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Weight Loss

weigth loss

Weight Loss

One good thing about being sick and taking Tramadol (I’m assuming it is Tramadol) is that I have lost a ton of weight since this all started. I have lost 30 pounds in 2022 already. Now that may sound like a ton of weight, but when you weigh 250 pounds that is a drop in the bucket.

So why am I losing so much weight, you ask? Simple enough, I’m not eating. I’m putting away less than 500 calories a day and some days, I’m intaking half of that number. I have zero appetite, no hunger pangs and no ill effects of not taking in more calories. I’m not dizzy, or lightheaded, none of that, so, I’m just not eating. I know I need to eat, so I eat a small dinner, about a 1/3 to 1/4 of what I normally eat and off comes the weight.

I guess I will meet my new year’s resolution or lose weight very quickly this year.

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Big New!!!!

AverageJoeWeekly

This blog is going away soon and going to be rolled into my other blog. I have a blog (AverageJoeWeekly.com) that is about all my hobbies, experiences and past times and I think that having a medical category on it and folding all my IHaveSomeNerve posts into it makes sense to me. So………………..

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Costochondritis

Costochondritis

It has been some time since I have updated this blog. That is mostly due to the fact that I have just not been feeling it lately. I haven’t been feeling myself and I haven’t been feeling well.

A month ago, on top of my rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and Postural tachycardia syndrome (PoTS) with Premature ventricular contractions (PVCs), I was diagnosed with Costochondritis.

Costochondritis (kos-toe-kon-DRY-tis) is an inflammation of the cartilage that connects a rib to the breastbone (sternum). Pain caused by costochondritis might mimic that of a heart attack or other heart conditions.

Costochondritis is sometimes known as chest wall pain, costosternal syndrome or costosternal chondrodynia. Sometimes, swelling accompanies the pain (Tietze syndrome).

Costochondritis usually has no apparent cause. Treatment focuses on easing your pain while you wait for the condition to improve on its own, which can take several weeks or longer. (source – Mayo Clinic)

In my case, I have had a costochondritis flare-up since Thanksgiving 2021. It is by far the most painful medical issue I have had to deal with. It is a constant ache sometimes dull other times more intense, that just doesn’t go away without medication. Periodically there is a very sharp intense pain on my right side that feels like what I would imagine I’m being stabbed feels like. It lasts about 20-30 seconds and then disappears, leaving the constant ache in it’s wake. The ache on average is 3-4 on the pain scale and it is just there all the time, if I take a deep breath or move wrong it jumps up to a 5-6 sometimes more. I’m taking tramadol 100mg three times a day, along with my Enbrel for the RA, and Gabapentin (2400 mg a day), propranolol for the PoTS symptoms (High BP and Rapid HR, plus the whole standing up thing) and a muscle relaxer in the evening and my Seroquel to sleep.

The issue is that the Tramadol is making me (for a lack of a better word) ‘dumb’ (bran fog). More so that the gabapentin is giving me brain fog and it is not eliminating the pain, it is just  dulling it so I can get through the day.

I belong to several Costochondritis support groups on Facebook and most of the people there don’t seem to ever have their symptoms go away, but my rheumatologist is telling me that it should go away after a few months.

Getting the Costochondritis diagnosed was a major pain in the backside as well. It was a trip to the ER, trip to the gastroenterologist, an endoscopy and a trip to my rheumatologist, just to get it diagnosed.

I joke with everyone and tell them that I’m collecting autoimmune disorders like charms on a bracelet.

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Rheumatologist Appointment

rheumatologist

I walking into my Rheumatologist’s office, well walk is such a strong word, a word that makes you think I was actually standing upright when I entered the office, I was more hunched over to my right side as this tends to help keep the pain to a dull roar, opposed to walking erect.

I sit down in a room and wait my turn. She comes in about 20 minutes later and I start to tell her what is going on, she looks me over, and tells me that it sounds like it is Costochondritis. Now I have already done my own research and that was the conclusion that I came up with as well, so I think we are on the right track. We discussed management of it along with my other issues and we decided that if Tramadol is working for me then let’s stay the course. After my exam and talking about my other issues, she wrote me a script for 90 Tramadol, which is 50mg 3x a day for 30 days. She also writes me a muscle relaxer to take at night and some lidocaine patches for topical application.

I walk (well hunch) out of the office with the thoughts that maybe we are getting somewhere now in my head.

