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A month ago it all changed.
I am so excited to have found this support network and am looking forward to reading your stories. Strength in numbers, right?
Tomorrow will be one month since I suffered an NSTEMI and had an emergency angioplasty with three stents placed in my LAD. It was 100% blocked. My cardiologist tells me I had no more than a few hours left if I'd have ignored it any longer. Clearly God is not done with me yet. I'd had three episodes of crushing chest pain in the week leading up to my heart attack. Having formerly been in the healthcare field, I did the stupid thing and waited for it to go away each time until the last one. My advice to anyone ever feeling the crushing pain---GET IT CHECKED OUT even if it goes away. Better to have it be nothing than to have it be something.
Since the MI, there's been good and bad. On the good side, I have lost 20 pounds already. On the bad side, I have nuisance symptoms---PVCS and extreme fatigure. I am back at work already with my doc's okay, but there are some days I am so exhausted I have to just lie on the floor and rest before going home. I've also been rehospitalized once because I was dizzy and my blood pressure was way low. Aside from that, the biggest challenge I've faced is the low-sodium diet. I am making choices and cutting where I can, but I really hope to find some tasty recipes that are healthy yet full of flavor so I won't miss the salt.
I confess I'm a bit anxious about cardiac rehab. I HATE gyms. I HATE being looked at. I HATE being looked at in gyms, lol. Three minutes on the treadmill was more than enough for me. If an exercise is monotonous and not engaging, I don't want to do it. But I know I need to get past this and bring my EF up even more (it is already up to 45% from 35% post MI).
I am, again, so grateful to have found this group. I have been trying to find a local support group or even a therapist to help me through all this so I don't feel so overwhelmed and frustrated, and I think just knowing I'm not alone in this will be a big help.
Thanks for listening.
Mb120918, September 2, 2019 8:02pm EST
Hi, glad that you are progressing well. Don't be afraid of cardiac rehab. It really isn't like a gym setting. Everyone there is in the same boat. It is a slower pace and you will gain some confidence and start to feel better mentally. Mine has a TV that I stare at food the hour. Probably head phones might be a good idea? Good luck and you will get through.
VolModMike, September 4, 2019 3:00pm EST
Hi, V, and welcome to the support network. As you seem to have figured out you're among friends here. I agree with what Mary said about rehab, don't be afraid. And there's a nationwide gym where they don't judge you and you have no reason to be looked at. Anyway it's unfortunate that you had to find us as the circumstances of our being here are not at all good. It's great that you went in to the hospital to be checked and they found your BP was low. Remember that if you have any episodes of pains or symptoms of a possible HA get to the ER immediately! You stated that you were in the healthcare field so you should know the ER personnel won't think you're weird or a complainer if you show up to be checked and they find nothing wrong. It's quite the opposite, from my experiences as they take these things very seriously. The exhaustion is normal and it will be for a while. How long is anybody's guess. And you've had stents inserted so it may take a while for your body to get accustomed to the foreign bodies. It sounds like you're in good spirits with everything that's happened and that is a very good thing. You know your body better than anyone so listen to what it tells you. Eat right, take your meds, EXERCISE, and lower your stress level. I think you're going to be ok. Good luck with everything and don't be a stranger. Let us know how you're doing.
Best of everything, Mike
vancet, September 5, 2019 5:09am EST
Welcome, V. As the kind folks here have said to me when I first joined, we are sorry you had to join this club of survivors but glad you found the place.
Like you, I also am in the health care field and as I live in Canada, I had a poor view of hypochondriacs burdening our ERs for no reason. I don't think that way now but as I don't like relying on others (really, burdening them) very much, my poor attitude needs some adjustment. It's almost 3 months since my 3-stent STEMI and I still have the odd aches and pains and get anxious way too easily. I think my body has mostly recovered but emotionally and mentally I'm not there yet.
I'm still waiting to get into cardiac rehab but from what I've seen when I've stopped by to visit, it seems like a very welcoming place. The cardiac care employees in my area are quite cheerful and really try to encourage you. Everyone seems to be in the same boat trying to rehab and get their lives back so it's not like a muscle gym where people show off.
All the best in your cardiac journey.
Cath4, September 5, 2019 9:27am EST
Hi V, unfortunately welcome! I am 2 months post HA. I think you are doing great, lost 20 lbs already, that’s awesome. I wish I would have lost 20 lbs thus far. I have not been to cardiac rehab, my doctor doesn’t think “I have a strong indication to do so” but from what I have read on previous posts, it seems like an amazing place! Don’t mind me asking, are you taking metoprolol? I felt exhausted when I was on that. Sorry you are feeling so exhausted but hopefully it will get better. I see you are back to work already, just don’t push yourself too hard. Keep up the great work! Anytime you need to talk, I am here, Cathy
Bob1958, September 18, 2019 11:34am EST
Hi. Your story sounds very similar to mine. I am a health care worker too. I was a stemi with 3 stents september 5th. No chest pain, just indigestion, and feeling awful all over. After trying to ignore it for 1 1/2 hours i finally let my wife drive me to the hospital (less than 10 minutes). The cardiologist said waiting would of meant more damage. I was in the hospital 2 1/2 days. I received wonderful care, but when released had to deal with a lot of emotions. It feels good reading your story knowing someone knows how I feel. Please do your cardiac rehab. It will be very good for your heart! Don't worry about what other people think. Do it for yourself.