Friday, May 15, 2009

Update and ramblings.

In case you missed this little bit from yesterday I thought I'd re-post in a more visible way.

I went to the cardiologist yesterday. The first thing Dr. Pierce asked me about was if I knew Rick Westra, as Rick used to pitch and he would always throw the baseball hard at him. He said he always thought Rick would get picked up by the Minnesota Twins some day. So I told him that Rick was indeed my husband and that despite a couple of tryouts for the Twins, that fast ball of Ricks was only in the 8o's (mph) and you need to throw 90's for pro baseball.

And then with small talk over, I got a thorough exam! He asked copious questions about my health history. Ironically, I used to have a history of fainting, which was always dismissed as being anything related to my heart. But he said that could be a good indicator of something amiss and that needs to be checked. He then said I had 4 significant events of tachycardia during my holter monitor test. However, the rhythm of the beat was normal. Overall, my heart rate though was higher than what they would consider normal.

So before he prescribes any kind of beta blocker to slow my heart rate down, he wants more tests. He also noted my liver function tests are elevated and I need to go back to Dr. Twedt for that. *sigh*

He asked about my preference for the tests and I said since we're paying out of pocket, I preferred the "cheap" ones. He laughed, but he also carefully explored the options with me before we proceeded.

So next week I will have an echocardiogram to look for any enlargement of the heart and for the shortness of breath and lightheadedness I'll do a stress test. I felt like he listened and asked a lot of questions, and he didn't make it seem overly serious, but he wasn't dismissive either.

Have any of you had a stress test? Does anyone take beta blockers? Anyone want to weigh in with their experience, I'm all ears! Thank you all for your prayers and concern :)

On another note, we've officially ended Birthday week. Colton really enjoyed his day yesterday. He oohed and ahhed over his gifts. He opened his card from Uncle Matt and Aunt Julie and was so excited to see a 10 dollar bill, but then he quickly saw there were a couple of other bills in there and he went crazy jumping up and down. He also got a cool Pittsburgh Steelers super bowl champs shirt from his cousins Madi and Alex and a cool book filled with things that boys like! Thanks everyone!

I even got a gift, a wonderful note from his teacher. She said the frogs were great and Colton was so proud to hand them out. She said a couple of other things about his maturity and what a good learner he is. She then closed her note with how much she enjoyed him and that she would miss him next year. And I felt the sincerity. The biggest gift for me is that my son's teacher gets him in the way that I do. And I know its because she really cares about her students and is an amazing teacher.

With 8 graduation parties coming up, I also decided it was time for haircuts yesterday. I took the boys after school. Nolan was adamant that he not lose the length and told the girl exactly what he wanted. He was so excited she listened to him. When it came time to go, Colton was offered a sucker and money for the toy machine and Nolan wasn't for the first time. I didn't say anything, wondering what his reaction would be. We got to the car and I finally asked him how he felt about not getting anything. He said, "Its fine, I'm 9 now, way too old for that kid stuff." Ouch, I thought. Spoken like a teenager. *sigh*


  1. The same thing happened to Ryan when he had a recent haircut. Oh, I asked about the frog treats, and Kate's teacher didn't think that was allowed....because ultimately hands are on them. Bummer! Then again, it will be easier to buy something...

  2. The same thing happened to Ryan when he had a recent haircut. Oh, I asked about the frog treats, and Kate's teacher didn't think that was allowed....because ultimately hands are on them. Bummer! Then again, it will be easier to buy something...

  3. Try not to worry too much (easier said than done, I know) about anything just yet. My hubby has taken probably every beta blocker ever made at one point or another. Have you ever had an ECHO before? Hubby, Laney, and Destiny get them all the time. It will definitely tell you what's going on with your heart as far as enlargement goes. There are so many different treatments out there for tachycardia now, I hope that comes as a relief to you. Destiny's cardiologist says that there is no reason why people with tachycardia can't continue on with their normal lives once the right treatment is found for that patient. Sounds like your doctor is being aggressive with making sure you get the right testing for the right diagnosis. If he doesn't seem too terribly concerned then try to relax. I know you're in great hands, the Lord will see this through with you! I'll be praying that all goes well for you in this situation. If you have any questions about "heart matters" feel free to ask me. I've spent so much time in the cardiac unit that I should have probably been given an honarary degree! LOL!

  4. Bonnie, I never thought about the hands on rule, that is very true. And yes, they are a little time-consuming, so store bought it is!! Maybe you can find frog decorated cupcakes :)

    Kaleena, thanks for all the input! I think you right in that you just have to find the doctor willing to find the best solution for you and keep working at it till you do. Thanks for your prayers and concern!

  5. I've had lots of stress tests. Thallium with uptakes, and Myocardial Perfusion Imaging. Since I've never done the treadmill testing, I really can't tell you what that's like.
    If you are having a Thallium or MPI, make sure that you bring a sweater. The labs are COLD. Make sure to follow all the pre-testing instructions( I can't eat certain things or take some of my meds, on the day's that I have testing done), and call the lab ahead of time if you have any questions!

    I'll keep you in my prayers!

  6. Is it weird that I wish I could sit in the waiting room so you weren't at any of these tests alone?

    I've had an echo, and that was no big deal. As far as stress tests, I've only had one in relation to my lungs, so I don't know that I would be any help. [i passed out and hyperventilated... it was embarrassing.]

