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More confused than ever

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Abbygirl2 Find out more about Abbygirl2
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  • More confused than ever

    Hello everyone,

    I had my 'second opinion' appointment with a new cardiologist on Monday(actually it was postponed until Tuesday).

    After travelling 5 hours, I get to my appointment to be told the Dr couldn't make it in that day. So we reschedule for for Tuesday. (Unexpected hotel costs-and some phone calls to find someone to watch the kids overnight).
    On Tuesday, they inform me they have not recieved any of my tests(EKG, holter,Echo) from my GP. So the Dr really had nothing to look at. He had not scheduled me for the stress test(that I was promised I would be getting), so all I had done was the EKG. Which apparently looked fine.


    This Dr was pretty good though, he knew alot about HCM even though I do question some of his ideas. He rescheduled me to come back in 2 weeks and said he would do the stress test etc.

    So basically other than sitting there talking we didn't get far. I am ticked at my GP for not sending him the tests.

    The one good thing that came out of this app, is that this Dr said he kind of branched off into the study of HCM, and he said that Dr Wigle(Toronto) was his mentor. He said he would get me a referral to Dr Wigle if I wanted.
    He will be joining Dr Wigle in Toronto for a few weeks in August and said I could see them both down there.

    Anyway, I didn't learn much, got few of my questions answered, and still feel like ****. He set me up with a loop recorder but I haven't used it yet.
    He claimed that Atenolol was best for me and that all the BB would both lower my heart rate and BP so there was no sense in switching(at this point).

    Well, I have more to say but have to cut this short-I have to pick up my little guy from speech therapy.

    Thanks for listening...
    Pam
    It's not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived.

    Dx in Feb/99. Obstructed. No ICD, no surgeries, no family history. 2 sons ages 14 and 6.

  • #2
    Re: More confused than ever

    Dear Pam,

    Sorry this was so frustrating!!! I would like to hear what strange ideas this new cardiologist has. It sounds like a joint visit in Toronto would be a good idea.

    Best wishes,
    Rhoda

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: More confused than ever

      Hi, I am back now, some of the things I questioned were... He said that being really overweight can sometimes cause HCM.(This ones new to me-although it doesn't fit me anyway, as I am not very overweight(although am a bit ) Plus I have only gained the weight since being diagnose.

      Also, he questioned whether I even have HCM because I didn't have any risk factors...HUH?? He said he would have to see for himself and judge based on the criteria.
      Ok, I have an enlargement(small though it is), I am obstructed, plus I have all the symptoms.
      Maybe he's just playing it safe as he can't very well diagnose me without having seen my echo(thanks to my GP).

      He said that a chemical stress test and regular stress test are 2 completely different things, so he was quite surprised that my regular card. never gave me a stress test.

      He also said that Amyl Nitrate should never be administered in a clinic-only in the hospital as there are sometimes serious consequences. Now I'll be freaked out about that.

      He also said that I need an echo ever year regardless(we have to watch my gradient), whereas my regular card. says only every couple yrs(as there has been no change in the past 6 yrs).

      I am so confused and not sure what to do. My regular cardiologist is the head of cardiology and works in a large center in a larger city, this new guy though he seemed more thorough, worked in a small dumpy office, which really needed to be cleaned(and organized). The whole office seemed unprofessional, and unorganized.

      Who's opinion do I trust, where do I go from here. I would really like to see a specialist but I can't right now, hopefully soon.

      One good note is I finally got my (HCM)book and have read it cover to cover. Very informative.

      Give me your opinions please. And yes I will try to get to a specialist!! I just don't know which cardiologist to stick with and who to belive(and trust).

      Thanks all,
      hope your all feeling great!!!!

      Pam
      It's not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived.

      Dx in Feb/99. Obstructed. No ICD, no surgeries, no family history. 2 sons ages 14 and 6.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: More confused than ever

        Ok, you want opinions, right?

        1. A doctor who thinks that atenolol is the only medicine that will work for you without having tried others isn't doing you a good service. Everyone metabolizes meds differently and just because other drugs might be beta blockers too, that doesn't mean you'll react exactly the same with each of them.

        2. HCM is NOT NOT NOT caused by being overweight. If you have HCM, then it's a genetic mutation that caused it. You can be 5'6" and weigh 125 lbs and still have HCM, obstructed or not.

        3. You don't have to have risk factors (I assume you mean for sudden death) to have HCM. There are a lot of people out there who haven't fainted, had a drop in BP, had family members die young, had v-tach, and have septums <3 cm and they still have HCM.

