Heart Disease Forum
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Avatar universal

Does anyone have any suggestions?

I am a RN with over 31 yrs of exp.--I am also a Type I (IDDM) and recently was dx'd with Breast CA. I also have sick sinus syndrome with lots of arrhythmias--mostly PVC's but some PAC's as well, combined with this I have NUMEROUS med allergies.  I have everything from PVC's after ever normal beat to runs of PVC's--then other times a beautiful NSR--not as much tachycardia anymore (but bradycardia is not significant enough to need a pacemaker yet).  I have been on Taxotere & Cytoxan for my chemo and it have made me very sick during the entire course of tx (which thankfully is now over).  I am one of those unfortunate people who feels each and every one of my abnormal beats. We have tried many medications and have found that Tenormin works best for me at controlling my arrhythmias  Over the years (and numerous cardiologist later) I found a Cardiologist  who has been treating me for the last 15 yr (turns out my mom has the same problem and has had a pacemaker for the last 14 yrs) so he sees both of us. He has seen me have allergic rx's and other wierd thing happen--so knows that when I tell him something is wrong, I am not crying wolf.  With the chemo I have experienced more brady cardia and PVC's--as well as increased blood sugars due to the steroids used with chem.  My current insurance does not allow me to see him (and I cannot afford cash)-but finding a new one who understands my problem is not an easy task--I looked for almost 20 yrs before I found him,  He does not know anyone in the Chattanooga or Nashville, TN area who specialize in my type of heart problems--most here know how to treat coronary disease caused by blocked vessels--not electrical problems.  Anyone have any recommendations--all would be appreciated.  Ideally I would like to keep the MD I have--so any suggestions on how to get the insurance to pay for out of network visits for me to continue seeing him?  Also had a total thyroidectomy recently-was benign.
3 Responses
242509 tn?1196922598
I would continue to take the tenormin which has worked well for you in the past. Also you should have an objective measurement of your ejection fraction as some chemotherapeutic agents can cause a dilated cardiomyopathy. I can't really comment on helping you see someone out of your insurance network.
Avatar universal
No real comment on your issues per se, but am glad to hear that your chemo is over and you are on the road to recovery.  The issue with insurance coverage is troublesome. I would guess your best bet is to speak with the office manager directly and send a letter to the Dr him/herself, explaining that you need help to continue seeing him/her.  If you have out of network coverage, then it will cost you a bit more out of pocket but may be worth the money, depending on the number of visits.  If you have no out of network coverage, then you may try having asking the office help you - either by negotiating a price with the office, or with an appeal for coverage based on his specialised knowledge of your health issues.  Your insurance company customer service should be able to help explain to you, how to do this.  Some insurance companies are also now offering essentially a "case manager" for complex cases and "high users" of services.  I suspect you would qualify for this, its a cost free service and they are there to help co ordinate your care and help you when you come upon a stumbling block - just like this.  Your cancer treatment center may well be able to answer some of your Q's too, they take a very holistic view of care and know ways around this stuff.  BTW, my Mum also developed A Fib after surgery for colon cancer and has had troubles ever since, though is very reluctant to seek any real solution by way of second opinion.


Avatar universal

Check out my site www.lumponablog.com.  I have a couple of posts in the heart disease section that point to sites where you can check out hosptial death rates for certain conditions and also compare hospitals and search by zip code.

From there, I would call the hosptial or hospitals of choice and have them send you a list of the practicing cardiologists at their location.  Once you have narrowed it down to a couple of doctors you can actually do research on them - it costs about $25.00 - $35.00 for a full report.  Just google the doctors name and I assure you in the Google main ads section there will be a box with the link to perform the background check.

You could also Google Best Docs and your state and condition.  Do the same with Best Doctors, Top Docs, and Top Doctors.  Here in Austin I was able to find a link to Texas Monthly where the Austin Heart hostpital was labled as the top hosptial in the area.  The article also listed the top doctors, and also what was titled super doctor - all of them at the Austin Heart Hospital.  These surveys are provided to other doctors and ask the question that if you or a loved one has heart disease which doctor would you send them to?  If you can find a survey for your state or city that would also be a good place to start.

Of course, it goes without saying that the Cleveland Clinic is the best hospital for heart disease in the country.  I also have a link on my site to a USA today article that lists the top heart hospitals in the country.  Maybe one of them is close to you.

Best of luck to you.  Sounds like you have been through a lot.  Here's to a great future!


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