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Thread: Is my Dr. wack?

  1. #1
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    Is my Dr. wack?

    long story short....

    last month my father fell in line with all the rest of the men in my family and had a heart attack. (they got to him in time and did a double stint implant and he is doing well)
    admittedly he had a blockage, high cholesterol and high-ish blood pressure.
    he had gotten his Chol. down but it was too late a piece of gunk got loose and got lodges in his artery.

    but my grandfather, 2 of his brothers, his sister and his father (my great grand dad) all died from heart failure for one reason or another.

    so I will be 41yrs old in a few months so i figure its time to get checked...
    i go to my Dr. and explain all the family history and my dad's recent heart attack and tell him i want what ever tests need to be run to ensure i am ok or if not get me on the right track.

    My Dr. tells me that my family history doesnt really mean anything with regards to me being at risk. i just about freaked on him.
    he asked me if i can exercise and not have any symptoms.. i said "yeah i am fine, but nearly all heart attack victims we hear about are the ones who had no signs such as my dad who just dropped one day without warning. so how can you ask me something like that. if i was having ANY symptoms i woudnt be here i would be at a heart Dr."
    he totally blew me off, i dont even remember what he said if anything.
    I also told him that for the last 10yrs i have suffered from, at times, extreme panic attacks when i am under emotional stress or faced with physical confrontation.
    there was one time in the last 3 months i almost called 911 and my wife as i was dizzy, pain in my left arm, felt faint and i was home alone with my 3yr old.
    that was very abnormal because i was fine, it came out of the blue, i was not stressed or anything. and it scared me.
    and again he kinda blew me off.

    I told him shouldnt i be concerned about the panic attacks and how they are stressing out my heart along with the family history.
    he said i should go to therapy about how to control panic attacks (which i can understand, but he blew me off again)

    so in the end my good and bad cholesterol are where they should be but my "overall" cholesterol is 60 points high, i think it was around 250-ish and the nurse said they like it to be around 190-ish?
    i have never heard of "overall" chol. but i have never had it checked before either.

    so i am about to freak on my dr. who in the past has made comments about family history meaning little to my personal health. (cancer BAD on mom's side and heart failure BAD on dad's side and he says,, ehhh i shouldnt worry)

    i know i need to seek a 2nd opinion, but what do i do about my Dr..... is there some where i can report him? i mean i feel like this guy doesnt need to be practicing medicine if he doesnt see the OBVIOUS warning signs.
    i mean wtf... if i had a heart attack tomorrow and survived i can guarantee you i would go after him for malpractice for not listening to the family history and my own questions and concerns.

    what to do...???
    Last edited by Lestat; 08-22-2012 at 06:09 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Doctors used to put a lot of stock into the whole "family history" thing when it came to heart disease. That is...until all of America became obese, and heart disease ran rampant. These days it's hard to tell who is really at risk due to family history, and who is at risk just because of their lifestyle. And since we often learn our eating and exercise habits from the people who raised us...it becomes even harder to tell.

    I don't think you need to report the doctor or anything, but I would recommend getting a second opinion. If nothing else, it will put your mind at ease, and since you are already the kind of person who has had a history of panic attacks, that piece of mind is invaluable. You need a doctor you feel comfortable with and who listens to you - which is not to be confused with a doctor who always agrees with you, if you see my point.

    I know nobody wants to hear it, but eat better and exercise more.

  3. #3
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    doc told me i had high colesterol too lol

    put me on meds
    after 2 weeks i chucked the meds n started exercising
    cut bakon n meat fats

    doc thought i was still on meds lol
    told him i wasn't

    colesterol meds do harm
    didnt like the tired feeling
    i rather get a heartatack @ 50-60 then be on the meds
    freekin docs n their prescription pads

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  4. #4
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    Well let's see if I can weigh in as a medical student.
    Family lineage has stopped meaning as much, it can be fought with proper diet and exercise, but it is still a risk factor. Other risk factors for a heart attack (or MI) are age (over 55 or 65 depending on what study you read), being male, hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol), hypertension (high blood pressure), and diabetes. That's just the blunt truth of it.
    Many times it is seen in familys because of shared lifestyles, but also you could have a congenital defect, like tight smaller arteries that are more subject to becoming blocked resulting in a heart attack.

