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British Heart Foundation
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OK now I'm scared!!!!

Just sitting with my beautiful 4year daughter and bang! Once again sudden chest pain in left pectrial area combined with back pain...come and went within 5mins...didn't have spray to hand...

But I'm experiencing this every day on and off for entire day and during the night and in cold weather..

I've been banging on to my cardiologist that this has gradually become more frequent since after my stent procedure in may.

I'm not ashamed to say I'm now terrified this will escalate one day when I've got my daughter with while mum is at work.That! Or when I'm at work.

But I'm genuinely worried now people.

Does this sound like unstable angina?

I'm going down the coronary artery spasm route..Neck stiffness for over a month.left arm pain down from sholder daily..I feel I'm being ignored because ivery had an mri cardiac profusion scan...but that just looks at blood flow..so no help! I'm angry,upset and scared my daughter won't have a dad soon...I should be getting ready for Xmas but instead I'm worried sick something is amiss and I'm on course for a heart attack.

As I write this I'm currently having another very mild chest pain....this is what I experience every single day..and at night.

How can I relax and act normal with this hanging over me..

Wether it's a godsend or not? But I'm off for another stress test tomorrow.

Something I had to bloody push for again.


51 Replies

You could call the BHF Heart Helpline on 0300 330 3311 (office hours) and talk to a cardiac nurse about it.

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Hi jimmy

I'm due in for stress test tomorrow afternoon so I'm hoping that will shed more light..I will be looking for 'S THE ELEVATION as that will indicate a problem.

Then cardiologist in next few weeks where I will be giving him a piece of my mind Wether he wants to hear or not.

Let's just hope I'm not blue lighted before then

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Hi Rob - i really feel for you. This is almost exactly the same situation as my husband and we ended up going to A&E as we couldn't get any proper response and they then kept him in before a triple bypass. It does sound like unstable angina as the pain is occurring when you are at rest. I would go there rather than wait for tests - we were going to wait as the pains had previously happened after exercise, but changed our mind quickly when it happened when he was lying resting on the bed.

Hope things work out for you.


His barniecroft

That's my feat that its unstable

I keep saying it's to my cardiologist

I keep being kept awake at night by an unruly stepdaughter so I'm losing a lot of sleep that doesn't help at all..

My chest pain is often.a dull ache.

Could be 5am...2am or I'm woken throughout the night..

I then have it on and off through the whole day...and some episodes are more severe than others.

I keep telling him I think it'd coronary artery spasm even though I have a stent now...

I'm sitting here now at 1.45 am on bed in mild discomfort and all I've been given is pills.

They seem to think that because I now have a stent that I'm fixed.

I'm tired of this and am genuinely concerned abut the future.

How was your husband diagnosed with unstable angina?

I constantly have stiff neck and left shoulder ache now...sometimes down my back...but I just don't know if that's the statins


I know it’s not a natural response to a very very frightening time, but trying to relax a bit when you have such worrying thoughts may help a bit. It sounds like lots of things wind you up....and I can see you’ve had some very worry things to wind you up, I do hear that.

But when I was trying to get used to life threatening heart issues I, too, had a very high level of anxiety, I was told that, having had an angiogram, more detail is known about my heart than most people. It had been examined in minute detail and any blockages will be seen. And for me, anxiety increases my angina.

At some time soon you need to work well with the medics.......they are the best help you have available. I believe that they come to work to do their best, and don’t have all the answers. After 6 years of this I realise that, particularly with meds, there is quite a bit of trial and error,

Not sure this is v helpful to you. But I’ve been there...you do come through it.

Please let us know how you get on.


Thank you kristin

I try my hardest to stay cool believe me.When I'm with my 4year old after work I feel very isolated while this happens because of the obvious.

That obviously makes me anxious so it's a vicious circle I suppose. I've been doing all the work and chasing everything regarding ct scan profusion scan the lot..

My doctor is frankly a waste of time.

I've now started writing a letter explaining what is happening and hope when my cardiologist sees me before Xmas he will listen and help to some degree.

Sadly I have two very unruly step kids that cause a lot of friction and therefore stress that again I don't need.

I am worried for good reason that knowbody is listening and I will go on to have a heart attack and my daughter won't have a dad.

I'm obviously angry and upset because I feel so young in mind and I'm only 51 on new years day.

My job is a very busy job and people rely on me ironically for safety.

So I need to be on the ball all the time..And this issue is just taking my min away from my work matters that are important


Very hard for you. But work must be secondary to you surviving.....surely! When you are more settled perhaps get a bit of counselling to cope better with such worries, and weigh up what your real priorities are.

It will get better.......(she keeps saying!)

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How did they eventually diagnose you Kristen? I've been banging on at consultants that I strongly feel this is coronary artery spasm...or micro vascular. ..but now thinking unstable angina...

