[Image shows three spoons laying on a laptop keyboard. Overlaid is a clipart of torn white notebook paper with a red paper clip. On the paper in black text reads “What Goes Up Must Come Down: Orthostatic Blood Pressure and Tachycardia (Health Update)” and below a red clipart heart with the lines of a heart monitor. At the bottom of the banner is the URL for theecrohniegrace blog]
For a while now I’ve had issues with standing and being dizzy, but I wrote it off because I assumed everyone got dizzy when they stand up. My mom told me I needed to stand up more slowly, that was all.
So for a while I just ignored it until more recently, when the dizziness started to be accompanied with light headedness, feeling like the air had been taken from my lungs and even chest pain at times, accompanied with a heart rate anywhere from 130-170.
[Image on the left shows an open app in dark blue and a light blueish grey. It reads “Heart Rate Monday, Jul 25, 2016 at 10:55 AM” it shows the ups and downs of a heart monitor and then below reads “160 BMP” tagged with “standing”. On the right is the same open app but reads “Heart Rate Wednesday, Jul 27, 2016, 6:44pm” and shows the ups and downs of a heart rate monitor and then below reads “172 BPM” tagged with “Standing”]
Finally after a week or so of my heart rate constantly spiking to 170 when I stood up, and spending the majority of the week laying in bed, I decided to mention it to my doctor. So she had me come in the next day. Once I got there she tested my heart rate laying down and blood pressure, it was 86bpm and I can’t remember the blood pressure. So then she had me sit up, checked blood pressure and heart rate again, this time 97bpm and about the same blood pressure, so then she had me stand, my heart rate spiked to 145bpm and blood pressure dropped.
She had me lay back down and began to talk about orthostatic pressure, which is your blood pressure when you are standing. She explained it as that when I stood up, my blood pressure would drop, so I wasn’t getting enough blood to my brain, which caused my heart to go into hyperdrive and pump faster to try to get the blood up, hence the dizziness which was relieved by laying down. She compared it to a half filled bottle of water, if you lay the bottle down, the water can still touch the cap, versus if you sit the bottle up, the water all goes to the bottom. She mentioned Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, basically what she described, common with EDS, but she wanted to run more tests to be safe.
So she called in a nurse to do an EKG while I was there, and so she could order a chest x-ray, labwork, an echo and a heart monitor for me to wear for a month.
[Image on the left shows my lower half in a doctors office, you can see a bit of a green/blue/yellow tie dyed shirt pulled up and a bundle of wires coming out from under being held in my hand. The image on the right shows my legs and a device with a bunch of wires coming from it and a few leading down to my ankles while I lay down.]
The EKG was normal, so was my labs, and the chest x-ray (minus my slightly tilted port). So she told me she would schedule me an appointment with a local cardiologist who would run a tilt table test and any other tests they felt fit.
In the meantime I was to wait for my heart monitor to come in, much like the one attached for the EKG, that I would wear up to my cardiologist appointment.
In less than a week the heart monitor came in and with only a little bit of a struggle getting it started.
[Image shows a toolbox like black box with some batters and a white paper that reads “CardioNet” with instructions on how to set up the heart monitor.]
The white wire goes on the left, 3 fingers below the collar bone, and the red wire on the right below my breast. Every time I feel symptoms I hold down the middle button on a walkie talkie like thing and plug in the symptoms I feel along with the level of activity. I will be doing this til the 30th when I see the cardiologist, along with an echo on the 16th and I also have to get my NJ tube replaced again on the 17th due to either a clog or a kink, I’m not sure.
My health feels like a hydra sometimes, you cut off one head and two more grow back. Nevertheless, not going to let it slow me down. I start my second year of college on the 15th, and am moving out and into an apartment with some friends this weekend. The world keeps turning and life goes on!