Is there a point in telling the doctor?

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A couple of days ago I told the nurse that I suspect I had a heart attack last summer. I don't go to the docs often, and this was the first time in years, and I went due to not having been well for months.

My reason for going wasn't the suspected heart attack last year, but that I've been "knackered" for months, with loads of fevers (and a few infections), and I was worried I had a more serious infection that just a bad tooth or eye.

But due to suspecting a heart attack last year, I thought it would be important to mention as I have also started to get head aches again, and feeling queasy.

I had headaches and felt queasy for 3 weeks straight before my suspected attack.

However, when I said I believed I had a heart attack last year, the nurse laughed and said "what makes you think that at your age?".

When I told her what had happened (I will list it on the end), she dismissed the whole notion by saying "if you'd had a heart attack you would have called emergency services".

Truth to the told, I did not suspect a heart attack as it was happening, I though I was going to die, and the only thing on my mind was that I wasn't going to die outside Lidl!

After testing my blood pressure, which she said was high (I didn't spot the top number, but the bottom one was 96), she agreed to blood tests (this was why I'd gone in).

I called today, and the receptionist said blood work was normal.

Now, I have an appointment on Tuesday with a doctor. Is there any point at all in trying to portray my worries about my heart at all? Or will it be the same belittling treatment that I got from the nurse? Or should I just leave it be, which to be truthful is very tempting indeed after the nurses visit?

I'm not too worried at the moment if I compare how I feel now to last summer, headaches and queasiness is nowhere near what I felt like then, but my heart does occasionally beat to some funky music I clearly cannot hear. smile


And incase anyone wonders, this is what happened last year, and what I was trying to tell the nurse, as she cut me off, claiming anyone that has a heart attack will immediately call for an ambulance. *sigh*

I'd been feeling unwell for about 3 weeks, headaches and feeling queasy.

One the day of my suspected attack I was clammy, cold sweating and feeling worse than ever.

I had just finished work, and my other half was driving us home when we stopped to get some fresh bread.

The second the car had stopped, I got terrible pain in my lower left lung and left shoulder. The pain was so severe I could only take tiny little shallow breaths.

Told other half I wasn't able to go in with him, and as he shopped, all I could keep thinking was "I am NOT gonna die outside Lidl".

We then drove home, I told other half he would have to take everything in (as I wouldn't have been able to deal with anything).

Staggered though the door, took some Anadin, and just sat on the sofa.

The intense pain only lasted about 20 minutes. After that I still felt unwell, but able to breathe fine.

Next day I had a horrible tension between my shoulderblades and down the back. Like someone had taken out a piece of my body, shrunk it and stuck it back in.

Although feeling weak for weeks after, the headaches and queasiness was gone, and overall I felt much better.

I did google it afterwards, and that was when I suspected it might have been a heart attack. It was especially the sense of doom some get prior to a heart attacks that caught my eye, as the night before I had felt completely suicidal (no worries, no intention of doing it, just the urge to, as everything felt so incredily awful... I feared someone close to me had died, and barely dared to check my phone).

As I now have started to get headaches again, and feeling queasy, I do find it a little worrying, although at the moment my main worry was the constant fevers and feeling lethargic.

1 like, 37 replies


37 Replies

  • Posted

    Don't let fear of being belittled cause you not to get peace of mind.

    An ECG would show if you have had any heart damage. There is also a blood test that can tell if you had but not sure how long after the event.

  • Posted

    Thanks for the reply, Derek.

    To be honest, if it wasn't for the fact that I've been unwell since January I would have cancelled the appointment after visiting the nurse. It doesn't help that it's a new doc, as mine apperantly retired 4 years ago (as I said, it's been a while since I've been).

    I'm still in two minds about it, but will probably go, in the hope he can shed some light on why I've been unwell for so long, but not certain if it will be worthwhile even bothering to mention my problems last summer.

  • Posted

    I find myself, for different reasons, in a similar situation to yours. After 4 months of feeling Ill, and a day when I was so desperate that I went to A&E (where they were unable to help as it was a pre-existing condition), I have finally got a referral to a specialist.

    My point is, you may have had a heart attack, you may not have, but something is wrong, and it needs to be investigated.

