I am a new member. This series of postings has been invaluable to my peace of mind. I had a massive (rt. side) stroke in June, that was caught in time (I knew I was OK as I woke in ICU fingering guitar chords to a song streaming through my brain). The cause was an undiagnosed rather large PFO (total surprise to me, a high country backpacker who works out regularly, however I do get migraines (with auras)). 3 weeks ago my cardiologist installed a gore helix device via catheter. Lots of scary palpitations the first few days, but thanks to this forum I knew that was not uncommon. I had been walking 30 to 40 minutes daily since the stroke, instead of going to the YMCA, and after the PFO closure, almost immediately (2 days after), I continued that, especially as my shape seemed to change for the worse while in hospital (tho. no wt. gain). As soon as I felt ready, I went to the YMCA once each week, doing my usual workout, including lifting 2 8lb. weights, as I'd been told there were "no restrictions except contact sports". The day after the second Y visit (end of week 2), I started getting scary palpitations every evening as soon as I relaxed, or whenever I would lie down. I checked my blood pressure each time (I'm on blood pressure med. though my pressure is low/normal, as a precaution, as well as plavix, aspirin, and zocor (anti-inflamatory), and every few episodes an arythmia registered, plus usually higher than usual bp, esp. diastolic, and very high or very low pulse. I also became aware that I had more shortness of breath than I had before, especially in the p.m., and definitely a chest tightness, that felt a bit like asthma coming on, though no asthma. There is a trace amount of ash in the air, not visible except at sunset, so that might add to the feeling. I have been so relieved that so many of you have posted similar feelings! I've tried ibuprofen, which seems to help a bit. I also have mild headaches in the a.m., but no migraines. I see the cardiologist and my regular doctor next week, the neurologist in a couple of weeks. I will speak to them of this, but in the meantime, does anyone have info. as to when the palpitations and chest/lung discomfort go away?!