The Elusive Nitro

I had an appointment today with my cardiologist. It has been almost ten months since I had triple bypass surgery. Todays visit was just a check-up but I did have a few concerns to discuss with my doctor.

They always check weight, blood-pressure, current medications, and do an EKG at the beginning of each visit. My weight hasn't changed in a few weeks, my BP is staying healthy, my medications are all the same as the last visit. The EKG was normal.

When I finally got to see the doctor he listened to my heart and had nothing to say about it. He asked me if I had been having any chest pain and I said yes. In the last two weeks I have had a couple of fairly concerning bouts of pain. The first came on even though I was not doing anything strenuous. I was just getting ready for bed and the pain started, got bad, and refused to go away for a couple of hours. The second time was just yesterday while I was at work. I have a pretty active job so when the pain came on I was worried. It lasted for about 45 minutes. I have had pain at other times but only these two times was it bad enough to make me consider going to the ER.

The doctor asked if I had used nitro when I had the pain. I told him I have never been prescribed nitro. He was surprised and said he would prescribe it immediately and I am to take it when needed and use it liberally.

He said it is too early after surgery for me to be having chest pains related to my bypass, and if the pain is heart related he suspects it might be from blockages of the smaller veins of the heart. He wants me to use the nitro when I have pain because it is a good test to see if it is really my heart. Nitro only works on the heart, so if the pain is heart related then the nitro should stop it. If the pain is not heart related then the nitro will have no effect.

He also scheduled me for a stress test next Friday. See if there is any concern.

I also mentioned that my ankles and feet have started to swell again, and I still have terrible pain in my calves whenever I do any real walking. He didn't say anything in response to these but he did spend a fair amount of time typing notes.

So we shall see how the nitro goes and what the stress test reveals.

Best wishes