Brutally honest

Isn’t that my calling card? Isn’t that what people love about my blog? That I let you inside my head and read about my roller coaster of emotions without holding back? One of the reasons people contact me is because they say I put to paper, what they are thinking. Some don’t share their emotions. Some are afraid to show them. Who wants to wear their heart on their sleeve? And ironically I am just like that. I am a VERY private person. I don’t have many friends. I only see and converse with family. Im friendly but Im not. I keep to myself. But when it comes to Brugada Im transparent. I show and write everything. Maybe its because its therapeutic for me. Or because this is like a diary. Or because it actually helps other people because Im writing what they are thinking. So here it goes.You may not like it and find it upsetting…

Today is the 2 year anniversary of being diagnosed. And Im hating today. It has nothing to do with the anniversary actually. For the last week Ive had a new surge of anxiety and fretfulness over my diagnosis. It waxes and wanes. Somedays I don’t think about it. And some days Im so sad about it and hate it with a passion. This week I detest it. Ive been thinking about having an ICD. Ive been second guessing it. After all, some people chose not to get one. Some people feel, if you haven’t had cardiac arrest yet, you shouldnt get one. Why? Because ICDs kill people. Yes you read that right. Yeah, yeah, they save. But they give inappropriate shocks, they kill you “mentally” ( try bonding with time bomb screwed into your heart) and now Im reading about how leads are recalled, fail, cause heart infections and you need major heart surgery to remove those leads. That surgery has killed people. Yes, Im in dark dismal mood so if you don’t want to continue reading or begin to be afraid of your ICD, don’t read on. I am being brutally honest.

Brugada kills right? It is lethal? But an ICD meant to save you, kills you as well. Or at least shortens life span and cause a whole rash of potential problems. So whats the damn point? Really. If I don’t have one, Ill die. Maybe. Maybe not. If I have it I may never need it but it can fry me to death? Get an infection? What are we supposed to do? Not get it, you are doomed. Get it you are doomed? Its some sick game of buying time but in the end you are not really buying time are you? I always tell people LIVE YOUR LIFE!! Don’t be afraid. But I don’t practice what I preach. I hate this syndrome. I hate this ICD. I don’t trust it. Its fickle and can either save me or kill me. Throw in the fact that doctors have varying opinions some say I need it some say I don’t. Like it not confusing and frightening enough. You need it! You don’t need it! It will save you It will kill you!. WTF?? Take it out. Turn it off. Anything…

Not to mention the mental aspect. I damn near had a nervous break down buying a Valentines card for my husband. I was over bundled because its super cold in Jersey right now but the store was roasting. I shopped and got VERY over heated right after dinner ( dinner always screws my heart up) My heart was pounding and screaming and I was light headed with no warning. All I can do is think I may pass out right there. I will get shocked in public. Will anyone give a shit? Or will some jerk just record me on their phone as I lay there and put me on their Facebook wall instead of helping. Maybe Im being dramatic but oh well. Its the truth isn’t it? You are at the mercy of strangers in a day and age where most people only care about capturing a picture or video in hopes of “likes” and “shares”. I got to my truck broke down and cried to my husband that I cant live like this. I cant live in fear like this. Only BrS patients know whats its like! Your heart is a stick of dynamite that blows with no warning an it doesnt care what you are doing. I know people who were driving, exercising, sleeping, eating, one went flying in their car into a lake, fainted out cold! Do you know what its like to live that ? Talk about becoming an agoraphobic because you never want to leave your house out of fear.You need someone with you to hold your hand the rest of your life. Or at least tranquilizers. Fear of your own body. Fear of your own heart. Like its a whole other person who will betray you any minute. I felt V tach during labor.My heart sped away and put me on the brink of consciousness and all I can do was cry and lose my vision because its going to do what it friggen wants to do. A runaway train. Old or young, poor or rich, famous or not. When your heart says “Im outta this dump!” Guess what?! There is nothing you can do. You are at its mercy. It controls it all. Yes indeed you better respect your heart because it has its own brain…

