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All in my head...
Old 02-27-2008, 10:15 PM   #1
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All in my head...

So, last weekend I had a partial physical. They did an EKG. Of course, I might have had ONE in my entire life come off the press with the words "normal"...so, the machine states in black & white "possible biatrial enlargement." Physician will not sign off my physical, tells me to see my regular doc, etc (the usual drill) However, this time there could be a LOT riding on my "passing" my physical (commission in USNR if selected, but that is conditional on my medical stuff too)

Here's the aggravating part: now my subconscious has taken over, and I can now "feel" something in the area of my heart! So the damn "voices" are now bickering about it "all being psychomatic" - grrr!

Am not pleased one bit with this. Anyone else experienced similar problems?

FWIW, I do have an appointment with my regular doc next Tuesday morning.
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Old 02-27-2008, 10:30 PM   #2
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Flukey abnormalities on EKGs are common and must be interpreted in the context of the exam and the patient.

If your echocardiogram (no doubt to be recommended shortly) is normal it's probably a normal variation. It simply means that the "p-wave" has a funny shape, that being the first blip of each heartbeat in the EKG.

Let us know what turns up (nothing would be my guess) and don't lose sleep. Atrial enlargement itself does not cause symptoms. Follow through with your doc - I'm guessing a false alarm.
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Old 02-27-2008, 10:36 PM   #3
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Thanks Rich - I have a lousy family history, and to top it off, this one appeared to be significantly different than one from '04. Usually end up going through another EKG, then an echo. (how many 37 yo females have these semi regularly??) I do pass the echo's though

Just aggravated by the psychomatic "pain" at the moment! Just for now, wish I were a man...for the desired peace in my head! (have heard you guys really can think about NOTHING)
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Old 02-27-2008, 11:23 PM   #4
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Well, you've certainly heard from the best (Rich), so I'm sure he put your mind at ease.

I have not experienced the situation that you are in, but I know what it's like to feel...uh oh, what was that?...after a test has been run. Look at it this way, you are taking care of your body the best way you know how. You have your appt with your doc on Tuesday, and if you start to feel worse before then, you can seek treatment immediately.

I hope the best for you.
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Old 02-28-2008, 08:19 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Fireup2025 View Post
Here's the aggravating part: now my subconscious has taken over, and I can now "feel" something in the area of my heart! So the damn "voices" are now bickering about it "all being psychomatic" - grrr!

Am not pleased one bit with this. Anyone else experienced similar problems?
Of course. Everyone comes face-to-face with their own mortality from time to time. I had my first "physical" when I was 55 and had rarely even seen a doctor prior to that. The examination was very routine and, in fact, consisted mainly of answering questions and very little "hands on." That is until I told him that the previous day I had ran about a mile up a fairly steep hill and was exhausted when reaching the top. He put his stethescope to my chest, said "Oh oh!," and left the room. Moments later I was lying on my back hooked up to an ECG device. The result was that I had Atrial Fibrillation. AF (or A. Fib.) is not in itself life-threatening but if untreated it causes strokes -- the deadly brain kind. I am one of those people who are asymptomatic -- having no symptoms. So if this had not been discovered during this examination, I would have probably been one of the many whose obituary reads "healthy as a horse but just keeled over one day." (The A.Fib., by the way, had nothing to do with the exhaustion -- it turned out that I was no longer 40 years old like I imagined myself.)

Anyway, that was ten years ago and since then have had a "physical" every year. I am convinced that the sooner you find a problem the easier and faster you can fix it. Therefore, I look forward to these examinations in the same way I do when taking our vehicles in for routine maintenance. (Well... anticipating a colonoscopy is not that enjoyable, I guess.) I should add that my condition has not changed for the better... or the worse.

