Heart rate question and follow-up

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-31-2000
Heart rate question and follow-up
Sun, 04-10-2005 - 5:59am

Hi Cecelia, I just wanted to let you know I saw a cardiologist. All he did was give me another EKG and said I was fine, so that's a good thing I guess. The SOB still comes and goes, but it's not as frequent as it was for the past two months. Should I have insisted on a stress test and echo or should I just write this off as a very unusual (and long) asthma exacerbation (that didn't respond to a 3 week long burst of prednisone)? I still experience SOB about once a week with no explanation as to what's causing it. And occasionally I still get completely exhausted when I'm out walking, just doing normal things like walking from the car to a store. I used to love to walk, but now I'm leary of being out all day because I worry about getting that constant fatigued feeling.

Another question: How do I effectively communicate with my dr? I used to be on Serevent for years, but had to stop due to heart side effects. Now, my asthma is worse and lung function has decreased. One doc wants to just keep giving me prednisone, which isn't working for some reason, and the other one isn't doing anything. I'm trying to at least get a nebulizer for albuterol to use QHS so I can sleep through the night. (I take albuterol inhaler which lasts about only 4 hours on some days and am also on inhaled steroids, Flonase, and Allegra). 02 sats range between 93 and 98 first thing in the morning. Anything under 95 and I'm really uncomfortable. The docs just keep listening to my lungs and saying their clear, so they brush me off. I don't have a lot of allergists and pulmonologists in my area and the two I see came highly recommended. Any ideas? Sorry so long, but better to have too much info than not enough.

Now this one is a crazy question: I have a pulse ox that I use to check my sats when I feel SOB. Most times the sats are 97 or above when I am experiencing SOB. I also use it to check sats and HR when I exercise on the treadmill. But I don't seem to notice a specific pattern to tell the doc about. Sats run from 96 to 99 when I walk at a fast pace and HR only goes up to about 122, so that's ok too. So here's the crazy question (finally:) When I use the pulse ox on my left index finger, I get a reading of 122, but on my right index finger, I get only 62-80 for HR, but 02 sats are consistent. That made me nervous to see it that low, so I stuck it on my right thumb and got a reading of 122. Why would I get such a low reading on the right index finger, yet my 02 sats are still the same as the right? And why would there be a difference between the thumb and index readings on the same hand? Thanks!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2004
Sun, 04-10-2005 - 10:30am

Hi racejunkie!

I believe I know you from the asthma/allergy board! Was just reading over your posts. And thought, HHHMMM, sounds alot like me! I recently had a heart cath. Hadn't felt good for about a year (walking and exercising was getting harder and harder), asthma and sinus infections much worse, and went into the ER with chest pains. They did an echo here which showed an abnormal heart rate, but EKG and blood was normal. They also found some fluid around my heart and lungs. Since heart disease runs in the family, I was sent to a heart hospital for a cath. They basically found nothing wrong with my heart, minimal fluid in my lungs. What they did find was that I had a virus that was trying to attack my heart and lungs. Evidently it has been going on for quite some time. I had the really bad flu the year before last and that's when all the fatique and all started. So they think it stems from then.

Amazingly, after all this has happened, not only did my cardiologist tell me he has seen a ton of this this year, but I've had a dozen or so people come to me with the same problem. Awfully strange, but at least I don't feel alone.

This was just a thought. My BP runs about like yours. Pretty low all the time. Always has been. The cardiologist was baffled though as he couldn't find an abnormal heart rhythm. My dr, allergist, all of them told me my lungs sounded clear too, but there is a tiny bit of fluid there. Not much though.

Just wanted to put in my 2 cents!


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Mom to furangel, Chelse
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-14-2003
Wed, 04-13-2005 - 3:25pm

Sorry I am just now getting to your post.