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Anyone 5 years post heart attack and still healthy and strong?
Hi everyone! I joined this group to help my sweet father, who had a widowmaker massive heart attack almost 4 years ago to this day. Our Christmas gift to us was he was discharged on Christmas Eve in 2016. He had high BP for years, but just prior to his heart attack he had a clean bill of health, a clean EKG, tests, etc, so his heart attack took him by complete shock. He eats healthy, doesn't drink/smoke, gets exercise, an overall healthy guy to begin with. Ever since his heart attack, he's extremely worried he's going to have another, even after reassurance from his doctors and specialists that he's well and healthy.
My dad doesn't know a single person who had a heart attack and didn't die within 3-5 years, so his worry/anxiety is related to that. I know anxiety/worry is common after heart attacks, but I feel like he needs some feel-good reassurance to know it's possible to have only one heart attack and live longer than 5 years without having another and staying healthy.
If this is you, or one of your loved ones, would you please be so kind to maybe write my dad a little message saying whatever reassuring and uplifting things you've got for me! Even a "Hey, I'm so and so (or my dad is), I had a heart attack when I was 58 and was so worried I would have another. I was healthy to start, and now I'm 74 and feeling great, eating healthy, playing with my great grand-kids...." whatever you'd like to share. I'd love to be able to print these out for my dad in hopes it gives him some peace and comfort.
Thank you all so much in advance for your kindness, compassion, and support <3
lyspae, December 23, 2020 10:13am EST
I am a 4 year heart attack survivor, almost to the day. I was 59 & had 3 stents placed. I’m doing very well!! Take a lot of meds, but keeps things going. Did develop A-Fib about 2 yrs after heart attack, however, managing that well too. We will do this, as will many other people!!!
Djwel, December 23, 2020 11:05pm EST
it's been 14 months since my heart attack, and triple-bypass surgery. I am responding because my husband's grand-father had a heart attack when he was in his 70s, had a quadruple bypass and lived to be 90. He followed his doctor's direction & kept up with his meds as told. I knew him and loved him dearly, because he was always positive & had great faith. As for me, I was fearful at first - eveything was so new; and there are times still when I worry -- but for the most part, I have accepted that I have a heart disease & must take care of myself best I can. Worry/anxiety is our enemy; meditation helps me overcome that. Exercise is also good for the heart & good for all over health - right?
I'll be praying for your family, esp during the holidays. Thank you for posting; hearing that your father is 4 years out encourages me; thank you for that.
tracyt, December 23, 2020 11:59pm EST
Hey Mb120918 , Thank you for your thoughtful and honest comment. Congratulations on your 2 year anniversary!!
To be fair, I have never heard of a 3-5 year "survival" rate - I don't actually think it exists - where those numbers came from is what my dad has stuck in his head based on his own experience with a dear friend who had a heart attack. This friend was in very poor health to begin with, a smoker, overweight, never exercised, ate fast food as his primary meal and had risk factors left and right. While I'm unsure of his friend's cause for passing, it's all my father has stuck in his head and that's what he's basing his fears upon. I have several friends whose family members are as strong and healthy as you and can feel more calm and confident knowing you're even stronger now than you were before. I am not worried about my father's health, he takes care of himself, he gets exercise. He has asked me to reach out to hear from fellow survivors to connect. He just wants to talk about it with others who have experienced the same, but doesn't use the computer much and we both thought this was a good first step.
You're right, it is important for him to feel his feelings, and I can assure you we aren't whitewashing anything for him - his panic and anxiety is a little much for him right now and he is getting help for it, allowing himself to feel, but also one of his requests was to hear from people who have been around the block and continue to do well. It seems this group has a lot of recent survivors, so I'm hoping a handful of people who are still thriving years afterward stop by time to time to offer encouragement to others like yourself and my father. :)
tracyt, December 24, 2020 12:01am EST
lyspae Woo hoo! 4 years strong. Sounds like you and my dad share strong heart anniversaries! I think his was Dec 20/21, 2016. I appreciate you taking time to comment and share a bit of where you've been over the past few years. I know my dad will be encouraged to hear others are strong and doing well. :) Best to you and your family and Happy Holidays!
tracyt, December 24, 2020 12:04am EST
Djwel - Thank you so much for taking the time to write about not only your own experience with overcoming fear through meditation and exercise, but also in sharing your husband's grandfather's good health and journey after his heart attack. You both sound like wonderful people who have strong faith, and your comment was uplifting and encouraging. Thank you again. Happy Holidays and continued good health to you and your family. :)
JeffB, December 24, 2020 9:53pm EST
I just wanted to chime in on this. I had a heart attack six years ago coming this April. I'm healthy as hell. Strong. Even though I had a terrible year which may make me pay the price toward the end. There's not a day that does not go by that I don't think about it. But, that's the point for me. Living. We are all going to die. Heart attack or not. We have no control over this. The only thing we do have control over, which I have embraced, is the living of our day(s).
I hope yours are full of love, laughter, and joy. Don't let fear into your heart. It's the poison we all fight against like small candles in the dark. Individually, we are dim lights, but together we are as bright as the sun. My light may go out tomorrow. I have no control over that. But the group of us are here to support each other. Good times and bad. Because we are brave. We want to live. Make the time you have count.
zndrby, December 24, 2020 10:49pm EST
Here is some cheering. My father had his first heart attack in his early 40's in 1979. Had quad bypass in 1979. In 1997 he was put on the transplant for heart and kidney. Lived 15 additional year with heart and kidney transplant.
To quote him, "Live every day like your last, treat others the way you want to be treated, smile and say hi to everyone it doesn't cost anything."
Here's to your dad reaching 5 years
Nadongar, December 26, 2020 6:09am EST
My friend had a stroke 2 years ago, but he was able to recover and is now moving better than many of his peers. I hope that everything will be the same with him in the future or even better.
Ripo23, December 27, 2020 3:18am EST
I am 43 and had my HA in feb of 2019. I sometimes think about the same question myself ..how long do people live after the Heart attack and stent.
then I read the following story (see link below) to get strength
vancet, December 28, 2020 4:16pm EST
Congratulations on your Dad's 4 years anniversary. I had mine in June 2019 (STEMI, 3 stents in the LAD) and I was reading and trying to research survival statistics out of morbid curiousity not long-after I survived. They were concerning but I also had no idea whether the folks who died tried to live better, their ages, or had other complications glossed over in the research paper. I was 43, and I am determined to keep living my life. I haven't been and felt this healthy in over 10 years but it did take time to get the confidence to live life. There's not one week where I don't think about having another heart attack at least once. There are some days I live in fear (usually when I'm sick and lethargic and not feeling 100%). We will all pass away at some point but I try to live life knowing I was fighting every step of the way to not have another HA. I exercise very regularly and eat healthy (minus the cheat meal once a week).
If your Dad is feeling fatalistic, you may want to suggest some counseling sessions or talk to a cardiologist to get the latest research stats.