In other words, even if you are diagnosed with the worst possible outcome, you are still better off knowing than not. Another thing you can hang your hat on is the fact that the first doctor did not treat it as an "emergency" situation. I would not be overly concerned if I were you but do make sure you see your own physician.
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Old 02-28-2008, 02:39 PM   #6
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Of course, I might have had ONE in my entire life come off the press with the words "normal"...so, the machine states in black & white "possible biatrial enlargement." Physician will not sign off my physical, tells me to see my regular doc, etc (the usual drill)
FWIW, I do have an appointment with my regular doc next Tuesday morning.
It was probably time to get out of the military clinic and see a real doctor anyway.

Spouse was having her Reserve PHA last weekend and the machine couldn't find her blood pressure. The corpsmen asked her to come back later, and upon further inquiry it turned out that none of them were proficient in using a sphygmomanometer. Coincidentally her BP had just become high enough to register on the machine.

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(have heard you guys really can think about NOTHING)
Ya know, pretty soon you're gonna start hearing all those jokes again with the word "officer" substituted for "guys"!

Here's a morale builder-- Jeff Bacon must've been thinking of you three weeks ago:
Broadside Blog » Caption Contest winner - Feb 7
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Old 02-29-2008, 01:20 PM   #7
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Just aggravated by the psychomatic "pain" at the moment! Just for now, wish I were a man...for the desired peace in my head! (have heard you guys really can think about NOTHING)
Yep, guilty! Dear girlfriend asks me what I'm thinking; I reply honestly, "Nothing." And then I'm in trouble! Heavy sigh....
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Old 02-29-2008, 02:34 PM   #8
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Yep, guilty! Dear girlfriend asks me what I'm thinking; I reply honestly, "Nothing." And then I'm in trouble! Heavy sigh....
As the sportscaster says, "Uh-oh, that's gonna leave a mark. You just hate to see that happen to a rookie!"

Try this: "Hmm? Well, uhm... (*blush*) Aw, honey, I was just trying to figure out what you ever saw in me."

Please, please, for your own personal safety immediately page a married veteran if you ever encounter the question "Does this ____ make my ____ look fat?"
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Old 02-29-2008, 02:34 PM   #9
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Is it common to have a false positive on a stress echo and have a 2nd one be scheduled? Should the person have to pay for both?
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Old 02-29-2008, 03:59 PM   #10
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Please, please, for your own personal safety immediately page a married veteran if you ever encounter the question "Does this ____ make my ____ look fat?"
Only a complete fool would ever answer that question with anything but "No, dear, nothing could make you look fat".

Do you know anyone who answered "yes"? Did he survive?
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Old 02-29-2008, 04:03 PM   #11
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Is it common to have a false positive on a stress echo and have a 2nd one be scheduled?
If you screw up the answer to this question...
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"Does this ____ make my ____ look fat?"
...the answer is definitely "yes".
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Old 03-01-2008, 01:49 PM   #12
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Fireup, good luck with your follow up this week. 3 years ago DW had a smear test result come back positive, and the follow up and subsequent tests then, and since, all proved negative. However, it was all quite stressful, even though you are told, and you tell yourself, that this is only a screening test you always fear the absolute worst.
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Old 03-05-2008, 07:30 PM   #13
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Quickie followup....had another EKG (suprise - also "abnormal EKG" off the printer -this tends to be my norm, but they look different from previous ones - grrr) and a chest X-ray yesterday. Missed the phone call today to get the echocardiogram that was ordered scheduled. They did not list the measurements of my chambers on my echo from '05. At least there is no pain whatsoever with these tests! BP was lookin' good the last few visits with the docs! I feel fine.
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Old 03-05-2008, 09:05 PM   #14
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Quickie followup....had another EKG (suprise - also "abnormal EKG" off the printer -this tends to be my norm, but they look different from previous ones - grrr) and a chest X-ray yesterday. Missed the phone call today to get the echocardiogram that was ordered scheduled. They did not list the measurements of my chambers on my echo from '05. At least there is no pain whatsoever with these tests! BP was lookin' good the last few visits with the docs! I feel fine.
Hey, thanks for letting us know. Hang in there and try not to worry too much. Since your BP is good, that should help reduce your stress. Keep us updated.
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