    As a matter of interest, when I had a heart attack, and went to A&E they didn't believe me. They put me on an ECG machine and I stayed in A&E for hours. The pain was intense, and I was cold and felt in a separate state somehow, but I was conscious. Several hours later, blood test results came back to confirm a Myocardic Infarction. I was exhausted and disparate and just asked, 'can I have some pain killers now please' ? Not Paracetomol! smile

    We're all different. Go and see the doctor, present her with your past experience and your current symptoms and see what she says. Hopefully, all will go well for you, but if not, you may have to get a bit tough!

  • Posted

    You definitely need to persue this, sounds like cardiac abnormality, which the GP should do ECG, blood tests, may send you for a chest xray, nurses are not always the best judges, if you feel unwell something is wrong even if it isn't your heart needs to be persued, don't give up. if the GP doesn't find anything, ask if he can refer you for further tests, echo, holter test which is a 24hour monitor that traces your heart and shows up abnormalities.ell. There are lots of cardiac conditions that not all gps are aware of and some develop later in life, see the cardiomyopathy website for more info.

    Follow your instincts and don't give until you are feeling well or diagnosed. Even if it is not cardiac the tests will show there is nothing serious to worry about, are you anaemic as this makes you very tired, a simple blood test will rule this out and definitely don't take anything with caffeine.

    Good Luck


  • Posted

    You probably did have a heart attack, something similar happened to me back in 1990, and when I started having palpitations months later, I finally decided to go to a cardiologist. I

    told him what had happened back in 1990, and that I had been told it was probably just

    a virus, he said quite emphatically, "that was no virus you had, but its too late to tell me

    now, the damage has been done". I took that to mean I'd had a heart attack. I 've been on

    disability now for over 15 years. Medical people should never laugh or belittle someone,

    that is very unprofessional.

  • Posted

    Heart Attacks aren't all like what's on the TV they can be very very subtle as well neutral It does sound like you had a little one (and that you are suffering from Angina) smile
  • Posted

    Hi Cathy, Yes there is every point in you seeing the Doctor. Tell him everything-all your symptoms and concerns. I think that nurse must have been having a bad day, very,very unprofessional behaviour. Ive had Myocarditis for a year and have had the best of treatment. This is a virus of the heart muscle which will eventually go, though in the past year I have had something similar to heart attacks. Keep positive and value youself and your body. L.M.
  • Posted

    Sometimes heart attacks are so minor that you may not feel a lot of pain. Those can be with some adverse effects too. In your case you must get it checked as this can be harmful in future. The nurse behaved very badly. It is not always necessary that you need emergency services in case of heart attacks. I wish you have good health. Good luck. smile
  • Posted

    Thank you all for your support...

    However, it was as thought, no point in telling the doctor.  sad

    She asked what she could help with and I said I had heard my blood tests came back clear (I'd called reception).  She confirmed it, and said all tests were in the clear.

    So I told her my worries, that I suspected an infection somewhere and was happy the blood tests shows that I don't have one, but that this now made me worried why else I've been so ill for the last few months.

    I told her about my problems last year, and that my headaches and queasiness is back and that I'm all over knackered (today's a good day, Sunday was however so bad I had to crawl up the stairs to go to bed).

    She claimed I'd "probably not had one".

    She then claimed that if I was worried I might have a heart problem in the future I should have my blood pressure and cholesterol tested.

    I told her my blood pressure was tested by the nurse and was high, and that she herself had told me the blood tests were fine.

    She then checked records, saw my blood pressure was high, and told me they hadn't tested for high cholesterol!!!

    You would have though if a patient mention they're worried about their heart, and have high blood pressure they'd actually be bothered to test the cholesterol (I was told 5 years ago by my optician), but no, this is clearly too much to ask.

    So now I have to go back yet again next week, so they can re-check my blood pressure, and check my cholesterol.  And I've yet to have anyone listen to my heart. 

