Braced for bad news

As we are all aware I have a heart condition that means my coronary arteries spasm, resulting in me having around 15 – 25 angina attacks a day, these vary in force and duration. This has now been going on for nearly 3 years and unfortunately there is nothing that the doctors can do as my body doesn’t respond to the medication. All we can do is keep our fingers crossed that one of the spasms doesn’t result in a heart attack or cardiac arrest. There is also an ongoing concern that even without the heart attack the repeated spasms may damage my heart. So because of that I have very regular check up with my lovely cardiologist and now I am having an annual echo to check the condition of my heart.

The echo is coming up this week, unfortunately my husband and I are both braced for bad news. We think that the damage done to my heart during these attacks may have become permanent. Over the last few months I have developed, some worrying symptoms; fluid retention, dizziness, syncope and shortness of breath. The fluid retention results in some lovely swollen ankles - cankles were not really the look I was going for in my late 30’s. The dizziness I get is getting exhausting to be honest, I am constantly dizzy, I feel like I have always drunk a couple of bottles of wine! (I would like to point I don’t drink anymore because of medications so it’s definitely not a wine over dose.) The syncope, thankfully I have only passed out once, but I am now getting a lot of episode of spontaneous sitting – that can be really awkward when you are in Marks and Spencer! The shortness of breath has become so bad that I am now using oxygen to try and help.

My husband has thought for a few months that I am in heart failure, I should point out he is a paramedic and hasn’t just been on Dr. Google. I know that there is a chance that I am in heart failure. When this first started my first echo showed a low ejection fraction, this then improved but I do worry that it has gone downhill again. My big concern is that none of the heart medication has worked and I have condition that contraindicate most of the drugs that would be used to treat heart failure. So where would that leave me. Of course, this is my mind jumping a million steps ahead, first things first is to find out what is going on. We should know more after I see my cardiologist next week.

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