Newly diagnosed Angina - holiday problems!

Posted , 4 users are following.

Let me say first and foremost that I KNOW my health is a priority and I will always put that first.

I am however frustrated with how things have progressed with regard my Angina diagnosis.

I initially saw a GP with specific chest pains back in July after already booking a 2 month holiday to Aus/NZ starting Feb 2017. Initially my GP prescribed me antacid medication and recommended a basic ECG. At the time I was pretty confident that this wasn't the cause and as the pain only started when I walked I also didn't think a basic ECG would show anything.

Fast forward about a few weeks and I see another GP in the surgery who asks more detailed questions about the pain and symptoms and just as I had thought he believed I had Angina.

After a lost referral letter I eventually saw a nurse practitioner who told me I was low risk but put me forward for a heart scan and a stress test (ECG) I told her about my planned holiday and I got 'I am sure it will all be ok for February'. So my planning continued.

Now, months later, I am waiting for an angiogram/Angioplasty with a possible stent needed as the stress test showed an issue.

Having contacted my insurance company and then the consultant only to be told he would not give me a fit to travel letter.

I have just started medication and goodness knows how long the waiting list is for the procedure, I have been told it could be 6 months.

I haven't cancelled yet as I am hanging onto the hope that if it is sooner rather than later I may still be able to go on the 7th February.

While my consultant is rather nice, I don't feel I can ask too many questions as his last comment was 'I am a cardiac surgeon not a clairvoyant' when I asked a 'what if' question.

Am I living in cookoo land to think there is still a chance I can go?

Also, will I ever manage a long haul extended holiday again with a doctors permission.

Feeling a bit depressed about it all to be homest and just wanted to talk it all through.

Any advice would really be appreciated.

1 like, 11 replies

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Heather.  I find myself in a similar position (not the travel bit) Where in the country are you living? I went to my gp beginning of September, I have had all the tests you mention, and go in for a stent in two weeks!  So why are you having to wait so long, at no point have I been told i am an urgent case!!! It may be a postcode thing! I am wondering what the future holds re travel and insurance, I am 61 never taken any pills till now, and im on 4 a day which apparently will increase after the procedure.  I have dogs and walk them for two hours a day still I dont feel ill, so not sure how im expecting to feel after this stent is fitted?  As far as consultants go, I dont think they are meant to be spoken to lols unless you pay!!


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    • Posted

      I live in South Wales Christine but am envious of you javing it done so quickly! 

      Part of my problem was that I chose to switch hospitals, my local hospital can do an angiogram but can't insert a stent but if I go to the Cardiff hospital they can do it all at the same time if necessary so I chose to go for the Cardiff option. The trouble is that it is a busy teaching hospital and the lists are longer and apparently i am 'routine'.

      Luckily I have excellent (I hope) insurance, I belong to a work group scheme and the only exclusions are terminal illness, traveling against doctors advice and traveling for medical treatment so once my doctor gives the go ahead I'll be fine. 

      I have been taking 1.25 mg Bisoprolol Fumerate for 4 weeks and started taking 2 x 10mg Isosorbide Mononitrate 3 weeks ago I was also given a spray 3 weeks ago - so far no change but I have not needed the spray as the pain stops as soon as I stand still, my pain is 99% only when I start to walk and stops immediately. I understand I may have to increase the medication over time.

      Before having any results or being given any meds I went on a 1 week walking holiday in Yorkshire and we walked miles each day and apart from some initial discomfort I managed fine.

      As I said, of course my health is improtant but just wish I could have my questions answered.

      While I am by no means rich I would pay to see a consultant if I thought it would help.

      Good luck for your procedure please let us know how it all goes.

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    • Posted

      i have been on the same 1.25 bisoprolol but not Isobsorbide Mononitrate can you tell me what that is for?  I wondered why the stent could not be done whilst they are doing the angiogramme but like your local hospital my hospital where i had the angiogramme is not specialist hence why i have to go through it all over again!!! I a dreading it!! reading everything I can so I am well informed but sometimes thats tooooo much info!!! The travel thing is difficult I am someone who would play safe , wait till i was sorted and then some!!