Two days after the script is filled, the pain is not getting better, in fact it is worse. I call my rheumatologist and she ups the dose to 100mg three times a day.

That is currently working and I can function like a normal person for the most part. Well function is such a strong word, but we will leave that alone for now.

Now comes the problem of me getting the script updated and refilled. I wait a few weeks, hoping that it will all shake out on it’s own. Fat chance of that working and I have to call my pharmacy and explain the situation to them. They tell me that they can’t fill the script for 14 more days. OMG, I’m nearly out of pills now (two days left and you want me to stretch it to two weeks. I called my rheumatologist who called the pharmacist. I called the pharmacist back and explained once again. I tell them the date she increased and how many pills I have left. Thankfully, the tech I was talking too, was nice enough to talk with the pharmacist who had talked to my rheumatologist already, but hadn’t updated my notes yet. So it all worked out and I now have 180 pill supply (2-50mg pills 3x a day for 30 days).

Victory is mine (we have to celebrate the small victories)

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Gastroenterologist appointment

Gastroenterologist

Gastroenterologist appointment

I made it to my gastroenterologist appointment, and I’m all out of pain meds, I have been milking what I have, taking fists full of OTC pain meds, just to make it to this appointment.

Long story short, I see the doctor and he tells me that he doesn’t think that I need a colonoscopy as I had one two years ago, he thinks that I might get some benefit from an endoscopy, as all the test results look fine and nothing jumps out at him. I ask him (I feel like I’m a drug addict now) for some more pain meds to get me through to the endoscopy. He writes me for 20 more Tramadol which I’m ecstatic about.

I got the endoscopy and well, the results revealed….. nothing, absolutely nothing at all, everything is normal. My only saving grace at this point is that I have a rheumatologist appointment in a week.

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The trip to ER Hell

Emergency Room Visit

I have been having some strange abdominal pain that just won’t go away. I went to my local ‘doc in a box’ (BetterMed) and the doc there instantly thought that it was my gallbladder, so he prescribed some pain meds and ordered an ultrasound. Getting the ultrasound scheduled was a nightmare itself. It seems in my area of the U.S. (near D.C.), they are several months out for any specialist. It was going to be over a month just for an ultrasound, ugh and I’m in major pain and I only have 20 tramadol

The pain is a constant ache about 3-4 on the chart, with an intense sharp pain like I’m being stabbed in the mid right side of my chest. This sharp pain lasts 20-30 seconds and it really high up on the pain charts. I also have a corresponding pain in the back side of where I’m being ‘stabbed’.

When I finally got the ultrasound I was still having pain, in fact nothing changed. The results said that everything was fine and that my gallbladder, pancreas, right kidney (I have horseshoe kidneys BTW), intestinal tract, appendix and liver are all good. I have a small cyst on my liver, but that is it. The next day the pain was worse than ever so it was off to the ER. Mistake #1!!!

The ER in my town is a mess and I mean total mess. I get there and have to go through COVID screening, which determines what side of the waiting room I go to. Non COVID to the right and COVID to the left, and the room is separated by a glass partition.

The waiting room isn’t full, but fairly busy. I wait about an hour and they take me back to take my vitals and start the triage process. Once they have my story, they kick me back out to the main waiting room and let me rot there along with the other dozen patients for close to two hours.

Now it is time for triage, where they take blood samples, a urine sample, put in an IV line and then send me back to the main waiting room. This time we rot there for four more hours, but before we get to that part, let me tell you about what happened in those four hours.

First the patients in the waiting room are irate, one for having to wait for so long, two for the waiting room being cold, we are talking in the low 60’s, three for the occasional COVID positive person who is hacking up their lungs sneaking into the non-COVID side of the room and possibly infecting all of us. Fourth for the lack of concern from anyone that works there. In my case, my pain was getting worse and worse and when I was in triage, I asked for something for the pain and they told me that they would have me in a room in a few minutes and they will take care of the pain then.

The entire time we (my wife and I) were there, we never once saw anyone clean anything. So here we are in the height of a pandemic (or so we are to believe it is a pandemic) and no one is out cleaning the waiting room. They removed the vending machines some time ago, so you can’t get anything to eat, unless you leave the hospital grounds. Sure you have the cafeteria, but you can’t get there from the ER, without someone who works there letting through the locked doors and you can’t even get someone to take the elder lady in a wheelchair to the bathroom so she can pee, well enough to open some doors for you.

