40 year old having a Heart Cath

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s00z
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 8/21/2005 9:48 PM (GMT -6)   

I am just wondering if anyone is like me.  I am 40 years old with two small children.  I am having a heart catheterization tomorrow because my dr found a possible blockage in the front part of my heart. This was determined after I did a stress test and stress test with and Echo.  I went in to see the dr because I was having many PVC's; (1,800 PVC’s in a 24 hr time period of time.) My question is does this procedure hurt and has anyone else at my age had blockage and how was it repaired? I am very scared and wondering if anyone could give me some advice.

Post Edited By Moderator (Teri16) : 8/23/2005 1:36:46 PM (GMT-6)


Teri16
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Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 8/21/2005 10:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi sOOz, and Welcome! tongue
 
I just want to assure you that many of here including myself have undergone this procedure and as with any type of invasive procedure it does carry it's risks and advantages.  I've included a link here that can explain this procedure better than I can! :)
I had a heart attack at age 46, sOOz, so yes blockages may occur at almost any age! 
 
Were you having any other type of symptoms such as shortness of breath? (SOB)  A tightness in your chest, sometimes it's different between males and females, but generally a 'squeezing' type feeling by the sternum?  Any arm, jaw, neck, back pain?  I can't argue the fact that they think you have a blockage and the cath is considered the "gold standard" of all tests to find out about these blockages - so this may be a good thing for you.
 
You asked if it hurt?  I've had 9 caths and I still think the worst part is the anxiety ahead of time, and the laying afterwards.  They generally numb the area of needle insertion, and you might feel what one of my Dr.'s called a fire ant sting, and while they are injecting the dye perhaps some warmness, but usually nothing that I would consider painful.
 
I've had stents to open up my arteries and angioplasty - I have also had a bypass.  These are things they will discuss with you or should.
 
My best wishes to you!!  Please let me know how you do!!
 
Hugs, Teri tongue
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
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s00z
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 8/21/2005 10:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Teri,
Thank you so much for your response. I do have shortness of breath and I did have tightness in my chest back two weeks ago with the PVC's. Since a week ago Sat. I have not had any tightness, however it did feel tight into my shoulder. I am so tired around the middle of the day. I do run after my 2 year old and 5 year old but I just seem more tired than an year ago. Did you have more energy after your stent was in place?

LibbyG
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 263
   Posted 8/21/2005 10:28 PM (GMT -6)   

hi sooz,

welcome to healing well.  we have a couple of great moderators, and everyone here shares lots of information you will find helpful, especially AFTER your procedure tomorrow. 

like teri said, every procedure has risks, but this procedure is done every day so much more commonly now than it used to be, and i have now had 2 and did just fine.  i had my 2nd one just a few weeks ago.  the only prob i had at all was just a little soreness in my leg afterwards.  the doc keeps telling me i'll be awake, but then i hardly ever remember a thing.  once they give you the "happy stuff" you won't know or care what they're doing!  just be glad you are having it, and hopefully if you are having any problems they can solve them right there.  a friend of mine's 80 year old mother had one last week, 2 days later flew to LA (we're in texas).   although i don't think that was the smartest move, i just wanted you to know that after the stuff wears off you will feel back to normal pretty quickly, although you should do just as your doc says - don't be afraid to ask LOTS of questions, whatever it takes to make you feel better. 

let us hear from you just as soon as you can!

libby


Libby Gilmore, "The glass is half full"!

Teri16
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Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 8/21/2005 10:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Great advice, Libby!  sOOz, as you can see, we have great supportive members here as well!! tongue
 
In answer to your question re did I feel better
afterwards - Yes.  yeah
 
Good Luck!!  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:


s00z
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 8/21/2005 10:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Teri and Libby thanks for the advice. I am hopful taht modern medicine is on my side. Have you heard of women within the 40ish age have blockage? Is it common? Does tightness in the chest and shoulder mean that I have had a heart attack?
Thanks for providing this site for people like me. Keep up the good work. I will check out the web site you offered. Thanks again.

LibbyG
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 263
   Posted 8/21/2005 11:44 PM (GMT -6)   

hi sooz,

i'm a night owl, so you can always count on me for late night answers!

some of your questions are hard to answer, and teri has taught me the value of knowing that everyone is different, etc.  but i'll say, since i had my first heart cath in february, i've done TONS of research and most unfortunately it is not particularly unusual for women under 50 to have heart problems these days.  caused by a variety of things, genetics, poor diet/exercise/smoking, high blood pressure, it can just be so many factors.  do you have a history of heart disease in your family?  i'm sure after your cath they'll be able to give you  much insight into why this happened and help you keep it from happening again. 

tightness might mean a number of things, and again, after the procedure they'll be able to tell you.  i'm guessing you've already had an echocardiogram or an EKG?  they should have been able to tell you from those if you've had a heart attack already.  i think teri's a nurse, she can answer that better. 

