Hello. I am a 32 year old male, 6 foot, approx 135lbs. To lay thing out, I have hemioplegic cerebral palsy (spastic). It is a very minor case, causing tendon tightness in the left Achilles tendon as well as in the left forearm. I smoke approx a pack of cigarettes a day and drink around 2-4 cups of coffee in a 24 hr period. I have a familial history of heart problems; paternal grandfather had 4 heart attacks and a stroke prior to his death in his late 50's. I work as an IT administrator and my daily life is fairly stressful outside of work due to family issues relating to money, etc.
Approx 3 month ago I was diagnosed with a Right Bundle Branch Block via EKG on a routine visit with my physician. For the last week, I have had a persistent, fluctuating 'flutter' in my left chest, below the pectoral muscle. The sensation feels like a rapid fluttering or kicking under the ribcage. It lasts for about 5 seconds or so, and then tapers off for about 5-10 seconds. It is consistent and more or less does this all day. I am concerned because of the previous RBB diagnosis that this may be related. Should I be concerned or am I being paranoid? Thank you for your time.
Life isn't fair, you've been hit with more than a share of health problems, my sympathy.
I believe you should see a cardiologist - assume the EKG was done by your primary care.. in any case, yes, discuss you new symptoms with your doctor.
I don't know much about RBB, but I believe it is mostly benign - don't know what the symptoms are outside of the EKG.
Given you family history and everything else we know about smoking, STOP. That alone will save $$$ just for the cost of the smokes... and many more $$$ on health issues. Yes, it can be difficult I was a smoker myself, but I quit over 25 years ago and think I would not be alive today if I had continued to smoke. I don't directly connect my atrial fibrillation problem with smoking, but overall my health is much better than had I continued to smoke.
The stress part, I have no ideas on how to address but know that can cause both heart problems and may be cured simply by removing the stress/anxiety.
If your heart rate is fast (I'd say over 80 at rest for your physical description) you should consider cutting out the caffeine - decaf may satisfy you "need" for some coffee/tea - it had worked for me for years, but I have gone back to drinking about 3 cups of regular coffee/tea a day and my HR seems unaffected. We react in different ways to stimulants.
I think you should also consider taking an aspirin a day, maybe a low dose. I say this for lots of reasons provided in your post. As the label say: if taken form more than a "few" days, consult your doctor. Millions of us take an aspirin a day, but some can't for stomach and other reasons.
Keep up the good work and focus love and kindness on those around you, especially family, this I am sure will help with the stress, yes, lowering stress for others helps lower stress for ourselves.
Thank you for your kind words. I went to my primary physician the evening I posted this and in listening to my heart/reading my EKG he is pretty sure I have Mitral Valve Prolapse as well. I am to see a cardiologist this week for echo/stress test. I am hoping that all goes well.
I did quit smoking for about 6 moths last year but my stress ramped up again about halfway thru when my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer after having a routine hip replacement surgery. She nearly died and it was so easy to go back to it for 'relief'. I am sure the cardio will tell me the same, just hoping the MVP has not degenerated to the point of surgery.
Sounds like you ar on the right track. As for MVP, that too is very common and mostly benign. I had a problem with Mitral Valve Leakage (regurgitation) for many years and it finally required surgery, but not until I reached the age of 67. That surgery was successful and relatively easy for me, I in fact enjoyed the time in the ICU as the nurses were great, caring people who were always positive and ready to help. I was in pretty good physical condition (especially for 67) at that time as I was still active including running for exercise. Yes, and not smoking for over 20 years.
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