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I may have a broken heart.

I've been having chest pains for two days now, with my pulse jumping over 100, minor palpitations, etc., on top of recent instances of edema (swelling) in my feet and ankles. Doc did an EKG on me yesterday, the results of which were my usual Long QT Syndrome* and sinus tachycardia. Doc's still concerned about Wolf-Parkinson-White Syndrome** and now a Bundle Branch Block***. Essentially, one side of my heart occasionally twitches away without any rhythm or efficiency while the other side doesn't get the message. At all.

She's by no means diagnosing me with any of these things because she feels she's in over her head. I'm thirty-two, not fifty-two, and some of these things should have been caught much earlier on. I started having palpitations when I was seventeen and I've had periods of my blood pressure suddenly shooting up or dropping abnormally low for several years. When I passed out a few months ago, my blood pressure was barely 90/60 with a pulse of 56. Last Monday it was 137/89 with a pulse of 108. My normal blood pressure is 110/70 with a pulse of 70, so I can really feel these changes when they happen.

Anyway, Doc called a cardiologist we met back in February and discussed the problem with him. I've had four abnormal EKG's and an abnormal Holter monitor, but she's hesitant to diagnose me or prescribe any medication. She's not sure whether she's looking for a physical defect or a fault in my electrical system. This cardiologist can do another EKG, strap me into another Holter, or do an echo or stress test all in his office, without having to bounce me back and forth from facility to facility. My head's starting to hurt as much as my chest.

In perkier news, I found a rather large bundle of remnant faux leather fabric for $.63. Enough to make a pair of pillows for the couch, maybe, or to even re-reupholster my new chair. Imagine those clean French-inspired lines tempered with a lovely brown faux leather. Or a pair of hand sewn faux leather pillows adorning our new cushions. Hm, the choices are almost too difficult to make. I'll have to wait until I have some light to get a good look of the stuff in our living room.

* LQTS -- Basically, it's a slight delay in the heart recharging itself for the next beat. This causes a loss in rhythm the heart tries to compensate for by speeding up. By going too fast, the hearts loses the ability to effectively pump oxygen to the brain, causing loss of consciousness and death, primarily in young people with no previously known cardiac condition. A lot of those kids who have died on amusement park rides actually died of similar conditions.

** WPW -- Slightly more complicated, this is where a branch of the nerves that carry the electrical pulse through the heart loop back to the heart's battery pack. Occasionally a pulse catches this loop and causes the battery to fire again out of sequence, which results in the heart twitching rather than squeezing. If the misfire also catches the same loop, it'll simply cause the heart to keep twitching rather than beating, which leads to cardiac arrest.

*** BBB -- This is where a branch of the nerves that carry the electrical pulse through the heart simply don't respond. A tiny little section is harmless, though it should be monitored to make sure it doesn't spread. If it's a large enough branch, that means an entire section of the heart isn't getting an electrical charge, which means it doesn't beat with the rest of the heart. Up to half the heart can do all the work, which is horribly inefficient.