Feeling so helpless how can i help my dad

Posted , 7 users are following.

My dad had 3-4 heart attacks over a 2 week period before he was finally taken to A&E he waited 13days had 2 stents put in and came home 4 days ago and thats it!!

His GP said there are no continued testing or check ups for him apart from a BP test in 6 months time, and the hospital is offering an ECO scan in 4 weeks time and thats it!!!

Is this true?? is this it???

he is supposed to go to a cardio club in 8WEEKS TIME!!! but if theres no medical testing why does he need it?

he dosent smoke, drink, eat fat salt or sugar, is never stressed and has a manual labor job BUT both his parents had open heart surgery a few bypass surgeries stents and died from an attack over a period of 15years so the doc said thats why, but if he was so lucky to not of died, has to be on pills forever, and cant get a shower without getting frightened, again why is he having no check ups, tests or guidance?

where are the other check ups?

how do we know if his other arteries are ok?

his chest pain and palpitations when he walks are they normal?

does he have to take all the pills forever?

will he ever get back to normal?

how can we test him now and every week to see how strong he is getting

any information you could give me would be great, no one is answering our questions

thank you


1 like, 18 replies

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18 Replies

  • Posted

    Hey welcome...this is a good site to help put your mind at rest. I can't give you medical advice but I can tell you the experience of my dad.

    Firstly, they can tell your dad's other arteries are doing ok, when they do the stent. They put the stents in while doing an angiogram procedure, which shows up where the blockages are...that's how they know where the problem areas are.

    Secondly, you don't say how old he is but with family history on both sides, my guess is that he'll need to be on some kind of meds for the rest of his life, either blood pressure or anti-cholesterol or something like that. That's because (like my dad) he's presumably got heart disease and the best way to stop your arteries getting clogged up is meds and a good lifestyle.

    I would say also that it's fairly common to have some discomfort and palps after this, but it does get better. They should have given your dad a GTN spray and it comes with instructions about when to seek further attention...if the pain lasts longer than normal or feels worse etc. It's common to have pain from arterial stretch after a stent, so this could be his feelings.

    Cardiac rehab is great - make sure he goes! This is what will build his strength and where he should also meet others in the same situation, so he can begin to understand. It is a big lifestyle change but it is possible to get back on track!

    My dad had a heart attack when he was 42, followed by a quadruple bypass when he was 46. After that, he got on with a relatively normal life, but he changed his job from high pressure sales to working for a charity (which he loved!). About 3 years ago he started having some angina again and then last summer, age 69, had what was described as a 'minor heart attack' followed by 2 stents. He had complications with the stents in that he had a lot of pain for several months after - he couldn't walk to the kitchen without getting breathless.

    But then something started to change. He started going on very slow gentle walks, just pushing himself a few extra hundred yards each time. He then said he wanted a dog! So we got him a crazy, bouncy puppy (you might want to approach that one with caution...ha!) and now dad walks the dog twice a day and is doing about 2.5 miles walking a day. He has some slight angina, but he takes his spray and rests briefly and that's it. His doctor discharged him recently and said his BP was the lowest it had ever been.

    So, everyone is different but take courage, even if it feels bleak, it is possible to make a good recovery. It is a disease but it can be managed...you just have to adjust to your limitations.

    If you're still not happy, keep nagging the doctors too!

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  • Posted

    I went to Cardiac Rehab after my heart op. They tell you everything you want to know and you get to meet other people who have had heart ops also. You get to ask questions and tell how you are feeling and hear the others tell their stories also. After the first week you go to the gym and you do exercise on treadmills and other equipment which will monitor your heart while you do this. The staff are all trained medicos so you feel safe. People need to learn that they are okay again to exercise because most people, like me, feel frightened to do anything. Each week you try to do a little more. They make sure you drink water and they ask you to do some exercise at home too. If you need other info, your GP should be able to fill you in. But seriously, cardac rehab is a must if your dad is to get back to his old self and feel safe.
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  • Posted

    he thinks he can go back to work in 4 weeks but i wont let him, im making him rest as he had the stents fitted 4 days ago, we walk everyday and will continue it, its just if the cardic club isnt starting for another 8 weeks then whats the point? how will they tell if he has improved or not? hes feeling so vunerable as the only person helping him is me and the only way im doing it is reading researching and getting advice from these sites
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    • Posted

      You have not told us what medications he is on and why. If he has had stents fitted his arteries are clear so why does he have what one would assume to be angina type pain. Did he have palpitations prior to his heart attack?  Many of us have ones that are harmless. If he had developed atrial fibrillation post procedure they would have told him and some of his meds will be for it.