But I never really had it this bad until After the stent procedure.

That's what's upsetting too!!


Yes, I can see that. Seems illogical. My understanding is that they mostly do the microvascular diadnosis by exclusion. No blocked larger arteries, but still getting angina ...QED! I had understood unstable angina was from blocked microvessels, but yes, also it can be from spasms.

They’ve just offered me another angio to exclude something they could treat. It’s some years since most of my stents, so worth a look, I guess,


The mri perfusion scan shows blood flow at the microvascular level as well as the main arteries, so if OK should rule out microvascular constriction.

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Hi dunstar.

I wasn't told that at all...if that was true and my cardiologist ordered it...why didn't he mention it..? And even more worrying why would he now be thinking maybe it is micro or CAS or something along those lines if the MRI was in fact good at looking at micro vessels.


Hi Rob. As I understand it the mri scan measures blood flow so more specialised tests may be needed to diagnose if vessels are going into spasm.


The thing is kristin is I wouldn'tget much help if I gave my job up or lost it..My job is what is just about holding me together at the moment without all the other worries

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Nothings easy is it? Seems pretty simple to someone else, looking on....but I know you’re right about your own situation, it’s always much more complex. And you’re the expert on yourself!

I know you didn’t pick up on my idea of counselling..,..but...give me a chance! Counselling can really help if you want to stay exactly where you are but find better strategies for keeping calmer. Doing the same job, but differently,

Make sense?


Some words of wisdom Kristin


Kristin I did everything I could to get councelling.

As I've had it before for other issues

I've waited since may and heard nothing after constant chats with doc etc...They actually didn't think at first I needed it because I didn't have a heart attack. ..nice hey! !!


I was involved with MIND for sometime Kristin so I'm very much into the councelling side of things if it helps...but as you are probably aware it's a long road..

So I do actually agree with you😆


Sorry! I’m talking to the converted. I do wish you well. I love Sams what they do and how they do it. Good for you.

It is a long road, you’re so right, but it also has some very surprising detours and destinations.

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Sorry Rob, I meant MIND, of course. My mistake. Samaritans are pretty good too!

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Last Friday I had chest pains on and off, my daughter insisted that we go to A&E, an hour after we checked in the pains stopped. The Doctor in the department insisted that I had all the tests and admitted me. The troponin was fine, I apologised for wasting time but the staff were insistent that I had done the right thing. I had a heart attack just two years ago and had been fine since. You have received some good advice on here.

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Wise words indeed


Somehow, somehow, you do have to find a way to reduce& manage your stress levels , it’s crucial .I know from personal experience, that when you are in the middle of it, it’s never easy, but there will be a way. Sleep is vital to recovery and wellbeing, is there a way that you could get some space without interruption? Give yourself some space, can you switch off by listening to music? Anything? “Needing to be on the ball all the time “......... No-one can do that continually, life is too stressful. I too had that sort of job/ lifestyle, too many people depended on me, but you can’t do it forever! You must find time for yourself, to be able to reduce negative emotions, which are not beneficial for our hearts. Watch Dr Sanjay Gupta’s video on York Cardiology, there’s a Facebook page and YouTube videos. I don’t have the link, but someone posted it here last month or so. I found it very helpful post ablation in September. Good Luck getting answers, hoping that you can have a positive dialogue with your Cardiologist. Sometimes you have to keep on knocking on the door!


Your post makes lots of sense. This site really continues to impress .... .to hear from people who have picked their way through such difficult things, and then share that experience. Invaluable.


Dr Sanjay Gupta 's Microvascular angina vidro is not as accurate as it could be.

I set him the relevant evidence including the BHF information leaflet about MVA .....he said thanks and that he would update his video.

I am still waiting 6 months later!


Hi Rob. I’ve had exactly the same experience for the last 7 yrs . Was diagnosed with unstable angina . I’ve had 2 heart attacks in that time and and scared to death every day .

Really hope you get it sorted


Morning Allen

Can I ask how you were finally diagnosed?

I'm off later for yet another stress test..


Morning mate, it was diagnosed unstable because of it happening at rest . I’m on all the usual meds for life and have real problems getting my head round it . I have abnormal heart arteries as well which is causing other problems. Some days I cope ok but others not . Just gotta keep going.

Good luck with the stress test , it should answer some questions

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Oh had stress tests , mri and stress mri, the radiation test ( forget what it’s called ) and loads of others lol


Bloody hell mate you have been through the mill.

I think I'm more worried that I won't be here long enough for twork girls.

4 and 14..

The 4 year old is just at that age where daddy is her hero..lol

I just keep thinking why me? Good weight..fitness freak lol busy job last la la never drank or smoked..

