Feb 6
Papajim , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog

61year old Heart Attack newby

Three weeks ago I thought I was experiencing the worst case of heart burn in my life. I had three night shifts left and was being bull headed as a few of us guys are, I told my wife I would go see my doctor when I went on days off. I finished my last night of work got home and immediately told my wife I am hurting so bad you need to take me to the ER. Well I had been suffering through a heart attack for three days. A piece of plaque and a blood clot had broke loose and plugged an artery. Yes I got reeked by the Cardiologist for waiting three days. Well deserved. Spent 31/2 days in hospital. Did stress test and nuclear imaging test and both came back fine. A little plaque in the arteries but Dr. Is tre acting it with 1 cholesterol pill per day. I was diagnosed with early stages of type 2 diabetes last April. I have lost over 40 lbs via diet and walking 3 to 5 miles per day every day. That is until my heart attack. I haven't abandoned my diabetes diet but my Dr has me easing back into long walks. My question to anyone is. How do I get past the depression part of having a life changing event like a heart attack. Am I going to have another, what if I die, am I having another one ever time my body feels different, should I haul ass to the ER or call 911 ever time I feel a twing in my chest. Will I ever be able to live life the way I no it. I have three grandsons ages 7,5,3 t.hat I want to see grow up. To be honest I am scared. Can anyone give me any ideas.
  • NixNax
    I know how you feel newby. I had a heart attack a little over six months ago. I've been to ER mutiple time in fear that I might have another one. However, recently I came to grip with my fate. There are things that we can't control but those that we can I try my damndest. I take my meds, eat right, exercise, and try not stress. That's the best i can so. I leave the rest to God. I have a 4yr old son and a 9yr old daughter i so desperately want to see grow up and become independent and that's all that matters. I was 46 yrs old and never saw it coming.
  • ActiveLarry
    It depends how bad you want to live well, and how willing you are to alter diet, exercise and stress in the new continued life. No need to be depressed. Your new life calls for patience, persistence and willingness to abandon anything that will worsen your condition. My cardiologist said my dozens of inoperable blockages were as if I were over 100 years old. He gave me about three years to live. Eleven years ago. I found excellent research to uncover the puzzle like interconnections of cholesterol, unhealthy foods, excellent beneficial foods, and proper method of improving fitness without strain. I scull, played basketball, and more recently hours of volleyball, which I took up at age 59. Coolest, I am still known to be quick, strong and agile. My photo is last year at age 63. Heart disease can be a death knell, or a wake up call. Do things right, you have glorious decades ahead of you. Think positive. Do the right things, and other people will be depressed they are so less healthy than you are becoming. ActiveLarry
  • ChuckL53012
    Your feelings must be very normal, they are the same ones I am having. I had my HA 1-14-17 (my 64th birthday), and while I survived with little or no damage, I don't consider it "minor." I have made an appointment for counseling and have been on this site everyday reading. I think it is important to reach out to others who have been through this since they will understand. When I talk to my family or friends about it, they either quickly remark how lucky I was, or freak out and I have to reassure them. Did your doctor recommend Cardiac Rehab? I am finding it much less stressful exercising while wired up and being monitored. It is much easier to relax and focus on the exercising. Best wished for the future!
  • Papajim
    Thank you all for your feed back. Dottie I do put everything in my life into Gods hands. And I know it wasn't my time yet considering I put it off three days. However the worry is still there. It is good to talk about it. I woke up this morning with tightness in my chest. I didn't put it off this time. Needless to say after six hours in the ER everything came back normal. Better safe than sorry. I assume my life will be this way for a long time. Every little twinge means let's head to the ER. Thanks again for all your support.
  • uribeml
    Hello! I am sorry that you are going through this. When I had my pacemaker/defibrillator I would go to the ER a lot when I thought it was going off and many times it wasn't. One time I thought it went off and I didn't go have it checked and the next day spend worrying about it. So I finally went. If you are not sure, then just go. But also you have to learn the symptoms. I bought myself a Fitbit watch and it gave me a lot of peace of mind. I had my heart transplant 5/7/16 and had a lot of anxiety, depression, and fear. What helped me is talking with others, praying a lot, and going to a psychologist. I went to a psychiatrist and found out I had PTSD and it was temporary as it due to the suffering I endured. I was placed on anxiety medication but before the year of the medicine treatment, it will deminish so I only take it for a year as it result of the pre and post transplant. I was toldd that is it normal to feel all those symptoms, and ask yourself all those questions because you suffered a lot. My advice is to get medical help with a pshychologist and/or psychiatrist. Did you have these fears before the heart attack? What helped me a lot was crossword puzzles and coloring books for adults. I hope this helps. Hope you feel better soon.
  • AHA/ASA Sarah Ismail
    AHA/ASA Sarah Ismail,
    Hi Papajim, I would encourage you to call our Stroke Warmline. You can talk to actual stroke survivors to see if they have experienced the same things you are going through The Warmline connects stroke survivors and their families with an ASA team member who can provide support, helpful information or just a listening ear. We have trained several members of ASA's national call center to answer your questions about stroke. Call us Monday- Friday between 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. CT at 1-888-4-STROKE (1-888-478-7653).
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