British Heart Foundation
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Getting back out there... and Exercise

Hi all.... so back in September I had a CRT-D implant and after seeing my consultant at 8 week check he was happy for me to stay on the ONE tablet... Ramipril... and he advised raw honey to help protect my heart (I now know a friendly bee keeper) so all in all a very lucky lady.

However as some of you know I stopped drinking alcohol pre my op ... and as part of wanting to live a long and healthy life... I plan to continue being virtually tee total. This has not gone down well with my social group. People apparently assumed post op I would "get back on it" and I have even been told I will be boring now! Great support network huh!

It's been mainly down to the lovely people on this site that have helped me view myself as normal and doing well... so thank you all.

However over Xmas I felt alone and social life had virtually dried up... I had lost my confidence and felt if I did go out it was lots of people drinking and telling me I was boring.

Then ...... I thought no.... there is a life out there.. .Just gotta find new friends... that doesn't have to revolve around alcohol. A Great way of meeting people is "meet up groups" these are groups anyone can set up and they are everywhere. So wherever you are search for meet up groups in your area and there will probably be some around.

However when I searched there were none doing what I wanted to do (meals out, theatre and cinema nights) so I created my own on 29th Dec.. .. there are now 115 members.. .. I organise a meal every month ... have organised comedy clubs and musical theatre.... and have met up with some for cinema trips. I have also found a book club locally and busy reading too!

I have already met some lovely people... no one knows about my heart... just being fun me.... and I enjoy my lime and sodas over a lovely meal with great conversation.

The Next part of my moving on has been knowing how much I can do exercise wise.. and again many on here have been inspirational.. . And great advise too. So armed with more knowledge I am booked in to see the heart rehab people on Monday to put me through my paces and get me back exercising. I may even buy a fitbit! I wouldn't have known about rehab and what can be accessed without this site ❤

Sorry for the long post.... just thought there may be others who after heart problems find, like I did, life does change, and we sometimes feel isolated.... but do check out meet up sites easy to join and lots of fun things to do.... and gets us out and about again. X

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I have only recently joined this site.

Very heart warming and positive story heart lady - I have read all your posts and think your short hair is fab.

My heart health deterioration means I’m looking at a procedure with a Septostomy, a pacemaker and another ablation. So I’m grateful to hear of stories like this with such a happy ending.

Have a good day.

Jo

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Hi Jo... sorry to hear of your condition... however in regards to having devices fitted..... I must admit about 2 days before my op I had a meltdown worrying about it changong my life forever.

Well I am delighted to say it HAS changed my life.... but all for the better. And even with the slight discomfort at the beginning was worth it for how much better I feel every single day. All the best with your op and get ready for enjoying the Next part of your life 😀😀.do let us know when you are going in and we will all on here to be happy to support you through xx

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Thank you.

Jo

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I had a pacemaker in November after initial discomfort I am starting to not think about it. You have to view it as your friend and something that will improve your life

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Thanks for the positive feedback.

Jo

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I agree Heather that you have to think of the device as your friend. I have called mine Kurt 😁 and Kurt is one of my best friends x

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Yours is a very positive attitude and I'm full of admiration, with your new meet up group you have made other people Happy and contented also. Well done you and good luck in all you do Heartlady1.

Joan

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Aw thank you Mirador....😁

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Go, you! I'm so impressed at your proactive approach to socialising. Good luck with the exercise too. I've been going to the gym twice a week and have increased my walking again (after a lazy festive period) and am feeling better already. My Fitbit tells me my resting heart rate is steadily decreasing too.

As for the not drinking, did you know you are part of a huge sobriety movement? I wasn't too aware of it until I stopped drinking myself, but all the cool young kids are rejecting alcohol and enjoying sobriety. I read a couple of really good sobriety memoirs recently that have made me see tee-totalism as a positive addition to life rather than depriving myself of anything. They're both written by women who were drinking a lot more than I was, but so much of what they wrote rang true with me. They're easy and entertaining reads too. I'll put the Amazon links below in case you are interested.

