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Life after a hear attack
I am a 57 year old male who's has been very active and works out 5 to 6 times a week (weight training). I normally eat health, never smoked and drink occasionally. Last week I wasn't feeling good and thought I had the stomach flu. That Friday I felt much better and decided to go a visit my son 3 hours away.
When I arrived at my destination I suffered a heart attack. I was rushed to the hospital where I received one Stent (100% blockage LCA) that cleaned out all of the plaque. I was told I had another that was 50% blocked but they would treat that with medication.
This whole thing has thrown me for a loop, I thought I was in good shape and healthy and I'm not dealing with this very well.
I feel like I'll never get back to normal and that I'm paranoid to get back to normal. I was told that because I was in good shape and that they caught it relatively quickly, I didn't damage my heart. I have a couple questions that I need answered if anyone can help me out.
How soon can I resume resistance training?
How do I overcome my feeling my active lifestyle is over or severely reduced?
Can I get back to "normal" ?
I'm terrified about having another heart attack and dying.
Do I go and have a 2nd Stent put in where I have a 50% blockage to avoid it getting more blocked? I have a thousand questions that weren't answered by my cardiologist.
Any help old be greatly appreciated
AHAModerator, April 29, 2021 9:11am EST
Thank you for joining the Support Network and sharing your story. We hope that you can find a sense of community and support here. Things may be confusing right now as you navigate the world after your unexpected heart attack. As you wait for others to reply and share their experiences, I encourage you to visit this link on exercising after a heart attack. I think you will be happy to know that studies show that exercise after a heart attack may actually improve your risk of survival. Unfortunately, I am not a medical professional so I can't give advice about the second stent, but you should continue to consult your cardiologist.
Please keep us updated on how you are doing!
MorMor, May 1, 2021 4:44pm EST
Norm, I recently turned 66 and out of no where went into cardiac arrest. My husband called EMSA, they shocked my heart and did CPR then transported me where I had two stents inserted in the right side - 99% blocked. I have lived a great life, quite active, wife, mother and grandmother, have always eaten very healthy, never over weight.
I, too, am scared of having another attack. I have mini panic attacks all the time. I had my first panic attack in the early 80's and learned then how to control my breathing and realize I was not in any danger. It's a little different now, but I am still working on my breathing and believing that I'm okay and getting better.
I think having a forum like this is a huge plus for you and me. I have not gotten to see a cardiologist since my attack almost 6 weeks ago. We live way out in the country, for what it's worth.
I, too, want to know when I'll feel normal again. I'm doing cardio rehab twice a week which I will increase to three times a week in a bit. I think it's helping - I've only been twice so far.
Maybe cardio rehab will be good for you. The hospital should definitely have suggested it before they released you.
Just keep strong and remember that you're going to come through this. We'll come through it together with the others that in the same boat as us.
You're in my prayers and thoughts.
rsuriani, May 3, 2021 6:30pm EST
I'm a 60-year-old male. First of all, you are not alone in this! I had a stent placement in my LAD in August of 2020. It was 100% blocked. I had pains in my left tricep back in February of 2020 whenever I walked an incline or worked on the elliptical. I didn't think anything of it until one night I also had a sharp pain in my sternum and tricp at the same time (i was in bed at the time). Scary. I didn't see my Primary Care Physician until May as I didn't experience anymore chest pain, but continued to have these little pains in the tricep. He said it was time to see the cardiologist. It was not until July but he ran several tests (carotid artery sonogram which was clear) then a stress test which revealed that something was just not right. He scheduled an angioplasty for the following week. There they found the blocked artery and immediately placed the stent.
In September I began Phase 2 of the recovery process. It was a 3-month, 3 day a week program which got me back on the treadmill, rowing, bicycle, elliptical, and light weights. Got my strength back up and gave me A LOT more confidence that I could get back to "normal." I've been doing well losing weight, all my blood work is excellent, levels are all normal, so that is a big plus for me.
From reading several posts on here it seems to take at least a year for most to think everything is back to "normal." Is it frustrating? YES. Every little pain now I think something is wrong. I never felt like that before. I felt physically better a year ago, with the tricep pain, than I do now. I feel weak at times, like my legs are going to give out, or feel light headed. Things I never felt before.
Now is the time to take care of yourself. I have found out what helps a lot is getting together with friends and doing things that you normally would do, go out to dinner, go to the movies, just go out for a drive. I've started getting monthly massages just to reduce anxiety and stress of all of this. I wish I could find someone else who has gone through the same thing and talk face to face. I know that would help more.
Right now this is your "normal" being terrified and anxious. I know that feeling. But I also know I will do my damnest to get better and not let this bring me down. I try to find things that make me laugh, that's important. I'm doing more exercises at home before I ever go back to the gym (Not a fan of wearing a mask on the elliptical or treadmill), and I walk a lot each day. My hobbies are keeping me busy and thankfully group activities are returning.
Talk to your cardiologist about starting Phase two. That will ease your mind a bit about getting back into resistance training.
You WILL get through this with the rest of us. You've taken the first step and reached out. Maybe others will have better advise. But, I'm sure you will also find others that are going through the same feelings.
Hang in there, Norm