Tag Archives: heart

Boring Cardiologists…

22 Jun

The cardiologist I have seen now 3 times in the past week is quite a character. Just picture a tall, skinny, lanky man, late 50’s.  Dress pants and a short sleeved button down dress shirt.  Pocket protector.  No I’m not kidding.  Big plastic framed glasses, and unruly salt and pepper, slightly longer hair.  Goofy smile.  Laptop in hand – typing in the hunt-and-peck style.

My first visit, when we were scheduling the other appointments for testing, he told me that if I came for my echo on a Monday morning, he would be there until he had to leave for to do his “treadmill tests with the old geezers at the other hospital.”  Ha!  But the best part was that one of his “old geezer” patients heard him and yelled from the lobby “I heard that!”  Joel and I cracked up.  He is just a funny guy.

The staff from the office called me last Friday to tell me that the results from my holter monitor were normal.  They didn’t see any events, and apparently everything looked good.  Good news.

Yesterday, I went back to the office to have an Echo done.  It was pretty cool to see my heart beating on the ultrasound screen.  The tech was great and pointed out the different valves and told me what was going on.  And then toward the end, he asked if I wanted a peek at my baby.  Ummm, yes?!?!  Any chance I get, I want to see that cute little face.  He didn’t really know what he was looking at, but I could see the head and arms and legs and she was squirming around.  I love seeing that little girl, even if it’s just a peek.

So then the cardiologist came in and his opening words were “This is going to be really boring.”

Coming from a cardiologist, I’ll take the words boring, normal, and uneventful ANYTIME.

Basically, he told me that I have 2 valves that have a very minimal amount of leakage.  Nothing to be concerned about.  He sees it in 85-90% of the people he does echos on.  Mine is probably just a result of the extra blood in my body due to the pregnancy.  He said he wouldn’t have even told me, but that he didn’t want, “20 years from now when you move to Syracuse” (ummmm WHAT?) and have me find out about it, and call him and ask why he didn’t tell me.  He said that he doesn’t need to do any additional testing or monitoring, and that he hopes to never see me again.

To which I replied, “I hope to never see you again, too.  Nothing personal.”

So, despite me getting myself all freaked out by reading the internets, everything is fine.

27 weeks and so far, so good.

Couple Suggestions

17 Jun

Dear person-who-designed-the-holter-monitor,

I wore one of your devices for the last 24 hours.  Being a former engineer and designer of medical devices (true story – crazy, I know), I have just a few suggestions for you on how to improve your device.  I think these improvements would benefit everyone, and would make this thing a lot more pleasant to wear.

1. Make the lead wires longer. (Or at least make one model that has longer lead wires.)
See, there is this thing about pregnancy… your belly grows.  Like it or not.  It follows that it is farther around your body than normal when it is in this, let’s call it “expanded,” state.  Thus, the wires that would fit around a normal person’s body don’t go easily from one side of a pregnant woman’s body to the other.  Just a couple extra inches would be nice.  Enough that I could stretch out or twist a bit without pulling the leads off my skin (ouch!).  Also, I’m just thinking that a some of the people who wear your monitor are probably on the larger side, and might have that problem without being in my current “expanded” state of 26 weeks pregnant.

Or better yet, go wireless.

2. Fix the cell phone problem.
I know that it should not be a problem to be without a phone for 24 hours.  But when your job requires you to talk to brides about their weddings, phones are sort of mandatory.  Also, it’s not just the talking part.  I’m not even allowed to text.  We don’t have a land line (yet).  My only form of communication was this computer.  I’m just saying – technology has advanced significantly enough that you should be able to avoid any interference to your device from a cell phone.

Side note to mention – it’s possible that my cardiologist (ok that’s a weird phrase in itself) just has old holters… it wasn’t like shiny and new or anything.

Those are my main suggestions.  Thanks for listening and taking them into consideration.

Sincerely,
Rebecca

Note to my readers:
I’ve heard from several of you that you have had a similar experience while pregnant with heart palpitations.  Thanks for telling me that.  Seriously.  It has calmed my nerves a bit and made me feel less like a freak to know that other people have had the same issues.  I totally appreciate all your kind words and especially your prayers for my health and our baby girl’s as well.

My 24 hours with the holter monitor is over – I couldn’t be happier.  Not that it was all that bad.  My main complaints about the thing you’ve already read if you’re still here, and they’re minor, considering that it’s my heart we’re talking about. I’m thankful to have doctors who are thorough and want to make sure that this won’t be a problem later on.  I should hear something this week about the monitor results, and Monday I am going back for an echo (ultrasound of my heart).  I’m kind of looking forward to that one, having worked on a cardiac device for 3 years, the heart intrigues me, and I’m really interested to see my own heart in motion!  Should be really cool.

