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Health Anxiety AND a diagnosed medical heart condition...

nyy73

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Hello everyone,

I'm glad to have found this forum, and hopefully it will help me getting better mentally. I'm a 45 year old male who got hit by the anxiety hammer 13 years ago out of nowhere. At that time I was on vacation with my ex-wife, and we were going through some difficult times (although nothing to crazy). While strolling in Kuala Lumpur I suddenly felt like I was going to drop dead right in the middle of the street. Crazy anxiety at night, fear of dying, etc. My personality has always been to 'deal with it', so that's what I did. Throughout the next years there were good years (months) and bad ones. I've seen a psychologist for a year, but I really felt that never helped. Have never been on prescription medication, although I tried a wide variety of OTC pills without much success. I'm a non-smoker, socially active drinker (I admit, sometimes too much wine), am in good shape (run about 20 miles a week), started to do yoga and cut my caffeine intake in half by switching to half-decaf coffee and full-decaf tea.

Fast forward to November 2016. Had a weird sensation while running - I started to get out of breath. I've had my moments in the past feeling suffocated, but this felt different. So I decided to visit my PCP and she referred me to a cardiologist. The cardiologist did a echocardiogram (heart ultrasound) on me and that's where everything started. Apparently something was off, so I had an entire battery of tests done including cardiac catheterization and a heart MRI. Here's the diagnosis:
Mild left ventricular hypertrophy
EF low normal, estimated at 50-54%.
Grade 1 diastolic dysfunction
Moderate aortic insufficiency

To summarize: a leaking aortic valve that may or may not need replacement down the road. For now the doctor wants me back for yearly check-ups, and he didn't restrict me in any activities including running. My last echocardiogram was done this past December and nothing new showed up. As expected. This past 2 weeks I have been feeling terrible again with chest pain, shortness of breath and now also nausea. You know, the stuff that if you Google it will make you run straight to the ER. However, I went to a local urgent care center to rule out the flu (pneumonia) and they did a ECG because of the symptoms. This showed a T-Wave inversion, and the MD wanted me to visit the ER immediately. Instead, I called my cardiologist, faxed my ECG and his assistant called back and told me not to worry (I figured out Mild left ventricular hypertrophy can cause this).

My next cardiac follow-up is in late April. I'm considering moving it up, but all signs point to nothing serious. But I still have these symptoms.

What do you guys think?

PS- Part of the health anxiety originates from growing up. My father had rheumatoid arthritis, and my mom always was paranoid (and made paranoid remarks) about hoping us never getting it. Even up until today she is obsessed with health (I do love her dearly by the way).
 

Rinka

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Welcome @nyy73 to the family.
Thank you for sharing your story.
I can imagine that you feel more anxious about this condition.
As far as I know, the symptoms you are describing are to do with your condition. My grandmother had the same thing since she was a young woman. In the end she had a new valve installed(?) with 73.
Obviously I’m not a doctor, but from the expirance I had with her, it is likely that you can live with the condition for quite a while until an new valve needs to be placed.
Keep an eye on it and if you feel that your symptoms get worse go to your Doc.
Even if you think that it’s an over reaction, just go and make sure.
 

janemariesayed

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Don't worry about annoying your doctor. You do have a condition that you need to keep an eye on. Your doctor would probably prefer you went for a check and found everything okay than not go at all. I think you should go and just check it out. No harm is ever done to find out everything is running normally.
 

nyy73

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Thanks all. I had my checkup scheduled for the end of April with my cardiologist. The earliest I could move this to was mid-March, so mid-March it is. Still considering going to my PCP also..
 

Concernedgal

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Nov 24, 2016
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Hello everyone,

I'm glad to have found this forum, and hopefully it will help me getting better mentally. I'm a 45 year old male who got hit by the anxiety hammer 13 years ago out of nowhere. At that time I was on vacation with my ex-wife, and we were going through some difficult times (although nothing to crazy). While strolling in Kuala Lumpur I suddenly felt like I was going to drop dead right in the middle of the street. Crazy anxiety at night, fear of dying, etc. My personality has always been to 'deal with it', so that's what I did. Throughout the next years there were good years (months) and bad ones. I've seen a psychologist for a year, but I really felt that never helped. Have never been on prescription medication, although I tried a wide variety of OTC pills without much success. I'm a non-smoker, socially active drinker (I admit, sometimes too much wine), am in good shape (run about 20 miles a week), started to do yoga and cut my caffeine intake in half by switching to half-decaf coffee and full-decaf tea.

