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Hospital Visit Today


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Well, I had an appointment this morning at the VA hospital, and it was a routine appointment. I was being seen by a C&P counselor, which is compensation and pension, not a doctor, just someone who talks to you and puts info in the computer so doctors can look at it and decide if your problem is service connected. Well, my counselor sent me down for a new EKG and chest X-Ray, so I went. I had my EKG and the tech was concerned, I ended up having to wait almost an hour for a caridologist to come down before they would let me leave. I was told today by 2 techs and a Cardio that I definitely had a heart attack and they even narrowed it down to a specific time frame that it happened. This makes me very happy, because now I don't have to concern myself with trying to figure out when it happened. They finally let me leave, but were reluctant to do so because I was there by myself, but with the recommendations of increasing salt use and purchasing some of the stockings, and we have decreased my Atenolol dosage. Now I have to carry a copy of my EKG with me just in case I have to go to the hospital, to show them so they won't think I am having a heart attack. But all in all, I think the day and the hosp visit went very well.

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You sure have been through a lot, glad you feel the apt. went well. Do you have family history of heart disease? What other meds have they put you on and have they made any other recommendations regarding activity, or cardio rehab of any sort. Not sure what you could tolerate in your case. :unsure:

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Well, as far as treatments that have been tried, none. I was seen by an EP in Feb 05 and got out of the military Mar 05. Once I got out, the AF wouldn't pay for outside medical care. I came home to WV which doesn't have an EP at the local VA. So I have seen 3 different cardios over the past 2 years, and none of them have really done anything for the POTS, until today. And all he said was the stockings, salt, and more fluids, which I am already doing, but he can't make any major changes since the guy today is not my cardiologist, he was just the one on call.

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Uh, did you say heart attack?! I know they can be minor and symptoms might be overlooked. But it seems like you need to demand more consistent medical care and attention. Why don't you allow them to admit you, maybe it will be a good start for thorough care?

A ?....you mentioned that they decreased your Atenolol because of this....does that med increase risk of a heart attack? I'm asking because it was recommended to me and I'm now considering it.

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Okay, you had a heart attack. Did they think your POTs caused it? You mentioned they just told you to treat your POTs symptoms, so do they think that will prevent another one? Heart attacks are serious and can have other long term effects so wondering why they just addressed the POTs?

- Tammy

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did they follow your ECG with cardiac enzymes (blood work?) - generally, they utilize both to confirm the diagnoses of a heart attack....generally, especially in the case of diagnosing a heart attack, they run a set of cardiac enzymes along WITH an ecg......ecg alone can sometimes be misleading -- especially in the case of "old MI" ....sometimes distinguishing between "old MI" and "normal septal depolarization" on ecg can be tricky......for old heart attacks the ecg shows Q waves on ecg in two or more leads facing the same anatomic position of the heart, but q waves can also be seen representing NORMAL septal depolarization....it all depends on the duration and depth of that q wave to distinguish between the two and sometimes that is difficult....sometimes the cardiologists i work with dictate our ECG's saying "Q waves noted, possibly old MI" because sometimes it is hard to differentiate PATHOLOGIC q waves from NORMAL septal depolarization q waves.....when it is black and white they dictate "OLD MI" but sometimes it's just not that easy.....cardiac enzymes and/or cardiac catheterization is generally also utilized to confirm or refute such a diagnoses....

i am surprised, if they thought you had a heart attack, that they decreased your beta?? usually they put patients ON beta to help the heart out because an MI causes stress on the heart and bets helps to reduce the workload of the heart (and in the case of a heart attack, the workload of the heart is increased to make up for damaged/dead cardiac muscle....

also, how is your BP? is it high or low?? i have had SOME training in post MI recovery patients and one thing specifically i remember being told is that post MI patients should have a LOW SALT diet because salt loading can lead to hypertension and cause increase work load of the heart....

obviously i dont know your situation that well and am just telling you, in general, what i know to be true for POST heart attack patients...........your situation may be different and i certainly dont want you to go against a cardiologists orders for you...............

take care,

cardiactec.

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Uh, did you say heart attack?! I know they can be minor and symptoms might be overlooked. But it seems like you need to demand more consistent medical care and attention. Why don't you allow them to admit you, maybe it will be a good start for thorough care?

A ?....you mentioned that they decreased your Atenolol because of this....does that med increase risk of a heart attack? I'm asking because it was recommended to me and I'm now considering it.

They decreased my Atenolol because I am really tired now, have no energy. And my heart attack was in 2004 and a second one this past February. Depending on how much and why they want to put you on Atenolol, I would definitely consider it, I haven't had any side effects except for being tired, but I was also on 150 mg a day.

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Tammy - I am pretty sure that the POTS didn?t cause either heart attack. I had my first one almost a year before I was diagnosed with POTS, but that could just have been the fact that they were slow in diagnosing me with heart problems in the first place. I am not sure if they are trying to do anything to prevent another MI, but I have been told that I will have another one; there is just no way to know when or what will cause it.

Cardiactec ? Unfortunately, because of my age, I was told that I wasn?t having a heart attack at the time I actually did. So no blood work was done then. I just got the confirmation yesterday that it even happened. I was recommended to have a cath done, but it hasn?t happened yet, and I say again, because of my age. They decreased the beta because my blood pressure went so low all I wanted to do was sleep. Only one cardio told me to decrease salt, but the VA won?t put me on flourinef because they say it?s an ?extreme measure? and if I increase my salt intake that should help with my dehydration.

Pat57 ? the VA isn?t too far, about 75 miles from where I am now, but I am getting ready to move back to Huntington, which is where the VAMC is. I am seen there but not as much as I would like, I saw a cardio in March and that was almost a full year after I saw the last one. I like that they don?t think i?m crazy, but I don?t like that they still look at my age and believe that I shouldn?t be having these problems, I want them to realize that young ppl do have heart attacks and can have problems with their heart.

Thanks to everyone that replied, I appreciate knowing that you care.

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Wow, what a day! Are the going to do anything about the heart attack you had? At least now you also have some answers, like when it happen. I hope the stocking will help you. Wanting to let you know I am thinking about you, and I am glad you got to come home! Hospitals are no fun!

Take care!

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