Dec 14
mcbrooks26
mcbrooks26 , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog

"Obviously we don't know everything we need to know about Heart Disease" MY Cardiologist

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I am a 46 year woman and I am a ICU nurse. I have always been a healthy weight,  have never had high cholesterol, no high blood pressure, no diabetes, no family history of CAD, and I started kickboxing in April of 2017 to increase my energy level and tone up.  One morning in October 2017 I got out of bed and walked downstairs and experienced my first chest pain.  It started in my sternum and radiated to my back between my sholder blades and lasted about 2 minutes then went away.  No other symptoms with the pain.  This went on for 5 more weeks before I had a cardiac cath with stent placement in my LAD for a 80% blockage.  

As a nurse, I immediately thought of heart issues with the first chest pain but some days I would have no pain, and I never had pain while working my stressful 12 hour shifts.  I took it more seriously when I experienced pain during one of my kickboxing classess.  I went to the ER and EKG and blood work were normal and the pain had subsided after I stopped the workout.  I even saw a GI doctor and had a complete GI workup with an EGD, to rule out reflux, etc.  All was clear.  Finally I had a Echo stress test, which came back abnormal.  The soonest they could schedule my cardiac cath was 3 weeks out.  I continued to have chest pains upon getting out of bed almost daily so I went to the ER the next day after scheduling the cath and thankfully they went ahead and did the cardiac cath the next day and found the blockage and placed the stent.  I have had no chest pains since then but I am sufferring with anxiety, which I have never had before. I constantly worry about every pain and twinge in my chest and get heartburn several times per week and worry that it might be my heart.  However, luckily the cath revealed only one blockage and all other coronary arteries were clear.  So, I am working to regain confidence in my body with the help of counselors, cardiac rehab, and family and friends, and I may even cave in and get on some meds to help me thorugh this anxiety :).  This is another story of an "out of the ordinary" scenario.  Listen to your body and advocate for your health care.  

6 Comments
  • JamesPL
    JamesPL,
    Your story sounds very reminiscent. I had no history either and had been active for years so when I started having some mild pains during my morning runs, I didn't concern myself too much. They were inconsistent and only occurred during my runs. It wasn't until I had a severe chest pain that literally stopped me in my tracks that I got it checked out. Glad I did. As far as your anxiety, I think that is fairly common for anyone who has had a major event like these. I had my procedure six years ago and still get concerned when I experience mild chest pains. At least now I can consult with my cardiologist. I must commend you on your occupation. When I was in the hospital ICU for my heart, I was truly impressed with the care and dedication I received from the nursing staff. Not everyone can do what you all do. You're a special class of people!
  • Brittany216
    Brittany216,
    After stent placement.shouldnt meds be automatically prescribed?
  • David58
    David58,
    I can relate. I'm a former ICU/ER nurse. I had a stress test a few days ago and they found that I had an old inferior wall MI. I had no idea, even though I know all the clinical signs & symptoms. I wrote off all the warning signs thinking they were something else. I guess I forgot the number one warning sign, Denial.
  • 1966chevelle
    1966chevelle,

    I had kind of the same thing happen except it was ascending coranary 85% blockage, and no kickboxing!  I also have  the anxiety but I think mine is due to the upcoming aortic valve replacement they said I need. I still have chest tightness and palpatations and hard heart beats. I have mentioned this to cardio Dr. they think it is nothing to be worried about. Did you have any of this? from anxiety? 

  • mcbrooks26
    mcbrooks26,

    Hi 1966Chevelle. To answer your question I do have palpitations and pounding heart and all evidence attributes them to anxiety.  I have been on Buspar for 3 weeks and starting to see improvement.  I also found cognitive behavioral therapy helps a lot. You can see a counselor for this or even buy a book on the subject.  CBT teaches that our thoughts provoke our feelings and emotions.  When you are feeling your palpitations or chest tightness try and identify what your thoughts were immediately preceding these sensations that may have provoked them.  Also I find that underlying issues may provoke your anxiety as well.  For me I was constantly worrying about work and communicted openly with my manager. I have had some sleepless nights where a pounding heart and anxiety wakes me up wiith no apparent trigger but CBT and relaxation techniques help.   If your doctor says they are nothing to worry about and you trust your doctor then consider relaxation techniques to work through your sensations that you have described. 

  • mcbrooks26
    mcbrooks26,

    Hi 1966Chevelle. To answer your question I do have palpitations and pounding heart and all evidence attributes them to anxiety.  I have been on Buspar for 3 weeks and starting to see improvement.  I also found cognitive behavioral therapy helps a lot. You can see a counselor for this or even buy a book on the subject.  CBT teaches that our thoughts provoke our feelings and emotions.  When you are feeling your palpitations or chest tightness try and identify what your thoughts were immediately preceding these sensations that may have provoked them.  Also I find that underlying issues may provoke your anxiety as well.  For me I was constantly worrying about work and communicted openly with my manager. I have had some sleepless nights where a pounding heart and anxiety wakes me up wiith no apparent trigger but CBT and relaxation techniques help.   If your doctor says they are nothing to worry about and you trust your doctor then consider relaxation techniques to work through your sensations that you have described. 

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