I have gotten an email or two from some ladies that are having the same experience now… I’d just say, be sure you say something to your doctor, and if they suggest that you do this test, be encouraged, it’s not that bad.  And maybe you’ll even get lucky and get a brand spankin’ new holter that is wireless and that you can use your phone with! 🙂

Just a Soft, Slow Murmur

12 Jun

That’s what the cardiologist said he heard when he listened to my heart today. A “soft, slow murmur.”  They didn’t do an EKG, but I’m going in next week to get a 24 hour holter monitor.  Did you know that you can’t use a cell phone while you have the holter on?  Seriously??? A whole 24 hours without my cell phone???  What in the world are they thinking?  I don’t even think my parents go 24 hours without touching their cell phones anymore.  Maybe not even my grandma.

But I will say this, the holter monitor is a lot smaller than I expected – maybe the size of one of the first ipods – you know the classics.  The ones no one has anymore.  Our friend Jason had one that was the fancy U2 version.  Black and red or something “edgy” looking like that.  It gave him the ipod-sad-face one time.  That’s the kiss of death for an ipod – the happy little message from Apple saying “Sorry, no more music for you :)”  Then it revived.  But, I digress.

That means that I will be out of commission from Tuesday afternoon until Wednesday afternoon.  You won’t be able to talk to me unless you can find me in person.  Good luck.  I am very sneaky.

They’re also going to do an ultrasound of my heart to check for heart disease and any defects or valve problems.  I’m really interested to see that, actually.  It should be a really cool thing to see your own heart pumping.

Anyway, the cardiologist didn’t seem concerned – actually I asked him if he was worried about it, or if I should be.  He said that he wasn’t, and that he’d know more after the other tests.

Thanks for all the comments, encouragement, and prayers.  I’m definitely a lot more calm about it now, and just knowing that the doctor actually heard something as well makes me feel less crazy.  Well, kinda. 😉

Heartbeats and Pedicures

3 Jun

Today has been an interesting day.

We had a doctor’s appointment this morning.  I never really know how long these things will take.  Sometimes it’s 30 minutes, sometimes it’s 3 hours.  Today’s was of the shorter variety.  Measurements, bloodwork, and listening to the baby’s heartbeat.  Everything looked good – I’m measuring at 24 weeks, which is about what I would expect.  Baby’s heartbeat sounded good – the doctor had no trouble finding it and baby girl even kicked the doppler machine pretty hard while we were listening.  They took blood to check my thyroid levels.  Then the question that you’re asked every time:

“Do you have any questions?”

Well, yes, actually I do.  Given that this is my first baby, I don’t really know what’s normal and what’s not.  So I asked the doctor about what I thought was the baby kicking me in the diaphragm.  The kicking isn’t what bothers me – it’s that my heart feels like it’s beating out of my chest, and I feel short of breath for a while afterward.

The doctor, though, doesn’t think it can be the baby.  She’s apparently not up that high yet, and since it’s been going on for several weeks, she is very doubtful that it could be from kicking.  Instead, she thinks that it’s probably hormones causing my heart to beat irregularly.  Nothing serious, she says – but I’m just saying, it’s your heart – hearts are pretty serious things.  So she’s sending me to the cardiologist for an EKG, and it’s likely that they’ll send me home with a holter monitor to wear for 24 hours.

So far, I’m doing ok.  I’m trying hard not to freak out about it, but it seems just kind of crazy.  What I thought was just a little baby kicking me, turns out might be my heart doing something funky.  I don’t know what it is… but it’s just a strange thing to think about.  They might wait to give me a referral until my thyroid labs come back, so it could be next week before I know when the EKG will be.

Have any of you ever had this happen?  What did it end up being?  I’ve been researching on the internet, but that’s starting to freak me out a bit, so I’m closing it down.

In other news, I’m pretty excited for tomorrow.  I’m planning to go out to the quilt store to look at some of the fabrics I like in person, and maybe even take a few minutes and a gift certificate to go get a mani-pedi.  Anyone want to join me?  A pedicure is always more fun with a friend. 🙂

We also went with Kelli, Brandon, and Maddie to Maddie’s first movie in the theater – the latest installment in the Shrek series.  Walking into the theater, she turned the corner and saw the darkness, the big screen, and she just froze.  Joel had to pick her up and carry her in.  But after she got in there, she seemed to really love the whole thing.  She ate a ton of popcorn, candy, and drank from everyone’s sodas.  Seriously, does a 3rd birthday get much better than that??  I think it was the most fun I’ve ever had in a movie too – just watching her have so much fun.