Diagnosed 8/12/11 and scared!

CWMecca
By CWMecca Latest Reply 2015-08-11 00:58:42 -0500
Started 2011-08-22 11:36:02 -0500

I had a heart attack on 8/11/11. I went to the ER via ambulance for what I thought was a gall bladder attack. Nope, it was a heart attack. While in the hospital they diagnosed me with heart disease & damage, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes! Talk about overload! They put me on meds, gave me 20 minutes with the Diabetes Education Nurse and sent me home. I'm taking my meds as prescribed but I have NO information on anything else. I see the doctor for my follow up on Thursday and the cardiologist on the 31st. They tell me I have a 100% occluded vessel at the bottom of my heart with damage and disease around the bottom, side and back. Angioplasty couldn't open the vessel. Bypass is a last resort.

To top it all off, last night I woke up twice with tightness in my chest so bad that I had to take a nitro pill, at 3:45 and 5:45. If it keeps up I'll have to call the doctors.

I'm scared and don't know what to do! Can anyone point me in the right direction?


9 replies

CWMecca
CWMecca 2015-08-11 00:58:42 -0500 Report

It's been awhile since I visited this site. Many, many changes in my life. I'm now living alone and loving it. Much less stress. In November of 2014 I went in for a procedure to clear the 100% occluded artery. Unfortunately they couldn't do the procedure because I coded on the table due to an air bubble in the saline IVs. Then in March I had the procedure again and they put in 4 stents. A few weeks ago I was hospitalized again and found out that all 4 stents are now blocked. I saw my cardiologist and he said that it does happen and we'll continue with the medications. In March they added another blood thinner. I'm done about 60 pounds too! My diabetes is under better control as well.

CWMecca
CWMecca 2011-08-24 20:07:30 -0500 Report

Bypass surgery is a last resort, according to the cardiologist, because there are secondary vessels feeding that area of the heart so it's not starving. They'd like to see if the meds will help the blockage before rushing to surgery. I see him next week and then again in 6 weeks after that.

I just got home from 2 more nights in the hospital for chest pain & vomiting. I'm nauseous now and now sure why but I'm hoping to keep dinner down in a bit. They're adjusting my meds now and adding a daily long acting nitro pill.

I'm in Las Vegas and travel isn't an option. I trust my doctors here and am doing all they tell me to do.

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2011-08-24 22:32:54 -0500 Report

CW,

Ok, great, looks like you are stable so optimal non-surgical treatment is the way to go. I am gratified to see your doc sees it the same way - sounds like a keeper!

Have they given you any reason for the continuing chest pain and nausea? I tcould be many things including anxiety. Of course, any thoracic pain could also trigger nausea. I have found Zofran (ondansetron) to be a miracle worker for nausea (I have Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome - basically tummy migraines).

HH

CWMecca
CWMecca 2011-09-10 22:19:40 -0500 Report

I had a 3rd hospitalization and they finally did more tests. They found I have a sliding type hernia which may be causing acid reflux, hence the chest pain and vomiting. They prescribed medication and sent me home again. I had my 1st follow up visit yesterday and got NO information on anything from the attending physician! NOTHING, in spite of question after question. I see the cardiologist this coming Wednesday so I hope HE has some answers for me. I got copies of my discharge papers and these had all the diagnoses. I found out that not only do I have one vessel 100% occluded there are 2 others 80% occluded they didn't tell me about! I can't take much more.

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2011-09-10 22:53:59 -0500 Report

CW,

Believe it or not you got some good news, a definitve diagnosis that allows you to take proper action and treatment. That 100% occlusion may need to be addressed so push it with your cardiologist. The 80% blockages can be treated with optimal non-surgical therapy if they are stable. Finally, FIRE the docs who refuse to provide answers!

You will find knowledge to be power! It took being curled up in a ball on the bathroom floor for me to take action and kick butt. Docs aren't gods, they are consultants we hire. The sooner we make them figure out we pay their salaries the better off we will all be. If you have questions or need strategies just stop back here!

HH

CWMecca
CWMecca 2011-08-26 15:08:30 -0500 Report

They never did tell me any reason for the chest pain and nausea/vomiting, in spite of my asking repeatedly. I'm sure anxiety, worry and stress are probably causes. I'm doing better in that area now that I'm on the daily nitro pill.

CWMecca
CWMecca 2011-10-07 02:05:28 -0500 Report

Saw my cardiologist yesterday. I've been having chest pains for the last few days and my ankles are swollen. He was concerned about that and the fact that I was in pain just walking from the parking lot to his office. We decided that a 2nd angioplasty was in order and it would be done next Monday, the 10th. So that's in the works. If that doesn't work I think it'll be bypass surgery next. I'm now on Plavix too.

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2011-10-07 21:32:08 -0500 Report

CW,

Hmm, they put you on Plavix immediately BEFORE an invasive surgical procedure? That's a little wierd. There may be a reason but they usualy take you OFF Plavix right before a surgery. If you can get to another doc, any kind of doc, ask about this unusual prescription.

Like I said, there may be a reason given your many challenges. I'm just not certain what it is. Please report back. I'm curious to know why!

HH

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2011-08-22 23:30:07 -0500 Report

CW,

Wow, that is quite an overload indeed. Let' start at the top.

  1. No doubt you had a catheterization to determine the location and severity of the blockage so the docs have a good idea about the problem. Make certain to have the doc on Thursday discuss why they discharged you with a 100% occluded vessel and do not already have you scheduled for bypass surgery. There could be many good reasons but it bears investigation and reassurance to allay your fears. The good news is you have been diagnosed. If you are indeed stable the latest studies verify that optimal non-surgical treatment (drugs, etc.) is just as effective as surgery.

  2. You are right to call the docs and even go to ER with continuing chest pain if nitro does not quickly resolve it.

  3. Stay on all your meds. Optimal treatment is only optimal if you comply with it. I would start shopping now for second opinions on your treatment for the 100% occluded vessel.

  4. The best resource I know for heart disease prevention and reversal is typ.trackyourplaque.com. The info there is from cardiologist William R. Davis who is the best I know. It is a membership site with a small fee but there is also free info available if you snoop around. If you live close to Milwaukee, WI or can travel to see him I would. Another doc with a similar program is Bill Blanchet in Boulder, Colorado.

You got a lot thrown at you all at once and it is scary. It will take some time to adjust as it did for me. My advice is to err on the side of caution. Make your docs listen and make them talk to you. Spend as much time learning about heart disease and your conditions. It will help you ask the right questions and know when you are being told less than the truth!

Keep us informed of your progress and feel free to ask more specific questions. The more specific you are the more we can help!

HH

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