So when I last checked in (right after our trip to Leavenworth), I was so happy because I'd done great on the trip! When we got home, I was tired, but I expected that. Well, the tiredness didn't let up, which I didn't expect...
For the past week, I've felt really shaky and lightheaded (that feeling like I was stuck in an washing machine. Not the front loading kind. Then I would feel like I was drowning. That's not the analogy I'm trying to make here). And every day from about 11am to 5pm or so, I've also felt like my heart is pounding in my chest, I'm breathless, and my arms felt super heavy. So I called the doc and went in last week. The looked at the records from Sparky and saw that I have been having lots of little episodes of fast heartbeats for a minute or two. I also had an episode of ventricular tachycardia, which what they saw to make them put in Sparky. But they only saw one run of those, which is very good news.
In an effort to stop those fast little heartbeats runs, they reduced my meds a bit and we hoped that would correct things. No dice. So I talked to the docs again (the receptionist and the heart center operator now know me by name), and they decided to do an echocardiogram today.
The echo is the ultrasound that gets the very best picture of the heart that they can get (without cutting me open). I last had one in November, and I've wanted another for awhile, just because it tell me my ejection fraction(EF). That is the pecentage of blood my heart is pumping out with each heartbeat. When I was first diagnosed, it was about 15%. About 70% is normal. At my last echo, it was 25-26%. I've been really hopeful that I'd see a big jump this time since I feel so much better than I did in November. I tend to put a lot of importance on this number, because when I tell any new doctor my EF is 26%, their eyes get a little wide, and they make a note. That's not confidence inspiring.
Well, I was wrong-o-la about the EF improving leaps and bounds. My ejection fraction is now 20%. Blech. The doctor said that those little fast beats can make the EF low, so she's not surprised. I think the lesson here is not to put so much value on the EF because it doesn't exactly correlate with how I feel and what I can do.
So the doc decided to increase another med today and I'll go in tomorrow to see her again. If these med changes don't work pretty soon, they may try a new medicine that helps reduce those fast beats better, but it sounds like it's not great for my lungs long term. Hmmm. Well, we'll see.
In better news, I've actually felt quite a bit better today than all last week, so maybe I'm getting a little better anyway!
And in better news than that, Nick's parents, Gay and Pete, are flying in tomorrow for a visit! We always have fun when they're here, and I'm sure Gay will whip up some yummy treats for us to enjoy. : )
I'll keep you posted on this stuff as it becomes news worthy!
Meghann Chapman poor Jana, keeping you in my thoughts and prayers!
Michelle Gonzalez McMullen Goodness girl! I am thankful for your fb updates. I am sending you a big hug and lots of prayers.
Patty Morrelli Tapney I'm sending you a really big hug, and I'm sure that Gay and Pete will help to lift your spirits.
Hannah Sales As always girl, praying for you and missing you tons! Love ya!!!
Daniel Fletcher Stay safe!
Errin Kramer-Wilt Ugh. What a bummer. Just remember no one WANTS to be a number :) How long will you have guests for? I am out of town until next tues...but we should get together after that for some shenanigans. Keep me posted on your schedule!
Yoanis Mendoza Thanks so much for the updates..i often wonder how you are and all i have to do is log on. Keeping you in my thoughts.
James Reasoner I thought EF was "extra fine".....which you are!
Luis Cheng-Guajardo Love you Jana! Hope you have a good time with the Morrelli's!
Rosa Roberge I like to hear how you are doing with your updates too. Sorry you are still having to deal w/ tachyardia, etc., but glad you were having a feel-good day today :)
Melissa Cadena Morrelli Love Ya Jana, we are always thinking of you!
David Carson J. There has got to be a book within U about all this, I have never seen anyone ill, spread so much joy, blessings DDC
Lauren Berett Thinking of you...Hope you feel better soon.
Mandy Morrelli Young Glad you are feeling better today, hope you have a great time with mom and dad. I wish we could be there! ((hugs))
Isabel Morelli The in-laws are visiting!Better feel better and ready yourself for a lot of talking and lots of bear hugs. I hope P+G got off OK with all the snow, etc. I read your note and think it encouraging. Lots of kisses