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British Heart Foundation
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Hello from a worried lady

Hi everyone

I’m 57 years old and was diagnosed earlier this week with stable angina and it has frightened the life out of me. A visit to my GP turned into a life changing event and I am struggling to cope.

I had 4 clear ECGs and blood tests were clear. I have a hospital appointment on Wednesday for an echo.

I’m trying to stay positive but really going up and down.

I did the stupid thing of googling angina which freaked me out.

I suppose until they’ve done the echo I won’t know what the next step is.

Does anyone here have the same condition who can make me feel more positive about my future?

😊

26 Replies
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Hi there Carol you've done the right thing by joining this forum...the folk on here are lovely and share their experiences which I'm sure will help you in some way...keep smiling Carol and I'm thinking of you. Sandrann

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Hi Carol and welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear of your diagnosis. First it's good news it's been found and now being treated, I assume you are on some medication, blood thinner, statin and possibly a beta blocker too. Next steps are more tests, the echo first then depending on that maybe more.

Write down questions as you think of them, we all go to appointment with great plans to ask and we all forget.

Have a look at the BHF website, a link to one angina paper is here bhf.org.uk/heart-matters-ma... There are many more, stable angina symptoms are ususlly easier to control and to medicate.

While there will be lifestyle changes you can make to help don't take it as the end of life as you know it, there is plenty that will and can be done to manage the pain and the symptoms.

I hope that helps a little and I'm sure our fabulous members will be along with their own experiences and advice

Take care

Mark

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Thank you

It’s all a huge scary vat of worry but your positivity has given me much hope.

I am still trying to do things, I love walking and did a half hour today (would normally be 2 hours). Have come home and done title hoovering and had lunch and I can feel twinges starting so have stopped.

Thank you again x

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Walking will still be a part of your life, I had a quad bypass, now suffering angina like symptoms 16 months on but a two hour walk today, a few symptoms but a sit down, a deep breath and onwards and upwards

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I second all of what Mark has said, you are on the radar now. So you will now be looked after correctly 😊

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Hi Carol,

It's all good advice from Mark. I don't have angina, so I can't help on that front. But I do know what it's like to be diagnosed with heart problems when you thought everything was fine. I've had an Aortic Valve Replacement and am recovering well. Keep in touch and take care of yourself.

Margaretx

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Hi Margaret

Thank you, as I told Mark..... just a bit wide unknown world which I don’t quite know how to face.

The emotional roller coaster - from terror to anger back again, wipes you out!

I’ve been close to tears all the time and feel like such a drama queen, other people out there are far worse off then I am.

It’s good to hear from people, I really appreciate it xx

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Yes it's a big comfort to know you are not alone. I've found this forum a massive support. Whatever your problem, big or small, or just to have a rant, there will be someone sufficiently caring to offer advice. Xx

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Hi Carol, Sorry to hear this,it should as someone already said be manageable with medication and some minor lifestyle changes. The emotional roller coaster is usual so certainly don't feel alone it will get better in that respect.I know it's easier said than done but when you've come to terms with it try to look at things you can do not what you can't BUT that will come in time and at this moment is lot to digest. On the plus you've been diagnosed early by the sounds of it. The tests sound scarier than they are in reality. If you've been given a GTN spray keep that with you and be sure to use it as and when the symptoms appear. Don't spend time asking yourself " Why me "? There is no logic to it and certainly o answer. Plenty of people here to help and support you so never feel afraid to post.

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Thank you so much.

I’ve been given a spray, yes, and have used it a couple of times.

Living alone allows too much time to dwell.

I hoping to have a much more positive outlook after cardio appointment next week.

It’s such a comfort to have found this forum with all you really kind people.

Thank you xx

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No Angina but have stents,I get pains in my left arm while walking or exersion,use the spray,used mine more in last 2 weeks than since being prescribed,realy easies the symtoms,been checked by my GP had anECG she thinks it's muscular so i'll have to wait till may when I see my cardiologist,and try not to worry like people say,your being treated and in the system some don't get this far...hope this helps..