Im sure some of you are scared to death now because what I wrote. Im sorry for that. I love helping you all but Im only human, a scared one at that and need to vent. I hate BrS. I hate my ICD. It ruined my life and will eventually take it and I just have to sit and wait…

Quick post about my son…

My son had a genetic test for Brugada. Results are pending and should be in within the next 2 weeks. So far his EKG is fine, which is the usual. As we all know, Brugada tends to get worse with age. Keep my son in your prayers that he doesn’t have the gene. Brugada is much more fatal in boys than girls. Not saying you won’t go into cardiac arrest if you are a girl…Im just saying statistically its always worse in men and more predominant due to ( what Ive been told) testosterone. Ill post back with results. Happy New Year!

A little warning…

Just a little tip for the holiday season and its endless food; over stuffing yourself changes vagal tone which in turn can alter your heart rhythm. Ive talked to people who had cardiac arrest due to a very large meal. So be extra careful with all the goodies. And don’t forget alcohol is on the “do not take” list of meds and substances. Go easy LOL! Blessings to everyone and ENJOY!!!

Email me if you need to…

On this blog many people comment about what I write. I do reply to all comments but Im not sure if you are notified that I answered any questions. I feel bad because I don’t want anyone to think they commented and I ignored them. If you leave a comment in hopes of a reply and dont get a response or notification of a response, please email me. I like talking and helping all my readers:

BrugadaGirl@yahoo.com

Brugada,my recent childbirth and epidural

As my readers know, I just had my 6th and final child. Although Ive had Brugada all my life and delivered 5 other children with it, I never knew I had BrS until this pregnancy. We all wanted to assume this delivery would be no different then the others. After all, Ive always had Brugada right? Why would it be different this time? Besides the fact that Im older, and Brugada worsens with age,we assumed all would be well. Yet deep down I worried the whole time that this time WOULD be different and I was absolutely right. Let me just say up front, my experience with labor and delivery isn’t necessarily what will happen to any woman who delivers with a BrS diagnosis. Each person, child,labor and delivery can be totally different. Im just sharing my story because this blog is like a diary about MY life with BrS. If there are any women out there who are or will be having children, PLEASE don’t think that it will be like this for you.The purpose of this post is to educate and inform, so just keep the info in the back of your mind.

This pregnancy was a surprise. I didn’t plan on any more children because I was terrified of my new diagnosis. I saw my OB doctor, cardiologist and a high risk OB to come up with a plan. They weren’t overly concerned because I delivered 5 other children. But their plan was to have a scheduled delivery with pitocin and an epidural. They felt the adrenaline rush I would get from the intensity and pain of delivery would be a bad idea. They also wanted to turn my ICD off so I wouldn’t get accidentally shocked as my heart rate rose with pain. They desired a calm, controlled and planned delivery. I would also speak to an anesthesiologist about what meds were safe for me for pain. That was the plan….simple and cautious. I carried on with my 9 months seeing the doctors here and there and confirming everything was well. I didn’t have any changes to my heart,no arrhythmias,no shocks. They only noted my heart rate was much higher all the time but that happens to women during pregnancy, BrS or not.

Anyhow, my scheduled day pf delivery arrived. Before starting pitocin which starts labor, they wanted to give me an epidural, so as the doctor advised, I wouldn’t feel pain. I was a little nervous the anesthesiologist would say no because I have heard that they are afraid to give meds to BrS patients. The nurse went out into the hall and told him what my diagnosis was. Within a minute she came in and said he was fine with giving an epidural. I have to admit I was a little put off by the fact he didn’t want to talk to me, ask me questions, find out if there are meds I can’t take, etc. But, I figured he’s the doctor and he knows best. In hind sight I wish I went with my gut feeling that I needed to talk to him more, but it’s too late for that now.

He came in with his cart to administer the epidural. I will point out now, I was not in labor yet, feeling fine and all my vital signs were normal. He gave me the epidural, it hurt as usual (I’ve had epidurals before with other children and it always hurt a little) but I dealt with the pain because its much better than feeling labor pains. When he was done I laid down. All hell broke loose….