    Should you be going to your main doc? Yes.
    Should you get a second opinion? Yes!
    And where? A cardiologist!

    But what can you do? Eat right, exercise A LOT MORE, cut out the fat and salt, and get routine bloodwork.

    I'd suggest a therapist for the panic attacks as well, and to start carrying a small tear-in package with two or three aspirin in it. If you think you are having a heart attack, take the aspirin, and get someone to drive you to the emergency room. Even if it was just a panic attack, the aspirin is more than affordable and will not go to waste.


    If you have a cooling question or concern feel free to contact me.

  5. #5
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    Just ask the Dr' to run a physical and if it comes out ok then get into a exorcise routine. I highly recommend biking as it is both fun and incredibly good for your health. Also if you choose biking do not cheap out on the bike, spend at least $400-500 on a decent bike, and don't get one with the big knobby tires, you'll want something with road tires.

    I think Dr's hear alot of people using family history as a crutch. If you think you are destine to die from a heart attack because your past family did then you are just crippling yourself.
    Last edited by CrazyNutz; 08-22-2012 at 04:09 PM.
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  6. #6
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    Have to agree there. I just spent a day in the emergency room a few weeks back with a panic attack thinking I had a heart attack and they asked very little about family history. Even when I asked specifically they were willing to listen, but downplayed the significance. As my doctor says, lose the stress, weight and start exercising. A healthy diet is a must too, stop the soda and fast food completely and immediately.

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  7. #7
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    Didn't Mickey Mantle say if he knew how long he was going to live he would have taken better care of himself? His dad and granddad died at early ages. I just watched the movie "Fat Head" go give it a watch.

    ^ After eating fast food our entire lives nobody is going to stop immediately, more like "hey eat it only once a week, then maybe once every two weeks", then exercise and drink plenty of water/sleep and all you can do is hope for the best.
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  8. #8
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    Watch what you eat that is made out of whole eggs. Depending on how it was made the yolk can contribute a lot of cholesterol to your diet.

    All along the watchtower the watchmen watch the eternal return.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by n00b 0f l337 View Post
    cut out the fat and salt, and get routine bloodwork.
    Cutting way down on the salt on your diet really sucks at first but after a while, you'll like it and become a lot more sensitive to the taste of salt. That's what happened to me. I won't buy probably more than 90% of whats on store shelves because of all the damn salt they put in everything! Soups are the worst! I also seem to be able to taste MSG now two, and immediately spit out anything that tastes like it. If I really want soup, I just make it my self and only use a touch of sea salt. I've also gotten into the habit of buying low sodium foods, then adding only a tiny amount of sea salt to them.
    This cosmic dance of bursting decadence and withheld permissions, twists all our arms collectively, but if sweetness can win, and it can, then I'll still be here tomorrow to high-five you yesterday, my friend. Peace.

  10. #10
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    Similar story for me. Father had a heart attack at age 43, they did a Quad Bypass on him. He passed away 1 week after I grad from high school. That was like 36 years ago.

    Now I am age 54 and was suffering from simular things OP is. Mine was mostly stress related it turns out. Long story on that one but mainly related to caring for Mom who has dementia/alzheimer's for 13 years now who has progressivly gotten worse and other things.

    I had a 911 call one time and went to the ER, cant remember what my BP was but it was very very high (high stress time for me). They gave me a shot of ativan as I checked out ok and told me to see my Doc. Man that shot felt good

    My Doc sent me to a cardiologist right away after hearing my family history. First was a stress test which I lasted 15 minutes on and did just fine. Cholesterol level was 385 ... ouch. So diet change and cholestero meds for me. I cannot handle BP meds as they drop my BP way to low, so he gave me Xanax which I only take half a low dose when needed for stress as I do not want to be a zombie.

    Later he did a neck cardiovascular sonography which sure enough has blockage so we are watching that.

    Keep going back and get a second opinion if needed, if there is something there sometimes its not easy to find and many things they can do are insurance related if it wil be covered. That sucks.

    He wants my Cholesterol down to 100-120, I am currently at 140 so I have a little ways to go still.

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