Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Expert Forum
Trouble getting diagnosis
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Questions in the Cardiovascular Disease Prevention forum are answered by Dr. Lee Kirksey, associate professor at The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

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Trouble getting diagnosis

Oct 2009 Got severe flu type illness, completely bedridden for 7 days. Did not wake to drink, eat, or go to bathroom.  Prior to illness I was able to swim and run 2 miles every morning.  Since being ill have extreme shortness of breath, o2 at 77% at rest.  I have been going to a pulmonary doctor since 6/2010.  Lung issues have all been ruled out by CT Scan (3) hospitalization for extreme chest pain 12/2010.  CT Angiogram show very beginnings of emphysema and "aortic calcification of the aortic arch with tortuosity".  EKG normal, echocardiogram EF 65% tricuspid valve mild leaking, mitral valve mild leaking.  Cardiologist sent me home telling me to go to county for stress test and angiogram. (No insurance)  Now I have insurance, same cardiologist is the one I have to go to, he is extremely recommended also.  On my first consult, he said it is probably my asthma (no medication has been ever taken for asthma).  Currently, my pulmonary doctor has me on Symbicort 160
which is keeping my oxygen at 93-94 however, I still have constant chest pain, SOB, dizziness, imbalance, and I get cold and calmy before each event.  I have 16 immediate female family members who have died as a direct result of the very same item due to a clot ot plaque dislodging into either their hearts or their brains causing massive stroke.  All of them prior to being 45 years old.  I am 59.  4 years ago I weighed 445 and I am now at 224 but I am no longer able to do any of my regular activities.  I had to force the issue to get an echo-stress which is scheduled for this Tues morning.  How do I impress the importance of my family history on this cardiologist and get the tests I need.  Yesterday I was inputting data in the computer, I am an accountant, and I got dizzy, cold and clamy and my oxygen fell to 79 while my heart rate jumped to 179.  For the last year, my resting heart rate has been climbing from 72 to 88-92 now.  What should I watch for and/or ask for as far as testing.  
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It sounds Like you have had appropriate testing. Your sxs sound like they may have been the result of a viral process  Perhaps you would benefit from stress echo. You should consider second opinion cards evaluation which may provide a fresh set of eyes. Continue to reduce your weight to ideal body wt. Good luck and I'm happy to hear you have insurance access
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