I haven't touched a drop this year and intend to keep it up, though I realise it may be harder now that Dry January is over and a lot of my friends will be going back on the booze. I definitely feel happy that my drinking days are behind me though.

amazon.co.uk/Unexpected-Joy...

amazon.co.uk/Sober-Diaries-...

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Laura I am delighted you are seeing not drinking as a positive lifestyle choice. I must confess I am not completely tee total... to ere is human.... but it really is only half a lager shandy or a small white wine a month. I can live with that 😀and Laura you are my inspiration so positive and your exercise regime is fabulous and as you say is good for your heart. I won't achieve your heady heights.... but keeping fit and hopefully toned will help my heart and my confidence. 😁😁 xx

And social life..... sorted x

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My husband is apparently making cranachan tomorrow, which includes a shot of whisky (plus cream, porridge oats and raspberries - yum) so I can't claim 100% tee-totalism either, but I'm very happy with that. Knowing I'll have no booze to DRINK means I won't end up mindlessly swigging more than I mean to, but a wee tot of whisky in my pudding doesn't lead to another five shots. I'm just really enjoying feeling more balanced overall and am indulging in plenty of treats without guilt and with maximum enjoyment. And I'm losing weight at the perfect slow and steady rate without making any other changes, not conscious changes anyway - I do think I'm eating less fat and salt as a side-effect of not boozing.

My exercise regime is really not that impressive (you should see how my arms tremble lifting my 2.5kg weights!) but it's good enough for me. Sustaining it in the long-term is my main goal really. I can't imagine ever reaching a state that could be described as toned, but hopefully my daughter's school friends will stop asking if there's a baby in my tummy soon! Ha!

Having your social life sorted is a nice feeling, and much easier/more fun to keep working on than pesky exercise. I've got lots of fun trips and outings on the calendar for the year ahead. So nice to have lots of things to look forward to :)

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Oh the Cranachan sounds lovely. 😁

And yes re not drinking - it's lovely to feel it's a positive choice... and I no longer feel deprived ... more like liberated. I can do much more... I NEVER have a hang over or just feel a bit groggy... always wake up with energy and ready for the day ahead.

I lost nearly a stone after giving up drinking.... like you, it came off over time... nice and steady... and without any effort 😁 and I too feel I eat better ...less salt... because I never have a hang over breakfast. Lol Toast and honey all the way ( which is delicious)!

My life ( with lovely Kurt) and without alcohol .... is the best it's been for a number of years.

I laughed at your "pesky exervise" comment. I recently bought a Pilates ball and Mat... to go with my DVD gathering dust on the shelf 😂😂. But I am hoping the rehab kick starts me and gets me dressed in my Fame garb of the 80s .... minus the perm... and ready in lycra to do those exercises in.my conservatory... where no one can see me 😂😂

2018 ... be afraid.... Karen is back ha ha xx

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Laura.... I have started the first book unexpected joy of being sober. Brilliant book... and resonates in Soo many ways. It is true that you are made to feel boring for not drinking ... when in reality I am much more fun.... and I HAVE felt embarrassed about saying I don't drink .... when I should say it with pride. It is a lifestyle choice now for me... and I do love being sober. Schloer is my new wine.... and it tastes so much nicer too 😀. Thank you for the recommendation.... see inspirational again. Wish you lived closer we would have a hoot together 😁😁

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Oh, great! Glad you are enjoying it! That one is my favourite of the two, lots to think about in it, but the other is worth a read too. Happy reading and...cheers?! 😂

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Great links 're the positive view to abstaining from alcohol. I will definitely give a read. There is a movement out there.... and we are now part of it... the crazy sober cool dudes 💃🏃🎉

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Brilliant! What a lovely post. Good on you! Sounds like you’ve now got bags of energy, and built up a great new social life. I’m always slightly envious when I read of people ‘getting back to their old lives’. Like yours, mines changed enormously. It’s a new, quieter life, and very different! Lots of new discoveries.

