London Trip (2)

As I said in my last post, I felt so much better, within about a half hour after the ‘event’. Blood pressure taken at home, was somewhat high, mine is always very low, and that was another thought I had when I had the syncope, that perhaps my pressure had bottomed out for some reason and that was the reason I couldn’t feel my pulse. And now at home, the pressure reading of 138/86 was considered high by me. BUT, I was feeling better. My host wanted to take me to the ER. But he told me that going there would mean that I would have to wait for 6 to 7 hours to be seen by anyone, because of the fact that it was a weekend. And if I were to be seen at all, it would be by an intern managing the ER, because the Attendings and the Consultants did not do any work over the weekend. And because I had started feeling good, and because I was sure that it was a vasovagal syncopal event, and because doctors are the worse patients, I opted to wait till Monday!!

My classmates from medical school came to visit me on Sunday. Originally the plan was to meet them at the Kew Gardens in London and spend the day with them and with their spouses. But on Saturday, I called and talked to them and informed them about the setback that I had and they all came over to see me in Middlesex where we were staying with Adila and her husband Arif. It was a good reunion, and we all were laughing about the vasovagal syncope that I had, and how I was pretending to draw attention to myself etc. etc. They took all of us out to a South Indian restaurant in South Hall, a predominantly vegetarian venue. Had a great lunch amidst lots of laughter and  camaraderie.

Later that night, Arif took me and M for a ride to Central London to see the city by night. Stopped at various landmarks and I was in and out of the car taking pictures of different things and places. While I realized that I had no pain or symptoms of angina, I did feel some discomfort as if there was a feeling of buzz in my chest. I had felt that for many months prior to the event, and also the shortness of breath. I always put it behind my thoughts; considering those symptoms to be age related.

Anyway, to make a long story short, Arif called the consultant on Monday morning, and tried to get me in. Of course there was no way to get in on such a short notice that same day. So I was given a 4 pm appointment on Tuesday, the 4th of July… three full days after my spell. The best thing was that this guy’s office was on WIMPOLE STREET! Do you all remember the Barretts of Wimpole Street? Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning the poets of Wimpole Street?? OMG! I was so excited to go to that street, not to see the cardiologist, but to just walk on the ground of that hallowed street.

The Cardiologist was a young Indian man. He did an EKG, and drew some blood for electrolytes.  The EKG  was normal. I saw it, and it did not look any different from the ones I have had before. We had a long chat and he concurred with me, that it was probably a vasovagal episode due to the stress of travel, jet lag, irregular hours of eating etc. BUT, just before I left his office, he said, “DR. Ali, just to be safe, and for our peace of mind let us do a Troponin level.”  At that all kinds of bells started tinging in my head. I just stared at him, as if to say, “How dare you!”

Troponin is a very specific cardiac enzyme, and tells you if there is an injury to the heart. The normal range is 0.01 to 0.03. Anything over and above is considered a suspicion or a definite cardiac event. So I subjected my self to another blood draw, and thanks to National Health System, the results are not seen immediately as we have here. (We get our results within 15 minutes to an hour) But the doctor told me that he really didn’t expect any problem and that I could go back, and he would call us the next day with the result of the blood work.

I was feeling fine on Wednesday morning. So Adila and I took off to go shopping. I had not done one iota of any kind of shopping for my children or grandchildren. I was excited to get a few things at the specialty stores there. We were in the store about 10:30 and had just started selecting a few clothes, when Arif came barging in to the store. He had driven from home and was looking for us in different stores. He looked at us, and said,

“Zakiah, I have bad news for you. The consultant called a few minutes after you left. You have had an MI. Your Troponin level is 2,500!!  At first I thought he was joking. Two thousand five hundred?? I had never seen that high a result ever! Then he reached over and hugged me, saying, “I am sorry dear friend, but the consultant is very concerned, and he is arranging for a room at the local A&E (Accident and Emergency) hospital, and you will be transferred to the cardiac hospital in London proper for an angiogram and stents.”

I think I was out of my own body at that time. I was in a zone. I couldn’t think, couldn’t speak and couldn’t focus on anything. We got home and I talked to the consultant myself, and told him, “Listen, I do not want to go through the procedure here. I will start myself on Beta blockers and Ace inhibitors, continue with aspirin, and go home and get things done in my country. The guy said, “I very strongly advise against that. I will not allow you to be taking such a dangerous step.” Pfffttt!

Let me finish this tomorrow. Isn’t this so horrible?? What a nightmare!





About Zakiah

I write poetry and some fiction, have a book that was published in 2012. . . Stray Thoughts/Winged Words. I have four grandchildren, ages 16 and half to almost 16 months. I love the ocean, and grew up along the Indian Ocean in South India. I am a retired physician. Don't know much else to say. Thanks for reading. That has been my profile for so many years. My daughter Saadia a great poet and story teller, has two sons; the oldest grandson is now 21 years old, doing architectural engineering at Missouri S&T in Rolla MO. His younger brother is almost 16 and taking driving lessons seriously and is in High School. The other two grandsons, children of my son Sayeed, are 9 and 5. I have recently published another book titled Gulistan, A home of Flowers. It has stories and memories of my childhood and of a distant land which I still consider as my HOME., even though I have lived here in the US for more than fifty years. Hope to see you on my blog.
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9 Responses to London Trip (2)

  1. I’m really glad the cardiologist did the test for Troponin. At our local ER on weekends, it’s usually a couple of hours wait for the results.

  2. slmret says:

    I’m glad that you had no pain or symptoms after that initial event, but amazed that your Troponin level was so very high! A good thing the doctor wanted to be on the safe side! I’m glad, too, that you had an opportunity to do a little sightseeing with your friends. It strikes me that it was pretty terrible that you had to wait three full days before getting to the ER! Something tells me that the children and grandchildren will happily wait for those gifts you wanted to buy for them! Love & Hugs!

  3. wow–so scary. I’m so glad the dr. did the Troponin test.

  4. mrswrangler says:

    Sounds so scary. Glad you are home

  5. Tree says:

    Oh my goodness, that’s a scary number! I guess visiting the doctor was the right thing to do after all.

  6. murisopsis says:

    I know you were shocked but poor M was probably having heart palpitations over the whole thing! I’m surprised that you had so few symptoms but they say that is why women are misdiagnosed for heart attacks – the symptoms are so different from what is the classic male heart attack! But then you already knew that! Did you have stents placed in London?

  7. Wow! 😦 yes, so very horrible! 😦 And so scary! 😦

    I am so so SO very glad the cardiologist did the test for Troponin.
    Prayers, ❤ and (((HUGS)))

  8. theinfiniterally says:

    Absolutely terrifying! I don’t know how I would have reacted to the shocking news, I’m glad you were able to weather it. And to know what was best for you!

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