Im not sure how long it took for everything to come crashing down. Maybe 5 minutes? After I laid down and breathed a sigh of relief it was done and labor could begin, I felt it. I felt my heart wind up like a top. It beat faster and faster and harder and harder until I started suffocating. It felt like someone covered my face with a pillow. I yelled out “Something is wrong! Something is wrong!” It got faster and faster and I struggled to breathe. The cardiac alarm I was hooked up to started alarming. I was up to 170 beats per minute doing nothing in what seemed like seconds.It WAS seconds. My blood pressure went the opposite way and bottomed out at around 80 over 50. I started crying “Make it stop!!!!” A black hole started to creep around my field of vision.An unbelievable weakness came over me and I laid there crying staring at the ceiling.The blackness was invading me as I started to shake and go into cold sweats. At the same time it looked like lightning bolts started shooting into my vision as well.Between the lightning and black I could barely see.I thought I was going to die. It felt like my body was shutting down slowly.My heart ran away with itself, I couldn’t breathe, my vision was going and I was so weak I couldn’t talk. I thought about my kids, my husband, the son I may not meet.I thought about my father and thought I would die like him. The room was filled with people. The hall was filled with people. Alarms were beeping everywhere. The nurses were hanging over me telling me “please calm down” because I was crying hysterical.I can read the panic and concern on their faces “I NEED you to calm down!!!” They tilted me to my left side,elevated the bed so my feet were up higher than my head and oxygen was thrown on me. I heard a nurse say I was white as a sheet and sweating yet cold.They flooded my body with fluids through IV. I thought that was the end. My husband, who was asked to go take a little break BEFORE my epidural ( they were afraid he would faint from a needle) came back in to a shit show.He left the room to get a snack and have a cigarette and he comes back and I’m in medical shock…

At this point I was on the verge of unconsciousness (or maybe death) so I don’t know exactly what happened, who was there, what was wrong. All I know I was afraid.I wanted my kids. I wanted my son. I heard his heart beat in the background on the monitor. It sounded like a galloping horse. He was ok but what about me? Would I ever hold him? I fought to keep my eyes open, afraid if I shut them, Id never open them again.I said Hail Marys in my head.”Oh God please let me live!” Whatever the hell happened, I slowly converted back to normalcy. I started to stabilize, calm down, and my heart rate and pressure made its way back to normal. No one said anything to me WHY this happened.Or WHAT had happened. I put 2 and 2 together and asked “what was in the epidural?” I didn’t get an answer. The question was dodged. I was told “ask the anesthesiologist”. I had a nagging feeling I received a med I shouldn’t. After all, I was absolutely fine until I had the epidural. No one answered me…

To make a long story short, I continued on with labor. The pain came back as the epidural wore off. I was feeling pain, not happy and my heart wasn’t thrilled either. But it was nowhere near as bad as it was before. I needed more meds put into the epidural twice through out the course of labor. They switched the formula and would only give me a tiny bit just in case my heart reacted. In the long run I ended up delivering naturally which upset me as well because I was specifically told NOT to deliver natural because the pain may set me into arrhythmia. I pointed this out to the staff. I was damned either way. They noticed while I was in natural labor and delivery, my heart wasn’t nearly as bad as when I had anesthesia. So what was their final thought? Deal with the pain and get the baby out so the whole scary ordeal will be over because there is no way in hell you are getting more meds. Exhausted mentally and physically, scared and anxious, I delivered my son. What a relief it was over. Nothing went as planned…

So what happened? After the baby was born and I was settled my husband told me they called a “code” on me. The code team was out in the hall. What does that mean? The code team is called when they believe your life is in imminent danger. I do remember hearing someone calling out a code now that I think about it. My mother who is a nurse told me later on they probably thought I was going to die and would need to be revived.Thats the only reason the code team shows up.I couldnt believe what I was hearing.In this day and age women aren’t supposed to die from childbirth. Yet I knew it wasn’t childbirth.It was BrS that complicated everything. Again, I kept asking “what was in the epidural??!!” No answer. I was told it was a combination of meds they didn’t know the name of or I should request my medical records.Whats the big secret?? My husband said he heard the code team mention ventricular tachycardia, a deadly rhythm. Was I in V tach?? No one had said that but he heard the team say it? Can I get any answers?…

