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British Heart Foundation
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Hi my name is Steve. I have been on the site a couple of weeks I haven’t written anything. Just been looking at threads from other people. I lost 11 stone on weight 5-6 years ago but have always lived a healthy lifestyle food wise eating lots of fruit and veg and not smoking or drinking and work in the NHS so physically active. To my shock and surprise having had a full annual check up with the gp including ecg, blood pressure 110/70 heart rate 75 and all bloods coming back normal I was at work when I had pains in my jaw. These were quite bad and I came home and went to sleep. Rang my doctor who called an ambulance straight away. The ECG showed everything normal apart from a right bundle branch block which wasn’t there the week before. The blood test showed troponin levels were high which they said was a mild heart attack.

Was kept in and had a echocardiogram and 2 days later was sent to barts for an angiogram and there was 40-50% blockage in the right coronary artery and blood was still flowing. They said it was an NSTEMI attack. The overall condition of the heart was good and I only lost 2-3% of the left ventricular ejection fraction which could come back with exercise. They said that could have happened over the last few years but they just didn’t know.

The cardiologist said everything went well and was a good result. My lifestyle changes are already good but need to exercise more and take new medication which I do (normal heart meds) but only on 1.25 of Bisoprolol.

Physically I feel fine and waking 12 minute miles which I was told was too fast to start off with. Waiting for cardio rehab which starts in 2 weeks. Having run various support groups both at work and privately I’m always reluctant to look for or give advice because when giving advice I don’t know peoples history or results and they don’t know mine so just a little wary of non-generic advice.

All I do know is because of the I already lead eating between 8-10 fruit and veg. Lots of chicken and fish and occasional red meat with no fat once a fortnight and now salt I should be ok.

My biggest problem is that my body hasn’t caught up with my mind and I guess because it is new to me and unexpected which no heart disease in the family I’m still quite shocked. I know all the up and down feelings I am having are normal and not knowing the future can be quite daunting. Whereas before the attack I never thought about such things.

One question is do have is the cardio rehab I’m going to be doing twice a week. Is it really hard work?

I’m 67 years of age and looking forward to getting back to work where I shall be surrounded by doctors and nurses but will keep it very quiet.

There’s one thing I’m left with which they can’t find a cause for are massive palpitations every other beat. They don’t show on the ecg and the Holter monitor shows ectopic. Have had them for a number of years but they have been worse lately.


19 Replies

First of all, congratulations on being such a good steward of your health! Im 65 and a recently retired RN, was much better at giving healthy life style advice than taking it!!! Ive made and making healthy changes since a fib knocked on my door over 2 yr ago. Re your palpitations, cant say really. My hubby has periodic palps that cardiologist says are not worrisome.

Your story reminded me of a patient I had. He was 50, led a " perfect" life re exercise, diet, did everything he could do to b healthy. One day he had a massive heart attack, survived and I recall how hard it was for him to believe it happened and why. I know with my a fib, it took me at least a year to get over the huge anxiety and fear everytime my heart acted up. Now, I dont fear it as much as I get annoyed, like " here we go again". Having these serious issues sure hones in the fact that we are not bulletproof. Everynight I ask God to keep my heart in normal rhythm and I thank my heart for doing its job well. Sometimes I think health problems might be harder to deal with for people in the health care field as our imaginations can go so many different ways. I believe knowledge is power and I alsobelieve ignorance can be bliss💜

in reply to Hidden

Thank you for your comments very much appreciated. I respect all you said and take it on board. I work in NHS as a mental health chaplain so not in the medical side of it. In some ways I’m pleased I don’t have all the medical knowledge. All I know is today I’m well apart from the palpitations and I intent to live as normal life as possible

God bless you

Hey Steve, sounds like your doing a great job. The exercise, the diet, the attitude all sound great. Regarding the rehab, it’s not at all difficult. I’m 46 but everyone else in the group is over 60 and they all love it. It starts with a really slow warm up for 15 mins, enough to fully open your artery’s then it’s circuit training, it’s all quite calm and relaxed. Each week you are expect d to go a little bit farther or quicker but nothing too heavy. I’m not supposed to get my heart rate above 109 but it’s less for others. The circuits are simple, walking on the spot, upright rowing without weights, sitting down on a chair and standing again. As the weeks go on you can add very light weights or maybe walk faster in the spot. It’s not difficult. You are given homework to do and for me that was a 15 min warm up then 7 or 8 mins fast walking with a ten min cool down, I’m now on 16 min fast walk and it’s still achievable.

