British Heart Foundation

Well I spoke to soon!!

After being discharged from the hospital and the specialist on Monday and never having any trouble breathing or taking deep breaths would you believe it but this afternoon I have exactly that.

I am hoping I have pulled something rather than it being a problem with the operation as I am sure this would have happened during the 6 weeks.

I can't take a deep breath as it hurts and is feeling very uncomfortable.

I am not unduly worried but annoyed especially as I thought I was well on the road to recovery.

I have driven the car today but the pain started after I had only driven 3/4 mile (all forward)

Any ideas?

As I said, I am not unduly worried but am hoping I have twisted or pulled something rather than it be something else.

42 Replies
oldestnewest

Well yes, you may well have just twisted something, however though it could need attention whatever it is. Go & get it checked, you may regret it if you don't. It will put your mind at rest......

1 like
Reply

Agree you should go and get it checked please, had something similar 3 or so months post op, turned out to be a chest infection

Reply

Luckily I still had 4 co-codomol here so took 2 about 2 am which did help and I managed to sleep.

I have never cracked a rib in my life but wondered if this is how it felt as I couldn't lie down without pain in my chest, neck and back and could only take shallow breaths as it hurt to take deeper ones.

This morning I still ache but nowhere near as much as last night. I can only think it was the very short drive to the garage as it is the first time I have driven in about 7 weeks.

Deep breaths still hurt but nothing like yesterday it made me realise how lucky I have been as this was the most pain I had been in since the op, in fact I'm not sure I have ever been in THAT much pain.

I won't be driving today and will be resting up, if it continues to improve I'll put it down to the driving if it gets worse again I will get a lift to the hospital for an x ray just to make sure nothing has moved.

It just shows we still have to be very cautious for some time afterwards.

I'll let you know how it goes.

1 like
Reply

Sorry to hear that Heather. It's what I hate most about this heart disease malarkey.. just when you're feeling good it kicks you down again. I suppose that as a few weeks/months go by without incident we think we're properly on the mend but in reality, this sort of stuff might continue for a while yet, if not permanently.

If it doesn't improve significantly you should probably get it checked out, sooner rather than later. Not doing anything about it isn't worth the risk. Perhaps a phone call to the BHF Helpline might shed some light?

2 likes
Reply

How are you now Heather? Hope you're improving. Think it a good idea to get checked out just in case.

2 likes
Reply

I am afraid I haven't sought any advice as I have a feeling I either 'popped' something or pulled a muscle either way I don't think a Dr can do anything but suggest pain killers and to take it easy. Today I have taken a couple of Paracetamol and a couple of Ibuprofen (I am rattling) The pain hasn't completely gone and I am still having to take shallow breaths - I can't even sniff without it hurting. It is easing though. If it continues to improve then I'll put it down to the recovery process if it still hurts I'll go to the hospital not sure if my GP can do anything.

It has made me afraid to drive though as that was the only thing different I did yesterday that could have caused this. I think I'll give driving a miss tomorrow and then try again on Saturday.

I am usually a very independent woman and love driving up until the operation I was driving between S.Wales and Manchester for about 6 weeks (and enjoying it) so I am hoping to get my confidence back eventually.

Fingers crossed tomorrow is better than today I feel I have taken a massive step back!

Reply

Hope you're improving Heather. I'm not allowed to take ibuprofen now because of my new meds. I've just to take Paracetamol. Just hope my Arthritis doesn't get worse again. Take it easy.

1 like
Reply

I find the issue of Ibuprofen confusing. Which medication do you take that is in conflict with it?

Reply

Hello Heather. The Consultant Cardiologist said I have not to take Ibuprofen because of some of the new medication I have to take. The ones that don't seem to go with Ibuprofen are; Bisoprolol Fumarate, Clopidogrel, Isosorbide Mononitrate. Hope you are improving. Have a good weekend.

Reply

Oh dear I am on 3 of those. I think I'll stop now - I only took 2 so hopefully it's okay.

