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Old 03-21-2006, 02:04 PM   #1
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heartcreature HB User
Ladies be cautious if you're told your stress test is normal!

This is a warning because I often see where people were told that their stress tests are normal and their hearts are fine. My SIL had a heart attack Monday morning. She had a stress test with nuclear scan on Feb 16. She was told it was normal. She's been to the ER at least 4 times and saw her physician at least twice. She had upper GI indicating acid reflux. There was a cath in the works but not scheduled until June. She was to see her doc on Monday to see about moving up the cath date.
Monday morning she was flown by helicopter to Louisville, Ky because there was concern that she would not make it if she went by ambulance. I saw her and had my doubts whether she would survive in the helicopter. She required 6 bypasses. All major arteries were blocked. She is 42 years old and a smoker with a family history of heart disease. Her cholesterol was 206, but her HDL and trigs were good.
Please if you are told that your stress test is normal but you continue to have symptoms don't just accept that the stress test was read correctly. This is a warning for you fellas too.

 
Old 03-21-2006, 03:39 PM   #2
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Re: Ladies be cautious if you're told your stress test is normal!

see this makes it so hard lol I am 31 yrs old I had my stress test weeks back which wasnt a nuclear one just a normal tredmill one with echo....all normal well I stopped having the left arm pain for weeks and then last night in bed I got a quick sharp jab in a small area of my left arm again I do not have shortness of breath and never have with this I can walk 3 to 6 miles without any pain it wears me out but I am a bit overweight and out of shape.I do smoke but no history of heart disease in my family I had that one pain last night and it hasnt happened since where as for a few months before the testing I had these pains almost daily off and on all kinds of different pains never painful just bothersome also a few times in my chest like deep under my left breast area a light burningbut never at the same time.I do have some PVC'S every so often which ive had off and on since a kid I dunno I am just not sure where to go from here or if I should even be worried I worry alot because of anxiety disorder sometimes I think it is possibly from leaning my arms and sometimes elbows on this desk but I really dont know

I really hope your SIL will be ok sheesh so young

Last edited by tnmomofive; 03-21-2006 at 03:56 PM.

 
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Old 03-21-2006, 05:51 PM   #3
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Re: Ladies be cautious if you're told your stress test is normal!

Heartcreature,
I just had a cardiolite stress test last Friday. The hospital called me on Monday and said that it was fine. My attitude today when I had my chest pressure and achiness was --"oh well, it's not my heart and I'm done testing!" Now that I read about your SIL I'm having second thoughts! If her stress test was ok, why was she scheduled to have a cath?
I have a family history of heart disease. My mother, grandfather, and father,who has 100% blockage right now all have/had CAD. (Even though no one asked me at the heart center about family history).
I'm wondering what my next step should be. I just talked to my cousin who works for a cardiology surgeon, and she suggested that I see a cardiologist. I'm thinking about it.......
Thanks! elphers
I hope your SIL is coming along.

 
Old 03-21-2006, 05:53 PM   #4
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Re: Ladies be cautious if you're told your stress test is normal!

Hi Heartcreature,
I hope your SIL is ok!!! it's terrible when it happens to someone so young!!!!
I had my heart attack when I was 39 yrs. old!!! I've made it to 41 with no problems until a few weeks ago!!! (chest pain)


This worries me I was told my stress test with nuclear was ok too back in Nov. I was hospitalize 3 weeks ago for chest pain thought I was having another heart attack!!!! I was released the following evening the cardio there said for me to see my cardio in the next couple of weeks which I would have but he's book!!!! he's only in his office one day a week!!! Anyways I finally got a appointment 4 weeks later!!! I hope nothing happens between now and then!!!

Do you live in Ky?

Last edited by Gemi_Lee; 03-21-2006 at 05:58 PM.

 
Old 03-21-2006, 05:58 PM   #5
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Re: Ladies be cautious if you're told your stress test is normal!

tnmom the doctor stressed that this didn't happen overnight. He guessed that this has probably been building up for 5 years.
When my SIL is better I will suggest to her to come on here and tell what her symptoms were. I know she mentioned a burning down the center of her chest. She only had the arm pain during her heart attack. It was mostly concentrated in the center of the chest. When I would talk with her about her symptoms she would say she had no shortness of breath, but fatigue was a complaint. She works very hard at her job and just thought the fatigue was coming from her work.
The same thing happened with me but I was fortunate enough not to have had a heart attack.
The common elements were that we were both seen in the same ER, the stress test was administered in the same hospital with the same doctor who was not a doctor of either of our choosing. She had repeated ER visits and so did I. Our EKG's were normal. I have concerns that possibly it's not the testing that's failing us but the interpreters of the tests. Another common element is that the physicians are not acting quickly enough on ordering heart catherizations. I don't know maybe this is a problem in our local hospital, but I hear it happening to other women in other cities too.
I don't want to scare anybody, but this has convinced me that things aren't getting any better when it comes to diagnosing heart disease in women. My blockage was found in 2001. 5 years later they don't seem to be any better at it.

