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NDmom 10-24-2012 07:39 PM

Unstable Angina?
Good day to everyone.
I have my stats recently done in my bio in case you want to see them.

My Drs aren't listening. They are saying I possibly have anxiety. But I have no stress. Honest. I'm a happy and content mom of 4. 2 live with me and they are wonderful. ;)

I've had a heart-thing since HS (graduated in '87) that would be a blip only. A quick reminder a heart does pump and left me waiting about 8 beats until normalcy would return until several months later another would appear. No biggie. My mother said she had the same thing and it's as if the valve didn't close completely or it was closing on blood and therefore it'd feel tight or pinchy.... I went with it, mom said it long ago so I've learned to live with it.

Now at 42 and about 3 weeks ago, I was stopped at work due to a huge pain in my heart. I cannot explain it, other than to say it HURT. Understand my job is stress-free. I listen to wonderful music during the day and my co-workers and boss are wonderful! I love my job! Ok. So whatever occurred that Friday 3 weeks ago started my daily pain. It's every day. I've had 3 very big squeeze's or tightening or whatever. Other times, it's a dull constant ache tinged with pain that comes and goes. Does my heart beat faster? No. Does it seem like it pumps harder? Sometimes.. sometimes it seems like it's a bit slow. Then after about a week of that, a new thing developed. During a more painful-dull ache, if it can be said, pain shot down my left arm to my elbow, aching.. while that occurred, pain felt like it was traveling up my neck and into my left lower jaw. I just thought, well that's new. But I thought, it must go with the territory.

Again, I don't stress out. I simply deal with it or just let it go. If I cannot change the outcome then I let it go and do the best to get through it. I tell my kids the same thing. Why stress/worry over something you cannot change. Do your best to work through it and move on or ask for help. Simple. For me anyway.. it's how I deal with things.

A few more days after this new event, I noticed that my sternum was sore. Like it was bruised but towards the left. It would be that way for a couple days and go away, then come back. No biggie. Again, must come with the territory of chest pain.

Then my family started to get worried when I got pain in/behind/near?? my left shoulder blade. They told me to either go in to the ER or see my Dr. So I c***ed and tried to get the appt to which I was transferred to a Nurse who said I needed to goto the ER or the Walk-In. I goto the Walk-In after work and tell the Dr what's going on. He scolded me for not going to the ER. Did an EKG and ordered blood work. Everything came back normal. But hey, no chest pain for that hour or so.

Next day at work, pain. Pain that stopped me. I was exerting myself more than sitting at my desk (computer work... applications.. no biggie) by helping resolve a tiny issue with a coworker who had done something that would have gotten her in trouble if not corrected. It happens, no worry, we joked, and laughed but the pain was enough to almost drop me.. made me stutter and grab my chest.

She said, "Growing pains?" with a smile as she's been dealing with something similar.

So I tried the Drs office who still cannot get me in to be seen by my Dr, so I get some other guy.. OK.. whatever works. I felt patronized by him and his new Med-Dr-Intern. I was told I was having anxiety attacks.

What? No. I don't have stress. I'm your typical carefree grade-schooler in a 42 year old body. I was smiled at most of my appointment then appeased by giving me a chest xray and sent to my (now yesterdays appt) cardio-echo something-or-other.. stress test. I left feeling like I was being brushed off, what do I know. This is what they see and do every day.

Not in this body. Do I exercise? No. Apart from that, where do you classify my type of anxiety then? I've researched it on the net and I don't have the symptoms. I cannot even take some of the tests to see what my level is, because I'm not afraid of the world and this other stuff that I simply don't fit in.

I took my stress test yesterday, and just like when your car acts up for days, weeks.. you take it in and they hook her up and the mechanic comes back with.. I ran her good and she sounds good to me. You leave and not 2 hours later she stops dead on the side of the road. Well, that was me.

