look up that shipwreck.
Ed

JenniferG
03-03-2012, 08:58 PM
Thank you Sally.

That's good news to me, about your brother getting his stamina back. I think I can detect slight improvement over the last 5 months, so I am hoping the same will happen to me.

JenniferG
03-03-2012, 09:04 PM
Are these steroid shots Ed? I can't help but think it's not fair, you've been through enough. But hopefully the shots will give you relief long term. If you go the surgery route some day, do you know what it is they do about the spurs etc.? Could they be a result of having the spine below, fused?

Doodles
03-03-2012, 09:38 PM
Awww...thanks, Jennifer, feel the same here!

Ed--Do you know what the surgery might be like? Not sure if this is similar but my mother-in-law just had laminectomy surgery on her 3 bottom vertebra. Scraped away all arthritis/spurs, etc. which caused her dreadful leg pains due to the stenosis. 2 hour surgery. She literally was in the hospital 48 hours and out. She's 87! She is so happy--has her life back. In fact, I'm taking my 86-year-oldmother to the same doctor from Omaha in March. Her back/neck is a mess. Not so sure he can do anything but thought it was worth a try. Don't know if this applies but thought I'd throw that in. Janet

rockycarm
03-04-2012, 11:02 AM
Jennifer, i am so glad to hear how well you are doing 3 years after your surgery...
you are the kindest person, and always ready to share your own experience on
this forum....
it is nice when someone so nice has such good news!
wishing you an eternity of continued support from your new, straight spine...
glad to hear your heart problem is being treated and under control...

jess...& Sparky

I couldn't have said it better!

mabeckoff
03-04-2012, 12:04 PM
Jennifer, i am so glad to hear how well you are doing 3 years after your surgery...
you are the kindest person, and always ready to share your own experience on
this forum....
it is nice when someone so nice has such good news!
wishing you an eternity of continued support from your new, straight spine...
glad to hear your heart problem is being treated and under control...

jess...& Sparky

I agree totally

rohrer01
03-04-2012, 01:52 PM
Jennifer,
I'm just catching up on this thread. I'm so glad to hear that you are doing so well with your spine surgery!

I'm very sorry to hear about your heart problem. I also have a heart problem. It has actually bothered me since my late teens as far as I can remember, but was not diagnosed until I was in my 30's. It's called "inappropriate sinus tachycardia" or IST for short. It is where I have NO exercise tolerance without my heartrate skyrocketing and it will also skyrocket for NO reason at all. When I say that I mean 150+ beats per minute. It makes me very weak. I also have to take beta blockers. I've been on a couple that made me feel so sick that I told my doctor that I refuse to take them anymore because they make me so sick and I feel like I'm having a heart attack. He basically said, okay but when you get enough of it or it gets bad enough you'll take them. He had actually introduce me to a "new" one that still does not have a generic. My experience from the others scared me so much that I didn't try it. But as he said, I eventually got so bad that I finally said, okay. After my first dose, I actually craved the stuff! It was weird. We started off on the smallest dose and then went up one more. Now, I'm doing great, with no adverse side effects what-so-ever. If you want to know the name of the beta blocker, then you can PM me. I don't know if it is available in Australia yet or not, but if you're having trouble with your current med, it might be worth asking. It was designed for low side-effects and I can testify that it has been great for me.

Take care, and again, it's great to hear that you are doing so well otherwise. You are really one of our cheer-leaders!

Rohrer01

JenniferG
03-04-2012, 03:09 PM
Thank you kindly Rockycarm and Melissa.

Rohr, it's great that you've found a medication that has zero side effects for you. I'll PM you shortly. I've tried a couple of different meds and the ones I'm on now, I tolerate best, though there's still that nausea and lethargy. I also get a burning in the back of my chest. But the good thing is, I'm normally an insomniac and the meds are giving me a good night's sleep most nights. They are Coversyl and Bicor.

