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Monday, November 9, 2009

Update 1: Table Tilt says "POTS!"

Today it is my goal to update this at least a bit. Let's see how this unfolds:

So almost two months ago now I had a table tilt test at St. Agnes. My cardiologist set it up to test for neurally mediated hypotension (NMH) and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), hopefully one of which was what was causing a lot of my dizziness/wilting.

This is the test where the strap you to a table, and after lying down for about 20 minutes, raise you up to almost standing position for half an hour and watch what your heart rate and blood pressure do. Long story stort: due to the nature of hospitals and whathaveyou I was in the hospital for over 4 hours (scaring the crap out of Patrick and Tanya who went with me and were in the waiting room the whole time--and my mom who was calling Tanya for updates). I ended up lying down for over an hour, with 2 EKG's hooked up to me (in case one glitched). It was kinda of an awkward test, and I was getting pretty stressed out because my cardiologist kept saying, "everything looks fine," (which was not what I wanted because I wanted something we could treat!). But by "everything looks fine" he really meant "you don't have NMH, you have POTS" which doesn't show up until they put me back down again. So then they had to play with me and put me up and down again a few times to see what I did (but much shorter intervals) which was not super comfortable, but whatevs. But my prize: I left the test with a prescription!

So, I have POTS. Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. It means that my heart rate is too high when I'm upright, and it's actually a nervous system problem, not a cardio problem. My autonomic nervous system doesn't read "upright" properly, and so make my heart rate all crazy. I'm on half a pill of Atenolol a day (and this are the tiniest pills ever, so it's hard to imagine that half of one does anything--but it totally does!) for the next six months, and then we'll re-eval. But it super super helps, meaning: I don't have to lay down everytime I eat something substantial, I can have a conversation with someone while standing up, I can sit through meetings/classes without feeling like I'm going to pass out if I stay in that chair one more minute. Basically: I don't feel like I'm going to pass out all the time anymore. Yay! I still have bad days, but the good days are a lot better. : )

1 comment:

  1. Woooh! Im glad you got a diagnosis! Strange relief huh?

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