The Ol' Ticker
by, 22-Nov-2012 at 04:35 (555 Views)
Four years ago, a bout with some form of "stomach flu" turned into a heart infection, and a doubleheader of myocarditis and pericarditis. I was given a one-in-twenty chance of needing a heart transplant -- not much, but I'd have preferred zero! Of course, this was after my symptoms were misdiagnosed as a heart attack and I'd been given an angiogram. Watching a live image of your own heart being pumped full of dye is fascinating and terrifying at the same time!
In the year that followed, many discoveries about my heart were made, including its somewhat unusual valve geometry, its slightly-off rhythm, and a few other oddities. None of this could be positively pinned on the infection and subsequent inflammation, but they've always been the prime suspects.
Unfortunately, this is all still unfolding.
While on my annual deer hunting trip last week, I began having heart palpitations. They came and went at first, but by the time I was preparing to return to Seattle, I could feel my own heartbeat continuously. Ugh. After several visits to the doctor this week, I'll be spending Thanksgiving wearing a Holter monitor, which is basically a battery-powered EKG. When I got home, my wife asked me to lift my shirt and show the kids what was going on. My seven-year-old started crying.
Lots of blood tests are still out, but one theory is that my thyroid has gone berserk and is over-stimulating my heart. I'd always associated thyroid issues with obesity, but apparently the thyroid is more versatile than that.
I'm just hoping a concrete diagnosis can be made. All the guesswork sucks!