fastback66……..after reading your posts several times, the ONE thing that really jumped out at me was your statement "I don't have a lot of faith in our local medical community." That is a REALLY scary place to be…..one I completely understand. Without total trust in your medical team, it's worse than being between a rock and a hard spot since we are essentially dealing with life and death if our hearts are in need of help. I don't want to be overly dramatic here, but I was very glad to hear you are gathering up your medical records and are apparently heading to Northwestern in Chicago for further evaluation. I certainly don't need to tell you about the extraordinary care you will receive there.
I guess there WAS one other issue you mentioned which was the angiogram you had 6 YEARS ago that showed "a percentage" of blockage in your arteries. I wish you had given us those numbers! Please correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems that from the time of your angiogram……and the following 6 YEARS to the present, you wrote……" I have been troubled by the idea of an impending event without warning." Are you saying that during those intervening 6 YEARS you were NOT being followed closely by your cardiologist? THAT certainly explains the lack of confidence in your local medical community! 15 years ago when I had my first cardiac catheterization and a small amount of plaque was found in my LAD, I was told to make some serious lifestyle changes or I could expect a "cardiac event" within 5 years! (Apparently the amount of plaque they found was small enough to NOT warrant stenting at that time) I was ALSO told to have yearly follow ups with my cardiologist to monitor any progression) To make an incredibly long story short, I DID find a great cardiologist at the hospital I worked at and he followed me twice a year. During that time I had SO much blood work and scans and wore all sorts of patches and did so many stress tests, I felt like a lab rat. But an extremely well cared for lab rat. When I began to have odd pains in my upper chest, just below my collar bones, which made me think they couldn't be related to my heart, the first person I went to was my cardio, who scheduled me immediately for a catheterization and possible stenting because what I was feeling was angina! (Yes, women's symptoms ARE often much different than men's and because of this are FAR TOO OFTEN misdiagnosed until it's too late) That my cardiologist knew what these pains meant and acted immediately saved my life. Those stents were placed about 8 years ago and I see my cardio two times a year as I am "blessed" with a disorder called hyperlipidemia. (My body produces way too much cholesterol all by itself) My stents fixed my problems and are continuing to do their job……even if I do have to be on a mega dose of cholesterol meds. Last year I was diagnosed with AFIB and the massive rounds of blood work and scans and monitors and drug trials began, again…….in March of 2019, I underwent an ablation. For 9 months I have been free of AFIB and will hopefully be one of the lucky ones who only have to undergo this procedure once…….because it's brutal. So, I have CAD, 2 cardiac stents, one stent for an abdominal aortic aneurysm that was very near rupturing, PVC's and a heart that has been, literally, burned in 80+ spots to form scar tissue for my wonky electrical system to get back on track and keep my heart in sinus rhythm. But I realize I have not addressed the main concern YOU have. And that is regarding calcium scores and excessive calcium attributable to the parathyroid. I really apologize that I've made this entire post more about ME than YOU. During all my years of people messing about with my heart and all the lab work and tests……I have no memory of my calcium scores EVER being mentioned. And I think IF my calcium was a contributing factor to my problems, I would have been made aware of it. I wasn't. I also have osteopenia which is one step down form osteoporosis, a condition many women my age…68+ have with bone loss. For this I take a pretty high dose of calcium which both my cardio and my EP were definitely aware of and neither have said I should stop. Please let me apologize for what has turned into a rather self-centered rant and end by saying that when you get to Northwestern, they are going to check EVERYTHING (including your calcium levels) and when you leave there, I have absolutely no doubt you are going to have a very structurally sound heart! I hope you keep us all informed of your progress. I know we ALL wish you the very best and a return to good health and no more anxiety. I also hope the docs at Northwestern can recommend an excellent cardio to follow you close to where you live……one you WILL have absolute trust in. If you have any questions, please feel free to PM me and I'll do my very best to answer it or help you find the answer. It's ALL going to be good, Don.