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British Heart Foundation
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Work, worry and waiting times

I was diagnosed with angina in January and had an angiogram at the beginning of March when I was told I needed a triple or quadruple bypass. It was an absolute shock and one I’m still struggling to come to terms with. The worst part is the waiting times for the operation, I have been informed it will be another 3 months possibly more meaning 5-6 months post diagnosis. I’m 53 have a job but off sick. Is anyone else in the same position and could advise how to deal with the worry not only of the condition and waiting times but wondering whether I’ll have a job at the end of all this.

Many thanks J

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Hello J.

Being told you need a bypass is a shock to everyone I know from my own experience (I had a triple 7 months ago). Waiting is always the worst bit as you have too much time to worry about it all. A few things to help: work, talk to them about your condition and likely timeframes. They should tell you what actions they will take. Keep talking to people - it really helps. Don’t use Google to ‘research’ things, it can increase anxiety. Use this site for any questions you may have. Change your diet - healthy foods only. Stop alcohol, lose weight, gentle exercise. Be ready for a cancellation (they do happen). Keep taking the meds. Try to relax and rest. Waiting is the hardest part- if you look through this site you will find many similar questions - they should all help a little.

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Hi Stevejb

Thank you for your reply. Could I ask how long did you have to wait for your operation?

I have contacted the hospital and moved things along regarding pre op tests and the initial consultation but have not been given any indication of time frames for the operation. I was initially told it would be within 3 months but when I asked last week the nurse who told me it would be within 3 months questioned who told me that. The time frames I have been told by various clinicians consultants have been 4./6- 8 weeks to 3 months to >3 months this was last week. If it was the former I would have been operated on by now.

I don’t drink, smoke and I’ve lost over 8kg, so I’m an ideal weight for my height. I try and walk everyday to keep both my mind and body active.

The hospital who referred me initially stated the operation would be within 8 weeks and it wouldn’t be months otherwise it would affect their outcomes. It just appears there is no urgency even though they asked if I worked and told me I was an ideal candidate to operate on.

Thanks for any advice re: accelerating the process.

J

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Hello J

Having read a lot of posts on this site, I am in small group of patients who didn't really have to wait (at least not outside hospital). I had my angiogram and was admitted there and then - they didn't let me go home. All pre-op tests etc. were done in the 8 days between the angiogram and the operation. I was in imminent danger of a heart attack and so was regarded as an emergency. From what I can gather, if you are not regarded as being in imminent danger of a major cardiac event, then you are likely to have to wait - 8 weeks would seem to be at the optimistic end of the timescale, some are waiting longer than that.

Steve

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Hi Evans123 welcome to the forum and I'm really sorry you have some uncertainty. I too the same as Steve was admitted after an elective angiogram and was in danger of a heart attack. Was transferred to a different hospital and had the procedure just over a week later after all the tests. I'm not sure you will get over the shock until you have the op and can get on with the rest of your life. I am just over 7 weeks post op, and still look at my scars and believe that it was all a dream; in fact I dream that I haven't had it done and wake to find I have. It looks like you are doing all the right things to prepare for your op and it will all help with your recovery. Believe me it does get better and you are doing all the right things to ensure this. As for your work, you have rights to have sick leave as long as you have a fitness for work certificate from your GP or hospital. As has been said previously make sure you keep everyone up to date with your journey, they have to by law to have a duty of care to you as an employee. You must feel very scared. I know I felt the same waiting for the op, even though I was in hospital. On of my friends brother had his bypass 32 years ago and is still going strong. Make sure you are informed, but make sure its by the right means. Best of luck with everything, fingers crossed you won't have to wait long (make sure you speak to the hospital regularly), and let us know how you get on. Take care x

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Hi wiltsgirl

Thank you for your reply. I am very scared especially with the lack of information of a date for the operation.

Pleased to hear you are on the mend I can imagine the shock you experienced and disbelief. I will keep you informed.

Thank you again.

J x

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