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Sjogrens Topics => Living With Sjogren's => Topic started by: SjoGirl on August 14, 2019, 06:07:27 AM

Title: Heart arrhythmia test results
Post by: SjoGirl on August 14, 2019, 06:07:27 AM
Some of you will recall that I was experiencing irregular heartbeats and that a Holter monitor showed that I was having PACs, premature atrial contractions.

Further testing via an echocardiogram was done last Friday and revealed that I have an atrial septal aneurysm along with a patent formen ovale. In short, and in layperson's terms, there is a small hole in between the chambers of my heart and there is bulging taking place from one side to the other (I believe left to right).

From all that I have found online, this is apparently a congenital condition, though I know I had an echo done years ago and don't recall them telling me this. I need to sort through my medical records, two file boxes full before I see the cardiologist on the 28th.

Oh yes, and they found a cyst on my liver. I knew that was there because it was found years ago incidentally through testing for something else (same this time). I go for an ultrasound tomorrow.

Just not my year as I tripped while on a trip a few weeks ago and had multiple Xrays after that and my ankle and knee are still healing.

So, new specialist, more tests, more . . . At least I am alive and able to tell this story.
Title: Re: Heart arrhythmia test results
Post by: araminta on August 15, 2019, 10:39:51 AM
Well it's better to know these things, even if they're not what we want to hear.  What happens about the heart condition, is that something you just have to live with?

I'm sorry about your fall, things do tend to come all at once, don't they.   I hope the rest of the year will be much better for you.   Take care.
Title: Re: Heart arrhythmia test results
Post by: SjoGirl on August 15, 2019, 12:51:09 PM
Thank you araminta. I see the Cardiologist later this month, I'll know more then about whether I have to just live with it.

Yes, when it rains it pours. That said I am still breathing, standing, living, all of which is a blessing!
Title: Re: Heart arrhythmia test results
Post by: Carolina on August 16, 2019, 08:26:51 AM
Hi SjoGirl,

The good thing about modern medical tests is that we can identify why we have the symptoms we have, and often there are 'fixes' that make our lives better.

I, too, have had 'anomalies' identified as a result of medical tests, most of which I would never have known about, and all of which make no difference in my life.

When I had a CT Angiogram of my head and neck, the left Posterior Cerebral Artery was found to be of 'near fetal origin', which means that it didn't develop beyond the embryonic state.

This is an anomaly that occurs in about 30% of people and usually only means that the PCA is much smaller than normal and and has no effect.  It is a benign congenital condition, and wasn't identified until I was 74!

Various nodes and scars have been found on MRIs and CT Scans as well.

A couple of times I have had to wait until 'something unusual' could be scanned again to rule out a serious problem, only to confirm that it was not a problem.  So that waiting could be a bit anxiety producing. 

Premature contractions in your heart seem like they would be 'unpleasant', and surgery to correct the hole between the chambers of your heart would be even more 'unpleasant', to say the least.

I hope further examination of your liver finds the cyst to be benign.

And that your ankle and knee continue to heal.

It is ALWAYS something, isn't it?

Regards, Elaine

Title: Re: Heart arrhythmia test results
Post by: SjoGirl on August 16, 2019, 08:55:19 AM

You always provide marvelous wisdom and perspective. After nearly a dozen years living with all of these issues I have learned not to panic every time I receive a report.

I will admit to crying when I first read the echo results. It is more because I have so darn many little things all of which make me feel like a freak sometimes. I have gotten used to telling medical professionals, as I did with the sonographer who was checking my liver the other day, that I am the runt of the litter and blame my problems on that. LoL

Seriously, I am the runt and was born late in my parents' lives. They had been treated themselves for issues and I always wonder if those treatments might have affected my fetal development. I also grew up in a very polluted community which I believe might also have had an effect.

Right now I am just mostly tired from working all summer. I'm not going to get much of a break but am going to at least take most of this afternoon and the weekend off.