I've had palpitations since about age 50. I thought it was menopause. I also thought, as I've got older, I don't handle stress as well as I should. If only I did something about it then. It gradually got worse until I had a suspected heart attack last October. That's when they did tests and found it. Dr. said it wasn't a heart attack (don't know what it was, even the paramedics thought it was a heart attack.) But it found the problem and for the first time in 10 years, on a low dose of meds, I'm not getting the palpitations. Perhaps this is why I'm sleeping better.

Lilysaidwhat
03-04-2012, 09:30 PM
Happy Anniversary! I hope your celebration was great!

Confusedmom
03-04-2012, 11:08 PM
Congratulations, and thank you for always being here!!

titaniumed
03-05-2012, 12:51 AM
Jen
I have no idea what kinds of shots would be recommended when the time comes. The bone spurs have nothing to do with my prior surgeries, they are an age related thing along with the degeneration of the disc. They are in the front of the C5 vertebral body.

Iím sorry about your heart. Itís so hard thinking about all these other things now that we have made it through our scoliosis surgeries....I donít know if you feel the same way I do, but I just cannot worry about these new things anymore. I will probably just take it day by day and let pain make my decision....

On a lighter note, the Brisbane wreck looks great. They have penetration diving into the ship, and can actually go into the Captains quarters and check out the bed. I can lay down if Iím tired, rest the neck. LOL

I donít know if you ever read my posts years ago about underwater submersion, but de-weighting before fusion surgery is a good thing, and I temporarily cured my sciatica in the ocean. Now that Iím fused, I notice no difference at all as far as a break or release from gravity.

Janet

My new situation is in my neck....above my fusion. The C5/C6 level nerves control the shoulders and arms. I think as long as I can win at poker, that level is doing ok. (smiley face) As far as what type of surgery would be done, I have no idea. I will have to study this now.
Ed

SpineTime
03-05-2012, 04:07 PM
Today marks three years since my surgery.

Jennifer,

Congratulations on your 3-year anniversary! Your posts are always so warm and kind. I wanted to share with you that the pictures in your signature line are some of the first (maybe THE first?) I ever saw of pre- and post-op fusion surgery. I remember thinking how much I REALLY don't want to have this surgery, but that I really DO want my back to look as straight and beautiful as yours! I also thought, in looking at your pictures, that you were probably in your 30s, and I was quite shocked to see your actual age! You are very inspirational to people like me who haven't had surgery yet, and I always enjoy seeing your posts.

I hope all will be well with your heart. I'm taking a beta blocker (atenolol) for heart palpitations, increased blood pressure and heart rate. So far, we don't know what's causing it, and my doctor doesn't seem that concerned, since I don't have any risk factors for heart disease. But I am going to push for him to do more testing. We've already had to increase the dose once, and yet the palpitations are back, with any little amount of activity I do. At first, the atenolol made me so drowsy during the day that I couldn't keep my eyes open, but luckily I was able to break it in half and take a 1/2 dose at bedtime and 1/2 in the morning, so no more drowsiness.

Lisa

JenniferG
03-05-2012, 08:17 PM
Awww, thank you Lisa! What a nice thing to say. I hope that if and when you have surgery, you are as fortunate with your surgeon as I have been. It's amazing what they can do.

It's good that by halving your tablet you've avoided the drowsiness. Do you find you're sleeping better by taking half at bedtime? I think it's a good idea to try to find out the reason for your palpitations and increased blood pressure. So far all my tests have been non invasive: ecg, echocardiogram, stress echo, holter test and cardiac MRI. I was hoping to avoid the angiogram and so far the cardiologist doesn't think it's necessary. But I may yet have to have it if for example, my blood pressure increases, or the palpitations return. Mine are not associated with exercise, I used to get them sitting watching tv or on the computer!

rohrer01
03-05-2012, 08:48 PM
I hope all will be well with your heart. I'm taking a beta blocker (atenolol) for heart palpitations, increased blood pressure and heart rate. So far, we don't know what's causing it, and my doctor doesn't seem that concerned, since I don't have any risk factors for heart disease. But I am going to push for him to do more testing. We've already had to increase the dose once, and yet the palpitations are back, with any little amount of activity I do. At first, the atenolol made me so drowsy during the day that I couldn't keep my eyes open, but luckily I was able to break it in half and take a 1/2 dose at bedtime and 1/2 in the morning, so no more drowsiness.