I now have pain that occurs and comes on presenting mild pain/discomfort that gets more intense until it feels like a cat is sitting on my chest. Not an elephant like they've asked.. just a bit of pressure. But what did they suggest during my procedure? "Have you been diagnosed or suggested as having anxiety?" And the nurse c***ed me 2 times today, "we cannot get you in to the Dr any sooner, but it sounds like anxiety".

Oh.. I forgot to mention. This past Friday, during an ache-filled pressure in my chest where I had to close my eyes and wait for it to pass with the kitty being slow to leave my chest, the pain that shot down my left arm and up my neck to my jaw, didn't stop there. It felt like someone was drawing a line to my head where it proceeded to a headache that lasted no more than 10min tops, and during this my lower left lip decided to melt. My version of droop. Well it was minor. But 4 hours later, walking around with what felt like a fat lip but wasn't and something on the verge of Sylvester Stalone's lip... only became more so on Sat. I DID look like a failed attempt at wax sculpture. My daughter would laugh at me because I would shrug and say, "eh, what do you do? Part of the process I guess. I'm slowly melting."

But Sunday, it fixed itself about 10pm. Monday, apart from chest pain.. no lip melting.. but Tuesday it came back. I drooped for about 5 minutes (give or take) and then it fixed itself.

1 nurse from the office said she was "worried.. re***y worried" yet the other states anxiety.

So, what is this? Cause I told my Dr and her anxiety nurse, I was done. I have a great sense of humor and will keep it up. At least I wont go broke in the meantime. Done because if it is anxiety, it must be a new classification. Bells Palsy maybe? Yeah, I've heard of that from friends and family who witness my 'meltdown' of a lip.

But why must Drs immediately state anxiety? Why patronize people who just want to know.. ok if it's this, what to expect next? If it's unstable angina (as it happens at rest for me, remember I don't exercise, and according to Mayo Clinic and the American Heart Association, you can present unstable without being stable first) does this mean, I need to have a living will made up?

I'm pretty cool about it. Just don't diagnose me with this crap that it's anxiety without doing any kind of dye related procedure to see if it is a narrowing of vessels somewhere.

Sorry for my novel.. but it's a bit to get across.
Maybe I could right a book?! LOL I'm cool either way. To each man is prescribed a time to live and to die. I'd just prefer to have the no pain in your sleep version.

Anyone know what's going on? Angina? Unstable? Heart issue at ***? Anything?


BirchB 11-14-2012 07:00 PM

Re: Unstable Angina?
Wow, you sure are taking this casually! You should PERSIST until you find answers! Just insist on further testing and dismiss THEM when they have the nerve to say "anxiety".
I too have continued angina after a stress test came back normal. My doctor seems unconcerned. From the research I've done online, I think I must have unstable angina or that Prinzmetal angina. Mine always comes on at rest, not with exercise.
You definitely should not just "accept it" as you may any day have the big one or stroke out or.....? Do you have children? or a spouse? Persist for their sakes on finding an answer.

NDmom 11-15-2012 06:17 AM

Re: Unstable Angina?
[QUOTE=BirchB;5089123]Wow, you sure are taking this casually! You should PERSIST until you find answers! Just insist on further testing and dismiss THEM when they have the nerve to say "anxiety".
I too have continued angina after a stress test came back normal. My doctor seems unconcerned. From the research I've done online, I think I must have unstable angina or that Prinzmetal angina. Mine always comes on at rest, not with exercise.
You definitely should not just "accept it" as you may any day have the big one or stroke out or.....? Do you have children? or a spouse? Persist for their sakes on finding an answer.[/QUOTE]

Good morning BirchB.
I worry, yes. But I'm refusing to get stressed by this. I am a single mom with a 5 yr old little boy who's the love of my life and a 16 yr old daughter who's currently my test. LOL But I love them both with all I am.

I was emailed my test results for the Echo they did on 10/23/12-my dr said, it's all normal so they aren't too worried.

Am I taking this casually? I don't know what else to do apart from waiting for the appt at the end of this month, 11/30. I've emailed my Drs office, times, asking for a referral to see a Cardiologist, yet I am not given an answer. I seem to be one of the millions of women who are simply put on the back burner as I'm not showing 'their' classic signs.

