Steve's Story

Published Wed, 25 Oct 2017 by SCAD Admin

16-Feb-2014: I was out on a 77 mile cycle ride. The 3rd hard ride in four days. Not what you should really do for a training program (too many hard sessions too close together). At 40 miles, I was 10 mins into a 30 min mountain climb when I experienced a numbing pain from the middle of my chest which spread to my upper arms making them feel floppy.

I was wearing a heart rate monitor at the time and looked down to see my heart rate rise from 155 (normal at this time) to 230. I eased off the power and the sensation went away but my heart rate would not drop below 200. When I got to the top of the mountain, I rested for 10 mins and then carried on. My heart rate still wouldn’t drop below 190 and every time I tried to turn the power on I experienced the numbing sensation so continued to cycle the next 30 miles at a reduced pace.

When I got home I felt more drained than normal and had to lie on the floor for about 10mins, almost falling asleep. I then got up, showered and went shopping. There were no more symptoms other than I felt tired and drained. I went to work the next day. No further symptoms but all my colleagues said I looked very pale and run down. They talked me into seeing the doctor that same day who did an ECG (this was ok no problems), heart rate back to 46 (this is normal for me at fitness level) but the blood tests came back with higher than normal troponin levels which apparently indicates some kind of heart trauma.

I was sent immediately into hospital where, for the next 5 days, they carried out ECGs (normal) and monitored my heart rate (normal). On the 4th day they did an echo sound which highlighted an issue with the left side of my heart. On the 5th day I had an angiogram which showed a tear of my left artery. I was given the conservative cause of treatment until the next angiogram (dissolvable aspirin and clopidogrel) and no exercise. Had my 2nd Angiogram on 1st April which reported a clean heal. I was told to continue with medicine and to do very light exercise (not easy when you are used to pushing yourself hard).


I am back to some cycling, 2 bike rides to work (21 miles each way) and some at the weekend plus trying to fit in a round of golf. If I play golf, I take away one of the bike rides. I seem to struggle quite a bit if I use any upper body strength such as lifting heavy bags and sometimes after playing golf where my chest feels as if someone is permanently sat on it and a very slight difficulty in breathing. This can last a few days then I am fine to go cycling or play golf again.

I did mention this to my consultant after the 2nd angiogram (the chest pains) but he said that my heart was clear and nothing else wrong with it. So still very confused about the chest pressure feeling.