Tuesday, January 26, 2010

update on the hus

i've mentioned some of my husbands health problems here and here

and i know some of you have been praying for him, so i wanted to give you all an update on what we found out at his latest doctors appointment yesterday

he did a sleep study test a couple of weeks ago and these were the results

sleep apnea:

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person's breathing is interrupted during sleep. People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times.
There are two types of sleep apnea:
  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): The more common of the two forms of apnea, it is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses during sleep.
  • Central sleep apnea : Unlike OSA, the airway is not blocked but the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe due to instability in the respiratory control center.

restless leg syndrome:

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a disorder of the part of the nervous system that affects movements of the legs. Because it usually interferes with sleep, it also is considered a sleep disorder.

Symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome

People with RLS have strange sensations in their legs (and sometimes arms) and an irresistible urge to move their legs to relieve the sensations. The sensations are difficult to describe: they are not painful, but an uncomfortable, "itchy," "pins and needles," or "creepy crawly" feeling deep in the legs. The sensations are usually worse at rest, especially when lying in bed. The sensations lead to walking discomfort, sleep deprivation, and stress.
The severity of RLS symptoms ranges from mild to intolerable. Symptoms get gradually worse over time in about two thirds of people with the condition and may be severe enough to be disabling. The symptoms are generally worse in the evening and night and less severe in the morning. While the symptoms are usually quite mild in young adults, by age 50 the symptoms may cause severe nightly sleep disruption that can significantly impair a person's quality of life.

non-sustained ventricular tachycardia:

What is ventricular tachycardia?

Ventricular tachycardia is a fast heart rhythm that starts in the lower part of the heart (ventricles). If left untreated, some forms of ventricular tachycardia may get worse and lead to ventricular fibrillation, which can be life-threatening.
Ventricular tachycardia is a fast but regular rhythm. It can lead to ventricular fibrillation which is fast and irregular. With ventricular fibrillation, the heart beats are so fast and irregular that the heart stops pumping blood. Ventricular fibrillation is a leading cause of sudden cardiac death.

What causes ventricular tachycardia?

Sometimes it is not known what causes ventricular tachycardia, especially when it occurs in young people. But in most cases ventricular tachycardia is caused by heart disease, such as a previous heart attack, a congenital heart defect,hypertrophic or dilated cardiomyopathy, or myocarditis. Sometimes ventricular tachycardia occurs after heart surgery.
Some medicines-including antiarrhythmic medicines, which are used to treat other types of abnormal heart rhythms-can cause ventricular tachycardia. Less common causes include blood imbalances, such as low potassium levels and otherelectrolyte imbalances.
Nonprescription decongestants, herbal remedies (especially those that contain ma huang or ephedra), diet pills, and "pep" pills often contain stimulants that can trigger episodes of ventricular tachycardia. Illegal drugs (such as stimulants, like cocaine) also may cause ventricular tachycardia. It is important to be aware of which substances have an effect on you and how to avoid them.

What are the symptoms?

In ventricular tachycardia, the heart beats too rapidly and the ventricles cannot effectively pump oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body. Ventricular tachycardia can be life-threatening.
Symptoms include:
This heart rhythm is dangerous because if it lasts more than just a few seconds, it can turn into ventricular fibrillation which causes sudden death.

How is ventricular tachycardia diagnosed?

If an electrocardiogram (EKG, ECG) can be performed while ventricular tachycardia is occurring, it often provides the most useful information. An electrocardiogram is a tracing of the electrical activity of your heart. It is usually done along with a history and physical examination, lab tests, and a chest X-ray.
Because ventricular tachycardia can occur intermittently and may not always be captured by an EKG at the doctor's office, you may be asked to use a portable EKG to record your heart rhythm on a continuous basis, usually over a 24-hour period. This is referred to by several names, including ambulatory electrocardiography, ambulatory EKG, Holter monitoring, 24-hour EKG, or cardiac event monitoring.
Your doctor may recommend further tests, including an echocardiogram, to evaluate your heart's function, a stress test or coronary angiogram to determine whether a part of the heart is not getting enough blood, and/or an electrophysiology study. During an electrophysiology (EP) study, electrical currents are sent through a catheter into the heart to try to trigger ventricular tachycardia and record the flow of electricity through the heart. In this way, the EP study can locate specific areas of heart tissue that give rise to abnormal electrical impulses, which may be causing the ventricular tachycardia. This information is used to determine the best treatment.

