Saturday, March 17, 2018

A Little Scare....

Sparky has been wondering and worrying a bit about Eldy since his quadruple bypass two years ago in February. She's been watching his fatigue level, which continues to be a problem, and wondering why the doctors don't do another stress test once a year to check for new blockages. Eldy has a very good heart/cardiologist doctor...he's one of the best in Sarasota, and the cardiac team at Sarasota Memorial Hospital has been ranked as one of the best in the country recently, so if they weren't thinking that was necessary, then we were accepting it. Eldo hasn't complained much about anything since the heart surgery, but that's the way he is....

So, a couple of weeks ago, he mentioned that he had been feeling "weird" and having more than the usual number of "odd" sensations in his chest. Then finally, on a Sunday, he said he was concerned...and you gals know, that when a guy finally admits something is not right and is ready to go to the doctor, SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT! Eldy was having big belching, burping indigestion problems, he felt pain in his left shoulder, his blood pressure was up, he felt a tightness in his chest and he said his jaw was twitching. Sparky asked about the blood pressure and it was higher than normal for him. He had checked it four times unbeknownst to Sparky, and of course was stressing out about the readings, as each time they were registering higher. He was thinking that maybe he should get checked out. MAYBE?????  We're going NOW! said Sparky.  We started out with an urgent care center in Sarasota. In hindsight, we should have headed straight for the emergency room, but we both thought the urgent care center could handle the symptoms...Sometimes angina mimics heart attack symptoms, and we also thought indigestion could be part of the problem.

After about 45 minutes at one of the local urgent care centers, and their inability to provide a simple razor to shave Eldo's hairy chest and do an EKG because the leads wouldn't stick, they sent us to the emergency room at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, where he got in right away....Four hours later, the EKG was normal and the cardiac enzyme tests came back normal. We were given a sheet on angina, and the attending physician had talked to Eldy's heart doctor and they both said he could come home but to follow up with an office visit soon. We were super impressed once again with the care and prompt attention given to Eldy, being that the emergency room was PACKED on a Sunday night. The attending emergency room doctor personally called Eldy's physician right away after the test results came back and got the OK-to-go-home response right back. Everyone was courteous and efficient despite LOTS going on at the hospital that night--car wrecks, a code blue, and more.
A beautiful mosaic wall near the emergency room at SMH
We learned a lot more about angina, which had not been in Eldy's medical history thus far, that was given to us in an info sheet and it was a little disconcerting as far as someone might misinterpret a heart attack as angina. Here were some of the facts listed on the informational sheet:

1. Angina is not always felt as chest pain and it isn't always in the chest. It might feel like discomfort, aching tightness, or pressure that comes and goes. You can feel this in your chest, back, arm, shoulder, neck or jaw. 
2. Tiredness that gets worse or you have more shortness of breath that usual for no apparent reason.
3. Shortness of breath while doing something that use to be easy.
4. Heartburn, nausea, indigestion, or sweating.
5. It usually happens during an activity. It can also occur if you are upset, or after a large meal. It can also happen when the weather is too hot or too cold.

Call 9-1-1 right away if these symptoms last for more than a few minutes....

It was a little disconcerting to see that the symptoms of angina can be VERY similar to a heart attack, so how is one supposed to know? When in doubt, head to the emergency room! As a wrap up, Eldo is going to have a nuclear imaging test, and a sleep apnea test to check for the amount of oxygen he's getting while sleeping which might be contributing to his high levels of fatigue that he seems to be experiencing more than what he should, at least that's what Nurse Sparky thinks!

So-o-o-o-o...everything is back to normal, and so far, the follow up tests are looking good. It could have been indigestion or a little angina, but we are happy that everything worked out ok.....

What's in our near future? A trip to St. Augustine, and Sparky will be posting some local nature trips....Come back and see us!


  1. Wow the can be scary, hope things work out and you keep us posted

  2. Did his doctor give Eldy Nitro to control an angina attack. I understood that angina very often leads to a heart attack. Glad to hear he hadn't had one. Hope he gets his energy back. That's usually a key that something isn't right.

    1. No, no nitro...we are still waiting to get some results from some more tests. They just gave us the information sheet at the emergency room. thank you, Sherry!

  3. Very scary! Glad he's back to 'normal' and his old self again.

  4. Very scary in deed but like you said when in doubt head to the Emergency Room at the Hospital.
    Sleep Apnea leaves you feeling drained which could lead to the symptoms you listed. Apneas are when you stop breathing while sleeping, which means your bodies Oxygen levels are not what they should be and if left untreated could lead to Heart Attack, Stroke or Death.
    Both Kathy and I use CPAP Machines nightly for over ten years now but it is better then the other options.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.