I've been told by one doctor that I have Prinzmetal Angina because of the sporadic chest pain I was having. This was AFTER my first stent when I continued to have chest pains. She quit her practice to move on to better things. I went to a "top doc" cardiologist in the nearest city who said my chest pains were NOT heart related if they weren't CONSTANT. So, I didn't tell him when pains were bad and coming more frequently last winter. They weren't constant. I had pains while seeing GP with my 96-year-old dad. The GP sent me for a stress test which showed a slight problem. He sent results to Cardio who recommended a cath which surprised me but was glad because I did need a stent (my second). I have continued to have chest pains even while on more meds. He said I'm just fine and to quit worrying. I don't think I worry but, darn, when I get chest pains that make me stop whatever I'm doing I have to wonder what is going on.
I sought out another cardiologist who said I DO NOT have Printzmedal angina, simply microvascular and vascular disease but don't worry because IF it is your heart, the pain will be constant and you will KNOW it if it is your heart.
That brings me to my question (and this is probably very weird/silly on my part). What constitutes bad enough chest, jaw, arm pain to call doctor, go to ER? I live alone and in a very small town. My kids live an hour away near a big city. They think I have a very low pain tolerance. I don't think so but I sure doubt myself any more.
I had pains this past Saturday that started in my chin/neck, went imediately to my chest and between my shoulder blades. I was driving on an interstate highway and couldn't pull over to get my Nitro, which I didn't want to take while driving anyway. I made it to my daughters about a half hour later. I still had pains but they had lessened. On a scale of 1 to 10 and 10 being "take me to an ER, I think I'm dying" I would say what I experienced while driving Saturday was a 7, maybe 8. Not horrible but I was getting very stressed, worried. I could feel my heart racing and I got hot and sweaty. By the time I got to my daughter's it was maybe a 4/5. I didn't take the Nitro then because I didn't think I should for that low of pain. Plus I still had to drive an hour home later in the day. Nitro gives me a bad headache plus I feel weird afterwards. I continued to have "twinges" the rest of the day. However, nothing since.
I'm not one to go to the doctors. I usually wait - sometimes too long. I waited too long once for a cold/cough only to go into pneumonia. I've never gone to the ER even though I passed out once while "on the throne" during the middle of the night. I woke up on the floor wondering where I was. God only knows how long I laid there. I crawled back to bed and went to sleep. Next morning I went to GP because I had a big knot on my forehead. Turns out that time I had a UTI. I'm sure if my husband had been around I would have been at the ER but...
How does a person know what to do, when?
I'm goofy, right?