Soooooooooo frustrating !: Hi All, you... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation
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Soooooooooo frustrating !

Hi All, you may have seen my last post about having to wait 6+ months just to see a cardiologist. Finally, earlier this month I had an appointment. A nurse did the ECG, blood pressure etc & then I saw the consultant. After taking my history & listening to my heart, they told me that I needed an urgent angiogram. The problem is that there is an 8-9 month wait. I can't afford to go private & it may seem dramatic, but I feel like I'm waiting to die. I have been feeling extremely tired, my heart feels heavy, everything seems to be an effort & work is becoming a struggle. ( They have cut my hours as I had a "funny turn" during one of my shifts ) I push myself to do things, because I don't give up easily & then end up paying for it later. I am still taking my medication, but still don't know if I can exercise. Any advice would be appreciated

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I hope you get fixed soon. Meanwhile you need to take it easy, exercise if you can but get Glyceryl Trinitrate spray and cary it with you. I was having severely blocked arteries for couple of years, couldn't walk more that 50 metres before having to stop to catch my breath before continuing. I thought it was due to stress and anxiety but when I went to my GP she said it was angina and referred me to ECG, then to CT and eventually I had angiogram/plasty, 3 stents put in and that was about 6 weeks ago. I now feel fine, maybe better than ever before or at least in a very long while.

Chin up, keep doing what you doing, take your meds and exercise as much as you can. Eventually they'll get you in the lab and you'll be fixed. Good luck to you.

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Urgent and 8-9 months don’t seem compatible to me!! Go and see your GP and start making waves. You are within your rights to look elsewhere within the NHS for treatment. See if you can find somewhere that can get you in quicker. Keep in contact with your hospital and see if you get on the list as a cancellation. Don’t just sit back and wait. Being proactive does work.

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Hi that’s frustrating I’d make some noise if I were you.

Obviously keep calm, but make your point. Most people of heard of, bumped into receive an angiogram sooner than that.

Keep taking the meds and do gentle exercise, above all don’t stress and be prepared to rest rather than do all those jobs you want to do.

Take care

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I have learnt over the last year or so that you have to make some noise for the sake of your own health. Please go back to the GP and tell them everything you have written here and do not be afraid to be strong with them. The fact that this is affecting your daily lives is an alarm bell that something clearly isn't right. Good luck.

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I was told by a cardio consultant by phone that one of the leads from my pacemaker has moved and “is poking out of your heart” needs urgent op. I would die if It moved again as my pm would stop working. Am under a leading London teaching hospital. Was referred to an expert Prof in lead extraction and was sent by text an appointment for 3 months later (!) just to see him. Used contacts in another department - got a call to go in 2 days later and put on list for the op a week following. There is a big gap between what the docs decide and what the appointment clerical staff then produce.

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"The problem is that there is an 8-9 month wait."

Where's that come from Joey? Is that what your doctor or cardiologist told you, or something you've picked up elsewhere in conversation?

Roughly where do you live? It would be interesting to see how long other people on this forum from your area had to wait between seeing a cardiologist and having their angiogram?

I'm from Hampshire, it was about six weeks between cardiologist and angiogram (it was supposed to have been four weeks, but I got bumped back once). And there was never any mention of "urgent" in my case until after the angiogram results where in.

I appreciate the NHS is over stretched, but if the cardiologist's assessment of your case was genuinely "urgent", then I doubt you'll be waiting anything like 8-9 months for an angiogram.

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Joeygrey, can you ask to be put on a list, you will take any vacancy.?

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Make a noise at GPs. Get yourself pushed up the ladder. Tell them you are anxious and all that you said on the post. Be firm in your demands.

But inside you need to relax.

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"Get yourself pushed up the ladder."

It's a zero sum game. If one person goes UP the ladder, then someone else has to go DOWN.

Lots of replies are advocating some version of "kick up a fuss" as the original poster's best strategy.