Then I get chest pains...found 99.9% blocked LAD stent put in and now continuous chest pain...Even as I talk to you now as I arrive at work.

I just don't know now what the future holds.

But it's a battle to make people listen..They gave me mess when I complained but I said you can stuff them with there side effects when you haven't even diagnosed me with anything yet. ..

Constant neck ache. Arm ache that I never had before and could be statins.

Were you in daily chest pain Allen?

If I'm stressed or very cold it comes on and lack of sleep too..

So what do docs say to you?

I swear mine has got worse since I had my stent procedure.

It feels like on one hand they probably saved my life but now I'm left with something they may well end up taking my life...unreal

I take nothing at moment for pain rather just grin and bear it

But I feel I'm almost waiting for a heart attack if that makes sense


It’s a nightmare for sure , feel for you and the girls .

I was fit n healthy then like most if us on here our worlds are turned upside down.

Cardiologist has told me no more med changes can be made even though I’m still having pains but because ecg’s are fine and blood tests are fine they just send me home .

Good luck Rob


That's how I feel already. .

What about a bypass? Most I speak to on here say that solved it..

I think I do need good luck after reading you have had two heart attacks already..very scary...will I make 52?mmmm!!!

You take care mate..


Can I ask what you mean by unusual arteries Allen.


Yeah sure , not sure of technical terms but I don’t have a left main artery , I have 2 that go in from the right , which is weird enough but after the radioactive dye test they found out that the two from the right join lol so complicate matters even more !

And a bypass isn’t possible due to the artery problems


It all makes sense when you realise that Dr. Kraft measured the insulin levels of his patients and found 75% had abnormal responses. Insulin resistance is rife in our society. Excess IGF-1 causes abnormal growth of endothelial linings. Excess insulin causes pre-disposition to lipogenesis.

Instead of advising us with reduced-fat nonsense which (because ingested natural fat is relatively inert) lowers our expectations of what can be achieved by dietary intervention, the vast majority would benefit from the information from the ICS-NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme; Mediterranean, Low-Carb and/or Intermittent Fasting.

All the best!


Thank you concerned.

I actually follow the mediterranean diet pretty much along with watching my gi and sugar intake that is now very low to obsolete.

I'm trying because I have a young family.

I feel my job let's me escape this pain.

Probably because I now work in theatre and it's usually lots of laughs! Especially with panto coming up.

But the pain is there daily..dull ache like I've been punched and at times sharp...I think the problem is that when someone is in pain it constantly draws your attention to therefore your head is left wondering what is this?

I do know that of the pain was to go I could move forward as I did with the stent procedure in may.

So back to hospital today for yet another stress test..yippee!

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I don't think it pays to get angry with medical staff, they do their best in difficult circumstances.

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I'm not angry with medical staff thank you


Yes I had a cardiac mri profusion scan...but that just checks the blood flow..and echogram again blood flow..I feel like screaming from roof top at them..I've mentioned coronary artery spasm or micro vascular angina...all they try to do is fon me off Allen...

I won't stop pressurising them until I know for certain because I'm feeling that pressure everyday.

I've has all the usual bloods when I admit myself to hospital "tripoli?) Always comes back low so they say OK Mr phillips off you go you haven'thad a heart attack. ..unbelievable


I had a stent fitted in mid July, I do suffer the same dull aches and pains in the chest as you. It has sometimes come to the point where I have been taken to A&E to be checked out with ECG and Blood Test which have always come back clear. I think some of us get severe Anxiety when we have had any form of heart surgery., with Anxiety each small twinge seems to feel like an attack of some sort., especially when we have been quite fit for most of our lives and the shock of having to deal with this can be overwhelming. I attended 6 weeks cardiac rehab and now walk on Dartmoor for a good hour each morning and about to start phase 4 cardiac rehab at a local gym, whilst exercising I get no pain at all, so I have to tell myself that the pain/twinges is not my heart but most likely anxiety of not having control over my body or reaction to the drugs I am on. This how I am dealing with the daily aches and chest pains.


HI Rakeman

I was told right at the beginning it could be sent pain.

But even now 6months later the pain has become more apparent and the cardiologist has started to come around to my way of thinking that's why I'm having another stress test today.

Mine come on at rest and in my sleep..totally different to before so it's definitely not Anxiety.

I wish it was that simple..

I feel if the pain was to go!! Then to a better degree I will just get on with life and if something happens then it happens.

But chest pain just gives us the constant reminder something is not right!

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I noticed one thing about this "condition".

Are you under any stress at the moment?

Anxiety can make it worse.

I often notice this condition gets ten times worse if you are/someone is under some sort of stress/with worries.

After all, stress is a huge factor in this (with physiological explanations behind it). They say, "stress can kill" and it's backed by science.


