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Working After A Heart Attack

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by runner, Feb 18, 2008.

  1. Hi there,

    I had a heart attack at the end of June last year - had an angioplasty and a stent fitted. Am now on various medication for life - came as a bit of a shock as I'm a girlie and (only!) 43.

    I returned to work in September, but am not coping as well as I would have hoped. Blood pressure does seem to go high in the week and drops at the weekends.

    I wasn't offered a phased return, part time etc. and we're in Special Measures. I've had a couple of spells of time off since I returned.

    Is it possible to ask school if I could go part-time, supply etc. or can employer be asked to provide support etc. or would you folks think (like I am I suppose!) that it's time to do something other than teach - if so, what do you suggest? Cardiologist tells me there are no limits on jobs I can do as I didn't suffer heart failure.

    Anyway, all suggestions welcome!

    TIA
     
  2. Hi there,

    I had a heart attack at the end of June last year - had an angioplasty and a stent fitted. Am now on various medication for life - came as a bit of a shock as I'm a girlie and (only!) 43.

    I returned to work in September, but am not coping as well as I would have hoped. Blood pressure does seem to go high in the week and drops at the weekends.

    I wasn't offered a phased return, part time etc. and we're in Special Measures. I've had a couple of spells of time off since I returned.

    Is it possible to ask school if I could go part-time, supply etc. or can employer be asked to provide support etc. or would you folks think (like I am I suppose!) that it's time to do something other than teach - if so, what do you suggest? Cardiologist tells me there are no limits on jobs I can do as I didn't suffer heart failure.

    Anyway, all suggestions welcome!

    TIA
     
  3. Why did you have a heart attack? Were you told what caused it?

    You are ver young so it is interesting to me about your lifestyle etc as this could have some bearing on your job suiatblilty too. (Eg highly stressed etc)

    Glad you're better though

    HF
    XX
     
  4. A similar thing happened to my MUM (59.) She has decided to take early retirement as the school will not accomodate her in terms of cutting the hours. Her BP rocketed during the week and dropped at weekends, like yours.
    In the end, she decided it was just not worth it!
     
  5. Speak to occupational health, they will be able to help you by empowering you with the information you need to put a case forward for part time.

    I haven't had a heart attack but I am in a similar situation in that I have been off for some time and would like to go back part time. My school basically just said no, but they have a duty of care to you. Also contact your union, they may be able to elp.

    Hope that helps
    AbbyS
    x
     
  6. Hi all, many thanks for your replies!

    Genetics seem to be to blame for the heart attack - brought up in the central belt of Scotland where everything was deep fried!

    Smoking probably didn't help! Don't worry - I've stopped now.

    Cardiologist reckons there is no evidence to link stress and heart attacks, but that stress with an existing condition is a bad combination.

    GP says all jobs involve some form of stress but I'd do better to find one a little less stressful. Maybe special measures is a bad idea as well!

    Does anyone have experience of approaching occupational health re part-time etc?

    I am looking at doing something completely different, as I went straight to teacher training college from school, so perhaps very early retirement from teaching would be good!

    Anyway, thanks again for your messages!
     
  7. Hi there
    I can identify with your problem. My wife (teacher) had a heart-attack at 45. She was offered, and took, phased return. However, she was unable to work much beyond a few weeks.
    FIRSTLY, I would totally disgregard your consultant's view on stress and teaching. Strees can certainly be the trigger where there is already some existing medical condition. You need to listen to your body. My wife had angina many months before her heart-attack - but, like 99% of teachers, she chose to ignore. As such, her condition is now more complex than it might otherwise have been.
    As to retirement, my wife received PIB. This is the 'new' lower level of pension. This states she can't teach but can still work. The system seems grossly unfair as she is clearly unable to work without compromising her health - she has a heart condition which is only treatable via drugs - vasospastic angina - no stent option. So, BEWARE of the new and VERY stringent criteria for ill health retirement.
    Anyway, I wish you well. 43 is young, but please look after your health. It's all we have in the end - lecture over!
     
  8. In my previous life working in cardiology - yes risk factors increase your risk, but some people are just damn unlucky.

    We had a patient, female, mid 20's in the forces, played sport at an international level and had a heart attack.

    Oh - no genetic factors either.

    OP If you want to stay in teaching and go part time then have a look at the DDA and the disability equality scheme - you may find you have a right to a "reasonable adjustment"

    As for other careers - what have you always wanted to do?
     
  9. From your descriptin I'd guess you are on a beat blocker (plus a statin and low dose asprin) and that should your BP down but if it is rising in the day then you might need an anti hypertensive, dependiong on how high it is going.

    Have you had a 24 hour BP monitor?
    You could tall to your cardiologist about changing either the meds themselves or taking them differently over the weekend.

    Acebutolol, propanalol, metropololand tiomololhave all been shown to have protective values which at 43 is somethig I'm sure your cardiologist has taken into consideration.

    How are you sleeping? Some beta blockers cause nighmares which are stressfull in themselves.

    Sorry to blag on about meds but there really is a lot of chice and changes tomeds that can be made and will improve quality of life but can take some trial and error.

    If leaving teacjhing is right for you then do it, but if you don't really want to stop teaching then there is a lot that you and your cardiologist can do.
     
  10. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    I very much agree.
    I'm amazed at how well I am following my heart attack in March which resulted in primary angioplasty (stent) and drugs for life. I've no idea what my blood pressure is doing on a daily basis but judging from how I feel it's fine (and, since I'm still in cardiac rehab twice a week, my heart rate is monitored during those sessions and it performs perfectly under the duress of intensive exercise).
    The cardiac nurse who spoke to me at length before I left the hospital and my GP and practice nurse have all taken time to discuss my meds, their possible side effects and their benefits with me and when I developed the ramipril cough they monitored it for a few weeks before deciding I'd be better off on an alternative drug.
    Although I see no good medical reason not to be working (and this is supported by my GP and cardiac specialist) my priorities have changed dramatically and I suspect I'll take early retirement in the next couple of years (I'm currently 53).
     
  11. Hi all,

    Just thought I'd revisit the thread - on appeal, I've been granted ill health retirement (PIB) - all paperwork finished, now just waiting for the money(!).

    I have to say it feels lovely - to be given a fresh start at 48! I feel as if I'm going to be getting pocket money again, but in a nice way. I did try really hard after my heart attack, but it didn't work.

    Please, if anyone else needs to consider ill health retirement, it is possible - you need to make sure you have really strong evidence in your favour - I had support from two consultants and my GP. I was daft enough only to have GP evidence to begin with, hence the appeal.
     

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