Time between op and Cardiac Rehab Phy... - British Heart Fou...

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Time between op and Cardiac Rehab Physio?

Heather1957 profile image

I had my bypass on the 2nd June and was originally given the 10th August as the date for my initial meeting with the cardiac rehab physio but today I had a letter saying it is now the 31st August.

I am hoping to start doing some work starting 18th September as long as I continue to feel well.

I think nearly 13 weeks is an awfully long time between op and starting rehab especially as I would like to start doing some work soon.

I just wondered how long others have had to wait

36 Replies
skid112 profile image
skid112Heart Star

Hi Heather, I think I was quite lucky I was in rehab 7 weeks post op

Heather1957 profile image
Heather1957 in reply to skid112

I am a bit worried that I'll be working before I get any rehab in. 7 weeks sounds about right.

skid112 profile image
skid112Heart Star in reply to Heather1957

I think you're doing well, certainly if you're up for working I would go for it

Hi heather,

My first time round from heart attack I was lucky & started in week two afterwards.

But this time round after bypass, I think it was easily 3 months or longer before I started.

So maybe contact the rehab unit direct & push them along.

Hope you are feeling better now :)

That is a long time, I wonder if it is to do with the Summer holidays?

Yes you could be right there, I would call them though.

As it is the holidays it could be quiet in rehab anyway. They may he glad to fill up the classes....

I have to admit to being a bit cross, not about the cancellation as things happen but having to wait another 3 weeks after the initial appointment, it is as if I have been put to the back of the queue.

Suemary profile image
Suemary in reply to Heather1957

Hi Heather. I can't believe how long you are having to wait. I have had a bypass op nearly with weeks ago. I started rehab 4 weeks post op. Its been really good to get going on those exercises. I really cant fault our local rehab service. I am registered blind so would not be able to see what is going on in classes so they have come to my house. I think it helps to tell them when you are going back to work. I told them that all being well I would be going back to work on 7th August. I think that helps concentrate their minds.

By the way thank you for your posts. I have gained alot from reading them. I am similar age to you, 61 this month, and also live alone. It has been lovely hearing from someone else in a similar situation. Best of luck with chiving up that rehab team. How dare they make you wait so long.

Heather1957 profile image
Heather1957 in reply to Suemary

Thanks - I nearly missed your reply.

I had been holding up the 10th August as the next stage of my recovery as I believe they do tests on your heart rate and ECG if needed. My next stage was starting work on 18th Sept. I just don't know if there will be time.

I think I will phone tomorrow and ask what the hold up is and why I have been put back 3 weeks. An explanation would be helpful.

I hope everything is going okay for you having the added problem in being registered blind must make things even harder for you so I am glad you have been given the help you need.

Yep, you have a right to be fedup. They don't seem to realise how these kind of delays can put us back....

I had the op on the 2nd June and saw the cardiac nurse on the 19th June and have been looking forward to the rehab to start. It is disappointing that there is such a long wait between surgery and appointment.

Yes I agree, I got really fedup waiting. I still think you may be able to hurry them if you call direct :)

Hi Heather in Cornwall i had to wait about 3 months for my rehab i actually started back to work the week they phoned me to start rehab when they had a space.But i only went once it was too much to go to work and then drive 30 mls to and from rehab.They were ok with that because i was already doing so many mls walking etc.

Hi Rupert, if at the assessment they give me some ideas of what I should be doing I will be relatively happy, it was the added health checks I would get while doing the exercises that were giving me the added confidence.

I will have to see what response I get from my call and from the assessment. I think I will do the same as you if that works for me as it obviously does for you.

Hi Heather. It might be something as simple as they have too many patients. I was lucky and didn't wait long but the length of time you can go for depends on how busy they are. Mine was finished after 7 weeks (twice a week sessions) and that was the reason. I was hoping for longer but the class got really busy. I suspect a lot depends on where you live and the available capacity locally.

While you're waiting, you should walk at a pace that makes you breath harder but still be able to have a conversation. If you have to stop to talk, you're over exerting yourself. Listen to what your heart is telling you as well... if you feel your heart pounding or fluttering when walking, slow down a bit, or even stop, and take a few deep breaths. In through your nose, hold it for a second or two, then a steady, controlled exhalation through your mouth. Your heart rate should drop a few bpm (usually about 5bpm in my case) quite quickly with that.