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Thank you

Everyone on here is so supportive and hearing every single story helps.

I hope you can get sorted soon x

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We are all work in progress..wether we can be totaly sorted,we'll have to wait and see,but just remember what ever happens your not alone...supportive, yes...It helps to know we've all been where you are..starting this journey on our own, hope you start feeling less stressed worried soon..

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Hi Carol , I know exactly how you feel I am 61 this week and was diagnosed with angina just before Christmas after 4 years of having chest pain but nothing showing up on the ECG ,a ct scan shows two blocked arteries which will need attention .

I think for me it was the but I'm too young! I have too much to see and do! ,I'm reasonably fit and I never take pills were my first thoughts ,

But I have come to realise this is a journey and yes I take a few pills now ,thatsnot as scary as I first thought and when I'm fixed I will still be able to do the things I want to do ..

So take heart (no pun intended) from this forum it is great, take your doctors advice on how to deal with your angina and carry on your life as before ... Jax

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Hi Mrsbee, out of interest how long did you have to wait for your CT scan results? I had my scan over three weeks ago, but I’ve heard nothing, so hoping it’s no news is good news. TIA

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I was phoned 3 days afterwards by the cardiac nurse so is say it's worth ringing your doctors surgery and asking if they have the results yet .jax

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Hi Carol sorry to hear your news you’ve done the first step which will help and that’s joining this forum, I was told about a year ago that what I was experiencing was probably angina which was scary as you well know.

It might sound strange but I think it helped me in some way when it dawned on me that I had probably brought it on myself to some extent through being overweight, smoking, and lack of exercise, needless to say I’m now a new man well nearly.

My stable angina got worse and became unstable, which meant a trip to hospital and three stents fitted in my lad, after a week I came home started rehab which was great, now I’m back to work fit as a fiddle just need to loose more weight.

I know it’s easy to say don’t worry (try to avoid stress 😉) but you are now in the hands of some very clever and caring people, keep in touch asking questions on here will certainly help.

Martin

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Hi carol see what the echo says should tell you what percentage your hearts working at.all heart failure news is a kick in the teeth you will feel down you will except your af also hate it.but like most you will fight it don't read google or any want to be internet doctor.bhf will guide you in the right direction good luck .mention cardio version or ablation that's further down the road but 2 things you can get the ball rolling on.🤞

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Hi Carol,

I know you will be worried until you get a full diagnosis and have spoken to a cardiologist to see what can be offered to you in way of treatment but hopefully once you have your echo you won't have to wait too long for the results. I was diagnosed with hypertension approximately 23 years ago when I was just 40 years old. A couple of years later I started getting angina pains which were so bad I couldn't walk very far without getting breathless and being in pain, a tight squeezing pain over the chest. I had echocardiograms but they couldn't find the cause and eventually after many tests, including an angiogram I was told I had Prinzmetal's Angina which is caused by spasms in the arteries as opposed to blocked arteries. I would get angina attacks if I over-exerted myself, got stressed or went out in cold weather conditions and I had to carry my GTN spray everywhere I went.

If they haven't already mentioned it you may have to do an exercise stress test to see how exercise or exertion affects your heart. If you have any questions or worries please feel free to ask me and I will try to help as much as I can. Good luck with your echo.

Angela

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Hi there

The visit on Weds is just to see a cardio nurse I thought it was for the echo I got that wrong.

I’ve called and asked for echo as I’m finding it more and more difficult to do things.

Had to use my spray after ten minutes of walking and cooking dinner !

It’s all so very frightening!

Thank you for your offer of help, I have a million questions!

I’m wondering if I will ever lead a normal life again, or if I will even have a life! Will I need meds only, will I need surgery! I frighten myself when I think about it.