If you are having symptoms and are in a sustained tachycardia, it is a medical emergency. You will require immediate treatment. You may need CPR or a shock from an automatic defibrillator (also known as an AED). Paramedics or your doctor may try intravenous medicines or electrical cardioversion to return your heart to a normal rhythm.
To prevent the arrhythmia from recurring, you may need to take antiarrhythmic medicines. But these medicines may have side effects, so instead doctors often recommend a type of permanent pacemaker, called an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). This device is placed under the skin in your chest and continuously monitors your heart's rhythm. If ventricular tachycardia occurs, the ICD applies an electrical shock to the heart to restore a normal rhythm. After a normal rhythm is restored, the device goes back to continuous monitoring mode. Sometimes, both medicines and an ICD are necessary.

How is it treated?

In some cases a procedure called catheter ablation is used to destroy small areas of heart tissue responsible for the arrhythmia. In this procedure, thin, flexible wires are inserted into a blood vessel in the thigh, groin, neck, or elbow and threaded to the heart. Through these wires, heat or freezing cold temperatures can be delivered to the specific heart tissue that is generating abnormal electrical impulses (previously located in the EP study). The heat or freezing cold destroy (ablate) this heart tissue and can stop ventricular tachycardia from happening again.
It is very important that any causes of ventricular tachycardia be identified and treated, if possible. For example, if a low potassium level is causing ventricular tachycardia, it needs to be corrected to prevent a recurrence. If the ventricular tachycardia results from a medicine, the medicine needs to be stopped. If heart disease caused the ventricular tachycardia, the heart disease needs to be treated. Treating coronary artery disease provides the best treatment for ventricular tachycardia caused by a heart attack.

What precautions should you take?

If you have palpitations, dizziness, near-fainting, or chest pain, call911or other emergency services immediately.
If you have had an episode of ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation, your doctor may recommend that you don't drive a car for a few months. This precaution is to make sure you don't have any other episodes that could make driving unsafe.12
People with this condition should avoid caffeine-containing foods, which can trigger ventricular tachycardia. Caffeine is present in coffee, tea, colas, various other soft drinks, and chocolate. Also, fad diets such as liquid-based programs or high-protein regimens can affect the concentrations of electrolytes in your bloodstream. This can, in turn, cause problems with your heart.

the VT really worries me... but at the same time, we are hopeful that this will finally give us answers as to why he has had a constant headache for ten months.
he is waiting for the referral to see the cardiologist and once that happens we will know more.

as far as the sleep apnea goes, it is pretty uncommon for someone as young as daniel (29) who is not overweight to have it. so i'm curious as to what may be causing it - maybe the heart condition?
dan has to start wearing a mask at night... not fun at all... at least, so i've heard from my dad who has had sleep apnea for a few years now.

the restless leg syndrome is pretty common for people who have sleep apnea.

we are thankful that these things showed up and are hopeful that dan will get the correct treatment.

we serve a mighty Lord!

i would appreciate your continued prayers and thoughts. 

thank you so much my friends!



J*me said...

I will for sure continue praying for your husband and family!!
God is good:)

Jamie said...

I'll be praying for you both! God's still in the healing business!!! xoxo

Jamie said...

oohhhh my dear:(
i'm sorry for you guys. i don't even have any words, but i'm sending you love & hugs!!
i'm here if you need anything...even to just vent.

crissy said...

My dad has sleep apnea (but he's 50 and heavy), and has to use that machine, too. My mom hates it, because it's noisy, but it helps dad sleep.

Glad you got some answers. I hope you're able to get some more and get this all solved and taken care of. :)

As for now, I hope you have a lovely night. ♥

Kassi said...

thank you so much to all of you... your words brought tears to my eyes. all of your prayers, supportive and encouraging words and love is so wonderful right now. thank you thank you thank you. seriously.

god IS still in the healing business... we're grateful for that! :-) and i know that He doesn't give us more then we can handle...

Andy Tan said...

I will pray for him continuously my dear.


my name is lauren. said...

i will obviously still be praying for him and for you guys.

gosh! it looks like such a laundry list of issues when you write them all out like that.

