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British Heart Foundation
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How should one feel post stent (after 6 weeks)

I feel as though I am recovering from this nightmare I was confronted with out of nowhere. Nevertheless, moving forward, 6 weeks post stent when I am sleeping I feel as though I get heart palpitations ( not sure if I am imagining this or its real). I also feel chest discomfort/pain, nothing that stops me from what I am doing but its more annoying and worrying. I am on Ticagular, asprin and rosuvastatin. I have read that these can be some of the side effects. Does anyone else experience these symptoms? I also have a few bruises on my leg & elbow! Anyone care to comment?

Many thanks

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I had 2 stents last April and had a similar experience as you with palpitations, chest discomfort and feeling short of breath at rest not on exercise. Cardiologist told me it may have been a side effect of ticagrelor and bisoprolol. I tried some breathing exercises just before sleep and listening to relaxation CD and this seemed to help. I still find lying on my right side uncomfortable as though I am putting pressure on something in my chest. We are all different and I think some of us experience these symptoms more than others. The bruising is a result of ticagrelor and nothing to worry about. I think things will improve for you 6 wks is not a long time. Have you started rehab yet. I felt better after rehab sessions and attributed this to generally feeling fitter and getting my slow heart up to a more normal rate. Magnesium supplement seems to help with palpitations but consult GP or Pharmacist before taking supplements.

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Hi Nathan, many thanks for sharing your experience. Reassuring to know you’ve had similar experiences. Not started rehab but the consultant has asked me to carry on back to normal so I am walking a lot, would love to start my gym routine but too scared. I did ask the GP but still waiting to hear back from the rehab team. I think you are right about relaxing CD’s. I am an anxious person and always have anxiety about the silliest things in life. Convinced I have caused this whole heart attack and narrowing of the artery.

I wish I could understand how one can get from healthy living to heart attack with no cholesterol, blood pressure or symptoms!!

Thanks again, I feel better now I’ve read your comments. Best wishes -:))

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I identify with what you are saying. In my case I had foolishly smoked and an on off smoker for years which is worse. The first Cardiologist I saw who was a 'straight talking type' said that while that may not have helped he felt my family history of heart disease was the likely factor in developing CHD. I was also fairly fit and not overweight. It's natural to question why this has happened and sometimes useful to do so in order to change the habits and elements of lifestyle you can change. I am also a born worrier but also a positive person which thankfully balances the former. I find I worry less generally now maybe as we get older we take stock and also having had a heart attack I question why worry about minor things or things that may never happen. But look don't beat yourself up it's like any illness - the person who gets cancer and has never smoked and looked after themselves while a 20 a day smoker who has a not so healthy life style has no major illness. Maybe look at ways of relaxing more. Keep an eye on rehab situation. Initially I was overlooked and it was only when I rang the Cardio Physiotherapy Dept to query things that I got my appointment. It's a good start gives you confidence and give you the opportunity to meet others in similar situation. I can honestly say I feel much better 10 months post stents - when I have a bad week - and it will happen I remind myself it won't last forever. Keep active make plans do things you like to do. It's interesting for me to hear your experience too - good to help each other.

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Now you mention it my mum died at the age of 59 and so did my grand mother, hence why I have been so healthy. I was trying to change course of history and I guess I have to a certain extent (by diagnosing myself:( ). My doc didn’t confirm its hereditary.

I will call the cardio physio dept - thank you very much. I agree keep in touch and please share your story as I can see many similarities (except the smoking part)

Chin up & I will follow with the positivity

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After my rehab I was given the opportunity to follow it up with a 3 month reduced fee membership at local leisure centre with a programme of exercise devised by one of the Physio Assistant linked to the rehab programme. I gained confidence knowing I was being monitored and was able to ask questions etc. I now go to gym 3 times a week (in the past I always hated gym based exercise) but now I love it. I feel energised afterwards. I did buy a Polar monitor it's like a Fitbit watch but comes with a chest strap you can wear which monitors heart rate. Polar was the method used in rehab sessions so this give me confidence I am in an exercise heart rate zone which for me is about 110 BPM. I now do upper body strength exercises and feel this has helped me a lot

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I have always used polar so interesting to know it is used in rehab. Your 110BPM which is not high. Is this based on the calculations 220-age, etc? Or rehab team?

