Hello... Can anyone help

Hi all,

I'm new here and wondered if anyone else could help before I go into complete melt down....

I had a exercise test on Friday which had to be stopped after 2.5 mins and I have now been put on the URGENT angiogram list and sent home to wait.

The cardiac nurse bless him was excellent, howeve he made me feel like I'm about to fall over gripping my chest and now I feel scared to be on my own.

He advised me not to drive, not to do anything which puts any strain on my heart, to carry on with my meds...

Has anyone else any experience of this... Does the length of time you can exercise have any correlation to the extend if CAD?

Many thanks all

Take care

Cindy xx

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I think your nurse was a bit over reacting. What meds are you already on? The exercise test seems to affect people differently, some people sail through it despite having had heart attacks or having significant blockages. I am one of those. Four days post two heart attacks I had one and did really well. Three weeks later I had another heart attack because I had a 95% occlusion. Some people do poorly on the test and have no occlusions at all. So I think you can relax and wait for the angio. If they thought you were at immediate risk you would not be listed as urgent, you would have been in the cath lab that day. I don't know how they categorize in your country, but in mine urgent means as soon as possible but that could be a couple of weeks. I am on an urgent consult list right now, in my third week of waiting to get an appointment, so the word urgent may not necessarily translate to needing to be scared. There is no point in panicking over a poor stress test, many, many people do poorly on them without any significant heart disease. The angio will give you a better picture of what is going on, it is an easy procedure for most people. Good luck to you.

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I suspect ekg changes were seen. For now just try to relax as much as you can. If you feel any chest/neck/jaw/arm pain and/or pressure, especially if accompanied by shortness of breath, sweating, or nausea, call EMS to go to hospital. Most likely nothing bad will happen. Just don't exert yourself and try to stay calm. If you have questions, call the doctor's office. There will be someone on call for the weekend.

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I cannot improve over this advice. I always passed my stress tests with flying colors and one week after the last one, almost to the minute, I suffered a heart attack. Obviously, you need further testing and I suggest you call the office on Monday to see when you will be scheduled. Good luck and keep us posted.

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Thanks for the replies, I'm on beta blockers, simvastatin and aspirin at the moment... I do have quite
A lot Of breathlessness and my heart beats keep jumping when I'm at rest xxx

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Hi Cindylou,

Good advice already posted. Sometimes
health care professionals give the information
that needs to be passed on, but in the doing so
frighten the s**t out of their patients. As threesacharm
said, if you were in 'great' danger, you would have
been sent straight to hospital, not home to wait.
I know how scared you are feeling though, as i
had a similar experience. The words that stuck in
my head were 'you are at an unacceptable risk of
sudden death' Made me slightly paranoid :-)
Hard to feel relaxed and stress free with that in
the back of your mind heheheheh
Hang in there, let us know how you get on.
Lots of great people here to listen and answer
Best of luck.


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Also, I think this is a good lesson, for all of us. You didn't ask the questions. We are all guilty of this, we hear something from a medical professional, we don't ask the questions because we think they will just tell us what we need to know. But, the interesting thing is that most of the time, they will wait for you to ask and if you don't ask, they do not necessarily volunteer things. Then we are in the position of not even knowing what we were supposed to ask. So we go home, think about what they said, and get panicky because we don't have the info. So a good heads up is to carry a notepad and pen. Ask questions. Why are you ordering this test? What do you expect to find? What makes you think that? What other possibilities are there? How serious is this? What exactly does urgent mean? And if it is something like a stress test you can directly ask, "do you think I have heart disease or a blockage". So now you know, it is your right to ask. When the nurse gave you those cautions, in retrospect, you should have asked why and if the nurse didn't want to answer he could have called the doc back. You mention you thought he was excellent. I don't agree. He made you afraid without giving you any information and he knows why the angio was ordered. To me, that is not compassionate at all. And, your right as a patient was violated. You have a right to know any information they have. We all must be our own advocates in whatever healthcare system we are in and information empowers us to be part of the team in our own health. Hopefully you will get your angio call soon and the peace of mind that comes with having the answers it will bring. Peace.

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Thanks again, I am starting to feel better... Perhaps I just needed to share this with some people who understand.

Maybe I didn't give enough information, he said that from the chest X-ray he could see my heart was enlarged, but I've had consistent hi BP readings so that could be the reason for that.

The stress test indicated that 2 of the 3 vessels to my heart were impaired and that there was damage to the right and rear of my heart muscle... His advice really was " don't exert yourself, he didn't recommend driving, to stay away from stress and to try to relax and he would get me on the a angio list as an urgent, and in the meantime call the ER if I am worried".

I think I panicked cos my brother had a bi MI which led to to a triple heart bypass a couple of years ago.