So, I’m standing in the corner in tears now, because the pain is intense and I’m sure my anxiety isn’t helping me much either. My wife goes and asks the nurse about my pain meds and they of course just blow her request off. An hour later a team of three enters the waiting room and starts taking everyone’s vitals. They get to me and I inquire about the meds and she tells me that she will check my chart. I was shocked when she came out 10 minutes later and said that it is too soon for me to have more pain meds. I said, more? I haven’t had any yet. She said that they should have given me something in triage. I said I asked and was told they would get me into a room and give it to me. She went to check my story and I guess it held true as they called me back about 10 minutes later and gave me some Percocet which did help me. After a little over 7 hours in the ER, they got me back to a room and the doctor came in to see me, no less than 3 minutes after I arrived in the room. He makes it sound like it is a slow day and he isn’t seeing many patients (WTF). He tells me that my tests are normal and to follow up with my gastroenterologist who I have an appointment with in a month. I ask for something for the pain to hold me over and he gives me a script for 10 Vicodin. He tells me that he will discharge me with undetermined abdominal pain, which is the same thing I came info.

Under the chairs

Just freaking nasty

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Specialty Pharmacies

allianceRX

Specialty pharmacies are a joke, at least Walgreens is. For my weekly injection of Enbrel, they call me about a week out (I will have one spare injection in case they screw this up, and well they do), and try to arrange to deliver it. But what they don’t tell you is if you don’t answer one of their three phone call attempts, they will cancel your prescription. In my case I had been dealing with some cardiac issues and I actually ended up in the hospital. Long story short, I called them and they told me that I’m in a “no go”, status, which means they have to have their pharmacist review my prescription, reach out to my doctor and make sure it is medically necessary and then they will ship it, so I’m a while out until I receive my next shipment. This is such a freaking hassle and shouldn’t be this way. I’m not sure why they can’t make this easier for the patient. Why can’t it be shipped to the local store, or why is it such a game every time I call to arrange a shipment. For the first several months, I had to call them which meant not only did I have to deal with all the other issues going on, but I had to call them and jump through their damn hoops just to get a prescription.

Then there is the time, that I called, some guy answered, he asked for my name and date of birth, which I supplied, and then he said “Goodbye” and disconnected me and hung up. I called backed immediately and spoke to a different person who asked me the same questions and she quickly handed me off to someone else which was the wrong department. Go Figure!

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Hospital visit

My most recent visit to the local hospital was very eye opening. So we are in the middle of this “high contagious”, “deadly” pandemic and you wouldn’t know that at the local hospital. So when you come into the ER, the security guard stops you and asks you the standard COVID questions, and then sends you to the correct location in the ER. In my case I have no COVID symptoms and I haven’t been exposed that I know of, I was just having chest pains. Now let me explain the chest pains part so you have a better understanding of what is going on.

As I have alluded to before in other posts, I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia which are both autoimmune diseases and I take an weekly injection for the RA that suppresses my immune system, so first I like to avoid places like the ER cesspool of COVID and second, RA can attack the organs in your body, which is what is happening in my case. For the past two months or so, I have been having elevated resting heart rate (like 120) and high BP, plus heart palpitations and chest pressure. I have seen my family practice docs and been referred to a cardiologist, but I’m playing the game of waiting for them to get around to calling me to set up an appointment. In our area, most of the specialists are not seeing new patients.

So here I am at the local ER (we have two hospitals in town). I got past security and I’m now at the little computer to enter in my information. The very first screen states that if you are having chest pains or other heart attack signs, skip the registration and see the nurse. I do just that, only to be told to please continue filling out my information. I do and I’m assuming they will take me back right away, but I’m just standing there waiting. I wait for 4-5 minutes and then they call me back to the triage area. There they check my vitals and then take me back to the fast track to draw some blood and other labs.

The young nurse had a difficult time tapping me for an IV and was just digging around looking for the vein (which I now have a rather gnarly bruise from). She then switches arms and puts it on the underside of my forearm for some reason. Now, I have to have quarterly blood tests for my RA medication so I don’t normally have issues with someone finding a vein, but we move on. I now have the IV on the bottom of my right forearm and I’m off to X-ray. I wait in the X-ray waiting room and then they take the chest X-ray and then kick me back out to the main waiting room.

