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British Heart Foundation
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Help and Information Needed Please

I have been diagnosed with Angina and High Blood Pressure . I am 57 and as i work within the health profession ,it has been presumed that I already posse the knowledge on these conditions .As a patient, this has got me thinking about how other people with health issues feel. I am wondering if there are any patients or relatives who would not mind answering a few questions for my research.

My first symptoms were persistent headaches, dizziness when i stood up,my heart beating very loud , shortness of breath and pain in my neck.

1. What were your/relatives first symptoms ?

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Shortness of breath then pain in the middle of my chest.

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When i saw my GP he ordered an ECG, Blood Pressure Monitoring for 48 hours and bloods taken.

Can you remember what tests your GP ordered for yourself ?

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All sorts of tests but nothing to do with heart disease - he thought I was too young (in my 30s) to have CHD.

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When you finally got your diagnosis , did you feel you were given enough information about the condition and were you able to ask questions and get the answers you were looking for

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Yes, I wrote down a list of questions for every appt. I also wrote down the answers for future reference.

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Hi. I actually was diagnosed with mild asthma and had shortness of breath with throat pain and had several admissions with undiagnosed chest pains for about 10 years before my heart attack. Now I don’t need inhalers just cardiac drugs!! Hope all goes well with you. Take care. Zena

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After your heart your heart attack ,did you feel that you were given enough information ?

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Hello again. I had mine whilst I was on holiday in this country and didn’t feel I had sufficient information or support. However I was transferred back to the North East - Freeman hospital Newcastle upon Tyne and I had access to as much information as I wanted. All questions answered fully in hospital. Access to the ward after discharge. A heart manual on discharge to start rehab. A phone call by rehab nurse 3 days after discharge. A visit by same nurse a week after discharge. Phone call from GP 5 days after discharge. Numerous visits to GP. Cardiac rehab. Various hospital appointments- cardiologist. Lipid clinic. Speech therapist. And calls to BHF helpline. Yes I have had outstanding support and as much information that I needed and wanted. They have been brilliant and I cannot thank the teams enough for all of their help. I hope all is going well with you. Take care. Zena

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I am really pleased to here that you had outstanding support and were able to get the information that you needed .I also what to thank you for taking the time and answering my questions .

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Hi Houghtonc, my first feeling something was wrong was walking the dog and feeling breathless with tightness rou d the chest. 3 days later I had a heart attack. I had a stent inserted the next day and am now recovering. I am 67 yo. My advice, dont ignore anything. Hope all goes well for you.

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My experience was almost identical to yours. Mild heart attack 2 days after first symptom onset. 1 stent. I was in hospital one day, stayed home an additional 3 days, then back to work following Monday. I’m 65, in cardiac rehab and doing great. No issues. Life goes on. Lots of new meds though.

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May i ask if you got enough information on your condition and were you able to ask questions and get the answers you were looking for ?

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After your heart attack and insertion of stent, did you feel that you were given enough information ?

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Yes I came home with all manner of info. I intend to do everything I am advised to, but not let it take over my life.

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Good for you and I,m pleased that you got the information that you needed. I would also like to thank you for answering my questions . Thankyou.

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Dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea and a very tight chest. Don't ignore any symptoms - I did and do regret not getting treatment sooner.

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I have seen my GP and have had an ECG, bloods taken and 48 hour Blood pressure monitoring. Now getting the treatment i need, but not enough information on my condition.

Do you feel that you got enough information on your condition ?

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I got most of my information from the cardiac rehab nurse and the BHF website. Neither my GP or cardiologist wanted to take the time to discuss my condition.

