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Still have random pains near my heart and it scares me
Good afternoon all I had my ha back in august of 2019 and even though my cardiologist says I'm doing great I'm still trying to figure out why I get these random aches and pains that no one can seem to figure out what they are. I've heard of stretching of the artery after having a stent put in but I would like to know how long I will have to deal with it. I'm also on a cpap machine and I had no idea that was a contributing factor in my heart problems right along with heart problems running in the family. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Djwel, January 24, 2020 5:45pm EST
I am glad you are on this group; it will help to talk to others
I had my HA & bypass in October, and keep asking these same questions. I think everyone is different so no one can say for sure how long; I keep a journal & it helps me to see how far I have come since sugery. I wish I knew the answer; one day at a time - for me anyway.
Prayers for your recovery.
EMON1, January 24, 2020 6:39pm EST
My HA [3 stents] was Nov 2018, still get random aches.Mostly they seem 'emotionally' related. Firstly, I'm apparently still among the living. Secondly, early on my cardio said some do/don't get them and they do/dont go away with time. [Of course, always mention these things to be safe] Remember that everyone is different.
Many doctors will tell you, after a HA you're often a lot more aware of 'normal' aches and pains you use to ignore.
Djwel, January 25, 2020 11:40am EST
Oh, that's a good point: we may be more aware of the pains we are having. Why wouldn't we be, it's too close to the heart.
I have a portal that I can go to, to ask my docs' questions. At first, I didn't go there - but I figure the worst that can happen, is they ignore me. So I email if I'm concerned & I almost always get an anser within 24 hours. I hate using the internet for specific questions, because it's not always reliable.
I wish everyone well .. and pray we all find answers, but mostly peace & health.
ThoseEyes, January 25, 2020 11:46am EST
I commented to my cardio that I ignore the "tweaks and twinges", his response was to tell me that was exactly what I should be doing.
seattledave, January 25, 2020 1:10pm EST
Hey Ricky. I experienced those pains frequently in the first couple of yrs following my initial ha. They gradually diminished, or more likely, I just stopped paying so much attention. I specifically remember the last time I had one, same location as my MI symptoms, between my shoulder blades. I remember thinking calmly and rationally, ok, if this is for real, it'll still be here in 5 minutes and will probably be worse. Within 5 minutes it was gone and I was off worrying about something else. I was so relieved it wasn't my heart but rather my mind.
And now recently I've learned about the post stent vascular cramps common with stents; an explanation as to the cause for the pains. I only wish I'd been told about this when I was initially discharged. Probably would have spared me a lot of post ha anxiety.
And then there's the hypersensitivity. We tend to notice everything, especially if it's ha symptom related.
Not to minimize or suggest you ignore the pains, definitely don't ignore. Just saying there's another explanation for the possible cause. Keep your nitro always close at hand. Then, next time it happens just pay it attention, but without the alarming fear, try to change your mindset (find a happy place), give it a few minutes and see what happens. If it progresses or gets worse or just doesn't resolve itself, take a nitro and go to the hospital immediately. But if it diminishes or just goes away, it might just be a post stent vascular cramp or your mind messing with ya. I've made 3 trips to the ER since my initial ha in 2015. One in 2017 was another minor MI that was resolved with an angio balloon. The other two were false alarms, induced, I believe, by anxiety. Though no way to medically prove that. And I'm a big fan of science - things that can be proven.
As for the cpap, I don't know. Breathing while we sleep is important. Myself, I've learned to sleep on my side with a body pillow to hug. Seems to work.
Glad you found the forum. Hope ya stay in touch.
Josep, January 26, 2020 8:08pm EST
My ha was the same time as yours, I got 2 stents. There have been chest pains, either sharp or an ache for just a minute. My understanding is this is normal for some people. I do just try to ignore it. My Dr said if it lasts more than a few minutes I should go to the ER. The pains have lessened over time, so that's good.
One explanation is when the stents are placed there is some internal bruising from stent placement, which takes time to heal.
vancet, January 27, 2020 10:07pm EST
Just to echo what everyone is saying, this is normal, RIcky. There are really no timeframes to this as our bodies adjust differently. I'm getting close to 8 months now and they still happen. I think it's just the body's way of telling us there are foreign objects in our chest (for those of us with stents). Stents are metal wire meshes and they take a while before they get covered by muscle cells (or fat). I used to freak out that when the chest pains happened my stents are closing and I have blockage again. But all tests have come back negative, numbers are good and I've been checking my Apple Watch each time it's happened and all normal. It's hard, but like Joseph, you kinda learn to push it aside. You learn to listen to your body, see if anything is out of the ordinary and if things are "ramping up" for the worse, you go to the ER. My doc says that's what our nitro is for. If the chest pains are too much and are constantly long, use the nitro and see if it subsides. After two nitro tries, you call 911.
Like you, I'm now on a cpap machine as I had no idea I was having major sleep apnea issues until after the HA. This is all such an imperfect "science" especially for women I expect that may become part of the treatment cocktail at some point for heart attack survivors. So try to relax when this happens to you and listen. Also as per a discussion here before, this might actually be gastric-related pain. Write down in a journal when this happens and see if you can track it down to something you ate or drank. The results might surprise you.
KimiT, February 4, 2020 5:00am EST
Good Morning !
I thought this would be a good thread to share my thoughts. I too have chest pains a year later when I do certain things like climb 15 stairs to the second story of my house. Or walk too long as in shopping. Or sometimes just simply getting up to walk after sitting in a resting position as in watching TV or driving. As some of you probably feel, this does a number on your head. For me it was depressing and left me feeling like will I ever feel normal again? I discussed this with my cardiologist and he said there were medication options I could try for it. At that time I chose to "live with it". I reached a point a month ago that I no longer wanted to deal with the chest pains and opted to try medication. He put me on Ranexa 500 mgs 2xdaily. I have to tell you it made all the difference in the world ! I no longer suffer from any chest pain no matter what I do. I wish I had started it a long time ago. I have no side effects from it but good ones. Now I'm not saying this is for everyone but am saying for those of you that still suffer from chest pain this might be an option and there are other medications along this same line to try. Discuss it with your cardiologist and see what they say.
Last week I saw my Surgeon. Tomorrow I am having 2 small Ventral Hernias repaired. The surgery itself doesn't bother me but being put to sleep does ! Anyways....my Surgeon also does vascular surgery . I told him about the chest pains and that I had read where it was from the stent itself for various reasons. He said it wasn't the stent itself causing the pain but rather the damage that had been done from the blockage itself. Made sense to me !
Hope you all have a great week !
Mb120918, February 4, 2020 7:40am EST
Good Luck with your surgery! Please give us an update once you are able to post. Looking forward to hearing about your progress.
Djwel, February 4, 2020 8:20pm EST
Thank you for your post; it's good to hear the differences as much as the similarities we all share. Also, to have some more options that others have tried.
Be praying for your surgery; and for peace about going under once again.