About two weeks ago, after a workout and lunch, I stood up from my desk and felt a distinct fuzziness in my head and it did not go away. I immediately grabbed a heart rate monitor that I have in my office and watched the numbers. My heart rate was 35. It climbed back to 55 after about 15 minutes and I felt fine.
Early this week, I mentioned the episode to my Oncologist during my quarterly visit with her. She messaged my Cardiologist who conferred with my Cardiac Electrophysiologist (that’s a mouthful). My Cardiologist had me come in yesterday and have an echocardiogram (ultra sound of the heart). Also, I got fitted with a Holter Monitor that I must wear for a week. A Holter Monitor is a little black box that is hooked to EKG style sensors on your chest. It has a “Symptom” button that you press whenever you feel any cardiac symptoms occurring. It then saves the 30 seconds prior to the button push and some time after the button push. The monitor also saves any cardiac events that it senses even if you have not pushed the button. When the device’s memory is full, it beeps and the patient has to dial an 800 number and have the monitor send it’s data to a collection point. Employees at the collection point may ask you what you felt and record that data as well. Your doctors can then review the data online.
I have worn one of these before when I was having a lot of atrial fibrillation. At that time there were a lot of symptoms. This time, I think there will be few or none. Since my liver surgery last year, I have had no symptoms until two weeks ago. I believe there is some connection between this heart slowdown (bradycardia) and carcinoid tumor or perhaps the Sandostatin injections that I get every 4 weeks. However, years before I was diagnosed with carcinoid, my resting heart rate could fall to as low as 42. Was it because I already had developed carcinoid tumor? No one knows. My doctors are doubtful of a connection between carcinoid and afib or bradycardia for that matter. There is a known connection between Sandostatin and afib about 15% of the time.
“More will be revealed.” Maybe.