Holiday and unstable angina advice - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

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Holiday and unstable angina advice


Hi everyone

I am after some advice. I said i would go on holiday with my mum to Bath christmas market for a few days. The problem is that i have frequent unstable angina and my husband cant come who usually helps me when not well. I am worried about the cold and the walking with the angina and am wonderinf if theres any adivce for whether travelling is a good idea or not. I get stressed easily which doesnt help. I probably wont go but after advice for what i should do if take ill if i do. Hugs sara

18 Replies
MichaelJHHeart Star

Cold and exertion are more likely to bring on angina. You need to be with someone you can trust. If your mother is to old and/or frail I would suggest you stay local. I went to one on the South Bank some years ago and was quite disappointed. Although it looked like a traditional German Christmas market I only encountered one German and felt most of the stuff on sale was overpriced and nothing special. Apologies I am being a Grumpy Old Man but I am.sure with my fellow Grumpies we could sort out the country! 😁

Thanks for the reply, mum is getting a bit frail herself, i think its probably best i dont gonthen, and no not too grumpy, hugs sara

Are there any local French markets coming to where you live? They are quite fun and a little different.

Hi Sara

Fully understand your feelings!

I would recommend a wheelchair perhaps for both of you, as I find them a great help as they take the strain of walking. But concerned about being away from local surroundings without your husband to help. Life certainly changes when you have this condition. Hope you can make things work for you to enjoy......

Thanks i have told mum i am not sure about going, she was actually fine so will do something local, hugs sara

Hi, I think you have answered your own questions!

You won’t enjoy it if you are anxious and that is more likely to aggravate your angina. Keeping an eye on an older parent is stressful in its self.!

Find a couple of local craft fairs at a local venue - we have a couple of castles and some visitor attractions near us that hold themed Christmas Fairs - and go for the afternoon to them instead!

Look for something to enjoy rather than something to be anxious about.

Best wishes, Jane

Thanks i have told mum i am not sure about going, she was actually fine so will do something local, hugs sara


Wear a scarf around your face. Cold air causes blood vessels to constrict.

Have you got Nitrous Oxide vasodilator.

SaraTwycross in reply to Hidden

No i have gtn spray and ranolozine, but have decided against going, hugs sara

How long is the journey from your home to Bath, and how would you travel? Getting there and back can be exceptionally stressful for someone with unstable angina - but many with the condition travel reasonable distances.

I think the best thing would be to consult your medical team - they might surprise you with an enthusiastic 'Go, Girl!' and give you ideas on how to make the trip comfortable for you. Or they'll be definitive with a 'No, sorry!' and give you the reasons why which you can then use to let your mum down gently.

If you do go, ***hat-gloves-scarf, keeping the scarf pulled up over your nose when outdoors, and even layers top and bottom (I don't do winter without my base layer 'long janes', wow do those help!).

***Consider hiring a mobility scooter for touring the market and the other incredible attractions Bath has to offer. Bonus - somewhere to sit and somewhere to put the shopping without having to carry it.

***Also helpful is wearing one of those cross-body or 'front-sling' bags so you're not lugging around a shoulder or handbag. I have a complete collection of those bags now as they make it so much easier to be out and about 'hands-free'.

***Shopping can go into a tote on wheels if you decide against hiring the scooter. I freely admit to being one of those 'granny trolley' draggers - that thing has made touring markets and attractions possible, and I can 'nip down the shops' with it as well. Love mine, absolutely love mine!

***Be sure to have something in your handbag with all your medical information on it: conditions and current treatment including medications, your medical team telephone number(s), and your NHS number to make accessing your records quicker should you need immediate attention during your holiday.

Gladwyn in reply to Sunnie2day

Sound advice! I'm noting it for my own use. Thank you 😀

Thanks i have told mum i am not sure about going, she was actually fine so will do something local, hugs sara

If you do go I am sure you will step clear of alcohol, have a good trip. Take plenty of breaks and when in cafes decaf only. Best Ron

Thanks i have told mum i am not sure about going, she was actually fine so will do something local, hugs sara

PS I live in Bath and always avoid the market as it is a travesty. Have fun nearer home and keep warm.

Dear Sara, my advise is to find out what your doctor means by "Angina". It is a simple Latin word that means "pain" and could be muscle pain, big toe pain, headache, etc. and has absolutely nothing to do with the heart unless your doctor is trying to confuse you with "doctor speak". For instance, Angina Pectoris merely means pain in the chest which covers a wide area and is not specific to the heart. Fortunately I had a couple of semesters of Latin in school and learned a little in spite of trying not to. Check it out and let me know what happens, please.

I have been to Bath Christmas market a few times, but always find it a bit of a rip off. Plus, it is always really busy, loads of tourists and kids, even on weekdays. I would give it a miss and find somewhere nearer home to visit!

Do something special with your mum, you don't have to go far, but something the two of you wouldn't normally do. It's a special relationship, both ways, so just have fun together and enjoy.

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