Jan 15, 2010

New from the home front ( Or how I spent Christmas in the hospital)

I woke up about 4:30 am Christmas morning with chest pains.  I have angina, due to a blockage in my arteries, that my insurance does not deem severe enough to mess with.  Anyway, I went through the drill, one nitro under the tongue every five minutes until the pain stops, or call 911.  I called 911, mainly because I was getting sick to my stomach.

At the hospital, I got to a room pretty quickly, and everything seemed normal.  I had a stress test on the 25th, and I guess I passed it, for I went home that evening.  I understand that during the holidays the staff is reduced, and sometimes the best you can do is give everyone a slap and tickle, but I kind of felt there was a rush job in my case.  The doctor I saw gave me some more blood pressure meds, and sent me on my way.

I saw my regular doctor on an unrelated matter, and when I told him I had been to the hospital he got a little pissed because he had received nothing from the hospital, said hospital not being part of his medical group.  So, he ordered his own tests, a little more complex this time, involving nuclear medicine. He also gave me another blood pressure pill.  Now I'm taking three.

I had that test done on the 5th, but haven't heard anything from anybody about it. Maybe its just me, but I think a patient has a right to know as soon as possible if their heart is ok or not. It really helps with the stress factor.  I also don't understand that if these hospitals are HIPPA compliant, which they both claim to be, then the information is supposed to be easily accessible. You know, the "portability" part of it.

I'm still alive and kicking, but I'm scared to do my exercises.  No, really, I am.  I was really pushing myself, and was getting chest pains afterwards.

Here is another problem I see in this. If a man walks in with heart problems, or chest pain of any nature, he will have test after test to rule out a MI (myocardial infarction [heart attack]).  A woman, on the other hand, could very well have just eaten the wrong thing, or, perhaps she is of a nervous nature. I don't know if more men die of heart attacks than women, but I know heart disease is the number one killer of women.  Of course this number is based on all women who die of heart problems, from 1 to 100 in age. So, the statistics are a little flawed from that standpoint.

In the same way that breast cancer deaths are based on all women, from ages 1-100, noting that breast cancer becomes more prevalent the older you are. We still on the same page?

Anyway, I am alive and well, thus far, but getting used to the new meds.  I did a drug interaction search at, and found out that SSRI's are prone to inhibit the elimination of blood pressure medicines because they are both metabolized through the P450 pathway 2D6 in the liver.  Meaning, they stay in your body longer.

I'm going to get maybe some angry comments from men about how they are treated differently in regards to heart problems.  But it is not my intention to negate in any way the treatment they receive.  I just wish more women were treated the same way.

For example, my young friend, M., went to the emergency room, as she could not get her breath.  Her heart rate upon arrival was 43. Of course they started scrambling, as this is unusually slow.  There course of treatment?  They gave her a shot of addrenaline and sent her on her way.

1 comment:

SJ said...

Oh I didn't know you were sick... no wait... ;)

I know you have big heart hope it stays strong and healthy for many more years!