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sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets

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[Jul. 13th, 2012|05:51 pm]
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After having my heart mumble some untoward things during the Denver Century a couple weeks ago, I made an appointment with my doctor. We talked about my family history -- of two direct ancestors with loads of heart problems (although one of them just celebrated her 95th birthday yesterday, so let's take 'loads of heart problems' in context) and my homemade EKG and general nervousness leading me to think my heart isn't always operating quite how it should.
He listened to my heart, had me do deep knee bends, breathe, stuff like that, and said he thought I sounded like I was fine. Reassured me I was just noticing stuff everyone experienced because I was predisposed to notice it. Finally I talked him into setting up an EKG, which took like five minutes. It dumped out a bunch of plots and he looked at it and frowned, and got a ruler, and started measuring, and frowned some more, and said I need to see a cardiologist.
I may have something called long QT syndrome. There's a buncha stuff on wikipedia about it. To sum up, it's a hereditary congenital heart abnormality, no big deal (except for when you suddenly drop dead) and easily treated with beta blockers. And it's not even anything like for sure I have it: I just have a couple risk factors (male, father probably had it, and, well, a long qt period) so I get to go do a stress test with better instrumentation.

He said I should feel free to keep riding like a crazy person in the meantime, which is good because I was going to anyway no matter what he said.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: twoeleven
2012-07-14 12:04 am (UTC)

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FWIW, have NHLBI's general public information on LQTS. And while I'm at it, a recent review paper.

Assuming, of course, you hadn't found them already...
[User Picture]From: randomdreams
2012-07-14 12:18 am (UTC)

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I hadn't! Will read forthwith.
[User Picture]From: manintheboat
2012-07-14 12:39 am (UTC)

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"Avoiding strenuous physical activity or startling noises."

We'll be doing estate planning this weekend.
[User Picture]From: randomdreams
2012-07-14 12:44 am (UTC)

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He DID say no emotionally stressful discussions. Very dangerous.
[User Picture]From: twoeleven
2012-07-14 12:48 am (UTC)

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I suppose you could drink while doing it. :)
[User Picture]From: okterok
2012-07-14 12:31 am (UTC)

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If you suddenly drop dead I am going to be REALLY PISSED AT YOU. So please don't! I'm through with friends being seriously ill for the rest of my life.

I've heard beta blockers do wonders for social anxiety too. Let me know how they are!
[User Picture]From: manintheboat
2012-07-14 12:37 am (UTC)

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Just what we need, randomdreams with less social anxiety.
[User Picture]From: ziz
2012-07-14 04:05 am (UTC)

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...He has social anxiety? I suppose I might have a distorted view of things.
[User Picture]From: randomdreams
2012-07-14 08:02 am (UTC)

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Hey, I wear an 'introvert' shirt, don't I?
[User Picture]From: karena
2012-07-14 04:21 am (UTC)

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You have a homemade EKG machine?!? Man.
[User Picture]From: randomdreams
2012-07-14 08:02 am (UTC)

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It didn't work very well...
[User Picture]From: noveldevice
2012-07-14 10:06 am (UTC)

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Well enough, apparently.
[User Picture]From: randomdreams
2012-07-14 04:11 pm (UTC)

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It never detected an anomaly: they're too rare. (Which is why I doubt I actually have LQTS: it's exercise-related, and what I'm experiencing isn't.) I was going to make one that recorded over long time periods but never got around to it.
[User Picture]From: amaebi
2012-07-14 03:00 pm (UTC)

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Wow, I overlooked that detail in the anxiety-producing story line. Thank you.
[User Picture]From: randomdreams
2012-07-14 04:12 pm (UTC)

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I posted about this but it was a while back: I had me all hooked up to it (ebay sells ekg electrodes) and it hooked to an oscilloscope and some batteries, and I yelled to manintheboat "Hey, you know CPR, right?" She said she'd only resuscitate me if I promised not to throw up in her mouth.
[User Picture]From: amaebi
2012-07-14 06:57 pm (UTC)

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She well tempered mercy with justice and prudence. :)
[User Picture]From: petrona
2012-07-14 11:12 am (UTC)

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While I could choose to worry, I won't. You are my Superman.
[User Picture]From: randomdreams
2012-07-14 04:14 pm (UTC)

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There's a joke here about The Invisible Man...

Dad had at least three separate things wrong with his heart. I have at most one, and I'm still pretty convinced I'm immortal, so this is no problem.
[User Picture]From: madbodger
2012-07-14 06:00 pm (UTC)

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I've been on beta blockers most of my life. The side effects are generally not bad (less susceptibility to stroke and panic disorders, etc.). They're pretty safe and cheap.


That said, here's hoping you don't need them.

[User Picture]From: randomdreams
2012-07-14 11:40 pm (UTC)

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I'm probably the least panic-tending person I know, but hey I'm always enthusiastic about even less stress/tension. Cool to know.
[User Picture]From: sarahwilder
2012-07-14 08:28 pm (UTC)

FWIW

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Beta blockers can make folks feel slow and laggy. Make sure to see what other options are available, in case you have side effects.
[User Picture]From: randomdreams
2012-07-14 11:39 pm (UTC)

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Hmmmm. I already feel like that. Hmmmmmmmm.
[User Picture]From: alton_lust
2012-07-15 04:04 am (UTC)

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Think I mentioned that the doctors said my dad survived his first heart attack only because his heart was so strong from all the karate stuff he was doing. And then they told him to quit doing all the karate stuff! go figure.

You know, they make heart monitor things that you wear all the time and if you think there's soemthing going on you click a button and it records so you can show your doctor later.

I'm not surprised you have an ekg machine. I /am/ surprised you didn't Tim Allen it into picking up Russian radio stations and ground tremors in Brazil. Get on the ball.

Glad you pushed your doctor. Not so giddy with the news, but good to have the info, nes? *healing vibes*
[User Picture]From: randomdreams
2012-07-15 05:27 am (UTC)

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We talked about monitors. It's just that having stuff happen is so rare they don't think the monitor is worthwhile.
[User Picture]From: alton_lust
2012-07-16 02:37 am (UTC)

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But you can feel it when it happens? Sometimes?

I keep trying to get the doctors to take out the stupid treadmill and put in a blackjack table. Take your bill, bet it. Find your peak heart rate a hella faster.
[User Picture]From: flexibleflyer
2012-07-17 01:51 am (UTC)

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Stress EKG or stress echo?

The latter is usually more fun because the techs will let you watch your heart valves go kathump-thump.

Good wishes for the outcome.