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So many things
Hi, I am new to this group. On June 30th I had a HA with stent placement. I am 49 years old. It presented as heart burn, I paced for 2 hours at home before getting ready for my 12 hour shift as a RN in a hospital. I went to work early & had to go to the ER because it would not resolve. I was having a heart attack & transferred to another hospital for a cardiac cath. My groin bleed for 9 hours post cath & I had to lay flat for 17 hours, crazy. I was emotional as this was going on but it has gotten worse. I am SOB & dizzy & exhausted & have no energy but I relate this to the meds. I was taking Brilinta which was just changed to Plavix a few days ago. My metoprolol was stopped, has anyone else had their beta blocker stopped after 5 weeks? I am getting ready to go back to work on Tuesday & I am nervous about that esp with working 12 hour shifts. I am so emotional too, I just cry. I am so thankful for so many things but I don’t feel that way inside. I don’t feel like anyone understands. A couple weeks ago I went to the ER with chest pain, it went on for 2 hours before I went to the ER & I understand people say anxiety but the anxiety kicked in after the chest pain for 2 hours. I still get chest ache everyday, anyone else have this? It is sometimes hard to distinguish & after having a HA I feel like I am on edge. I just want to feel better! I welcome any suggestions! Does anyone know of any support group that meets in person? Sorry it’s so long 😞
EMON1, August 11, 2019 7:13pm EST
Cath - I'll try to be brief (because I've been posting a lot lately, but I might post more later) FIRST and foremost, what you've been going through physically and emotionally is VERY NORMAL! If you haven't already, I suggest you just start flipping back through many of the past posts on here as proof that you are by far NOT ALONE with any of your fears/concerns/emotions/etc! There are lot of caring wonderful people on here willing to share, reach out. I will address 2 things you mentioned right now (maybe more later), you are not mistaken that care and try as they may, people that haven't actually been through this REALLY can't quite understand where you're at, (I don't think we could either before this happened). The other thing I'll address is, I'm 9 months out and still get some chest pains (some do and many don't). I'll let wiser ones than I 'welcome you' to 'the club no one wants to join'. You've found a good place here with good people! YOU REALLY ARE NOT ALONE!
P.S.: (Here we go) Metoprolol is in my opinion horrible, very fatiguing, I've had better luck with carvedilol as a beta blocker. [I think beta blockers are standard after a HA]
Cath4, August 11, 2019 7:59pm EST
Emon1 I appreciate you responding to me & I hope more people do. Thank you! Maybe I sounded harsh, but that is what I meant, people just don’t understand where I am. If I say anything, most people say you should be glad that you ok, & I am very glad & thankful but I can not help the way I feel inside. I have been reading the posts but thanks for that suggestion. I know that beta blockers are normal after a HA but I am only 5 weeks out & my beta blocker has been stopped with no replacement. Is there a time limit on cardiac rehab, I see so many people mention it but it was never offered to me.
Paul300, August 11, 2019 9:16pm EST
Like Emon1 said: 'what you're feeling is normal' - well actually not normal but very COMMON after a HA. Whether you need a beta blocker or not is something only your doctor can answer. You should ask why they felt metoprolol was not needed. A new study has shown that beta blockers may not be needed after a HA if the patient has no heart failure and are taking an ace inhibitor along with a statin and aspirin https://www.nhs.uk/news/heart-and-lungs/beta-blockers-useless-for-many-heart-attack-patients-study-reports/ was that the reason they took you off metoprolol?
Groin bleed- Having complications from the femoral approach vs radial approach is also more likely. I really do not understand why it's still the preferred method in the US vs Europe and Japan where the transradial approach which limits PCI complications is about 80% while here in the states is around 27%.
I had mine done through the wrist back in 2017 and when I had another angiogram last November at a different hospital I asked for a Transradial artery access for my angiogram otherwise I was not going to have it done there and go back to the hospital where I had it done before. They were very unenthusiastic about it but they did it anyway $$$$$$$. Everyone should know that in case another angiogram is needed, that the radial approach is the safest way to go. Demand for it! https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5493462/
As far as cardiac rehab? Again what does your cardiologist say? I went to mine after 6 weeks as I couldn't get in earlier, and left after 4 sessions because I felt I could do more on my own sooner with out all the limitations they put on me, but that was just me. You can always start walking slowly until you go to rehab.
How is your EF/ ejection fraction? Did you have alot of heart muscle damage, or was it minimum? As a RN you should have these questions answered much easier since you have access to doctors everyday.
As far as your chest pain, all I can say is, that a few people have mentioned on this site that they still get chest pain, months after their stent placement. An article I read said that a sizeable proportion of patients have it https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/11867031/ Again ask you doctor about it.
Stress and anxiety are almost universal after a HA, it does get better with time, but do not hesitate to seek professional help if symptoms do not improve over time.
Wishing you the best!
