Health Warning

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bollybear
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Health Warning

Post by bollybear » Sun Aug 28, 2011 6:38 pm

I would guess that the majority of members on here are in the age range 30-65 and I have a couple of experiences that are a warning for us all.
About 6 months ago I started to get slight "indigestion" when going for a walk. Prior to that I would walk 3-4 miles perhaps 3 times a week.Inevitably the "indigestion" started earlier and earlier in the walk and I went to my GP.

I have no family history of heart problems,never smoked,not overweight and retired with no health problems. I did 3 workout classes per week for 25 years and had a job that for 40 years involved a fair amount of exercise. So when the GP saw all this,he stuck a stethoscope on my chest and said you have a very strong heart,I have a feeling it is indigestion. 2 weeks later the tablets surprisingly have not worked {8 . Back I go and he gives me some stronger pills. After another fortnight I go back again and I see another GP and she decides to give me an ECG.

Now this is where it all goes pear shaped- the ECG is fine and she says your heart is strong and working well. So.guys,this is the sentence that you hear and the one that puts your mind at rest.I have to tell you-the ECG does not diagnose ALL your problems. At this stage I got lucky as she said she would do a further test by sending me to the local hospital for a treadmill test. 10 minutes on there and I am puffing and the chap says-angina. Very surprised but I thought I know people that take the odd tablet and are fine. He says I am going to get you checked with an angiogram. I guess I was still in denial because of my "strong heart" and was dumbfounded to hear I needed a triple or maybe quadruple by pass.I nearly had a heart attack on the spot !
Anyway it's all been done and I am fine. But just before I left I asked one of the nurses what would be the single most important factor in saving lives. She said that when you have an ECG and the results are good,that is not the full story. For whatever reason,many GP's don't send you to the treadmill. You MUST insist that you are tested. It is like having a great car engine that runs well and then a couple of leads begin to clog up and the car doesn't run as well .

So, don't think it is definitley indigestion and DEMAND the treadmill test.
Finally,when I saw my surgeon,I asked how this could have happened to me,he said "it is just bad luck!" So when the top guy says that,then it shows it is just random and lifestyle seems only a small part of the problem. Suffice to say the video you see before you leave is introduced by Roger Black who also had heart procedures.
Sorry to go on and I do not offer any medical advice-just an experience that happened-and one that can perhaps help fellow punters !

jim

Re: Health Warning

Post by jim » Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:05 pm

Firstly I'm very pleased to hear you are now well, long may it continue.

Sound advice for us all, particularly me as I'm now 56 and have gained a lot of weight in the last few years. Time to go for a health screen, lose some weight and look after myself.

Thanks for the warning Bolly and as I say glad to hear you are OK.

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PlaceWinner
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Re: Health Warning

Post by PlaceWinner » Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:14 pm

Good and wise post John
"This will not be beaten"

alancraik
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Re: Health Warning

Post by alancraik » Mon Aug 29, 2011 12:16 pm

bollybear

I know exactly what you went through I had similar problems. It started off with a sore throat and lack of breath, went to see my doctor, he gave me a ECG and sent me for a treadmill test the next day. I did not expect to have any problems as I had a full medical only six months before ECG etc, this was required every two years for my work.
Went for the test and it was my mates wife who performed the test, after a few minutes on the treadmill she was saying christ Alan you are sweating pure Vodka. It also showed I had two mild heart attacks.
A week later went for angiogram which spotted a restricted artery. Luckily I did not need a bypass it was treated with anti cholesterol drugs. Sixteen years later still going strong.
I dont know what medication you have been prescribed but that is also important that you research what you are taking. I was also prescribed a beta blocker the only thing it did for me was put on 3 stone.

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bollybear
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Re: Health Warning

Post by bollybear » Mon Aug 29, 2011 12:46 pm

Thanks for your good wishes,Chaps.
Alan-I was on beta blockers before the surgery to keep the heart rate down and basically not snuff it before I got to theatre. Now,I have had the op,I am on one soluble aspirin( the wonder drug !) and a statin for the rest of my life-happy days. But I am relying on a few more winners from you,Alan.......... :)
Great to hear the treadmill worked for you !

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peanut
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Re: Health Warning

Post by peanut » Mon Aug 29, 2011 1:45 pm

Thanks bollybear for the insight. :)

Glad to hear you are well :thumbs

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Col
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Re: Health Warning

Post by Col » Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:18 pm

So this treadmill test chaps
Can you request it, or does your doc have the say.

Stopped smoking six years ago because any exertion was making me breathless.
Bought myself a bike a couple of years ago, but no matter how regularly I use it, I still get breathless.