Listen, I may sound like a conspiracy theorist here but something stinks! I have a feeling SOMEONE messed up and they were all covering each others tracks. No one wants to get a colleague in trouble. Why wouldn’t someone tell me what happened or why it happened?Is that my right to know? Why couldn’t I find out what was in that epidural? How can people be so damn elusive about this when they called a code on me?? Doesn’t this sound suspicious to you readers?? Of course I have no way to prove anything because as long as the staff says “it was nothing” I guess I had to believe it.

They had a cardiologist come in and see me. May I add I was a patient of THIS cardiologist for years who didn’t even realize I had Brugada and was staring at my Type 1 EKG for years. When I saw him my heart dropped because I know he knows nothing about BrS. After all, he couldn’t even diagnose me. He was cocky and arrogant as usual and said what happened had nothing to do with Brugada. He did tell me it was very strange that there wasn’t a copy of my EKG in my chart. Imagine that? A cardiac patient with a defibrillator goes into an arrhythmia and 170 beats per minute but they miraculously don’t have an EKG from when it was happening? Hmmmm…. sounds like bull shit to me. So I asked this incompetent doctor what he thought happened. He said he didn’t know and it was a “benign issue”. Thats his way of saying in fancy terms that he doesn’t know. Big friggen surprise he doesn’t know. He doesn’t seem to know anything does he? Then he said he thinks its was reactional. I was reacting to the needle. He pointed out that many people faint from needles and its no big deal. I was getting pissed at this point. I reminded him I had 5 other children, had epidurals before,this never happened and Im not afraid of needles!! I also pointed out that this whole load of crap was dropped on me AFTER the epidural, not during. I guess he felt stupid and went back to saying its a benign issue. He reassured me BrS had nothing to do with it and left. Another useless conversation with another useless doctor.Again, I had the feeling there was something I wasn’t being told. I asked him what was in the epidural and that there is such a thing as a “do not take” list for BrS. He said he didn’t know what I was given….

Over my 2 1/2 days I asked over and over what I was given. I asked multiple staff. Multiple nurses. Multiple doctors….no answer.I mentioned I was told it was “reactional” and “benign” and I would get a smirk and a “yeah right” indicating they didn’t believe that yet no one wanted to elaborate.This still sounds suspicious right? But finally light was shed on the subject! As I was being discharged, a nurse blurted to that I was in shock. I just looked at her because I wasn’t all to familiar with the term.Not to mention no one had said anything about it before. Shock is what happens when your heart rate goes up and your pressure drops. And what else is it? A life threatening situation that if it isn’t reversed you DIE!! Take a look at the definition on Wiki…http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shock_(circulatory) Now someone please tell me why I wasn’t told I was in shock? I had all the symptoms and they called a code. WHAT.HAPPENED???!! WHY???!!!

The doctor who delivered the baby, who was excellent and calm through the whole thing came into the room to discharge me and send me home. I took one last attempt at asking what I was given in the epidural. I tad him I really need to know! I have children with Brugada. I need to know for their safety. He left the room to check my chart and came back in and told me “It was bupivicaine” Anyone hear of that med? I sure did! I recognized it from the “do not take” list. I blurted out “Isn’t that on the list of meds I can’t take?!” In a quiet confirmation he simply said “yes” So there it is. The anesthesiologist effed up. Just like my gut feeling when he didn’t consult with me. He didn’t read into BrS. He didn’t check the website or access the list. He just pumped a med into my spine with no thought. Are you not familiar with bupivicane? Well guess what? It’s not a “preferably avoid” med. Its an “AVOID” med. They know for a FACT it can’t be taken by Brs patients. Matter of fact if you google it you will see they used to use tho med for drip challenges to diagnose you. It brings on arrythmias, unmasks potential BrS patients or it aggravates a Type 1 ( which is me) to the point of V tach. V TACH??!! There is that term again! Remember my husband said the code team mentioned that?? Yet there was no EKG and no mention of it in my chart and the retard cardiologist said my rhythm was fine.You don’t call the code team when everything is hunky dory. Again,someone isn’t telling me something…

