Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Nothing But Heartaches*

(*Title of a song by The Supremes)

© Oculo | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

So, last week I finally called my PCP and begged the triage nurse to fit me in sooner than the May 22 appointment I had made a month earlier because I feel like something you'd scrape off the bottom of your shoe while cursing neighbors who don't pick up after their dogs. And I'm sleeping round the clock lately and feeling zombie tired when I'm not already asleep.

So they squeezed me in today, and we talked about whether the heart medicine (digoxin) I started not long ago was behind my symptoms or whether I am simply having my annual flare, with a slightly later start than "normal."

She sent me for a routine EKG because I was complaining of chest pain (which I can't identify as truly being heart pain or simply being my chronic costochondritis flared up again), and told the tech she wanted to see me and the EKG report before I left. I assumed it would be just like all the other ones I've had done, which show sinus tachycardia and, sometimes, premature atrial contractions (PACs).

This time, she said it showed an "ST abnormality," which was mildly concerning because I was complaining of chest pain. It's quite likely a side effect of the digoxin, which we agreed that I would quit taking. But they can't know that for sure without more testing.

I was given two options, either a "chemical stress test" where they give you a drug that stimulates your heart to crazy fast tempos so they can confirm that all areas of your heart are getting oxygen when they need it, or I could wait a week and come back for another EKG when I've been off the digoxin for a full week.

I opted for the latter, with promises to my PCP that I'd go to the emergency room and get checked out if I felt worse or anything weird happened.

So it turns out to be a good thing that I hadn't cancelled my original appointment slot. :)

Meanwhile, I'll be crossing my fingers that I'll be feeling much better when the digoxin gets out of my system and that next week's EKG is back to my "normal" abnormal readings. :) Either way, I'll let y'all know.