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British Heart Foundation
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Back to work re-assurance

Hi All,

New to this whole Heart attack malarkey.

I'm 46yrs old, Had a very unexpected heart attack on 29th December and 1 stent fitted first week of January, been back to work for a month now and still experiencing some discomfort chest wise. Getting mixed messages from GP and hospital as to whether I should be back to work or not. Obviously family are telling me I went back to soon so need some re-assurance that I am doing the right thing.

I am a store manager so days can be quite long but it's mostly paperwork and no lifting under any circumstances.

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Hi there, personally I think you went a little quickly six weeks I would have thought. Did you have rehab?

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Good answer - I should have said that I attended rehab whilst I worked just 2 days. I would not have been confident with a full return - my wife would probably have hidden the car keys

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You tiredness is understandable as well, on beta blockers or blood thinners those will have that effect on you

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Hi

Good news that you have made a good recovery. I also went back to work after 5 weeks but I managed to negotiate a phased return starting with 2 days a week and then progressively increasing it.

I think i would have found 5 days work too much with the usual London commute on top but I am 20 years older and nearing retirement so the urge to work is not as great as it one was lol. Is a phased return an options, or shorter hours to ensure you don’t overdo it?

Sincerely wish you every success

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Thanks for the reply everyone. Did do a phased back to work on shortened hours for the first couple of weeks.

Now back full time and wondering whether it is still to early as I’m having more discomfort and generally extremely tired. GP seems to think it is ok, but hospital were very wary to say yes or no.

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I went back 2 days a week for 2 months and worked up from there. You are obviously younger and I have no idea of your situation, fitness and so on, but my gut reaction is that you are maybe going at it a bit fast. I would give some consideration to a slower return and maybe also work through the cardiac rehab process so that you regain some fitness and confidence first.

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Hi, I returned to work 2 weeks post ha (had 4 stents in lad). Although I felt fine at home, I was surprised how tired I felt at work - also had chest discomfort for several months after (not continuously but quite a lot of twinges). I think it takes quite a while for your body to get used to all the medications too. Found exercise helped - especially walking and eventually building up to swimming and cycling. Your body has been through quite a trauma and it does take a while to get back to normal if you haven't suffered too much damage. Trust your judgement and rest when you need to.

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You are abviously made of tougher stuff than me. I must have had the cardiac equivalent of man flu lol.

I never experienced any post heart attack discomfort but for sure had real issues with tiredness for 6 months or so when I would fall asleep if left alone for more than a few minutes!

Best wishes

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Not tougher, I think was exceptionally lucky in being airlifted to hospital and being dealt with really quickly - I'm sure this played a big part in my recovery. From what I have read, everyone's experience is somewhat different. Have you been to rehab? I was never given the chance, but apparently it is a fantastic way to regain confidence and fitness.

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Hi

Yes I did go to rehab. I thought everyone post heart attack was offered this. I really do recommend that you seek out this service.

I went to the initial sessions at the hospital (Harefield) twice a week for 8 weeks. Once finished I joined a “level 4 Cardiac Rehab” class at the local leisure centre. You need a referral but I think they are run all over the country. I a, still going to the level 4 class 15 months on.

I loved the classes - I was anxious to regain fitness and it was a great way to push myself but under the supervision and advice of the specialist physiotherapists etc. It was also a lot of fun to be honest and I am so glad I went as it removed the anxiety about doing physical activities.

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