 
Old 03-21-2006, 06:09 PM   #6
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Re: Ladies be cautious if you're told your stress test is normal!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gemi_Lee
Hi Heartcreature,
I hope your SIL is ok!!! it's terrible when it happens to someone so young!!!!
I had my heart attack when I was 39 yrs. old!!! I've made it to 41 with no problems until a few weeks ago!!! (chest pain)


This worries me I was told my stress test with nuclear was ok too back in Nov. I was hospitalize 3 weeks ago for chest pain thought I was having another heart attack!!!! I was released the following evening the cardio there said for me to see my cardio in the next couple of weeks which I would have but he's book!!!! he's only in his office one day a week!!! Anyways I finally got a appointment 4 weeks later!!! I hope nothing happens between now and then!!!



Do you live in Ky?
Gemi I went to the ER a couple of weeks ago myself but didn't have a stress test. I am very concerned and am watchful of more symptoms. I would just say don't take any chances and be persistent. I have coronary artery spasms but had not had any in quite some time. They suddenly been occuring again and I cannot come up with an explanation. The one thing that makes me think I'm okay is that I exercise 3 days a week and push myself pretty hard on the crosstrainer and treadmill and I'm not having to use nitro. It's mainly occuring at rest which is what it was like before.

No I don't live in KY. I live in Indiana but I'm only an hour away from Louisville Ky. Our local hospital does catherizations but they can only do angioplasty. I wouldn't have another cath here knowing what I know now, but it is the place where I had my cath when my blockage was found. I had to go by ambulance to Louisville with the shunt in my groin to have a stent.

Did you have stents or bypass? I had a stent that failed and then had to have a single bypass at age 41.

I hope you get some answers soon to what is going on with you.

 
Old 03-21-2006, 06:12 PM   #7
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Re: Ladies be cautious if you're told your stress test is normal!

I had a burning sensation in the middle of my chest, a few days later the pain went from my chest to the back of my neck down both arms into my elbows,
had some fatigue, went for 8 days before my heart attack thought I was getting a chest cold wish that was what it was!!!!!
When I actually had the heart attack god did it hurt in my chest, crushing pain, broke out in a sweat I was burning up I didn't have the strengh to left my arms up to put a cold cloth on my forehead!!!
It's an experience I never won't to have again!!!

 
Old 03-21-2006, 06:22 PM   #8
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Re: Ladies be cautious if you're told your stress test is normal!

Quote:
Gemi I went to the ER a couple of weeks ago myself but didn't have a stress test. I am very concerned and am watchful of more symptoms. I would just say don't take any chances and be persistent. I have coronary artery spasms but had not had any in quite some time. They suddenly been occuring again and I cannot come up with an explanation. The one thing that makes me think I'm okay is that I exercise 3 days a week and push myself pretty hard on the crosstrainer and treadmill and I'm not having to use nitro. It's mainly occuring at rest which is what it was like before. No I don't live in KY. I live in Indiana but I'm only an hour away from Louisville Ky. Our local hospital does catherizations but they can only do angioplasty.

I wouldn't have another cath here knowing what I know now, but it is the place where I had my cath when my blockage was found. I had to go by ambulance to Louisville with the shunt in my groin to have a stent.

Did you have stents or bypass? I had a stent that failed and then had to have a single bypass at age 41.

I hope you get some answers soon to what is going on with you.

My LAD was 100% blocked didn't know at the time if it could be stented or if I would be having open heart surgery!!!
Our local hospitals here to caths but can't stent!!! anyways they didn't bother doing a cath they went ahead and flew me on to Lexington, Ky where they was able to do a stent!!!
Wheww....... you were young having to have open heart surgery at 41 hope all turns out well for you and me as well!!

 
Old 03-21-2006, 06:59 PM   #9
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heartcreature HB User
Re: Ladies be cautious if you're told your stress test is normal!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gemi_Lee
My LAD was 100% blocked didn't know at the time if it could be stented or if I would be having open heart surgery!!!
Our local hospitals here to caths but can't stent!!! anyways they didn't bother doing a cath they went ahead and flew me on to Lexington, Ky where they was able to do a stent!!!
Wheww....... you were young having to have open heart surgery at 41 hope all turns out well for you and me as well!!
Gemi my blockage was in the LAD as well. Mine was just 75%. It was at the top of the artery and I was told it was a good that it didn't totally block or I probably would not have survived. My SIL broke out in a sweat too but I guess because I didn't actually have a heart attack I didn't have that symptom.

 
Old 03-21-2006, 07:16 PM   #10
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Re: Ladies be cautious if you're told your stress test is normal!

