Tuesday, December 07, 2010

FINALLY....An Explanation!!!

  For the past year and a half I've been experiencing these 'twitches, flutterings, hic-cups, palpitations' feelings in the right side of my chest beneath the breast and to the right.  They are not painful but they are extremely annoying.  I can actually see that area moving.  Sometimes it looks like my breast is doing a naughty dance.  After a couple months of this when I went to my doctor for a prescription refill, I mentioned it to her.  I don't think she took me seriously.  And of course my breast would not dance for her when I wanted it to.  Apparently it has a mind of it's own.  While I was waiting in the waiting room to be called in it was having a merry time fluttering.  Maybe it was shy in front of the doctor, I don't know, but it wasn't co-operating.  On the way home in my car it was twitching like it had a tic.  A couple more months go by and this irritating flutter, twitch, palpitation is getting more frequent and more noticeable to family members.  Come on Grandma, do that again!!!  I'm trying to have a sense of humor about this, but it's seriously disturbing to me.  I had an appointment with my cardiologist about 3 weeks after my other doctor appointment.  It was at Thanksgiving time last year.  My cardiologist took me more seriously ( although he also did not detect what I was explaining to him.  All was quiet and non-moving) ...until I left his office.  But he did have me pick up a heart monitor to wear for the next 48 hours.  Every time I felt the movements, I was supposed to chart it.  I did.  They happened frequently and at different times during the day and night.  I also had to chart what I was doing when they happened.  I could be eating, sitting, laying down, in the line at the grocery store, watching TV, sitting at the computer, etc.  Thanksgiving Day 2008, we returned the monitor to the hospital.  Several days later I got the results back.  There were no results.  My heart was normal ( for me) and not showing anything unusual.  So all Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter again I keep having these weird movements in my chest/breast.  Sometimes I actually went days without anything and it was wonderful!  Then it would start up again.
Well..................today was my yearly appointment with my cardiac physiologist.  He's the one who replaced my lower lead on my pacemaker/defibrillator last year..... twice.  He wanted to see how I was doing since then and had to run some tests on the pacemaker to make sure it's working properly.  His associate did the tests and while she was reading the papers that were spewing out from the machine she noticed something unusual on the readings everytime she made my heart race with the testing.  My husband noticed something else.  He said " Your chest is fluttering".  He could see it from across the room.  The associate said "FLUTTERING?  Where?"
She ran some more of the tests and my chest/breast was doing the Watusi.  She actually saw it.  To make a long story shorter, it turns out that the upper lead on my pacemaker which sends electrical impulses into my right ventricle appears to be next to a nerve in my diaphragm.  When it sends an impulse, sometimes the nerve receives it too, and that causes the jumping around in the right side of my chest.  The physiologist turned off that upper lead.  It does nothing now.  Since coming home, I have not felt anymore movement and it feels GREAT to feel 'normal' again. He is also having me decrease by half, my daily doses of Coreg.  I may feel more fatigued but that will be better than those twitches.  I'm supposed to call him in 2 weeks to see how I'm doing.  If I don't feel any better, then he says the next step will be to go 'in' and replace that upper lead.
I NEVER would have guessed my pacemaker had anything to do with all this.


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