OT non update on the ol' madgardener

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wrote:

Mad -- a very feisty and youthful friend got drug into the Medical Establishment with a heart attack some years ago. She demanded a business card from everyone who approached her, much less treated/prescribed. Being insurance-deprived and poor, I hope I can be similarly hard-headed, should the occasion arise. Another post-menapausal friend found her horsepittle bill included a "routine" pregnancy test...for outpatient knee surgery. And a $20 charge when she said "yes" to the offer of a warm blanket in a cold room.
Keep us posted. Don't do too much, but don't be afraid to keep on truckin'. :-)
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Hey MG -- I've been in the heart-go-round for a while now and just had a pacemaker implanted a couple of weeks back. If you have any questions or need to talk, feel free to e-mail me.
My experience with my own cardiologist has shown that they will take it easy with non-life-threatening conditions, waiting until appointments and so forth. When it's a serious condition requiring immediate attention though, they don't fool around.
FWIW, here is some information on some of the more common tests they might run. Since I've no idea how familiar you are with these things, I'll explain each briefly -- drop a note if you have any questions.
Blood tests are used to rule out heart attacks that have recently occurred -- they search for a protein released during the heart attack. Unfortunately, that protein is gone after about 24 hours if memory serves, so this has limited value. To know for certain whether or not a heart attack has occurred, they'll want to do an angiogram -- this is where they insert a cath up the leg into the heart and examine the tissue for damage.
One of the most common tests they run is an echocardiogram. This is basically the same a sonogram but directed at the heart. It's non-invasive and gives information on heart function.
Naturally, they'll run one or more EKGs -- I'm sure you're familiar with these by now. They had them going when they ran the stress test and they probably already gave you one when you came into the office. An abnormal EKG can show a lot of things and may show the need for further testing.
If they suspect a blockage they may choose to do an angiogram or they may choose to do a cardiolite stress test. A cardiolite stress test is a non-invasive test given in two phases on different days. On day 1 they inject a radioactive dye into your system, put you on the treadmill to get your heart rate up, then have you lay on a table that shoots a 3D image of your heart beating. The image is reconstructed by the computer and allows them to see blood flow through the heart. On day #2 (1-5 days later typically) they do everything the same but without the treadmill (at rest).
If you're suffering an arrythmia (odd beat) they might do an electrophysiology study (similar to an angiogram in process but with different items examined) or they could put you on a monitor for 24 hours (in or out of the office).
These are some of the more common tests they'll run in the early sessions. I know what it's like to be sort of flying in the wind with heart issues -- I've been fairly well alone with my own. If you need to talk about any of it, e-mail me, 'k?
Hope some of this helps.
James
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They did extensive blood tests the day I came in, so they would have found something then, right? (I am currently still having these "pressure" pains and it's driving me mad.......................I suspect that this is my lungs that are boogered up with that inhalation of Weed and Feed the day before the episode)
To know for certain whether or not a heart

They did do an X-ray the day I was in ER, not sure what else as I was kinda not there sometimes. Scared the hell outa me

Yep, they did that one. Also injected something into me and told me to wait a half hour and they took lots of pictures that rotated around me as I lay perfectly still (they said they'd never had someone tell them they could lay completely still and really do it before........I blew them away <g>

This is the test they ran on me when I did the stress test. They had me get my rate up to 144. I refused to talk to them while I was walking the treadmill and noticed there at the end when they increased the drag and incline (when I was having to breath thru my mouth instead of my nose and was starting to get prickly) my heart rate went up to about 150 or so. When they insisted I try and go the extra 90 seconds at the end, I pushed it and did it, but they had to sit the chair on the tread mill for me to sit down on once they were finished. They also took another series of shots on the table again and then gave me cookies and some soda pop. Another injection of something and they took another series of shots on the table and I was thru. Now I just have to patiently wait until thursday gets here and go see the doctor to at least have him tell me it's not my heart and to let him know I'm still having those pressure pains in my chest and that pressure feeling in my arms. I've gone to work and pushed myself because we can't afford me to lose anymore time.
In answer to someone else.....I NEVER write bad checks. I will call the billing office when I get the first WOW and tell them I am pretty poor, and not ashamed of it. I WARNED THEM up front when I went into the ER that I didn't have insurance, and was getting cut hours. Nothing like getting a small check and it's smaller because you get sick.............
On day #2 (1-5 days later

James it helped tremendously. And I apologize for not answering you earlier. I've been working and distracted, and home is insane here. Squire hasn't worked for 10 days now, son lives with us (oldest one, and honey, he's an eater...............) and HE'S not working now due to another lay off. Thank goodness that Lowe's gave everyone a $25 gift certificate. I'm grateful for that. We'll have roast beast next week and they scheduled me off on Wednesday so I can do some before feast prep with my cornbread dressing. It will be a scaled down feast but I'm happy to just have the people and family coming that are. Nothing wrong with turkey, taters, dressing, gravy and cranberry sauce and a couple of pies. (I usually lay out one mean spread, but at least we can have one, there has been times we didn't even have THAT and wound up eating where I worked.......another reason I worked professional food service. You never go hungry <g>)
I will post something for all of you so you'll know I'm still hanging in there and waiting. (((hug))) maddie
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X-rays have limited use in these situations -- they can show some things but not enough.

Test. In my case this was done in two parts -- first after bumping my heart rate up on a treadmill then a couple of days later with no exercise (at rest). This can usually give a pretty good picture of heart function and blockages.

Yup, that's the Cardiolite Stress Test. That's a decent diagnostic -- they'll be able to tell you a good amount from that and plot out a path for any further treatments if necessary.

Understandable. I just recently went through surgery for my own heart condition and I find it has been more than a little disruptive in my life. :)
Seriously -- if you have any questions or there's anything else I can help with, drop me an e-mail offline. You have my e-mail address. I've been through quite a bit over the last few years with my heart problems and I know how scary and confusing it can be going through the process.
James
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Imagination!?
Imagination can cause one small twinge of pain to become prolonged agony especially when coupled with fear or "anxiety"
Saw it happen dozens of times when I was a medical specialist working in the ER during my time in the army.
Shepherd
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Never mind the weed 'n feed, that's awful stuff (it makes me sick to breath the fumes!), but the physical dust will definitely make you feel like you're breathing with two bricks instead of lungs in your chest! That could be it, along with the exertion of pushing the broom, you know, we don't use those chest muscles (we must, we must, we must increase our bust and all!!! <G>) and if you do work your chest and pull something, it could feel like something is crushed. Ad onto that the chemicals, and I'll bet it'd cause some of what your feeling! I hope that's all it is and that it clears out for you soon!
--
Ann, Gardening in zone 6a
Just south of Boston, MA
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If you spent 5 hours sweeping don't you think that could very probably account for the pains (muscular) you are having in your arms and chest and the difficulty breathing.
Five hours of any kind of unfamiliar exertion is bound to make one very sore.
Just a thought.
Shepherd
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