My Angiogram Adventure (so far) - British Heart Fou...

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My Angiogram Adventure (so far)

Sunnie2day profile image

22 Oct 2019 instead of the cardiac MRI I was booked for, my cardiologist informed me he was booking me for an angiogram 'in three weeks'.

Every morning the post arrived but no letter with a booking date. Fearing the letter had gone astray and as this is the morning of the 'three weeks' date, I telephoned the cardiology desk at the infirmary I go to for appointments. They gave me the number of the hospital department where the procedure will be done, saying they only see my infirmary appointments on their computer.

I rang down to the hospital and was told 'Oh, we've not sent the letter yet but you're booked for 20th November 2019 at 0800 and your cardiologist will be performing the procedure.'


So, I have to the evening of the 19th to: clean the house completely, post off the Christmas parcels going to the US and New Zealand, finish making and wrapping the Christmas presents (most are bought gifts but there is some sewing left to do), stock the freezer with 7 days worth of home-made ready meals for my husband 'just-in-case', and pack a just-in-case bag for hospital.


Chasing up is not my favourite thing to do, I usually 'just wait patiently'. But this time I want as much preparation (mental and physical) time as possible so I'm glad I telephoned this morning.

23 Replies

I've discovered if you don;t chase you don;t get..... keep on cleaning to take your mind of it all and if you are in need of a totally filthy oven as a challenge you are very welcome at my house......

:) I cleaned my rather disreputable oven two weekends past in preparation for my annual Christmas Bake-Ahead last's not as bad as it was two weekends ago but all that baking (mostly sweet but some savoury including some grilling that had to be done) has it in need. Again.

Too right about cleaning being the ultimate 'take yer mind offit' - I'm thinking a whole house do including windows in and out, walls, ceilings, etc. I did 'autumn cleaning and winter prep' the end of September so it won't be too hard - luckily the winter blankets, hats-gloves-coats-wellie socks are all ready.

Just in case. I keep hoping I'll come home same day with no stents but my nightmare inducing worry is I'll be told 'You need a triple by-pass right now so we're taking you straight to theatre...' I have absolutely no reason to think that is really going to happen, stents or by-pass, btw, I haven't felt this well since 2010 and realistically expect at most perhaps one stent (but I doubt even that given my symptoms).

But being prepared for the worst has always been my motto - Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

At least the house will be squeaky clean and I won't have to face cooking for a week:)

Good luck - hope everything goes well for you. Don’t overdo it beforehand though!!

Sunnie2day profile image
Sunnie2day in reply to Janma123

Thank-you:) As for overdoing, luckily I'd already done a seriously heavy clean back in September so this is more of a 'take my mind offit' exercise but also a 'just-in-case' - I love my husband but if I end up spending some time in hospital I know I'd be coming home to a sink full of dishes and a bathroom so unhygienic the authorities would shut it down;) This way the worst he can do if I'm away is make the house untidy and I can cope with that!

Janma123 profile image
Janma123 in reply to Sunnie2day

My husband was in ARI for a month and Woodend for a month last year and has only recently got back properly on his feet -but I was the one who got the house in a state - I was that knackered from everything that was going on that cleaning was the last thing on my mind! I’m just starting to get back to habitable now!😂

Sunnie2day profile image
Sunnie2day in reply to Janma123

If my husband had spent a total of two months in hospitals, I know my house would be a tip - all I'd be able to focus on would be getting him home and making sure the takeaway trays hit the bin on a regular basis until he was home and I was up for real cooking again for us both.

It's awful when a loved one is so unwell they are in hospital for an extended period of time - between worrying and getting to/from the patient's bedside, nothing else matters.

Great news he's getting back on his feet - time for you to take some time to exhale, housekeeping can wait!

Janma123 profile image
Janma123 in reply to Sunnie2day

It’s what I’m inhaling until I get on top of it is my worry! I’m sure there is a fluff and dust monster behind the skirting boards somewhere!

Hopefully it’ll be a stenting at most and other than driving won’t slow your gallop much. I’d like to extend the offer of my oven too, and also offer a car interior. Anything to help distract you. 😺😺😺😺

Hmm. My husband suggested I do a 'valet' on his car as well. Great minds, clearly!


My packet came through the door this morning - looks as though I'm having the stress version.

The letter came with a hospital info booklet, a step-by-step info sheet explaining every step from preparing (have a meal and beverages as normal up to an hour before scheduled arrival to the unit and which meds if any to stop and for how long) to arriving to the Clinical Investigations unit and through to Recovery and discharge.

The cover letter (with my specific information) says I should bring all my prescriptions in original packaging, and to notify my GP of the admission. It also informs me I should bring:

An overnight bag

Dressing gown and slippers

It further informs me I'll be in hospital at least six hours and to bring a book or MP3 player for waits, and to ring the ward the day before the appointment to 'be sure a bed is available', to leave all valuables at home, and that in the event of emergency need my appointment may be delayed to clear the cath lab for the emergency patient.

My husband glanced through it after I did and said 'Looks like it's for real, then.'

Ya think? ;)

in reply to Sunnie2day

Have you had your pre- op ?

Sunnie2day profile image
Sunnie2day in reply to

Sorry for the delay replying, we've been away a few days in a remote area with sketchy WiFi.

The letter said the pre-op will be done that morning. Not sure if I find that worrying or reassuring, actually.

Oh I really do not want to do this!

in reply to Sunnie2day

I reckon if you counted up all the angio’s everyone has had on this forum it would equate to thousands. It’s very reassuring to have your heart tested in such a through way, and afterwards you get a full diagnostic report of your heart and it’s supply channels.