and it seems more common, DEPENDING on the kind of problem you have, that they might put "stents" in rather than bypass.  doctors seem to all feel differently about this, and again it depends on what your particular problem is, that is, if you have one.  one of my best friends husband went in 2 days ago, similar tightness, etc.  they DID find some blockage but decided the pain he felt was esophageal, not heart.  so you just don't know, and i understand that a heart cath is the "gold standard" in making the decision about what the matter might be.  so at least you can rest assured you'll be very knowledgeable of your situation after you wake up tomorrow. 

plan on lying flat for a while!  everyone says it's the hardest part, but i just haven't found that to be true.  they keep you pretty stoned and the time goes by pretty easily, i think.  they'll take good care of you while that's going on and then when they stop the good dope you'll wake up pretty fast and hopefully be ready to go.

again, once you get the IV in and the juice flows, you won't be afraid and you'll blink and you'll be outta there (the cath room).  i have found that everyone dealing with that, the team, is always SO nice, they know you're nervous and they always make me feel good, not stupid for being scared.  i ask LOTS of questions.  be ready with your list!  like:

when can i shower.  when can i walk.  should i join a cardiac health program.  how will the drugs help me?  do i have options toward my care?  i'm just thinking outloud, sorry this is so long...

i'm still up if you want to ask more!

libby (what state are you in, if you don't mind my asking?  they say not to divulge personal stuff, like location, and i think that's a smart idea, i'm just curious about state locations!).

 

 


Libby Gilmore, "The glass is half full"!

s00z
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 8/22/2005 6:43 AM (GMT -6)   

Thanks Libby!  I went to bed late last night.  (Let's just say that it was around 12:00 your time. It was much later my time.)  I ended up going to be late to be awoke one hour later with my child needing to go to the bathroom and then waking up at 6:00a.m.  I think I am going to sleep a lot today after the cath.  Thanks for all you info.  Wow you sure do know a lot that helps someone like me have a piece of mind going it to this.  I just keep thinking of my kids and husband.  

I do have family history.  My father at age 76 had a attack.  He is now 80 and doing fine.  Both brothers are on medication for cholesterol.  I have mitrol valve prolapse and have has an ablation done 3 years ago.  My uncle had 3 by passes and did not survive the third.  this was back in the 70's.  I do not smoke and I weigh 105.  I eat fairly well.  But...  my cholesrerol test last week showed that I was 245 over all and my LDL is 163.  I just don't think I am a typical person for heart disease.  However who knows?????

Thanks for all your info. 

 


heartangel
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2004
Total Posts : 638
   Posted 8/22/2005 2:31 PM (GMT -6)   

How was your cath? please fill us in I hope it can show yuo and the Dr why yuo are haveing this problem. You do know  with fmaily history does matter no matter how good you eat and exercisead take care of yuorself it does come into affect yuo might live a few years longer for they have come a long long way in the treatments then why I lost my folks  at 6o my dads side at 65 and my twin brother in 1999,, and yes i have seen people in their teens and  babies with problems too.

But yu found the right place to come and talk and get information and share what you now and learned too. hope to see you in chat at 8pm cst on thursday

Heidi


Love starts with a SMILE
Grows with a KISS
And ends with a TEAR
 
 
IF you want to see GOD laugh tell HIM your plans
 
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Patoolla
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Date Joined Aug 2003
Total Posts : 525
   Posted 8/22/2005 2:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello s00z and welcome.  By now your cath is probably dpme and I hope you will be home soon and let us know how it went as soon as you feel well enough.  God Bless, Pat
 
 
 
 


Teri16
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 8/22/2005 3:26 PM (GMT -6)   
sOOz, wishing you only the best! - and like the others, I'm waiting to hear how you are doing?! 
 
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:


LibbyG
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 263
   Posted 8/22/2005 10:06 PM (GMT -6)   

hi sooz,

we're all anxiously awaiting to hear, hope it has gone very easily and that you

have good news for us -

libby


Libby Gilmore, "The glass is half full"!

pandacrazy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 1326
   Posted 8/23/2005 1:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Sooz, my name is Barb and I am only 42. I went to the ER with left shoulder and arm pain mostly the shoulder in the back and shortness of breath. I kept thinking it was my asthma and fibromyalgia. They whisked me right back when I got there and could hardly talk I was so short of breath. My blood test and ekg were normal. The doc decided to do one more test a stress test with nuclear study and that is when they found what appeared as a dark spot on the upper left side on the front of my heart. They admitted me right away and did a cath a few hours later. My leg bothered me for about a month towards the end of the day and when I went out into the cold. The cold air bothered my breathing and made my chest hurt. It all got better over time. I am so lucky they found it though because I had a 80-90 percent blockage of my left ascending artery. I was told it would not have been long before I would have had a major heart attack and died or had severe damage. Oh I had a stent put in and am doing fine. I still need to lose alot of weight though like 70m pounds. I did go through rehab which I learned alot from. I would recomend doing it. Most of the problems I had were from my med side affects. Let us know how you are doing and I hope you get good news. I've had my stent in place for 8 months now and no problems. Barb
Proud Mother of a US Marine serving in Iraq!


