April 21st, 2014 what I thought was going to be a normal birthday filled with hanging out with friends/family, schoolwork, and appointments quickly changed at my 2nd appointment. The nurse came in to take vitals as usual, but this time was different. The lady kept asking me; what was I feeling and checking my numbers. Only to quickly leave the exam room to get my Pulminologist. Just as the nurse did, he asked the same questions and had her take my vitals. I informed my pulminologist that I had chest pain, shortness of breath and was lightheaded to the point I felt I could pass out any minute. At that time, I was informed the repetitive actions was due to my heart rate being high (123bpm). My appointment was cut short and was sent immediately to my PCP office across the hall to be check further. I saw her as soon as she got back from lunch break. During the visit she asked me a bunch of questions, took vitals herself on top of the nurse's documentation and an ekg. A female who just turned 23 with no knowledge of heart disease in her family and heart rate in the 100's; concerned my PCP. She immediately put in a referral for a cardiologist and kept a close eye on me till I got seen.
Juner 13th, 2014 I was seen by Dr. Kranis at St. Vincent's Medical Group; still with a high heart rate (low 100's). He put in orders for multiple tests and labs such as a echocardiogram, halter monitor, 2D echocardiogram and stress test. After the tests and labs were completed, I would later be given the disgnosis of Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia. My heart was constructed normal with nothing wrong, it just likes to have a resting heart rate in the 100's or it likes to increase to the 100's with little to no strenuous activity. IST was something I never heard of and took a long time to grasp the diagnosis. Dr. Kranis informed me that IST shows up in females in their early 20's for no apparent reason, but usually lasts 2-4 years. He thought I would only have it for 1-2 years. Almost 6 years later and I still struggle with IST. The littlest thing can throw my heart condition off and take a while to settle down to my "normal". Something as simple as a medication took me 6 months to go back to "normal". IST have moments when I must stop and think if I should do something. I get nervous if something happens to me where a doctor does not understand my case; will I be okay.
I will be walking this year for the second time in honor of a group of ladies who took me in as family. They considered me a Survivor Sister, this year at the heart & stroke ball. Your donation means a lot to me, my fellow sisters and everyone who's affected by heart disease and strokes. Please donate money to help fund research that keeps our hearts beating and help people live longer and healthier. Thank You! <3 Nicole Desroches