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nander, July 13,  2019  12:16am EST

Scared to fall asleep

I had an heart attack on June 9th, then a blood clot in my leg June 25th. During my stay I had a cardiac arrhythmia I was able to bring myself out of it and did not even know until the doctors and nurses woke me up from my sleep and asked if I was okay. They put an ICD in on July 1st. Every since the arrhythmia I have been scared to go to sleep.

4 Replies
  • NewPacer73
    NewPacer73, July 13,  2019  9:38am EST

    @nander I totally get the emotional toll that happens with those two events. I had a cardiac arrest in early June then was re-hospitalized with bacterial pneumonia, so I was a mess too. When I first came home, since mine was a bradycardia cardiac arrest (Slow heart beat, no blockage), I had to get used to a device being planted in my chest. Pretty scary. This thing inside me will actually keep me from dying?  Having had some followup on the device, I am finally realizing that the back up they installed will really save my life if I am in trouble. I still get emotionally scared now and then, but I do believe it's a time thing. As time goes on, blood work improves, etc., I am getting more and more confident I'm no longer in serious danger. And I believe that because we are survivors, you and I have a better chance at being around longer than others who have not yet been caught with these hidden cardiac problems. I'm seeing a counselor to sort out the emotional side of having cardiac episodes and that is helping to just talk it out. It's kind of like PTSD, it impacts us emotionally. It's maddening that there are no support groups for cardiac episodes in any of the hsopitals around or in any organization (did try one called Sudden Cardiac Arrest but got no response in two tries, so it's probably debunct). That feeling of surviving a life threatening/life ending episode is slowly going from fear to comfort. We are the lucky ones. Someone told me recently that the reason there are no support groups for this is because very few actually survive the episode (in my case 10% survive). You are normal in feeling the fear and emotional side effects. Keep writing on this blog and get some solace in knowing you are in a very select survivor group who feel like you do. When the gloom of what "could" happen next comes to mind, I work on focusing on how I want to live my time left on this earth. I could worry daily, be afraid OR I can just take it day by day and try on each new day. Lack of sleep for you is not helping, so I might ask for a sleep aid to help you feel energized enough to take on each day. I wear a baseball cap to the gym that has one word on it "UNSTOPPABLE" because I'm coming in to the phase from being fearful to being confident. I hope this post helps you see how another cardiac/arrythmia patient is handling the same stuff.

  • TessC
    TessC, July 14,  2019  3:51pm EST

    Such good advice to help us work through our anxiety after a cardiac issue, NewPacer73. It's too bad the doctors we see have very little time to help us through the emotional issues we often get after cardiac incidents. They fix our "plumbing" or "electrical" heart problems, but have no time to help us through the emotional. That is the value of this and other online support resources. I wish you well nander.

  • NewPacer73
    NewPacer73, July 14,  2019  7:17pm EST

    @TessC, thanks! I was hoping to learn of a support group via this blog, but so far, no one seems to know of any. My counselor wants me to start one! Gosh, in 2019, no one in cardiology has figured out it's neded? smile  I went out socially last night for the first time in months and singing along with Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, thinking of so many happy memories really helped me a lot. I'm proud I conquered the fear of "what if I get sick again" and pushed myself out the door. This is a very important blog for me. I need to know I'm not alone in how I feel. @Nander, let us know how you are doing. Hugs to all!

  • Devoep
    Devoep, August 4,  2019  4:25am EST

    I too was scared to go to sleep in fear of not waking the next morning. I am in my sixties but do not think that my A-fib just started. I didn’t drink or smoke, try to take care of my body, vitamins, rest and the normal stress. I was sent straight to the EP and they got right down to the business of the procedure as one mate called it earlier in another post rather than saying surgery. I had told everyone that I had surgery. They did put me to sleep for this procedure. I was scared like it was a surgery, but call it as you may. My heart rate soared to around 200 bpm, l did not track how long it stayed. I just think that went the dizziness and shortness of breath were over, it was over. There is a book out there as well as I do also suggest the seminars Get in Rhythm that is held in Dallas. The book is on Amazon (My Black Heart). A short read, but in the perspective of the patient from diagnosing to surgery to recovery with the actual surgery reports, lab readings, test result, emotional counseling, and testimony. Encouragement with the drama throughout the book for those that need encouragement along the way and insight into the future. It should help with some future decisions that you will have to make. Also, for anyone else on the forum, for some comparisons of treatments, and to let you know that you are not alone in this journey. I understand the pain, fears, and uncertainty. May you feel better my friends after you read the book. My Black Heart subtitle: My Ablation Surgery

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