Female Cardiac-Patient Problems

For readers who somehow missed the hubbub, I have cardiac issues. I am not cold-hearted or heartless, as some may contend. No, I have funky-ass arrhythmias (plural) that cause some serious problems. I had a cardiac ablation about 15 months ago, and the surgeon found and fixed a weird and rare reentry atrial tachycardia. Because, why would I have anything NORMAL? He did not fix the other one he mapped out because it sits on my SA node. For nonmedical people, that means ablating it would most likely make my heart to stop beating at all, which, typically, is bad (zapping it anyway and putting in a pacemaker would fix it). This particular type of dysrhythmia is called "inappropriate sinus tachycardia," which I find judgmental and annoying just on the face of it, in addition to all the "it's all in your head" bullshit I spent a year wading through only to find that, yes, indeed, I do have a heart problem.

IST isn't AS BAD as having two issues together. I'm not randomly fainting and stuff, and by any 'rithmetic that's an improvement. However, my heart rate pretty regularly goes up into the 170s and stays there for hours. I wore a Holter monitor, and this allowed my cardiologist to conclude that my heart rate pretty regularly goes up into the 170s and stays there for hours. I take a LOT of rate-control medications. I'm surprised my heart beats at all.

All of this leaves me with a new and nebulous set of cardiac conundrums to contend with. The first one is the inability of anyone in the medical field to realize that if your heart beats that fast for a long time, regardless of the cause, you will feel tired and you will have chest pain. Even if it IS "just" anxiety or "just" IST or "just" anything else. Tired. Chest pain.

Also, prolonged tachycardia, again, regardless of cause, leads to heart failure eventually. That also makes you tired and gives you chest pain. It is also an end point I would strongly rather avoid. (I mention this for the physicians who like to treat my tachycardia with boluses of fluid for some reason.)

Having tachycardia, chest pain, and fatigue can become perplexing to me and my providers because I DO have anxiety and I DO have depression and those things can cause fatigue and tachycardia and all the rest of it. Being sick if you are a cardiac patient is a rat's nest of problems. Fever? Makes tachycardia worse. Tachycardia? Makes oxygenation worse. Mix a good pnemonia in with a resting heart rate of 160 and you've got a problem.

Plus, I never know how much concern to assign to things. If I feel dizzy and have chest pain, am I dying, am I having an anxiety attack, or should I pop some atenolol and go on with my life? I missed HAVING pneumonia for a good week last summer because YES my chest ached and I couldn't breathe, but I feel that way MOST OF THE TIME. That doctor observed that this didn't seem like a good way to spend my life. No, it isn't. How nice of a physician to notice that.

I have to wonder, if I were a man, would I still be in this situation? I wonder that because I know a couple of men who have had cardiac dysrhythmias, and they all have pacemakers and no issues. Presumably, if you have a penis, it's NOT all in your head.