Heart Arrhythmia

The Symptom
A couple of weeks ago I went to Dr. Candy because my right foot had been swollen for several days off and on, mainly when I stayed around the house rather than when walking! Strange?

The Standard First Level Treatment
She gave a diuretic to take for 10 days to see if that would reduce the foot inflammation. It did not.

(Side Note on Heel Spur)
You may have caught my earlier report on bone spurs in both heels but hurting only in the right one. This was taken care of by me stopping my 8 month habit of walking all over town in nothing but sandals. (Like walking barefoot!) I now wear tennis shoes, hikers, or regular shoes with a gel orthopedic insert in the heel. Absolutely no pain or problem now from the bone spur! And two doctors now say my new problem is in no way related except for being in the foot!  🙂

Complete Physical
Dr. Candy, my primary care doc, is very thorough and systematic and said it was time for a complete physical with an EKG because she now thinks the problem is circulatory. And I may have done a post on going to the Atenas Laboratorio Clinico for the blood and urine analysis. I walk these reports back to Dr. Candy and she says everything is normal or healthy including blood pressure EXCEPT that the EKG shows an arrhythmia which she thought she heard when listening to my heart. She emailed the EKG to the cardiologist in San Jose she works with and that doc wants me to come in and get wired with a 24-hour heart monitor.

24-Hour Heart Monitor
That was done last Thursday and Friday for my first two bus trips to San Jose and only saw a nurse to be hooked up and then uninstalled. Today I went back for the cardiologist to give me her evaluation. (Note that with a female primary care I’m being sent to female specialists! 🙂 Dr. Bouzid is so good, professional, thorough and explains everything so I can understand it! In English! Thank goodness! I’m slowly improving with my Spanish but not ready for this! She is a part of CIMA, arguably the best private hospital in Costa Rica. My private insurance covers everything after the first $300 which I reached today only when the ultrasound was added! Wow! medical costs are so much less expensive here! And when I get the CAJA, free! And by the way, some people come here from the states for cardiology including heart surgery. They call it “Health Tourism.”

The reason for 24-hour EKG basically is that it shows my real life and not just a couple of minutes in a doc’s office. I do have Heart Arrhythmia as shown in these two contrasting clips from the 24 hours:

This is a fairly regular rhythm which is good – what we want.

This one shows the irregular rhythm and other pages were worse. 

āˈriT͟Hmēə,əˈriT͟Hmēə/
noun
1.         a condition in which the heart beats with an irregular or abnormal rhythm.
Or for a more thorough definition and more info in a sidebar, see Mayo Clinic
Then a Heart Ultrasound
Then she wanted to do an ultrasound of the heart and like everything else, I am given copies of everything. She pointed to parts of the picture on her computer which was moving or a video and tried to explain why not enough blood was being pumped to my right foot. I did not really understand that, but accepted it. And here is my printout of that which doesn’t mean much to me: 
This is actually 5 photos taped to a sheet of paper.
Ultrasound of my heart today. Whatever it means.

More Blood Tests

The cardiologist sent me to Lab San Jose (another Laboratorio Clinico) just two blocks away to check 4 things in my blood related to the heart: NITROGENO UREICO, CREATININA, TSH, PEPTID NATRIURETICO B (BNP) which will be reported to her tomorrow by email. One of these has to do with the thyroid gland which if either over-active or under-active can cause arrhythmia and I’m not sure what the other things are. 
Gave Me a Prescription
I take this for two days twice a day and report to her how I am feeling. This may or may not help. Then
I Go Back to Cardiologist Friday Afternoon
She will then discuss the blood test results and with that may change the prescription or take a different plan of attack. She seems confident that she will get me back into rhythm! 🙂 
And by the way, she says I HAVE A VERY STRONG HEART! It just doesn’t have rhythm!  🙂
🙂  Well, a different kind of rhythm!   🙂
But you should know that they celebrate Elvis’ birthday here!
And most Ticos have lots of rhythm! And love music!

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