Quote:
Gemi my blockage was in the LAD as well. Mine was just 75%. It was at the top of the artery and I was told it was a good that it didn't totally block or I probably would not have survived. My SIL broke out in a sweat too but I guess because I didn't actually have a heart attack I didn't have that symptom.
I'm glad you didn't have a heart attack!!! that's something I never won't to have again!!
I'm not sure where in the LAD my blockage was!!! My cardio said they call it the 'Widow Maker' and that I was lucky to have survived!!

 
Old 03-21-2006, 10:30 PM   #11
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Re: Ladies be cautious if you're told your stress test is normal!

I avoided telling anyone about this befor but here goes.
I'm 55 now, but I was 44 when I started having what I knew were heart attacks, even though they went undiagnosed for years. I remember every heart attack Iíve had, except one. That was the one I had during my last stress test two years ago one day after a Catherization, (The Cardiac NP told me about that one).

Since 1995, Iíve probably had half dozen stress tests, maybe more, and all of them said my heart was just fine. The trips to the ER the Docs always said all their tests were normal. I remember once about five years ago, after my PC Doc said there was nothing wrong with my heart, he also said, ďYou really needed to get on with your life.Ē (You bet - I never went to him again).
It was four years ago when I went to a Neurologist; who sent me to a Electrophysiologist; who after giving me a Pacemaker, sent me to a Cardiologist; who while doing a Cath said, ĎAll the arteries had some degree of blockage but there wasnít any particular artery that looked that badí; then befor the Cath was over a Cardiac Surgeon walk in and looked at the images and said that the wide spread blockages looked suspicious. The Surgeon explained what he suspected was going on with my heart and asked if I would undergo exploratory heart surgery. He new I had Marfan and if he did the surgery he said he could check out the slightly enlarged aorta that was diagnosed several years befor (but was not bad). I was in such bad shape, I said yes. That was three years ago.
After I was alert the Surgeon told us that I was a mess inside. He said that there was so much disease around my heart that it took him too long cutting it away to get everything done and only had time to do five bypasses.
It showed that I had had several heart attacks, Chronic Dresslers Syndrome, and the blockages were all around my heart and were caused by the disease on the outside of the heart pressing on the arteries. He did what he could.

Bottom line is__ My diseases never showed up on any stress test.
But the good news is, I never have to take another one because of the heart attack I had while I was having the last Stress Test.

Latest news: Yesterday after four days of angina the Doc said they would schedule my fourth Cath next week and for me to double my Atenolol to 200mg to go along with my Plendil, Flecainide, Plavix, and Nitro patches. I still hurt bad.
enie

 
Old 03-22-2006, 02:20 AM   #12
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Re: Ladies be cautious if you're told your stress test is normal!

Sorry to hear about your sister-in-law. How long had she had heart problems. Did she have that burning pain up the middle of her chest before or was it while she was having the heart attack? I sometimes wonder if I have heart problems....i get little "picks" of pain around different parts of my chest...they are not stabbing or anything but I just get scared when they happen. I sometimes get an ache in my left arm also around the elbow on the inside, again it doesn't last long but is it related to my heart? All this has been going on for about 4/5 years.
Was the burning pain similiar to indigestion?

 
Old 03-22-2006, 04:19 AM   #13
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Re: Ladies be cautious if you're told your stress test is normal!

Hi alwaysaworrier,
My chest pain was more like I was coming down with a respiratory infection (chest cold) burning pain in the center of my chest it radiate out from my chest up to my neck then down both arms to my elbows then I would feel so bad!!!! so breathless!!!
The pain would last for maybe a minute then go away maybe not that long!!!!
Sometimes it would return if I was bending over picking something up!!! At the very end few days before my heart attack the symptoms would come and go without any excretion!!!
I went like this for 8 days unaware it was heart related thought I was coming down with chest cold!!!! When I finally went to ER they treated me for indestion!! I had the heart attack there in the ER a couple hours later I think that's what save me if I was at home who knows what would had happen (since my cardio said it was a widow maker) and I was lucky to have made it!! he said most don't!!!


I wish everyone luck!!!! If you think you might be having a heart attack don't wait!! time is valuable!!!

 
Old 03-22-2006, 05:16 AM   #14
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Re: Ladies be cautious if you're told your stress test is normal!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melvi
I'm so sorry to hear that, and I hope she will recover soon. Did they bring her to Jewish Hospital in Louisville?
Yes, Melvi they did take her to Jewish. Are you from the area? We're actually about an hour away but it's closest place to have stents and bypass. Thanks for the well wishes.

 
Old 03-22-2006, 06:55 AM   #15
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Re: Ladies be cautious if you're told your stress test is normal!

heartcreature I know you dont mean to scare anyone you just want to make us aware and I think thats great.I have checked the anxiety board and it is unreal how many women have this same problem with the left arm and some chest pains of all ages so mine could be anxiety I guess I just hope it is anyway best of luck to your SIL

 
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