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Avatar universal

Feeling Helpless

I have 5 stents and I'm having chest pain again, shortness of breath and unable to complete small tasks.  E.R keeps telling me my tests are normal but my tests have always been normal.  The tests are not accurate and the only way to be sure is a cath.  I'm thinking odf going to another hospitol but I am allergic to nitro and afraid they'll force me to take it.  What do I do?


This discussion is related to Stress thallium vs. stress echo.
4 Responses
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237039 tn?1264258057
How long has it been since the last cath and the stents were put in?
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976897 tn?1379167602
Well, strictly speaking, a Cath is not the only way to be sure. You could have a non invasive CT scan of the vessels. You could even have a nuclear scan of your heart to establish any areas low in oxygen. I too am intolerant to Nitro, the headaches are so bad I have to put a bag of frozen peas on my head. During my last nuclear scan they agreed not to use it. Just tell them you are intolerant to nitrates.
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63984 tn?1385437939
What tests are you getting in the ER?  My guess is blood tests and EKG.  The blood tests may be the CK (Creotine Kinase) which tests for a heart attack, another is the BNP which is a very strong indicator for congestive heart failure.  Certainly all chest pressure/pain is not a heart attack, and not everyone with chest pain has CHF, and EKG tests are not always accurate.  A nuclear scan with a stress test as ed34 suggests would be less invasive and less expensive than a cath and I would think be strongly indicated by your chest pressure and breathless and history.
A note about nitro... When I first started having to take it I had to do as Ed did, exactly.  Once I took some red wine hoping for relief and that sent my headache to new levels.  If the Spanish Inquisition was still in business a cocktail of a nitro pill and glass of Cab would be a great torture.  However, I was prescribed Imdur, which is slow release nitro in a small dose that was increased and I got used to it.  Now, when I take a full nitro pill or three, recently with a problem, I had no headache at all.  
That being said, you can refuse any medication you wish at the hospital.  If you report at check-in you are allergic to it, I'm betting a wrist band will be issued you and no nitro will be forced on you under any circumstances.

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Avatar universal
My heart goes out to you, I had a tough time being diagnosed too and ended up with a heart stent. First, they will never force a medecine on you that you report as allergic! The docs kept telling me I had GERD when I had a 95% blockage to my left ventricule. They did so many tests on me, then finally they did a resting stress and thats when they found it. Then did a fancy ultra sound for the heart. Perhaps one of those would help? Are you still on Plavix & aspirin? I pray they find your problem and fix it. God Bless,
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