I am feeling very tired and discouraged because I am having so much difficulty with neurological symptoms including migraine visual auras, visual "ghosting", dizziness, and sort of a general mental confusion. The migraine stuff doesn't proceed to the painful headache stage, thank goodness, but includes the prism like lights, blank visual splotches, spinning pinwheel lights, etc. Pretty much the same symptoms I normally get with a migraine, but the difference is I used to only get them once every 2-3 months and I could get rid of them by just lying down and closing my eyes for awhile.
I can't read because I can't see print, and my mind can't seem to sort out images and focus or concentrate. The horizontal lines of text don't follow a straight line but sort of meander around the page and it feels like the print kind of overlaps itself. Even magazine photos look distorted like some sort of impressionistic painting. It's difficult to read the computer screen. It's almost like what I would imagine being dyslexic would feel like - sort of like everything is upside down and backwards. I was assuming these kinds of things could be part of "post-pump syndrome" but yesterday they got bad enough that I got scared and called my cardiologist's office.
Unfortunately my cardiologist is fishing somewhere in the Bahamas. They told me to go to the Emergency Room. Well, the Emergency Room turned it into this big "maybe she had a stroke in surgery" routine complete with MRI. Then they decided after they ran all the tests, that they were finding nothing and couldn't do anything else for me. My blood work showed I was still slightly anemic, but better than on Febrruary 11, which was the last blood profile they took in Cleveland. So they discharged me with a prescription for antivert and told me to go see an ENT (for innner ear problems) if I continued to feel dizzy. I then went over to the cardiology clinic and talked some more to my cardiologist's physicians' assistant. He then sent me to Eye Center to have my eyes checked out. Everything as far as my physical eye structures looked fine with no evidence of emboli, though I still couldn't read the eye chart and flunked some other visual tests. All in all, we were at the hospital from morning until 5:30 at night. I missed my pain medication and was feeling pretty drained and painful by the time we got home. This morning I went back to the hospital for an echocardiogram. They still feel uncomfortable giving me a prescription for some migraine medication, which was what I was hoping for from the beginning.
In Cleveland, they had given me a prescription for a beta blocker called Coreg which I have been taking at 6.25 mg twice a day. The cardiology department here in Salt Lake is not sure why I would need the beta blocker since to my knowledge I never had any incidents of atrial fibrillation nor did I have a particularly enlarged ventricle. So, we are also weaning me off the Coreg to see if it may be the culprit for some of the side effects
I'm experiencing. Dizziness, migraines, vision problems, depression, mental confusion are listed among the side effects of Coreg.
This is all so discouraging because I don't have much I can do but sit in a kind of daze and try not to worry about if and when this might go away.
The way it ended was that we are to wait another week or so and if things don't improve, they will send me to a neurologist for further evaluation.
I do have a friend in New York who had mitral valve repair a little over a year ago. She reported she had similar symptoms, plus the double vision that Marty mentioned elsewhere, for about three months. She was treated with some migraine medications which helped.
The doctors are frustrating in that they seem to resist the idea that these symptoms could be from the bypass pump, although I guess it's also good that they simply don't dismiss the symptoms automatically as post pump syndrome either.