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British Heart Foundation
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Stent

I went into hospital with a little chest discomfort and it turned out that I had a heart attack, they did an angiogram and ended up putting in a stent in my main artery. Its been 1.5 weeks I am totally shocked. I am 48 years old, fit & healthy until the attack. Never had blood pressure nor cholesterol. I am totally traumatised by the whole thing! If there is anyone out there who has been through the same thing I like to hear your story. Thank you

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I had a stent fitted three years ago. It came as a shock to me as I had seen myself as being healthy. I was 51 at the time. I was walking up the garden path at work and felt breathless. Within 15 mins I was in the QE hospital Birmingham having a stent fitted. The support I got in the hospital and aftercare was amazing. I have learnt so much from the workshops they provide. I have not had any issues since then. I don't run marathons but I live a full and active life. I can still run for the bus. I have a yearly check up with my GP and all is good

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Thank you for sharing your experience. When did start driving? Do you regularly go to the gym? If so how hard do you workout? Thank you

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I don't go to the gym but the hospital automatically put me on a six week light exercise program at the hospital gym with fellow people who had various heart condition. For about the first 2 - weeks I felt dizzy. I think this was the blood pressure tablets. It settled down after then. I felt really anxious about going out and used to get a little upset when visiting the hospital for after care. That soon passed and I do everything I done before the stent. I would give it about 6 weeks before you drive and do any real strenuous exercise but listen to your body as people recover at different times. You will be fine all these emotions are perfectly normal you have had a massive trauma but trust me your doing fine it's ok to feel a bit overwhelmed. We all have that feeling

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Hi - lots of stories and all echo your sense of shock. I am 3 months on and have got lots of information and reassurance on here. Take some time to read through clicking on one name will lead you to others and you’ll find yourself amongst ‘friends’. Time is helpful but the trauma and upset is very common and hopefully you’ll get support and advice what’s available locally from your cardiac rehab team.

Take care

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Thank you for sharing your experience with me. Really appreciate it

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David (see below) has recently posted with a similar concern and there are many younger people who have shared their experience both in terms of what happened but their recovery since - just type in stent, PCI or similar into search box

healthunlocked.com/bhf/post...

It’s very early days still - I read all the booklets and thought I should feel much better than I did after one month but don’t underestimate the shock and the new meds, take your time and do what you can in terms of exercise and resuming activities. I felt panicked to go anywhere or do anything at the start and had to really make myself meet friends and socialise. I will be honest I didn’t enjoy it initially and felt bewildered and not part of things... I persevered and gradually things improved. Still a work in progress but getting there

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Hi

Sorry to hear of your incident - I am now 2.5 years from my heart attack and stenting and can now say that I have not felt this good for some years! I say this because once you get past the initial shock and reconcile yourself to whatever drug regime you have, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Stay positive and you will get there.

I followed the rehab advice regarding attendance at the hospital rehab and once discharged moved on to Level 4 cardiac rehab that is conducted in my local sports centre. I still do this each week in addition to my own gym sessions and cycling, and I have never really looked back. I have resumed (after tests) scuba diving and have done some 60+ mile bike rides.

I make these points as I am not a natural athlete but just to illustrate that it can be done - it just takes patience and a little determination to make the most of what to all of us is a new situation. I was 63 at time and like you was indeed shocked by the event - I am sure all on here will echo that and confirm that this does pass, particularly so when you start the cardiac rehab sessions. These in my opinion are invaluable in building your confidence in what you can actually do.

All the best - happy to exchange information and stories.

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Many thanks for your feedback. I will ask about cardiac rehab. I felt really dizzy yesterday afternoon, I assume its the medication:( I will take on your advice on board and stay optimistic. Thank you

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Sorry to hear about your heart attack. I had a similar experience - prior to my heart attack (Feb/17) I was running, swimming going to the gym, no cholesterol or blood pressure problems. I was diagnosed with a rare disease that is called SCAD, - it happens with ladies of my age 50s, women who have just had babies and also with really fit men. I would recommend a chat with your cardiologist about this just to rule it out. A SCAD heart attack happens as there is a tear or bruise in the vessel rather than a block due to plaque.

It took me a long time to come to terms with it mentally, much longer than the actual heart attack itself which healed very quickly. I am in a really good place now. I would say take your time recovering - don't rush into things. Ask for help, from family, friends and also the Rehab team. Hope this is helpful.

