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- Sun Mar 13, 2005 8:35 pm
:( I recently wrote regarding numbness and tingling in my left arm and a pain which radiated from the chest, to the arm down to the fingers, to the jaw, and, amazingly, a pain in the back of my head too. My legs were always getting numb at night but I never connected the two and, to be honest, was pretty cavalier about my problem even though I have all the risk factors for heart disease. (including a father who died at 41 of heart disease. I am 40)
After I posted I was admitted to the hospital, received a stress test, nitro, lopressor (which had my heart beat down to 80 from the previous 104) and various blood tests and a chest x-ray. Though I never saw a cardiologist he did read the stress test and I was discharged. I do not know the results of the testing but I assume that they are okay if I was discharged.
The numbness is back and I will admit, I have great concerns about this. I thought I was okay after I was cleared for the cardiac problems but I have the numbness in the legs when I wake in the morning, the arm numbness is still there all the way down to my fingers (left arm) and occasionally, I have a pain in the chest that stops me in my tracks.
When I say numbness I mean a loss of sensation or feeling different than the other leg at the time or the arm at the time, whichever the case may be. I am still able to walk though I am aware of the difference. It feels as if my leg/legs are asleep.
I have called a physician to make an appointment and refer me for tests. (though I have no idea what kind) In the meanwhile I would llike some reassurance (being a new patient I have to wait several weeks to see a doctor) that this isn't a preview to a stroke or IS a cardiac problem.
I just want to know if and when to go to the ER. I don't want to be complacent and just ignore these symptoms but I also don't want to waste anyone's time running back and forth to the ER if there is nothing wrong with me.
Other than those symptoms I have nothing of concern going on with the exception of three fatty tumors on my back and side (was told what they were in the ER) and a very low tolerance for heat. I can't function at all when it's hot, over and above what a normal person can take. Haven't had any injury with the exception of a brown recluse spider bite last spring and I take no medications at all.
Could these symptoms be neurological or is it, as the er room doctor thought, maybe a pinched nerve?
I'm supposed to go out 80 miles offshore for tuna fishing next month, in a boat with two other men, and don't relish the thought of having a stroke iin the middle of the ocean, that far from help. Any foundation for my concerns?
Thank you, in advance, for any help you may give.
| Dr. Yasser Mokhtar
- Wed Mar 23, 2005 11:24 pm
You have three major risk factors for coronary disease: a strong positive family history for coronary disease (your father dying of a heart attack at 41), gender (male) and smoking. Your chest pain has some atypical features to it. The probability of this pain be due to coronary disease is intermediate. Your strong positive family history would drive some doctors to rule coronary disease even though your chest pain is atypical.
Was the stress test that you had an exercise test or chemical test? If it was an exercise stress test, how long did you stay on the treadmill? How high did your heart rate go? Why was the exercise test stopped? Did you have any chest pain at any time during the test?
If it was an exercise stress test, the longer you stayed on the treadmill, the less chance that this is coronary disease. If your heart rate reached the maximum predicted heart rate for your age and you did not have any chest pain and the stress test turned out negative, then this is a good indication that this is not coronary disease.
Your chest pain with the numbness in the legs has more atypical features to it than typical features. i think with this numbness in both your arms and legs, you ought to have your spine evaluated.
There is nothing wrong with going to the er if you think you need to go. i think a better thing is to know why you are going, meaning, you need to have an accurate diagnosis. If the chest pain proved not to be due to coronary disease, what is it caused by?
In addition, you have to stop smoking now, be checked for high cholesterol and lose weight and be active. If this chest pain is not due to coronary disease, this does not mean that your risk of coronary went down, it is still the same. i encourage you to start leading a healthier life.
Make sure to ask your doctor whether or not it is safe to go on that fishing trip.
Thank you very much for using our website http://doctorslounge.com and i hope that this information helped.
Yasser Mokhtar, M.D.