British Heart Foundation
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Hello my name is Elsie ,l am 60.

Had a heart attack 15th August last year. Ambulance men saved my life as by the time they got me in ambulance l had gone and remember nothing till l woke up in intensive care at northern general hospital. Few days pass and l am alert and feeling fab really felt re born. Consultant came explained all what had happened and l had 2 stents fitted . Came home feeling so happy to be alive and forever grateful to the NHS . Never been ill in my life . Always exercised and kept myself fit.

Go to rehab still feeling great told we are lucky as due to modern medicine we are here to tell the tale and our bodies in time will get back to normal

Showed us a film of a bloke cycling up a mountain and was told everything is still possible . Christmas arrives and l have terrible chest pains nothing like back in August so using gtn spray all day every day and pain eases to bearable go to gp and we go through months of crossing things off - stomach - blood clot - none of these. Cartilage on top of rib cage could be damaged but the gtn spray should not ease it . Asked if l could go back to my workouts gp said yes got on treadmill and my heart rate went from 80 to 160 in a matter of 2 mins l was on the lowest setting on treadmill so stopped came home gutted

Went for fitness test and they would not do it as when he asked questions l told him when l walk l swell up in my ankles and feet that bad that my trainers start rubbing me and feel tight, l also swell up below my chest and have not been able to wear a bra l put it on in a morning and 2 to 3 hours later it is that tight l have to take it off.I have to use my spray . So l am referred back to hospital thing is mentally it's frustrating and leaves me concerned are they missing something. Go to see specialist l was in with him 5mins told me not my heart l can exercise and booked me in for fitness test in April.

I go back to gym just do treadmill and cycle first 2 days are OK yesterday l struggled my feet swell up to the point my trainers are rubbing me my sports bra is so tight and l have to use my gtn spray The pain is back it starts off as a niggle and eventually ends up like a bad toothache but thankfully the gtn spray does its job.l feel tired and worn out during these periods and have no energy Some days l have good days and am my old self other days l feel so old and ill .

Anyone else have these symptoms as l really am struggling to get it looked at Gp says consultant says not my heart l say how does he know when l was not examined and was in just 5mins Any advice would be gratefully received

9 Replies
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I’m so sorry you feel unwell like this. It can be difficult to be assertive with medics it shouldn’t be the case but you need to persist and be prepared with questions if you know that you’re not right.

Are they denying you have oedema? As this is a classic sign of the heart struggling. I’m no medic but I’d be querying whether they could a BNP (or nBNP nor sure which nowadays) blood test at your GP as this gives a very quick and I believe accurate result to show whether your heart is struggling. Obviously there are a raft of tests to proceed with if they can be persuaded to look again at heart function.

You do need to keep going back and explaining that you are unwell with this and persist for proper explanation.

Take care.

Jo

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Thank you very much for taking the time to reply. I will take your advice l will ring my gp to try and get an appointment l do believe it's my own fault for the outcome of my visit to consultant as l should have been mor e assertive and l could kick myself for that.

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It’s not your fault. I realise that medics are busy and may have had to deal with who knows what before you so it’s not worth jumping down their throats. However do keep it clear in your own mind that you and your health and well being are paramount to you and your loved ones. So when unsure or still needing answers just keep turning up and asking and forgive them their lack of communication skills just know it’s not you and help them to help you. It might help to take someone with you to appointments.Take care.

Jo

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I would also take someone with you to a next appointment. Someone who knows about your health, can help you to be assertive, and who can also be a second set of ears. I can’t understand why the oedema would be ignored.

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I am very sorry that you are going through this. I had years of trying to get doctors to listen to me. At least I have got my GPs to listen.

I would print off your original post and take it with you whenever you have a medical appt. Get the doctor to read it or read it out. Add any other symptoms, variations, details that you have. Also, for every appt. write a list of questions and ask them. Don't let them fob you off. If you think you are being fobbed off tell them so.

I have an appt. this afternoon at a hospital eye clinic. I will read them my notes on what has happened so far and ask my list of questions.

Good luck!

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Thank you for taking the time to reply and l think your suggestions are brilliant and l am taking notes ringing gp for doctors appointment Sometimes all a person needs is reassurance and encouragement from others experiencing the same and the replies on here have done that Thank you

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I'm so sorry you feel so poorly it's miserable for you.

Your story reads exactly like mine, I arrested in Oct 17and had 2 stents. I have since been back in hospital 3 times with AF. I also get swollen ankles from time to time. It takes a while for medication that is right for you to be sorted, I have had mine change each time I've been to hospital. Fingers crossed its ok now.

You also must be gentle with yourself it takes a long time to recover from a trauma so great to your body. Some days are great and some not so, on those bad days be kind to yourself, relax watch TV or read, eat well and take a nap, and of course drink plenty of water, my paremedic sister reminds of that everyday.

I really wish you all the best.

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Thank you for taking the time to reply and l feel you are right and l am happy to relax and enjoy my home and garden but unfortunately l took on board what they said at rehab and l just thought that Mayberry was all normal

I have read the reply and l am writing down notes from them to give the doctor to read l know things are not as they should be and l need to get this sorted

Sometimes talking to others in the same boat will give me the encouragement to be more assertive

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Hi Katiejo

I am sorry to hear that you’re poorly .As with others I recommend you ‘prepare ‘ for your appointments. There are still other tests that you can have such as a CT perfusion heart scan (adenosine test). Echocardiogram to check function. I had both of these tests following my heart attack and angiogram. Insist that you are referred to a cardiologist and it doesn’t have to be to the same one. You can ask For a second opinion and go to a specialist cardiology hospital anywhere in the country. Don’t take no for an answer! You may want to contact the cardiac rehab nurses that you saw before as well as they can sometimes contact the cardiology dept on your behalf. Or talk to BHF helpline and speak to a nurse there.

Do take care and look after yourself

Zena

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