    • Posted

      Don't let it get you down / worsen your condition it's common for folks to bang their heads against their Doctor brick wall cheesygrin

      If I were you I'd start taking daily Aspirin - intially (first dose) 300 mg then 75 mg a day - this acts as an Antiplatelet Medication

      Also (just in case,, remarkably you can buy this over the counter) buy some Glyceryl Trinitrate spray ('Nitromin' brand works best, well for me at least) this is a Vasodilator

      Next time you feel the 'creeping cramp' in your left arm (or if you feel other unusual feelings) stop what you are doing, take a seat, have 2 sprays under the tongue (read the included information leaflet / follow the instructions)...

    • Posted

      Also. I notice you mention tooth related pain(?) in your initial post, have you been suffering terribly with it, maybe waking you up in the night question smile
    • Posted

      Thank you Benny!

      I take an asprin on the days I feel "weak", but I think as you suggest it would be a great idea to take it daily!

      And I'll get the Nitromon, as I've had no suggestions on anything to take or do from the docs.  :D

      However, I went back for the extra blood tests...  and called up Friday morning to get results... and this is where things start to get interesting.

      My other half recommended a doc at the helth centre, one he likes.  Although this means nothing, as my other half is one of those that thinks everyone is great, but I figured I'd give it a go.

      So, called up to get results, was told "all ok".  I don't believe these "all ok", and "everything's fine" that they're so good at saying, so told them I wanted to book an appointment with Dr X - and I got an appointment yesterday morning!  Normally if you book an appointment it will take a week to 2 weeks util you get to see a doc.

      So, went there yesterday.  He did the usual spiel "how can I help you".  I told him I heard my blood tests were fine, which he agreed with.

      I told him everything is NOT fine.  I am queasy every day, and get awful headaches every day.  I also told him I'm completely knackered.  I then conveyed my fear that this is what I felt like last year, before I had what I believe to be a heart attack.

      He said "it's HIGHLY unlikely" I'd had one.  He gave no explenation as to why I feel so awful now, and instead claimed I'd probably had a chest infection last year.

      I said:  "What's wrong with you guys?  I come here feeling worried something's seriously wrong.  You claim there's nothing wrong.  I KNOW there's somethig wrong, and I expect you to be able to help me fix it".

      He then said:  "What will it make believe you haven't had a heart attack?"

      I wasn't gonna go into the conversation about not being worried about last year (that was last year - I'm worried about how I feel NOW) - and said "Prove it to me".

      Now, after a lot of bafflement, I guess I wasn't expeting that one, he said, I can give you an ECG.  I said "Fine, but I would have been satisfied with someone taking the bother to listen to my heart".  I then told him, I had asked for that weeks before. 

      But no, instead I now had an ECG booked in for the afternoon.  I was fuming, as he wasn't interested in helping me figuring out what's wrong with me, he just wanted to prove to me there's nothing wrong with my heart.  I told him the service recieved from the first nurse who laughed was appaling, the service recieved from the other doctor was appaling, and the service recieved from him was appaling, as he was only giving me the ECG to prove me wrong.  I told him to go an tell everyone there's no point in going to the doctor if you have any fears, as they won't care.  I then told him to go an correct all websites in the world too, where people has made the suggestion that it's a good idea to go and see your doctor if something's wrong.

      I then slammed the door, and left (generally I am someone who always thank them for their time... but to give me an ECG just to make me shut my face was too much).

      So - off I go, not happy at all, as I've been told that it was the blooming district nurse that was gonna do it (see first post).  However, I wass plesantly surprised it was a different district nurse...  and she was lovely.  :D

      So, ECG finally done (three goes).  She say's I'll be back in a moment.  And leaves with my print out.  She then returns, and says for me to wait in the waiting room until Dr X calls me.

      As I'm sure you can understand this was not a plesant surprise, I hope to never see him again in my life.  I was expecting to be told my results right after the ECG, from the nurse that took them.

      So, DR X calls me back in.  He greets me like I'm his best friend, only to be snubbed.  There will be no plesantries or small talk exhanged with me.

      He looks at the results (oh they're so good at keeping things, just so you cannot read them, instead of going through thins WITH you).  And he says (and this is the gold nuggest of all gold nuggests):  "There is nothing here that proves you've had a heart attack".

      I look at him, and say:  "Are you telling me my ECG results are fine?"

