I'm 16 yrs old and I've got PFO. I was at a travelling amusment park on my birthday on the 8th of April 2009 with friends and there was a ride there that catapulted 2 people at a time into the air at 60 km an hour. There was a warning for people with heart conditions but i hadn't suffered prior to this so i went on it. When I got off I had an ache in my left to center of my chest which progressed to a pain and ran to my left arm and up kind of towards my jaw. It comes and goes and is very un predictable. I did a 21mile walk with the school a few weeks ago and when i finished I had the ache but my left arm and hand was just numb and felt dead it was a huge effort to try and make a fist. On the 21st June 2009, my 1st night of Irish College, the pain was so intense that i was about an inch from intentionally rolling off the top bunk to get attention because I couldn't breath or talk or even scream. I don't know whats happening and I'm scared. Can anyone please help me understand and I am unable to go to my doctor because just of things at home that I can't say anything there. Please help me.
A patent foramen ovale (PFO) is not actually considered a “heart condition”. It is a normal finding for all babies in utero which typically closes after birth. However, approximately 20-25% of all adults have it remain open. Therefore, with that many people having it, we don’t see this cause a problem the vast majority of the time. The time that it does become a problem is if you have a disorder in which you form blood clots too easily.
However, you also mention chest pain with activity. Unfortunately, I (nor anyone on any forum) can evaluate you fully for this. This is something that should be evaluated by a doctor, at minimum, and preferably, by a pediatric cardiologist. The most frequent cause of chest pain in children and adolescents is not cardiac, but I cannot be sure with your history. Thus, you will need to either work out whatever is happening at home so that you can go to a doctor, or get some external help to deal with the home situation. Either way, this is not the place to receive a diagnosis for what could be something problematic.
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