      I had heart valve surgery at 77 and folowed the procedure sheet they gave me regarding walking and exercise during recovery. By week twelve I was back to  my normal self. I did not really want to go to cardio rehab and used a post op painful hip and having Physio as an excuse not to go. I eventually went after about twenty weeks. To me it was a waste of time as the exercises were so gentle. The ones there were mainly ones who had stents fitted and and had never walked or exercised in their lives.   

      You father must have been physically fit if he has had a manual job and should not have trouble getting back to normal once he gets his cofidence back.

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  • Posted

    he has to take 6 tablets for life, Asprin 75mg Clopidogrel 75mg Atorvastatin 40mg Lisinopril 2.5mg Bisoprolol 2.5mg Lansoprazole 30mg, and this is what i dont get they said he needs them forever! hes never had any trouble with his heart since this, think were just starting to realise we need to do it ourselves
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    • Posted

      Bisoprolol will make him feel tired and lacking in energy and slow his heart down.

      Do you know his cholesteol readings? Although after a heart attack and with his family history he probably should be on Atorvastatin but many here (me included) will point out their side effects the most common of which it is muscle pain.

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    • Posted

      Ok...yes, he does need to rest but also make sure that he doesn't get treated like an invalid. His body will tell him what's going on and he needs to learn to listen to that. It can be easy to wrap him in cotton wool, but if he's sensible and listens to his own body, honestly, he will know. smile

      Are you in the UK? Head back to your GP and ask for advice. If your dad has to be signed off work for more than 4 weeks, he'll need to go back to the doctors anyway.

      I can tell you from our experience that my dad had pain, palpitations and low heart rate for quite a while after stunting but he slowly improved. His body has had a real old shock and that takes time to recover from. Everyone is different, but I can't stress enough...if your dad listens to his body (rest when he's tired, stop if he gets pain, walk when he feels up to it), that'll be great medicine!

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  • Posted

    Hi, Glad you are getting lots of advice on here.  I was very shocked when I received all the medications to take home following my stents, in fact, that was the worst thing to come to terms with.  Can you please check with the doctor because I was told that the CLOPIDOGREL had to be stopped exactly one year after the stents, so I made a note of the date and reminded my GP.  I know that it's a bit scarey to know that you have not got your 'cloak of invincibility' following a heart attack but rest assured it will soon be firmly back in place.  I had my HA back in late 2011 and went to the cardio classes which gives you so much confidence and now think I'm fitter than the average person because at least my blockages were found and put right whereas there must be millions of people walking around unaware of their condition.  I would say that your'e Dads life will improve now on what it was before and I have never considered myself I'll and don't now, so rest assured that things will be OK!  Good Luck
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  • Posted

    Hi Alex, what others have said below is 99% my experience just that after I had quadruple bypass (Stenting was not an option for me due to having the 'widowmaker') 13 months ago cardiac rehab has really helped me. I started about 5 weeks after coming out of hosp. and doing very gentle walking, and did 13 weeks then another 13 weeks after a break of a couple of months and now doing simialr exercise once or twice a week at my local YMCA gym under supervision if needed. I try to do a bit more every time but it's a slow job for me and you need to be patient and encourage Dad to work at it. I take 4 medicines per day at fairly low level for BP, Cholesterol, blood thinning and heart rate and walk at least 1.5km per day as well as use an exercise bike at home. I try to eat reasonably healthily too. Life after heaert surgery is good but not quite the same as before but very do-able! Keep at it.  Roy
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    • Posted

      You do not say how old you are and how fit you were prior to surgery.

      Alex's father must have been fit if doing manual work and had been doing all the right lifestyle things but unfortunately had a family history of heart disease.