I live alone so nights are very tough

Sorry I’ve rambled. X

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Hi Carol,

Do you have any other symptoms such as high blood pressure, breathlessness or oedema? We are all different so treatment will depend on your diagnosis and requirements. I was given a GTN spray, statins, aspirin and various beta blockers, ACE inhibitors and diuretics (not all at once) to get my blood pressure down and help the angina. Tests showed I didn't have any blocked main arteries but I had Left Bundle Branch Block. I was told this would not cause the symptoms I was getting and I was a bit of a mystery.

This was 20 years ago and there have been many advancements since then. I went in twice with suspected heart attacks and was actually told by one doctor that I couldn't possibly be having a heart attack because I was a female and too young. That was when I had the angiogram which confused things even more because my arteries were clear.

I know you will be worried partly because it is all new to you and unexpected but you are seeing the heart clinic nurse soon and she will answer any specific questions and put your mind at ease. My heart clinic nurses were brilliant and always took the time to reassure me and answer all my questions.

My piece of advise is to take whatever medication you are given but if it doesn't work for you or you have too many nasty side effects ask to try something else. My mistake was I got fed up of the side effects and my blood pressure would fluctuate so much that I would stop and start the medication and it led to me getting worse.

No one can say what the future holds but hopefully with the correct treatment you will be able to live a fulfilling life. It may not be exactly the way it was before but you will adapt and adjust to it.

I can understand you being frightened at night with being alone and I know things always seem worse at night. If you get a bad angina attack which is not controlled by the GTN spray (you may have been instructed differently but I have been told when I get an angina attack to spray one or two puffs under the tongue, wait five minute and if it hasn't gone spray again, if after 10 minutes I am still in pain I have to call 999).

Some more advise is if you know you are going to be doing something that brings on an angina attack use the spray before you do it as a preventative measure.

Hope that helps. I suffer from insomnia so if you ever want to talk late at night I am usually pottering around on my computer until 2 or 3am.

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Thank,you so much, this is a great comfort.

I’ve been told the same with regard to the spray. I used it last evening after I had done bit too much. I know they said it drops your blood pressure - I was freezing and couldn’t get warm but was ok and symptoms subsided.

Take care xx

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Hi CarolW2121, sorry to hear of your worries. I can totally relate to how you're feeling right now. I was 42 when I was diagnosed with angina. I had went to the doctor with breathlessness with slight chest discomfort, and feeling tired. I was very quickly diagnosed with heart disease, and had stents fitted straight away. I felt totally overwhelmed by the whole thing. I remember feeling so angry. I was quite fit, wasn't overweight and had a pretty healthy diet. As others have said, your life does change, but the human body has a great way of adapting to change. Give yourself time to accept your diagnosis. Going from not even taking a pill for a headache to having my own shelf in the cupboard to accommodate my cocktail of drugs was quite difficult for me. But now it's just part of the morning routine! Be kind to yourself. I wish you well.💜

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Hi Carol,

I know exactly how you feel I am 57 and my world changed a year ago, when I was diagnosed with angina and 2 blocked arteries. I was scared and in shock also, as I was being treated for persistent cough and chest infections. I think you are at the worst stage knowing what is wrong but not having a full diagnosis.

I found huge comfort from this forum, people who are experiencing the same and much worse. All positive and able to relate any time of day and night, and understand. No matter how hard family try, they can’t know how we truly feel.

I am sure you will find the same.

Best wishes

Lizziepea

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Hello - i was diagnosed with Angina four years ago following an unstable angina attack and required a stent, it is all very scary i was 43 when diagnosed. It is life changing but since i have had healthier life, I’ve learnt to live with it and recognise my limitations, i have had bad days but on a good day i completed a marathon. Good luck, you’ve come to the best place for support 😃

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Thank you Sharron

I’m getting used to the fact I have a problem with my heart, it’s just the not knowing exactly what is going to happen next.

The positivity on here has helped me so much this past week.

You are all fabulous - restored my faith in mankind!

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