Good luck for the stress test! Let us know how you get on.


Have you ever been diagnosed with stress or depression - just a thought for your language might indicate a heightened sense of doom! That said, you know your body best and when you get the pain again ring 999 and let the experts run all the tests to establish exactly what is going on. If I was you that is exactly what I would do - life is too precious to mess about and there is no point in my pontificating about what might be the cause for I am no expert just a patient who has had a triple bypass. The cardiac specialists, however good and sympathetic and reassuring they might be - are 9 to 5 for office hours and therefore will probably not be about when you need them most...…….If/when it happens again 999 and no doubting yourself - you are too precious to your family to worry about that.

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hi Rob ,, i could have written this myself,, going thru the exact same thing,, I had HA in may , 2 stents fitted which caused 2 arrests ,, slow recovery but has been a recovery so cant moan ,, wks ago started having chest pains with no help from painkillers or gt spray ,, ECG,s, bloods etc keep coming back ok ,, yet this chest pain at rest is getting on my nerves now ,, it really hurts sometimes and is quite frightening ,, A & E on monday and after 6 hrs sat in there told all ok ,,, wouldnt admit me to do another Angiogram as was too much of a risk factor to me to go poking around again,, said go to docs to get referral back to hospital to cardio dept,, yet my cardio nurse discharged me from that dept basically saying my time allotted with them was up 2 months ago,, like you mate i,m at my wits end as what to do ,, i have a daughter and 3 young grand kids so dont want to be checking out just yet

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Hello mate

And thank you for your reply denno

Just arrived for my stress test...second one..

I'm absolutely shocked that you have to be referred again.

I'm a real pain in the arse with my cardiology team...why not...as my life depends on it..I make notes etc and hit them with it when I have my one to one appointment's

It certainly sounds like your going down the same road as me.

As time has gone on my chest pain has become more regular especially at rest and that's my major worry...

Like you I have kids and that really is my main concern..

In myself I probably feel fitter than before but the nagging daily pain makes you think constantly and that ends up putting you in a state of alertness! Rightly so..

I'm also getting a lot of neck and shoulder pain but not sure if that's medication.

I really thought the stent would be the end of my troubles so to speak.

But I had a real feeling after the procedure something was wrong...

OMG my cardiologist has just spotted me and is walking towards me...what a coincidence. ...

He's just asked me why I'm here?

I just said because you have booked me in for stress test...Oh yeah I remember now....UN BLOODY BELIEVABLE. .






Hi Robbie- hope the stress test has proved useful in clarifying what’s happening with you. I don’t think you have mentioned whether you have been prescribed GTN stay and whether this has any impact on your pain? If this helps, this gives stronger evidence that your pain is heart-related.

My husband had another angiogram done only a few months later which showed a significant change to the previous one which led to decision about the bypass.


I know others have been mentioned the impact of stress and anxiety, and certainly this can impact but I think it is important that it is not assumed your symptoms are as a result of this rather than physical one just because you have had these difficulties before. Don’t give up!!! You're worth too much to your family and you owe it to yourself.


Thank you barniecroft for talking such sense.

This is not Anxiety because I'm fast asleep at times and am woken by the chest pain..

I then very often have to sit and wait while it subsides or comes back seconds later.

It can last 10mins 10seconds and so on.

It's very much brought on by the cold as I walk out the door knowadays....now to anyone that doesn't know?

I was a construction worker and hill walker and have worked in some atrocious weather conditions. .And never never have I had chest pain until now after my stent (hello unstable angina)????

So I know for certain this is a symptom and not anxiety.

Yes I get stressed like anyone and having teenagers and young ones running around is it any wonder.

What I'm trying to say and cardio team are taking there time listening to me is..

Before I had the stent my pain was mostly exercise induced or emotional.

Now since the stent...it's mainly at rest and emotional. .so it's changed..

And if I'm not wrong?? Please tell me if I am anybody. .isn't that stable to unable angina?

Not anxiety


Hi Robbie - it sounds very similar to my husband prior to his bypass. How did the dress test go? When my husband had his last one, he had to keep going so his hear rate went higher than at rehab before pain started.

I really think you should get yourself off to a&e. I know what you said about your job being your lifeline, but if you don’t put yourself first at this time, you will not be able to be there for your family or work. Sorry if that sounds blunt, but you need to be selfish and also be honest with your family so they can support you when you need it - don’t try and be a hero - we all need others as much as they need us. Best of luck.

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I was going to say I get the same, but pain is a personal thing. But When I get a pain in the chest and back It’s normally trapped wind in the chest cavity. I don’t drink much caffeine anymore, but a peppermint tea, priobiotic drinking yoghurt or sucking a mint imperial or two helps. That’s just for though.


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