        I've said enough for now, but those things just jumped right out at me. Remember, you asked for opinions.

        Reenie
        Reenie

        ****************
        Husband has HCM.
        3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: More confused than ever

          Pam, if you can get that referal to Dr. Wigle, I would do it.
          You are getting mixed from messages from doctors who know little too not much about HCM.
          Dr. Wigle has been my HCM doc for 30 years now and I recomend you try to see him.
          Every great thing that has ever happened since the beginning of time has started as a single thought in someones mind.
          So if you are capable of thought then you are capable of great things
          Good luck and stay well.
          Glen

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: More confused than ever

            Thanks all for your replies(and opinions) I have decided that I am going to stick with the information I already know to be true via Lisa and the rest of you all.

            One more thing I forgot to add earlier. Apparently when my brilliant GP sent the referal letter to this new cardiologist, she said(in the letter) that I had dilated cardiomyopathy. I have been seeing my GP for 2 yrs now and she STILL can't remember the name of this condition.

            Ah well, I got a good chuckle out of it all, the whole trip was such a disaster!! Live and learn.

            Take care,
            Pam
            It's not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived.

            Dx in Feb/99. Obstructed. No ICD, no surgeries, no family history. 2 sons ages 14 and 6.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: More confused than ever

              Dear Pam,
              You remind me of the man who had a watch, and always knew exactly what time it was, while his brother who had two watches was never completely sure which one was right.

              The best solution I can see would be for you to become completely conversant in HCM and your particular set of symptoms, so that you can take the lead in obtaining the proper tests and medications to fit your personal needs.

              Glen’s advice to work toward seeing Dr. Wigle sounds like a good move to me
              Burt

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: More confused than ever

                Hi. I'm fairly new to the board but I just had a second opinion Thursday with a Dr. from another cardiology group in town. I did it because my cardiologist suggested in January that I have an acohol ablation done.
                This doctor said from my records that I have concentric HCM and I don't remember hearing that specific diagnosis before so I hear you when you say its confusing. He also said because of that, he doesn't see where ablation would help. What I really liked about him was what else he said --- if I had been his patient, he would have advised me from the beginning to be seen and evaluated at an HCM center -- which is exactly what I was planning to do next.
                Dana

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: More confused than ever

                  Hi Dana. I'm glad you've found a new doctor who agrees that a visit with an HCM center is a good idea. Please keep us posted.

                  Reenie
                  Reenie

                  ****************
                  Husband has HCM.
                  3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: More confused than ever

                    Hi Dana, That was one thing this new Dr said that I was happy about. I know I need to get to a specialist, and hopefully I will be more certain of where things should be heading with me. I hope you get a chance to see someone soon, good luck. Nice meeting you.

                    Take care
                    Pam
                    It's not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived.

                    Dx in Feb/99. Obstructed. No ICD, no surgeries, no family history. 2 sons ages 14 and 6.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: More confused than ever

                      [quote]
                      Originally posted by Abbygirl2
                      Hi, I am back now, some of the things I questioned were... He said that being really overweight can sometimes cause HCM.(This ones new to me-although it doesn't fit me anyway, as I am not very overweight(although am a bit ) Plus I have only gained the weight since being diagnose.
                      Right here I have some major concerns! HCM is genetic, your weight has nothing to do with it!

                      I would question him on this before moving any further.

                      Lisa
                      Knowledge is power ... Stay informed!
                      YOU can make a difference - all you have to do is try!

                      Dx age 12 current age 46 and counting!
                      lost: 5 family members to HCM (SCD, Stroke, CHF)
                      Others diagnosed living with HCM (or gene +) include - daughter, niece, nephew, cousin, sister and many many friends!
                      Therapy - ICD (implanted 97, 01, 04 and 11, medication
                      Currently not obstructed
                      Complications - unnecessary pacemaker and stroke (unrelated to each other)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: More confused than ever

                        His belief was that most(98%) of HCM cases are genetic however rarely an individual can have HCM from an entirely different cause, some unknown as to date. Although I know obesity is not the case for me, we have not yet nailed down why I have it. It could still be genetic(me being the starter) but I don't think he wanted to rule out anything at this point.
                        When a genetic condition springs up out of nowhere, there are many questions....like OK Who is my REAL father. LOL


                        Also I have come across some information that has made me wonder why HCM was the automatic diagnosis. From my understanding it should take more than an EKG and echo to diagnose HCM. Catheter, biopsy, stress test, are all important tests, none of which I have had.
                        I am definately going to question him on the obese factor, he isn't convinced of HCM based on ECHO and EKG results(which he did not see for himself.) If I come out of his office with a different diagnosis or reason to doubt HCM, I will scream!! I don't doubt I have it, 2 cardiologists have agreed on that much, BUT this guy studied under Dr Wigle, how can I NOT believe what he says?