Rehab is all about learning how your body feels when you are exercising at a beneficial, and safe, rate so when rehab is finished you can tell if you're overdoing it. You can get surprisingly accurate after a few weeks but of course you need it measured to understand how it feels. The rule of thumb above is a good indicator though.

Hope that helps some and that you are feeling a bit better after your recent knock-back.

Heather1957 profile image
Heather1957 in reply to Marc68

Thanks for this. Until I had my bit of a relapse I had started walking and trying to build up my stamina.

You may be right I think In was more annoyed by the 3 weeks extra I have to wait when I was raring to go! (y)

Sina-6491 profile image
Sina-6491 in reply to Marc68

You're lucky 2 a week :)

Marc68 profile image
Marc68 in reply to Sina-6491

I thought that was pretty standard Jo but I assume it wasn't for you.

Sina-6491 profile image
Sina-6491 in reply to Marc68

No just once a week, but my class let me do a couple extra this time. So I felt quite lucky really.

They were a fab bunch. Really looked after us :)

I had an AVR and went back to work after 13 weeks, on ease back, and never had any rehab, didn't even hear from them! Having another AVR later this year so will be interesting to see if I hear anything this time.

Heather1957 profile image
Heather1957 in reply to Fredders

That is pretty shocking I thought mine was bad!

I am actually retired but do some assessment work as a individual. The only thing is that it is all or nothing I can't ease into it. The good thing is that I have a week 19th Sept then work the first week of October, so although they are both full weeks I have time to charge the batteries between.

As I have waited so long for the rehab I doubt there will be time to do it as both my working weeks are away from home.

Don't worry about that, most rehab groups allow two sessions off. So they would probs just extend your date :)

Sina-6491 profile image
Sina-6491 in reply to Fredders

Yes you should bring your new knowledge to their attention, you never know, you may get lucky.

I don't tjink it is always a done deal. Probably depends on budget in some areas.....

I had rehab 8 weeks post bypass I only attended 3 sessions It just didn't work for me at all. The only thing I really gained from them was meeting others who had been through it. My own exercise programme has helped me more and although I am not super fit I am getting there. I now walk two miles everyday and 16 weeks since bypass.

Heather1957 profile image
Heather1957 in reply to Twobells

I don't think I will ever be superfit and to be honest I don't think I want to BUT.... I want to have more energy and I think being fitter will help.

If I knew what I should be doing to help I would be happy for now,

Luckily I do like walking but again not sure what inclines (I live right up a steep hill) will do for the heart as obviously it will make it pump!!

Like so many people I am still very apprehensive as to what I can and can't do without causing more health problems.

Marc68 profile image
Marc68 in reply to Heather1957

I'm not sure that the apprehension ever goes away Heather, and in the interests of self-preservation it probably isn't a bad thing. The important bit is learning what you can and can't do and that will be difficult for you until you get into rehab. As Jo has said, it might be worth a phone call to explain your situation as it might move things on a bit faster if they know you're in limbo.

You won't find anything surprising about the exercise regime in rehab. You warm up for 10 minutes or so, gradually building up your heart rate, then do a circuit of the room having a go on each of the pieces of equipment (2 minutes on each at my rehab) then a 10 minute cool down. We then sat quietly as the relaxation phase. It's just exercise under supervision and there's nothing to say you can't do at least some of it at home without equipment.

Walking up and down stairs, stepping up and down the bottom stair, walking on the spot and gradually building up the pace, step forwards, step back, step sideways, even have a little dance when your doing the dishes or cooking.. it doesn't have to be as demanding as walking up a steep hill just yet, and that's probably a good thing as well. You don't want to rush into full on exercise despite what your head might be telling you. The important bit is to keep moving.. in rehab they say that your feet should never be still while you're in the class.

Heather1957 profile image
Heather1957 in reply to Marc68

Walking up stairs is always a problem to me as I live in a bungalow (how lucky am I)

I love the thought of dancing while doing the dishes it is quite a simple thing but probably quite effective.

I am feeling so much better after my little blip so will start walking again, the weather at the time was lovely but now I'll walk in the rain , I actually don't mind that I am far from precious about my hair which is a real mess at the moment. :-D

I saw a youtube video about recovering from bypass surgery and one thing is says it present yourself well every day as if you look good you start feeling good, which is true.

I am having a new kitchen next month (I can't believe a new kitchen is making me so excited) so have ordered storage boxes and will slowly start emptying my kitchen cupboards.

