The last month has been a continued rollercoaster of issues, some clearly Cipro related and others that could be totally unrelated it’s hard to know. One of the concerns was a sudden increase in heart palpitations and related discomfort, often I’d be getting skipped beats or thumps every few minutes. I’m used to feeling them, having had a problem with stress about 15 years ago and episodes of anxiety and panic at that time. Since then I would get them infrequently but usually when tired or very stressed, but never this many and this often.
In December I saw a cardiologist who based on initial observations and historic evidence thought it wise to have an echocardiogram done. Being the NHS this took another 3 months to happen which considering this is a heart related issue is pretty dire. Anyway, the palpitations had eased a little in the weeks leading up to the scan and on the day of the scan I felt relatively OK. The result of the scan was that in general the heart looks healthy, no real obvious issues with the chambers or valves except a small amount of leakage in one valve which wasn’t considered anything to worry about. The scan doesn’t show the condition of arteries as the resolution isn’t enough so they could not comment on that aspect or even provide a reason for the AF type symptoms I’d been getting.
So the palpitations continued with some days worse than others until the frequency started to decrease and I thought great, things are getting better again. Then out of the blue I had an episode that did frighten me as the pain and sudden start was unexpected. Driving home in the dark I had a car drive right up behind me with head lights dazzling me. For miles the car just sat there and I obviously became annoyed, I could feel my pulse increase and the feeling that adrenaline was kicking in. Then suddenly my heart beat started jumping all over the place, followed by a tight clamping pain in my chest. I had to pull over, I felt dizzy, my right hand was shaking like a leaf, my left arm was uncomfortable. I pulled over and it took about 10 Minutes for the pain to subside and my shaking to stop but I felt awful after, drained, nauseaous and hot. I went home and to bed to try and sleep…
The next day I went to the GP who did a quick ECG, could see no obvious issues and sent me home. I had already read up on my symptoms and my conclusion was a couple of possible scenarios. The less concerning one being that it was simply a bad panic attack which somehow caused the blood flow to the heart to reduce triggering the unpleasant symptoms. The other idea was it could be Angina pain which very much matched the scenario and the symptoms. Of course I am hoping the second option isn’t the cause but I now feel like I need to have that ruled out. Having spoken to a friend who has suffered heart issues it was clear that you don’t mess about with pains in the chest, better safe than sorry.
Anyway, that was a week ago and this week I’ve only had a few flutters again but I’ve been feeling very fatigued, my vision has been blurry again and my mind has been a bit fuzzy. With regard to definite Cipro related issues I’ve had increasing flares of Arthritic burning in my knees, ankles and elbows along with stiffness in fingers and shoulders. My left calf has once again developed the cramps painful feeling I first had 15 months ago which is frustrating. This weekend has been very quiet as I’ve not wanted to walk much, the feet just hurt too much to stand around for long. The loss of padding which has been a steadily increasing thing over the last year now makes bare foot walking painful. My heels have become pretty sore the last 4 or 5 days, throbbing, tingling and tender to stand on. Likely a mixture of the collagen loss and tendon issues. Another symptom I’ve confirmed with many others suffering the same sadly.
I’ve been getting twinges and pain in my lower back now for about 7 months I guess. The MRI identified 3 bulging discs including a tear in one which likely explains why I’m getting this. I’m being extra careful to not lift too much or bend quickly as advised by the consultant but it’s yet another restriction on my already restricted physical activity. Like everything we can’t see what’s going on inside regularly to know if things are getting worse or better. My back MRI was done almost 6 months ago and I’d be interested to know if the discs are worse or improved. The sciatica and weakness has subsided so I assume the disc has improved that was pushing on the nerve.
Physiologically things are steady, I still feel annoyed and get angry and depressed on occasions as I think about the damage these pills have done to me and how many years of my life will have been vastly restricted as a result. Sleep is OK probably 75% of the time, but when insomnia does kick it it’s brutal. I am focusing on trying to learn new skills for work, improve my outlook on life itself and work on plans to improve my future… there’s a lot of things to fix and it all takes time.
So this week I’m kicking off a renewed plan to get my diet healthy and improve my physical and mental state. I’m going to start making Kefir and drink that every day as it is supposed to have a big impact on gut health… which in turn is supposed to help the immune system and pretty much everything else. The relationship between gut health and many illnesses is now widely agreed, the ability for the nutrients to be properly absorbed must be a big factor.
I started writing this post a few days ago and had to leave it as draft as I didn’t have time to complete it. Since then a whole series of things have happened healthwise which I want to document. The palpitations I’ve been getting have continued steadily at a level higher than normal and I have been getting discomfort and burning in the chest along with that. On Tuesday morning I called the GP to follow up on blood tests taken after I saw him a couple of weeks ago and thankfully they were all normal but I needed a follow with him to discuss the continued palpitations. At 3.10pm I walked into his office and discussed the situation, I had the feeling he was annoyed that I had once again turned up with health issues but what do you do, sit at home and worry or feel unwell without a solutions. I appreciate the work GP doctors do and I understand they are dealing with lots of pressures but they are paid to investigate our concerns and to find solutions that either make us well or make us comfortable so I resent feeling like my attending a clinic is in some way a burden.
Anyway, he reluctantly did another ECG which looked OK apart from something he remarked about a Q3. On checking previous ECG it was there also so it wasn’t a recent thing and could either be a sign of a previous heart attack… or nothing at all! Anyway I got the feeling he didn’t really know what to do next and he ended up referring me to a clinic at the hospital that could hopefully do more tests. So I left the GP surgery and went to get in the car where my Caroline had been patiently waiting. Then the car wouldn’t start! I had about an hour to get to hospital and no transport. Frantically she called the auto services whilst I tried to get a taxi but to no avail. The auto services arrived in about 45 minutes and fixed the car but by then it was too late and I was told to go to the usual Accident and Emergency department. So after 4 hours, more blood tests an ECG and having to sit with a Canular stuck in my arm I eventually leave with an appointment to come back the next day. The next day I attended a clinic and will be having a 24 hour monitor fitted again shortly. Hopefully they will find a reason for all this but at present the tests are at least negative and nothing concerning has been found.