Heart disease is an umbrella term for a number of different diseases affecting the heart. As of 2007, it is the leading cause of death in the United States, England, Canada and Wales, killing one person every 34 seconds in the United States alone.
The blood vessels consist of arteries, arterioles, capillaries, venules, and veins. All blood is carried in these vessels. The arteries, which are strong, flexible, and resilient, carry blood away from the heart and bear the highest blood pressures. Because arteries are elastic, they narrow (recoil) passively when the heart is relaxing between beats and thus help maintain blood pressure. The arteries branch into smaller and smaller vessels, eventually becoming very small vessels called arterioles. Arteries and arterioles have muscular walls that can adjust their diameter to increase or decrease blood flow to a particular part of the body.

My Heart Struggled to Beat and Nobody Knew Why  

While scrubbing the bathtub one day in January, 2005, I felt a strange feeling in my chest and was weak. My heart no longer beat, then struggling to pound against my chest. It felt like it jumped into my throat. I crashed on the cool tile and took my pulse - 40 Half of my normal heartbeat. I struggled to breathe. After a few minutes, the episode passed and I returned to normal.

That was strange, I thought. With 55 years ago I was in perfect health, was physically active and had no history of heart problems. Neither had any of my 5 siblings or parents. I decided to ignore it.

Then in March, it happened again. A few times a day for two minutes each episode. This went on a week. Growing concerned, I quickly make an appointment with my doctor, but by the time I got in the episodes are no longer occur. My EKG was normal. My doctor said: "Drink more water, and you see these cardiologists, if it happens again." He handed me a referral.

In April, it happened again, off and on for a week. I called the cardiologist, but could not make an appointment until June. In between episodes, I felt great.

In May, it happened again. But this time it was four to five times per day for two weeks. I would go outside to the e-mail and had to crawl back into the house on my hands and knees. In between some episodes, I drove myself to the ER. After parking in the hospital parking lot, my heart went back. I sat down on the curb, wondering how I would be at the door. I come crawling, but I wore new pants and do not want to make them dirty. I walked a few steps, sat down and rested, continue this way until I have to triage nurse.

She into a pulse monitor on my finger, then said: "My God, your pulse is 40!" They whisked me back into a room and has an electrocardiogram. Relieved, I would quickly find an answer, I wholeheartedly. But until then, the sequence had passed and the ECG was normal.

They as a cardiologist and withdrew my nomination. But he told them that I had probably PAC's - a benign condition. I knew it was more than just PAC's. Frustrated, I left, in the hope that a visit to the cardiologist would answers.

My some episodes were frequent and lengthy. The cardiologist ordered a monitor for me to bear. I would record each episode, where they took place. I have more than a dozen episodes. I have also experienced an episode during the performance during the stress test and had stop.

In June, I returned to the cardiologist, anxious to finally have a diagnosis. He smiled and said: "There is nothing wrong with you. It is only PAC's." Then he laughed. "And you went to the ER for?"

Depressed by his reaction, I said: "I can barely walk without having to sit down and rest. It takes forever to make a short walk."

He said: "They need to exercise more." He put me on medication (Toprol), the heart rate. "This will contribute to the PAC's."

I thought that was strange, because my heart went to 40 during these episodes. "These monitors do not pick up all the heart beats," he said. "Your heart really is not 40". I felt like my symptoms were ignored, but I knew he made the best. Because he was the doctor.

Big error. The next day he left a message on my answering machine, "Stop the medication! Come back to see me in August, when I returned from vacation."

What was that all about? I wasn 't stand that so I called the office. He told me that he had shown my monitor strip to a specialist who told him they pointed an electrical block.

I asked him the name This specialist and an appointment with him. A week later, I sat in the electro-physiologist's office. He showed me my monitor strip. "These are not PAC's. You have a Type II, second-degree electrical heart block, and you need a pacemaker. Now! Each time an episode occurs, there is potential negative consequences for the heart. They will die from this if you do not get a pacemaker. "

I learned that my natural pacemaker sends an electrical signal in my heart she says to beat. Because the electrical signal crosses the upper chambers of my heart towards the lower chambers, it stops for some unknown reason. The lower chambers were not always receive the signal beat.

I a pacemaker that July. Finally, after six months, I had a correct diagnosis. It works great, this day.

I think so, because I am a woman, my concerns were not taken seriously. The most important lesson I learned from this is to trust my instincts and always a second opinion, if not satisfied. I knew that something was wrong with me, and I would have more vigorously if my concerns. And by the way, I never returned to that cardiologist.

Copyright Elizabeth Blake 2008


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Elizabeth_Blake

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