Lisa

Lisa, you could ask to be tested for what I have. Although, my blood pressure is low before the beta blocker. I also tried atenolol. If I was even 10 minutes late for my dose, I went into full tachy where all I could to was to lay on the bed until the med kicked in. It was aweful! Okay, I'll let the cat outa the bag, since you all are naming your meds. It's Bystolic (nebivolol) but there's not generic, yet. I didn't want to sound like a drug rep.

Ed,
I have a bone spur at C5 as well. It points inward toward my spine but is very, very small. Nothing to worry about, yet.

SpineTime
03-08-2012, 12:28 AM
Awww, thank you Lisa! What a nice thing to say. I hope that if and when you have surgery, you are as fortunate with your surgeon as I have been. It's amazing what they can do.

It's good that by halving your tablet you've avoided the drowsiness. Do you find you're sleeping better by taking half at bedtime? I think it's a good idea to try to find out the reason for your palpitations and increased blood pressure. So far all my tests have been non invasive: ecg, echocardiogram, stress echo, holter test and cardiac MRI. I was hoping to avoid the angiogram and so far the cardiologist doesn't think it's necessary. But I may yet have to have it if for example, my blood pressure increases, or the palpitations return. Mine are not associated with exercise, I used to get them sitting watching tv or on the computer!

I don't think my sleep has changed by taking a half tablet at bedtime. It almost always takes me a while to fall asleep (probably 30-60 minutes?) even if I'm really tired and sleepy. I haven't noticed any difference with the beta blocker. Strangely, when I'm in bed trying to fall asleep is when I really notice my heart pounding. I know what you mean, it's not a good feeling to feel your heart racing or pounding when you aren't even moving!

Other than blood tests that were all normal, I just recently had a carotid ultrasound, and that came back fine. No problem or blockage in the carotid arteries, so that's good to know. I'd like to have the tests you mentioned, and I plan to ask my doctor about it. I did do some reading, and apparently people sometimes just have it happen where they feel their heart beating really hard and/or fast, really being aware of it, and yet nothing is wrong, or at least they can't find anything wrong. So we'll see. I just feel very uneasy about it, and I don't want to ignore it.

SpineTime
03-08-2012, 12:47 AM
Lisa, you could ask to be tested for what I have. Although, my blood pressure is low before the beta blocker. I also tried atenolol. If I was even 10 minutes late for my dose, I went into full tachy where all I could to was to lay on the bed until the med kicked in. It was aweful! Okay, I'll let the cat outa the bag, since you all are naming your meds. It's Bystolic (nebivolol) but there's not generic, yet. I didn't want to sound like a drug rep.

Oh, that sounds awful! I was very sick with a virus that attacked my thyroid (at least that's the theory) almost 5 years ago, and it caused me to be hyperthyroid for several weeks (then hypothyroid, then completely back to normal). One of the many symptoms when I was in the hyperthyroid phase was tachycardia. My resting heart rate was 142. When I finally went to Urgent Care (after feeling horribly sick, almost like the flu, but it was off and on, for over a week) the nurse took my pulse and asked me if I'd just been exercising in the waiting room! They sent me to the ER, and they gave me fluids and hooked me up to an EKG. Before they figured out what was wrong, the nurses kept asking if I was nervous or anxious. I guess they thought maybe I was having a panic attack because of my heart rate. Nope. I was calm as could be! They kept me in the hospital for 3 days, running tests and making sure it was really just a virus and nothing more serious with the thyroid. They had me on a beta blocker then, but I don't remember the name of it. I could look it up. Are we not supposed to say the names? (I'm not a drug rep. I could never sell anything! lol) But seriously, I will ask my doctor about doing more testing. I don't like just treating the symptom and not knowing what's causing it.