I'm still in disbelief as everything was reasonably okay Tuesday now I find it hard to move and breath - it is like it is week 1 again (only worse)

Reply

Heather maybe a good idea would be to check on the Internet to make sure about Ibuprofen. If you put in the name of a medication you take and Ibuprofen it will tell you if they are compatible or not. I've had Pleurisy twice years ago and I can remember a pain high up in my back and the cough too and it was painful to breathe. I got a very painful infection in my thigh and antibiotics too. Hope you feel better soon if not go to see your GP on Monday.

Reply

Hi Heather, sorry to hear you are not very well, I developed pluerisy after I'd been home for a few weeks. A common problem post surgery. I had trouble breathing very painful indeed. I was prescribed codeine 30mg + paracetemol. I have had three lots of antibiotics I am feeling much better still niggly pain, but hopefully I have turned a corner. Go see GP as unfortunately this is the only option, they will not let you excercise on the re-hab programme if you are in pain or unwell. Hope this helps.

Reply

It is funny you mentioned Pleurisy as I had this many years back and it is similar. That said I couldn't eat then and coughed myself silly. I don't have these symptoms now. I am not going to the GP and I hope I don't regret it. Let's see how the weekend goes.

Reply

No I got really sick when it was first diagnosed, but the pain was really bad. However, I agree about GP I don't think they are really that they know enough about cardiac issues. Just see how you go, but I do hope you begin to feel better soon.

Reply

My experience of pleurisy was very very bad. I was coughing so much I popped something, I had to sleep on my mother's settee and when I used the bathroom I was physically sick by the time I went upstairs.

I am not saying this isn't a milder form as there are lots of similarities I just hope it gets better soon. Because things have been going so well I think I forget that only 7 weeks ago I had a heart bypass surgery and these things happen.

I see the physio on the 10th August for assessment for my re-hab so I hope things are better then.

I can cope with how I am for the weekend but hopefully nothing worse as Wednesday was a nightmare.

Reply

I have slept for a lot of today and now can't sleep. It's also blooming boiling.

Pain has eased off so let's see what tomorrow is like.

Night night all.

Reply

You may have pulled a muscle or fractured a rib, that can happen really easily.

Or it could be prolonged simptons due to anxiety. Worry that things were looking up, but now I have had a knock back. I know things could change in an instance.

It could be a bit of a greaving process. Odd to say I know.

But when uou think what we were all faced with, then suddenly it has been fixed.

So now we are on new paths, kinda the unknown. Then thinking back to when we were diagnosed, as much as we didn't like the news we received. We new what we were dealing with & what the process was for the future.

But now however, we've had our opps, so what next.

That is what I mean by greaving, we miss the known & fear the unknown.

I still think you should have it checked out. If not Gp, contact a BHF online nurse, like Chris fot example hahaaa....

Don't be scared of hospitals now though honey. Like me you didn't have a great experience last time. But it isn't always like that. Any other time I have been in, they have been marvelous. So please don't worry & not getit check due to last experience :)

1 like
Reply

Hiya Heather. Been through similar to you, though I was short of breath before I had OHS/AVR in February at Papworth. They told me it would only be painfull for about 5 weeks, but I still get occassional tweeks in my sternam, especially when I cough, but no where NEAR as bad as it was a couple of months ago. I 've spoken to a chap I know who had the same as me and he told me it can take months, but as I said, I'm getting less pain now. I used to get pain when I coughed, sneezed and yawned, but a lot better now. Thing I am annoyed about, everyone told me that my breathing would be much better after the op, but it's a damned sight worse, but after a CT scan, they found I have asbestosis. I had to take painkillers when I first cam out of hospital, but not like the morphine I had in Papwortyh. I hallucinated on that and that was frightening!

I takes time, Heather, but the pain will dwindle as time goes by. Take care and good luck.

1 like
Reply

Thanks for this I think I had a false sense of security as I really did sail through everything,

It does knock your confidence, I haven't been in the car since Wednesday and TBH I am in no rush, although I haven;t been able to go out since this problem started. I had started cruise hunting but have put that off too as at the moment as much as I am desperate to have a holiday I would hate to be away feeling as I have over the last few days.

Things are a bit better and I will go to the GP on Monday just to check all is okay.

As you say it will take time to get back to some form of normality.