Fast forward to November 2016. Had a weird sensation while running - I started to get out of breath. I've had my moments in the past feeling suffocated, but this felt different. So I decided to visit my PCP and she referred me to a cardiologist. The cardiologist did a echocardiogram (heart ultrasound) on me and that's where everything started. Apparently something was off, so I had an entire battery of tests done including cardiac catheterization and a heart MRI. Here's the diagnosis:
Mild left ventricular hypertrophy
EF low normal, estimated at 50-54%.
Grade 1 diastolic dysfunction
Moderate aortic insufficiency

To summarize: a leaking aortic valve that may or may not need replacement down the road. For now the doctor wants me back for yearly check-ups, and he didn't restrict me in any activities including running. My last echocardiogram was done this past December and nothing new showed up. As expected. This past 2 weeks I have been feeling terrible again with chest pain, shortness of breath and now also nausea. You know, the stuff that if you Google it will make you run straight to the ER. However, I went to a local urgent care center to rule out the flu (pneumonia) and they did a ECG because of the symptoms. This showed a T-Wave inversion, and the MD wanted me to visit the ER immediately. Instead, I called my cardiologist, faxed my ECG and his assistant called back and told me not to worry (I figured out Mild left ventricular hypertrophy can cause this).

My next cardiac follow-up is in late April. I'm considering moving it up, but all signs point to nothing serious. But I still have these symptoms.

What do you guys think?

PS- Part of the health anxiety originates from growing up. My father had rheumatoid arthritis, and my mom always was paranoid (and made paranoid remarks) about hoping us never getting it. Even up until today she is obsessed with health (I do love her dearly by the way).
I know it form personal experience that anxiety symptoms can be a sign of something more serious. For years I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and then bipolar disorder. But,although I do have bipolar disorder (thanks alot dad).. I also have something called (supraventricular tachycardia ) which is a heart rhythm disorder and it caused a ot of my panic attacks because it started in the chest. Anyways...my point is only you know how you feel and only you know that something is not quite right. If you can get results faster by visiting your regular doctor. ...then do so. Tell your doctor that ( I know I had an appointment in April but,something isn' right and I need you to address it now. ) and explain your predictament. Listen to your body.
 

janemariesayed

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There is never anything wrong with checking something out with your doctor. The best news can be that it was a wasted journey. If you didn't want to go to the doctor then you could call his reception and speak to them. You can tell them your symptoms and they could relay it to the doctor. Then, if your doctor did want to see you he would call you in.
 

Jholl

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Oct 13, 2019
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Hello everyone,

I'm glad to have found this forum, and hopefully it will help me getting better mentally. I'm a 45 year old male who got hit by the anxiety hammer 13 years ago out of nowhere. At that time I was on vacation with my ex-wife, and we were going through some difficult times (although nothing to crazy). While strolling in Kuala Lumpur I suddenly felt like I was going to drop dead right in the middle of the street. Crazy anxiety at night, fear of dying, etc. My personality has always been to 'deal with it', so that's what I did. Throughout the next years there were good years (months) and bad ones. I've seen a psychologist for a year, but I really felt that never helped. Have never been on prescription medication, although I tried a wide variety of OTC pills without much success. I'm a non-smoker, socially active drinker (I admit, sometimes too much wine), am in good shape (run about 20 miles a week), started to do yoga and cut my caffeine intake in half by switching to half-decaf coffee and full-decaf tea.

Fast forward to November 2016. Had a weird sensation while running - I started to get out of breath. I've had my moments in the past feeling suffocated, but this felt different. So I decided to visit my PCP and she referred me to a cardiologist. The cardiologist did a echocardiogram (heart ultrasound) on me and that's where everything started. Apparently something was off, so I had an entire battery of tests done including cardiac catheterization and a heart MRI. Here's the diagnosis:
Mild left ventricular hypertrophy
EF low normal, estimated at 50-54%.
Grade 1 diastolic dysfunction
Moderate aortic insufficiency

To summarize: a leaking aortic valve that may or may not need replacement down the road. For now the doctor wants me back for yearly check-ups, and he didn't restrict me in any activities including running. My last echocardiogram was done this past December and nothing new showed up. As expected. This past 2 weeks I have been feeling terrible again with chest pain, shortness of breath and now also nausea. You know, the stuff that if you Google it will make you run straight to the ER. However, I went to a local urgent care center to rule out the flu (pneumonia) and they did a ECG because of the symptoms. This showed a T-Wave inversion, and the MD wanted me to visit the ER immediately. Instead, I called my cardiologist, faxed my ECG and his assistant called back and told me not to worry (I figured out Mild left ventricular hypertrophy can cause this).

My next cardiac follow-up is in late April. I'm considering moving it up, but all signs point to nothing serious. But I still have these symptoms.

What do you guys think?

PS- Part of the health anxiety originates from growing up. My father had rheumatoid arthritis, and my mom always was paranoid (and made paranoid remarks) about hoping us never getting it. Even up until today she is obsessed with health (I do love her dearly by the way).
How have you been?
 

ThankfulJen

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Joined
Apr 21, 2021
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Welcome @nyy73 to the family.
Thank you for sharing your story.
I can imagine that you feel more anxious about this condition.
As far as I know, the symptoms you are describing are to do with your condition. My grandmother had the same thing since she was a young woman. In the end she had a new valve installed(?) with 73.
Obviously I’m not a doctor, but from the expirance I had with her, it is likely that you can live with the condition for quite a while until an new valve needs to be placed.
Keep an eye on it and if you feel that your symptoms get worse go to your Doc.
Even if you think that it’s an over reaction, just go and make sure.
Was wondering how you are doing. Hope all is well!
 
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