You’re given a chart called a “Borg scale” and you have to take note of how you feel by checking the scale every few mins. The scale is split up from no exertion, to fairly light, somewhat hard, hard etc.

I think you’re going to be ok considering how active you already are.

Good luck mate 👍🏻

MichaelJHHeart Star

You mention keeping things quiet when you return to work. As you work for the NHS I think you need to talk to Occupational Health.

Yes michaeljh I was meaning those who need to no already no I was talking about patient and staff who it would not help to no the Church of England were my employers. I retired two years ago but go in to carry on what I have done these last 22 years I only volunteer niw two days a week H R have been told along with those who need to no I will return when I have done my cardio and I feel I’m in a place where I can give instead of worrying about my own issues

Hi Steve. Yes you’re in shock. We have all been through that feeling as well as the rollercoaster of emotions that follow. It does help to talk about your emotions so maybe you have someone you can talk to. As Michael says also speak to Occ Health dept so they know but also to give you support and advice. Cardiac rehab is great not just for exercise but for other information as well as confidence boost. Wow amazing results with weight loss which is a really positive outcome for your heart and health in the long term. Stay strong. Enjoy rehab and look forward to a positive future. Take care. Zena

Thanks Zena as I said to Michel they do no was talking about all the staff on the diff wards mire do patients I would not break any rules. Those who need to no do and I won’t go back till I feel I am emotionally physically fit to do so u I do lots of one to one with patients over long term periods already they r asking where I am ect I just don’t want it going round I had a heart attack I have a great support net work from the Church of England plus access. To in work support but it’s hard to open up to professionals u work with work and orivate life needs to stay that way occ /health no so does those who need to thank u so much for your comments


I had an Nstemi in May and started a phased return to work last week.

I to work for the NHS and they have been brilliantl ! Saw Occ health who passed info on to my line manager regarding what parts of my job I could do and which parts I need to build up to gradually.

Was very tired and achey but happy to be back at work, and feel more normal.

Wishing you good luck with your recovery 😀 Chris

Aww thank u Chrissy think that’s my problem I just don’t feel I’ll just the meds making me tired and slowing me down the hot weather don’t help with exercise but I do what I can outside and some in the garden they were nit even going to stent the one artery they was narrow by 40 percent but thought while they were there do it lol next day sent home with meds appointment with cardiologist 6 months time rehab 30 July mai funny the cardioigist said well Stephen if u r going to have one that’s the one to have I rather have none I said I feel kinda lucky that I have a wonderful son who is great at the love and support. He gives me fir those in there iwn it as to be harder I really do pray u be okay keep taking the meds and diet we both reach a 100

Hi Steve;

Cardio rehab is fantastic for rebuilding confidence in your abilities ... read about my own experience here -

Thanks so much for you rehab journal found it very informative. I hope I do as well as u I lost 11 stone 8 year or so ago but think the meds I’m on are stoping me losing now. Great to read thank u once again

I envy you going to the cardo rehab class. My doctor signed me up for that when I was diagnosed with heart failure. Mine was put on by the Loma Linda Medical Center in So. Calif. and was for three months, three times a week. I received monitored exercise (they hooked me up with sensors for blood pressure, heartbeat, etc.) and I worked out on a treadmill and a cycle machine that also worked the arms. I couldn't do much at all at first since I had been living a sedentary life for years. I think I could stay on the treadmill about four minutes to begin with, but before long they had me up to 15, then 25 and at the end of the class I did 45 minutes on it. I could hardly believe the improvement. After exercising we had an education class that explained all about the heart and cardiovascular system, showed videos about diets and general health. The staff was great. Friendly, helpful and determined to get me in shape. My insurance would only cover one session but I would have liked to continue that class forever. It was inspirational and changed my life. Oh, and twice a month there was a dietician you checked in with after the educational session and went over your food log. She held a short class on nutrition and had samples of healthy dishes to taste. That was always a big hit with all of us. I don't know what yours will be like, but thought I'd let you know mine was wonderful. I hope yours is, too. They helped me see that having a health issue doesn't mean you have to stop living a good life.

