British Heart Foundation

10 months post heart attack

I’m at 10 months since my heart attack..............

This is my story, bit like a diary I guess, I hope it helps someone.............

51 years old Firefighter, active runner and cyclist, not big drinker, not overweight, stopped smoking 10 years ago, not that bad a diet, that was until 27th April when I found myself in Basildon Cardio having 2 stents fitted.

To say I was in a state of disbelief would be an understatement, discharged after 3 days, the hospital was amazing, personally I can't thank the NHS enough.

It hits your loved ones hard too, my wife went through hell and I didn't really understand it because I was so wrapped up in how I was feeling. Mr Selfish feeling sorry for himself.

Once home, I felt completely isolated from any sort of advice or guidance other than what I found on the internet.

The hard bit was being told to rest, I didn't quite realise how much rest they meant, typical male found myself back in hospital 3 weeks after with a free paramedic fast car drive, discharged the same day, nothing wrong other than "overdoing it".

Started cardio rehab on week 6 and it was fantastic to do some sort of fitness again, the team here in Clacton on Sea are amazing.

I had an option to do another 4 weeks which I did.

Some advice,...... research your medication, I had the Ramipril cough which was a nightmare, changed to Candesartan and the cough went within a few weeks, you will bleed more than normal if you cut yourself and you will bruise very very easily.

The biggest problem for me was in my head, anger, resentment, depression to start with, it does go, as you improve your moods do.

I still get twinges and feelings throughout the day and they do scare me, complete all your cardio classes, don't skip them.

Im still worried that every twinge is another heart attack, but that's part of it I suppose.

4 months since HA and finally feel ready to return to work, went to London to complete an excercise tolerance test as part of my return to work process, basically run on a treadmill for 9 mins and then push for the last 3 mins to my max heart rate.

Quite reassuring to have 2 cardiac doctors with me in the room armed with a defibrillator !

Got to 175 BPM and told to stop, past test and ready to go back to work hopefully beginning of October. This was not a NHS examination, my employer provided it.

6 months after HA, 2 weeks light duties around the fire station catching up on training and so on, placed fully fit and operational.

Even been passed fit to return to the lifeboat too, so feeling very optimistic about things, still having the odd twinge but they are getting less and less.

Medication working well, still running 3 miles 2-3 times a week and have noticed my recovery rate is so much better than before the heart attack.

November, couple of light headed spells, think I’ve strained my chest again in the gym, my own fault. but back to the doctors and ask for an ECG as I’m a bit worried but he reassured me and has arranged the ECG and blood test for tomorrow.

I’ll be honest, this week has been bit of a set back but I’m guessing I’m getting too cocky again and my body decides to tell me otherwise.

I guess I’ll spend the rest of my life worrying, since all this I have HA part of my life I have heard many stories of people who didn’t make it so I’m thankful I’m still here.

My wife is still very stressed about the whole thing still and I tend to forget that, I must try harder.

Still trying to eat well but that old devil chocolate has worked his way back.

Overall, if the ECG goes well tomorrow.

ECG was fine.

10 months post HA. Still got odd feelings in my chest and still worried, however I ran 4 miles around Greenwich 2 weeks ago and cycled 22 miles yesterday so I do believe a lot of it is in my head. Playing it safe and seining Doctor on 5th march for ECG and chat.

So where am I know, at a fire station in London at 6am, regularly back training on the lifeboat and going on holiday soon.

Just completed quite an intense First Aid and CPR course and learnt much more about the heart and related issues, I have heard so many stories where people didn't make it and I'm thankful for that, more than I can say or express.

Next milestone April 27th and that will be 1 year on.

So, take it easy first few weeks/months, healthy/ish diet and listen to your body.

good luck

Carlo

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Thanks for telling your story Carlo I found it a great help. I haven't had a heart attack but have had 3 stents fitted and was in shock when I was having the chest pain that led to them. I think people telling their stories like this and sharing how they feel afterwards is a great help to someone who is going through something similar. So thank you for sharing I'm sure it will sound familiar and helpful to many people on here.

Joan

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