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My bpm is based on a figure suggested by rehab team. I have a few years on you being 62 lol. The rate is also adjusted as I take a beta blocker (nebivolol) which aims to reduce heart rate by approx 20 bpm. I have no problem going up to about 120 but I tend to think of that as an absolute max and in reality my heart rate only goes to that point when running on treadmill. I can work on other equipment like the rowing machine, leg & chest press etc without my bpm going above 100 most of the time. In addition to my 3 x weekly visits to the gym I walk a lot and swim (less walking in the winter though) as I find very cold air can trigger angina.

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I had a stent in November. Just getting back to normal but still some angina at night. I’m probably on different meds but it takes weeks for your body to get used to them. Try and find a cardio rehab class. There you’ll find people who can answer questions and who have just been through similar problems.

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Hello, I had a HA and two stents fitted 7 months ago and like you I was clean living with low cholesterol and blood pressure, working out or cycling everyday and then boom, a massive shock.

The cardiologist told me it was a bit of bad luck and should not happen to people like me.

I was scared and seeing my life fall apart and what did the future hold.

I had chest pain(not the same as the heart attack) for weeks afterward. Even went back to A and E.

Fast forward to now and I am back lifting weight and riding my bike I even tackled my nemesis climb in the Pyrenees last week.

I am trying a plant based diet, but still cannot give up turkey and fish.

I get moments when I get a bit of pain and think. Here we go again, but try to put it to the back of my mind.

Hopefully this shows that with small steps you can get back to the person you were before, even better.

Now we are also armed with a lot more knowledge and my HA has prompted friends and family to get checked and change their lifestyle.

Keep moving forward.

Regards

Neil

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Hi Neil, so inspiring to hear your story. I feel like you are very similar to me. I am trying plant based as well but still like a bit of chicken breast and fish. Its very hard to give it all up at once. I use to love dairy, I am now replacing it with vegan/dairy substitute. How did you go back to the gym? Did you use a personal trainer or just brave it alone?

My family and friends are really shocked with my case too as I am the one who always gives advice on health and exercise..

Really hard to digest it all, like you said we must keep moving forward?

Best wishes,

Seza

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Why give up fish? Oily fish such as salmon is very good for your heart.

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Hi Seza,

No did it on my own. I am a personal trainer and just did what worked for me. Maybe I have pushed myself a bit hard sometimes.

It has changed my life though, used to spend a fair bit of time in France and went to hospital here with chest, jaw, arm pain.

They sent me home saying it was indigestion !!!

Came back to London and went to hospital again. 2 Stents next day.

It has made me reevaluate my life and have decided to sell up in France and be exclusively UK based.

What training are you doing? Have you done the rehab? I did not lift any weights for a month and just extended my walking until I thought let get back to the gym.

Started off light and have worked back to where I was.

I have been told I am mad but we all know our own body best.

I still have very low days when I eat a bit of crap but I know that our fitness will help us keep moving forward and muscles have a memory. I often think where would we be without a base level of fitness?

So don’t beat yourself up to much. Small steps and things will improve.

If I can help please ask.

Best wishes

Neil

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Hi Neil, I am almost a personal trainer, just haven’t taken the exam😁. I use to do cardio followed by weights and toning. The last 6 weeks have been a shock as you rightly put it so a bit scarred to lift weights and my cardiologist said why do you wanna focus on weights go cardio its better for you. I walking now a lot now just waiting for an expert to monitor me so I have the confidence to start again

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Hey how are you doing? Any improvement?

Regards

Neil

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Hiya, I am improving, thank you for asking. I was planning to start going to the gym today but have been experiencing a lot of pain down my right leg (my hip joint and anckle) since yesterday afternoon. Not sure if its connected!

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I think we now put extra significance on ache and pains. Stuff we would have ignored before.

Could it be where your core has become weaker over the weeks since stenting?

Maybe try a light workout and see how you go, but if you are not happy, get it checked out.

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Really, Would a weak core give that much pain? I will take your advice and start exercising. I do feel better when I am walking but just don’t understand why so much pain. Thank you for sharing your thoughts

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IT's the tablets causing the bruising. Don't worry. Anything hat thins your blood does that. I found ticagrelor made me totally breathless; so bad it had to be changed.

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Morning, how did it go?

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Morning, Still in pain so will pop into the gp to check his view. Thank you for asking -:)

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