This is rambling, so feel free to ignore it if you want. I’m trying to get this out there for my own benefit (so I can remember it all) and in case it helps anyone, or anyone has any tips of their own.
First, a couple of random updates.
Self-stabby-McStabbykins Update: Yes, shin healed nicely, thanks. Friend who’s a nurse took out the staples for me and I have a cool scar to show people how not to try to open a DVD…
The Great Washhouse Rat War of 2015 Update: Killed one in a snap-trap, and several bait trays of poison were consumed. The nesting activity stopped, so I’m guessing we finally won(?). I hope.
Okay. So those of you on my Facebook group have been treated to my latest medical saga of the light-headedness/syncope/near-syncope (fainting) episodes I’ve been experiencing. Stuff NOT normal for me.
Had a stress test and echocardiogram done last month, the cardiologist follow-up was yesterday. The nurse-practitioner came in first and said, with a smile, “Good news!”
Which immediately made my spirits sink, because it meant NO new answers. Yes, my stress test and echo were fine. I have a mitral valve leakage and I think the other was tricuspid (I forgot to record the session so I wouldn’t forget what it was) but the doctor said that’s normal in someone my age and not something they’d treat in its current condition. I also have a slight heart murmur, again nothing they’ll treat. Also, nothing that would cause the symptoms I’m having.
So no obvious answers yet. The next step is I go back at the end of October to get fitted for a cardiac monitor that I’ll wear for 4 weeks, and that I can manually trigger when I feel the symptoms. (The doctor treats a lot of retirees, in a retiree-heavy community with a heavy snowbird population, and they only have so many monitors available. Since I’m not “critical” I have to wait, which I totally get and understand, but it’s still frustrating.)
He said maybe it’s an intermittent rhythm problem. If worse comes to worse, and they can’t rule in/rule out POTS, there’s a medication for low BP they can put me on and slowly bump the dosage up.
Again, I’m the healthiest unhealthy person this doctor has. I don’t like the idea of going on a medication before we’ve exhausted all outlets, either.
On a side note, one of the supplements I’ve taken for a couple of years now to help with generalized pain, malic acid with magnesium, I’m out of. It was backordered from where I usually get it, and I’ve gone about 2 weeks now without it.
And, ironically, my symptoms are getting worse. BUT…here’s the kicker.
This morning I was researching magnesium supplements because I wanted to look into finding a replacement NOW, and I’m finding info that either wasn’t there when I researched a couple of years ago, or I didn’t see a couple of years ago when I first looked into it, or didn’t pay attention to because the particular symptoms then weren’t a concern: a LOT of the SAME symptoms I have that I took to be cardiac-related can be triggered by a magnesium deficiency.
Now, if I track back a few months, to my really bad flares over the winter and spring, a lot of THOSE symptoms also dovetail into magnesium deficiency.
Keep in mind, I have a history of my body metabolizing and building resistance to medications. (The reasons I can’t take Lyrica and Cymbalta.) Usually, my supplements don’t seem to have that problem.
So this morning I ordered a different magnesium supplement, magnesium orotate, that has a very good bioavailability ratio. And, again, go figure, I saw a lot of customer comments about they take it for… drumroll… heart issues like arrhythmia, palpitations, non-specific chest pain, etc etc et.
Yes, I’m still going to go through the heart monitor testing, obviously. But seriously, if I find this is just another case of my stupid body building up a resistance to a damn supplement, I’m going to be seriously irritated at myself.
Honestly? I’m guilty of once I do my initial research into what I’m taking, I don’t follow-up with it later. Either it works for me, or it doesn’t. If it works, I keep taking it. I don’t take it without researching it first. Never figured that I’d need to do ONGOING research on my symptoms.
Then again, I could try this new supplement and find out it does bupkis for me. *shrugs*
Or it could turn out that it’s “just” fibromyalgia after all.
Or it could be a “none of the above” issue and is something else we haven’t even tested me for yet. (I had to shut down the browser screen after a couple of people mentioned MS and I started looking at symptoms and saw that a lot of them matched. That’s not even something I want to contemplate right now until we’ve ruled out other stuff first.)
All I know is I can’t take a shoulder shrug and a, “We don’t know what it is,” for an answer. I also don’t want to default to the, “It’s probably just your fibromyalgia, you’ll have to learn to live with it,” answer. Right now, I feel like I practically have no life with these unpredictable symptoms and amplified pain levels. And obviously it effects my work because of the physical exhaustion, extra stress, brain fog, all of that. I’m so damn far behind right now it’s not even funny. I’m blessed that my doctors are listening to me and listening to the fact that I want an answer and know it might not be a quick fix. (The irony is strong if it does turn out to be magnesium.) Yes, I’ll be asking my GP for a magnesium test when I go back, but I read various reports that the blood test can both be accurate or wildly inaccurate based on what test it is, because if you’re low in magnesium your blood levels might still test normal because of it leaching out of your bones. And there’s a calcium connection, too.
I’m a very frustrated writer at this point. I know SOMETHING is wrong. Something has CHANGED. Whether it turns out to be an easy fix or not remains to be seen. :/