Health Update: Ventricular Tachycardia, My Favorite Doctor, and Tendonitis Everywhere


Things are looking up for me.

“For you did not receive a spirit that made you a slave again to fear, but you received the spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” —Romans 8:15

It has been a great comfort to me to remind myself: God already knows what is wrong with me. He knows what is happening and where it’s headed. I have only to buckle up and trust Him.

First, let me tell ya what a relief it is to have some answers to the heart question.

What do you call your doctor when she’s a physician’s assistant? PA Carlquist? I don’t know what to call her, but she has been a great help to me. She came right in to the appointment and got to the point. She had her computer open and she said, “Well, the good news is we know what it is, but it’s not so good.”

Surprise! Wait. Someone actually is holding a piece to this puzzle. I didn’t even know enough about hearts to be worried. I’m not medical at all. I’m just happy someone does know.

It’s called Ventricular Tachycardia, and I was impressed with the simple way she explained it. She said that it’s like there’s an anarchist down in the lower part of my heart. The upper area is in charge of the rhythm, but occasionally the anarchist rises up and takes over, which is not good. The thing is that he throws off the beat and goes too fast. (Yes, an anarchist absolutely must be a HE. HA!) Then the true leader takes back over.

The problem showed up when I did the overnight heart monitor, at 12:44am, for six beats, so there’s a possibility that it could be caused by my not getting enough oxygen in my sleep. Although, I’m not sure if that explains why it happens sometimes during the day. I’ll have to ask.

They changed my medications, which I am adjusting to this weekend. I am so fatigued!! After three weeks of having my energy back, this is hard.

Let me tell you why I like Cardiology PA Carlquist so much. For starters, I feel comfortable enough with her to tell her what needs to be told. I often freeze up with other doctors. She is good about answering my questions too. I had her look at my swollen pockets on my feet, to make sure it’s not a circulation thing.

“Oh, that’s a tendon. Are you a runner? A skater?” she asked.

“No, it’s just that my tendons hate me.” I have tendonitis in several places now: shoulder, both knees (IT band that runs from knee to hip), and plantar fasciitis that comes and goes.

Of course, while I was showing her my swelling, we both noticed my purple and white toes…

I saw her looking at the toes funny, so I explained, “Oh, yeah, my toes are just purple because I have Raynaud’s syndrome, but it doesn’t bother me too much. It’s always been more of a party trick.”  Ha!

She made a note of the purple toes in her computer. Then she went on to explain that the doctor may want to do a ventricular ablation to turn off the ventricular tachycardia. This is a procedure where they go in through your thigh and run a catheter up to your heart and work on the problem that way. The advantage to this is that I would not need medicine anymore, once it’s done.

So I still needed a follow-up appointment with this doctor. He is difficult to get an appointment with.

“I’ll walk you to the desk and see if I can speed the process up a little,” she said. (See, this lady is AWESOME sauce.)

We walk out, and lo and behold, there’s the doctor that specializes in electrical heart problems, standing right there eating an apple!

My PA sent me back to my exam room. She stood out there and talked to the doc for a good five minutes. Then they both came in. I thought he’d just stick his head in for a minute, but no. He pulled up a patient chair, sat down, and asked me questions.  It was a good visit. Of course, I forgot to tell him about the fevers, but I haven’t had too many of those lately.

He decided that he wants me to have an MRI, which we don’t expect to find anything bad on. He also wants me to wear the Holter monitor for a week to get more information on the problem. (Last time I only wore it for 24 hours.) Then he asked me to come to the clinic any time that I have symptoms: palpitations, light-headedness, dizziness, so they can have an EKG recording of when it’s actually happening.

That EKG part will never happen. The heart medicine keeps it under control so well that I do not have heart problems so long as I’m taking it, thankfully!

So there you have it. I may or may not need to have the surgery. We’ll see. More tests…fun, fun, fun.

I need to send my PA a thank you note. She saved me another month of waiting for a doctor appointment by bringing the doctor in on the spot like that. Doesn’t it make you feel good when people go the extra mile?

The doctor was very calm about it all, but he did say, “I don’t want to freak you out or anything,” about something.  I laughed.

“Oh, I’m not freaked out at all.”

They both laughed at me when they saw the writing on my hand. I write reminders to myself on my palms, and people often chuckle about that.

Oh, one more little funny for ya:  The doctor said, with the utmost of seriousness, as he had only just met me, “Now we need to talk about it, if you’re wanting to have children sometime…”

Haaaaaaa!!!!! I didn’t even wait for him to finish.  “Oh, don’t worry about that. I have four children, and we are done now.”

Ha! Can you imagine? No, I’m half kidding. I adore babies, and I love my children more than life itself, but that time of life has passed for me. I’m okay with that.


Ventricular Tachycardia:

Definition: condition in which lower chambers of heart beat quickly

Rare, especially under age 60

Symptoms: light-headedness, palpitations, shortness of breath, chest pain, fainting, cardiac arrest

(Obviously, I have not had cardiac arrest.)

Causes: heart disease, cardiomyopathy, genetics

(I do not know what the cause of mine is.)

-Risks: Cardiac arrest (where the heart stops beating), heart attack

For more info: Healthline article


My hip problem: Iliotibial Band Syndrome. 

My physical therapist works on this every week. My IT band is so tight, if you touch it I want to cry. I’m supposed to be rolling it at home everyday with a rolling-pin, but oh man, I don’t want to! I have it in both legs, but the right side is way more severe.

Definition: inflamed illiotibial band–This ligament rubs against the thighbone causing pain. (The IT band runs from the iliac crest down to your shin.)

