Loss of balance 7 months on from heart op

7 months on from op and suddenly - well, gradually - suffering loss of balance.    I have been checked (brain MRI) and am told I have not had new stroke or strokes, so the neurologist thinks the problem is "peripheral", and has referred me to a balance (vestibular) physio.  I do the exercises I have been given but am not finding they make any difference as yet, and one of them is to go out walking to build confidence, doing some walking (about 25 mins in total is as much as I can manage) wihout the stick.  I can do about 100 steps without the stick, but do feel like I am on the deck of a ship.  I do not understand why this has crept up on me;  I had none of this weakness when in hospital or for the first few months at home.   I had a triple bypass, new valve, endocarditis, and a left side stroke.   Then a few months later, Feb, I had to go back in to have the new valve repaired.  I realise I have a long way to go to full recovery, but I am getting really anxious as I worry i am going backwards. I have begun to worry if I am heading towards a form of alzheimers or something ominous.   If some else tells me this lack of balance coming on a few months after a major op is in fact not unusual, it would be helpful and I would feel relieved.

have to say am very disappointed to have had NO RESPONSE at all to my post about balance issues.  I am now more than 8 months on from my heart op and stroke and nothing is changing.  I walk outdoors with a stick, and without one around the house.  Is this what I have to expect and put up with for good?  If anything, my gait is slowly worsening despite balance exercises given to me by a vestibular physio which I have been doing for a month but have lost faith in.   I feel I walk like a clockwork doll who needs winding up!  It is beginning to depress me, I get odd aches and pains in my legs and begin to think of all sorts of issues ...bone cancer?  more heart problems?  My imagination runs wild.  Hard to control and hard to accept.

HI Jackie. I suffer from vertigo and have done since the 1980's. I had my stroke 3 yrs ago but haven't had heart surgery like yourself so mine is not stroke related.  Prior to stroke, I used to take Stemetil which was wonderful and took dizziness away within an hour but I have since been told that stroke patients can't take anti-vertigo tablets as they can bring on another stroke.

I have read that the Epley Manoevre can help with balance and dizziness but it's finiding a physio who is trained to do it. As yours was a vestibular physio, did they suggest this to you when you went?  If not, it may be worth trying..?  Sorry I'm not much help but hopefully there will be others on here who can.

Just wanted to add that since this site changed to listing only the last 10 posts on the front page, it is difficult to find posts once they have disappeared off the front.  If the site is busy, the first 10 posts can disappear within minutes so if you come on here later in the day, it's easy for them to get missed without trawling through the whole site.  Me, and many others on here, have complained about this but it doesn't seem to change much. Don't hesitate to re-post anything you feel has been missed because we are all here to support each other and lots of us are still finding this site difficult to navigate.  Take care.


You can YouTube the Epley Manoevre and get someone to carry it out for you. 

My husband was very successful and my vertigo disappeared. We were very sceptical that it would work but very pleasantly surprised ?

Like onwardsandupwards I was going to say that the site can be quite difficult to navigate for us so it's not unusual for a post to be missed.

I wanted to ask you if you take a statin following the heart op and stroke because lots of us have had leg aches and pains which are due to the statins, it's a common side effect.  I found I could barely walk due to the statin so following a discussion with my GP I changed to a dispersal aspirin 75mgs. Don't stop any medication without first speaking to your doctor, I know it's difficult at the moment to get an appointment but you could maybe ask for a telephone consultation.

If the stroke association has a group near you it will be worth joining. It's a sociable gathering and you will not feel so isolated. No need to explain how you're feeling they will know and will support you. The only trouble is they are cancelled at the moment due to the virus but our group has set up a what's app group so we can stay in touch.

Hope this helps a little, I know you can feel a isolated following a stroke but this group will always help if they can.





Dear Jackie, Sometimes we miss posts, so do not feel too disappointed. Recovery after stroke is very slow, much slower than we think. My stroke was four years ago and two months ago I had a second, milder stroke. 
Like you, I was advised not to use a stick indoors but always to use one outside. When I first started walking outside I had terrible balance problems, fell a few times, and walking was difficult. However, I built up my confidence and ended up going to three exercise classes a week, had short breaks and was doing okay. Then lockdown came, my classes stopped and, out of the blue, came my second mild stroke.

That really knocked my confidence and my ability to walk and balance. However, two months later I am back walking (with an ankle support) and exercise in my kitchen every morning too. I have new aches and pains, but this is probably due to lack of exercise.

I am a determined person and will build myself back to where I was. Persistence always pays off. I hope you will find this to be the case too.

Does he want a job LOL!  I don't think I'd trust mine to do it right bless him.  I'm going to ask my physio when she's caught up on all her cancelled appointments and life (hopefully) gets back to some sort of normal. I've seen it on You Tube and I tried the one where you do it yourself with a pillow. Didn't really work doing it that way for me.

thank you Ann.  Yes I take a statin, but have no reactions from it, to speak of.....as far as I know.  

thanks for this.  The physio got me to do this via Zoom....and it did not make any difference.  I am not really dizzy, I just lack good balance.  I think I may have to learn to live with it, but thanks for trying.  Jackie

thanks John, and I wish you well and with good improvement in due course.  I will hope for the same.