Well, if it's BOTH true that the original poster was told his case is "urgent", AND that there's an "8-9 month waiting list for an angiogram", then fair enough. Personally, I don't believe BOTH of those statements are correct, in fact I wouldn't be surprised if NEITHER was correct.

Doctors aren't stupid, they know they're in the business of rationing scarce resources. Indeed I believe GP's describe 15% of their patients as "difficult". You might believe that's a good reputation that delivers you benefits, but I don't. I think once the doctor has your cards marked as hysterical or pushy and selfish, then you'll just end up paying a price in other ways, like having a complete lack of credibility or finding your opinions totally ignored.

The best way of building the therapeutic relationship is to be factual, honest, and to show some trust in the system rather than trying to game it.

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And if he is silent as a lamb he will be pushed down. Its how it is. Not a perfect world i am afraid but we will differ on this but as you can see from the post i never told him to lie. Just make a noise.

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"if he is silent as a lamb he will be pushed down"

Really?

That certainly wasn't my experience.

Like lots of people on this forum I presented myself at the doctors saying I was sure I just had indigestion, or these chest twinges were due to some temporary stress. Basically we all did the exact opposite of kick up a fuss and make a noise. We said we're just here to make absolutely sure, even though we think that we're probably fine.

But guess what, the doctors didn't "push us down".

They actually did what their years of training had taught them to do, and they made an independent assessment. In my case it resulted in immediate medication, an angiogram after a reasonably brief delay, and when that showed a genuinely serious problem there was a bypass operation in fairly short order.

I didn't have to raise my voice or make some foolish, macho spectacle of myself. The system worked beautifully, and actually that'll be true for the great majority of people.

The only case where a second opinion or a more assertive stance would be justified is if there's evidence of a disconnect. For example if the original poster was correct that he had been told both that he needed an "urgent angiogram", and that there was an "8 or 9 month" waiting list then he'd be justified in speaking up. Personally I just don't believe that's the case, and if the original poster starts thumping his fist on the desk, when only one or neither of those statements were correct, then he'll just end up being filed under the doctor's mental heading of hysterical patients who shouldn't be taken seriously.

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I was told 6 months for a stress test Paid private took 2 days then I had to wait for agiogram think thats how you spell it I just kept ringing the hospital appointment department then I had to go for 3 stents just kept ringing the apppoinment dpt at hospital and got it all done in a month just kept asking if there was any cancelations under the patients charter you can pick the hospital you want so just keep ringing its not your GP its the hospital that you need to keep ringing if you want to live keep pushing it to them your just a number thats how I did it but I am lucky that Sheffield had some fantastic Doctors and Hospitals but please just keep ringing you will get a cancleation

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I completely get your frustration, I too was told I needed an urgent angiogram as I was expected to need triple bypass from 1st scan. Wait was expected to be 6 months as an urgent case. Every day felt like a year, trying to be normal, remain at work etc. Needed to get a fit noteevery 2weeks for work! A month before my appointment I had an unstable angina attack at work, used GTN spray and 999 was called by first aide. I was not allowed to leave hospital until they had done angiogram and thankfully managed to 3x stent (amazing cardiologist). I guess the advice I can give is don’t feel bad about following the advice to 999 if you need to as they will sort you out there and then.

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Thank you for your reply. I have now been told that because I have quite severe asthma, they can't do the angiogram as I can't have beta blockers. I now have to have a treadmill test, so I am waiting again. I'm still in work 4 days a week and walking as much as I can. I just have to be patient & do as I'm told. Hope all goes well for you. Take care of yourself

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Be careful with the treadmill and be honest with yourself. If you can't manage don't be afraid to say so

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I paid for a consultant to do the stress test - maybe that would cut a a stage out for you. I ended up paying for my Angiogram and stent too ...I couldn’t have waited the 2/3 months predicted. But the consultant stage might be £1,000 and save you some time.

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