Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Heart of the Matter

I went in to see my OB last Tuesday after being in L&D triage on Monday. He said I was tachycardic and suspected my issue was cardiac related and referred me to a cardiologist. He did suggest loading up on fluids and rest and that should help.

I got an appointment with the cardiologist on Thursday, but on Wednesday I still felt horrible even after consuming tons of fluids and laying in bed. My resting heart rate was between 130 and 140 and it felt like my heart was beating out of my chest. I called my doctor and was pretty upset when all I got was "it's your call if you want to go in." I kept asking when I should be concerned about high heart rate, and they just kept saying rest and relax, which annoyed the hell out of me. So, my mom convinced me to go back to L&D because something just didn't seem right.

They monitored my heart rate, baby's heart rate and contractions. Tested urine and took more blood. Urine came back fine and so did bloods. They kept saying baby looked "beautiful." I was also having contractions, but not feeling most of them. They kept giving me lots of fluids. My heart rate ranged from 98 up to 140...all while laying in bed.

The doctor came in and was concerned about blood clots. So I had a leg doppler done - no clots there. They did an EKG and didn't find much significant, other than my heart rate jumping up for no reason. The doctor then suggested a CT scan just to rule out lung clots. This part was prettty scary thinking I may have a blood clot...and by this point, we had been in L&D for 6 hours and DH was exhausted. Mom drove him home and then drove back up to stay with me.  Luckily, the CT scan came back clear.

By this point, I had been given 3 bags of fluids and it had slowed my contractions, but hadn't helped lower my heart rate as they suspected it should've. The doctor said she had eliminated everything that was life threatening and felt comfortable with me going home and going to my cardiologist appointment the next day. I agreed, and that's what we did.

So, last Thursday, mom went with me for my appointment at 11am. They did another EKG and saw that my resting heart rate was again in the 130's. The cardiologist came and in said it looked like inappropriate sinus tachycardia, which basically means my heart rate is too high while at rest.

I mentioned to her how I had a similar problem last year after our car accident. I went into the doctor's complaining of palpitations, tightening in chest and shortness of breath. The doctor at the time did an EKG and prescribed me a beta blocker, metoprolol succinate. She didn't really explain to me why I needed it and I didn't know what questions to ask. I took it for a few days, but eventually stopped when I felt better.

The cardiologist believes it's a problem I've always had, but I only become symptomatic when my body is under a lot of pressure or strain, such as the car accident last year, and now the pregnancy.

She prescribed me the same meds, and they began to help immediately when I took them that night. My resting heart rate went from the 130's to around 90. I could breathe again and didn't feel horrible. I actually felt REALLY good!

I am going this Friday for a heart echo and 24 hour holter monitor, then will follow up with her again in a week. Hoping the meds can control it until Brady is here...and that it will go away after too!


  1. So scary!! I'm so sorry you've been going through this.

  2. Oh my goodness! I'm glad the meds helped. I hope it stays under control! Take care!