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    • Posted

      I am 70 and was a reasonably fit retired 69 y.o before I needed surgery. I did not have a heart attack but developed unstable angina which needed urgent surgery. My father lived to 101+ and my mum died of a heart attack at 72 so whether or not one could say I had any family history I'm not sure. But one thing I noticed during my rehab sessions was that quite a lot of those doing rehab with me were quite a bit younger and while some were evidently very overweight some were very thin athletic types. So it is cetainly in my opinion also genetic as well as lifestyle which predisposes to cardiac probs. I haven't smoked since over 48 years ago but smoking can also be an issue.
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    • Posted

      There seems to be mixed opinion as to which side of your family to blame for heart disease.

      All at cardio rehab were younger than me and mostly were female. Few were smokers and most said that they had followed a reasonable diet but none had walked exercised.  

      My main put off at cardio rehab was the 'blame game' we were subjected to in the second half after the exercises.  

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  • Posted

    I'm sorry to hear about your dad.

    Unfortunately, I was in a similar situation 2 years ago.

    I had a heart attack whilst driving.

    Pretty scary but no chest pains i was violently sick.

    I had 2 stents put in and a just under 24 hours stay in the Norfolk and Norwich hospital.

    Apart from an ultra sound 4 weeks later, there was nothing.

    No follow up.

    I went back to work after 4 weeks as a forklift driver.

    I had no rehibilitation.

    No support.


    I'm 42 now, this freaked me out I only just turned 40 and had a heart attack.

    I've had pretty epic headaches and dizzy spells since and no one seems remotely interested.

    GP tells me its anxiety.

    I wish you're dad well

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    • Posted

      Im on the usual.

      Asprin, bisoprorol, ramipril and simvastatin.

      Dr not convinced my meds are a problem but I've felt pretty horrible gir months and its affecting my life.

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    • Posted

      When I was taking Ramipril I went around like a Zombie, muzzy headache, light headed and tired.

      After my heart valve replacement and in AF I was on so many drugs that I was unsure which was causing problems. After being back in sinus rhythm I stopped them all (Bisoprolol, Warfarin, Statin and Amiodarone) except Losaratan for my BP and felt normal again.

      I'm back in AF and again taking Bisoprolol for the past three weeks and I'm light muzzy headed, sweating after walking short distances and feel as if my engine is lacking in power. 

      Most doctors would agree that Bisoprolol is the likely culprit in your case and there are a lot of alternatives to Ramipril. 


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    • Posted

      Well let me give you a bit more back ground.

      Moderate smoker up until the HA.

      Had the HA December 2012 whilst driving my youngest son (13 at the time) and my wife to a Sunday youth football match.

      Had a violent coughing spell resulting in me being violently sick in my Ford Mondeo and having to do an emergency stop in the road near RAF Marham.

      Few minutes later felt OK.

      Decided something I had eaten had upset my stomach and cleaned myself and the car up, and carried on our journey.

      Wife received text to say football match was called off due to frozen pitch.

      We turned around and I was sick again.

      Sweating heavily and felt very tired suddenly.

      Chest now tight but not overly painful.

      Managed to get car back to my house but collapsed on my doorstep.... More to feeling suddenly weak and I don't remember much else apart from the first responder telling me it was going to be OK and telling my wife I was having a HA .

      So after 6 months I started having head pressure or cluster migraines that felt like my head was being squashed in a vice.

      Very frightening

      First time it happened I collapsed outside and sat totally paralyzed down my left side.

      I was taken to A&E and treated for mini stroke or TDS

      I had MRI and CT scans and they came back clear.

      Had lumbar puncture that was clear.

      This has now happened three times in the last 18 months

      Im told it could be a sudden blood pressure drop causing this.

      Im so freaked out by this and not knowing what's wrong is even worse.

      At night I hardly sleep as when I lay down it makes my head worse.

      It feels like someone kicking a ball around inside my head!

      I sweat and chest goes tight and i find it hard to breath.

      Like I said my GP is not really interested and even though I've asked about alternate meds non have been offered.

      They have offered to kindky take my driving licence away though!!!

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