Let me start with the frustration. I visited three different Drs. before the attack and I'm guessing that they suspected something, because each did a 12 lead EKG in the office. Results, nothing showed. None of them mentioned to me that the symptoms may have been small attacks, which I had for over a year before the "big one". If I thought I was having heart attacks, with the symptoms, when I had the long lasting blockage I sure wouldn't have waited overnight to go in to emergency.
Being 63 they all did stacks of blood tests, the same things along with the EKG, so I assumed it was just part of the standard tests.
Now the new Dr. took care of things best he could and I'm very thankful and happy. Talked to a friend afterword and he said "lucky to be alive" which the operating cardiologist also commented more than once. 100% blockage of the LAD "widowmaker" and 75% blockage in another. Wow and nothing showed on those EKGs.
One of the reasons for writing the messages is because only after the attack did someone else say, oh, I had the same thing, and didn't know it was heart attack symptoms. He was A fireman who worked rescue squad. I'm hoping that after all that, maybe one person will read this message and see something that helps them get to the Dr. and be aware that it's atypical heart attack symptoms - possibly?
Started with tightness in my throat and neck. Often was a cramp in my right arm, bicep. Want weird? Wrong arm, not chest pain. I'd have tiny attacks when I got up in the morning, and they would pass after a few minutes. Only once did one last more than five minutes and that was an episode between EKG 3 and the heart attack. Maybe it would have shown, as the tiny ones didn't.
Want more? A week or two before the attack, I went hiking for over four hours. Down a steep bluff, along a river, up and down hills, with the long steep climb out again. Not even a twinge of pain. Sure shortness of breath, but climb a quarter mile up a hill, nothing unusual. :)
Now I have quit smoking (a little late but at least I finally did) I'm on Plavix, Simvastat, lisoprinol, metoprolol, (sp I don't know) baby aspirin, take a vitamin and fish oil every day too. Had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoked, marginally overweight, don't regularly exercise, only thing missing from the risk factors was, I don't have diabetes. Wow, unexploded bomb ticking.
Had a stress test and two echos since the procedures, I'm up to 50% heart function if I read the reports right, which is bottom of "normal". Fairly pleased with that.
Question? Stents, in July and December 2010 - I still have tickles and twinges. Some mornings I wake up and have small stabs on the left. Once or twice I've had a burning sensation. Sometimes during the day I get a pressure or pain on the right side of the heart, near the sternum. Every now and then I can feel a slight blip, maybe a skip, I don't know. Twitches and palpitations. When I sleep on my left side, I can feel my pulse/heartbeat. I asked at re-hab also asked the Dr., what they say is "if it's not the same pain you had when you had the attacks, don't worry."
Well considering past experience, yes I'm worried about what I'm not being told. I understand I'm not cured, but these pains, thumps, tickles and twitching bother me. Every day some pain or symptoms, and I can't find anything about what it feels like after getting multiple stents. What should I be watching for. Should I be concerned?
I'm happy for what the cardiologist did and he's wonderful. New primary care physician, who of course did all the same blood tests for about the 6th time. ;) But I wonder how much I'm not being told, again?