Causes: For me, an abnormal pelvic tilt—Either it’s causing the tilt, or the tilt is causing the angry ligaments. I’m not sure.

Symptoms: tender to the touch, knee swelling, pain with bent knee, pain using stairs, popping sound with extended knee

This thing quiets down sometimes and only hurts if I touch it, or if the kids sit too close to me, touching my leg. Other times, it gets so bad that it’s hard to even walk. I bought a cane in January, but then it improved. Phew! Let’s hope I don’t have another month like this past January ever again.

For more info: MedicineNet article


Is there an overarching problem causing all this mess? Well, I have yet to prove it if there is, so for now, I have this heart problem, with no known cause, IT band syndrome, tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and occasional fevers.

Thankfully, the heart meds help, and being gluten-free has been surprisingly beneficial. I would not have believed it if I hadn’t experienced it first hand, but I have had 100 times more energy ever since I cut gluten from my diet. I am fully functioning again, and it is a wonderful feeling!

Thank you so much, all of you, who are following along on my little tale of woe. And most of all, thank you to those who have prayed!! It has made a world of difference.

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;

my hope comes from Him.

He alone is my rock and my salvation;

he is my fortress. I will not be shaken.”      Psalm 62:5-6

For the next part of this story: Click here: The Frienemy Drug



  • Laurelle

    Bless your heart….literally!! I’ll be lifting you up in prayer.

  • My guess as to why you have the heart condition is cardiomyopathy genetics. I have cardiomyopathy. That is why I have a pacemaker\ defribulator. I’m not sure exactly what Granddaddy’s heart condition was called, but he also had a pacemaker.

    • Goodness gracious. I didn’t know that–about you! I knew about Grandaddy, but he’s pretty far back for me, but then I did get my hair color from a great-grand, so who knows. Everyone, almost everyone, in my family tree has a heart problem. I knew you’d had a heart attack and all sorts of things, but I didn’t know it was cardiomyopathy specifically. Thank you for keeping up with this and letting me know!
      aprilmomoffour recently posted…Health Update: Ventricular Tachycardia, My Favorite Doctor, and Tendonitis EverywhereMy Profile

      • You might share more genetics with me than you realize. lol Did you know that when I was born, I had red hair? It did not turn blonde until I was about a year old. I have only seen one picture of myself in color. All the other photos were black and white. (I’m old) lol But my hair was red, just like Mama told me it was. lol All of Uncle David’s (Granny’s brother’s) children also had red hair. So that part of your genes also comes from both your parents.

  • Jen

    Oh my goodness! This is good. A diagnosis! I think there were a lot of blessings evident in that visit. Hugs as you progress down this road. Hoping and praying for more answers to come your way.
    Jen recently posted…Tech News: Kiddle, Facebook Updates And MoreMy Profile

  • God bless Dr. (PA) Carlquist. It really would be a relief to have a diagnosis. Am holding you in prayer during the road ahead. God bless you April.
    Carl Wright recently posted…Solid WaterMy Profile

  • It is so frustrating when you get answers, but they are bad answers ::(
    I am going to pray that someone is on top of things and refers you for a second rheum opinion to someone who can solve the riddle for you. I think the first rheum you saw was wrong. Autoimmune arthritis causes heart problems and would account for every single symptom you have mentioned. I wonder how many of the people in your family tree with heart problems also had psoriasis or other autoimmune symptoms that went undiagnosed. Traditionally, people with RA and PsA died of heart attacks, but I have not seen statistics on whether that has changed since the invention of biologic medicines. Tendinitis multiple places is indicative of something systemic. Bilateral plantar fasciitis suggests RA or a spondy. Raynauds suggests RA or PsA or SLE. Your symptoms point clearly to the need for a good rheumatologist (I am most unimpressed with your first one). The average spondy suffers seven years of misdiagnosis before receiving a correct diagnosis, and that is an appalling statistic. I will keep praying for you.

    • Thank you so much. I agree on the rheumatologist. We started out well but then we had communication problems. He got stuck on looking for sacroiliitis, which I turned out not to have, and then he never wrote down what is told him about the tendinitis even though we found the shoulder one on an MRI. There were staff issues with paperwork and things just didn’t work out. I never did tell him about the plantar fasciitis because it’s new and he told me he didn’t have time to listen to new information. Nice guy. Ha!!

      • Wow. If he doesn’t have time to listen to your symptoms and figure out what the problem is, then what does he think he’s supposed to be doing?

        • I know. I was so surprised. Thankfully, my flare up is over, but you know how it is, I could wake up tomorrow all messed up. I’m moving in June. Next time I flare up, I know much more of what to tell them. I’ll focus on the multiple tendonitis more next time and the way my feet hurt most in the morning. I just had no clue to where even start with my explanation of symptoms last time, and then to not be permitted to give new information made it really hard.

  • Wow, great courage. It always helps when we walk with Him. Sending up a prayer now for you to be kept in His healing arms and in the forefront of your doctors’ wisdom.
    Susan Irene Fox recently posted…ShadowMy Profile

  • Hi, April! Thank you for sharing your story at Chronic Friday Linkup! #ChronicFridayLinkup

    It’s great to get an answer to a problem even when the answer is not good news. Knowing the cause and being able to treat it is often times the most complicated part to a chronic illness. I’m glad you have a PA that is listening to you, and you can confide in her. That is a rare occurence.

    Many prayers to you and your family as you start your journey down this diagnosis. Finding the right medication, and adjusting to it is not an easy road. I wish you the best!

  • Pingback: Update on my Pain Battle: Things are getting better! – Stories of Our Boys

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