    Here's the only thing I can tell you for sure: It will all be ok. Whether the test show you need meds or not. Whether they show something is wrong or not. It will be ok... you are in Good Hands. And I don't mean the doctor's.

  7. lol
    It is good to laugh It makes the ill feelings go away.

    The Best of wishes to the best of guys!!!:)

    My Son broke his beautiful Nose when he slipped on some water on the floor. I pushed it back into place because we had no time to go to the doctor.
    He had to go to soccer.
    What a day that was with him playing with a nose that swole as big as a banana.
    But it bled so when it bleeds that's a good sign it's not bleeding on the inside.
    So we too did not go to the doctor but waited it out. He didn't want to wear anything on his nose to play soccer.
    It's always about soccer in my family. lol I was heart broken but my son replied Mom this isn't going to be the last time. I will probably get my nose broken many times in soccer. lol
    Well....did that beat all.
    He plans on breaking his nose again. So what's the point to fix it?
    Now it is a tiny bit crooked but not bad. Mom did a good job putting it back in place. ay ya yay.

  8. Thanks Libby, I'm pretty sure its just the standard exercise stress test :)

    Oh Gitz, isn't it odd that someone that has a history of syncope, would get put in a situation that tests it out? That was my exact thinking, "oh no, what if you faint?" That was part of the reason I had to quit running.

    Yes, I am confident that I will be fine :) Very good of you to point that out, this I believe.

  9. Vic, oh the boys have a way of doing that, don't they? He is probably right too, it will happen more times than we care to think about! I think about it every time one of the boys goes down on the ice hard, even though they have their helmets on :)

  10. My husband is an asthmatic, and he was taking a beta blocker for awhile. He had a lot of trouble with his asthma with it. You might also feel fatigued and lacking energy because, if you think about it, it's slowing your heart down. (That's what he told me to share with you ... hope it helps : ) )

  11. Any cake left from birthday week :)
    My baby, Emma was on beta blockers for a little while...they made her a little tired and didn't work so her Dr. took her off of them.
    Her Dr. wants to do an ablation whenever Emma's ready. She's not quite ready yet.
    (Did you know the Pioneer Woman had an ablation?)
    Love to you and keep us up on the echo...

  12. Hi Vicky, I think the tests are standard and you just have to thank the Lord that you are doing all you can to get to the bottom of this and you are in great hands. It sounds like the Doctor is doing the exact right thing and being very thorough. You are in my prayers.

    And you will be the one having the home run on this, I just know. Nice of him to remember your husband hey?

    My sister in law has tachycardia and has a normal life. So please know you are doing everything right and taking control of your health. Too many people just dont bother attending to these things and cause themselves damage.

    Take Care.

  13. KLo, tell your dh thanks for the insight. That does make sense that you would feel fatigue or low-energy :)

    Robin, the cake is demolished :) I've had visions of your strawberry cake in my head and I really need to invest in some cake pans to start baking again! I totally forgot Ree had an ablation, but now that you mention it I do recall, I'll have to go back and look. If Betas make you feel tired, that would not be a fun side effect to deal with so I don't blame Emma at all. Love to you Robin :)

    Lilly, Thanks for your well wishes and telling me about your SIL. I do feel very fortunate in how this has played out so far. Thanks for your encouragement! I hope Des is feeling better! Will keep both of you in MY prayers!

  14. So glad to read about having a good doctor who really seems to want to get to the bottom of things and not just patch you up but understand. Maybe you'll finally get answers as to why you were fainting. I HOPE so!

    I take a beta blocker - Atenolol - to regulate heartbeat. My dosage is 25mg. which isn't a lot I understand. At first, they put me on 50 and it made me feel exhausted. So it might take a little getting used to. I take mine at night and that eliminates it making me feel more tired. I honestly can't remember if I've had a stress test. I know they did a bunch of stuff. Apparently, I must have flunked the memory one.

    I WILL keep you in my prayers for health and for that boy who is too grown up now for kids' stuff. OUCH is RIGHT!

  15. I have had a lot of experience with doctors. It sounds like your heart man is one of the good ones. He listens, he moves carefully but he moves. My best advice would be to listen to him and trust.
    Isn't it hard to watch a kid grow up.

  16. Robynn, I think you are so right, and you can tell almost right away when you have a good one. As kids we rarely went to the doctor for anything. If you went you ended up having your appendix out or a broken limb set, or things along those lines. It was never just a virus or a cough. So most of this is really new to me, which is a good thing :) I'm sad that you have more experience than me, but grateful too :)

    Thank you Dr. John, I am listening to all of you and your advice! I feel confident we'll get to the bottom of it :)

  17. I hope it turns out alright for you! It sounds like you have a great doctor(s) looking after you. I will keep you in our prayers.

  18. Poor Vicky. I was hoping you'd get the 'all clear' after the holter monitor. :(
    The stress test is not bad. They'll hook you up to some wires and put you on a treadmill, where you'll walk and they'll monitor your heart's reaction to the 'stress' of getting your heart rate up. They will tell you to let them know if you get uncomfortable. I didn't have a problem with my stress test, never had to stop or anything. I got up to a pretty fast walk before they had me stop. Once I stopped, they did an echo on me, which is akin to an ultrasound of the heart. My dad is an echocardiographer with a portable machine. I've had several home echos. We used to take peeks while I was pregnant at our little ones in the womb with the machine, too. :)
    I hope these tests will be able to tell you more of what's going on.
    Oh, and a child who likes to mow? Awesome!


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