I had a 24hr ECG monitor fitted at my GP surgery. This was on Monday 25th February.
They told me it would be up to 10 days for results. The reason i had it fitted was to put my mind at rest as I have palpitations, brought on by caffeine, and stress (i suffer from anxiety). Although my GP wasn't concerned about them, she agreed to the 24hr ECG to put my mind at rest.
However. I haven't heard anything at all from my GP surgery. Yet a letter came today asking my to attend an appointment at a Cardiology Clinic in Bracknell, on the 3rd of April, to have another monitor fitted. They have not ticked the box to tell me if it is for 24hrs, 48hrs, or longer.
I am now very frightened and am very much into 'panic mode' as I have no information whatsoever. I don't know if they saw a problem with my heart, I don't know if the EGG monitor didn't work, I don't know what is happening at all. And with it being a Saturday, no one can give me any information at all.
So I am looking for some reassurance as to why they are fitting me with another monitor, and if this is normal?!
I only know how the process in the US works so my perspective on how to answer this may be wrong.
Here are some things I've learned that may apply:
1. I've always taken comfort knowing that bad news travels fast when it comes to medical tests. If there was something urgent going on you would know it by now.
2. EKGs are an easy test but the information usually opens the door to more conclusive testing. Quite often you hear the stories of, "they found a weird pattern on my EKG but upon further investigation it's benign".
3. There are certain findings on EKGs that warrant an urgent approach. I think we can rule out an urgent issue because the physicians are not approaching you in an urgent way.
4. The communication process to you is flawed, it shouldn't work this way. Who knows what happened, it sounds like a bit of a process snafu to me. There are many reasons I can think of, speculation is futile and will only make you more anxious
5. Give them a call, tell them what happened and get some answers. I am like you, history of anxiety, really bad in my 30s. I'm 45 now and have much less anxiety. I'm also less worried about making friends or caring what people think of me. I'm more proactive in getting answers and more assertive about it. I'm also a lot less anxious....food for thought.
I am also in the USA and that is the base of my experience. The way it works here, I have a cardiologist who I picked myself, and I have been with him for about 15 years. Still, when he prescribes a test, latest being an echocardiogram and a nuclear stress test I didn't get a telephone call until after I got the written report myself from the testing center. In fact as my Primary Care doctor gets a copy of this sort of testing he gave me a call about two days after the tests (his office person, not the doctor) telling be the Stress Test was "normal". They to date have not commented on the echo. The echo while not great, is also normal for me, albeit I found it hard determining that myself as they change the format of the test report from the last time I had such a test.
Supporting your first reply what you tell me makes leaves me with the impression they either saw nothing, or they saw something not critical that needs a more detailed (longer) test. I doubt the next test will be for only 24 hours.
Back to the USA, while I am a senior and now covered by our Medicare system, a National Health System for the elderly, I still (this may become a thing of the past as our new NHS continues to roll out) am the billing interface with my doctors. Most are willing to accept Medicares lower approved charges, but any difference is billed to me. So I remain a customer-patient. Again as the NHS roll-out in the USA continues to reduce what Medicare pays, I will unhappily expect to see changes there too.
Stop worrying is the best advice, you have a medical decision that your next test date is soon enough to deal with your condition.
Apart from the panic (which many of us suffer from), are you feeling OK, or in other words, about the same as you usually do? No crushing chest pain, no difficulty breathing, etc? If you are feeling like a reasonably healthy person, you probably are, so there is no need for urgency here. One fact that supporting this idea is that you are not scheduled to be seen again until April 3. If you had an urgent condition, you would have been scheduled *much* sooner. Physicians really don't put sick patients on the back burner.
Another thing to consider is that no amount of worry or panic will change anything. You can fret yourself into a perfect fit, and the grand result will be---no change. You will be not be happier or sicker or healthier. Worry in this case is just a waste of energy.
However, you are entitled to an explanation, and I suggest that on Monday, you call your doc and ask for just that.
Actually, i think the worrying CAN make things worse. The anxiety fuels my irregular heartbeat. Otherwise, I agree, if you were in danger, they would have let you know. Get the info you are entitled to and let the medical people do the worrying. Keeping you in my thoughts . . .
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