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    • Posted

      Hi Christine, my understanding is that Isosorbide Mononitrate tablet form is a milder form of the GTN spray which opens the arteries to allow the blood to flow easier and relieve any spasms. To be honest most of the things I have picked up is from the internet as no-one has really sat me down and talked everything through with me regarding the medication.

      I am also a diabetic and went for my yearly MOT where the nurse practitioner prescribed the Isosorbide Mononitrate said that the recommendation was to start me on a low dose which will be increased, now who is going to do this and when is a mystery to me as that part was never discussed.

      I am not a stupid person, far from it yet for some reason none of the medical personal feel that I, the patient, will benefit from hearing all the facts, just bits and pieces from different sources.

      I don't want to be THAT kind of person but it appears that to get anything I am going to have to be proactively aggressive or I am going to be treated like the proverbial mushroom.

      I may not be the life and soul of a party or the most optimistic person in the World but this is turning me into a moaner and complainer but sadly it appears that is the only way to be if you want to get any info.

      Anyway, I am still waiting for some news, I will be phoning the hospital in the next week just to make sure that I am still on the radar, sadly after a lost referral I don't really trust 'the system'. cry

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  • Posted

    Hi heather,

    I too have been diagnosed as suffering from angina, though I'm inclined to think that mine is attributed to my acute asthma.

    I'm not medically qualified but I intend to fight on a recover my outlook on life and to push myself, not only for me but for my family.

    So in answer to your question YES get on that plane and enjoy your planned holiday down under and best wishes for the future!

    Regards Reddave8

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  • Posted

    I am their worst nightmare, my attitude is they do not speak to me like Im thick, for example I know who I want to fit this stent, I have got it on record that if for any reason he is sick, doesnt turn up, etc I am not not not having this procedure done until he is able to do it.  As I have said I have no real symptoms but I do have an open mind and think it is possible after i have recovered I will feel better, ie not so tired, but who knows just have to wait.  I think it helps that for nearly 20 years I have worked in the NHS, I know how it works, also I am wondering if this has been fast tracked, but I dont think so, because everyone seems to have the same wait, which is very quick compared to you. Trouble is our lives are in their hands, today i met a 71 year old who is going in for her fifth operation into the same scar for a bowel problem!!!! 
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    • Posted

      Oh my goodness, that poor woman it sounds awful.

      I did phone the hospital yesterday to ask if I have a date yet but have had to leave a message for the cardiac secretary to phone me back Monday.

      Maybe you have been fast tracked due to your NHS back ground but I do think it varies depending on where you live, I would have had the angiogram by now if I had stayed with my local hospital as they had me pencilled in for 10th Nov but as I didn't want to have 2 procedures (If I do need a stent) I opted to cancel and go to the larger hospital in Cardiff.

      I have done a lot of reading up on who to see and where to go - isn't the internet marvelous, even those of us not private can have a choice. Although I have read up on the surgeon who will be doing my angioplasty and he sounds fine.

      The original consultant I spoke to was lovely to be fair but he said clearly he would not let my holiday plans influence his decisions or procedures which of course is fair enough but as I am now going to Cardiff he has had to transfer me to another consultant who I have yet to speak/communicate with.

      My symptoms are noticable but not debilitating so I know they are no better even after starting medication, maybe I now need to speak to my GP again about increasing the dose.

      Good luck for your procedure I hope everything goes okay and you will feel more energetic once it's done. biggrin

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  • Posted

    Hi Heather,

    I too had a holiday booked for January 10th 2017 but had a heart attack on the 9th December 2017, and was told I could not travel!! Very disapointing like you as I had waited so long for this holiday, but even if the doctor had said yes Heather, the travel insurance would have wanted an updated policy due to change in health status and A. would not have insured you, and B. would have raised the premium far too high. So either way I think it would be difficult. Also when I checked it seems if the problem is 3 month old, the policy does not seem to ask so many questions??? Sorry to hear about your problems, I hope all works out for you.

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  • Posted

    I have put a new post but just an update.

    I had to cancel the holiday, luckily I did spend some time preparing the paperwork and the insurance paid up within 2 weeks.

    My Angiogram revealed that I needed a bypass (boo hiss) 4 days later I had a Stroke (luckily with limited long term damage)

    I am now waiting for the bypass - I have the pre op appointment on 22nd May and believe the op will take place in June sometime.

    That is my current position.

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