Please keep posting. You’re hugely encouraging for me and, I’m sure, lots of others.

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Aw Kristin... that's why I posted.. .. as I was feeling a bit lost and struggled for a while, though others might be too.

Just yesterday I said to a girlfriend.. .. my life has changed.. . I am now working on making a life that's full of fun thats fits for the new me.

For example I get tired if out too late so I book early evening cinema shows and matinee theatre shows. Allows me to have a great lifestyle.. . That fits with my situation... so instead of feeling I am missing out .... I am just having fun earlier in the day. 😀 and i go to bed feeling happy and fulfilled... and having social interaction... and laughs... is good for the heart and soul.

Just last night i overheard our " very handsome" waiter ... whilst taking payment for the meal, say to my gorgeous girlfriend..." do you want to see my six pack! I nearly choked on my lime and soda... whilst she remained the picture of calm ...and said "yes thank you"!!! And then he walked away.

" did he just say do you want to see my six pack" I sputtered. My girlfriend collapsed into tears of laughter.... no she cried... he said " I will bring you six pounds change back"

It's not just a wonky heart... I also have wonky hearing 😂😂😂

But laughter is sooo good for the ticker... and an early evening meal ... and home by 9pm. My true friends look out for me and pack me off home in good time.

Ps with my new social life I do a maximum of two things a week.. most times it's going out once a week. Which is enough for me... something to look forward to... and not overdoing it. 😀 x

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Hi again, Heartlady! You made me chuckle! Thank you! I think you often hear more interesting/funny things when hard of hearing. A psychologist might say that was wishful thinking on your part? Handsome waiter....

Your pacing was v interesting. Strong parallels. Over the last few months I’ve developed a v similar routine, and found I get much less angina, and down days.

Now busy most mornings, with walk or exercise group, then shopping, socialising, lots of lunches out. Then pm resting, particularly if going out to Film Club or a friend in the evening. Witching hour 9... just like yours.

I’m also doing lots of painting. Just started oils, and set up a portrait group. It’s amazing! Something I’ve never had time for before.

Your message made me take stock of the changes I’d made. There is a good life after scary heart events, just has to be found. You’ve really sparked off some good thinking!

Keep going. Onwards and upwards! X Kristin

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That's brilliant! You certainly don't need alcohol to have a good time. I was going to suggest U3A, they have lots of groups you can join.

I too am starting my rehab this week. Can't wait. Best of luck for the future. X

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Hi there I am on week 3of Cardio rehab and enjoying I and I downloaded the active 10app high is 3 brisk ales of ten minutes a day though I tam nd to do them in a oner and have a quick stop in between. I get tired early evening but it is early days 8 weeks since my procedure of 2 stents.

Looking forward to being a new me.

Lynne

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Well done you Lynne... you sound like you are doing great! And definitely getting into the exercise fitness regime 😁.

I hope i do as well as you are doing 😁 x

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Oopsie just see all my mistakes in my last reply should have read 3 brisk 10 minute walks a day not 3 brisk ales (don’t even like the stuff) but as said I do them in one go with two short breaks for a pit stop on a seat i n between. Not sleeping great seeing doctor about that on wWednesday and get tired. In afternoon bit restricted but listening to my body.

Good luck x

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Hi Lynne... you are doing Great!! That's good exercise for so soon after op... please give yourself a big pat on the back.

I sometimes struggle at night as device moving can wake me up and our bodies are still adjusting. Hope Dr gives help/advice next week. And as you say we need to listen to our bodies and rest when it's needed x and no ales lol 😂😂

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Well done. True friends would not say you were boring for not drinking. You sound as though you are having a great time now keep it up x

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I found your story really inspiring! I work for the BHF and am writing an article on whether you can still have a good social life with a heart condition. I'd be keen to feature your story - if you'd like to get involved, please do ping me an email (shawcla@bhf.org.uk). Thanks!

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