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Old 08-25-2008, 03:42 PM   #8
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 385
CircusSquirrel HB User
Re: Does anyone have "atypical" angina?

Hi Everyone,

My pain is more of a discomfort and heaviness than an "oh my goodness, this hurts". It usually begins up near my left jaw and extends down over my shoulder to my pinky or ring finger, but sometimes it varies (sometimes it doesn't go all the way to my finger, sometimes my jaw is left out of the equation). It is very uncomfortable, can feel "squeezing" at times. It is never sharp or stinging or fleeting, it stays AT LEAST several minutes but is more likely to stick around for an hour or so at least.
Now, other than the facts I have mentioned that have led docs to think it isn't angina (I am married to a doc, BTW, but he is not a specialist) is the fact that I am sore in that area. BUT, there are docs who say that a person can be sore over an area where they have angina pain.
That said, the "atypical" anginas include one called Prinzmetal's angina, and there are at least a few others but they are rare and, again, they usually aren't associated with the immediate "bad" outcomes that "regular" angina is. It is up in the air as to whether it is a microvascular thing or what.
I don't really know how they would test me for this other than history.
One thing I know is that oxygen during an attack helped the discomfort, and that is a sign of an anginal type process, I'm told.
BUT, that has to be weighed against the fact that these types are rare, I'm young and pretty healthy, and I DO have musculoskeletal pain (but none of it ever feels like this left sided stuff!)
I am going to bring it up with the cardio tomorrow and if he feels that my heart is healthy (I've had my bloodwork, echo, and holter monitor so far but he may do more tests) then I will continue to lead a healthy lifestyle and watch out for my heart with supplements, etc. If he feels it MAY be one of these rare things, I will explore it while considering a risk/benefit ratio (and since he is my husband's coworker I am sure he will think about risk, too---for example, a cath would likely be overdoing it on me lol, at least I hope so!!!). Anyway, I am interested in everyone's opinion on this, but for those who think they may have it, do keep in mind that these types of anginas are pretty rare. I will report back tomorrow after my appt.