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Dec 30, 2017 · Prinzmetal and cold weather advice in Heart & Blood Health

For the past couple of months my Prinzmetal angina has done really well. With 480 diltiazem the nightly spasms gradually disappeared completely and the daytime angina can be controlled as long as I stay away from my triggers. Lately I’ve even been able to push my luck a little and get away with it. Taking my time in the grocery store, sticking around for an argument with my son … living large indeed. Where I live it can get very cold but until this week it’s been uncharacteristically warm. For the first time since this all started I went outside today in minus 30 C weather. I took all precautions: gloves, hat, scarf around my mouth, straight from house to warm car then to building. In total I couldn’t have been outside for more than three minutes. My chest got tight right away, and my heart was a bit sore but I thought I got away with it, pretty much, until tonight. The angina is kicking in, in spite of the nitro patch. I don’t understand how something I did six hours ago can cause me angina now. It’s crazy. No really bad spasms yet though, thank goodness.
Anyway, we are in for at least a week of this weather. Is there anything else I can do to mitigate the reaction to the cold? Would taking NGL before I go out help? I have a chance to see my grandchildren tomorrow but I don’t want to start another bout of six months of angina or start the bad spasms up again. It took months before this settled down to where we could actually sort it out. I don’t want to go back to that again.
I have to admit that I’d begun to think I could control this, maybe even start to live my life again.

Aug 15, 2017 · Provocative Angiogram in Heart & Blood Health

So tired. 137 nights of angina. With the increased diltiazem and .8 nitro patch I’m handling it better but every night the angina comes calling. I’m on the waiting list to get set up for a gastroenterologist appointment. Yup, you heard that right. I’m on the waiting list to get put on the waiting list for an appointment. Receptionist tells me that within the next two weeks I’ll get a call to set up an appointment in November. They’ve already had the referral for a month. Sorry for grumbling here. Spasms have been intermittent for hours and I’ve lost my sense of humour.

Jul 6, 2017 · Bad day last week in Heart & Blood Health

Moving on. I don’t understand how chest pain can be caused by esophageal spasms and be triggered by things like flying, stress, caffeine, and exercise or how the esophagus would spike my blood pressure at the same time every night just before the spasms start but, as I’ve said before, I left my medical degree in my other pocket and will leave the diagnosis to wiser – and more educated – heads than mine. The next step is to see a gastroenterologist and am hoping to get answers there. In the meantime I thank all those here who have been so immensely and amazingly supportive. My doctor is emphatic that vasospastic angina cannot be microvascular so that leaves me with an incredible nightly coincidence or madness. I do know that if my mind is manufacturing this pain I am as ill as any patient who ever called themselves Napolean (no disrespect intended). Thankyou all.

Jul 6, 2017 · Medication triggered Prinzmetal Angina in Heart & Blood Health

Had the provocative angiogram last week – good news, all clear. Had two spasms on the table. My nightly spasms started early afterwards causing a hematoma sp? In the groin area. Took 240 diltiazem but I didn’t have nitro with me so it was really hard to get nurses to give me patch and spray. The comment was always ‘your heart is fine, look at the angiogram’ from the nurses. Internist didn’t even come to see me and tried to discharge me over the phone. I ate half an egg salad sandwich with no problems flat on my back on a stretcher during spasms to show that it wasn’t esophageal. 3 hours after dil, nitro patch, and four shots sublingual the spasms stopped and the last of the three hematoma died down – bp still 135 over 90. They wanted to discharge me but I wouldn’t go because I was still 2 hours until my regular
Spasm time. So I stayed in. Worst pain of my life started at 1 am. I was chastising myself for doctoring myself for them so decided to ride it out. I lasted until 5 then took morphine which – surprisingly – helped. Bp dropped to 64/50 overnight. ECG normal in the morning and when the internist released me he told me that he hadn’t checked the troponin result because my heart was fine due to angiogram. Back to cardiologist tomorrow. Hope she can help me. I’m down to an eight hour window during the day when I’m still capable of doing a little between rests. Please pray. I’m a Christian woman so I’m not afraid to die but I really, really don’t want to have a stroke.

Jul 6, 2017 · Provocative Angiogram in Heart & Blood Health

The worst trigger I have is Cipralex. Is there anyone else out there that has found an increase is spasms due to a medication or a chemical?

Jun 28, 2017 · Provocative Angiogram in Heart & Blood Health

After 26 months, a few false diagnosis’, and a medication prescribed that is not safe for those with a family history of congenital heart issues I had to get proactive because the doctors sure weren’t. Menopausal, overweight by 30 pounds, female and bipolar 2 in small hospital ERs. I didn’t have much hope of open minded health care when the ecgs came back negative. May the next woman receive better care because of my experience. The hardest thing was learning to decipher my symptoms. After the Cipralex it was a roller coaster ride, with symptoms and triggers coming so quickly I could hardly keep up. I finally gave the colchicine a fair try ( lost 3.5 inches of my waist and six pounds in two days) and doubled the Diltiazem which slowed the spasms down to bearable. I ate popcorn through the spasms one night, and did the same with granola another night to test and see if it was esophageal. My last trip to ER the doctor told me it was a hernia. When I asked why the nitro was helping and why the inside of my left arm was still numb after two hours the dr shrugged and left. I kept hearing that vasospastic angina is too rare to be a consideration. Maybe the reason it is rarely diagnosed is because many people are shamed into suffering in silence and/or patients are left to wait until they progress to the classical heart attack before they get help. What this disease needs is a public profile.

Jun 28, 2017 · Provocative Angiogram in Heart & Blood Health

When a patient disagrees with any diagnosis they get a referral to another specialist. In my case I did some research to find the cardiologist of my choice. Although my GP disagreed with the need he could not deny me – and would not deny me either. He is a good man. You cannot demand tests (I don’t think) but you can demand to see whomever you want. The worst they can do is tie you up in wait list purgatory or lecture you as to how you are burdening the health care system. The internal medicine specialist was quite stern and dismissive with me over the cost I wanted to incur the tax payer by insisting that we pursue a heart diagnosis beyond a normal stress test. He told me that no reputable cardiologist would continue testing. Thank goodness for the internet.

Jun 28, 2017 · Provocative Angiogram in Heart & Blood Health

Yes I have the diagnosis of Prinzmetal Last Thursday. I finally bypassed my GP and called the cardiologist myself, respectfully taking issue with his diagnosis of Esophagela spasms and they put me in sooner. I have an angiogram tomorrow and have read ( in more than one forum) where patients have regretted allowing the surgeon to stent so am therefore a tad nervous. Not that I have a choice really. My health has now been compromised to the point where staving off permanent damage is my first priority. Catgic has an excellent point – if you need them, get them. My confidence in the medical system is shaken at this point but I trust my cardiologist. Not condescending, listened to my concerns, didn’t interrupt … who knew?