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Hello, I am a seventeen year old male, 6'2" at one-hundred and sixty pounds, and have never used narcotics. About a week ago I begin to experience a strange sensation, as if my heart was beating extremely quickly; I felt very scared and panicked (in that one day I had over thirty of these episodes; they occurred while I was laying back or attempting to sleep). During this time I had somewhat high blood pressure (180/[email protected]), slight pain in my arms and chest, heart palpitations (especially while lying down), as well as extreme fatigue; I may have also had a slight fever, but I could not check my temperature accurately. I have no history of anxiety (I believed that these were panic attacks at first), and I don't currently believe that these episodes were anxiety attacks (I have had one or two of these attacks before, especially when deprived of sleep; I now believe that these attacks were Paroxysmal Nocturnal Dyspnea). Anyways, I was unable to sleep for two days due to this very strange sensation awakening me every time I fell asleep. The next day, I saw a Pediatrician at Kaiser Permanente and they gave me an ECG (she also told me that I needed to be tested for diabetes and should have a sonogram; Kaiser has avoided both), but nothing strange turned up.

I returned home and went to the hospital later that day because I was still unable to sleep because of these attacks and the pain begin to worsen (my blood pressure wasn't decreasing either). They gave me a chest X-Ray, MRI, blood/urine test and another ECG, the doctor said that nothing strange turned up (she left a note telling the cardiologist to check my left ventricle), but that I needed to see a cardiologist as soon as possible (she may have said that she heard rubbing from fluid buildup, but I am not certain, they gave me some drugs before the MRI and my perception was off). They prescribed me some atenolol and anxiety medicine. I was able to sleep initially due to the injection at the hospital (I didn't stay the night) and later by taking the anxiety medicine at night and atenolol in the morning (I still had the attacks for a few days afterwards when sleeping, but they were very dampened). The atenelol severely increased exhaustion and gave me slight depression.

About three days later I was able to see another doctor at Kaiser Permanente, who told me that I would be able to see the cardiologist soon. After navigating the bureaucratic jungle setup at Kaiser Permanente over a period of several days, I was finally able to get an appointment with a cardiologist. Upon walking through the door I was given an ECG which turned up normal. I gave the reports and a disk containing my X-Ray and MRI to the nurse, who took them away to the cardiologist. When the cardiologist entered the room she told me that she found nothing abnormal, checked my heart rate and blood pressure (which was still high) and told me that I had anxiety which contributed to my high blood pressure (although I proclaimed that my blood pressure has never been high). She murmured that there may be something wrong with my kidneys but that it wasn't in her department. She also told me to stop by the mental department to receive anxiety medicine. She did nothing else, kicked me out of the door and I didn't even bother checking into the mental department. In all, the appointment lasted no more than fifteen minutes.

My blood pressure has been about 134/[email protected] when lying down, but has been as high as 166/[email protected] when sitting up. I have stopped taking the atenolol because the pediatric cardiologist suggested that I do so. I rarely get off of the couch and have only worked up the energy to sit up over the past few days. I have started taking antibiotics in case I have a rheumatic fever or a urinal track (or possibly kidney) infection (which could be likely since I am not circumcised) and have started to feel allot more energetic (probably entirely due to stopping the atenolol). Although I still have chest pain, feel fatigued and have developed a very minor cough (the palpitations and attacks have stopped almost entirely though); I also sometimes feel as though I have just finished running when exhaling. My blood pressure is still very high compared to before these attacks; I have checked my blood sugar level (my dad has a tester) and it's a little bit high, but not enough to suspect diabetes (I do have a family history though). I only take the anxiety medicine before going to bed if my blood pressure is too high. I have not been drinking sugary or caffeinated drinks during this whole period (although I did drink plenty of tea before this; and before that I was a heavy Coke-Cola and Mountain Dew abuser, but fear of diabetes stopped me).

I would describe myself as having average health, I have not come down with any identifiable illnesses over the past year (besides Trichomonas, which is strange because I have never even had sex) and am not a very active person (I mow several lawns every week, but don't workout or go on jogs); although when I was in public school I could easily stay ahead of everyone during laps. I do have a nasty habit of staying up late doing my schoolwork every Sunday (I'm home schooled, so I don't usually catch any sicknesses). I do not have a history of health problems.

Anyways, I am still taking the antibiotics, and I believe that they are working. What sort of action should I take if the pain, tension, (which is evident when I move my head or neck a certain way) high blood pressure and exhaustion insists? The Pediatric Cardiologist at Kaiser Permanente doesn't believe that there is anything wrong with me and I do not want to go back to Kaiser anyways (the indifference and bureaucratic obstacle course there is almost shocking). My dad says that he will reinstate his insurance if I still don't feel good after a few weeks.

Do any of you recognize these symptoms?
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replied June 2nd, 2008
According to your symptoms ("my heart was beating extremely quickly") during the attack you could be experiencing some type of paroxysmal (sudden) tachycardia. Such types of rhythm disorders may not be caught (registered) during the examination in doctor's office so you may need to wear "holter"-apparatus that will monitor your heart rhythm for 24 hours per day. You don't need to make up heart disorders like rheumatic fiver. What was the report from ECG-examination? Atenolol is given for tachycardia.
Did doctor propose you to wear "holter" monitoring apparatus"?
Did you examine your kidneys? Some kidney disorders (but not urinary tract infection) cause high blood pressure.
How "little bit high" is your fasting glucose level?
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replied October 21st, 2009
Wow, reading this is pretty disturbing. I am also a patient at Kaiser and can thoroughly understand your frustration with the organization because they are pretty much terrible. I have Polycystic Kidney Disease and have very similar symptoms to you. I don't know if yours is the same because PKD usually starts to show in late 20's early 30's but it's a shot. Also I would demand you have your thyroid tested if you haven't already since it can be an indicator of other things going wrong. I wore an event monitor which they were able to discover I have sinus tachycardia which is just occasional fast heart beats but I'm still not done trying to figure out why my heart flutters on and off. They put me on atenolol as well but I am going to have to get off it because I am so exhausted every day I cannot focus. If I were you, I would as them to do an ultrasound of your heart and your kidneys. I hope you figure it out because I know how terrifying it can be when you sit in bed thinking you're dying.
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