Well 4 1/2 years after my bypass surgery I found myself with similar angina pains although things went slightly differently this time.
At first I think I was in denial about the pain 'was it imagined' 'was it indigestion'? In the end I could ignore it no longer so last Monday (18th) I phoned the doctors and arranged a call back, I then carried on with my day, I drove with my sister and sister in law to the Range and then to the Harvesters for an early lunch. While there the GP phoned back and advised I go to the hospital for an ECG and bloods. Last time I went through a long winded referral system. I suppose now I am confirmed with heart problems I don't have to do this.
Anyway, I dropped everyone off then drove to the hospital, parked up and thought I'd be back home that nights.
I arrived at the hospital at about 2 pm and at 6.30 pm the A & E Dr said I would be admitted. Now 4 1/2 hrs isn't bad you'd think but this is where the fun starts.
I am on a bed in cubicle 3 of A & E, no one speaks to me or sees me for 4 hrs even though I keep asking what's going on. At 2am the 'medical' Dr comes to see me, prescribes Gaviscon as she believes the pain is Gastric (Here we go again) she also sent me for a chest x ray, requires another blood test and another ECG.
At 9 am she returns with a registrar who says the results show I have not had a heart attack!!! I never thought I had and he thought it was a gastric problem. I was now losing my cool, I was very upset having had no sleep lying on a plastic mattress all night and not being told what was going on, I had not been given anything to eat since arriving the day before. I asked if I was still being admitted or if they were discharging me. He then said that I had convinced them the pain I had was unstable Angina and I would have a heart scan and be seen by a cardiologist,
At 2 pm I was admitted to a ward, I never had the scan that day or saw anyone from cardiology, I settled on the ward for the night.
Next day (Wednesday) I had the scan and was seen by a cardiologist who was lovely. She said based on my history and family history it was best to have an Angiogram to see what was happening, The plan was to have me taken to the teaching hospital where they do angioplasty so if I needed stents they would do it all in one go.
I remained in hospital and was told on Thursday I would have the procedure on the Friday. So early start on Friday, I was picked up at 7 am and taken to the Heath in Cardiff ready for the Angiogram.
I was first down at 9 am and can honestly say my bypass surgery was a piece of cake compared to this!! I spent nearly 2 1/2 hrs having it done, don't get me wrong I am very grateful to all involved and even in my weakened state I thanked them but my God what pain!! As they started the Angiogram they told me I needed 2 stents fitted, unfortunately the arteries had a lot of calcium in them so they had to drill them, I have since discovered this process is called Rotablation and it really is a fantastic procedure which avoids bypass surgery by allowing them to fit a stent where usually one can't be fitted. But I was in such pain, from the wrist where they used a large catheter to accommodate the drill to the heart which was also hurting so much, they kept dosing me with fentanyl but it didn't appear to help and from the heart itself.
Good manners kicked in and as I was leaving I did thank them (I was brought up properly)
I was told that instead of taking me back to my original hospital I was to stay the night at the Heath as the process had been so rough.
Due to the ongoing pain and an anomaly found on the ECG at 4 pm I was back down having a further Angiogram but luckily all was clear and this angiogram was relatively painless.
I was taken to the ward and given a proper bed, my head was pounding and I still had a lot of heart pain. I had to go to the loo as I just had to be sick and there was no way I was going to do it a bed pan!! Anyway I was hooked up to a monitor, dosed with more pain killers and by about 7 pm I had passed out.
Next day, so much better still some pain in my heart and I was told that was to be expected as they had stretched my arteries and I had an intrusive procedure! My headache was reduced to a light thud and I felt human again.
After 24 hrs of monitoring I was discharged armed with 5 new medicines to take (OMG)
My bypass was relatively painless compared to this but in the cold light of day I realise how lucky we are to live in a World (and country) where they can drill into the arteries of the heart.
It is a process I hope never to experience again but who knows!!
Sorry this has been so long, I like to use this as a diary for myself but also maybe someone else will find it useful.
If anyone has any questions regarding Rotablation please ask, mine was entirely unexpected but how fantastic this kind of thing can be done!
I can't drive for 7 days but will enjoy the enforced 'staying at home', putting my feet up and just chilling for the week, I am taking some pain relief as the heart pain is still there but easing off.
Have a lovely Sunday people I hope there are no more surprises ahead this next week.