August is the time for me to start living and moving forward again! Time is shooting by!! :-)

My car is legal and today was serviced, my battery is a bit iffy well since the end of May it had done about 15 miles, I did 28 miles yesterday to test me out and to get some charge in the battery.

I am feeling very positive with or without the rehab, time to move forward.

Twobells profile image
Twobells in reply to Heather1957

Hi Heather, I haven't tried any steep inclines even though I live on the top of a very steep area. My body probably do it, but my fear and anxiety won't. So I just started doing 10-15 minutes walk at a slow pace and as I started to feel better increased it by 5 minutes each time. That said I take rest in between walking so I walk 10 mins rest for about 3 minutes and so on. The rehab did this but used bikes and treadmills and in between doing light exercises, stretching your muscles, but don't over stretch your arms as this pulls on the scar. Best just do what you feel is comfortable for your body. It will let you know when you have done enough. Hope this helps take care x

Heather1957 profile image
Heather1957 in reply to Twobells

Thanks - I will ask the physio about inclines when I eventually see him/her although if the truth be told, the hills up to my house were too much before the op. I think I'll do as suggester by Marc and drive somewhere relatively flat, it is better than nothing and as I go with my 40 yr old niece she keeps the pace going so my heart rate does increase but not too much! :-)

Twobells profile image
Twobells in reply to Heather1957

I agree I just do flat too.

I'm glad to hear you're on the mend (again) Heather. I know exactly how a relapse feels and it knocks you for six in more ways than just physically. One thing it does do though is make you realise that it can happen (seems obvious I know) so you have to bear that in mind and take steps to avoid it happening. I think a lot of us probably try and do too much and a relapse reminds us that we can't overdo it. Emptying cupboards is a form of exercise so as long as you're not reaching too far for anything it's good for you.

Now you're happy with driving you don't have to worry about the hill you live on.. just drive to a nice spot and off you trot. Wear a hat if it's raining though, the last thing you want is a chest infection.

You certainly seem more upbeat than a couple of weeks ago Heather, which is great to see. A new kitchen, car on the road... all positive steps... keep it going.

Heather1957 profile image
Heather1957 in reply to Marc68

Spot on! I think it was the fact that I had been feeling so well that the relapse knocked me for 6, emotionally as well as physically. I had even packed a bag ready to go back to hospital!!!

I now know that these relapses can happen and if they do they are likely to be short term even though it will need checking out.

Glad the 'upbeat' me is showing as it is absolutely how I am feeling! :-)

Marc68 profile image
Marc68 in reply to Heather1957

Same here.. I was feeling the best I'd been since my HA when my relapse happened, and like you it knocked me sideways. I was rough for a couple of weeks and then immediately caught a bad stomach bug which lasted another 2 weeks! Never felt so weak but once it was over I've physically got even stronger I think.

Keep smiling. x

I had 7 weeks to wait following my operation. 2 weeks in hospital, 1 week by the seaside coming to terms with everything, 4 weeks at my very good friend's house with one visit each week from the district nurse, then all systems go!

Those classes were/are terrific.....can't recommend them enough. Wish I could go back and do the whole 12 weeks all over again.

I wish I had the same support as you derby1884, I had the operation on the 2nd June and was discharged 4 days later. I saw the Cardiac nurse on the 19th June at home and apart from the GP have had no contact. I have an appointment on the 31st August with the cardiac rehab physio for assessment, this was scheduled for the 10th August but was cancelled.

I have to say I am very disappointed with the system as I believe 13 weeks between op and actually doing something is appalling and I intend to tell them that when I see them on the 31st.

I have had a few problems but I feel after such a major op I have been left to fend for myself and I hope no-one else has to be treated as badly as I feel I have been.

On the good side I did see a Dr from the stroke dept and have been discharged from that today.

skid112 profile image
skid112Heart Star in reply to Heather1957

Seems an awful lot of disparity up and down the country for follow ups and rehab classes. My rehab started 6 or so weeks post op, massively helpful in terms of getting to know what I could and couldn't do and also facing life again. Since then, wow, nothing.

The physiological side, no one warns you about. The depth of depression, the anger the feeling of why me, plus the feelings that no one wants to hear your story as you feel you're becoming boring and repetitive. Personally without the outpouring on here, knowing there are others, I don't know what I would have done. If my story helps others that's great too, I get inspired by people on here telling it as it is, good and bad

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