This is what angers me most. If I were male, would they have ordered further tests? Even gave me consideration for a followup to the Echo prior to having it done? I'm thinking yes.

I'm a whimp when it comes to pain. I feel the tiniest pain and I hate it. It truly is a joke in my family how whimpy I am. But this.. this hurts. It's daily.. 1/2-3/4 of my day is about some type of pain in my heart. This is something I go to bed telling everyone I love them... just in case. I don't let my daughter go to bed being upset that mom said No, yet again. And sometimes I just cry when I visit my son's room to make sure he's still covered for the night.

My left lip, still happens to droop at will and my ENT yesterday said that he doesn't understand that as my Meniere's effects my right ear, so to him these aren't related and now it's doubtful it's Bells Palsy too. So again I will wait. And this, started all because of the pain that shot from my chest to my head.

Thanks for posting. I was starting to think, maybe mine isn't something to be concerned about. But I don't know where to go or whom to see.

If anyone reads this.. please, if you know of someone who truly cares about treating their patients in the Fargo ND area... please post.

God bless each of you.

mtssh41 11-29-2012 05:52 PM

Re: Unstable Angina?
I was getting the very same thing you are talking about. I dont have the droopy lip thing tho. Mine would come at night when i was resting. My Dr to said it was from aniexty and i do have alot of stress. But i to have thought it was angina. My dr did put me on blood pressure meds and told me to quit smoking which i am trying very hard to do. Since i have been taking the BP meds and also starting drinking grape juice everyday,read that it cleans your arteries out, the pains have stopped just as quickly as they started. But if they start again i am going to demand a stress test and everything that goes along with it. Please let us know what you find out about your condition.

NDmom 11-29-2012 10:21 PM

Re: Unstable Angina?
I'm excited... I FINALLY have my Dr appt tomorrow!!!! This all started 10/5/2012 and tomorrow will be 11/30/12. Flippin ridiculous! But just the same, I can finally get a physical, after that, I will tell her, "sure, sign me up for the anxiety pills" just so that we both can see whether it has an effect or not.

I don't smoke, do drugs of any kind (well apart from what I was given after bunionectomy or my car accident in 2005-emm hydrococodone and another was.. percocet? Not sure on the spelling)never have. And never will. Drink? I rarely drink. I might drink a 12 pack of beer in a year. If I have a daquiri or other social drink, it's typically pretty rare. I've found I cannot have vodka.. so my 1 time a month x2 drinks of Smirnoff went bye-bye. I've tried Mike's Hard Lemonaide-but that only results in my stomach burning as well as pin-pricks in my face. So not enjoyable so, I don't drink it. That leaves my last choice... Bacardi Raz. Again, maybe 1 time a month @2 drinks. I see no reason to get drunk... yet I think I have to give it up as I started getting chest palpitations over the course of this month on 2 nights I had 1 only. The 2nd night was to see if the chest palpitations was actually due to the drink.. and it did the same thing.

So the month of Dec 2012 onward, I will no longer be enjoying even a drink with the girls. I'm fine with this. But just like what doctors do with meds to find the right ones that work with their patient and they omit the ones that didn't work or had less pleasing results. So too am I doing this.

My chest pains I've noticed have gone down in frequency, but I can still count 1 time a night where it will flare... it's not a long flare, only lasting about 1 min. But for someone classified as the biggest whimp in the family, it's a very LONG minute!

I have however noticed that my long-time-standing low blood pressure-typical-drop when I get up from sitting... well it's become more intense. I have a desk job. It's a very good and relaxing job. If you could be in my shoes and know instantly how to do my job, you'd never want to leave (unless you like staying at home that is). My boss is the best, my immediate coworkers are wonderful and the rest of the work environment is great too. I am not joking around when I say that the typical stress many have... is something I don't have.