Thank for your kind words

Hi I’m retired advance nurse practitioner in child psychiatryjust an ordinary 57 woman , I have a faith , what your experiencing is normal you have had a life threatening illness / experience , takes time to get your head around ,

I was blessed to be surrounded by my church family , I had open heart surgery a aortic valve replaced and cardiac bypass ,in sept 15 as emergency , I bleed afterwards and my daughter had the phone call at 2. In the morning saying I was going back now to be reopened again , what I hold on too was friends were woken up to pray for me before they knew what was happening , prayer chain went viral all over the world , I’m now fit and healthy I don’t have to see the cardiologist for 5 years and I have just been trecking in Yesomite , I’ been left with a weird fear of dogs !!! Wasn’t before but I’m really anxious scared since being on blood thinners !! However I’m so thankful in so many ways and I know you will be too

What a wonderful reoky thank you sister. Faith is one of the thing that as kept me focused just theshock I no with gods help and all the professionals I get though it it’s not the dying for me it’s leaving behind my son brought him up from a baby on my own we r very close last year I was in I t u with severe acute gallstone pancreatitis Was nit exspected to get through that but like u the prayer chain started had the gallbladder removed Feb by a good consultant friend of mine so been a tough year went for a walk today phew was it tough 3599 steps knocked me out in this weather think I’m doing to much to quick only two weeks since stent stay in touch please and pray for me as I will you blessing on you sister

Bless you , oh my days you have had a tough time , but it seems that it’s not your time to go home yet . Have you talked to your son ? , I lost my dad when I was 42 , he died of heart failure , in one way it was good as we talked about so many things . He went home 17 years ago and I was devestates , but I can hear my dad voice In side my head and he would tell me life is for the living , has your son got his family and friends Church family around him ? I know it reassured me that my church family surrounded my husband and daughter when i was poorly , my daughter married two years ago and I’m so happy that her mother in law is full of faith and loves my daughter like she is hers . I asked her To be my daughter Mum if I went home , seems morbid but it reassures me x

Thanks for your reply yes we talk all the time my son is not married he as been so busy building his career and we pray for each other daily we have our fall outs now and then but it never lasts. The church family is a bit of a no no because I take the service at the hospital every Sunday my son plays the music there 3 mental health hospitals we do but that as got to change now I need feeding can’t keep giving out out thinking of changing the day I’m not going back just yet want to have a Holliday on Norfolk broads it’s my fav. Retreat. So quite if it were not for my son I be ready to go home now I was reminded this morning as I was writing this of Isiah spelt wrong lol chapter 61 read. It it might also speak to u I’m sure u no it anyway

Peace dear sister. Till next time


By the way my son lives with me so see each other. Everyday he works for Simon Stephenson in Parliament senior manager fir NHS England they have been very understanding allowing him time off to look after me then working from home when he is not need in Westminster

Bless you you need to be feed dear friend / brother . You clergy are naughty at putting your need first , you know others will step in and take over you just have to trust ‘xx yer I know pot kettle lol ‘

. Find your self a community that you can give as well as recieve . I’m sure he got one for you in his mind .i was in Nazareth and an American pastor said Isaiah 61 in the original synagogue that now a historic place it sent shivers down my spine amazing time

, it’s my 60 th in August so my hubby agreed with this , we doing two weeks at new wine . He going to work one week and I’m just going to sit and be thankful hang out with my daughter and in laws and her church , and second week with our church . I come home Saturday night to have my 60 th on that Sunday ,after church I’m having a big lunch with family friends and my church family every one who held us / me during those difficult times . Do you tell your friends / spiritual director ? That you need them now ?

I had to retire at 55 due to poor health so it’s amazung I reach 60 ,

Then I’m off to Jordon really excited to see Petra , my biggest regret is that I’m not strong enough to work voluntary abroad , but it’s all in his timing .

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