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Like Zena I had been diagnosed with asthma for years. I had 4 NSTEMI attacks in January and I will be having a triple bypass next week. It sounds to me that you require an angiogram which will show up any blocking of your blood vessels. Make sure though meanwhile you have at least two nitro sprays with you at all times. A good pill to have by the way is Chemydur-60 XL. My angina,at first frequent was extremely worrying and could not go to bed with the light off. The attacks would occur in the early hours of the morning. Two important things. One is to realise that POSSIBLY you have heart disease. The angiogram will tell the consultant this. Take it easy also, tasks that you thought were always achievable may not be the case. Also do not stress,this will bring an angina attack on. Two bursts of the spray under the tongue,sit still. If it is stable angina the pressure in your chest,pains in your arms,back or neck should go away. If not two more sprays. If this does not work then they say call an ambulance immediately. It has been a difficult last 4 months but I have got through it and making sure by talking to my wife as well. This has worked well. They call this the hidden disease and there is nothing to be ashamed of. ANYBODY of any age,gender etc can develop this. Your first step has been achieved and you will recover. Take the medication and get your angiogram booked. They say after the bypass or whatever you will require you will be back to your old self. They also say that the average life expectancy is now 33 years !!!

All the best John Wilson

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May i ask if you received enough information on your condition and were you able to ask questions and get the information you were looking for ?

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I spent about five years with angina diagnosed as duodenitis. Eventually diagnosed as angina by a new GP who sent me for rapid assessment which confirmed it. Followed by angiogram and then a triple bypass.

Luckily, I always rested when I had a pain and somehow avoided a heart attack.

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After your recovery from your triple bypass did you feel that you were given enough information and were you able to ask questions and get the answers you were looking for ?

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Very much so. I had contacts with my GP, rehab classes and St Thomas’s hospital where I had the op for my varying concerns and they were always helpful and professional. The information pack on discharge is comprehensive and very similar to the one on the BHF web site.

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I,m so very pleased that you got the information and support you needed .I want to thank you for taking the time in answering my questions . Thank you.

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Hot, burning pain behind right shoulder blade radiating out but always staying on right side. Hard to breath. Always exercise induced. In hindsight probably had it for a number of years before it was diagnosed (I am so grateful to the GP who sent me to the cardiologist as it had been put down as a musculoskeletal issue until then ). Stress echo, followed by angiogram, followed by immediate admission to hospital and triple CABG 8 days later. Feel very fortunate that it was found and addressed before I had a heart attack.

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After your recovery form your triple bypass ,were you given enough information and able to ask questions and get the answers you were looking for. ?

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Really depends what you mean by 'recovery'. I left hospital 5 days post op. I was armed with the drugs I needed, some exercise information and a list of do's and don'ts. I met with the cardiac nurse, the pharmacist, discharge nurse and the physiotherapist, so I was able to ask such questions as I had, but in truth I'm not sure I was fully on the planet at the time, all I wanted to do was get home, I didn't exactly ask many questions!

Since leaving hospital I have been discharged by the surgical team (4 weeks post op) and have seen the consultant for about 10 minutes. I did get the questions answered I needed at the time. I did go to cardiac rehab but it really wasn't for me.

I have had little problem getting to see my GP if I've needed to and this site has helped with a lot of the less serious stuff.

I'm feeling well so I'm not going to complain. Things might have been different had I had any issues.

Steve

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Steve, i want to thank you very much for answering my questions. With the replies i have received, the British Heart Foundation Website , has been a god send to so many people .

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First symptoms. Breathless, tight chest and pain up the neck on walking up hill, or under stress.

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I saw my GP , had an ECG, Blood Pressure Monitoring for 48hours and had blood taken.

Can you remember what tests you had ?

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I first noticed I had angina while out walking, on a gentle rise I started to get a pain across my chest going down my right arm, this would disappear after a short rest. I experienced this a few times before mentioning at an outpatient appointment (on an unrelated matter) and was sent straight down to the cardiac & stroke receiving unit where angina was diagnosed.

I was already on medication for hypertension.

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May i ask if you were given any tests before you were diagnosed with angina ?

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Only my BP at my GP. My hypertension was first realised during a medical MOT at the doctors.

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Do you feel that you were given enough information about your condition from your GP or Practice Nurse and are you now having your Blood Pressure and Bloods monitored ?

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I suffered what I thought was indigestion for 2 days before going to go. He sent me home with Zantac. 45 minutes later felt really ill and pains down arm and jaw. I knew then it was a heart attack

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Can you remember what tests /investigations you had to determine that you had had a heart attack ?

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