Diagnosed with vasospastic angina
Mehmet Misircioglu is the epitome of persistence. After many bouts of chest pain outmatched perhaps only by medical consultations, he now leads a more content life. His eventual diagnosis: vasospastic angina (also known as Prinzmetal’s angina or coronary artery spasms).
“It started in 2015 with chest pain in the early morning hours as I was trying to fall asleep. I couldn’t even move my hands. I couldn’t even breathe,” Mehmet said. “I was hospitalised after that at least 100 times, but they couldn’t figure out what was going on with me. No one could diagnose me.”
Mehmet did some research online in between seeing different doctors and cardiologists. He was met with resistance when discussing the possibility of an acetylcholine provocation test (ACH-test). It was just one hurdle in his quest for diagnosis and treatment. The psychological impact was also starting to take its toll on his well-being, work, and social life.
“One episode was particularly bad; it was like an elephant sitting on my chest. I thought maybe I have coronary artery spasms.”
By 2020, Mehmet was at last on a treatment plan that helped stabilise his condition and life began to improve. He also credits therapy sessions that helped him cope with feelings of apathy and depression.
“Therapy was a game changer for me. It helped me realise that I was in ‘fight or flight’ mode all the time. Now, I try to avoid triggers such as smoking and stress. I go to work. I pursue my hobbies and I try to get on with life.”
Mehmet has worked hard on becoming his own advocate. Because of his experience, he offers sound advice for anyone in a similar situation:
“Keep searching, go to another hospital if you can and look for ways to manage the stress involved. Keep looking forward, with your own future in mind.”
Learn more about angina.