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    Old 02-28-2007, 07:13 AM   #1
    jools182
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    Angiogram questions

    My symptoms started about 7 years ago when I was sat at work. I suddenly felt as though I was falling backwards off my chair along with the same falling kind of feeling you sometimes get when you are falling asleep. These feelings only lasted a few seconds and I seemed to be able to snap myself out of it. About 2 or 3 weeks after these symptoms I had a really bad dizzy spell, I just felt like I was losing consciousness, felt really confused and scared. I went home and went to bed for about a week, feeling like I had flu or something. Really weak and shaky and cold and dizzy.

    After that I had occasional bouts of dizziness and feeling unsteady on my feet but eventually seemed to return to some normality although I never really felt 'right'.

    A year or so later I started getting dizziness along with feeling flu like symptoms. I could usually tell in the morning if I was going to have a bad day, just a feeling. My symptoms then started with cold feet and lower legs and just feeling generally grotty.

    Since then it seem like I have a constant level of dizziness which never really goes away along with nausea, chest pain etc

    During this time I have been checked for Marfans Syndrome, have had ECG's blood tests, exercise tests and echoes of my heart, and tilt tests for blood pressure. I recently saw a neurologist who suggested I may be suffering from Basilar Artery Migraine. He put me on beta blockers which seemed to help a little bit for a while but then I think I passed out, I was so scared I went to the Emergency dept who said there was nothing wrong with me. I went to see my GP and he took me off the beta blockers.

    I have been to the Emergency Dept about 4 or 5 times over the years because I have felt so bad like I was about to pass out

    My symptoms seem to be getting more frequent these days and lasting for much longer periods of time. I have this constant dizziness, and worse still this feeling of being unreal, dreamlike, numb, somehow detached from reality

    I have not had a full week in work since last October when I had a really bad episode of feeling like I was losing consciousness; I was really pale and cold.

    I feel like crap the whole time and my GP doesn't seem interested in my symptoms or how scared I am.

    I used to be quite sociable and I like the outdoors life and going to the gym etc, but now I am scared to go anywhere. Last time I went a decent walk I got the same symptoms again, feeling like I was passing out and feeling numb, and it also happened last time I went out on my mountain bike, so now I don't do any exercise.

    I feel bad for my girlfriend too as we never go anywhere. I won't even go out for a meal these days as I just feel horrible the whole time and I am scared that I will have another of these attacks. I haven't even been to the hairdressers since September last year. Its sounds ridiculous when you write it down but it doesn't feel that way.

    I went back to see a cardiologist as my Mum has contacts and got another tilt test which proved negative, however he now wants to do an Angiogram soon just to make sure, but I am so scared about this test. I have read about the risks and you can have a stroke, heart attack, kidney failure etc. My GP has expressed reluctance in letting me have this test and I don't know what to do.

    I have also been to see an ENT who thinks there may be a balance problem but needs to do further tests

    I want to know, should I put the Angiogram off until I have had the balance tests?

     
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    Old 02-28-2007, 08:22 AM   #2
    Beefsteak
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    Re: Angiogram questions

    Hi Jools,
    Based on what you have said I would not rush into an angiogram - yes, I have had one recently.
    I think there is enough uncertainty in your diagnosis to ask for less invasive testing first so that you can be sure the angiogram is required. However what that testing would be I'm not sure.
    From the patient's viewpoint the angiogram is quite easy to undertake - fear and stress (initially) are the main obstacles for most. Once the valium hits the empty stomach you are only half awake and concentrating at all is a feat. There is no pain, and almost no discomfort. The cardio talked me through the whole procedure as I watched my heart on the x-ray monitor - this seems to be normal.
    I think it's important to get the best possible cardiologist (I made a mistake there) and to discuss what their strategy will if they find such and such (eg partial blockages, valve defects etc.). For this you need to read up a bit on what they can and might do.
    For the risks you can look at the link below - there are various risks for the various possible problems (this is for Queensland, Australia where I live - the procedures are the same.)
    Look here:
    [url]http://www.health.qld.gov.au/informedconsent/ConsentForms/shared/shared_file_06.pdf[/url]
    Hope this has helped.
    Beefsteak

    Last edited by Beefsteak; 02-28-2007 at 07:14 PM.

     
    Old 03-01-2007, 05:40 AM   #3
    Lenin
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    Re: Angiogram questions

    Jools,

    My first thought is labyrithitus which is an inflammation of the inner ear where balance is centered. Do you feel an nausea when the dizziness sweeps over you? Are there any visual disturbances, swirls, colors or the like? Is your hearing ever affected. Has any doctor ever discussed Mueniere's Syndrome with you? A lot of your problems fall under that possible diagnosis.

    Does meclizine help...that can be found OTC as "non-drowsy" Dramamine formula or your doctor can give you a cheaper Rx for meclizine?

    I wouldn't rush into angiography either. THese symptoms don't sound particulary heart related and angiography carries a risk.

     
    Old 03-03-2007, 06:26 AM   #4
    jools182
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    Re: Angiogram questions

    How much more information would an Angiogram give than say an echocardiogram?

    I have heardthat your ejection fraction -- a measure of your heart's strength and efficiency -- can be determined accurately with none of the risks or side effects of angiography.

    What benefits would an Angiogram have?

     
    Old 03-03-2007, 08:29 AM   #5
    Fixmyheart
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    Re: Angiogram questions

    I can totally relate to your story. I experience a lot of the same symptoms and experiences as you do. For example, the dream like state or not totally feeling there, the flu like symptoms, the effect on your ability to do activities, the fear when you do go out. Like you I have not been diagnosed either. I always thought or assumed that if and when you got sick you went to the docotrs and they figured out what was wrong, treated you and you got better, but like with your story I am seeing this unfortunately is not the case. I may go to the mayo clinic to get my answer. Like you I have had many tests with very mixed findings. To answer your question, don't be afraid of the angiogram. Just make sure the person giving it to you has experience and get them to give you a sedative before they do it to help you relax. Or ask for a coronary CT scan. It's exactly like the angiogram but has bo risk to it at all. Keep persevering until you get an answer. Thank you for your story. You are not alone.

     
    Old 03-04-2007, 05:49 AM   #6
    Lenin
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    Re: Angiogram questions

    Quote:
    How much more information would an Angiogram give than say an echocardiogram?
    jools,

    The angiogram will tell you the condition of the INSIDE of the coronary arteries (and kidney arteries if desired.) It is almost specific for blockages.
    An echocardiogram is more for the size an shape of the heart and it's chambers.
    They complement one another to get a more complete picture.

     
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