I just don’t understand their logic and flow here. So let me see if I understand this. Let’s give you an IV and take your vitals and then put you in the “general population” again. It is a little misleading if you are trying to judge wait times, which by the way, are claiming to be 10-15 minutes. So I’m sitting out in the main waiting room with my spouse. We are just waiting, we waited some 3 hours (good thing I wasn’t having a heart attack).

As we are hanging out, I scan the room and I notice that a fair amount of patients have the wrist band and IVs, so they have been triaged, we must be waiting for the main ER. A guy comes out of the restroom, which is right around the corner from us, he is coughing his lungs out and all I could think was, please don’t have COVID, please don’t have COVID. He walks within 4 feet of me and my spouse. I mean he was wearing his mask and we were wearing ours, so I’m sure we are protected from COVID and a nuclear attack at the same time. He goes to the vending machine, which is 15 feet in front of us, still coughing and grabs a Coke and then coughs and talks to the older lady sitting next to the vending machine. He is bitching about the other hospital in town.

He then goes and sits in the general population of those that don’t have COVID. He then starts to very loudly talk to a lady a few chairs away who is bitching about the wait times. She claims she has been waiting some 5 hours now. He then very loudly exclaims to the entire waiting room that we should not go to the other hospital as they wouldn’t see him. He said that he is COVID positive and they refused him, he nearly passed out so he got into his car and drove to this hospital and proceeded to lie about his COVID status and made it to the main waiting room. Ugh, so here he is spreading his germs around, thank you for being that asshole.

The one thing that I noticed is that I’m not seeing any COVID protocols being followed. There is no one cleaning anything, the three plus hours we sat there, I never saw one person from house keeping, not one thing wiped down, hell the dust and trash under the chairs is from weeks, maybe months of not being cleaned. But at work, we have someone cleaning door handles and common flat surfaces every few hours. Go figure.

They finally call me back and take me to a cardiac room and then it is like I’m about to die, they get the Nitro going, they get the aspirin going, all that stuff that they didn’t care about for the past three hours. They took my temperature for the first time as well as they skipped that when I entered the ER for the first time. They had problems getting an accurate temperature, which they blamed on the old temp probes. But often patients with RA run a lower body temperature, my normal is about 95.6 instead of 98.6.

I saw the ED doctor, who wanted to make sure that I knew he was smarter than I am and didn’t want to hear me talk, he just wanted to impart his knowledge. Which BTW, was not anything new to me, I have studied this before, but he is a PHd, so I must be smart. Explaining to me that I’m not having a heart attack and so on. Now, let me state that I didn’t go in stating I was having a heart attack. The button said chest pains and I’m having chest pains. The button said rapid heart rate and I’m laying in the bed and have been for an hour and my HR is 117. The button said uncontrolled high blood pressure, and I was, it was 157/117 while again resting for the past hour plus. But by all means, please explain to me what I’m not feeling.

He was so arrogant that it started to piss me off. He’d ask a question and then when I got to answer it, he would cut me off and start speaking again. I’m sorry that is not a very good bedside manner doc, but whatever. BTW, if you want to challenge me to a quiz off, about a wide variety of topics, I’d be happy to educate you on the real world. But I move on as that is not the topic here.

So I’m then told that they want to admit me and I’m fine with that, I was already prepared for that actually. I’m really dreading this entire visit of hurrying up and waiting Olympics.

So they admitted me for the night for observation and then tests in the morning. I was very shocked at how nice the rest of the staff is at the hospital. Now I totally understand all the BS the ED staff has to put up with, but you can’t treat everyone the same, that is just not fair to them and to you as the provider.

I got to the observation wing and they got me settled very quickly. My nurse for the night was a total train wreck, but she was very sweet and friendly. By train wreck, I mean that everything she tried to do failed and she needed assistance. But I didn’t get upset, I just figured she must have been new to this game (later I found out that wasn’t the case, she is just a train wreck).

I was too late to order dinner and of course the hospital never thinks about that, they just don’t care. But when I asked, I was told that they can get me some sandwiches and juice, and that worked perfectly well. I was told nothing after midnight, so that wasn’t a problem either.

That night was fairly sleepless with constant interruptions for vitals and blood drawls to check my Troponin levels. I’m talking 11:22, 12:38, 1:09, then 4:44 and 7:10, so not terrible, but rather annoying. But I’m not one to complain, they are just doing their job. At the 7:10 “wake-up” I met my nurse for that shift, and he was really cool and down to earth. I like that in a nurse, he is straight up, period.

