Bouts of Angina

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7Lil
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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 7/5/2005 3:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi All, I'm new to this forum but not new to HW... I have IBS and post in that forum.  My mother, however, had a heart attack a few years ago and I'm looking for some advice.  She has had a handful of angina attacks since her stenting (sp?) 3 years ago and I'm wondering if that is normal.  How often (per month) is "OK" and when should she seek help for it?  (She currently pops some pill under her tongue to combat the attack when it arises.)  Thanks for reading!

Teri16
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Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 7/5/2005 4:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi and Welcome to the Cardiovascular Forum, 7Lil!! yeah
 
It's nice to meet you, though I'm sure sorry to hear about your Mother!  I'd just like to offer you info so you can understand a little more...
 
First of all, I have had a heart attack and I now suffer from angina, on a daily basis, sometimes very painful.  That said, mine has been diagnosed as small vessel disease and is currently controlled by wearing Nitro Patches and taking Nitro sublingual (under the tongue).  Though it's never normal.  Sometimes there is nothing to be done by surgical intervention and medication alone controls it. 
 
The other case scenario is you have a blocked artery, and you have angina, without surgical intervention, you have a heart attack! - or you have a blocked stent and need surgical intervention, or you have a heart attack!
 
So you see the dilemma here?!  I do not know your Mother's specifics - is her Dr. aware of this current situation? - if not, he/or she needs to be made aware of this!!  The fact that she's taking the Nitro so frequently? - That is not usually normal!! 
 
The Nitro Protocol is 1 tab. under the tongue.  If in 5 min. the pain is not gone, you take a 2nd tab.  If you have to take a 3rd tab.  You should be dialing 911!!
 
I truly hope this helps you understand and I highly (strongly) recommend that your Mother seeks help ASAP and make sure her Dr. knows this is going on, too!
 
I hope you are doing okay??  My best wishes to you and your Mother.
 
Hugs, Teri  tongue
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
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7Lil
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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 7/5/2005 6:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Teri, thanks so much for your reply.... I really appreciate it. Unfortunately, my mother insists she's OK and refuses to see the doc about this (but she did have a stress test a couple weeks ago that apparently must have been normal because I haven't heard otherwise). The last time angina hit her (few days ago) she said she doesn't want to see the doc because she's afraid of surgery. As a mother I think she is being hypocritical because I know she wouldn't want that for her children. Anyway, she claims angina is pretty normal after a heart attack. I guess I just wanted to know how often is normal and when should you start to worry? (Not sure it would really make a difference since she's stubborn - but I want to know anyway.)
Thank you, thank you, thank you for all your help.

Famulus
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 127
   Posted 7/5/2005 7:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Lil - I understand where your Mom is coming from about not wanting surgery and being afraid to go to the Doc. Everyone is within their rights to refuse it and it's not a 'done deal' just because a Doc might suggest it. I will not allow a bum's rush into surgery on myself - at least I hope my wishes would be respected. At times, I'm tempted to have it tattooed on my chest.

It's truly one of my biggest fears too - and also why I stay away ALOT when I might (maybe) be better off going in to see the Doc. I have an advance directive on file at my PCP, local hospital, and in my wallet. I also have 'designated' people (I'm brain dead lol!) who know what I want/do not want in case I'm out. This has a legal term that I can't think of now....

There are drugs to help with angina. (besides nitro) As Teri says, it can be normal after a heart attack, or with other heart conditions - or it may not. All of life is a gamble, and heart disease amplifies that gamble, IMO. Whatever your mother's wishes and reasons are - they must be respected. Why not talk to her about it? A frank and honest discussion with her, and your assurances to her that HER wishes will be carried out by you might allay her fears about going to the doctor.

Teri16
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Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 7/5/2005 8:19 PM (GMT -7)   
7Lil,
 
May I ask your Mother's age? (Just a thought.)  It is not normal to have angina.  It's part of the Heart Disease process. 
 
As Oona has suggested, she is well within her rights if she refuses treatment.  It's sort of sad for you, I understand...but at least you have some idea now of what's happening.
 
Big Hugs, Teri tongue
Please come back here anytime!!
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
Please allow HealingWell to continue helping others by donating:


7Lil
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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 7/5/2005 8:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Famulus, thanks for your reply and further insight. My mother has made it very clear to her family about her wishes in case she is not in the right state of mind (i.e. a vegetable). She has even had it written in her will that power of attorney goes to my sister (who is well aware of her wishes). The way I see things is that if you get help now then maybe it can be fixed easily... with a drug coated stent or something. If you wait, maybe it will be too late. My mom just turned 53 - I want to keep her around to see grandchildren (I'm 26 - no kids). I have tried conversing with her about her "issue" but she protests that it is harmless. I don't think there's anything else I can do. She is a smoker too and won't quit no matter what. I have hit a road block with her but I never stop trying to get through to her. I've even got my sister into it.... Sis has a brain tumor and I ask her to rub it in to my mom that the only reason she had brain surgery was cuz mom wouldn't let it go. I want my sister to insist she see a doc because that is what mom would want for her if her tumor symptoms returned. Well, now I'm going off on a tangent.
I just want my mom to stick around. I need her to seek help but I don't know how to get her to do it.
Thanks everyone for your replies and for listening (reading).
 