BUT...on a lighter note....at least he looks super cool in the picture you posted of him :).

tell him we're both praying!

Kassi said...

thank you so much andy and lauren!!

and yes, he does look cool in that photo doesn't he? he sure is a handsome man... ;-)

mahuahua said...

i hope your husband starts feeling better soon lovely xxxxxx my thoughts are with you!

Floss said...

You can add my prayers into the pool...

BrittanButterfly said...

so many prayers and love to your whole family, kassi.

Morgan said...

Keeping you and your family in my thoughts!

Helga said...

I'm sorry to hear about your husband Kassi! I will keep him and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

danielle and dinosaur toes said...

I'm glad you got things figured out, but I know that it's still draining. I'm sending you a big virtual bear hug, my friend!

xoxo gillions and millions and billions!

Kassi said...

wow, thanks all so much! i really feel blessed to have such amazing readers and blog friends!! xo

greystrawberrys said...

've recently found your blog but it's still really sad to hear bad news. Giving so much love, hugs and prayers to both of you <3


Cole said...

I'm glad you were able to get some answers, now you can start treatment and get your hubby healthy. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Micaela said...

i believe in the power of prayer. You and your husband have mine. xoxo

Kassi said...

thank you girls. i swear, i have never felt so much love and support. :-)

Erica said...

You are very strong and brave, thank you for the detailed updates. I'll be praying for your husband and family and the doctors.

samboy said...

eeek sounds scary! good thoughts and healthy wishes to you both xxx

Dani said...

I hope that everything works out for him. I have gone through something similar myself. I'm sending tons of prayers your way!

Kassi said...

erica, sam and dani - thank you for the prayers and thoughts. dani, did you health problems yourself or did someone close to you?

Dani said...

It was health problems of my own. Continuous migraines & a sleeping disorder (severe insomnia). The sleeping disorder was the only thing that was officially diagnosed. The diagnosis as to what causes the migraines is still not diagnosed. I don't think my case is as severe as your husbands sounds though-or at least that I'm aware of anyways.

Kassi said...

oh dani, i'm sorry. headaches and migraines and not even being able to sleep them off would drive me insane! have you found a migraine treatment (drugs) that have worked for you? nothing works for my husband when he gets them... but maybe that's because he has had a constant headache for ten months... who knows. i'll be praying for you dani!

Dani said...

No migraine medicine as of yet. The doctor did put me on Ambien for my sleeping disorder. Being able to sleep alone has helped with the migraines somewhat. It's been a bit of a process of elimination for the migraines. Making sure that they're not stress induced or lack of sleep induced. Thanks for the prayers! My family & I are praying for you guys.

Kassi said...

i hope you find relief soon, dani! and thanks to you and your family for your prayers!

BuenoBueno said...

we are praying for yall! and for DAN!!

Kassi said...

you are ah-maze-ing lisenbe! thank you mucho!
o to the x

Alex said...

im sorry to hear about that...it must be an awful feeling for you...i will be praying! :)

Kassi said...

thank you so much alex!!

BuenoBueno said...

Definitely in my prayers!


Kassi said...

thanks so much kelly!!

anna said...

As hard as it is, I hope it is good to finally get SOME answers. My Mother in law uses one of the masks and gets much better sleep now. Still have you all in our thoughts ... much love!

Kassi said...

yes, it does feel good anna! finally! my dad uses the mask too... i guess it's hard to get used to but that's okay.
thank you so much!

Dani said...

Ahh..I almost forgot to tell you...Something that has helped some in the past with some of my migraines and sleeping is a gel sleeping mask. You put it in the fridge and let it get cold. (don't put it in the freezer or it'll make things worse...I found out the hard way). You put it on when you get ready to sleep and the instant cool helps soothe the headache AND it helps with puffiness around the eyes. It doesn't work all of the time, but it's worth a shot for the hubby. There are some nights when this is all I need and other nights when it won't work at all. I got mine from World Market and it's called the hangover from hell mask. You can google search it too, but I'm sure any gel mask that you get from a cosmetic/spa area would work.

I hope this helps a little!

Kassi said...

thank you for the tip dani - i'll be sure to let the husby know! :-)