rohrer01
03-08-2012, 01:52 AM
Oh, that sounds awful! I was very sick with a virus that attacked my thyroid (at least that's the theory) almost 5 years ago, and it caused me to be hyperthyroid for several weeks (then hypothyroid, then completely back to normal). One of the many symptoms when I was in the hyperthyroid phase was tachycardia. My resting heart rate was 142. When I finally went to Urgent Care (after feeling horribly sick, almost like the flu, but it was off and on, for over a week) the nurse took my pulse and asked me if I'd just been exercising in the waiting room! They sent me to the ER, and they gave me fluids and hooked me up to an EKG. Before they figured out what was wrong, the nurses kept asking if I was nervous or anxious. I guess they thought maybe I was having a panic attack because of my heart rate. Nope. I was calm as could be! They kept me in the hospital for 3 days, running tests and making sure it was really just a virus and nothing more serious with the thyroid. They had me on a beta blocker then, but I don't remember the name of it. I could look it up. Are we not supposed to say the names? (I'm not a drug rep. I could never sell anything! lol) But seriously, I will ask my doctor about doing more testing. I don't like just treating the symptom and not knowing what's causing it.

My curves are similar to yours except much, much higher. My doc seriously wants to wait until they are over 60* before he'll do surgery and I can't get a second opinion because of my insurance. I just recently had a minor surgery, like I've had several times before and am sick on top of it, so even considering surgery right now literally makes me nauseous.

One really bad time that it (my heart rate going out of control) happened to me I couldn't even count my pulse because it was going so fast, well over 200. I went to the wrong hospital. I was too scared to go to the good one an hour away. I was afraid I would die before I got there. They treated me like garbage and sent me home in an arrythmia and did absolutely NOTHING. I ended up going to Mayo Clinic to get diagnosed. The symptoms of IST are a high resting heart rate, exercise intolerance, and tachycardias for no reason. The actual heartbeat is a normal sinus beat, just really, really fast. Another time, I almost collapsed taking my son to the doctor and the doc freaked out and got a crash cart in the room. My resting pulse then was over 160. The main symptoms I get are pure fatigue, like I just can't do anything, not even sit or stand up straight. Look it up on the internet. You'll get a ton of information on it.

Oh, and a couple of years ago, I had wrist surgery. You know all the things they ask you before you go into the room (if you've ever had surgery). The nurse asked me about my heart and I told her that I have Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia and she actually started laughing! I asked her if there were something funny about that... I'm guessing she'd never heard of it before and thought I was making it up. Talk about insensitive and ignorant!

I hope you get the answers you are looking for about your heart. No, I don't think there is a problem mentioning meds on the forum. I guess I didn't feel comfortable at first because it was an off topic med, like not scoli related.

Take Care,
Rohrer01

JenniferG
03-08-2012, 02:23 PM
I don't think my sleep has changed by taking a half tablet at bedtime. It almost always takes me a while to fall asleep (probably 30-60 minutes?) even if I'm really tired and sleepy. I haven't noticed any difference with the beta blocker. Strangely, when I'm in bed trying to fall asleep is when I really notice my heart pounding. I know what you mean, it's not a good feeling to feel your heart racing or pounding when you aren't even moving!

Other than blood tests that were all normal, I just recently had a carotid ultrasound, and that came back fine. No problem or blockage in the carotid arteries, so that's good to know. I'd like to have the tests you mentioned, and I plan to ask my doctor about it. I did do some reading, and apparently people sometimes just have it happen where they feel their heart beating really hard and/or fast, really being aware of it, and yet nothing is wrong, or at least they can't find anything wrong. So we'll see. I just feel very uneasy about it, and I don't want to ignore it.

Best of luck getting the other tests done. Having a heart problem is a bit scary and you need to know everything that should be done has been done.

Pooka1
03-08-2012, 03:02 PM
Congratulations Jennifer!

Sorry to hear about the heart thing. Aren't there a few choices for beta blockers? Can't they try you on another one?

