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Chancellor1, October 26,  2020  9:59am EST

Septal infarct on ECG


I was recently diagnosed with a septal infarct on my ECG during a pre-op exam for something unrelated. I'm generally very healthy and fit, with good eating and workout habits. I just turned 38 and don't smoke, drink socially. Nothing in my family history that I'm aware of. This came out of nowhere for me and I'm freaking out. I was shocked when speaking with the cardiologist so didn't get to ask things like:

1. What does this mean for me?

2. Is it treatable?

I have a follow up stress test in about 2 weeks (earliest available). But in the meantime my mind is going crazy worrying about my wife and 8yr old daughter. Any thoughts or clarity would be welcome.

7 Replies
  • AHAASAKatie
    AHAASAKatie, October 27,  2020  9:39am EST

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us. This is not a condition I am familiar with and am glad you have a follow up in two weeks for the stress test and to learn more. Try NOT to think worst-case scenario, but do keep a running list of all the questions you have. There is so much involved in learning you have a condition, it is not unusual to blank a bit and not ask all the questions the first time around. You might also consider taking someone with you. Having a second set of ears helps later when you are trying to remember everything the doctor said.  

    Please know we are here for you, to listen and support. 

    Best Katie

  • Jbm2020
    Jbm2020, October 29,  2020  10:16am EST

    I will pray for you.  I hope you believe in God because I credit Him and his mother Mary for saving my life when I had a massive heart attack (May 31st,2020) while loading semi-trucks at an Amazon Fulfillment Center. By the way, I am 56 years young.  I was saved by a series of "Angels."  The first being a security guard at my work who ran 250 yards to reach me lying unconscious with blood coming from my head in the fall to the ground.  She found that I was still breathing and gave me 30 minutes of life saving C.P.R. as I was transported to Franciscan Hospital in Greenwood Indiana.  I would have died if it werent for my co-worker, Alana.  I was able to speak to her over the phone about a month later.  I was placed in an induced coma for 5 days in the Critical Care Unit and my wife was of course so worried and the team of both Nuero and Cardio emergency Doctors were the additional "Angels" that God provided me with.  I ended up staying in the hospital for 22 days.  The last 2 nights are considered feast days, (The Sacred Heart of Jesus and The Immaculate Heart of Mary). They put a stint in my left ventricle, meaning that part of my heart is "dead."  I have a "New Norm,"  it is living on 30% of my heart.  It hasn't been easy, but my Doctor has me on seven medications and I am able to be at home with my dear wife and 3 kitties.  I'll pray for you as I said before.  I hope your not offended by my faith but it is my testimonial to the power of God in a situation where all of the Doctors didn't think I was going to make it (live), and when I did, my Cardiologist said it was a "miracle, a blessing!"  JBL    P.S.  Positive thinking improves the percentage of my heart that is working!!!

  • If6Was9
    If6Was9, October 29,  2020  11:02am EST

    So sorry to hear about your diagnosis.  Discussions with your Dr like this are highly emotional, and I've also been in the position where I walk out of an appt and feel like I missed important info.   Combine that with the fact that Drs have limited time due to rushing from one patient to another, and you may have weeks between one appt and another and it can sometimes be difficult to get all the answers you need.  I've taken to keeping notes notes on a Google doc on my phone for my appts (any cloud based note app would work).  When I'm in the waiting room before an appt I write down all the questions that I have and then run through the whole list when I see the Dr.  Its also been helpful for me to keep track of dates that specific conversations happened, dates of tests and their results and when I've started or stopped meds etc... 

    My wife and kids are my driving motivation and I do worry also, but I'm working hard to stay positive and focus on whats under my control:  Following Medical regimine, Diet, exercise, lifestyle choices and being the best father I can be for my kids.  Best of luck!!

  • KarlR
    KarlR, October 29,  2020  10:45pm EST


    I'll try to directly answer the questions you asked:

    1. It means you had a heart attack.  It means you might have another heart attack.  (Since most of us on this board are heart attack survivors, it means you're in the same mess as the rest of us.)

    2. You can't treat the heart attack you already had (far too late at this point).  You can do a wide variety of things to lessen your chances of having another heart attack.  I had my heart attack in June.  That's in the past.  I'm not trying to treat that.  I'm trying to improve my health so I don't have another heart attack ... even though my family genetics are stacked against me.  Control the things that are within your control.  Diet.  Exercise.  Taking any meds you've been prescribed.

    It's normal to worry.  I worry, and in some ways I have less at stake than you do (I have no kids, and I'm confident that my wife would get by without me).  Don't beat yourself up for worrying.  But spend most of your time doing things, rather than worrying.

    As trite as it sounds, I often return to the Serenity Prayer as a touchstone.  I accept the things I cannot change.  I change the things I can.  And I try to have the wisdom to know the difference between the two.

  • vancet
    vancet, October 30,  2020  4:13am EST

    I was early 40s when I had my STEMI last year.  Very similar to you and no family history of it either. Unlike you, I fainted and was rushed to the ER for a quick 3 stent operation.  

    Like what Karl said, you had the HA which you did not notice, in the past.  All you can do now is to take even better precautions not to have another in the future. Combination of Diet + Exercise + Less stress + Good Sleep + Meds can help with prevention.  It's scary.  We survivors can relate to the ongoing fear and anxiety.  Every little chest discomfort becomes a roller coaster of what-ifs and why's and can lead to even more stress which is not good for the heart.  You might also want to think about some mindfulness/relaxation techniques to help de-stress.  There are many videos on mindfulness in Youtube that you may want to watch and follow.  I use it regularly especially with my now-stressful job.  

    It's hard but try hard not to freak out. That's not going to help.  Distract yourself when you feel your thoughts spiraling.  I would suggest to research your condition and also research on heart healthy resources on this site when you are in a good mental state.  You are already a proven survivor.  You'll get through this and to trust and listen to your doctors when you have your appointments.  

  • Dayogls
    Dayogls, November 12,  2020  6:45am EST

    Hello I'm glad you found this forum. 

    I feel your pain,  I was 27 when I had my heart attack. I remember the anxiety and fear I had about leaving my children behind.  

    Talking it out has helped me. Reading long term survivor stories always brings hope to my day. 

    Exercising, reading healthy and relaxation techniques have also helped. Sadly due to my job I don't get the sleep I would like but I try to already get 6 hrs. 

    It will be tough as it should be, this is a life changing event but like others said you can't change the past. 

    Try speaking with your doctor maybe they can give you something for anxiety and maybe seek therapy. 

    Best of luck 

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