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Rehab and Recovery? Continued chest pains brings more heart ache!
Chest pains, yada yada, continuous chest pains - finally went to ER on a Friday ten days ago; was admitted after all the normal suspect tests. The cardiologist recommended a heart catheterization on Monday morning --- good thing, because he found an 80% blockage in the left anterior descending (LAD) aortic artery - further delay could have led to a "widow maker" attack, he told me. So, angioplasty and stent, my new lease on life, jumping up and down - in my head, mind you. ...except...
...in the recovery room, STILL significant chest pains. It took about three hours to morphine me down from that --- rinse lather repeat rest of the week. Yes, I had a halter monitor, checking vitals and stethescope to the chest, etc. The "hospitalist" - the new craze term for an internist that works in a hospital - checked with a GI specialist and vascular surgeon, but discharged me on Friday, given the absence of "cornary or other life-threatening conditions". The doctors made me feel that I was placing demands on them or was a hypochriac or argumentative, so I cooled my jets and did not press on futher.
Gee, sure, I'm in my share of anxiety, but, talking with my wife, and others, don't really believe that this is diriving my chest pains; having said that, I have an appointment with a psychologist tomorrow about that. THERE ARE SO MANY POSSIBLE CAUSES OF CHEST PAIN. Great! my new employer has short term disability to resolve these kind of issues. But the only way to have multiple medical disciplines check out the many possible causes is to go to the Mayo Clinic or similar - last time they did not have me see all doctors there, they expected my wife and I to drive back 3 or 4 times over a two months - or some sort of integrative care. I don't feel like I have the luxury of weeks or months to explore diagnoses and treatment plans.
It seems very strange to me that I had chest pains immediately after the stent procedure - I don't read that as normal. I called my regular cardiologist from a different practice to see whether he was concenred, but he didn't call me back today. Meanwhile, I am feeling more of the symptoms of a heart attack than I did before but am literally afraid of making another trip to the ER looking like a fool from having just been diwcharged three days earlier.
Does anyone have similar experiences? Lessons learned? Words of wisdom?
"Prayers are the duplicate gift everyone should welcome..."
AHAASAKatie, September 3, 2020 9:03am EST
Good morning, just checking in to see how you are doing? I know it has been a few days since you have posted. Recovery can be hard and sometimes it takes what feels like FOREVER for the residual pain to go away. There could be a physical reason for the pain, the healing process, or anxiety. The only way to know is for a medical professional to work with you. In regards to the ER, go as many times as you need in order to feel safe and well cared for.
Please check-in and let us know how you are doing.
Hear2Heart, September 5, 2020 4:33pm EST
Thanks, Katie, SO MUCH for your concern! Yes, I did go the ER, this time to the #1 cardiac care hospital in Florida: Tampa General (TGH), and was admitted for two days. The expert cadiologist there performed a stress test and reperformed other tests. He prescribed long-lasting nitrates that I take daily to control what he confirmed was recurrrent angina (RA), which I read occurs in 30-40% of stent placements. This medication is concurrent with daily low-dose aspirin, along with sublingal nitro b for occasional acute angina.
I am disappointed with the cardiologist from the first hospital - I was in there for four days after the stent. Why didn't he try the nitrates while I was there? Was he of the opinion that he took care of the life-theatening condition (emergency room mentality?) ], discharge him? Did he not understand that RA is a significant health risk because it indicates that the heart is still to some extent starved for oxygen? Did he not care that the RA pain was so intense that it would preclude my returning to work because I require high contration to do my job? Was he more concerned with cha-ching from outpatient continuing care? Well, he should learn that I am so unimpressed that he really did not resolve all remaining conditions that I would never choose to return to this doctor again!
I have been home two days and I am doing much better, though not perfect --- excess stress was a trigger for the angina that sent me to the hospital in the first place. The whole treatment quest ordeal added anxiety and I must let that residual anxiety roll off --- for a few days, I hope that is all it takes.
Does anyone else experience the residual anxiety aspect?
Again, Katie, your compassion and diligence is most appreciated!!!
daisiesbirds, September 8, 2020 10:45pm EST
I have a stent in my right coronary artery, and I can truly say with time I noticed anxiety decreases and the quick heart pains I would feel also decreased. Exercise specifically walking and slight jogging made me feel better as well, more energized to be exact. Remember take one day at a time and all things are temporary so don't worry.
quad6stents, May 10, 2021 1:21pm EST
I am 58 yrs old . I have terrible family history with heart disease. They have been watching me for yrs . I had a stent in 2017 and I was in rehab telling people things did not seem right still having angina. The rehab folks put me on a eliptical machine and after 3 pedals my heart rate went above my top range of 136 . So back to the bike with barely any tension . It just so happened I had a cardiologist appointment and when I mentioned how I was feeling I was scheduled for cardiolite stress test. I was told there was blood not making it to a part of my heart and I needed bypass surgery.
I had quad bypass in 2018 and was rehabbing from that .
recently I started having episodes after longer cardio bike rides initially they said panic attack . To be carefull they would send me for a stress test. I went for a treadmill stress test. There was a cardiac event and after that day I had angina everyday .Finally they got me an angiogram and placed 5 stents , 4 of them in the same aretery . They let me go after 2 days . I ended up home for one day and and the angina seemed the same . I went back to the hospital. The Hospital cardiologist monitored me and asked me to do another treadmill stress test . I did 7 mins and there was another event on the cool down portion . He came back and said they were going back in to make sure . I started telling family I was going back for another angiogram. 10 minutes later he came back and said they read it wrong I am good the chest discomfort was in his eyes not related to a cardiac event .
I returned to my cardiologist and mentioned what was happening .. was 1 month after stents . Based on the chest pressure he said we have to go back in and make sure .
I had another angiogram. I was told by the doctors that all looks good and the bloodflow looks good . There was some small ateries that they cannot do anything with but they believe I should be all good .
So 5 stents went in Mar 4 , new angiogram April 21 st Here we are on May 10 th and I still have chest pressure everyday . I have read about stretch pains where stents are positioned and I am hoping that is what is going on here . I know when I had the 1 stent in 2017 I told people I could feel it . The docs told me arteries have no nerves so that left me baffled. Lately I have read about pain after stenting . This made me feel better that others are having similar issues . I have two friends who have had stents and they both tell me they also feel ghost pains .Stress definitley makes my condition worse so still trying to work out what they are going to do with me . My new normal does not seem right.