Teri - Thanks for your reply.  We must have been writing about the same time because I missed your post.  I appreciate your advice and insight.  You will for sure see me post around some time.  Take care!!!!

Post Edited (7Lil) : 7/5/2005 9:40:55 PM (GMT-6)


Teri16
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Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 7/5/2005 9:10 PM (GMT -7)   
I asked you for her age, cuz it seemed that she might be a bit older...I'm 53 and I'm already living proof of what medical science can do!! :) Thank goodness!-for I do so want to see my children grow up and have their own children!! I have a 31 yr. old son and a 17 yr. old daughter that's a senior this year!

I'm thinking that your Mom is perhaps in denial?, and even a bit of depression, maybe? By continuing smoking, she knows she's not helping herself. This isn't news anymore these days. Smoking can actually cause some arterial spasming according to one of my cardiologists, which in turn can lead to angina as well.

Have you sat down with her and told her what you've said above? Share with her your feelings. I hope your sister is doing better now since her surgery?!

Hugs, Teri :)
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
Please allow HealingWell to continue helping others by donating:


7Lil
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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 7/5/2005 9:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Teri, you're the same age as my mom. What has medical science done for you? Stent? Pacemaker? Surgery?
Ya ya, my sister is fine right now. (That will be another issue for me to visit a different support group when her tumor comes back.)
My mom knows the smoking contributes to her problem but she can't help it. She says she truly enjoys every aspect of smoking. Frankly I don't get it - I liked the feeling but the taste was so terrible it wasn't worth it. Not to mention the bad breathe and stentch of your clothes & hair. I'm not sure about depression though... she has always been a positive person. She runs her own business though, and my dad is unemployed so that stresses her out which has her smoking more and getting more chest pains. It's a viscious cycle that can't seem to be broken. I worry so much when I know she is having chest pains (arm too). I want to be able to tell her "this isn't normal, you have to see a doc" but she seems to have an answer for everything. I guess I just have to pray for her and wish for the best.
Teri, you've been so nice - Thank you!

Famulus
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 127
   Posted 7/5/2005 10:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Lil - This is pure speculation, but I'm going to speculate for a minute that your Mom has a new blockage. As CAD is progressive in most people, this is not unusual at all, and it would require a cath and probably another stent - same as what she has already had done. Is she saying she won't do that again? That is a long long way from open Heart Surgery, which is what I'm assuming she does not want. Due to privacy laws, you'll never know what her Doc has told her, other than what she tells you - unless you accompany her to her appointments (ahem! that's an idea)
On the American Heart Assn website, there is a phrase which is so true (to a point) "most heart disease is avoidable"......smoking fits this theory to a T. (and it definitely contributes to angina) Other controllable risk factors are exercise, weight control, blood pressure control, cholesterol, etc. How is your Mom in those areas? In other words, she can go a long way toward helping herself (and avoiding more problems) if she only would. So much more preferable than medical intervention!
I can sympathize with you about this situation - I suppose I was thinking she was much older when I answered.
I would keep plugging away along with your sister if I were you. I wish you all the best.
hugs,
Oona

7Lil
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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 7/6/2005 9:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello Oona, thank you for your post. I am scared to death that my mother may have another blockage. I'm not sure if she is scared of another stent, I think she thinks surgery would be next no matter what. I think she is sort of a hypochondriac when it comes to this. I have tried to go with her to the doc but I commute to work and she never goes at a time I could make it. Figures. Anyway, no, she is not aggressively controling her weight (she pretends to though, but we all know the truth). She has high blood pressure, but does walk a few times a week. It scares me because she is on the road to serious problems and doesn't even seem to give a darn. It is so frustrating. I get mad at her when she tries to talk to me about my problems (GI trouble) because she doesn't manage her own. Errrr.....
I guess I'll keep nagging her until she breaks down or leaves me forever.
Thanks for all your support!!!

Teri16
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 7/6/2005 11:18 AM (GMT -7)   
Lil,  I'm going to mention this to you only as something for you to think about and use in your own life.  If you'd like to pass this along to your Mother that is okay, too.  You cannot 'make' someone do something.  You can give them suggestions, pass along info, and let them know how much they mean to you.  You are responsible for you.  Please don't take on any guilt for your Mother's current health issues, she has to try and help herself first.
 
7 yrs. ago I had a heart attack and since then, I've done a lot on my own to try and keep going...and I've been a part of my own health team, by keeping informed, researching and learning as much as I can about my illnesses.  I take medications to help, and try and follow my Dr.'s advice.  I quit smoking.  I eat healthy foods, though it didn't happen overnight!, and I still have my 'cheat' foods. tongue I exercised on a treadmill for several years and even tried a stationary bike recently, (until other health issues intervened).  I've had angioplasty, stents and then a bypass (last Aug.).  I volunteer at a pet shop which helps to keep me moving and on my feet now. tongue Yes, I definitely have my days...and I really have to motivate myself from within.  I've fought depression for a couple of years now and am taking anti depressants to help with that.
 
So you see, it's not easy, but it's up to the individual.  So, Lil, you please take care of you now!!  And just help by being there for your Mother.  I sort of know what she's feeling and it can be difficult to change old habits...maybe some more time. yeah
 
With Big Hugs, Teri tongue
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
Please allow HealingWell to continue helping others by donating:


7Lil
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 7/6/2005 11:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, Teri, I appreciate your words of wisdom.

Big Hugs to ALL....
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