      And he refuses to answer!!!  He then says there's nothing there that conclusivly show's I've had a heart attack, and that for MY peace of mind he wants to send me to an ECHO.

      Now, I'm suspecting that he's lying to me - why would he waste resources like a ECHO for "my" peace of mind? 

      So, I repeat myself:  "No, I do not want to go for an ECHO scan if you can tell me that my ECG says everything is fine.  Tell me it is all fine, and that will give ME peace of mind.  As you refuse to help me find out what's wrong with me, and I KNOW something is wrong, I will simply keep going through the elimination process until I find out what.  If you tell me there's nothing wrong with my heart, that's one thing eliminated".

      He looks at the ECG, and tells me that for my "wellbeing" he would like to send me for an ECHO. 

      I say:  "Fine".

      He's then all smiles, whilst making it sound like he's doing me a great favour.

      And (drumroll please!) then I say:  "I want a copy of the ECG results".  Again, this was clearly not anticipated.  He got all flustered, and asked if I knew how to read them.  I just looked at him.  He then asked if I knew anyone that could read them.  I just said I wanted a copy, as there's plenty that CAN red them (and apperantly anyone that can read English can read them - as the blooming results are written in the top right corner!).

      He reluctantly went to get a copy.  Again, I did not thank him for his time, but I did thank him for the ECG copy.

      Coming home, I just threw it on the table, expecting just a bunch of squiggles, that I would try to interpret with the help of the internet later.  Went to moan to the other half, about the behaviour of the doctor.  He wanted to see the ECG results, and there it was printed:

      ** abnormal ECG **

      Now this might not mean much, but I know the nurse made sure she got the correct results (as she did it three times).

      Above the lovely little abnormal message it says:

      Sinus tachycardia

      ST depression

      Left atrial enlargement

      And he had the nerve to sit there and pretend it was for my peace of mind he would send me to an ECHO, and refused to tell me they'd found some issues.

      I don't know what the above three things means... but they're clearly not supposed to be there.  I really do not care what they mean - I just want them fixed.  I do appreciate blinding headaches each day, or at times just sitting rocking back and forth as I'm so queasy all I want is to puke.  I don't want to have to crawl up the stairs instead of walking, as it's simply a task too big.

      So... now awaiting an ECHO appointment with the hospital, and I got fingers and toes crossed for some actual help. 


    • Posted

      In reply to your tooth comment... smile

      Actually I think this all stems from my tooth (a different tooth to the one that's recently been causing me problems).

      I have a phobia of the dentist.  Not a fear.  I'm scared of spiders.  I am terrified of the dentist.  Just the thought of having any dental instrument at the dentist office touch my teeth makes me break out in a cold sweat.  When I go, I'm a crying shaking leaf just entering the waiting room.

      Last time I went was a decade ago.  I then HAD to go, as I had lost a filling, which I never fixed, and eventually the tooth broke off.  As it was a tooth that showed, I felt concious of my teeth when smiling, so had to do something about it.

      I tried everysingle NHS dentist in the town I lived in, and they all resulted in me running screaming out of their offices (and yes, I warn them beforehand about my phobia).

      In the end, one decided to refer me to the hospital to have two wisdom teeth pulled.  At the hospital they first tried gas (I fearked out), and decided on IV valium instead (this is wonderful - they could have stuck a chainsaw in my mouth and I wouldn't have remembered).

      As I appreciated the care my new NHS dentist had shown for me by reffering me to the hospital, although I did not trust him to fix my teeth, I asked him if there was anyone in the practice that would be able to deal with me.  There was.  Sadly for my wallet, he was private only.

      He was amazing.  He was able to withdraw the root of my broken tooth, with me concious, file down my tooth next to it, and give me an amazing bridge that cost a bomb, but you would never have been able to tell it apart from my own teeth.

      However, that was 10 years ago, I have since moved far away from that dentist practice, and goodness knows if my dentist is still there.

      5 years ago another filling fell out.  3 years ago, it got infected.  To the point where I actually went to the dentist hospital, telling them about my agony and also my phobia, and that they could NOT touch my teeth with any metal instrument.  First thing the dentist did was to pick up a metal hammer and said she was going to "tap" it on my tooth.  I ran out screaming.

