Discussions By Condition: Heart conditions

Please help me with questions of cardiomyopathy

Posted In: Heart conditions 4 Replies
  • Posted By: rldnitesout
  • January 14, 2008
  • 08:37 PM

If anyone help with their opinion that would be great. I am 23 years old. My mother died from what they think was cardiomyopathy. It can be inherited, and I am very worried because I have chest pains, my left arm gets numb and hurts, shortness of breath, murmurs, and hot flashes. I am so worried as I do not have any health insurance for another month, and 2 years ago when I was 21 I went to the ER and they wouldn't tell me much. Just said I should see a specialist and left me with a $2,000 bill and a piece of paper saying from my ECG report I could have possible chronic pulmonary disease, and that I do have right atrial enlargement, and arrhythmia. I am a stepmom (I hate that word :) I am a non birth mommy) to 4 wonderful children for 6 years already. I know what it is like to lose my mom, and I would love any advise or helpful story or anything. Should I assume I have it or is there a huge possibility it could be something completely different? Thank-you so much to reading this and any response will help.

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4 Replies:

  • Sorry to hear about your problem. Just wanted to ask you a few questions. How old was your mother when she died? Also, do you smoke, have been exposed to smoke for a long period of time, or have any chronic pulmonary problems? The reason I ask these questions is that it usually takes years (more than your age) to develop atrial enlargement from COPD. Also, it is really important to find out about your family history of cardiac problems, especially serious ones at an early age. This is definitely something your doctor needs to know. If I were you, I would go to a cardiologist as soon as you get insurance. If you have anymore symptoms prior to getting insurance, go the the ER. I know it's expensive, but it just may save your life. Don't mean to scare you, but anything to do with the heart can be very serious. Many times when someone of your age complains of any type of chest pains, doctors may assume it's anxiety but never let anyone assume that. Have all the tests done just to be safe. Anyway, you really should be checked as soon as you can. Please let me know how you are.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 21, 2008
    • 03:53 AM
    • 0
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  • Hey, thanks for the response. I wasn't sure how to answer you questions except to post it, so I hope you get this. My mom died when she was 34. She died in her sleep and they assumed it was from her heart since she had cardio myopathy but never did any tests. (which now that I'm older I know they should have) No I don't smoke, and I never have. I get some second hand smoke sometimes, but not a lot. I will finally be going into the doctor in Feb. I just don't know how worried I should be?? Thankfully my last doctor never brought up anxiety since there is the family history, and I have he said he could hear a heart murmor on me. So, I guess I will just have to wait and see, but thank-you for responding. It's so nice to know there are kind people out there like you.
    rldnitesout 2 Replies
    • January 23, 2008
    • 02:28 AM
    • 0
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  • So glad to hear you will be going to a doctor soon. I wish there was more I could do to help. I guess if I had any advise for you it would be to research all you can on the subject and educate yourself before you go to the doctor. Also, if for some reason you don't get the answers and results from the doctor you see, don't give up, find another one and keep going until you get answers! Keep me posted!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 23, 2008
    • 11:46 PM
    • 0
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  • Sorry to hear about your problem. Just wanted to ask you a few questions. How old was your mother when she died? Also, do you smoke, have been exposed to smoke for a long period of time, or have any chronic pulmonary problems? The reason I ask these questions is that it usually takes years (more than your age) to develop atrial enlargement from COPD. Also, it is really important to find out about your family history of cardiac problems, especially serious ones at an early age. This is definitely something your doctor needs to know. If I were you, I would go to a cardiologist as soon as you get insurance. If you have anymore symptoms prior to getting insurance, go the the ER. I know it's expensive, but it just may save your life. Don't mean to scare you, but anything to do with the heart can be very serious. Many times when someone of your age complains of any type of chest pains, doctors may assume it's anxiety but never let anyone assume that. Have all the tests done just to be safe. Anyway, you really should be checked as soon as you can. Please let me know how you are. The only thing about going to an ER if symptoms persist is that they will treat you as if you are having a heart attack. HCM is different, you won't have a heart attack, you will go into cardiac arrest. I had been diagnosed with HCM about 7 yrs ago and was being treated with medicine and having a check up every so often with your cardiologist. Last spring though, the crap hit the fan. I was sitting at my pc when I passed out right out of nowhere. I then had a little tightness in my chest. I went to the ER and they thought I was having a heart attack, evne though I told them, I had HCM and was not having a attack. They took x-rays, gave me nitro, a heart catheterization(arteries were clear as a bell). the tightness went away and they sent me home but, a week later I was back and again, they thought I was having an attack. They finally admitted me and an associate of my cardiologist came in and told me I had to have surgery. That the septal muscle in the heart had become enlarged again. He also said he told the staff that if I had any more problems, to get him immediately becuase they didn't know how to treat HCM. A few days later, I was transferred to University of Mich. Hospital, was there a week undergoing tests and we all agreed surgery had to happen. They let me go home for a few days but, I was right back there a week later for my surgery. It was a huge success and now nearly a year later, the latest echo cardiogram shows everything is A-ok. Ridsniteout, I urge you to keep on top of this. Once you get your insurance, don't hesitate to see a good cardiologist and have him/her give you the care you need. All you might need is some medication to keep things right. Hopefully the doctor will test you thoroughly and pinpoint the problem. Just because your mom passed away from it, God rest her soul, doesn't mean you will. There are websites that deal with HCM that you can get alot of info from. Just Google Hypertrophic Cardiomyapathy and you will see. Both my parents had heart disease but, I have no idea if either of them had HCM and maybe they didn't either. I also have three sons who I have urged to get tested though so far, they haven't and they're older than you. Good luck.
    Agnes1 3 Replies Flag this Response
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