This is Part 2 of a (hopefully) short series with my interactions with the medical profession and my blood pressure (BP). If you haven’t read it yet, Part 1 describes my belief that my BP will be okay When the stress goes away. As I mentioned at the end of that post, I’ve spent the last seven years on a six month schedule for visiting the doctor to get my prescription renewed for my BP meds.
That schedule does have it’s benefits. Since I know I’m going to be seeing the doctor, I can save up the small stuff and ask about it when I see him. Saves money when I’m not running in for every issue. For example, over a year ago I discovered a horizontal ridge at the bottom of my sternum that I didn’t remember being there. After examination, I was informed I had a broken rib, apparently from a coughing fit when I had the flu.
This time, I needed to ask about an occasional ache right in the middle of my chest. No pain; just an ache as if I had been punched in the chest. I monitored it looking for patterns that I could share with the doctor but I found none. It can occur in the morning before the twins are up and before I’ve eaten anything. It can occur after I’ve eaten. Morning, afternoon, evening, even in the middle of the night and wake me up. On my way into work or on my way home from work. Weekdays or weekends. When my kids are up, asleep or even when they’re not home.
After asking a few questions, the doctor decided we needed to do an EKG. When it was done, he compared the results to the last one I had back in 2004 and told me there was a small change between the two; and the change wasn’t a good one. A section of those little squiggly lines was now dipping down where it had been going up before.
He then said he would consult with a cardiologist; doubled the dosage on my BP meds and gave me a prescription for nitroglycerin. He called me the next day, New Year’s Eve, to tell me the cardiologist wanted to see me and his office would call me Monday to schedule an appointment. When they called, the gave me an appointment for Tuesday morning.
So, Tuesday I had another EKG and the subtle change was still there. The cardiologist said I present atypical symptoms. There is nothing he can point at that says definitively that I have a cardiac issue. But, the risk factors (male, over 55, smoker) were there plus the fact that my Dad died from a heart attack.
He scheduled a cardiac catheterization for Friday. Today. I’ll be leaving the house to go to the hospital in a few more minutes. My post on that is in Cardiac Catheterization.