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Old 05-10-2011, 04:56 PM   #1
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High BP, EKG, Echo... ugh.

Hi all! I am a stress case right now (which I'm sure is helping my BP ) and needed a place to just vent I suppose. I went to a new Dr. as my excellent primary care just retired. I don't care for this new dr. He was very over personal (in a bad way) and just his mannerisms creeped me out. Well, he talked to me about family history, ect for over an hour before taking my blood pressure. I told him I had white coat and he insisted I have an EKG.

My reading there was 130/100. He talked to me though the entire time he took my BP reading. He repeated it on the other arm and finished much more quickly, confirming 130/100.

He did the EKG and said it showed some left atria enlargement. I am a nursing student, but I'm not advanced at how to interpret results so this left me a bit confused. He then started circling the paper and saying he also thought the right was enlarged although the EKG "didn't pick that up". He scheduled me for an echocardiogram (which I had today) and a chest x ray, with blood work (which I haven't done yet).

I know I have a high resting pulse rate - usually in the 90's and can creep to the low 100's when I'm anxious. (I have a history of severe panic disorder, that I manage now). I didn't look much at the screen during the Echo - but the technician did ask me if I took my BP at home and what my normal heart rate was during the test. On the EKG it said it was 107.

I've been taking my bp at home on my monitor as I usually do and my numbers have been much lower - ranging from 118/83 - 124/ up to 89/90. My problem is that even taking my readings at home I'm still stressed.

Then today, I go for my nursing physical after my echocardiogram, so I'm already terrified as my Dr told me that I could go into heart failure potentially in the next 6 months or have clots in my heart and they could be VERY enlarged. Mind you, this was just off the EKG reading.

So, I go into my physical already with white coat syndrome, during finals week and my reading was 158/108 the highest diastolic I've ever had in my life. Last year due to my white coat I was at 160/100 which wasn't much better, but still. She also mentioned my apical pulse was really really fast.

I guess I'm just terrified. I had agoraphobia and panic attacks for 4 years of my life where literally everyday I thought I was dying. I was told not to pay attention to the "symptoms" because that gave them more power. So now I'm finishing my first year of nursing school, I've pushed through every obstacle anxiety has thrown at me and ignored and odd dizziness or heart palpitation as anxiety.

I'm terrified that I really had a problem all along or that my stress caused a problem and that now the damage to my heart is really really bad. I'm only 27 and throwing out the words heart failure with one exam really scared me. They won't put a rush on the order or put me on any type of pressure medication until the results are back in.

I just don't know how to calm down in between now and then with finals everyday and worrying about my heart rate, bp and everything else.

Thanks for letting me vent Any advice is appreciated! Non scary advice preferably....

 
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Old 05-11-2011, 06:34 AM   #2
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Re: High BP, EKG, Echo... ugh.

I have no advice except I am going through the same thing. I was just told yesterday they suspect heart failure and I have to go back today to see another doctor.

I have been retaining a lot of water and had an episode of resting pulse of over 100 for a day.

 
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:42 AM   #3
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Re: High BP, EKG, Echo... ugh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kk83 View Post
I know I have a high resting pulse rate - usually in the 90's and can creep to the low 100's when I'm anxious.

My reading there was 130/100. He talked to me though the entire time he took my BP reading. He repeated it on the other arm and finished much more quickly, confirming 130/100.

I have a history of severe panic disorder
Over time, an unhealthy heart rate combined with high blood pressure can damage the heart and the heart valves. Stress, or anxiety, of course, adds to the stress on the heart.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kk83 enlargement?
He did the EKG and said it showed some left atria enlargement. ... he also thought the right was enlarged although the EKG "didn't pick that up".
An EKG can suggest enlargement, but the only way to know for sure is through an Echocardiogram or Catheterization.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kk83 very enlarged!?
so I'm already terrified as my Dr told me that I could go into heart failure potentially in the next 6 months or have clots in my heart and they could be VERY enlarged. Mind you, this was just off the EKG reading.
I have no doubt that doctors will use any means possible, such as terrifying their patients, in order to inflate the bill. Personally, I think that it is great that you are having an Echo. I hope that you went to a top ranked facility, and have a top rated Cardiologist to analyse the results of the Echo. The results of the echo are highly dependent upon the competence and experience of the echo technician and of the Cardiologist.

Heart Failure is not a death sentence. I've had it for about 25 years and am close to 70 years old. I am doing very well, although my life is quite restricted because of my heart disease. Heart Failure, in most cases, worsens slowly. There are absolutely wonderful medications available that not only stop the progression of Heart Failure, but can also help to reverse the condition. However..... the medications can also come with some unpleasant side effects, such as fatigue, tiredness, mental confusion and weakness.

Take care, and best of luck with the results of that Echo!
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Last edited by Machaon; 05-11-2011 at 09:47 AM.

 
Old 05-11-2011, 03:00 PM   #4
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Re: High BP, EKG, Echo... ugh.

I think that doctor may be an alarmist. Get a second opinion before starting any meds, treatments, etc. Please stay in touch.

 
Old 05-12-2011, 05:49 AM   #5
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Re: High BP, EKG, Echo... ugh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rudiraven View Post
I think that doctor may be an alarmist. Get a second opinion before starting any meds, treatments, etc. Please stay in touch.

I agree. I went in to the other doctor and he just chuckled and put me on a water pill only, no more lisinopril. Gave me a script for wellbutirn

 
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