Cath4, August 11, 2019 10:12pm EST
Paul300, thank you for responding. I was just asking if anyone else was taking completely off their beta blocker after a month? I was taking off of it because my dizziness was so bad. I did have heart muscle damage but it was improved with my EKG at my first post HA cardiologist appt. Again I was just asking about the cardiac rehab on here because it was not mentioned to me but I will ask about it. I have started to walk but then my plantar fasciitis kicked in & I had to slow it down. I did ask about going thru the wrist to the cardiac cath MD since I was told by the ICU team that they would use my wrist. But he was older & stated “that’s nice of them but they are not the ones doing the procedure”. I noted my bleeding & lay flat time because it was out of the normal & I was bleeding very heavily. Yes I have been reading the posts about anxiety & emotions & was hoping to be able to talk to people on here in the same boat. I also saw the posts about the heart ache/pain, seems so common but it’s so scary esp when my biggest symptom was heart burn. Thank you again & be well
Paul300, August 11, 2019 11:07pm EST
I stopped metoprolol, with my cardiologists approval, after 3 months because it made me very tired. Are you taking an ACE inhibitor?
Since you have Plantar Fasciitis, a stationary bicycle, hand cycle, swimming and rowing are some of your choices, but make sure to ASK your doctor about it.
Cath4, August 12, 2019 12:13am EST
Paul300, it also made me so tired, still feeling the effects of that medication days later even though I am no longer taking it. No ace inhibitor, plavix, aspirin & crestor now. Thank you for the suggestions, I appreciate it
Chris27577, August 12, 2019 7:56am EST
Hi Cath! I totally understand the emotional aspect of your situation. My anxiety doubled after my HA. I too was taken off a beta blocker because it caused bradycardia. I've been fine ever since. As for cardio rehab, I loved it. I met people in person like me and sharing stories helped a bit. Now my anxiety is still there and I am prone to panic attacks. My doctor placed me on diazepam for it. I actually am getting ready for an appointment now, but wanted to reach out and say this is a wonderful group and a great place to ask questions, meet others like yourself and help you get through this emotionally.
Mb120918, August 12, 2019 9:54am EST
Yes, I was on the same metro. Had to stop after a few days because of allergic reaction. It was not replaced by a different cardiologist. Cardiac rehab is fantastic and will help with the emotional stuff. That part of it takes some time. I'm now 8 months out of Ha and 3 stentrs. Still have the emotional stuff but noir as frequent oir intense. I guess yoiu will have to Bring up the cardiac rehab to your Dr. As far as warning signs the only thing I got was jaw pain and at the moist intense part of the HA upper back pain, at the time my BP was 133/86. Good luck and health. This is going to be a process not a quick fix.
JeffB, August 12, 2019 9:54am EST
You got some great responses already. I just wanted to chime in to say welcome and that it simply takes time for the body to adjust to, well, everything. I have been on metoprolol at 25 mg 2x a day and the max dose of atorvastatin for four+ years now with no ill side effects. Everyone is different however and it's a good starting point for many conversations with your cardiologist. As an RN, you have an advantage over many of us who have no medical training there.
As far as the emotional impact of living with heart disease, that's an entirely different journey. I would highly recommend getting a therapist to at least work through something like the grief process. Sounds corny. It did to me when I was presented with the idea. But it really helps.
Good luck and don't be a stranger.
vancet, August 12, 2019 12:36pm EST
Hi again, Cath4. My STEMI was June 9th so not much earlier than yours. I had 3 medicated stents put in. I still get worrying chest pains and SOB every 2-3 days. To help with my anxiety, I just bought a portable 1-lead ECG reader (~89 off eBay). I know it's not the most accurate thing and there's always a disclaimer that it won't alert you to a heart attack, but my doc is all for anything non-pharma to help with anxiety when I suggested it to him. I take readings when I feel really odd.
Cardiac rehab is often recommended here in my area so the wait times are pretty darned long. By the time you get accepted (~3 months post HA), hopefully you've already stablished your own healthy routine and diet. Based on my experience thus far, there's a real gap in information post-HA. I had to do my own research and watched other hospital's cardiac rehab videos on Youtube. I'm still waiting to get in and really, my end goal with cardiac rehab is to get the regular cardiac exercise monitored test and to meet other folks who've had an HA locally that I can talk to and improve my emotional/spiritual health. Unfortunately it's not covered by my insurance so I have to pay out of pocket.
I bled really badly as well and it took about 4 weeks before my groin wound/bruising (mostly) disappeared. Similar to you I had to lay in bed for 15 hours post-HA as it kept bleeding. This was my first time being hospitalized as well. Even now I am really not liking the anti-clotting meds as it takes forever to stop bleeding for regular cuts (bleeding gums mostly) and I bruise super easily which causes additional anxiety lol.
I am hoping to get my statin reduced from 80mg this week as it's been causing some odd muscle spasms and my last LDL reading 2 weeks ago was excellent. Anyways, you have this wonderful community to give constant feedback and positive encouragement. Do keep us updated on your journey.