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Many thanks for sharing your experience. I was told that I had narrowing in one of the main arteries but as someone who regularly checks my blood pressure, cholesterol, blood test, and go to the gym 5 times a week I find it very hard to comprehend what has happened to me in the last 2 weeks. I will ask about SCAD. I have to admit the doctors were brilliant and very quick in diagnosing but I am still struggling to understand how I have had this narrowing without any signs!

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I to had a scad which caused a HA it was a huge shock and very upsetting I am a 51 year old female. Did you find yourself worrying it would happen again as it does seem to be quite common to have more than 1 also did you have a stent or treatment with drugs

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I do worry from time to time. I was lucky I didn't need a stent and also took myself off the medication about a year after. ( The team at Glenfield also said I didn't need the medication so I took their lead) I didn't think I needed statins as I don't have a cholesterol so why take them? The worst was bisoprolol - the bruises were so painful! Do you have regular check ups with your cardiologist? Mine thinks it was a one off but they know so little about it - which worries me too! When did you have yours?

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I had mine in July I also don't smoke or drink much am not overweight and have a physical job do lots of walking so it took me ages to come to terms with what happened and there are so few people who understand SCAD I've seen cardiologist once and am seeing SCAD specialist in at Glenfield hospital in Feb did they do any tests on you at follow up appointments such as scans to see what was going on inside??

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I had angiogram immediately with a stent . This was less than 2 weeks ago. I had a very bad dizzy spell 2 days ago i thought i was dying. I am ok but traumatised and cant believe i am on so much medication! Thank you for your feedback.

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For now I think the medication is doing a repair job, later on you could negotiate dosage etc. Perhaps its the medication making you dizzy?

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Yes had CT angiograms and MRI scans in my home town not in Glenfield. Follow up was very slow. Had to chase them up and there is a worry with my carotid arteries. Going in on Friday for another CT scan.

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Would be interested to hear how you get on

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Hi. Regarding recurrence of SCAD the general consensus (at least here in the UK) is approximately 10%. Unfortunately that included me. First one exactly 3 years ago (not told SCAD, only the mechanics of what had happened) and second one 20 months later, but that was not as bad as the first and I think generally that is the case. You feel so helpless that there is really nothing you can do except stay as healthy as you can so that IF it happens again your body is in the best state to beat it.

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I'm sorry to hear you had a second SCAD I must admit it's my biggest fear. What treatment did you have having and do you now have any follow up care. I do find beatscad website informative but it's good to see other people on this forum have had them as I did start to think there wasn't anyone out there😂😂

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With the first SCAD I was initially diagnosed with Broken Heart Syndrome with the dissection diagnosed by an MRI 2 weeks later (although it was another 4 weeks before I saw the cardiologist who informed me of that. I was on the 'normal' heart attack meds: Atorvastatin (not necessary!), Ticagrelor (anti-platelet), Nebivolol (beta-blocker), aspirin, and my long-standing BP med. Due to a blip in my BP way back at Cardio Rehab I was actually on a double dose of Nebivolol when I had my second (Ticagrelor had stopped after a year). With my GP's agreement I came off the statin. I saw Dr Wood at Glenfield 5 months after my second and she stopped the Ticagrelor then. Had MRIs and CT scan in my home city and Dr Wood stopped the aspirin afterwards. Am still on the beta-blocker but that's really to do with my BP and I am trying to reduce it with the intention of stopping it if my BP behaves.

Regarding follow-up care, with the first one I saw the cardiologist after 6 weeks (see above) and had an appointment 3 months later but saw his Nurse Specialist - who happened to be a specialist in Arrythmia! No other test/follow-ups! With the second I was at least told it was SCAD but they just said they thought there was some research in Leicester - I had already found the link before they sent me a letter with the information! Again no follow-up AT ALL!! Eventually asked my GP for a referral to Glenfield who arranged the MRIs and CT scan. I am now fine, except for a small amount of damage from the first SCAD. The follow-up care varies enormously depending on the cardiologist involved. Makes me really angry!

If you 'do' Facebook have you thought about joining the support group "UK & Ireland SCAD Survivors"? It is a closed group only open to those who have had SCADs. I hardly do Facebook myself but find this group really worthwhile. You will find a link in the website Scadsiste gives below.

Apologies to Shockedwithstent! There's a lot about SCAD on here when this may not have been what happened to you!!

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Thank you for all this information it's Dr Wood I'm seeing in February so hopefully learn more then

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No it isn't it's a Dr Adlam I'm seeing

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I'm getting muddled up and forgot you had been referred to Leicester! Good luck! I'm probably going to be there some time in February as I am taking part in the research. They have looked at the men as they're the rarest and now they're looking at those with more than one SCAD :)

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That will be interesting I've filled out lots of questionnaires from the research people at Leicester as I got in touch with them after my SCAD I thought the more people put in for the research then hopefully one day they might find a definate reasons or it happening

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Yes it is a shock! I have a very healthy diet and lifestyle, didn't smoke or drink much either.