Now, if 'stress/anxiety' can be determined with/by how your body is functioning itself, such as getting enough vitamins and nutrients and water to function properly... then I can probably see that. I don't exercise regularly-as I've said, if rarely.. I'm not eating the "pyramid" recommended daily allowances or taking vitamins daily either. So if it's in this sense, anxiety, I can accept it. But not where someone tells me it's stress.

Do you stress cause you didn't read that book on your shelf? Or that you didn't feed the fish at 4pm cause your daughter was out for the night? Or perhaps that you didn't get your laundry done, yet again and you finally have maybe 2 worthy loads (not counting whites-that's a small load itself)? Perhaps you stress cause you didn't call your friend/mom/bf/gf/spouse? Not me.. not any of it. So stress/anxiety? No. It's a crap diagnosis for a Dr who doesn't really want to invest time to figure what is going on with their patient.

I'm not wired like you are (you being anyone reading this). I'm wired like me. Sensitive to pain. What causes me pain you wouldn't blink at. So I'm hyper-sensitive. This just means that when something goes off that never did before and has since been a daily thing... something is wrong. So because I don't drink, didn't do drugs, my grandma & grandpa on my dad's side had heart issues, my mother has diastolic heart failure as well as COPD and edema (which I think is related to the diastolic part), my stats look great for a 43 year old... I'm not a candidate for heart issue therefore it's stress. K.

Why then if you g o o g l e "chest pain with left arm pain to elbow and pain radiating up neck into jaw line... do you get 152,000 results-the majority all state 'classic angina symptoms'?

I can rant, sorry. I just get upset when I take time out of my day from work, to get to the Dr office 15min prior to my appt to only wait 30min after my appt to be seen in the room for stats, to wait yet another 10-20 min for the Dr to come in.. ask me about 5min worth of questions, interrupting me along the way, to tell me... "anxiety, you don't have any signs for angina" then leave. 5 MIN! I get a bill for 160$ of which my insurance pays 50%. It irritates me. But I was perfectly fine until 10/5.

Maybe my rant is the reason why many people aren't commenting. I just want validation. Want to hear other stories about being told the same thing, only to end up in the hospital because the Dr was very wrong.

God bless all who read this. I really hope your Dr is doing more.

I'm happy to hear that you've made some changes with your smoking and taking the blood pressure meds.

Ewa37 03-29-2013 04:57 AM

Re: Unstable Angina?
The problem with doctors is denial of pathology whenever they come across unexplained symptoms from their textbooks. It takes them years, literally to accept new findings.

It could be unstable angina, which does not always show on EKGs, same for heart attacks, does not always show.

In your case, it could be Micro vessel disease, which are tiny little vessels in the heart not dilating. They usually do a batter of test including angiogram (which I refused to do, far too dangerous, specially bathing the heart with contrast dye and radio active stuff), and excluding all else.

My cardio suspects I have it, so, I started altering my diet, taking lots of liquid magnesium is very helpful, zine and selenium and other supps.

The above does not constitute advice, am just sharing my experience.

dionusos 10-12-2013 11:00 AM

Re: Unstable Angina?
Any news on your chest pain? Sounds like it wasn't angina since you haven't been posting?

NDmom 11-04-2013 10:00 AM

Re: Unstable Angina?
Thank you for posting. I dropped off the board for awhile trying to deal with everything that is, heart related. So on to an update.

In 2/2013 I went into the ER due to constant pressure and a foreboding feeling I had for an entire day. So in I went. Only to have smart a$$ drs make comments after the first wave of people prepped me. Hooking me up to all sorts of machines. Did an EKG and 2 blood draws cause the 1st time they blew through my left vein. Nice right?! The total time they prepped me was less than 10 min with about 5 ppl. Afterwards I was left alone for..... 45 min. In the end with me ticked off for this lack of, we'll, anything. I was about to rip out the IV in my right arm when the smart a$$ dr came in and pronounced me fine. The pain and pressure... Just stress. 10 minutes later I'm finally disconnected and walk out. Next month I received my share of the ER visit $750+. I vowed never again.

