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Guess I'm looking for support from people who have been there. Monday I had a heart attack and was lucky to have a stent placed as one of my arteries were completely blocked. The other two appear to be fine. I'm just wondering if anyone else felt a lot of phantom pain or pressure after or just emotional ups and downs looking for some support please
AHAModerator, December 27, 2020 11:46am EST
Hello, I am so sorry you are going through this, especially around the holidays. Heart attacks are frightening experiences, but you should know this: you are not alone.
I'd encourage you to visit these resources on the AHA website about Life After a Heart Attack if you haven't already. There is a lot of good information there for someone like you.
Please keep your spirits up and keep us updated on how you are doing.
The AHA Support Team
Mb120918, December 28, 2020 7:37am EST
Yes, plenty of pressure and phantom pains. Tell your doctor about it. What you went through is a major psychological trauma. It takes about 2-3 months to get a grip. Join cardiac rehab if you can, it really helps you trust yourself again. The phantom pains will start to fade. This site is great for sharing. Also, you can check out some of the past posts, it really helps. Hope you start to feel better soon, it's a process. Looking forward to hearing about your progress.
RNME46, December 28, 2020 10:32am EST
Pamma, sorry to hear about your recent HA. I have had a stent put in my LAD that was 90% blocked. Unfortunately this also became blocked (restenosis) 7 moths later, requiring bypass surgery. What you describe is quite normal as you will see from most of the posts on this site. Cardiac rehab is a big help if you can find a program that is still operating in this pandemic environment. It not only strengthens your heart, but the social interaction with others who have the same or similar conditions is extermely helpful to ease some of your fears. Also the exercise phyiologists and the RNs present in this setting can help with your questions. I have found that dealing with psychological issues is a major problem for many of us with this disease. However, there is help for this and your cardiologist maybe able to make some recommendations.
Best wishes for a less stressful recovery.
vancet, December 28, 2020 3:58pm EST
Sorry to hear you had to deal with this over the holidays and with a pandemic going on to boot.
I don't know if you had a STEMI but I was rushed to the ER and 1 artery was 100% blocked and the others close to it so I had 3 stents put in the LAD. Yes, "phantom" pains, shortness of breath are quite common. I experienced those for over a year. The nitro pills/spray they prescribe you is for the angina (chest pain) that you may experience. My cardio, on the exit interview, warned me of PTSD. Most heart attack patients experience this. LIke Mary said, as soon as you are up to it, enrolling into cardiac rehab is a great idea. It helped me gain the knowledge and confidence needed to keep living.
Cwell, December 29, 2020 7:36pm EST
Good evening Pamma,I've been dealing with heart issues for awhile now. Had congestive heart failure,I have a stint,I have angina.had a heart attack week before Christmas. I'm wearing a life vest now and I may possibly have to have a defibrillator inplant. I can understand how you feel.i take my medication everyday and put my faith in GOD. I get my treatment through VA and they are great
SingletonMel, January 2, 2021 6:28pm EST
Hello all! I too had a heart attack Sept.17th 2020 at the age of 39 and I have also experienced all of the things you'll have mentioned, from the phantom pains, depression to out right just feeling so hopeless. I am now currently wearing a life vest since the HA and I just had my last echocardiogram to see if my heart function had come back and unfortunately it is still at a severe function level 25%-30% which makes me a perfect candidate for an ICD. So in the near future I will no longer be attached to this vest. I hope that everyone finds some kind of peace coming in to the New Year and please keep posting updates it definitely helps to know that they're people out here that understand what I am going through. Sending my love and blessings
steveSD, January 4, 2021 12:54pm EST
Welcome to the site. As you go through various posts and see responses you'll find we've pretty much all experienced this and the phantom pains and pressure are very common, especially right after. They get better with time and you will figure out what's real and what isn't. I post this answer from my cardiologits frequently. He said there are 3 things to consider with chest pain: 1) Does it feel similar to what brought you to the hospital the first time for the heart attack? 2) Was it brought on by exercise or stress? [in my case walk-in freezers gave me pain for a while] and 3) Does it get better with the nitro? If those are all yes then it's probably related to your heart. If the nitro makes it better you usually are ok but they give you instructions on that. He said you will be very aware of everything from the neck down. Sometimes sitting in a bad position can create pressure and so can many other things. For me sometimes working out did it so I had to think, is the pain on both sides or just the left? The good news is that the sensation became less and less frequent over time and after about 18 months I pretty much stopped having them except for extreme stress. I'm coming up on 4 years and my heart condition is very well managed. I had 2 stents back then and another peripheral artery that's totally blocked but now has collateral blood flow.
Cardiac rehab was a blessing. They taught me what to watch out for and how hard I could push myself without overdoing it. I'm actually stronger now and in better shape than I was before the heart attack. It took a lot of work and a major change in diet but I got there. Best of luck to you. - Steve
grtraver, January 4, 2021 5:41pm EST
Hey, glad to hear from you! And "Congratulations" you are a survivor! I am new here myself even tho my last "event" was 14 months ago.
I want to echo Mary's comment. You have gone through an incredibly stressful and traumatic event. Some of us have PTSD and why wouldn't we? We just went through an absolute nightmare and the pain was off the scale. Talking it out can help even if the cat is the only person around.
As I've heard many times,.." Your body has taken a huge hit, you got to learn to slow down mentally as well as physically"
One obstacle I faced was "feeling" like I was totally alone, even with others around. I felt so disconnected from the world around me. It took a while for all the marbles to stop rolling around in my head. I am one of those people who don't handle anesthesia very well at all. I don't get sick, it just makes me feel like I have drain bamage. It takes time for all those incredible life-saving drugs to work out of my system. Just keep telling yourself that it is okay, everything's gonna be alright!
My typical day finds me riding an emotional roller coaster, but that's progress. For too long my "event" had me down, pinned down and kneeling on my chest. All I felt was pain and it became all-consuming and sure enough, it ****** me down into a really dark place. Through a serendipitous course of events, I found a journal. ( I love to write ) But the next morning when I opened it up I found it wasn't just any journal. The very first thing at the top of the page was a question. "What am I grateful for today" ****! That was the start of my new life! (Thank You Fire Nation!)
I get a bit overwhelmed at times and I have to perform a mental reset. What am I grateful for? That is my foundation. And I start over again. Rinse, wash, repeat.
You got this! You are a survivor, you are meant to be here for a reason. Pursue it!
Cwell, January 4, 2021 6:08pm EST
I just want to say this forum is the best!!,the outpouring of support is phenomenal and I want to thank everyone for their input I'm 59 and a veteran,will be 60 in July and with my faith in GOD and my immediate support system and the outstanding care I'm getting from VA I know I will reach that milestone.i go for my ultrasound on the 16th of this month, I'm wearing a life vest right now,hopefully my heart will be pumping stronger,they tell me I'm a candidate for a ICD, but if its GOD'S will and then so be it, I will accept that and continue to live and and be a beacon to all who have to live with one and continue to support those who need support and support the AHA!!