                        I am lucky enough to come from a healthy family other than some high blood pressure and thyroid disorders, everyone is in great shape. Everyone in my immediate family has had echos, including grandparents and some aunts. So far both my kids are clear, so I have to wonder why, even though I know it is possible to be a 'mutant'.
                        I wonder what the percentage of HCMer's with genetic form versus 'mutant' form are.

                        I can't help but think of all of this every waking moment...ugh I need a break.

                        Take care, and I hope everyone had a great day.

                        Pam
                        It's not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived.

                        Dx in Feb/99. Obstructed. No ICD, no surgeries, no family history. 2 sons ages 14 and 6.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: More confused than ever

                          Dear Pam,

                          Happy belated birthday!

                          I see you are still online and I think it is very late at night there, so I am concerned that you are still struggling with the feeling that you cannot ever forget HCM. It is certainly true that this condition will force itself on your attention more than you like, but I know you often think of other things. You thought about your family's love, you thought about picking up your son from his lesson, etc. So, I think there is something significant there. When you think about others, you cannot always think about yourself. So, I will pray that you will be able to pour out your love to others so that somehow the HCM will at least sometimes be able to be ignored. I know for myself as I pour out myself for my students here, I forget the difficulties I face and the big decisions ahead of me, at least for a few minutes.

                          Rhoda

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: More confused than ever

                            Also I have come across some information that has made me wonder why HCM was the automatic diagnosis. From my understanding it should take more than an EKG and echo to diagnose HCM. Catheter, biopsy, stress test, are all important tests, none of which I have had.
                            Catheter, biopsy, and stress tests are not part of the diagnostic tools for HCM. Biopsy in particular isn't a common occurence in HCM to diagnose, partially because you can take a sample in a part of the heart that doesn't have myocardial disarray. Stress tests are to determine whether or not your blood pressure drops under exertion and whether or not they can produce a gradient when there isn't normally one. Catheters have been used to try to determine the risk factor for sudden cardiac death by arrhythmia, but it's an almost useless tool for that application. If they are looking for obstruction in your arteries or some other cause, it's a great tool to have. Most doctors will agree that echos and EKG's in conjuction with echos are the usual tools to determine HCM. I hope this clears things up for you.

                            Reenie
                            Reenie

                            ****************
                            Husband has HCM.
                            3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: More confused than ever

                              Dear Abbygirl Pam,
                              (We have a few Pam’s now, and I want to be straight.)

                              I’ve done a little research on HCM – as most of us have, - and I’ve come to some thoughts on the matter. HCM is a genetic disorder for sure, but then G-d, Mother Nature, Evolution, Random Selection, or whatever you wish to call it, is always playing little games with our genes. It is quite possible for someone to be the first one in their gene pool to develop the disease. Sometimes this gene deviation will be passed on, and occasionally the original gene design will return for the children. (The deviation will not breed true.)

                              Another little trick this gene deviation can do is to ‘hide out’ for a few generations of ‘carriers,’ and then pop up again when there is no living relative who also has it. Don’t forget this disease has not been identified for all that long a time, and gene research on it is still underway. If I can make some observations along the way – Your dad is your dad. Who your genetic father might or might not be is of no consequence at all. My mother and at least one of her three sisters had heart problems, but nobody died young so where I got the disease is also anybody’s guess.

                              Where you’re doctor got the idea that obesity might have something to do with it in some cases, I have no idea. But since obesity can also be a genetic disorder, maybe some researcher somewhere was looking at the possibility of a connection. Who knows?

                              In any case my dear, I believe you’re ‘one of us.’ You might just as well do what the rest of us do, which is to try and get the best control of the disease we can, and to live with it. As far as diagnoses goes, the ECHO seems to be the gold standard, with an EKG being used for corroboration. The other tests are important for defining the disease, but I don’t believe they are necessary to make the diagnosis.

                              I hope this settles your mind a bit. I would be very interested in hearing what Dr. Wigle has to say if and when you see him – with the test results of course.
                              Burt

                              Comment

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