      2 years ago I developed arthritis.  A year and a half ago the tooth broke off (no worries for me, it's a molar and doesn't show).  Less than 6 months after that I had my suspected heart attack.

      I believe them all to be connected.  There's not much info out there, but there is some.  I believe my bad oral health is the cause to my arthritis, and I belive the bad oral health together with the artihritis is what's causing my bad heart.

      I have tried to tell this to both the docs, but it's difficult to make anyone listen, when they claim it's "highly unlikely" there's something wrong with my heart.  *sigh*  The arthritis was dismissed by everyone apart from Dr X, and he claimed there's only one sort of arthritis that can affect the heart, but wasn't interested in finding out what sort of arthritis it was that I had (remember - "highly unlikely").  First doc I went to see told me to go see a dentist if I was worried about my teeth, and I tried to explain that it's not that easy.  This she couldn't understand (just beacuse someone doesn't have a phobia themselves, they could atleast try to understand), and then dismissed my teeth alltogether.

      That said, currently no infection that I know of, nor any pain.  I did a course of metronidazole, 400mg 3 times per day for a week a while back.  My initial reason for going to the doc was the endless fevers, and I feared my course of antibiotics might have killed of the tooth infection, but before it did the infection might have spread and the antibiotics wasn't strong enough.  (I did not get the antibiotics from the doctor, I sourced them elsewhere after having done research on what to take for a tooth infection.  I have previously tried to get antibiotics from the doc for tooth infections, and they refuse to give it).

    • Posted

      You are now on a pathway that will lead you to a stress echocardigram and an angiogram.

      I think that like my wife some years ago you also soon be gettng a letter telling you that you should register at another practice.


    • Posted

      Hahahahahaha - are you kidding me?  You're wife got told to register for a different practice!  *giggles*  Oh my, she must have caused a real stir.  I do hope your wife is ok, and that her new practice is treating her as they should.

      Sadly I think they got no choice but to keep me one, I now live in a small town, and it's the only health centre around.

      If I could afford it I would have gone private, but sadly that's not an expense that's an option at the moment. 


    • Posted

      That's cleared up what I was wondering (teeth wise) smile

      I don't like going to the dentist myself, I've currently got four broken ones but luckily the nerves are dead in all of 'em, I've only got one molar left in the lower jaw (and that ain't got long left) lol Shocking lol redface

    • Posted

      With "normal" people, it's always a blessing when they go an fix their teeth... with people like us it's always a blessing when the nerve dies.  Hahahaha!

      The tooth that's currently been bothering me is three teeth away from the front teeth, and when it eventually breaks off, it will show.  Now, I'm far from the vainest person out there (I can't be bothered with make-up, and don't have any fancy hair styling stuff like a hair dryer - hahahah!), but I DO like my smile... and I like smiling.  It's not something I want to be concious of... so when it goes I will have to go and do something about it.  But I don't think any reputable dentist will be willing to JUST fix the one tooth, when there's clearly other things that should be done.

      Although... private dentist here will probably cost as much as flying out of the country and do it in one of the Eastern European contries, where they might be willing to fix just one tooth and ignore the rest.  I will cross that bridge when I get there... and hopefully it's not a bridge that needs to be crossed in the too near future.

    • Posted

      She beat the system and your not supposed to do that. She was a nurse and went to her GP with a bad back. He gave her a form to take to the hospital and warned her that there would be about a six week wait.

      When she goes to work the next morning she bypasses the office and asks the radiographer if she can fit her in if there is a cancellation. The radiographer tells her to come down in her lunch hour and she will do it then.

      The girl then hands the X-Rays to the doctor who does his report and my wife gets it before she leaves work. She goes to the doctors surgery on her way home and with a smirk hands it to him saying 'That was a quick six weeks'

      The next week she got the letter saying that he no longer wanted her a patient. A friend with a prostate problem who lives in a town with one hospital turned down the consultants offers of a TURP and said that he wanted laser surgery and asked to be referred elsewhere. After a few more requests for laser surgery the surgeon would not refer him and said that he did not want to see him again. His GP also does not want to or cannot refer him to a hospital in an other area. 



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