I saw the doctor yesterday

Hawaii: Neighbor’s plant (photo by Gigi):

neighbor's plants 003-A

As you know, I experienced excruciating chest pain and pressure last Friday night, while resting in bed.

I saw my internist on Tuesday. An EKG was administered, and my doctor told me it was “abnormal.”  However, it was just as abnormal as the EKG done in 2012.  I seem to have a history of abnormal EKGs, dating from the 1970s.

The doctor told me that she did not think I had a heart attack last Friday. I asked her if I should have a blood test to prove it.  She said that blood tests are done if an MI is suspected.  (Not TIA, as blogger DJan mentioned, because TIA refers to stroke and there is no blood test for TIA.)

The doctor also said that heart attacks don’t usually happen at rest. They usually occur with physical exertion.

She listened to my heart and lungs and said they were fine.

She thinks my painful episode might have been due to heartburn, anxiety, or panic.

However, as a precaution, she has ordered another test, called a Dobutamine Stress Echocardiogram, which is scheduled for November 6. (Please google if you want more information.)  Yeah, it’s a long way off, but I guess the clinic is booked.

Bottom line: I really should avoid stress, physical or mental, because it doesn’t do me one bit of good.  Take it easy and be mellow.  Enjoy being retired and not having to deal with any unpleasantness.

20 Responses to “I saw the doctor yesterday”

  1. denise Says:

    Glad you have been to see the doctor Gigi. And yes, by all means, try to avoid stress. Better said than done I think but wise advice for us all.

  2. Christine Says:

    We will stay tuned for Nov 6. Glad nothing so far.

  3. Joanne Says:

    Good you are following up completely.

  4. DJan Says:

    Well, I learned something! My own doctor checked my blood for signs of whether I’d had a heart attack and said I hadn’t. So I was confused as to what they were looking for. I’m glad you went to the doctor, though, I now feel reassured that you are in good hands. Rest and lots of laughter! That’s my prescription! 🙂

  5. Cathy Says:

    Gigi I always thought heart attack was a lay term for myocardial infarct.
    Good to hear your Dr explained her thoughts and reasons to you – that’s certainly a fair wait for the next test but I’m sure if it was important you’d be higher up the waiting list. Perhaps you’ll get a call if there’s a cancellation.
    Cathy

    • gigihawaii Says:

      Yes, that is correct. MI stands for myocardial infarction or heart attack. There is a blood test for MI. I guess the reason for not being tested that way was that the doctor felt I hadn’t had a heart attack.

      However, I question that. Wouldn’t it have been easier to do a blood test rather than an EKG to see if I had a heart attack?

  6. Grannymar Says:

    Glad you are being checked out!

  7. Sylvia Thompson Says:

    Well it might’ve been a fluke, but according to studies (Pete read up on them), most heart attacks happen in the early morning before dawn in bed. That’s when Pete’s happened with the same symptoms as you. That’s all the doctor can do is tell you to sit down in the easy chair and die.
    I think you need to walk a little every day, like mom does just around the house. Look at Mom. She’s 98 and she was walking around the block 5x a day until the past 3-4 years when she kept falling. Due to poor vision, she didn’t notice the holes in the grass, or maybe dragging her feet, tripped on the road. Lucky for us, neighbors picked her up and brought her home.
    Don’t take this incident lying down. Be proactive about it. Read up. Love you, Syl

    • gigihawaii Says:

      Yeah, I used to walk a lot — to and from UH, to and from Ala Moana Center, to and from the supermarket — because I didn’t have a car and the bus was so slow.

      All that walking ended when I bought my first car at age 33.

  8. SchmidleysScribbling Says:

    I had the blood tests in the hospital and was told my episode was a heart attack. I hope you looked up the article in the New York Times, yesterday, on women’s heart attacks. I had the TIA thing after I had the heart attack.

  9. tom sightings Says:

    Well … now that you know it’s probably nothing serious, you can relax and not get stressed about it!

  10. L...w Says:

    Hope all turns out well for you. You don’t have many of the risk factors associated with heart disease like high cholesterol and diabetes. Lucky you!!

    • L...w Says:

      I am just wondering why the doctor opted to do an expensive echo test and forgo the cheaper blood test, unless she is looking for something more (since you have abnormal EKG). I took an echo test about 10 years ago and my out of pocket at 50% diagnostic was about $700-800 thereabouts if I recall correctly,

  11. Musings Says:

    Oh gracious! I’m glad you’re OK. That was certainly a scare.

  12. palolo Says:

    Get a second opinion from another doctor.

  13. dkzody Says:

    I would get another opinion. Heart attacks can happen at any time. I know this because of friends who have had heart attacks first thing in the morning and also after leaving the gym.

    We had a dear friend who was relaxing at home one evening with his wife, watching television, in his recliner. She went in to the kitchen to get some ice cream for them to enjoy while watching. When she returned he had died of a heart attack.

    I recently had a echocardiogram just to make sure my heart was healthy for a drug the dr thought she might give me for my Achilles heel problem. Heart was fine and I didn’t take the drug. Very expensive test.

  14. Beatrice P. Boyd Says:

    Glad you saw the doctor and that heart attack was ruled out, Gigi. Seems several others advise a second opinion, but if you trust your dr. It may not be necessary. Stress and worry can certainly do nasty things as can anxiety, so food to avoid all of those. Relax and be happy is great advice!

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