SCARED - possible periphery artery disease, sisters had strokes
Just turned 50 yesterday, and have been having severe right calf pain after only walking less than half a block, which started 10 days ago. I went to my PCP on Monday who referred me to an ortho specialist, believing the pain was coming from a spinal problem. This doctor examined me and said there was nothing wrong with my spine and he has scheduled an arterial study as he thinks I have peripheral vascular disease. He also noted that I have no pulse in my right foot. I also checked my carotid arteries, and I cannot find a pulse in the left, and a weak pulse in the right - I used to work out and was able to find them no problem a couple of years ago.The appointment is not for another 2 weeks, and I am becoming increasingly anxious over this diagnosis. My sister  just had a mini stroke 2 weeks ago, and my other sister  had a mild stroke 1 year ago, my 91 year old mother had a heart attack 10 yrs ago and had 6-way bypass surgery, with CHF 3 yrs ago. Obviously my risks are high, based on hereditary aspects, but I also have high cholesterol and am a smoker who is trying desperately to quit.
I am unable to even take my dog for a walk without having to sit on a bench every few yards, when the pain will subside, but starts up again after a few steps. There is some color change in my foot at times - paler than my left foot. I guess Im wondering how advanced my PAD is [if that is the final diagnosis], considering how acutely my symptoms began. I know I will find out when I have the test, but it seems so far away, I am very scared and want to be prepared.
I'm in my late 40's and have a similar problem. i had the cuff test done and it showed moderate peripheral artery desease, so he sent me to a vascular specialist who did an ultrasound on my legs. The test came back okay so, for me the pain was a back problem. I have a herniated disc in my lower back. I do take vitamin e every day now so that could be helping with the PAD. My suggestion to you right now while you're waiting on the Doctor is to take 2 asprin a day, maybe in the morning and at night. And think about taking Vitamin B 100 & Vitamin E also. And of course you know you should at least cut WAY back on the smoking. Like 1 a day. You can butt it out all day long..I smoked for 35years and after seeing my fingers and toes turn blue from lack of oxygen, it made me want to quit.
Thank you, Socs, for replying !
This is the first time I have ever joined any 'community board', and I really appreciate the feedback. My family are all going through so much right now, that I don't want to add to their load until I get some conclusive answers. My PCP has also set me up for an EMG and Nerve Conduction study, whch I have heard is somewhat painful, so I'm glad the appointment isn't till April as I will know this week if my problem is vascular and may not need to have these tests done!
Thank you for all your suggestions, quiting smoking is the most challenging thing I need to address...as with all smokers, I wish I had never started, but it has consumed my life for 30yrs, and in previous attempts to stop, I have actually felt empty and lost by the 3rd week, if you can understand that.
Dont Wait !!!!! Go see a heart Dr. asap not to scare you but i had the same symtoms , they did the cuff test on my legs they did a cathiter down my legs a little blockage but they said it was fine 2 months later i was in the hospital with a heart attack ,leg cramps could be a sign of a heart problem, no Dr. here just my own personal exrperance.