Then, in 3/2013 my kids and I were at PetSmart getting ready to adopt a kitty. While looking at the over-priced towers I had the worst pain to date seize my heart. While my kids were still excited and looking at this tower then that one, I stood, as if cemented to my spot. My hand grasping the closest tower for support. I felt the blood drain from my lips then cheeks. I thought this ripping, tearing feeling must be the damned elephant everyone talks about sitting on their chest. Me? Oh quick thought of the alien popping out of people's chests seemed more like it to me. I timed it while this went on I started praying. The pain was truly the worst I've ever felt a broken bone wouldn't compare! My daughter saw me and came over and she tried touching me. All I could muster was, please... Don't. I was the same way during childbirth. After 6min of that. It went away. Just as sudden as it came it was gone. I thought if it gets worse than that, it's really going to suck! We started walking out and not 3 min later another hit. This one almost 4-5 min but same in intensity. I was left shaking and a bit scared and told my daughter we had to leave NOW. We got in the car and I thought she better drive. We arrived home about 7 min later and I went to lay down. That was my last intense episode.

I've had some pinching here and there. I know it's heart related as I have the Nitro my dr gave me last year. When my pinching occurs for about 4 minutes I take one and Wallace after all the vessels open the pain subsides. I don't really like taking the nitro as I feel the blood rushing even into my brain/head and that's a bit more pressure than I like. I feel it everywhere. The one I dislike the most is the aortic in your abdomen! I don't like feeling that as its disconcerting.

Have I been back? Nope. My dr has refused to do further tests that prove something more than body stress, not emotional, is occurring. I've considered perhaps pre-menapause but when then when different people of different ages and genders experience the same thing?!

I eat ok. I don't get all my veggies or fruits in a day. But I knocked out my drinking. As if 1 a month or even 1 in 2 months was a factor.

There isn't much I can do up here and I cannot rake up more bills for people who refuse to really take this seriously. As it is I'm a single income household with a child in daycare (my daughter decided to live with her dad during the summer) and bills that still need to be paid for just the basics. I've run out of options considering there aren't many in Fargo ND/Moorhead MN.

Vyking 11-12-2013 04:58 PM

Re: Unstable Angina?
[QUOTE=NDmom;5239038] I know it's heart related as I have the Nitro my dr gave me last year.[/QUOTE]

You do know Nitro tablets are only good for about 3 months?
They need to be replaced every few months as they start to lose their effect.

You wouldn't want to have a coronary event and the Nitro pills be useless. :(

NDmom 11-12-2013 08:55 PM

Re: Unstable Angina?
[QUOTE=Vyking;5241761]You do know Nitro tablets are only good for about 3 months?
They need to be replaced every few months as they start to lose their effect.

You wouldn't want to have a coronary event and the Nitro pills be useless. :([/QUOTE]

This I didn't know. A fact my dr didn't tell me. I was just told to keep them tightly capped. Sigh.

Ravencrow 02-24-2014 10:39 AM

Re: Unstable Angina?

Did they do any further testing like an angiogram to confirm or dismiss your suspicions? I am assuming since you are on Nitro that they did just wondering and also what were the results.



Voxx976 03-01-2014 01:14 PM

Re: Unstable Angina?

You need a NUCLEAR STRESS TEST. This has nothing do do with emotional stress, but rather physical stress where they pump in some radioactive isotopes and you run like Hell on a treadmill until you reach maximum heart rate. They lay you down and scan you to find out if the radioactivity has reached all parts of your heart.
If you have any blockage that would cause angina it will show up as an insufficiency of blood. If anything is suspect, the next step I angiogram.
Both are good diagnostic test whereas an ultrasound is NOT.

(I showed perfect ultrasound results in spite of having a 99% blockage of my right coronary artery and frequent angina attacks.

"Anxiety" is a diagnosis by exclusion. It is the easiest way to get rid of a patient who perhaps has poor insurance. It's a lazy diagnosis.

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