I have heard that they will put Marfan's kids on beta blockers for life in order to avoid the aortic enlargement (and even ameliorate some that might have already happened). I called into a medical radio show about long term usage of beta blockers as for these kids and they said there is no problem.

Good luck.

rohrer01
03-08-2012, 04:30 PM
Congratulations Jennifer!

Sorry to hear about the heart thing. Aren't there a few choices for beta blockers? Can't they try you on another one?

I have heard that they will put Marfan's kids on beta blockers for life in order to avoid the aortic enlargement (and even ameliorate some that might have already happened). I called into a medical radio show about long term usage of beta blockers as for these kids and they said there is no problem.

Good luck.

Sharon,
There are a ton of choices out there. Unfortunately, at least in my case, if a person has asthma or other lung conditions, the choices become quite limited.

I also read on the internet somewhere doing some research on Marfan's and scoliosis, etc. that scoliosis being in the connective tissue class of disorders can make one prone to mitral valve prolapse. It didn't necessarily say you had to have Marfan's, too. I can't cite my source because it was a long time ago, but it would be worth looking up for those of us with scoli. Like I said, I don't remember where I read it, but if you can find a research paper on it, since you're so good at that, I'm sure the rest of us would be more than interested. Otherwise, everyone is responsible for themselves anyway. It just seems, now that someone brought it up, thanks Jennifer, that quite a few scoli's seem to have some heart issues. Fortunately, they seem relatively minor as compared to some of the major, major heart problems.

rohrer01
03-08-2012, 04:36 PM
Spine Time,
I don't know where your post went. Maybe you deleted it. Otherwise I'm just lame. Anyway, YES, night time is horrible when you are trying to fall asleep and your heart is just racing away. It's very annoying, disturbing, scary, whatever all rolled up in one.

Sorry, Jen.
Not meaning to hijack your thread. But since YOU did bring up the heart thing... I guess that's how the conversation got swayed. Best wishes to you!

JenniferG
03-08-2012, 08:04 PM
Spine Time,
I don't know where your post went. Maybe you deleted it. Otherwise I'm just lame. Anyway, YES, night time is horrible when you are trying to fall asleep and your heart is just racing away. It's very annoying, disturbing, scary, whatever all rolled up in one.

Sorry, Jen.
Not meaning to hijack your thread. But since YOU did bring up the heart thing... I guess that's how the conversation got swayed. Best wishes to you!

No worries rohrer!

JenniferG
03-08-2012, 08:10 PM
Congratulations Jennifer!

Sorry to hear about the heart thing. Aren't there a few choices for beta blockers? Can't they try you on another one?

I have heard that they will put Marfan's kids on beta blockers for life in order to avoid the aortic enlargement (and even ameliorate some that might have already happened). I called into a medical radio show about long term usage of beta blockers as for these kids and they said there is no problem.

Good luck.

Thanks Sharon. Overall, I haven't got much to complain about. Yes, I've tried a few different beta blockers and rohrer has put me on to another one and am awaiting a new appointment with the Cardiologist.

I guess if the kids are ok on beta blockers long term, then as an adult, I should be too.

Rohrer, I was wondering that exact thing, whether there was some sort of relationship between scoliosis and heart abnormalities.

Pooka1
03-10-2012, 08:40 AM
the connective tissue class of disorders can make one prone to mitral valve prolapse. It didn't necessarily say you had to have Marfan's, too. I can't cite my source because it was a long time ago, but it would be worth looking up for those of us with scoli. Like I said, I don't remember where I read it, but if you can find a research paper on it, since you're so good at that, I'm sure the rest of us would be more than interested. Otherwise, everyone is responsible for themselves anyway. It just seems, now that someone brought it up, thanks Jennifer, that quite a few scoli's seem to have some heart issues. Fortunately, they seem relatively minor as compared to some of the major, major heart problems.

The heart issues Jenifer has don't seem related to any scoliosis syndrome I have read about. The heart issues in Marfans syndrome are aortic enlargement and some value issues I think. These issues occur outside the syndrome also as you mentioned.

