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17 With An Arrhythmia... Causes? Tests? Help!

Okay... I'm 17 and away at college for the first time (and I have a bad habit of rambling, so I apologize in advance for that). I've been having crushing chest pain and shortness of breath for the past two weeks (sorry, not days) or so, so finally after about 5 days of that I went to my school's health clinic. They kept me an hour after they closed, doing ekg's on me. They wanted me to go home that night (tuesday), but I had tests and papers and told them i'd go home friday afternoon. And actually, I kind of laughed at them when they tried to do an ekg on me. :-/ I went in convinced I was just having anxiety attacks, so of course heart trouble seemed like a really stupid thing to think about.


So, after a miserable trip to the cardiologist yesterday, I went to my pcp back home and got blood drawn (three tubes with a nurse who seemed to know less than I did about phlebotomy :() because the cardiologist thought it was probably anemia or thyroid causing the arrhythmia. No anemia, no thyroid problems.


(and I say it was a miserable trip because the cardiologist took three calls on his cell phone in the exam room. It seemed so unprofessional... I wouldn't want him talking about me in front of other patients! Also, I couldn't understand him at all. :( i'm still not sure exactly what he told me about everything.)

my question is, what else might be causing this? Since thyroid and anemia are out, what else can I possibly get tested for before I go home again thursday night for cardiac tests? I'll get tested for anything at this point... Could mononucleosis be the cause? Originally they told me my heart was swollen, but the cardiologist didn't agree with that. Could rheumatic fever be the cause of this?


Or is this even worth worrying about? I'd rather cancel the tests at the cardiologist's office if at all possible... I don't particularly get along with the doctor, it's a long way from my home (never mind that I actually have to get home from the college ahead of time), and honestly i'm very freaked out by the idea of any more tests being done on my heart.


I feel as though this is a no-win situation. The doctors, nurses, and my mom treat me like i'm making this up (which i'm not so sure i'm not-- I really think it's just stress/anxiety, although I can't explain the supposed arrhythmia that two different doctors have found.), and make me feel guilty for taking the place of someone who's dying and genuinely needs cardiac care. But then they say, "nah... Something is kind of wrong with your heart, so we'll do a bunch of weird tests on you. You'll have to skip classes for the third time in two weeks. Never mind that you have tests and papers to worry about!"

what should I do next time I encounter this 'flip-flopping' mindset? I'm so frustrated. I'm beginning to feel that I should never have gone to the health clinic, or at least that I should never have told anyone that they thought something was wrong with my heart. Is this at all common? Why would they tell me i'm making it up and then pressure me to get the tests done? Should I go ahead and just cancel my tests for friday?


Also... Can someone who's had the holter test done give me some friendly advice? I'm guessing it's less invasive than what they wanted to do, right? (and why would he say I need an iv for a stress test, anyways? Don't you run on a treadmill while being hooked up to an ekg? Why would a drug stress test be the first one he suggested for a perfectly healthy teenager?)

thank you so much for any help anyone can offer, and i'm really sorry for rambling so much. I'm kind of scared and nervous about all of this. Nothing has ever been wrong with my heart, aside from sinus disrhythmia, which (as i'm sure you all know) is just a normal teenager thing in some people. And being on my own now doesn't really comfort me.


-rachel
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replied September 20th, 2006
I'm sorry for your worry and concern and I hope they definately find out what's wrong.

Please read my post below under "palpitations, breathlessness, arrythmias".

I was first diagnosed with pat (pulminary atrial tachichardia) when I was your age (17) (i'm now 40). The cardiologist then said I was the youngest patient in his roster. I did the stress test, the halter monitor, the ecg, blood work, etc. They didn't know what was causing it.

As for the iv during the stress test that is likely to be sure they can administer a drug if something should happen during the test. It's likely just a precautionary thing.

As for what worked for me - read my other post.

Good luck to you. I know it is worrysome - for everyone (family, doctors, and you).

I wish you much health and a resolution to your problem.

Jm
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replied September 20th, 2006
Experienced User
Thank you so much for replying. Smile i'm off to read your other post now.
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replied September 20th, 2006
Experienced User
Also... They fully intended to use the drugs on me for the stress test, rather than the treadmill. Sad I think that's what freaked me out more than anything else. I'm very particular about what drugs and chemicals I put into my body, and the idea just unnerved me.
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