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Could use some quick advice...

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  • Could use some quick advice...

    Hi All,

    I've been having a lot more chest pain and tightness, strange heart rhythms, dizziness, and trouble breathing lately than i normally do... and these past few days it's been especially bad. I've got some serious fatigue issues as well, a headache that just won't go away, and it hurts pretty bad when i take a deep breath.

    My next appointment at the cardiologist isn't until late April. I called his office yesterday, and his nurse relayed a message from him that i should take more atenolol and he'd move my appointment up to the end of March. That's the best they said they could do.

    Aside from the fact that i have a cardiologist who never wants to see me or talk to me, and is soon to make my list of 'you're fired' doctors...

    Is this something i should go to the ER to have checked out? I feel like i need to do something today. I've never been certain as to how bad you're supposed to let things get before you to to the emergency room, and i don't want to go up there and get treated like i'm wasting their time.

    Thanks,

    Jim
    "Some days you're the dog... some days you're the hydrant."

  • #2
    Re: Could use some quick advice...

    Hi Jim,

    My experience has been that you if you are questioning whether you should visit the ER then you probably should just head on over there or at least get the opinion of a primary care physician (if you have one that's in tune with your heart health). It's not much fun, but at least you'd be hooked up to monitors and they could immediately begin assesing what is happening. With a number of symptoms occuring it would seem wise to have it checked it as soon as possible and waiting to the end of March is too far away in my opinion!

    Take care, let us know what you decide to do and how you are feeling,
    Lynn
    Lynn Stewart
    HOCM 4/2002
    Cleveland Myectomy Crew 8/2002

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    • #3
      Re: Could use some quick advice...

      Wow- a Cardiologist who wouldn't see me within 24 hours of what could be a PROBLEM would be off my list for sure. These are symptoms that I would take to the ER. I would pick a Hospital that has a Great Cardiac Center & present myself to them. My Cardiologist (a decent HCM specialist) has always told me to err on the side of caution - what can it hurt?
      Get Thee to the ER
      RONNIE
      RONNIE

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      • #4
        Re: Could use some quick advice...

        I would trust your judgement and as far as cardiologist goes I'd say "your fired"

        Mary S.

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        • #5
          Re: Could use some quick advice...

          Get thee to an Emergency room. What would you prefer – an ER doctor that say’s, “You’re OK, go home,”, or a mortician who say’s, “What a waste”?

          You know, By Golly, you just might have a problem that’s treatable, and in fact needs treatment. We sure would NOT like to lose you.
          Burt

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          • #6
            Re: Could use some quick advice...

            Jim, I also hope you get to the ER soon. You may have to do the show and tell thing again. With the holding your breath and bearing down. I think you are the one that told us about that, one of the last times you were in the hospital. Or do I have you and Glenn mixed up agin? Just kidding. Hang in and let us know what happens.
            Donna B. HCM & ICD. 2 sons with HCM. Brother passed away from HCM at the age of 39. Mother has HCM.

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            • #7
              Re: Could use some quick advice...

              Jim, I concure with all of the above, too many things going on to speculate about what is truly happening ,go to the ER ,PLEASE. Pam
              Dx @ 47 with HOCM & HF:11/00
              Guidant ICD:Mar.01, Recalled/replaced:6/05 w/ Medtronic device
              Lead failure,replaced 12/06.
              SF lead recall:07,extracted leads and new device 2012
              [email protected] Tufts, Boston:10/5/03; age 50. ( [email protected] 240 mmHg ++)
              Paroxysmal A-Fib: 06-07,2010 controlled w/sotalol dosing
              Genetic mutation 4/09, mother(d), brother, son, gene+
              Mother of 3, grandma of 3:Tim,27,Sarah,33w/6 y/o old Sophia, 5 y/o Jack, Laura 34, w/ 5 y/o old Benjamin

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              • #8
                Re: Could use some quick advice...

                Hey Everybody,

                Went to the ER after posting the message this morning. It was time for my six-month cancer checkup anyway, so the bloodwork and chest x-rays they did actually killed two birds with one stone. (Everything's fine on the cancer front by the way.) They put me on a heart monitor, ran an EKG, and did all the usual diagnostic heart tests, including the sestamibi nuclear scan thingy. Anyway, the good news is that i did not have a major cardiac event or anything.

                What seems to be happening is that my outflow tract gradient is going in the wrong direction (heading back up toward 100mm) and the atenolol isn't doing a lot to help anymore. Thus the increase in symptoms. Looks like surgery is in my future, and if i can just hold it together until the semester is over, i'll probably have the surgery this summer and have a month or two to recuperate before the fall term. In the meantime, i'll just have to buck up and learn to live with the increased symptoms.

                The ER doctors and personnel were extremely patient and understanding... and told me several times that i did the right thing by going in. My cardiologist's office was also consulted, and he wants to see me as soon as possible. I guess he didn't think it was all that serious until he got a call from the ER

                Thanks for all the advice,

                Jim
                "Some days you're the dog... some days you're the hydrant."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Could use some quick advice...

                  Jim,
                  I’m very glad to hear that you are not in any eminent danger. Go see your cardiologist to see what he has to say about the situation and any drug modifications.

                  Then here's some more quick advice. By all means get a cardiologist who is both up on HCM and willing to see you without you having to go to the ER to get an appointment to see him. I’ve never heard of a doctor who won’t see you if you say you have a problem. He’s a candidate for the scrap heap if I ever heard one.
                  Burt

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                  • #10
                    Re: Could use some quick advice...

                    Jim - Before you head straight for the operating room, there are other medicines you haven't tried yet which might reduce your gradient. Have you tried Verapamil? What about Norpace? Neither of these are beta blockers, and one of them might be able to reduce your symptoms. Maybe you should talk to Dr. Maron about changing up your meds, and have him talk to your local doctor. My doctor says that surgery should be a last resort. You will never be "cured" or have a normal heart, even after surgery. You will still have symptoms and problems, they might just be different. I would personally recommend exhausting your medicine options before I asked for open heart surgery.

                    Just my opinion, but don't give up the ghost yet!
                    Daughter of Father with HCM
                    Diagnosed with HCM 1999.
                    Full term pregnancy - Son born 11/01
                    ICD implanted 2/03; generator replaced 2/2005 and 2/2012
                    Myectomy 8/11/06 - Joe Dearani - Mayo Clinic.

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