"My heart condition"

About: Sunshine Coast University Hospital / Cardiology

(as the patient),

I have an un-diagnosed heart problem. I am a young adult and my resting heart rate sits at around 150+.

I was 15 years old when I was experiencing fainting spells and a unnecessarily high heart rate and was given a referral by my GP to the Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane to get some tests done.  I went to the emergency room at Prince Charles a few days later expecting to be simply tested and was told that I should've come in much earlier and I would be staying there a few days. During my stay I was attached to many heart monitors and ECG machines and had ultrasounds and blood tests, but nothing was showing up. One night I was having a shower and I was sitting in the shower chair when about 10 doctors and nurses all came rushing in with the crash trolley and were shocked to see that I was sitting in the shower. I was later told by a nurse that my heart had stopped beating for a moment and then my heart beat was going crazy. The next day I was discharged and told that I was fine. I was so confused about how I could be considered fine after a heart episode like that.

 For the next few years I went to countless doctors and cardiologists as my problem became worse for me and I was fainting often from something as simple as watching TV or walking barley 20 metres. My high heart rate caused me so much pain and exhaustion all the time and as a young person I found it quite hard to cope.

To try to find my problem, I was given 24 hour heart monitors to wear home, but 24 hours wasn't quite long enough to capture a real event. So I was again sent away and told I was fine.  I was always told that I'm too young to have a heart problem and it'll sort itself out. It hasn't and it's getting worse. I'm scared everyday that I'll have a heart attack.

At the age of 20 I finally found a GP who took my story seriously and he gave me some temporary medication to lower my heart rate (which didn't help) and referred me to Kawana (Sunshine Coast) University Public Hospital and it was there I had a Medtronic Loop Recorder implanted in my chest, which I'll have for 3 years. But even now when I go into the hospital for my check ups I am still sent home with a heart rate up to 200 beats a minute. The last time I was there I was quite upset that no-one took my problem seriously and asked for something to help me because I work 2 jobs to pay my bills and get through everyday. (Centrelink offer no assistance as my problem is un-diagnosed.) So working has become extremely hard for me and my social life has collapsed as I can't party, I can't drink alcohol, I'm always very tired from my heart and I can't keep up with normal people. I'm now on 50mg of Metoprolol twice a day and I also suffer with asthma and Metoprolol causes asthma attacks. I still struggle daily with my heart and it only gets worse. I studies a health course to try help people and during my studies I learnt much about the heart and how much it can handle. I know that my heart is very weak by now and I can only hope and pray that it will be strong enough to give me a full life

I'm not sharing my story because I want people to feel bad for me, I'm sharing this because I don't want people to end up like me. Not being taken seriously due to age and not being able to receive proper help as a medical problem isn't coinciding with a known disease. There's something wrong with my heart but because its not in a textbook it's not considered a problem or important.