Reply

Hi Heather. The link between increased risk of a MI in heart patients who use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, including ibuprofen, isn't new. Worth a read....

bhf.org.uk/heart-matters-ma...

1 like
Reply

I'm not prepared to take any risks so I'll not take them. If it's going to go wrong It'll go wrong for me! LOL!

Reply

I know that feeling! lol

1 like
Reply

Hi Heather glad to hear you're recovering, don't let it stop you getting back in the car tho

1 like
Reply

I have had an awful few days so will be ringing the doctors at 8.30 am tomorrow for an emergency appointment. I am really afraid, for a few reasons, firstly they won't know what the problem is and the thing I am most frightened of is that they will have to operate again, the very thought of them going back in fills me with dread.

When I know what is going on I'll post and let you know.

I gave in to tears today and have a feeling I'll be doing the same at the doctors tomorrow.

I bloody hate this!!!!

Reply

I have an emergency appointment at 11 am so hopefully something will be done. Have taken a few strong pain killers and feel like the dormouse in Alice in Wonderland as I feel so dozy. It is still very painful when I breath in and it hasn't improved since Thursday (Wed was agony)

Reply

Hi Heather, I feel for you I really do. If its the rib muscles it will hurt but you are doing the right thing in seeing the doctor, and really you should have gone before (only a gentle nag)

let us know how you get on please and take care

1 like
Reply

The doctor doesn't think it is heart problems (neither do I as the pain is very different) he says it could be the ribs or bones. Now if he said this yesterday I would have burst out crying but I do feel slightly better this morning although the pain is very odd. I thought he may have sent me for an xray but he didn't. I have more pain killers (I am like a junkie) and if it gives me more pain I have to go back but I have to rest up for now, not drive just to see how it all heals up.

Thanks for sticking with me and supporting me, it just show that the healing isn't an overnight thing and we should be prepared for set backs as hard as that sounds.

Reply

hi Heather, professional nagger here. I'm guessing its the intercostal muscle. Do you have any ibruprofen gel or similar? This will help if its muscular and should ease the pain and the breathing restriction

1 like
Reply

I have some muscular spray but no Ibuprofen gel (I am afraid now to use anything with that in the content. Fingers crossed that things continue to improve as I just don't know if I can cope with 4 days like the ones I have had.

Reply

Ibuprofen tablets are not allowed, but the gel is allowed (or my doctor says it is). Have you tried an ice pack (bag of frozen peas in a tea towel)?

1 like
Reply

I haven't but today has started so much better (I am not getting too excited) the strong pain killers seem to work but I don't want it masking the problem. I am reassured that it isn't my heart but likely to be my ribs or the muscles. Hopefully I will continue to improve. On Friday I even thought seriously about getting the cough pillow back out! I still can't take a deep breath and fill my lungs without there being a sharp pain and that is what I want sorted,

1 like
Reply

For what its worth, I caught a rather bad cold 3 months in, coughing sore throat the works. Ignored HID (her indoors) to go see doctor, ending with a torn rib muscle, 111 call escalated to flashing blue light ride to A&E ( I missed this when I had my heart attack as I was in work and got a taxi haha) morphine drip (how lovely) followed by xray, nothing found, a chest infection and strong anti-biotics. Certainly threw my recovery out but the gel thing worked a treat with the breathing

Reply

Sounds awful - I don't know what I will be like if I am poorly over the next few months, I don't want to wish my life away but I wish it was a year down the road.

Reply

You will be so much better. You are 7 weeks and a few days in. let me describe my typical day at that stage:

Get up at 2 or 3 am after 4 maybe five hours interrupted sleep, watch TV have coffee. Then about 7 am breakfast (this was December, it was cold, walking outside in the cold was a nightmare), nap, drink lots of fluid walk up and down my stairs and round the house to get some exercise.

Black dark black thoughts, sore everywhere, aching and pins and needles all across my chest.

Showering on my own was a nightmare, pulling on surgical socks similar. Anything that involved effort would result in breathlessness, a racing heart and fear of another attack.

