Weight: 364 lbs
Smoking Status: Non-smoker
Bupropion XL 300mg (for depression, taking roughly 1yr)
Metoprolol Succ 25mg (2x day)
Nitroglycerin (as needed)
Famotidine 20mg (2x day)
Sucralfate (4x day w/ meals and before bed)
Roughly 4 weeks ago I began to feel tightness in my chest with pain radiating into my left arm. I went to the ER and they checked my blood work and determined that I was not having an heart attack. However they did refer me to a cardiologist. One week ago following a nuclear stress test and echo cardiogram I had angioplasty performed and it was discovered I had an 80% block in my left anterior descending artery. A stent was inserted and I went home the same day. That day I was put on all the medications listed above (except the bupropion, famotidine and sucralfate).
Immediately after the insertion of the stent I felt the chest tightness alleviate. However, within a few days I noticed some odd sensations in my chest. It felt like a pinch in my upper right chest. I was also intesely aware of my heartbeat and my pulse in the left side of my neck. At first I thought I was feeling the stent dilating the artery and just needed to adapt to it. I noticed this sensation change over a few days to a burning sensation. I noticed that it tended to flare up after eating and partially subside later on. After having particularly heavy, spicy/greasy meal the other night (stupid, I know) it immediately got very bad and didn't subside even after 5 hours. I sucked it up and went to the ER again. My concern was that restenosis was happening and I had a clot or that my one poor meal choice somehow blocked my widow-maker again and I was about to die. I admit I was having a panic attack and not dealing well with the idea my heart was failing. At the ER they re-did my blood work and did an EKG and both came back normal. They gave me what they called a GI cocktail and that seemed to relieve most of the symptoms for a while. The ER doctor prescribed me the famotidine and sucralfate that evening. I tried the famotidine for the first time today and it seems to help with the symptoms and I'll take it again later tonight. I can pretty much feel this dull burning at all times; either a low-grade simmer I can pretty much ignore or a more concerning flare up especially after food. I have a follow up with my cardiologist scheduled this week.
My hope in this post is that some informed people could give their opinion as to whether this is likely to be a form of heartburn, GERD, acid reflux etc. and what may be causing it. Prior to all this I had an iron stomach, I never got sick and almost never had any acid reflux. When I did on occasion, it felt more like I was going to throw up and a burning at the base of my esophagus, not the left side of my chest. Is what I’m feeling likely a complication from all the medications I’m taking? I’ve been attempting to eat a bland, healthy diet in the last day or so and drink lots of water. It definitely has helped the symptoms but I can pretty much always feel it to some degree. Is there anything in particular I should be asking my doctor when I see him later this week? Thank you so much to whoever takes the time to respond. Bless you.