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Please help with HEART mistery that doc's don't seem to care about!

Hello,
So this is the back story.
Patient: my Dad, 57 yo, heart attack 5 years ago (2 stents), fine since then until a year ago when he started having problems to sleep laying down, he started increasing the amount of pillows until now when he has to sleep almost sitting. When he lays down in the slightest he gets the following symptoms: breathless, pressure in his head, dizzy, nausea, swollen jugular vein, cough, swollen hands.
This started getting progressively worse, Cardio did an Angio and decided he was fine because he only had 2 50% blockages (in main arteries though) which weren't flow limiting (according to the doc) so he gave hiim some medication and sent him off, another appointment in 3 months time.
2 weeks later my Dad was admitted in hospital with unstable angina. In his worst (when we called the ambulance) he had been experiencing chest pressure, and all the above mentioned symptoms while resting, even talking would leave him breathless. His Oxigen in blood was VERY low when he was admitted. He was in hospital for 10 days. He never received a diagnosis.
The tests they did:
Ecocardiogram: normal ejection fraction in both ventricles (50%)
ECG: normal (slight problem in right ventricle but non-problematic) therefore he was told he didn't have Heart Failure (even though he has all the symptoms), also tested for 'hole in the heart': normal.
CT Scan: normal (no major pulmonary embolism which was initially thought), slight problem with lungs diagnosed as COPD (obstructive pulmonary disease) supported by air flow test.
Blood tests: normal (except for oxigen, which overtime became stable).

Diagnosis: "we're not sure what happened to you, but you may now go home" Thanks for nothing!

They gave my dad some medication for the COPD (inhalors) and some pills for his angina. But never explained why he deteriorated so quickly nor what the root of the problem is or why he has symptoms of heart failure.

TODAY: He's been out of hospital for 2 weeks, he's feeling slowly better, no chest pains (due to angina meds) occasional breathlessness, we've bought an Oximeter and his oxigen in the blood is now normal.
However, symptoms he STILL has: swollen jugular vein, constant cold hands and feet, swollen hands, feet and tummy (also before, was given a diuretic for it but the doctor took him off it because he didn't think he had heart failure and thus didn't need diuretic), he STILL cannot lay down, exact same symptoms as before occur at night if he lays down in the slightest, plus, he is having terrible headaches and migranes every single day (possible side effect of his meds?).

CAN ANYONE HELP?
We do not knw what else to do. Not even being IN the hospital helped the docs understand what he has, meanwhile his quality of life is quite poor, and doctors literally don't care. The results were normal, therefore he's fine (docs OWN words). They just ignore his symptoms.

ANY SUGGESTIONS would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!!!!
2 Responses
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976897 tn?1379167602
I assume they ruled out any kind of pneumonia? whether viral, bacterial or fungal. The symptoms you describe sound very much like there's some kind of lung infection going on. The heart would find it harder to pump blood through the lungs due to swelling and can cause other symptoms you describe. You say you have an oximeter, but only a blood gas test is accurate enough for such conditions. My Wife had a finger clip sensor which said 99%, but a blood gas test said 30% and she was put on life support immediately. Does he have any kind of a cough? dry or wet? With my Wife they inserted a small tube into the lungs and sucked out a sample of fluid for a microbiologist to study, so the best antibiotics could be defined.
When in hospital, did they do anything to increase the oxygen in the blood? such as a transfusion or pressurised oxygen mask?
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Avatar universal
Hi ed34,
Thanks so much for your answer.
While he was in the hospital they gave him oxygen yes, and then nebulization whith a substance everyday, after a few days his oxygen was fine, they would check every day.
They did not however check his lungs that thoroughly that I know of.
Apart from  X Rays, CT Scan, blood tests and peak flow test, I don't think they did anything else. He does have a cough, now is mostly dry cough, he's had it for a while now, during his hospital stay he was bringing up some phlegm but it was white, like a denser saliva almost. They did take a sample of it, which apparently was normal since they didn't come back to us about it. Now his cough is dwindling but still there, specially at night when he tries to lay down etc... do you think it could be more lung related than heart related?
I might get him an appointment with a lung specialist apart from the cardio appt.
While in the hospital he was in the cardiothoracic ward so he was seen by both specialists, problem was, the lung guy said his lungs weren't too bad and it was the heart that was causing problems, and the cardio would say the heart was ok and it was the lungs that needed to be treated. They never agreed.
Thank you for your help!  
Helpful - 0
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