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New to Forum - two NSTEMI’s in three months
I am new to the forum and a bit nervous to post this. On August 1st I had my first HA that had a blocked LAD. While in the procedure the catheter dissected my left main, so hence ended up with two stents instead of one. Apparently, the dissection of an artery is not common bit it happens. I was in week four of my cardiac rehab when on an evening October 28th , I started experiencing symptoms similar to my first heart attack and called 911. Crushing chest pain, although not as bad as first. Turns out, the stent in my LAD has suffered restenosis of 99% with scar tissue. Because of that blockage, my diagonal artery was blocked and had a thrombus so another stent in the diagonal plus one more in the post LAD with a total of four. I was feeling really great before the second NSTEMI and am feeling a bit discouraged right now. I started back up at cardiac rehab but this has taken the wind out of my sails and I am fearful of something else happening.
inhave started to meditate a couple of times a day bit would appreciate any ideas on how to cope with this as it is hard some days. I am normally a hugely positive person, so this has thrown me a bit.
inhave also had more chest pain since the second procedure bit on reading some of these posts, post stent pain seems to be normal or at least common?
thank you for any feedback and tips you might have.
AHAASAKatie, November 12, 2020 8:48am EST
Thank you so much for sharing what is happening in your life. You have had a lot to deal with and I am sure our members will be able to share their experiences with you. I can share the information we have regarding life after a heart attack to help with the next steps in your recovery. Please know that we are here to share and support you. Best Katie
KarlR, November 12, 2020 4:22pm EST
It sounds like you've had quite the rough time. It also sounds like you did exactly the right thing when you had your second heart attack.
Restenosis is common enough that we all worry about it. It hasn't happened to me yet. (My HA was in June.) It might never happen to me. But there's about a 12% chance that it could happen to me (or any other HA survivor).
Minor amounts of chest pain are very, very common. As I've gotten further from my heart attack, it's become less frequent. But it's still something I end up feeling at some point during a typical week. I haven't had more severe chest pain (yet), but I've heard that it's sufficiently common that I'm likely to go rushing to the ER at some point in the next year ... hopefully for a false alarm.
We all get nervous about our chest pain, because we never know if it's a symptom of restenosis and/or a second heart attack. I can see why you'd be even more concerned that the rest of us, given your experiences.
I've never been particularly good at meditation. I personally find it more frustrating than relaxing. I prefer music, yoga, dancing, and certain other kinds of exercise for stress relief. (The pandemic, of course, interferes with a lot of that.)
I think you're doing the right thing by returning to cardiac rehab. My heart is much stronger because of it (and my ongoing exercise program). That's still not a guarantee that I won't have a second heart attack, but at least I'll be healthier in the meantime.
Having ups and downs is also quite normal. I've been through a few of those already. I just keep plugging along, and other days/weeks are better. I think one of the reasons I continue to put so much effort into diet and exercise is because it allows me to do something about my health. We don't have full control of our health, but we can take charge of the few things we can control.
Good luck. I hope your heart health shows steady improvement from here on out.
JamesPL, November 12, 2020 6:17pm EST
I agree with Karl especially regarding cardiac rehab. For me it worked wonders. I didn't have a heart attack fortunately but I did have multiple blockages resulting in bypass surgery. Yes chest pains are common afterward and the anxiety you're feeling is common especially with what you've gone through. I have found that continuing to exercise is a very effective method to ward off many of the anxious feelings you're having. It's also very good for your heart. I would recommend seeking as much advice as you can from the professionals. When I was in cardiac rehab, I asked my therapists about various methods of exercise, what's good to do and what they think I should be doing. I would also recommend consulting with your cardiologist. Tell him/her what you are feeling. They might be able calm your fears a little by letting you know what you might expect going forward. I have had many concerns after getting chest pains and my cardiologist often will give me a stress test just to satisfy her (and me) that everything is normal.
I wish you all the best!
Ali1215, November 13, 2020 11:51am EST
Thank you, everyone. I appreciate the information and encouragement. My first week back to cardiac rehab went pretty well. I am hoping things continue to improve. It is good to hear the feelings I am having are normal. I forgot to mention on background that I am a 49 year old female with a family history of heart disease. Never smoked, and have led a pretty healthy life and other than the obvious, in good physical shape with daily exercise. Thank you again.
JeffB, November 23, 2020 9:51pm EST
Hey, apologies for the delayed post here, I read your entry over the weekend and then got caught up in life and work. Still, I've had you on my mind for days now.
We had similar reactions to our cardiac events. Anxiety, depression, and daily fear on my part. Meditation has been a significant factor in helping to manage this. As has slow and steady physical activity. Lastly, seeing a therapist, several actually, has given me a framework to build myself a ladder out of some pretty deep emotional holes.
Try to keep sharing your journey here. All of us have been touched, in some way or another, heart issues.
Hit us up if you need anything or just someone to talk to. You are not alone in this.