There is a good website for more information about SCAD - the beat SCAD which has a facebook page beatscad.org.uk/

and the research study based at Glenfield hospital Leicester doing research on SCAD

scad.lcbru.le.ac.uk/

It is still early days and it will take time to process everything - so don't expect to know all the answers just yet. Most important think at the moment is to rest and recup.

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Had my stents fitted just over a month ago. I’ve been a total baby about the whole thing - really needy. I was useless for a week after and it took me 2 weeks to feel anything like ok. Today I’m in the US working an exhibition stand, doing a 12 hour day. I haven’t started rehab yet, but I’m so much better than 2 weeks ago.

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Hi there. The same thing happened to me in the summer! I am older than you but fit and, as I thought, healthy. I went to A&E only because a friend I met on holiday in Spain was describing the symptoms of his heart attack.At no point did I feel ill and was shocked when the nurses came running into the waiting room saying that I was having a heart attack!!

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Yes me too...I had my 2heart attack 0n 27th Dec...I can't sleep at night ...wake up cold sweats...Not being to have a deep sleep ...crying....hallucinations.......but it's getting better ....

It will take time .....but it does

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"fit & healthy until the attack. Never had blood pressure nor cholesterol."

It's astonishing how many people arrive on this forum saying they were previously fit but have suddenly had a heart attack.

I suspect some had a misplaced view of what fit and healthy really means, and others were just plan deceiving themselves over their fitness levels!

But there are undoubtedly people who were genuinely fit and healthy, living exemplary life styles, but who still had heart attacks. The more I'm on this forum the more I think that particular group aren't well served by the medical consensus.

Look at it this way. There are just a handful of really critical cardiac risk metrics, let's say,

1. Blood Pressure, within range 90/60 to 120/80

2. Total Cholesterol/HDL, within range 1.0 to 4.0

3. Body Mass Index, within range 18.5 to 25.0, plus waist measurement less than half height.

4. Fasting Blood Sugar, below 5.5 mmol/L

5. Non smoker, eat healthily, moderate drinker, no drug abuse, etc.

6. 150 minutes of moderately vigorous exercise per week.

The vast majority of heart attack or heart disease cases will not have been scoring well against these measures. In a perverse way that's actually good news, as it means there's both an easy explanation for their cardiac problems plus obvious targets for improvement.

But what about those people who were previously scoring well on all or most of these factors? What changes can they now make, either through life style or medication, to improve their life expectancy? Their challenge is much trickier.

If you fall in this category then maybe google people like Doctor Ford Brewer, a distance running doctor who was diagnosed with heart disease; or Doctor Bradley Bale, who specialises in heart disease patients who don't have obvious explanations for their conditions. But if you're one of those people who had previously built high defences against heart disease, and yet you still fell victim, then you may have to build even more extreme defences, and that may actually take a great deal of effort. To the point where staying healthy becomes pretty much a full time job in itself.

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Firstly, the measures are not good risk indicators healthline.com/health-news/... and when resting blood glucose starts to exceed 5.5, you've had insulin-resistance for decades.

Combine that with some of the solutions such as lowering cholesterol and the Eatwell Guide, and I can well believe that heart attacks come as a frequent shock to those that think they're doing the right things.

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Many thanks for your feedback. Unfortunately or fortunately all the points above tick a yes for me. So I will google Dr Ford Brewer & Bradly Bale as its a lot to digest.

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Would you like to put a copy of this as a new post for general viewing?

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I am new to this site. I am 57 and had a heart attack 9 weeks ago. I had a virus at the time and thought the sudden breathlessness ongoing upstairs and chest pain were related to that. I had been going to the gym and work full time. I spent 10 days in isolation before being transferred to another hospital for a stent. My coronary artery was 95% blocked secondary to familial high cholesterol. The whole thing has been a massive shock - I was at work 2 days before. I am currently off work and I still feel very fragile emotionally. I feel dizzy a lot after little exertion. I saw the cardiac rehab nurse this week which was very reassuring but I have to wait 4 weeks for a walking assessment and the first availability at classes is July. I hope to be back at work by then. The recovery is longer than I thought and I am finding it difficult to adjust although I am sure this will improve. I think the emotional impact can be more than the physical.

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