So you may or may not have noticed that I haven't posted for a month and there is a reason for that. I've had a series of tests on my lungs by pulmonary, and the breathing test showed that I couldn't blow out as hard the second blow as the first blow and then we waited and the same thing happened. There were other test with the breathing and they weren't that great, but the damage wasn't really to the lungs, despite the shortness of breath that had been a near constant and the cough I can't ever seem to get rid of or my oxygen saturation being only 1% above COPD since 2020.
They had previously done two tests on my heart a couple of weeks before the breathing tests. So I got the results of those as well as of the breathing tests on the day of the breathing tests.
An electrocardiogram (ECG, but sometimes referred to as an EKG) was first. It was where they put some leads on you and monitor the electrical signals that make the heart beat. That one was simple and painless and wasn't stressful at all.
The second was an echocardiogram (you will hear it referred to as an echo on medical dramas) where they stick a transducer wand into your rib cage and press up hard under and into your breast and you really want to smack the technician because it hurts and you think he's going to break something. I ended up with bruises. It transmits and recieves sound waves that bounce off the heart and created an image and a sound on the screen. He was having trouble with it making an image, so they ended up having to inject me with some chemical (gave me hives an hour later, had to take 6 Benadryl) to make it more visible or something. Then he wasn't digging so hard into me. It probably isn't so hard with men or flat-chested women.
Anyway, the news wasn't good. I have an enlarged right chamber of the heart and my left chamber has a flow rate of 45% and it is supposed to be 55%. She said I may have a blockage and maybe it can be removed or maybe they will have to put in a stent. First they would have to do a stress test and since I can't do a treadmill test because of the hip and discs in my back, they will have to use chemicals to induce the same thing in me. Oh, joy, more chemicals.
So they referred me to cardiology and I figured great, that'll be 3 months before I hear from them, because that's how long it took when I had to get the heart monitor and then an additional couple of weeks before I actually got an appointment to get it fitted and it turned out to be a big ball of nothing, even though I was absolutely sure something was going on with my heart. Because there was, just not something that could be picked up on a monitor, hence me going to pulmonary.
But no, cardiology called me that night with an appointment on the 14th, which kind of freaked me out, because they moved that fast, which made me think it was even more serious than I was thinking, based on how long it took before. But we were still under Covid restrictions before, so maybe it doesn't mean anything that I got an appointment in two weeks.
Anyway, the pulmonologist thinks the damage was either caused by Covid itself or possibly by a rare side effect of the vaccine I took, which was supposed to be the safest one, since I had these tests done back when I was fainting and my heart was fine then. That was chocked up to be the aural migraines. But those two debilitating bouts of Covid and maybe the two minor ones are the more likely causes of the heart thing in my mind. The vaccine could have thrown in its 2 cents worth as well, something about people with autoimmune diseases being more prone to that. I think. And I was kind of shocked, you know?
Most of the time when a viral infection damages the heart it does heal with time, but they know so little about Covid still, this version of it that was deliberately made worse and worse so they could study it, but seem to know nothing about the long term effects of it. What little they do know isn't good, she said. I don't want to jump the gun, but it is hard not to think about it. I've read some of the reports, because I'd rather go into this with my eyes open.
And it might not be Covid at all. It could be my rheumatoid arthritis drugs damaging my heart. Because they can. So I might have to go off those and just live with constant pain. Of course, I do anyway, but if I have to go off them, I'll have to live on pain pills and my doctor is super stingy with them.
The only really bright spot lately is that I found a prescribing nurse psychiatrist for my son and he's put him on a higher dose of his meds and they are extended release and he is doing so much better. Once all this heart stuff is figured out, I will go and see him, too, because my meds are not right, either.
It's a lot. It's really a lot. It seems like there are only four or five people left on the blogs anymore. But if those of you that are left could keep me in your prayers and thoughts, I'd appreciate it.