At 8:20 I was given my first injection of Cardiolite or Technetium (99mTc) sestamibi which is the tracer agent they use for nuclear medicine imaging (Nuclear stress test).

By 10:00, I’m in the nuclear lab, laying on the table as the Nuclear SPECT (single-photon emission computerized tomography) camera travels across my chest to obtain the images of my heart at rest. After that, I’m taken to the stress test lab for my stress test. You can learn more about a nuclear stress test here (https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diagnostics/17364-pharmacological-nuclear-stress-test)

Since I had surgery in my knee in 2020 and it was not 100% successful, and has been very painful lately, I made the mistake of opting for the Lexiscan injection instead of the treadmill stress test. While I’m waiting for this test to be administered, I’m having a nice chat with the nurse who is connecting up the monitors and telling me what to expect. I find out that she was once married to a Marine, who sadly (but not shockingly) screwed her over and cheated on her. I let her know that not all of us Marines are the same, many of us are good guys. It was refreshing to have a chat with someone as most everyone I had run into at the hospital was quick to do their job and move on. She took the time to talk with me, while she was doing her setup.

For this type of stress test, you are on a bed connected to monitors (Blood pressure, EKG, PulseOx, and I’m injected with the Lexiscan® (regadenoson) injection. This injection will basically simulate the heart as if it was being exercised. I was told that I might feel warm, flush and have difficult breathing and that I need to communicate what I’m feeling. The test will last four minutes and half way through they will inject another round of Cardiolite into my IV for scans later. The PA told me that the reversal is caffeine and that once I drink the Coke (I got to choose my caffeine source of choice) the effects would reverse in 10 seconds. Yeah right, but ok, I’ll play.

I’m kind of dreading this, but let’s pull the trigger and get the show on the road. I get the injection of Lexiscan® and I immediately feel my chest getting very warm, in fact it gets rather hot. I then start to feel flush and I’m having to breathe deeper as well. They then inject the second round of Cardiolite and I immediately feel so much worse, hotter, very faint like I’m about to pass out. The sounds in the room are getting muffled and I thought for sure I was going to pass out. I’m then told the test is over and I’m sat up and given the Coke. I take a sip and bingo, I start to slowly feel better. I finished the baby 7.5 ounce can and I feel like I did prior to the test.

I’m disconnected and wheeled back to my room. I’m told I can order lunch and eat and then I will be taken to the Nuclear lab again for the last set of scans. I got back to my room and sure enough, I was able to order food. I found the food to be ok, but very much lacking. I don’t mean lacking in taste, that was ok, I mean in portions. I ordered pancakes (two of them), scrambled eggs, a blueberry muffin, 2% milk and Cheerios. What I got was everything but the pancakes. But when the food arrived it was time to go for round number two. I had enough time to call and request that my pancakes please be sent up. They assured me that they were on the tray. So I guess I’m blind now too.

Off to the lab for the next set of scans and the tech had major problems with my monitor leads. She had to stop the test about eight minutes into the nine minute test to fix the leads. According to the monitor my heart was either beating 75, 44, 29 or 0 beats per minute. I even joked with the tech, saying “great you killed me”. This is not the first time that they had problems with the leads, in fact, the ER put a set on, and then they put another set on. When I go to the observation ward, they put another set on (leaving the previous two sets on). They had problems throughout the night so they put one or two on here and there, right next to the other set. Back in the nuclear lab and she put on two more leads and we reran the test.

Back in my room and I see another tray of food, sweet my pancakes have arrived. Open the lid and well, scratch that my mini pancake has arrived. Are they serious, this is a pancake, for a two-year old?

Alright I finally start to eat and my doctor comes in, this is the first doctor I have seen since I left the ER. This is my cardiologist that I have been trying to schedule an appointment with. He is so apologetic about this and told me that he has had a talk with the new patient coordinator about this. This just happens to be the cardiologist that I saw in 2017 when I was in the other hospital when I thought I was having a heart attack and so did the ER. I clicked with him so I’m glad to see him as my doctor. He spends 25 minutes in my room talking to me, sharing and he is very knowledgeable about RA and Fibro and how it interacts with the heart. I was very impressed and even confirmed the scarring on my lungs and said he can see it on the x-ray and hear it as well.