Heres a little reading on Bupivicaine which on the list of meds to AVOID. Its given in an epidural
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/712193_9
Interesting how they shot this garbage right into my body!Know this list well…www.brugadadrugs.org

Its more than obvious what happened now. No one wants to admit it. No one wrote it down. The proof is lacking. I leave the conclusion up to my readers. Put the pieces of the puzzle together….A Type 1 Brugada patient was given a med on the AVOID list, her heart rate goes to 170 and pressure to 80 over 50 and the term “shock” and “v tach” is thrown around as the code team is called to save my life.I have all the symptoms of shock…what do you think??

BUT NO ONE KNOWS WHAT HAPPENED! Yeah right people! I know what happened. Someone fucked up and and everyone is dodging so there is no law suit. No there is no law suit. Im alive and my baby is alive and healthy. Thats all I care about. But whats the moral of the story? Have that damn list with you everywhere! Tell every doc about it! Go with your gut feeling if something doesn’t seem right. Be your own doctor. Be informed. Know what is wrong with you and be in charge of your medical care.Doctors aren’t God and they do screw up and just as quick as they can save a life they can take one….

UPDATE: DESPITE MY ICD BEING OFF TO KEEP ME FROM GETTING A SHOCK DURING LABOR AND DELIVERY, IT WAS CAPABLE OF RECORDING HEART ACTIVITY. THE ICD RECORDED THAT THE MORNING OF MY DELIVERY I DID IN FACT HAVE AN EPISODE OF NON SUSTAINED V TACH. WHETHER IT WAS FROM THE EPIDURAL OR LABOR, WE WILL NEVER KNOW. IT DID HAPPEN AFTER THE EPIDURAL USING BUPIVICAINE WHICH IS FORBIDDEN SO IT SEEMS COMMON SENSE TO ME. BUT STILL NO DOCTOR WANTS TO CLARIFY THIS FOR ME…

Pregnancy…

I just wanted to give everyone a quick update on my pregnancy. I will be having the baby in 10 days so Im at finally at the end. I have to say, Brugada wise, its been uneventful, which is very good. Despite having a defibrillator and Brugada, I didn’t have any arrythmias, no shocks, no need for medicine. With the exception of a higher heart rate, which is the usual for pregnancy, there isn’t much to speak of. My rate has been around 130 but thats not high enough to even have to change the ICD settings. As far as labor and delivery, the plan is a scheduled induction in order to have a calm and controlled environment. Ive seen my regular obstetrician but also a high risk doctor. They all agree I should be medicated because the adrenaline rush of labor from pain ISN’T a good idea with Brugada. I have a scheduled day for delivery where they will carefully and slowly bring on labor with medication. This will all began AFTER they turn the defibrillator OFF. They do not want it on during labor and delivery.Once the baby is born, they will turn it back on. That is about it as far as guidelines. For me, being pregnant with and ICD and Brugada, caused no problems and everything was fine. Im not saying other women who are pregnant with Brugada will all be safe and have an easy time. Every situation and case is different. Im just saying for me personally, it was a piece of cake heart wise 🙂

What do we think about 2013?