Then the magic of rehab, learn what you can do, listen and talk to others who feel and experience the same. Yes show your war wounds, learn to laugh again and realise that yup you are alive, yes there are things to do, places to go things to see.

Still bad days, black ones too, then i discovered talking to a counsellor, then i came on here and other forums.

You are doing fantastically well after such a huge event, take a bow and feel proud of yourself!!

2 likes
Reply

I have to say taking the strong pain killers give me a better sleep as they knock me out!

I have access to a counsellor with my works (I am retired but still pay into their scheme) I am contemplating speaking to one a few months down the line as I think so much has happened to me this year, health wise, that I feel it would be helpful to leave 2017 in the past and a spot of counselling may help.

Reply

you strike me as very level headed, it can't hurt and I believe (certainly now) that talking about it, discussing it, helps enormously. We are all going to get the good days and boy do they feel good, and the bad ones, ones when you struggle to get up and put the kettle on. Time helps heal your body as does the exercise, but your mind, well that's a whole new ball game. I don't share easily, or didn't, even now some aspects are difficult to share and talk about.

Have you started your rehab classes yet?

1 like
Reply

I think I am level headed and usually manage to put everything in emotional boxes myself but this year has been hard and I have kept it all together, I had the angiogram in January and 4 days later I had a stroke, all quite frightening but I managed (thankfully) to get through it after a week in hospital and have even done some assessment work.

In many ways the op went well and in the main my recovery has been good (apart from this last week)

All that said we all have a 'full up' and I would like to dump some of this baggage before anything else happens.

As I said I get it free on my group insurance scheme so even if it is a couple of sessions over the phone I think it will be helpful just to make sure I can cope with any further set backs.

Although my family are helpful and supportive I am single and like to be independent when possible so anything I can do for myself the better.

1 like
Reply

the angiogram is intrusive, two people in the hospital I was in had heart attacks after theirs, a friend of a friend had to be resuscitated after his. Mine caused me immense pain, angina as I now know for hours post procedure, only helped by morphine as the nitrate didn't help.

Independence is great, proud of you, support is great too, sharing is caring even over a phone, even here.

I'll say it again, you are doing fantastically well and it gets so so much better and easier, you wont notice at first then you wake up thinking I did that, I did this wow.

This goes for the many of you reading this, honestly it gets better, it really does, we have some brilliant heart surgeons, nurses and support staff. We have some fabulous contributors here, all happy to share and help, I know the nurses get snowed but they too give their time here freely.

1 like
Reply

I meant to say I see the physio on the 10th Aug for my assessment for my rehab I hope I am 100% by then.

1 like
Reply

What an uplifting message skid112 ! :) It is true, that the only reason we should look back, is to see how far we have come...sometimes I remember my husband coming out of hospital after being readmitted due to an infection...watching this former triathlon/cycling-loving man shuffle slowly down to my sister's house 3 doors away, and carting his 'handbag' (manbag??) machine over his shoulder, and being totally exhausted by that journey. Now, 2 years on, he is back on his bike, at the gym, still fighting some occasional dark days, but off to Wales this weekend for a final practice hill walk before we tackle Snowdon next month - onwards and upwards - literally! I feel unspeakably proud of him for the mountains he has climbed already...

1 like
Reply

That's fantastic news thank you for sharing

1 like
Reply

Well I have reset everything and am now 99% better, I feel fine and while I have a little more pain on taking deep breaths and yawning I am feeling so much better.

The message here is 'be prepared'!!!

So I last drove my car on 18th July when I took it to and brought it back from the MOT. I tried to start it 3 days ago and the battery was flat but decided this morning as it was a new month to 'go for it'. My brother in law came up and jump started it and I have been out on a 28 mile charge up of the car so hopefully it will be okay from now on.

I am taking it for a service and to have the brakes done tomorrow and then hopefully I will attempt to get back to some kind of normality.

I did twist and turn a lot when I drove the car so expect to have some aches and pains and have popped a couple of pain killers in anticipation, I just hope there isn't a replay of how I felt 2 weeks ago (everything crossed)

I have decided that although I have been recovering well - August is the start of 'get back to normality' time.

Good luck everyone!

1 like
Reply

You may also like...