So don't smoke, not overweight, is it worth a check up.

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bollybear
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Re: Health Warning

Post by bollybear » Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:27 pm

Col- as I said I can't give any medical advice-merely what happened to me.
However, if I had not seen the second GP then given the state of my arteries I would probably have had a heart attack. I don't know if it is a cost thing for them but the nurse said it seems to be the luck of the draw if you get the treadmill. She said that you can definitley ask for the test.
The other problem which does not help any of us,is that apparently it is difficult to diagnose the difference between indigestion and heart problems in the early stages,especially if they listen to your heart and it is strong. Not very reassuring is it?
Col,if you asked anyone on this board (given your symptoms) and with no medical knowledge,every single one would say go to the Doc. Tell him you get breathless every time you exert yourself and you want the treadmill test.We are all the same-it is always going to happen to someone else. But if you are honest with yourself,do you really think it will get better by itself ?
As an aside,over my working life I collected quite a lot of money for Wessex Heartbeat Charity. Ironic isn't it ? Now the only Charity I help is the retired Greyhounds that Place Winner told me about. With my luck I will probably be bitten to death by one of these wonderful creatures :)

tipster88

Re: Health Warning

Post by tipster88 » Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:41 pm

Thanks for sharing this with us and im glad your well! Isn't it ridiculous how GPs dont give you full attention to get to the bottom of any issue you may have! no wonder people put off going to see there doctors becuase many simply cant get you out of the door quick enough with a perscription in your hand leaving you to think everything is minor! doesn't fill me with much faith in the system!

alancraik
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Re: Health Warning

Post by alancraik » Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:35 pm

Col

If you want a treadmill test head off to to your GP, he will book the test for you. Well worth having it, as it can spot any problems early.

PS
about your bike, my GP said I should get more exercise, bought a bike and it nearly killed me, traded it in for a bike with assisted battery power. If the hills are a bit steep let the battery do the work. When the doc asks about exercise I can look him in the eye and say I had a 5 mile bike ride yesterday. ;)

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Col
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Re: Health Warning

Post by Col » Tue Aug 30, 2011 6:48 pm

Thank you chaps

What is it about men that we don't like to bother our doctors, or are we scared about what we might learn.
Time for a check up I think :)

Jockathan

Re: Health Warning

Post by Jockathan » Wed Aug 31, 2011 1:05 pm

Cheers for starting this thread Bolly. I am glad to hear that you are feeling good within yourself.

Food for thought for many of us - myself included.

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Col
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Re: Health Warning

Post by Col » Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:21 pm

Thanks to bolly for starting this thread, it gave me the kick up the backside I needed, to go and see the Doc.
After describing the symptoms, shortage of breath, he gave me the once over, and the only thing out of the ordinary was high blood pressure.
He sent me for a chest xray ( ex smoker ) and an ecg.
Both came back clear, but once again, high blood pressure was spotted.

After some discussions, he decided to refer me for the treadmill test, and in the meantime prescribed something for high blood pressure.

Today I went for the treadmill test, and was looked after by two lovely ladies.
After being hooked up to various wires, and getting my blood pressure taken, we proceeded to carry on with some vigorous excercise on the treadmill,
which I have to say left me gasping for breath.

After the tests were finished, one of the nurses left the room for ten minutes.
When she reappeared, she told me that I would have to go and see my doctor.

That's fine I said, I have an appointment in a couple of days.
No, she said, I mean I want you to go and see your doctor now.

I've spoken to the cardiologist and we have picked up something from your results, and the next step will be an Angiogram. Bloody hell I thought.

Anyway, within the hour I'm sitting in the doctors, and the outcome is, he's handed me a bucketfull of tablets
Including Betablockers and asprin.

I've got another appointment with my Doc on thursday which was prearranged and we will discuss what happens next.

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harry_rag
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Re: Health Warning

Post by harry_rag » Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:59 pm

Jeez Col, sorry to hear that. Hope it all works out well.

