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Author Topic: Second Opinions & Heart Anxiety  (Read 298 times)

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Offline patmob

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Second Opinions & Heart Anxiety
« on: January 15, 2014, 06:31:23 AM »
I've seen a lot of posts about heart worries and people who have gone to multiple doctors and still don't believe that they're OK and thought of something I saw a while back on the History Channel.

Back when NASA was sending men to the moon, they needed to rely on equipment make sure the astronauts didn't die.  One example was a gauge which told them whether the air in the capsule was safe to breath or not.  If it was then helmets could come off and they could breath on their own, if the gauge said it was unsafe then something went wrong and they would need to stay in their space suits or they would die.

A simple, logical theory except the known failure rate for that particular gauge was something like 1 in 250,000 meaning that for every 250,000 gauges manufactured one of them was faulty and provide a bad reading - either saying it was safe when it wasn't or saying it wasn't safe when it was.  Either way, NASA didn't want to bet the lives of the men (and billions of dollars) on a gauge which could fail once every 250,000 times - the odds were too high in their opinion.  So what did they do?  They installed 3 of the gauges to take the same reading and decided that whatever 2 of the gauges said is the reading that they would accept because the odds of 2 out of the 3 gauges being faulty at the same time were low enough to bet the lives of the men (and billions of dollars).  Essentially, they took an educated risk.

That should be the same belief we have when getting second opinions.  The odds of 2 or more doctors examining you (especially when one of them in a cardiologist) and missing something are so low that its really not worth sitting there and saying "I know they missed something."  Yes, it does happen, but it happens so seldom that it falls into the rare category - like winning the lottery.

The heart, while amazingly important is also amazingly simple - it acts in predictable and repetitive ways and they know what they're looking for and have tests which specially look for it and are amazingly accurate.  Trust them!!!
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Offline skywizzard

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Re: Second Opinions & Heart Anxiety
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2014, 06:58:54 AM »
I know exactly what you mean, my issue is with a single enlarged tonsil tho, i've seen 3 ENT's of which two had over 30 years of experience in the field and they all told me they were 100% certain i do not have lymphoma, however even now i'm not reassured. Not to mention that my GP didn't think it necessary to send me to an ENT in the first place but i insisted, of course. In the matters of health as a hypochondriac, it's so damn difficult to reason and just generally make non-catastrophic predictions.
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Offline Lo213

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Re: Second Opinions & Heart Anxiety
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2014, 10:55:25 AM »
With health anxiety I could probably go to 10 doctors and still think they missed something. Nothing is certain with the heart. No test is full proof, and things can change quickly. I can't bring myself to believe that my symptoms are caused by anxiety because it doesn't for what I've read about panic and anxiety, but it does fit what I've read about heart problems. I also feel like I don't get treated well by doctors because of my age and hypochondria. They don't do all the tests. I get told 'at your age those symptoms don't concern me'. Why not?  29 year olds can have heart attacks. Is it common? No. But does that mean I don't deserve every possible test to insure that I'm okay?  I've had doctors laugh in my face at my concerns. That makes me trust them even less. I think if I could find a good doctor who took me seriously and really looked into my heart and at other possibilities that cause similar pain  instead of  brushing it off as anxiety. Maybe it's a real nerve thing or some other organ in my chest causing it. Maybe someone could really explain how my brain is making up these horrifying symptoms that plague my life every single day.
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Offline patmob

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Re: Second Opinions & Heart Anxiety
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2014, 11:41:57 AM »
No doctor should laugh at your or belittle your concerns.  Find new doctors.   That being said, the job of a medical professional is to evaluate your symptoms and decide what - IF ANY - treatment or testing is necessary.

To think "I'm still concerned so they should keep testing" doesn't make sense on a whole bunch of levels.

At 29 years old you're more likely to die in a car accident than a heart attack but how fearful of you when you get in the car? 

I don't think people with heart anxiety are worried about death in and of itself.  After all dead is dead right?  What's the difference about the cause.   Yet we don't spend our time worrying about car accidents, falling in the shower, choking to death on our food or any of the other of multiple things which can kill us.

We already know our diagnosis - it's anxiety.  We need to accept that is what is causing our symptoms when the highly trained professionals we trust with our lives determine that out hearts are sound.
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Offline Lo213

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Re: Second Opinions & Heart Anxiety
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2014, 11:51:20 AM »
If I believed in the diagosis of anxiety than I don't think I'd still be here. And my doctors work for me, so if I dont feel that the tests are enough than I should be able to get more. EKG's and stress tests have their limitations.
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Offline patmob

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Re: Second Opinions & Heart Anxiety
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2014, 11:56:09 AM »
You're asking your doctors to act illogically and against their better judgement and I wouldn't want a doctor who was willing to do that.  Where does it end?
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Offline Lo213

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Re: Second Opinions & Heart Anxiety
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2014, 12:27:02 PM »
It ends when I feel like a doctor is taking me seriously and not brushing me off due to my age and previous diagnosis of anxiety. I spend $180 for a visit to be laughed at.   My age does not exclude me, especially given my family history.
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Offline patmob

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Re: Second Opinions & Heart Anxiety
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2014, 09:29:11 PM »
I'm sorry but I respectfully disagree with you.  Your money and family history don't make your judgement superior to your docs.  I sincerely hope you can find some peace but if you'll never, ever believe what they're telling you then I fear you won't find it.
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Offline Gomubukai

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Re: Second Opinions & Heart Anxiety
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2014, 06:18:26 AM »
I agree with Patmob.

A lot of those of us who have anxiety believe our doctors are simply 'brushing us off' but in reality they've simply seen nothing in how we're presenting to be worried.

They know what disease looks like and they know what it doesn't look like.

They spend a minimum of 12 years at school to learn how to differentiate between someone who is sick, someone who MIGHT be sick (and needs further testing) and someone who is well.

We spend a few days here and there on google researching our disease of choice and instantly (and arrogantly) assume we know more than the professionals. And that they simply aren't paying attention to us or aren't listening to us when we see them.

They are far more able to provide any kind of diagnosis than anyone on this board.

Would you have someone who makes pizza - even the most amazingly delicious pizza you've ever tasted come and put the electrical wires in your house?

Of course you wouldn't. Because as amazing as they are in their OWN profession. They aren't trained to know how to deal with electricity.

Doctors know more than a lot of us anxious folk seem to think.

good post Patmob - it adds a bit of perspective to our sometimes faulty thinking :)
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