I recently discovered these support groups and I thought I'd try to get some support for my ongoing condition. I don't want to go crazy with the details, but I want to give anyone who will read this the pertinent information. I'm a 43 y/o male with a strong family history of heart disease on my mothers side. My grandfather had his first heart attack at 40 and died of a massive MI at 53. My mother and all but one of her 4 siblings have had stents at a minimum, and 2 have had CABG, so far none have died early. In January of 2018 I started noticing some occasional dull, achy, throbbing in the left side of my chest. Over the course of the next few months the pain gradually started to increase in frequency and would sometimes radiate to my left arm and left side of my jaw. Also, I was also developing extreme fatigue. One day in late March I was sitting in my office chair and I was having the dull achy pain when suddenly the pain exploded and I was doubled over and couldn't breath and was instantly nauseated and drenched in sweat. This lasted maybe 2 minutes. Of course I was in denial so I waited a couple of weeks to see my PCP. He ordered the standard tests- EKG, Holter monitor, chest xray- and everything came back normal except a low heart rate (usually in the low 50's) which has always been my normal. Also, my HDL has always been genetically low, usually upper 20's to low 30's. My blood pressure had been steadily climbing for the past few years so he started me on lisinopril (my first daily script) and referred me to a Cardiologist. The Cardiologist was not impressed with any of my symptoms but offered to order a stress test or CTA Heart if I wanted peace of mind. I'm a CT Tech by profession, so I had that done and it came back abnormal showing possible plaque in the left main and LAD. Had a cardiac cath a few days later (May 30) and had a stent place in the LAD for an 80% bifurcation stenosis. After a couple weeks the pain was mostly gone and I felt like a new man. My cardiologist did not, however, feel that my symptoms explained the need for a stent because I still had enough flow, but that I was lucky to have had the "widowmaker" stenosis stented. In late July I started having the same dull, achy, throbbing chest pain and one morning while jogging I had a sudden burst of severe chest pain, nausea, and sweating. Later that day (Sept 27) cath and another stent was placed just proximal to the first one in the mid LAD (75% stenosis). This did not stop my chest pains. My cardiologist still insisted that my symptoms were not classical angina and he referred me to a cardiologist at Barnes Jewish in St. Louis, MO. Before that apt I was sent to the ER at Barnes by my PCP because of the chest pain that now causes SOB and dizziness. The cardiologist that I had an apt saw me in the ER and said I needed to have another cath to make sure I didn't have another blockage or stent failure. Thankfully everything looked good on November 2.
Sorry for so much information, but it helps to understand my history. I'm still having the same achy, sometimes dull sometimes sharp, chest pain that causes SOB and dizziness at times. When it's bad the only thing that stops it is sublingual nitro. I'm now on 10 meds including Imdur and Ranexa. I saw my cardiologist last Friday in St. Louis and he's referring me to a colleague that studies people with chronic, hard to diagnose chest pain. I will see this physician tomorrow.
I've done a lot of reading and it seems likely to me that I have some sort of microvascular disorder in addition to the CAD. There are so many different types of things that could be going, the problem is getting to the right diagnosis and combination of meds. I'm reaching out to this community to see if anyone has had similar experiences and how they got treatment. Most days I can deal with everything ok, but it is starting to be debilitating. Thanks in advance to anyone who took the time to read this long post.
Sorry for all of the detail, but that brings me to where I am today.