He tells me that the palpations I’m feeling are PVCs, where the lower chamber beats before the upper and there is no treatment, but can be related to those with RA, Fibro and other autoimmune diseases. The tests all look good and he thinks that the high HR and BP are POTS (Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome), which is again related to autoimmune diseases and he prescribed me something that should help. He couldn’t apologize enough for them not getting me in soon, and has an appointment for me this week. He apologized about the guy in the waiting room and talked with the hospital admin about it and recommended that my spouse and I get tested later this week (we already scheduled PCR tests).

I’m relieved to know that I’m not having a heart attack and though serious, when treated POTS is not life threatening. So I need to get my prescription filled ASAP. I also have an appointment to see him in his office later this week.

The rest of the visit was fairly uneventful. They gave me a dose of the medication that the doctor prescribed for me and it seemed to be working, it kept my vitals at 120/81 and 72 bps, so it seemed to be working and I’m happy about that. We will see what happens next.

One of my other observations was that though everyone was wearing a mask, I wasn’t required to be in my room and I only noticed the cleaning staff cleans the restroom once a day, which again, I found odd during a pandemic.

I got released just after dinner, which was an interesting experience. I was told that I was on a cardiac diet, which meant that I could only have items with the red heart after them. Much of the menu actually had the red hearts after each item, but when I called, I wasn’t allowed much of what was on the menu. No milk, no salad dressing, no soda, no pudding, I was shocked and a little upset as I had done the right thing and planned out my meal before I called, only to be told that each item I wanted wasn’t available to me, even though it has the red heart after it. Oh well, no big deal, I got a small grilled chicken sandwich, corn and mashed potatoes (even though I order a different type of potatoes), the only dessert that I could order was red Jell-O and the only drink was lemonade.

I got released shortly after I ate and I found it odd that once they handed me my discharge papers, I was allowed to walk out of the hospital, that must be a COVID policy, as I have never heard of that before.

Getting changed to leave the hospital, we removed 15 of the monitor stickies, several were stuck to my gown as well.

I’m happy to be home!
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Another diagnosis

Diagnosis

And the hits just keep on coming. In 2019, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and my neurologist was convinced that there is more buried under the surface. In 2020 my Rheumatologist added to my list and diagnosed me with rheumatoid arthritis. I started a treatment right away that didn’t agree with me so I switched to a weekly injection. That is working well for me and I’m happy with the progress.

Several months ago, I started to get concerned about some cardiac issues that I had been feeling. I saw a ‘doc in the box’ and they ran some tests, the results of the EKG were concerning to them, so they referred me to a cardiologist. In this area of Virginia, it is very difficult at times to get into a specialist and this was one of those cases.

The referral got messed up somewhere and they got me in for an Echo and that was all. Several days later, I had enough and  tucked my tail in between my legs and went to the ER.

After some tests in the ER, they kept me for observation and gave me a nuclear stress test in the morning. When I saw the cardiologist, I was pleased to learn that I had seen him in 2017, when I thought I was having a heart attack (turned out to be a reaction to a new medication I was on).

He first apologized for the mix up in his office and promised me an appointment this week. Then he got a good feel of what I’m experiencing and then he told me his diagnosis. He said the “palpitations” I’m feeling are not actually palpitations and are actually Premature Ventricular Contractions (PVCs) which are extra heartbeats that begin in one of your heart’s two lower pumping chambers (ventricles). These extra beats disrupt your regular heart rhythm, sometimes causing you to feel a fluttering or a skipped beat in your chest. He explained that they are not life threatening and are more of an annoyance than anything else. He explained that they can’t treat them, but they can help lessen the annoyance. For me, they really interrupt my sleep, keeping me up at night as I often feel like my heart is dancing around in my chest.

He then explained that I likely have Postural tachycardia syndrome (PoTS), which  is an abnormal increase in heart rate that occurs after sitting up or standing. Some typical symptoms include dizziness and fainting. It’s sometimes known as postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. He explained that it is directly related to my RA and that they can treat the symptoms, but not the disease. He explained that it is an autoimmune disease (Yes, I’m so excited, another autoimmune disease).

The good thing is that I have to see a cardiologist and I have an appointment this week as well to see him in his office.

Wish me luck. I posted more details about my visit on my personal blog (AverageJoeWeekly.com).

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