Hi lovinghorses! Sorry to hear about your dilated atrium and your constant breathing problems.
I am in a similar boat as you. I have problems with all four of my heart valves. Both my left and right atria are severely dilated. I've got permanent atrial fibrillation. I suffered from chronic, difficult to treat high blood pressure for many years, until I finally got it under control and down to very healthy levels.
Of all of the symptoms of heart failure, I hate the breathing problems the most. I am sorry that your life is effected so much by breathing problems.
Fortunately, most of the time I no longer have to tolerate breathing problems; and after a 25+ year struggle, my health and heart failure have significantly improved. Do your breathing problems get worse at night?
I have documented how I have had to restrict my life, in order to survive. I have to admit, someone has to be very ill, like I am, to do what I have had to do to survive these nasty heart and health problems.
If you are interested in reading the major changes and restrictions that I have done, to improve my health and heart disease, please glance thru my "Heart Disorders" thread: What I have done to survive Heart Failure & AFib with a high quality of life.
The link is: http://www.healthboards.com/boards/heart-disorders/742271-what-i-have-done-survive-heart-failure-afib-high-quality-life.html
Originally Posted by lovinghorses
Next step is a stress-echo...
Usually, after an echo there is a summary report that has specific, important measurements and evaluation. You might consider requesting a copy so that you can refer to it, and evaluate it yourself, at your home.