This monitor was smaller than one I had a few years ago. It only had 3 leads on it, so I didn’t have to worry about too many wires that I had to tuck in or electrodes sticking out of my clothes. They gave me a “journal” on which to record the time anytime I had any pain or palpitations. I also could not take a shower or bath with it on, so the nurse was relieved when she knew I didn’t have to work or need to take a shower for the next 24 hours. LOL.
For the most part, the 24 hours with the heart monitor was uneventful. I did go walking for exercise to see if I got any of the pain I had experienced before. I did. I made sure to record the time(s) I felt any pain. I remembered the times in my head and logged them on the journal when I returned home. It was difficult to record anything within the first few hours because the tightness in my chest and some of the pain seemed so constant. I kept the journal close to me at all times in case I needed to log something while sitting on the couch and watching TV. They had also asked me to log the time I lay down for bed and the time that I wake up. They didn’t care about me logging any bathroom breaks in the middle of the night that interrupted my sleep. I kind of wish I had logged more, but I have a few times on there. I think they will use those times as markers on where to check the EKG, and they’ll obviously let me know if they see anything abnormal. Otherwise, I will ask for my results at my next appoint in a week and a half.
The heart monitor was very easy to remove. I removed the 3 electrodes, peeled the tape and the round disc off of the wire (and threw them away), and placed the monitor and the journal back into a little ziploc bag they gave me. I then drive back to the Dr.’s office and turn it in. Very simple.
The first appointment with my Dr. went as well as it could. Everyone is so nice. First, I met with a nurse who took my bp on both arms and did an EKG on me. Next, I met a PA (Physician’s Assistant) who talked to me more about the tightness I’ve been experiencing in my chest and to go over other details of symptoms and side effects I’ve been having. I explained all of the pain I’ve been experiencing (back, chest, arm) and let her know that I’ve still been very tired and worn down, especially when trying to walk for exercise. I asked her how my EKG reading looked, and she said it was beautiful. That felt great to hear!! Then, I met with my Dr.
I explained in detail everything I experienced over the weekend and anything I was still experiencing. He said he will have to talk to a cholesterol expert to see what they recommend because I have to be on a cholesterol medicine. In the meantime, he asked me to no longer take the Crestor and start taking 2 Advil every 8 hours to see if that helps. He thinks the pain and tightness could be from the sac around my heart and wasn’t sure if the feeling was musculoskeletal or not. He also wants me to start cardiac rehab, so I can learn my limitations. Once again, he reminded me that he saved my life! 🙂 And he told some of the story again. My dad came with me to my appointment (so he could make his own appointment with my Dr.) but waited outside. The Dr. asked about my parents, and I let him know my dad was here, so the Dr. called him in so he could listen to everything he said to me. It was good to have 2 sets of ears to remember everything. I wish I could bring a voice recorder into my appointments so I remember everything.
I had my list of questions ready, and before the Dr. left, I let him know I had a few more questions. He said I can’t do roller coasters or go running 3 miles or do anything that would quickly increase my heart rate for a couple of months at least. That is fair. I also asked for clarification on the foods that he originally told me to remove from my diet. Again, he said NO fried foods, NO egg yolks, and NO cheese. I asked if that meant forever…he said I could have cheese on a rare occasion. I told him I was trying the vegan route (but eating fish/seafood), and he told me he never said I couldn’t have meat. I knew that, but I was taking it a step further. He said his wife is a vegetarian and because vegetarians can’t eat meat, they supplement with a lot of cheese in most of their dishes. As a result, his wife’s cholesterol is higher than his! So, it didn’t sound like he was forcing me into the vegan lifestyle, which I’ve found very difficult. I took that as my queue to relax a bit on the strict diet I was on. Plus, I haven’t lost any weight.
He decided to put me on a Holter Monitor for 24 hours, which I picked up a few days later. I’m so glad he did that so he can see if everything is normal when I’m not at the Dr.’s office. And he wants to see me again in a few weeks.
It’s been a few days, and I haven’t heard from his office yet regarding the new cholesterol medicine. They also haven’t contacted me about setting up my next appointment with him or Cardiac Rehab, so I will follow up with them tomorrow.