Frequently Asked Questions


Some questions that you may think of and don’t want to phone the NHS Helpline to ask?

Driving – How soon can I drive again afterwards?

One month or 4 weeks as a general rule, but this depends on what you experienced, so ask your Doctor for his opinion. You have to notify your Car/Transport Insurance company and tell them about your health issue.

Pause for thought and ask yourself the following first…..

You may feel that you are quite able to sit behind the wheel of your vehicle within a couple of days, however your heart needs time to recover from the treatment. Just imagine that you feel ready to drive after a few days, and go for a short drive to the shops thinking that if you drive slowly, then nothing will happen. But what if another car hits yours? Would your insurance company honour any claim you made?

What if a person stepped out in front of your car and you had to make a sudden stop? Think of your heart and it’s reflexes not being quite what they used to be, because you are recovering and your heart does not need any anxiety or quick-thinking exercises just yet!

Flying – How soon after can I fly in a plane?

Doctor will advise. It’s all about the chances of blood clots, especially if it was a recent surgery. If in doubt ask. Everyone is different. It was over a year since my surgery and I asked my doctor if it was safe. He didn’t laugh, and said that it is normal for survivors of heart attacks to ask questions on flying even 5 years after a heart event.

Drink plenty water, stay off alcohol and exercise your legs as much as possible. Even sitting and rotating your feet or doing steps – heel to toe, can help keep the blood flowing and reduce any chance of blood clots. Ask your nurse or doctor for tips on flying. Remember each individual is different, so if you are concerned, better to ask someone who knows your medical history, rather than presuming you fit into a  ‘normal’ box which is highlighted on the internet.

Medication – How do drugs interact with each other. Can I take painkillers for a headache or hay fever pills etc. You must speak to a NHS professional familiar with your case or telephone your local chemist and ask their advice. Some drugs do not interact very well with others, so don’t presume anything, find out from qualified people if in any doubt. Better safe than sorry.

If my doctor or cardiologist advised me to take aspirin and 10 other pills every day, I would not argue with them, as this is their area of expertise on helping you live a healthier and longer life. Once you feel stronger, then by all means ask more about what the drugs do and how long you will have to take them.

Breaking Rules – Everything in moderation is what the doctor will say, as a general rule of thumb. If you are offered a piece of birthday cake, then it is your body, your choice. You are the only one who knows what you can and cannot manage.

Anything to add here? Any questions asked will be answered to the best of my knowledge.

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