I am aged 79.
On 31 July my wife took me to Kingston Hospital with chest pains-I felt as if I had been kicked in the chest by a horse!
It was 4 pm and A & E was empty. Within minutes I was in the Resuscitation Unit and over the next 5 hours had blood pressure and temperature taken, oximeter reading, xray, ECG, saline drip, blood sample, beta blocker and blood thinner tablets, oxygen nasal cannula.
They were going to keep me in overnight to see a cardiologist in the morning but in the end I was discharged at 9 pm-when A & E was packed.
Since then I have had a Myocardial Perfusion Scan at the Royal Brompton Hospital and an Angiogram at Kingston and most recently an Echo Cardiogram there.
My prescriptions have been increased to include more blood-thinners, nitrates and satins.
I now await the outcome of a joint cardiology conference with a suggestion of a single heart bypass operation at St George's Tooting.
My understanding is that the doctors' concern is over my heart-beat rate which every few seconds jumps between 60/120 a minute. The angiogram showed the left anterior descending artery as very blocked, but I only have the written report and not the image which was on the wall of the operating theatre.
My heart beat rate has been described as irregular over a period of years but an echo cardiogram in 2016 was all clear (in fact it was the same technician I recognised this last time).
Personally I put the whole thing down to my caffeine addiction. I had reduced my consumption to 2 cups a week (not a day). But the hospitals were offering me coffee and saying that I should be ok on 3 or 4 cups a day.
The diuretic effect was such that I once wet myself in the street, which of course was very embarrassing, and I constantly had to work out toilet places whenever I went out.
I actually had to change my parish church as they would never let me use the toilet saying that there was a creche going on in the next room and they didn't think it appropriate.
At night I was having palpitations almost as rapid as vibrations, and blurred vision and breathlessness and even hallucinations that there were wild animals in the house. I felt I had a blot clot as I had to lie still for hours whilst the pressure and pain built up in my chest and then suddenly it was all gone and I could get up and carry on as usual.
At the time I put it down to going to bed soon after eating and leaving the tv on. But it all came to a head with the pain on 31 July and I have not had caffeine since then-not even green tea.
I miss the buzz of course but the bad effects have gone.
I seem to be ok with hot chocolate, though I believe that may have caffeine too and it is on offer at hospitals.
The doctors have mentioned cardioversion but not stents-they seem to diagnose and recommend on test results and not what you tell them.
People I have spoken to all seem to have had heart problems worse than mine-the same medication and pacemakers and valve operations and even one quadruple bypass-and he still smokes!
So in short I would much appreciate a response on the known connection between caffeine and heart problems-would it be ok to try coffee again now I have the benefit of medication? I miss filter coffee with Coffeemate and honey in my study at home and Eros expresso when I go up to Town.