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Am I overreacting? AIBU

(11 Posts)
EleanorRigbyWasReal Thu 21-Jan-21 19:58:37

I’ve posted this in “General Health” too.

I have, and am being treated for, mild angina. I say “mild”, as I’ve no idea how what I experience compares to others.

I saw my gp with increasing breathlessness and what I feel as “pressure” on my chest and at the base of my neck,; like someone pressing the heel of their hand on me. It usually happens when I’m stressed. My GP was reluctant to refer me further and suggested it might be stress/anxiety based.

My family history is Mum had 9x CABG at age 51. She never had a heart attack just “discomfort” in her back between her shoulder blades. This was in 1991. She was referred and had angiography and needed emergency surgery for 9 bypass grafts. My aunt (mum’s sister) had stents at 62. My sister was fobbed off by her GP for years with breathlessness and chest “discomfort” despite family history and was eventually referred to hospital, where she had an exercise ecg which they said, showed everything was normal. No angina. All clear. That was less than 3 weeks ago.

Yesterday, she was taken in as an urgency and needed stents. She is 59. I am 58. We are both fairly fit. Non smokers. I take blood pressure medication, have a GTN spray, though I’ve never used it... too scared) take Aspirin prescribed and anti cholesterol meds (my cholesterol is good).

Am I overreacting to think that she could have dropped dead waiting for someone to “find” her problem? She’s at home now. All went well but it seems incredible to me that she was potentially at high risk of stroke/heart attack and discharged by Cardiology at the hospital. She actually felt like she was a malingerer. Felt really stupid.

As for me, I’m beginning to think, with such a strong female family history of cardiovascular disease my GP ought to be “indulging” me more? Instead of begrudgingly sending me for referral? She was very much “well, we can do some tests (basically, if you insist).

I know we’re in the middle of a pandemic but I’m getting chest “pressure” just changing the bed.

OP’s posts: |
Gutted2day Thu 21-Jan-21 21:13:56

My goodness not at all, all chest pain should be thoroughly investigated until any serious issues have been ruled out. Too many GPs fob people off with 'it's anxiety' keep nagging until all avenues are explored, unfortunately in these times you need to be your own advocate. Failing that change your GP!

Aquamarine1029 Thu 21-Jan-21 21:17:13

With your family history, I would not be allowing a gp to fob me off.

Weirdfan Thu 21-Jan-21 21:22:48

It wouldn't be 'indulging' you, it would be sending you for necessary and justifiable tests and I would be detailing exactly what you've posted here about your family history, similarity of symptoms etc and absolutely insisting on the appropriate tests. Your GP should be joining the dots here but if they're missing it you'll have to do it for them. Good luck, let us know how you get on flowers

EleanorRigbyWasReal Thu 21-Jan-21 21:31:57

Thank you so much. I’m beginning to think my GP thinks I just “want to be ill”. She did say that she didn’t really need to know “all about your sister”. I tried to get the point across that it WAS relevant in that, she’d had her medication for high BP juggled about a bit but had, over the past three years, gotten progressively worse and that she had “slipped through the net”.

When I said I’d experienced the worst “chest pressure” at my mums funeral last year, she said “well, that’s very stressful isn’t it?” Yes, but feeling like you have that heaviness and breathlessness surely isn’t right when doing the housework?
It’s awful when you feel you have to fight for the ^appropriate” help.

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ghostyslovesheets Thu 21-Jan-21 21:37:44

No you are not being unreasonable at all

I have a similar family history - genetic 'bad cholesterol' from both mum and dad (him quadruple by-pass - her heart failure despite being very fit and active - maternal grandad - quad by-pass - great grandmother - heart attack!) sister is 56 and on statins

I'm 50 and trying so hard to be fit but it's a bastard - made worse by women's symptoms being ignored and put down to 'stress' - we also present differently to men (dear TRA's this is why biological sex matters) - I feel for you

sorry that was so mememee!

EleanorRigbyWasReal Thu 21-Jan-21 21:57:10

@ghostyslovesheets...sister and I both have hyperlipidaemia which has needed statins to reduce. I’m fairly fit. I do 30mins of cardio brisk walk/run. Every day. Rain or shine. Even over Xmas and New Year. I also walk miles with the dog and cycle to/from town rather than take the car (approx 20mins). I’m no slouch. I used to do more. My sister has horses but is a little overweight, however, no couch potato. Dad had strokes and died from the last one he had, but he was 74.

I don’t think I could have done any more in terms of heart health. I like a glass of red, but not to excess. It’s infuriating. And then to be put straight into the “stressed menopausal female” box. Aarrrghhh!

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xXOXOx Thu 21-Jan-21 21:59:50

No YANBU, my family also has history of heart disease. My mum has had 2 heart attacks and stents, my aunt took a heart attack at 32 and died, my other 2 aunts have had heart attacks n heart disease, my uncle died last year of heart disease and my nan died of a heart attack. I pulled a muscle in my chest not so long ago, had a freak out and took a panic attack thinking it was a heart attack and phoned an ambulance on myself, the paramedics took me straight to hospital for an ECG, bloods and an x-ray. I was totally embarrassed but they said I was right to phone and check because of my family history.

ghostyslovesheets Thu 21-Jan-21 22:04:55

EleanorRigbyWasReal

**@ghostyslovesheets**...sister and I both have hyperlipidaemia which has needed statins to reduce. I’m fairly fit. I do 30mins of cardio brisk walk/run. Every day. Rain or shine. Even over Xmas and New Year. I also walk miles with the dog and cycle to/from town rather than take the car (approx 20mins). I’m no slouch. I used to do more. My sister has horses but is a little overweight, however, no couch potato. Dad had strokes and died from the last one he had, but he was 74.

I don’t think I could have done any more in terms of heart health. I like a glass of red, but not to excess. It’s infuriating. And then to be put straight into the “stressed menopausal female” box. Aarrrghhh!

I'm the same - a bit overweight but healthy and exercise every day - do a fair bit of cardio

My mum cycled everywhere, volunteered in lots of things, gardened, had adventured but had a heart attack at 68 - now she had heart failure at 74 but she's still active and refuses to 'give in'

I did have chest pain a few years back but went to out of hours GP who sent me to A+E - stayed over night for bloods - all fine - followed up with a stress test and scan - thankfully all fine

I would ask to see a different GP if possible (maybe one a bit more up to date or female) or the next time you get any chest pain go straight to A+E (which 111 would make you do anyway) and get it checked properly - don;t muck about x

EleanorRigbyWasReal Thu 21-Jan-21 22:57:28

@ghostyslovesheets... your mum sounds amazing. And you, like me, sound like we’ve just been unlucky in the genes department.

I did have an ecg which they told me was fine. Then, two weeks later, GP phoned me to say there was some enlargement of the heart and she’d refer me but that was some time ago, nothing since. I’d no idea they could see heart enlargement on ECG.

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EleanorRigbyWasReal Fri 22-Jan-21 10:56:26

@xXOXOx... that’s quite a history there. You absolutely did the right thing.

I feel the NHS now, and I don’t mean in Covid, is all about damage limitation. There’s no preemptive work. I used to run a “Well Woman Clinic” in the 1990’s. It was all about catching disease process early. Now, it’s like you have to have the heart attack. Stroke. Whatever.

I know it’s all about cost/resources but ffs my poor sister had 82% and 70% narrowing in 2 of the 3 coronary arteries. She could have gone, at any moment. At 59.

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