British Heart Foundation
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Angiogram, Angioplasty / Stent

I’m 48 year old Male, my life has changed in the space of 1 month.

I started to feel a gripping in my chest when walking and this quickly escalated into a feeling of being ‘shot’ in the heart with some numbness in my shoulder and arm.

After my second trip to A&E I was kept in. Nothing showed on blood tests, several ECGs or on the treadmill test and I had no signs of a problem whilst at rest in hospital.

Was almost convinced it was gastric and felt a bit of a fraud!

Fortunately we persevered and had an angiogram which detected a severe narrowing of my LAD. Had an angioplasty / Stent. The Dr. said it’s a good job we got to it today!!!

Nearly a week now since coming out of the theatre I’ve had small pains in my chest and been very nervous of anything that doesn’t feel right..... but reading these posts from others helped me dismiss them as early reactions to my medication. Thank You!

I now feel back to normal again and have to ask myself every morning - did all that really just happen?! - but I have aspirin, beta blockers, anti-coagulants, statins as a constant reminder now.

Feelings of: “why me”, I’m only 48 and a bit apprehensive about the future but determined to do everything to reduce further risks.

DH

23 Replies
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Morning DH, welcome to the forum.

Firstly the feelings you describe are perfectly natural and part of the ongoing process of dealing with what has happened to you. The post reactions and noticing of any twinge. ache or pain is also normal.

Following on you will get invited to a cardio rehab class, please go, there will be lectures, a series of exercises designed to not just test your recovery but to show you what you are capable of and to encourage you to do more to help your recovery.

Your medication, unless you are one of the very lucky ones, you will have side effects from some, its always possible to change the meds, though some will still have the side effects alas.

On here we have some fantastic people, contributors, admin staff and the BHF volunteer nurses, ones who have gone through what you have and are able to offer their own experiences. Others who have heart issues but can relate to some of the emotions you go through. Yet more who have taken up exercise and can offer tips and guidance going forwards. The nurses who offer practical advice and are at the end of a telephone should you want to discuss.

This is as much your forum as anyone elses, please feel free to contribute, keep us updated how you are doing and share your experiences, good and bad. Have a rant and a rave, sing, tell us a joke or recite poetry!

Good luck

Mark

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Thanks Mark, yes I will definitely go to the rehab and I’ve already found this forum extremely reassuring and helpful. It’s good to share experiences with others in the same situation.

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Hi DH,

You have had a lot to take on board since your trip to hospital and I'm really glad things are slotting back into place! The small pains in your chest are very common after a stent procedure- we call it a settling down pain(nothing more medical as yet). You may have been given a GTN spray to use in the event of any more chest pain,and it goes without saying that anything that's prolonged would be worth getting checked out either with your GP or back in A&E to be on the safe side.

If you were given contact details for your local cardiac rehab service maybe contact them, as the sooner you can start, the better. If you weren't,please give us a call on our helpline ( 0300-330-3311- Monday- Friday 9- 5) so we can locate it for you,or you could ask your GP to refer you.

Take care,

Philippa

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Thanks Philippa

That’s very reassuring and I’m pleased to say the twinges are dying down. I’ve got the GTN but not felt the need to use it yet.

I have been referred to rehab but I’ll chase it along as you suggest.

Thanks for replying

Daren

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So good you’ve turned the corner and feel so positive. You’ve got a lot more living to do at your young age. Go for it!

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Hi I am pleased you found the problem when they did and you now have a stent fitted. My brother who was 58 had stent fitted and has never looked back. He went to the rehab classes as did I and felt they were really helpful. He is back to playing badminton three times s week now . I have a narrowing of the Lad artery but at the moment I'm being treated with medication if I get more symptoms then I too will have a stent fitted. I know how worrying these thing can be but now you can look onwards and upwards. Good luck x

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Thanks for taking the time to reply Plum - that’s really encouraging. It’s been a week now and I must say, I feel so much better.

Good luck to you too.

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Hi DH,

First of all welcome to the dodgy ticker club mate. I joined this exclusive club last week. My symptoms were mild compared to yours. I too had pains in my chest, which spread to my left arm whilst walking briskly. Went for an Angiiogram last week and they found partial blockages to the LAD and an almost a complete blockage to the right coronary artery, so for me it wasn't the best news. I'm 45, don't smoke and drink much and am not overweight, so it was a bit of a shock. Up until about 6 weeks ago I thought my health was in tip top condition, funny how in an instance things can change.

Unfortunately, due to the severeness of it, Stents were not possible so I have been offered a bypass. Yes, after the Angiogram, I felt mild pains in my chest for about a week so its normal don't worry.

I'm on beteblockers, Statin's and asprin at the moment so I can fully appreciate what your going through. I definitely have been feeling the same...why me? etc. It all doesn't make a lot of sense but I guess you have to dust yourself off and concentrate on getting better for you and your family. With a positive mindset this is 100% achievable!

Well all the best and welcome again to the group. You are not alone :-)

Cheers

Nick

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Thanks for taking the time to reply Nick. Yes it is unbelievable how quickly things can change. I likened it to someone pulling the emergency stop chord on my life.

I am really inspired by the stories on here though. I hope everything goes well for you and your bypass Mate, stay in touch.

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Thanks alot DH! I shall be posting my progress in this group. Its a scary time but at the same time it does make you realise the importance of every moment and to not take time for granted. I'm like you with the GTN spray, haven't found the need to use it yet.

Sounds like you are making a great recovery!

Speak to you later.

