I originally came to this forum in the hope of finding information about physical training after a heart stent. After reading several threads I realize that many people are worried, as i was, about the consequences of a heart attack. I hope that if I explain what happened to me before, during and after a heart attack it will be of some use and help reassure you that life goes on.
For years I was having slight pains in my chest from simply walking several hundred yards. I often felt a minor pain in my left arm and jaw and was quickly out of breath when walking upstairs. I tried to convince myself it was simply a case of getting old, even though I'm just 47. In hindsight I guess I knew there was something wrong with my heart. All the signs were there, I just chose to ignore them, after all heart attacks are what happen to old people, in fact anyone, but not me!
Seven weeks ago whilst at work I had a tremendous pain shoot straight across my chest, I was out of breath, sweating and a little dizzy. It was not like you see on TV, where someone drops instantly to the floor. It was more of a feeling like I had been hit in the chest by a 10 year old child with a baseball bat, it hurt and took my breath away, but that was all. The pain was of an intensity that I was no longer able to perform a normal days work. I had little option but to go to my doctor. It seams strange now to think that even at this stage I was still trying to deny what was happening to me.
My doctor did a ECG and before I knew it I was in hospital laid on the operating table. At this stage I was absolutely terrified, two hours before I was expecting to do a normal days work, now I found myself looking at what I thought to be a life and death situation. Looking back I now know that this emotion was totally unjustified. There is enough information on the internet explaining the technical side of having a heart stent, but basically the surgeon makes a small cut into the archery at the top of your leg next to the groin and from there goes up into the heart. I was awake during the whole thing, there was very little pain involved. I felt the cut to the groin which was minimal, I would compare this cutting my finger on a piece of paper, and now and again a little tingling feeling in my chest. That was all. Afterwards I spent the next 24 hours in intensive care with a bandage wrapped tightly around the cut in my leg. This was uncomfortable but removed after 8 hours. I was released from hospital 5 days later.
If I could give advice to people it would be this. Please don't ignore the sign's of a heart attack as I did, go and see your doctor, and if you do find yourself having a stent don't get yourself all worried about it. I feel a lot healthier in myself after it, stairs are no longer the problem they was and for the first time in years I have started riding my bike again.