Apr 12
HwdLena , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog

Lena's Story

Hi, I’m Lena.  I’m 68 years old and last week I was diagnosed with diastolic dysfunction of the left ventricle and mild mitral regurgitation by my PCP.  I made an appointment with a cardiologist (I have to wait almost a month!) and was put on a diuretic, heartburn medicine and baby aspirin.  I immediately went to Google (baaaad idea) to find out exactly what I'm suffering from and got scared out of my wits … it left me feeling like I’m at death’s door.  I am looking to a support group because I thought I might be able to get a little balance, or feedback, from others who may be going through the same or similar situations.  
  • Wallyd1
    Lena, No excuse for time delay to see cardiologist especially after diagnosis! Don't know which article you got "baaaaa idea" from...but wait until you have a meeting with the cardiologist! Since my first scary meeting with cardiologist he informed me..."my patients have 2-5 years to live"...now, if that wouldn't wake you up! I have since found out from others that this is part of their training. My other thought was "my PCP" is NOT a regular MD, right? I would ask for a second opinion from an MD and have him review your meds...they don't sound right! I'm on 7 different pills and have been since Feb. 2016...and condition post-heart attack and 20-30% heart failure (CHF)..For your condition...I'm no physician...but doesn't seem right at all...would be anxious to see what you do! Wally Davidson
  • AHA/ASA Sarah Ismail
    AHA/ASA Sarah Ismail,
    Hi Lena, Thank you for sharing on the support network. Good morning! Since you mentioned an in person Support Group, we do have a Support Group finder that might help you. If you do not find what you are looking for at that link, or you to learn more about starting your own, we have a host of materials that can help you as well. Please let me know if these resources are helpful to you. Best, Sarah
  • Bluestarmom
    Hi Lena, Two and a half years ago, my symptoms were atypical, but my daughter convinced me to go to my pcp. He did an ekg and admitted me to the cardiac care unit immediately. I didn't even get to go home first. Next day, I had a heart cath. They found five blockages - 3 were 100% a 90 % and a 70%. They couldn't do anything right then and there because they needed to do a consult with the surgical team. So I had to wait two more days, and they did another heart cath and put two stents in. You can imagine how afraid I was to wait - I hadn't had a heart attack, but he said it was a miracle I was still walking around. I'll pray for your peace of mind and that maybe you'll be able to get in sooner with a break in their appointments. By the way, I haven't had any more issues. God is good.
  • popscolly
    Relax and take it easy until you visit a cardiologist. It's not all bad. I have had a double bypass (20 years ago) numerous stents and an ablation. To me, since I've had fifteen or more Caths, I find the procedure boring. If you have any of the symptoms associated with a heart attack, go to the Hospital Emergency, walk in and say one word: Heart. Your perfusion factor might be low but the cardiologist can remedy that. Call the cardiologist back and ask to be worked in. Voice your concerns. Otherwise, go to the hospital.
  • cdameron
    I think your reaction to your situation is pretty normal. Shock at your initial diagnosis is understandable as is looking for information on the internet. Perhaps the most valuable lesson I learned was that diagnosis and therefore research is a compilation of broad information and doesn't have your exact condition or prognosis nailed! I do a lot of research but I look at it as pieces of information not the answer. I waited to see a cardiologist for an month post heart attack (January 2016, age 71)... since I already had been in the hospital in an emergency situation and was considered stable it was respite for me. The appointment itself was very unsettling because if you have residual symptoms the doctor is looking for a reason for what you are experiencing. More tests, more medication with just a brief meeting for me to size him up and the realization that this doctor didn't know me at all! A diagnosis is a snapshot not a portrait of who you are. As time has gone by, I have solved some of my own problems. I have found great value in the realization that there are others out here with similar problems. One of my favorite sites, besides this one is: https://myheartsisters.org, Carolyn Thomas is a survivor who has taken it upon herself to inform those of us who have questions. She doesn't have all the answers but she has information to guide us along this path. The reality is that we each have a different set of facets that make up who we are. You are an individual not a diagnosis. The most important thing I did was keep a notebook that I have kept to document my appointment, tests and their subsequent results. I can also go back and ask questions when I don't understand. I try to stay informed without being too demanding but I am sure I am considered high maintenance by the cardiologist. It is a partnership when you get it right! I hope you will feel free to contact me!
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