Thanks for your support it means a great deal.
Title: Re: Heart arrhythmia test results
Post by: irish on August 16, 2019, 04:41:31 PM
Just to let you know, I have had a cyst on my liver for close to 30 years. I have enough scans and X-rays that they are able to keep track of it and so far, so good.. Irish
Title: Re: Heart arrhythmia test results
Post by: SjoGirl on August 18, 2019, 04:06:10 PM
Irish, thanks for the note about the cyst. They said that I have several. I can't find the report online and I want to know:

1. How many?

2. How many more, if there are more, are there then the last time they found these?

3. Have any gotten larger?

I learned from research that liver cysts can be the cause of reflux, which I have had for about a decade. I'm trying to wean off of PPIs and was doing well but today and yesterday not so much. I have also asked if it is possible that I might have Polycystic Liver Disease, I suspect not but I thought it important to ask.
Title: Re: Heart arrhythmia test results
Post by: irish on August 18, 2019, 11:34:34 PM
If it was me I would not be worrying about liver cysts being the cause for reflux. Liver cysts can even be something that we are born with. If the doc says they are watching they are watching. I have no idea what the size of mine is. Maybe if you check your scan results report they will be listed...generally in cm and mm. Liver cysts are not a rare thing. Good luck. Irish
Title: Re: Heart arrhythmia test results
Post by: SjoGirl on August 19, 2019, 09:08:16 AM
Irish, Thanks. I suppose my interest is because I never had reflux in the past. Like everything else with SJS and my other diagnoses and symptoms, this all appeared after I went through the change. The reflux is horrendous and I'm trying to wean off of PPI and switch to Pepcid or Zantac so that I hopefully avoid some of the significant issues that come along with LT PPI use.

Even after all these years, it's been nearly 12 since I became ill, I still want to know why!
Title: Re: Heart arrhythmia test results
Post by: irish on August 19, 2019, 11:54:12 AM
It is probably time to quit wondering why you became ill. It is what it is and worrying yourself about it all the time just makes one worse. Actually, I had reflux symptoms that the doctor could see and I didn't have that much discomfort. You could have had the Reflux and acid for many years prior to menopause.Do you raise the head of your bed? That does help.

All these medical issues just happen and we can't blame someone or something for them...they just are....we go to the doctor when needed and get the treatment needed and let it go. If we spend our whole life making lists and notes of our illness and agonizing over our illness we miss out on life. We need to keep track somewhat of our health issues but when the years are gone by most of the time no one asks about it nor is it important. I took to using my purse calendar back in 1989 or so and just making notes like drs visit, blood work, hemg level, etc. Just quick notes that would trigger info and if any doctor asked I could tell him when I had last blood work, X-ray, bacterial infection, antibiotic etc.

It takes so much energy coping with illness that when we tend to worry more it just takes the joy out of life. I will totally admit to obsessing about some things myself but I sure gave it up years ago cause I couldn't keep up with it....and my docs can't keep up either. Autoimmune is trying to kill our body off and the best we can do it get help when we can and learn to live with what can't be fixed. There is no answer why? and there is no cure so life is what it is and we just have to suck it up.

I have a heart issue that could eventually end up with surgery but, heck, I will probably be hit by a bus before that.THink of it this way.....the more days that pass the closer we are to surgery, etc, whatever....or the more days that pass we have beat the bad bullet and had no surgery, etc, or whatever and we are still alive.

So it pays to forget the worrying and just go to the doctor and see what he says and if everything is status quo that is good. By the way, has anyone prescribed a drug for your heartburn called Carafate? This puts the fire out and really helps. Have you seen a gastroenterologist? Remember that the doctors can't fix us or tell us why...they can only try to make us comfortable and if we stay with one specialist we are more apt to get to know them and be happier down the road with their treatment.

Also, it pays for us to remember that when we get tests and scans that show things that didn't show up years ago we probably didn't have the problem years ago.....or, the big thing....the testing was not as good years ago. Technology has come a long way. One thing that can really drive woman crazy are mammograms.

I have been having them since age 21 and every so often I get a panic call from the hospital radiology department(usually as I am just walking in the door from having the mammogram) to come back in and get ultra sound cause something looks different. I long ago gave up worrying about that cause it is what it is. Nothing has shown up and when it does I am sure they will tell me.

This info is from someone who has been there and done that!!!!!! Good luck. Irish
Title: Re: Heart arrhythmia test results
Post by: SjoGirl on August 28, 2019, 02:15:16 PM
For those who have been following the cardiologist said that I am A OK. The hole in my heart is congenital and about 25% of people have them. The aneurysm is small and not a big deal. It very slightly increases my stroke risk but not much.

I am wearing a 30-day monitor just to be sure that I didn't have the Holter Monitor on what was just a good day. I am relieved and very happy!
Title: Re: Heart arrhythmia test results
Post by: irish on August 28, 2019, 07:16:22 PM
So glad that things are looking so good. Now you can exhale and relax. Irish