Do I hate this year? Am I soooooo ready to see it end? Hell yes! But is it a bad year or a good year? I was diagnosed out of the blue this year and had my ICD implanted. I found out 2 of my children have it and the oldest,18,may be getting an ICD in the near future. I hated the events that happened. I cried more than ever,prayed more than ever,lost sleep more than ever. I had fits of anger,sadness, remorse and hate. It sounds like I am ready to get 2013 over with right?? But then I think….Maybe somehow this was all a good thing. I know I have Brugada, and 2 of my children, which in essence saved our lives. I should be happy about that. After all, who gets the opportunity to see into that crystal ball and do something about it? As much as I hate knowing I have a heart defect and even worse, my 2 children, I can’t help but say “Thank you God” at the same time. Of course it would be better if we didn’t have anything at all lol! But I can’t cry over spilt milk. I can’t change what is the truth. All I can say is Im happy I know what we are up against so I don’t have to lose them and they don’t have to lose their mother. Also, my father died in 2009. I have played out that day over and over for many years wanting to know how and why he died.It was the worse few years of my life…not knowing. But my mother was tested and is negative, solving the long mystery of what happened to my died. Now I have closure over his death. I know it wasn’t his fault. He was a smoker and I felt angry that maybe he brought on an early death. But overall he was healthy. I don’t have to be angry anymore or wonder if he was in pain. I have answers and answers bring peace. As much as I hated the dismal,shocking moments of 2013, its those precise moments that saved lives and provided closure.Do I want the year to continue? NO!!! LOL! But do I detest the year that saved my life and children’s lives? No.How do you feel about your year??

Palpitations and PVC’s

I’ve talked to many of you that are afflicted, like me, with palpitations either all day or just at night. The same goes with PVC’s. For the most part mine are just a nuisance and make me very anxious and uncomfortable. After all, who wants palpitations and an increase in heart rate when you have a defibrillator set at a low shock rate? I’ve been hooked up to several monitors and there doesn’t seem to be any dangerous arrhythmias happening. But that doesn’t change the fact that I have these symptoms all the time. And I know many of you do too.Im a bit tired of hearing that these symptoms we feel are unrelated to Brugada. Can it really be that we all have Brugada and the same exact worrisome palpitations and fluttering and its unrelated? I dont buy that.Doctors may be selling but Im not buying.I feel they ARE related to Brugada. Its just too new of a disease to know everything about it. These palpitations have gotten in the way of my life, my sleep, my exercise and Im sick of it. I finally asked my EP for a prescription to keep them at bay. Even if they are harmless, they concern me.He gave me a calcium channel blocker that I take once a day. It’s a 24 hour duration pill. By the way, be sure of what meds you can and can’t take by checking http://www.brugadadrugs.org Anyhow, the medicine, known in generic form as Diltiazem, has made a world of difference. My heart is quiet and still. My rate doesn’t increase frequently as I am known to have episodes of sinus tachycardia. When I go to the gym I can do more and my pulse doesn’t go as high. I seem to be able to handle a bigger work load at the gym which Im enjoying. Its nice to not be scared of the elliptical lol. At night, instead of tossing and turning with fluttering and palps, I sleep!Shouldn’t I be sleeping at 3 AM? When your mentally and physically exhausted and dying to sleep but your heart feels like your jogging,thats not cool. You cant really fall asleep when your laying down but feel like your running a marathon. Im happy to be on this medication. I havent had any side effects except gastric reflux. Unfortunately this class of meds is harsh on the stomach in regards to acid production but its worth it. I just take Prevacid and eat a bland diet. I know so many of you suffer with these symptoms as well. I want to tell you to not be quiet about it. Talk to your EP. Tell them you are interested in a medication that will setlle your heart and ease your nerves. They will determine whats best for you.Its bad enough we have to worry about a shock. Lets knock down the anxiety a bit by taking care of the harmless problems. Good luck

