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The Uncertainty of CHD

Thursday, April 18, 2013

By Becca Atherton

If any of you follow me on Twitter, you may know that I was in the hospital. I was having irregular heartbeats and my heart rate was getting up into the 130s. On top of that, these episodes were lasting up to two hours. Needless to say, when that would happen, I would be exhausted afterwards. So while in the hospital, they put me on some more medication to help stop these irregular beats from happening. While these episodes are not dangerous or life-threatening, they were extremely uncomfortable and made me beyond exhausted.

I am out of the hospital, and the episodes are not happening as often nor lasting as long. However, the medication I am on for them can (and has already) created problems for other parts of my body, such as my thyroid. So after I finish up school for this year, I will be going to California to see my doctors there to discuss two medication options. One of the medications, though, is a beta blocker, so I may not be able to use that (for a reason my mom and I cannot recall, we just remember in the past they did not want me to be on one). As for the other medication, we just have to make sure it does not interact with any of my other medications. And if none of the medications work, the other option is a procedure called ablation. However, that would be a last resort because of the risks that come with putting me under for a procedure.

I am home now, but I have noticed that I am not feeling as well as I have been in the past. While I was in the hospital, I was on a strict low-salt diet to help lower my water weight, which would then help my heart function. Well I got home and weighed the exact same… which is odd because I should’ve lost at least some weight.

What’s also a little worrisome is that daily activities that I have been doing for years without a problem suddenly make me out of breath. The other day I walked around my house to put away some laundry after folding it. I have done this ever since I can remember and never got out of breath before while doing this, but—I had to sit down and catch my breath. The other day I parked right in front of a building, walked inside and was out of breath, and I didn’t have to walk a long way or anything like that. So on the topic of getting an echo to see if my heart function is the same or worse… I want to know. But on the other side, if it’s bad news, I don’t want to know.

I’m hoping that maybe I’m still just recovering from being in the hospital and what has been going on. I am staying on my low-salt diet, so it doesn’t put any more stress on my heart than it already has. I will keep you guys updated!

Thanks so much for all your support, prayers and love! I appreciate it more than you could ever know!

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The opinions expressed by ACHA bloggers and those providing comments on the ACHA Blog are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of the Adult Congenital Heart Association or any employee thereof. ACHA is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the ACHA bloggers.

The contents of this blog are presented for informational purposes only, and should not be substituted for professional advice. Always consult your physicians with your questions and concerns.

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