Cheers

Nick

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Welcome to the group, hopefully you will find reassurance from others that have been through the same as you. please feel free to ask any questions, we will aim to help you.

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Welcome, I had a drug eluating stent in my LAD, we were both lucky! I didn't feel anything other than feeling dizzy for a few days prior for periods, after parking my bicycle I awoke coming out of a 24 hour induced coma, 2 x off duty Doctors saved me. I'm also 48 and had my out of hospital cardiac arrest at 45....I was fit! I didn't experience the chest pain you have mentioned, other than pain from broken ribs post stent! Phillipa_BHF has mentioned this is normal so that's comforting, good luck on your recovery you'll be fine, eat healthy and exercise the key to my fast recovery and long term health. The NHS recovery program was brilliant for me, I met all ages. There is advice or nutrition, medicine, exercise, relaxation methods. Thanks for sharing.

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Thanks for for taking the time out to respond. All these messages very inspiring.

Your story is quite incredible, makes me feel even luckier that I had signs something was wrong.

Can’t wait to get started on the recovery programme cheers Rouluer- best of luck

Daren

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Good luck Daren.

Steve

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DH, do watch this video. Clinton had a bypass but had to have stents fitted a couple of years later because he didn’t understand that it was his prior diet that was still the cause of his Heart problems.

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Thanks Mate

I’ve watched this... really interesting. I’m determined to make some lifestyle changes and this is very helpful.

Cheers

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Vegan is a great choice to lose weight quickly and healthily. At the end of the day you need to stay away from bad fats, he eat natural/raw food veges,fruits. Wholegrain bread is ok but again,bread adds no value to weight loss. If you look at all the athlete's on the track, swimming, cycling, they stay healthy and have to otherwise they come last, their diet is raw food simply as that with high protein less carbs than the odd days. You would never see one of these athletes digging into cheese, bread, beer or crisps.

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DW, thank you so much for posting this. I'm 49 and just found out I have a severe narrowing of my LAD. I've been fit and healthy thus far and even ran the London marathon in 2013. First had some chest pain last November whilst out running. Did the treadmill test with no issues and like you it was put down to gastric issues. Some months later and symptoms returned far worse than before where I'd have to stop if I walked too quickly. CT angiogram 2 weeks ago revealed the problem and I'm now awaiting an angiogram/stent.

I've been prescribed 80mg of arvostatin, and 90mg of dialtizem plus aspirin and GTN spray.

I know I shouldn't be but I'm anxious about the procedure and life after it. Every twinge I get now gives me concern and not knowing how long I have to wait for my op makes it worse.

It's great to read stories like yours though - it's not just me.

For now, I'm doing my best to carry on as normal and hope I can return to being active with some lifestyle modifications.

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Hi Villan,

Good to e-meet you.

I completely understand your anxiety - I was in exactly the same place. I can honestly say with the sedative and oxygen it didn’t seem too bad at all. I thought I’d only been in theatre for 15mins but it was over an hour!

It will be exactly 1 month since my stent this Friday. Apart from a few pinches which have gradually died down I feel great. I have to remind myself each morning that it actually happened.

I’ve not used the GTN spray once and have found a number of other symptoms have disappeared (waking up at night, sweating etc.)

I really do feel that it’s given me a new lease of life.

I’ve also watched a documentary called “Fork over Knife” - really interesting. I’ve changed my eating as a result which has also made me feel better.

It’s hard to take all this in mate - it’s still a bit of a blur for me but please be comforted that it’s not all bad.

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Hi Dh I had an emergency admission to hospital 5 weeks ago and 5 days later had two stents fitted. It was reassuring to read all th above as I keep getting a bit of discomfort in my chest post procedure. My unstable angina is hereditary but I was shocked to the core to go for an appointment following seeing my doctor to then be an emergency admission within 5 minutes of seeing cardiologist. Monday 8 January I go for my exercise stress test and assessment prior to starting th cardio programme. I am not sleeping well and feel anxious at times but I am sure this Is normal

Lynne

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Hi Lynne

Sorry to hear about your angina, but it sounds like you were lucky too and they got to it in time.

I know exactly how you feel - every pain scared me but I can honestly say that 3 months on they have virtually gone and I feel great (apart from some of the side affects from meds)

Try not to panic you will gain confidence that the pains are nothing to worry about.

Take care and enjoy your cardio rehab

Daren

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Hi and welcome to the forum. I had MI due to blocked circumflex 5 days before Christmas, that too was difficult to find. One angioplasty and large stent later body was repaired. However thats just the start. The feeling if why me persisted all over the holiday period, I felt that the least little twing would be my last. Made for an interesting festive period to be sure :)

With the help of this board, my GP and a fab rehab team, the down days are a lot less.

My GP put it like this, the cardiologists andCCU team are great at mending your body, but spend little time repairing the mental side of you. This is where the guys and gals on this board help, and the rehab team drive it forward.

You have been through a major shock both physically and mentally. It takes time to get yourself well, not just better.

The bad days do fade as do the worries, focus on yourself and if you can go through rehab.

Good luck, we're all rooting for you.

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Having any type of chest pain I would probably get checked for reassurance I had a heart attack at 40 and received 2 stents . Which they say went well and felt better for 6 months and after getting pains again I asked if the stents could have narrowed was told I highly doubt it . But they had I've been unlucky to be fair ha e had a total of 5 stents which all never worked and 2 double or bypass ops in 18 months one of which failed but now feeling better after the last one . But never take chest pain lightly .

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