Pandora’s Box

The definition of opening Pandora’s Box; “to open Pandora’s box” means to perform an action that may seem small or innocent, but that turns out to have severe and far-reaching consequences. Ever feel like this is Brugada Syndrome?? I do. I went to the doctor for palpitations and fluttering. My EKG was abnormal but it always was and no one said anything about it. The EP suggested a genetic test. Seemed scary but he said it was unlikely so in turn it felt small. It felt like a small, minor decision that I was doing to cover my back not thinking what if it DOES come back positive?? I threw the lid off the box, thinking I might get a simple, small answer to my palpitations and all will be solved with a prescription. Well you all know the story. It was positive, my EP feels cardiac arrest is imminent, there is no pill and no cure. Just a pesky little device to start my heart again if it should stop, that may possibly run amuck on accident and kill me instead of Brugada. Some may say this is great news! I just saved my life! I will live long! I won’t end up like my father! Im lucky, the answer to my prayers, a second chance, blah, blah, blah. But what about the consequences of knowing this knowledge? Maybe knowledge isn’t always power. Maybe ignorance is truly bliss? What am I talking about? Is it good quality of life to walk around knowing a shock or cardiac arrest is imminent? Is it a peaceful life knowing the same ICD that may save you has MANY risks to actually having it in the first place?? We all walk around with that fear. You know you do! We all wonder when that moment will arrive….what if we are driving? What if we are with our kids? What if we are walking on stairs? What if we are near something hard and pointy that would cause a catastrophic blow if we fell unconscious on it? With every breathe and every step we wonder and wonder and wonder. What if now? what if later? When will it happen? Once again, is that quality of life? We saved our lives but are burdened with the ‘what ifs’ every day of our life. Sometimes I wish I never went to that appointment or got that test. Thats silly talk right? After all, that appointment diagnosed me and saved my life. But yet, it gave me knowledge that a shock or arrest or VFib or a faint or fall is around the corner ready to pounce on me. People may say “so what? you will be alive!” Will I? What if Im driving and hit a pole? What if I fall and get head trauma? Its happened!! What if it dislodges a lead?? Okay, Ill stop. I don’t want to scare all my readers away lol! But I know you all understand what Im talking about. Your happy you know about Brugada because you’ll live but you wish you didn’t know so you didn’t have to endure fear and anxiety everyday.Its a love hate relationship. Maybe we should have left the lid on that damn box!! Maybe not….

Brugada and Fevers

Most of us know that a fever is used to to help diagnose Brugada. Many people who are symptom free may all of a sudden have symptoms and an abnormal EKG while they have a fever. That is because heat in the form of your core body temp can alter your heart rhythm. Many people found out they had Brugada when they were sick with a fever. When a doctor suspects that you MAY have Brugada they also want you to get an EKG when you have a fever. If there is a change to your EKG with fever it helps them diagnose you and find your risk. But what if you already have Brugada? Should fevers be a concern? ABSOLUTELY!! It may be used as a diagnostic tool but it doesn’t change the fact that even if you already know you have Brugada, a fever can change your rhythm and may cause Vtach or Vfib. That may not always happen but its best to be prepared. If you have Brugada and your getting sick, treat the fever non stop. It may land you in the hospital if you don’t. I had a fever from strep throat and it didn’t make my heart go out of control terribly but it aggravated it enough that I had to call m EP and take Cardizem, a calcium channel blocker, while fevered to keep the palpitations at bay and keep my heart rate down. So always be aware of sickness and ANYTHING that can raise your temp. Even being out on a hot beach, doing yard work,etc can aggravate your heart.

 

I do want to mention an episode my 4 year old had. She is positive genetically for Brugada. She is asymptomatic and all her tests are normal. Brugada generally gets worse with age so this is no surprise that for now everything is normal. Just because your safe in childhood doesn’t mean you will be safe in adulthood. But her EP, although she knows she already had Brugada, still wants an EKG with fever. I was confused thinking that was only a diagnostic tool to see if you have it. But thats not the case. Even if you have it they want to know your risk. She had a fever and off to the hospital we went. She had an EKG that indeed showed minor signs of Brugada!! Otherwise her EKG is normal. This is proof further that Brugada CAN cause symptoms in her and is reason for the EP to watch her even closer. 

So my dear readers, please use a fever to your benefit, whether waiting for a diagnosis, already have it or assessing risk. And either way, no matter what category you are in, treat the fever right away. Once its reduced the symptoms go away. Make sure you always get an EKG with fever UNMEDICATED to see how your heart truly reacts 🙂

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