s00z
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 8/23/2005 1:20 PM (GMT -6)   

To all those friends who listened and supported me,

 

I got home late last night.  The cath turned out clean but he did notice my heart having spasms.  He is suggesting placing me on meds for the spasms and high cholesterol. I think he said something about channel blockers or calcium blockers.  I am not sure I heard that right as I was a bit “out of it” after the procedure.  During and right after the procedure things seem a bit blurry.  I don’t know but I am sure I will find out soon. The prolapse valve is leaking and he wants me to talk to the other cardiologist in two weeks about that.  I am so grateful that I do not have blockage even though the stress test and echo/stress test came back positive.  Now I know for sure. I have never heard of "spasms" before.  I wonder if he is talking about PVC's?  I guess I will find out in two weeks. 

 

Thank you for all your support and concern.  I could not share my problem with friends, colleagues, and some family for fear they would worry.  (I hate for people to worry about me.)  That is why your web site gave me good information and a support system that I could feel free to discuss my issue.  And as I found out this procedure is very common.  I hope others can find the comfort of this site in times of stress as I have.  It really put me in a better mind set before the procedure. 

Thank you and good luck to all.

S00z


heartangel
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2004
Total Posts : 638
   Posted 8/23/2005 1:33 PM (GMT -6)   

Sooz

 glad  no blockages but was it a calicum channel blocker they are so many meds outtheir. Maybe when yuo se yuor doctor in 2 weeks  everything will seem clearerr to you.

Also glad yuo found so much suport here on this site that is why we are here for people like you. keep a posting and I hope to see you in caht Thursday night at 8 Pm CST.

Heidi


Love starts with a SMILE
Grows with a KISS
And ends with a TEAR
 
 
IF you want to see GOD laugh tell HIM your plans
 
Please allow healingwell to continue to help others by donating
 


Famulus
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 127
   Posted 8/23/2005 1:38 PM (GMT -6)   
sOOz - that is great news and I'm glad you made it through so well!
I'm sorry for not posting earlier but I've been watching & waiting along with many here. I'm like you - I don't like to worry family/friends either so I rarely talk about it, except here.
I'm glad your arteries are clear - very good news. I'm not sure what he means by spasms either - haven't heard of that one, but I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will come along and 'splain it. I hope the meds will help with the PVC's, and I'll be interested to hear what they have to say about your valve. (I have 2 leaking and one stenotic)
take care & go easy on yourself for awhile.
hugs,
Oona

Teri16
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 8/23/2005 2:15 PM (GMT -6)   
WooHoo, sOOz!  That was some pretty great news - hearing no blockages!
 
Re Calcium Channel Blockers which is what it sounds like he may have been think about...here's a very reputable link.
 
Please let us know re your valve problems!  I have a leaky mitral valve as well, so I'd be interested in hearing what happens.
 
Re heart spasms, I believe you may have heard coronary artery spasms.  They don't always know what causes that particular problem.  Here is another link you might enjoy reading.
 
My best wishes to you, sOOz!!  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:


Kathlyn1950
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2004
Total Posts : 462
   Posted 8/23/2005 3:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello, s00z, after reading everyone's comments, I don't need to tell you anything else, but I just wanted to say how glad I am that you got through this procedure and were able to get some emotional support, as well as information, from our members. We have a lot of very informative people here! Hugs, Kathy
Happy Grandmommy to Amanda, Alayna, Wyatt and Ezekiel


Patoolla
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2003
Total Posts : 525
   Posted 8/23/2005 3:35 PM (GMT -6)   
That's great news that your cath showed good results s00z!  As far as the spasms he may be talking about coronary vaso spasms.  When I had a cath 3 years ago that was their determination for me.  They prescribed 2 different calcium channel blocker meds for me but one of them sent me into immediate SVT arrythmia (very fast heartrate) so they told me to to quit taking both.  (I thought it was kinda ridiculous to take 2 of the same type of med anyway!)   Now they have me take 1 low dose asprin, 81 mg per day.  At this time the doctors don't feel that this is anything to worry about for me since I don't seem to have many episodes of spasms.   I'm sure your doctor will have a better explaination for you when you go in for your follow-up visit.  Hugs, Pat
 
 
 
 


LibbyG
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 263
   Posted 8/23/2005 11:14 PM (GMT -6)   

hi sooz,

yay, what great news, really.  i hate that you didn't get to ask all your questions yet, while you're conscious!  i'm always being told lots of info as i lie there drooling and stoned, then i have to ask all over again when i am really awake.  so you be sure and do the same thing.

i'm with everyone else on the forum - so happy that you had clear artery news, now ask your other questions to the cardiodudes and get all well and let us know how things go!

libby


Libby Gilmore, "The glass is half full"!
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