I’m honestly more scared of the dentist than an angiogram 🙂

Sunnie2day profile image
Sunnie2day in reply to

The dentist didn't used to bother me until last March when root canal treatment without prophylactic antibiotics led to an acute recurrent pericarditis flare that's left me with stubborn residual pericardial effusion. I've been back to him a couple of times now - and he's very careful to prescribe those antibiotics now.

My husband keeps reminding me it's better to know than go on without having every available test and I know he's right. But the thought of those micro-thin wires feeding through my arteries is giving me nightmares, and now knowing in addition to the contrast dye he's going to lob in something to stress my heart has me checking my last will and testament. You know, just-in-case.

I know I'm being silly, I really do know that. But...

in reply to Sunnie2day

Sounds like your having a full MOT, you will enjoy the ‘sisters in arms’ banter on the day ward before and after the event though. Everyone has tall tales to tell to a intrigued audience.

Milkfairy profile image
MilkfairyHeart Star

Hi Sunnie2day

I have been otherwise occupied.

Sounds as though you have a wonderfully sorted clean house...

My top tips:

1. make sure you empty your bladder before you go to the cath lab.

2. Wear 2 gowns second one like a coat with the opening at the front (to be taken off as you get on the table )no chance of showing your cheeks to anyone else as your walk down the corridor😬

Sunnie2day profile image
Sunnie2day in reply to Milkfairy

Top tips indeed, thank-you!

I have no words of wisdom unfortunately but it goes without saying that I hope it all goes well.

Ps: very happy to help you out with taking your mind off the appt, I have windows & floors that need cleaning, ironing that needs doing and if, after all that, you feel washing the car would help you, that needs doing too. X

Sunnie2day profile image
Sunnie2day in reply to Lezzers

I wish I knew how to insert a huge grinning emoji here. My granddaughter promised to show me the last time we Skyped but we were distracted talking about other things and she never got around to it.

UPDATE 20 Nov 2019:

I've been home from the angiogram for several hours now and aside from some mild unsteadiness and wrist pain, I feel fine.

The great news is my arteries are completely clear and I didn't need any stents or other interventions. My cardiologist did the angiogram through my wrist and then immediately after did a right heart study through my groin via a vein rather than an artery.

Neither procedure was painful during the procedures although after my right wrist from base of thumb to halfway up my forearm ached like mad until I arrived home and took two aspirin (I don't tolerate paracetamol or ibuprofen well) then fell asleep on the sofa for a four hour nap. I'm on 'no housework-no lifting-no walking except to the bathroom' until Monday.

I arrived at 0800, they did some bloods, and by 0900 I was lying on the table thanking the cardiologist for the anxiety relieving meds:)

Unfortunately the machinery blocked my view of the monitor so I didn't get to see what they were seeing. I was in Recovery for about a half hour then up to the 'cardiology day ward' by 1030 - discharged home at 1330 (1:30pm).

The not so great news is my right artery spasmed (and yes, actually that was 'uncomfortable) but the spasm relaxed in under 30 seconds; also, they found pericardial inflammation and they said I'm back in an pericarditis flare so I'm being booked for an MRI. They said to stay on the current med (Bisoprolol 1.25mg+300mg aspirin) and to ring them if the pericarditis symptoms worsen. My cardiologist has my total trust especially as before the angiogram he told me he had done some deeper checking and he thinks now my pericarditis is from the Dengue Fever I had back in '95 as the timing of the initial acute case correlates to the Dengue.

He also made a point of telling me after the two procedures he now understands pericarditis actually could be responsible for my particular angina pain - but he wants the MRI to check two things, one the amount of inflammation, and two to see if the angina is from anything else other than the recurrent pericarditis. I do have Rheumatic Heart Syndrome and aortic valve scarring (although still considered 'trivial) in addition to the recurrent pericarditis and effusion so I feel even more confident in him as he wants to be as thorough as possible to determine a cause.

But WOOHOO, no blockage!

Milkfairy profile image
MilkfairyHeart Star in reply to Sunnie2day

Good news indeed!

A Coronary artery spasm is certainly no fun. Mine unfortunately can last longer!

I hope you start feeling better soon. Just knowing what the cause of your pain is so helpful 😊

Lezzers profile image
Lezzers in reply to Sunnie2day

Great blockage & no stents. Not so great about the pericarditis! Your consultant does seem to be on the ball which is brilliant. Hope to hear you're out of pain soon. Xx

Sunnie2day profile image
Sunnie2day in reply to Lezzers

I knew he was considered one of the best cardiologists in my area but one of the surgical nurses told me yesterday after the procedures he's considered the best cardiologist in NE Scotland.

He went up to the day ward afterwards to tell my husband how it went and that I'd be his patient for years, and the cardiac nurse told me everyone wants to 'study' me to learn more about 'odd' pericarditis cases like mine if the MRI shows no other reason for the angina than the recurrent pericarditis.

That the Bisoprolol and GTN actually work to alleviate the pain really throws them, they are still leaning towards there being a more sinister cause for what they are still calling, hesitantly, angina. Hence the MRI, and who knows when that will be booked for as the machines are booked solid through the New Year, private and NHS use the same facility for things like this which is why my 'private elective' angiography was done at the teaching hospital.

I'm not 'urgent' so I have a bit of a wait now, and I'm happy as Larry about that - barring the unforeseen, I can look forward to a slow-paced and happy festive season! I was sure it was 'just the pericarditis' and now I know 'officially', I can get on with what works to get past it and fully back on my feet.

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