There are many, many connective tissue disorders, only a few of which have been named, that affect many, many body parts. It's complex out there. Too bad it can't be something simple like germ theory. ;-)

SpineTime
03-10-2012, 07:34 PM
Spine Time,
I don't know where your post went. Maybe you deleted it. Otherwise I'm just lame. Anyway, YES, night time is horrible when you are trying to fall asleep and your heart is just racing away. It's very annoying, disturbing, scary, whatever all rolled up in one.

Nope, it's still there somewhere. I didn't delete it. I also notice palpitations much more if I've eaten a heavy meal. It's a strange sensation. I've never had my heart rate go as fast as you've experienced though. That's got to be terrifying!

On a different subject, I'm going out of town with my husband for a few days to celebrate our 20th anniversary. We're driving, and I hope I don't regret deciding to try a long drive with my back in the shape it's in. We'll see. I might not get a chance to check in here again until I get back home next week, so take care, everyone!

Lisa

rohrer01
03-11-2012, 12:36 AM
Nope, it's still there somewhere. I didn't delete it. I also notice palpitations much more if I've eaten a heavy meal. It's a strange sensation. I've never had my heart rate go as fast as you've experienced though. That's got to be terrifying!

On a different subject, I'm going out of town with my husband for a few days to celebrate our 20th anniversary. We're driving, and I hope I don't regret deciding to try a long drive with my back in the shape it's in. We'll see. I might not get a chance to check in here again until I get back home next week, so take care, everyone!

Lisa

Have fun!! Happy Anniversary, too!!!

debbei
03-14-2012, 06:13 PM
Today marks three years since my surgery. The time has sped by. Life is very busy and I'm one of the lucky ones who has no pain and can do pretty much anything. (Doc says no heavy lifting and no running.) I still walk most days and life's good.

Unfortunately 5 months ago I was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which is a thickened heart muscle, which is probably genetic, (as is my scoli, which my maternal grandmother had) though we don't know of anyone in the family with heart problems. This means I need to take beta blockers every day. The medication makes me feel generally unwell, but without it, my heart will gradually fail.

But again, I feel I've been lucky, because it was discovered, and is treatable and I'm still able to do anything I want.

I have my business and I have three lovely little granddaughters who play a big part in my life, to keep me busy. The surgery was the best thing I ever did for myself and it's not just on my anniversary that I think gratefully of Dr. Askin and what he achieved for me.

Congratulations on your anniversary. I cannot believe time has gone by so quickly for us! I'm sorry to hear about the new heart condition, and that the meds make you feel unwell. How were you diagnosed? Did you have any symptoms?

JenniferG
03-15-2012, 12:04 AM
Congratulations on your anniversary. I cannot believe time has gone by so quickly for us! I'm sorry to hear about the new heart condition, and that the meds make you feel unwell. How were you diagnosed? Did you have any symptoms?

Thanks Debbei. I can't believe how fast time has gone either. (Too fast, slow down time!)

I'd had palpitations for years, and had put it down to menopause. I then started to get what I thought was heartburn. I'd never had heartburn in my life and the first time I had it, was the worst bout, and that was, unbelievably, when I was in hospital a few days after my surgery. The pain moved up into my shoulder and jaw. They put me on the ecg and said there was an abnormality. But they also gave me some Mylanta (for heart burn) and the pain almost immediately dissipated. I had it once more, when I was driving, about 18 months later but it eased by itself, then one night in October, I woke up about midnight. I don't know what woke me because at first there was no pain, then it started. It gradually got worse and I woke my partner and he called the ambulance. The ambos did an ecg and said it warranted "further investigation." I then spent a couple of days in hospital having tests (blood, ecg, chest x-ray, cardiac ultrasound) and saw a Cardiologist who also did the Holter test, the Stress test and cardiac MRI. The condition is usually genetic. The medication, though making me feel unwell (though that's easing now) has stopped the palpitations. I'm still walking daily and doing everything I always did. I can't get in to see the Cardiologist now until July. Hopefully I will just remain on medication and there'll be no further concerns. Fingers crossed.