Stress of running this place can't help! :)

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bollybear
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Re: Health Warning

Post by bollybear » Tue Sep 27, 2011 7:54 pm

Wow ! Glad you are getting it sorted,Col.
For what it is worth,the angiogram definitely does not hurt.You can actually see the veins etc. if you are not squeamish ! Stupidly,I was still convinced that there was nothing wrong with me and did not bother to look. However,when I saw the surgeon he showed me the angiogram. It is just like looking at a map,and the motorways are wide and then the "a" and "b" roads get narrower. So when I saw my "motorways" going into a "country lane" you can imagine my shock ! I was a heart attack just waiting to happen !
They all seem to have slightly different views but every single one thinks aspirin is a must. Whilst I was waiting for the "op" they gave me beta blockers to lower the heart rate and therefore lower the risk of a heart attack. Coming out,the surgeon says not needed,the cardiologist says take them ! They all seem very keen on statins to lower the cholesterol.
If you have to have treatment Col, there is absolutely no pain-which is hard to believe. I think you are so full of drugs you don't feel a thing !
i am sure things will be fine,Col-you have not had a heart attack and so your heart is strong.

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Matt
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Re: Health Warning

Post by Matt » Tue Sep 27, 2011 8:53 pm

All the best Col.

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russ
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Re: Health Warning

Post by russ » Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:48 pm

Yes, best wishes Col.

Jimmy
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Re: Health Warning

Post by Jimmy » Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:13 am

Best wishes Col. At least you found out before it got any worse. Twelve years ago I didn't even know I had high blood pressure, then I woke up in a hospital bed paralysed down the one side. Took a while, and lots of physiotherapy, to get back to some semblance of normality, try tying your shoe laces with one hand. Been on betablockers, statins, diuretics, asprin and god knows what ever since. What is they say about creaking gates?

alancraik
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Re: Health Warning

Post by alancraik » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:44 am

all the best col

dont worry, looks like they have caught things early.

Jockathan

Re: Health Warning

Post by Jockathan » Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:14 pm

Very best of luck tomorrow Col.

So shortness in breath and/or high blood pressure are signs to look for?

When does shortness in breath matter? One cannot expect to run up a flight of stairs at +50 the same way we did at 20?

alancraik
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Re: Health Warning

Post by alancraik » Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:09 pm

Jock

it is the time it takes to recover from the shortness of breath that is the problem.

Jockathan

Re: Health Warning

Post by Jockathan » Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:30 pm

Cheers Alan. Not too bad here then...thanks to my job!

Jockathan

Re: Health Warning

Post by Jockathan » Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:33 pm

Don't forget those Flu jabs boys.

Although too young (51) usually for a 'freebie' I do have a cough (non-cigarette smoker) that neither X-Ray nor Scans can solve. This gets me a free jab.

jim

Re: Health Warning

Post by jim » Wed Sep 28, 2011 5:11 pm

Just read this, all the best Col :thumbs

As I already take blood pressure tablets and statins, and I'm about four stone overweight, think it's time I did something. I get out of breath just looking at a flight of stairs, think I know what the outcome is going to be.

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nick
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Re: Health Warning

Post by nick » Wed Sep 28, 2011 5:48 pm

Only just read this too, Col. All the very best mate.

At least the treatment has had some nice consolations so far:
Col wrote: Today I........................... was looked after by two lovely ladies.
After being hooked up to various wires, we proceeded to carry on with some vigorous excercise on the treadmill,
which I have to say left me gasping for breath...........................................

I think even the younger lads will be getting checked if that's what takes place ;) .

InItToWinIt

Re: Health Warning

Post by InItToWinIt » Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:04 pm

Hi, I am new here, my name is Iain.

I had similar problems a few years ago.

I went to the doctor with chest pains. He checked my heart and although he couldn't detect any problem he arranged I have an ECG. The ECG test didn't show any problem with my heart. The doctor then arranged I go to hospital to have the treadmill test, which also didn't show any problem. He then arranged I go back to the hospital to have a chest X-Ray, which also indicated my heart was OK.

I was a bit overweight at the time and didn't exercise much, which is probably why the test was so thorough.

Jockathan

Re: Health Warning

Post by Jockathan » Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:12 pm

Welcome Iain.

So being overweight and not exercising gave you the chest pains? Nowt wrong with the ticker it seems.

My cough had no reasonable explanation according to test...they simply said reduce the fresh chiles and booze. Sure doc...

gudede

Re: Health Warning

Post by gudede » Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:13 pm

Just clicked into the tread.....Hope everything went ok Col :thumbs

InItToWinIt

Re: Health Warning

Post by InItToWinIt » Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:31 am

Jockathan wrote: So being overweight and not exercising gave you the chest pains? Nowt wrong with the ticker it seems.
No, they eventually blamed stress for the chest pains, but shortly after I was diagnosed with diabetes so had to lose weight. Although I still don't exercise enough.

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Col
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Re: Health Warning

Post by Col » Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:53 pm

Thanks for the kind words gents :)
Still lots of tests to be done, and thankfully they're doesn't seem to be huge waiting times for them.

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