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Slightly abnormal ECG, GP not worried but I'm starting to panic

(22 Posts)

I went to the GP to request HRT (I'm 53 and peri). I had high blood pressure which led to various tests - bloods and ECG.

I waltzed into the GP today feeling absolutely fine, better than I have for some time, to be told that there is a slight abnormality with the ECG. GP feels it's probably nothing but there's a slight chance I might have previously had a heart attack without knowing.

She's going to fax the ECG to the consultant cardiologist for clarification. She's prescribed aspirin and BP meds.

During the appointment I was fine, reassured by her calmness. But now I'm starting to worry. Not helped by the fact it's a Friday!

She mentioned further cardiology tests may be needed. Or simply that the leads might not have been placed correctly.

Now I'm stewing over the worst case scenario.

I don't know quite what I want from this post but I'm hoping just writing it down helps.

PollyPerky Fri 24-Mar-17 13:44:22

Sorry to hear this.
Was the ECG done there and then in the surgery?
If it was, and she thought the leads were misplaced, they should have run it again.

have you had any symptoms that could have been a heart attack?

Did she explain what the abnormality was? Was she able to 'read' the ECG properly?

I know it's hard but you have to wait for the referral or go back to see her or another GP at your practice for more info.

Thanks for your reply. Just verbalising my worries has helped.

The ECG was done by a nurse about two weeks ago.

I'm a bit miffed because this obviously wasn't picked up straight away, and had to wait for my appointment today. Although I suppose if it really was a problem she would have contacted me.

Rationally I know that she wouldn't have sent me on my merry way if she was concerned in any way. But asking me if I have chest pains didn't help. I didn't think I did but it's easy to talk myself into them, if you see what I mean!

The abnormality was a tiny downwards spike before the upwards spike, rather than just an upwards spike, if that makes sense.

MichaelSheensNextDW Fri 24-Mar-17 14:23:36

They will have seen q waves, which are not always pathological, but it's great that they've sent the ECG for consultant interpretation.

Oh, Michael - that one sentence is just so reassuring.

PollyPerky Fri 24-Mar-17 15:08:04

Could it have been showing an ectopic heartbeat? This is shown by a small spike before the big spike- like an extra spike- which means there is a premature beat. it's nothing to do with heart attacks and is common. I admit I don't know if it's a downward or upward spike. But if it was an ectopic beat the GP should know that.

PollyPerky Fri 24-Mar-17 15:09:42


I do have ectopic heartbeats, I have done for many years. The GP had a listen but just nodded sagely. She did ask if I was worried but I said that I wasn't but probably would be later. She still didn't seem unduly concerned.

Hopefully she is just being over-cautious and thorough.

I'm much calmer now, thank you - I'm a great one for catastrophising.

WoodYouBeHappy Fri 24-Mar-17 18:45:49

I'm sure everything will be ok with you, as your GP didn't seem worried at all.

I am reading and making notes here too though smile. I'm sort of in the same position and out of my 4 ECG's recently, 3 were classed as 'abnormal' with a list of notes about ventricular and atrial this and that. The nurse said she didn't really know how to interpret them, but that they weren't normal hmm Thanks!

No idea if my GP has seen them. I guess we'll hear back soon. Let's chill together in the meantime grin Have a nice weekend!

It's just so worrying isn't it wood?

I kind of wish she had just asked the cardiology consultant before she said anything to me. I was fit and healthy this morning and spent all day worrying possibly unnecessarily. Similar to your helpful nurse!

I hope your weekend goes well.

As DH says, if it was serious I'd be in hospital!

Take care

WoodYouBeHappy Sun 26-Mar-17 17:06:00

Is it still ticking Blackbird? grin grin grin

I've survived the weekend <grin>

I felt as rough as a badger for two days, decided the end was nigh, only to remember that I'd eaten really out of date yoghurt for two days in a row. Plonker!

Anyway, I've got a phone appointment with a GP tomorrow, although I'm not sure what to ask yet.

I take it you're still here as well?!

WoodYouBeHappy Mon 27-Mar-17 10:36:53

grin I can't imagine 'yoghurt-poisoning' being on many death certificates grin

Hope you feel better now.

Feeling much less tachycardic this weekend and this will probably continue until cardiology appointment

Good luck with the GP. I'll send you my ECG's and you can squeeze them in to your consultation too grin.

My GP e-mailed again about some normal blood test results and I don't like to e-mail back "BUT WHAT ABOUT MY ABNORMAL ECG'S???!!!!" Ha ha smile

Well, I've had my phone consult with the GP and the cardiologist says the ECG is within normal limits. I feel like I can breathe again!

I've been advised to attend for tests at the chest pain clinic, just in case though.

I really hope you get the same answers for your tests. Let me know how you get on - I'll be worrying about you if you don't!

WoodYouBeHappy Mon 27-Mar-17 13:49:26

That's great news! Good luck with the pain clinic.

My cardio issues are because of my ME/CFS, so I'm not too worried. I always feel better in the Spring and less tachycardic, so I'm sure I'll be laughed out of my cardiology appointment.

Wishing you a healthy year Blackbird smile

MichaelSheensNextDW Mon 27-Mar-17 16:24:41

That's great flowers

I'm back from my cardio appointment. All is well, thank goodness.

Thank you, everyone, for keeping me company and calming my panic flowers

MichaelSheensNextDW Mon 03-Apr-17 18:17:17

Fantastic! I'm sure that's a weight off your mind flowers
ps your username suggests you might be a fellow West Country person?

Yup, mid-Somerset. Well spotted!

Northernlurker Mon 03-Apr-17 22:09:13

Glad all is ok. I think it's good that your gp has been so thorough. Heart problems in women are easily missed because of how they can present and because there is a perception it's middle aged men who have the heart attack.

WannaBe Mon 03-Apr-17 22:19:27

Glad all was ok. Just for some reassurance, even paramedics can't exactly read ECG's so although they can know that they're abnormal they wouldn't necessarily know how they're abnormal iyswim.

FWIW I have a heart condition, (HCM plus a mitral valve leak,) and my ECG looks dodgy as..... but the rhythm is generally normal so while it looks bad on the surface I still only have to have one every six months or so.

But I was given a printed copy of mine in the event I ever had to go into hospital and DS borrowed it to take into science class. grin.

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