Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Takotsubo 101

My body fina─║ly managed to stem that downward spiral I was in. Overwhelmed by preparations for my own surgery (to correct severe POPS) along with my daughter C.'s deterioration, I sensed impending implosion - the emotional sort. (My conversations were peppered with "I can't go on", "I'm going to have a breakdown", "I need help".) Certainly nothing that would land me in hospital.

But Friday night, I developed weird symptoms - extreme weakness, nausea, vomiting and low blood pressure - and reluctantly got into an ambulance. When the blood test results arrived and the ER doctor declared "You've had a cardiac event", I was shocked, distressed, blown away and frightened. Something along the lines of virus/dehydration was what I'd expected.

"When could I possibly have had one?" I asked him.

After an angiogram which, thank heavens, revealed clear arteries, the doctors settled on a probable diagnosis of Takotsubo Syndrome.

If you ever feel compelled to develop a heart problem, this is definitely the way to go. But, sorry guys, it's overwhelmingly a post-menopausal women's option.

For those of you caregivers desperate for respite, you can see some more info via Wikipedia about this relatively newly categorized (since 1998 in the West) cardiac syndrome. 

And for you over-stressed guys, we'll see what the Hubby digs up. He's been single-handedly caring for both C. and home as well as visiting me every day. A perfect Takotsuba candidate were it not for his gender.

In the meantime C., treated only with CBD, is still keeping her seizure rate low - but don't forget that's top secret!

The Hubby also succeeded in getting a great sodium and potassium reading in C.'s latest blood test on Sunday so her dehydration is history. And while she's definitely not out of the gaunt range yet, the thin jawbone vein that had been bulging is no longer visible.

I'm looking forward to getting her back on her feet and feeding herself again - the two activities that have been omitted from her routine during my absence. I'm also struggling to get some home help from "the system" but so far only encountering voice messages.

Takotsuba is apparently a recurrent event in many cases - must somehow alter the reality here to prevent that.

This sketch of C. (above) helped me while away the hours in hospital.


Bohemian said...

Enlightening and I think the Japanese Friend has visited me too, had some stress induced Heart Issues off and on with the prolonged stress of Caregiving for three Loved Ones... used to be juggling assisting five when my Parents were alive... so I've had less incidents with caring for three. But the symptoms sound spot on and now I don't feel nearly as alarmed so I'm glad I stumbled upon your Blog and recognized the similarities of symptoms and probably why the Medical Community could never quite guess what was going on except that I'm not getting respite from prolonged stress and fatigue... they did attribute it to Caregiver Burnout and Hell, that's been for decades so the fact I'm still vertical always made me think my Heart was probably okay in spite of the stress wearing my body out and hitting the wall every so often physically and emotionally. I have read your most recent Posts and Pray that the Medical Emergencies right at Christmas time have subsided enough you could enjoy some Merriment? A Good Blog Rant always helps me Cope better when things go Left. *Winks* Much Cheaper than Therapy! *Winks* Virtual Hugs from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

The Sound of the Silent said...

Well, care-giving to five family members would, in all probability, induce Takotsubo to pay you a visit. It's crucial to emphasize that while most people afflicted with it do revert to good health and fully functioning hearts, at the time of the attack it can be as lethal as any other sort of heart attack. So racing to the ER is a definite must.

Were those doctors who couldn't figure out what you had cardiologists? Because they generally are familiar with Takotsubo - as are the younger medical experts in other fields.

On the other hand, my GP, who is closer to 70, had never heard of it. (Not exactly trust-inspiring, I admit, but he's also a family friend so switching doctors isn't an option.)

And yes, when the going gets rough, ranting helps me cope too.

I wish you a new year of good health for you and your whole family and an end to all the care-giver-related stress.