Heart ultrasound today

Before I can start on Gilenya the cardiologist wants an ultrasound of my heart before he will make his decision. I’m not worried about having the test, as such, but I am worried about what the results might show.

My mum is one of seven siblings five of whom had heart problems. Her father died in his early 40s from a massive heart attack. Her mother died aged 67 after two heart attacks within a week. One of her brothers died aged 46 from one heart attack, another died in his early 50s again from one heart attack. Another had to have triple heart surgery before he could be operated on for cancer; it was the cancer that killed him because it had gone too far by the time he had recovered from the heart surgery. A fourth brother died in his 60s of a heart attack and was found on his own the next morning. The fifth brother didn’t have a heart attack but had two strokes instead. The only surviving sibling is my aunt (and she’s a miserable old sod - why does that happen? My uncles were all lovely and jolly and you could have a joke with them - but I digress. sorry).

Mum had her first attack at age 60 and had angioplasty to open up her arteries. She had a further heart attack a few years before she died and miraculously pulled through. She struggled on with chronic heart disease for a few more years before dying a couple of weeks after her 74th birthday due to heart failure and another heart attack.

Sorry, to go on but this is why I am bricking it about the ultrasound. I know I won’t get told anything today but I really think ignorance is bliss. I’m almost wishing I hadn’t asked to try Gilenya now in case I have opened a whole case of worms. For now I’m clinging to the one thing mum’s consultant told her which is that he believes the heart problems were passed through the male line in her family. Several of my first cousins have already had heart attacks in their 40s and they were all my uncles’ children. So far neither me nor my siblings have shown any signs of high blood pressure or any signs of heart disease.

As much as I love my mum and am pleased when people tell me how I remind them of her I do not want to share this trait with her.

Scared and irrational - haven’t shared with my own family for obvious reasons. It has helped just to write it all down. Now I’ll just get this test out of the way later today and stop fretting until they tell me something. Hopefully good news …

Tracey xx

Thanks Jennifer,

I meant to say I don’t want to open a ‘whole can of worms’ lol. My poor old brain is in a muddle today. I’ve finished at work so now off to catch the train. It doesn’t help that I have a long journey to make first …

Tracey x

Best of luck Tracey, I understand why you are concerned but try not to stress yourself out too much about the results, whatever will be will be. And if there is any problem you will deal with it, because that’s all we can do! Let us know how you get on? Laura x

Hope it goes well Tracey.

Shazzie xx

Hi Tracey,

I hope all goes well for you xx

I’ve had the ultrasound check done on my heart. I was nervous to have it done but it was over quickly xxx


fingers crossed for you hun.

Let us know the good news (I’m confident for you )


And breathe! So glad that’s all over. Sorry this is the first chance I’ve had to sit down with a cuppa since I got back off the train at 5.30 with takeaway for our tea.

The lady who did the scan understood why I was so worried when I told her about the family history so at the end she said she couldn’t give me the results but she could say that she didn’t see anything major wrong with my heart.

I’ve been to see dad today to confess as I hate lying to him but didn’t want to cause him any extra stress as he’s not very poorly himself with sarcoidosis. We then compared notes about heart ultrasounds as he had to have one just a couple of years ago (there’s not many parts of his body left that the sarcoidosis hasn’t attacked, bless him).

So now it’s just up to the cardiologist who is also an expert in Gilenya.

Thanks for the messages of support everyone. Deep down I knew I was being really irrational but when D-day hit this morning I was awake before the alarm (and I really cannot remember when that last happened).

There are two silver linings today though. 1. What a beautiful day to be on a train journey across the English countryside eating homemade sausage rolls rather than being stuck in a gloomy office. 2. Hospital appointments are a wonderful cure for constipation.

On that note, goodnight

Tracey xx

Oops, that should say dad is very poorly himself - brain fog lol

I’m glad for you that it’s over and done with and will keep my fingers crossed for you that the cardiologist has good news for you

Sonia x

Hopefully it all is clear and you can get started.

I had a call from the MS nurse yesterday and I’m starting Gilenya on Nov 6th…eeek.

Hi Tracey,

It’s good to hear it all went OK, and that they couldn’t see any obvious defects. What a long journey for you, though!

I know what you mean about hospital visits being an excellent cure for constipation. I’ve usually ‘been’ three times before leaving the house, and that’s when I’m only going in for my twice-yearly review; not having a procedure.

Well done for going!



Thanks, Tina

I hope you’re not too stiff after your accident the other day. I would imagine you were quite shaken. I can understand you not wanting to hang around in A&E though. I spent from about 2pm to 6pm there once with my first symptoms before being moved to the MAU and was still getting nowhere fast. You would have to be desperate to want to be in A&E although bizarrely, on some TV shows I have watched, that seems to be exactly what some people do want.

I have to allow 2 hours for my journey to Cambridge as I live out on a limb here on the Norfolk coast. (You know you’ve reached Norfolk when there are no motorways and even dual carriageways are rare.) If I drive it can take a minimum of 1 hr 30 mins but the problem with driving is that by the time I have been kept waiting for my appointment, had lunch and a drink, visited the toilet several times etc, I am then too tired to drive safely home. I attempted it once and got lost in the city and lost another half an hour trying to retrace my route. (That’s something else that used to be easy but now I just go into headless chicken mode.) My brother in law drove me once but only allowed the bare minimum time, took a wrong turn and we made it by the skin of our teeth so I had to rush to Neurology (which is such a long way away from the main entrance). Not a good experience :frowning:

If I go by rail, I still have to drive 30 minutes to the railway station (that’s assuming I don’t get stuck behind a Sunday driver/Tesco lorry and there are no roadworks or accidents en route, so I always allow 45 minutes), I then need time to park in the overflow car park as the main car park is much too small and will undoubtably be full. I then have to buy my ticket, board the train etc. At least I don’t have to find the platform as there is only the one, lol! We only have a train once an hour to London via Cambridge so I have to catch the one which will get me there in plenty of time rather than one which will only give me 10 minutes to get to the hospital. I did once sit for 25 minutes on a stationary train due to a problem with a broken down goods train and there are occasionally problems with points failure etc. I sit there watching my extra time draining away and my stress levels rising :frowning: If all goes well the train journey should take no more than 50 minutes.

When I alight at Cambridge I have to catch a bus to Addenbrooke’s which should be simple enough except that I usually manage to just miss one and have to wait 10-15 mins for the next one. In August, two buses told me they were not going via the hospital even they are the usual ones I can catch until a kinder bus driver told me that the main road to the hospital had major roadworks and was being bypassed meaning there was only one bus route going that way. That meant a 20 minute wait and I was glad I had allowed the extra time.

The receptionist once tried to offer me a 9.00 am appointment and I said, “No, I couldn’t possibly be here at that time”. She said but it’s all I have left for that day so I asked for a different day but she said that it was when I was due to be seen again. I was having none of it and my nurse came along and asked what the problem was. She sided with me and told the receptionist, “She has a very long journey and cannot get up at 6.00 am just for a hospital appointment. Make it for the following week!” You wouldn’t think you would have to explain about fatigue and long journeys etc when they work with MS patients, would you?

Still, that is that hurdle over. I seem to have been a bit hyper yesterday and today. Awake with the lark and full of beans and mischief. I think it must be the relief - or someone has been putting something in my tea :wink:

Hope your bruises soon heal. Radox baths seem to soothe me when I have a whopping bruise (if you can bear the heat, that is). I have to have lukewarm, quick baths these days. Take care (and don’t let it put you off going to college and getting out and about). These things happen …

Tracey x