Take care all

Cindy xx

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Okay, that gives a different picture. From your post I had the impression you were not given any info. You are right we do understand. Heart stuff is tough anyway. I hope you get in soon, that will go a long way in helping you.family history and experience always gives us extra thought. I know my siblings have really changed a lot in their lives since my MI, they know their risk factors took a jump. Nobody wants to be me.......good luck and keep us posted.

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Hi CindyLou,

So sorry to hear about your stress test being difficult. Not that misery likes company at all,
but like you i have difficulty when exercise stress test raises heart rate pressure too high.
It feels like the heart is going to pop. When stress tests need to be done, technician is made
aware so I signal when can't continue the test and they will let me know at what point they can
capture the heart ultrasound picture so test is success and I'm not spent or further injured.

Like you, I too unfortunately have an enlarged scar heart.
Nurse Practioner informed not even to vaccum rugs to leave chores for family (as a Mom I do vaccum
and clean house but in smaller amounts throughout the day instead of one big chore (as smaller
amounts are less exerting so finding limitations helps).

The only suggestion I would add to the excellent advice already given you above, is to take
someone close to you with the cardiologist appointment. Besides being your own advocate, it
helps if someone else takes in the information down and can compare notes too. If you do not
have someone available to accompany you on the appointment (due to work schedules, etc.),
ask the nurse or doctor if it's okay to tape record your visit so you will not miss any health information
or instructions of your condition. Also ask for a copy of your medical records of visit findings as it will
help guide you from visit to visit so can prompt you with helpful questions to ask about your wellness.

Did the cardiac nurse say you definately have CAD? Did they do any other type of testing besides the
exercise stress test? The doctor suspected I had heart disease but further tests such as the TEE test
confirmed the specifics.

It's tuff but hang in there. Best wishes. Kitty

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Hi kitty, many thanks for your reply.

To date this is the only test that they've done, he didn't confirm anything but said that as my reaction to the exercise test was so conclusive and that the result showed impaired blood flow to 2 vessels that it strongly indicated CAD.

My brother had a big MI about 9 years ago... He's 7 years older than me, he had a triple bypass,my father also had heart disease, so I'm ready for them to confirm it.

If its a false alarm though... Ill be ecstatic!

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Hi MaryLou,

Wishing it is a fluke or false alarm for you too but maybe a more precise test like ultrasound, etc. might find cause why you experienced it.

Did your cardilogist schedule another visit? If so, prepare a list of questions to ask at your next meeting. Even if we remember the questions to ask, sometimes being busy or distracted when with doctor we forget something want to ask so writing those questions down will give you the answers. Best wishes, (^j^ angel to watch over you.) Kitty

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Hi kitty,

No be didn't, he just said that I would go on the 'urgent' list and would be seen ASAP.

I wonder though if a blocked artery can be felt as I have a pain, a bit like a dull ache which comes a d goes in my chest.

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I don't know what other people experienced but I had a 95% blocked artery and I did not feel anything from it until I had a heart attack. My only symptoms before that were fatigue and some shortness of breath upon exertion, no pain.

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The pain that comes and goes in your chest could be angina. Do you have nitroglycerin to take when you have it? If not, do not hesitate to go to emergency department if it comes and does not subside quickly with rest.

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Hi yes I have and I am getting used to it... I haven't used it for the pain I get when I am sitting but may try it.

I've been for my pre op assessment now for my angio and know that the cardiologist will go in via my wrist I feel. Bit better about that than him going in via my groin xxx

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I had it through the wrist, easier afterward.

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Thanks... I wasn't looking forward to the groin x

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They put a tension band on with a wad of gauze, mine had to be on for three hours. I could get up though to go to the bathroom, or sit up and eat my meals. I had to stay overnight but only because I live five hours from the hospital, if I had lived closer I could have gone home. I have a teeny little scar at the wrist, straight up from the thumb on the underside. I had some bruising there and it ached for a few days. I was not sedated, so I got to watch the whole thing, it was interesting and kind of amazing. Not everybody can have it through the wrist, they do a little test to check your wrist artery and not all interventional cardiologists can do it tht way. I was really glad mine did. He does almost all of his that way. Good luck to you.

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you didn't mention anything about your food plan? when uncle had stents put in he was amazed at the list of foods that were recommended and the foods NOT recommended -- he wasn't happy to give up his fried sausage, his boloney, his whole eggs, his all white non-fiber bread, his whole milk, the massive gobs of butter he put on nearly everything, his battered/deep fried cat fish -- but since my auntie has changed her cooking ways (low or no salt, no fat, etc) his choles has gone normal along with his formerly high BP so he's off statins and BP meds oh and he's drinking lots and lots of water water water instead of high-sugar sodas and sweet tea

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I haven't been given a food plan yet, I am expecting one though.

I don't really eat fried foods and I'm not a big red meat eater either... I also have the added complication of having crohns does ease, although I Amin remission at the moment.

How are you feeling now areyou completely better ?

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