Dec 20
tb45 , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog

fear of having another one

Hi.  Since 2006 I have had two mild heart attacks, two heart surgeries, and 7 stents.  I like collecting things but stents was not what I had in mind.  One of the heart attacks was in July of 2016.  I feel like I have put my life on hold since 2006 and live in constant fear of having another one.  I am only 45 and all of this started when I was 35.  I just got a new cardiologist in Jan of 2016.  I was told my heart disease is progressive and that it is unusual for me to have so many problems at such a young age.  I have frequent pain and am told I have to live with it to an extent.  I have also been told to trust my body and that I know when I need to go to the ER.  I had and echocardiogram before my latest attack and it showed that the bottom of my heart was not moving correctly.  They placed a stent.  I had a recent echocardiogram that showed the same thing despite the stent.  I was under the impression that the stent should have changed that.  Am I wrong about that?  I guess I am really frustrated at this point and feel somewhat that I am getting more depressed about this and don't like that.  Any imput would be appreciated.  Thanks.  
  • AHAASAKatie
    Good morning, I would like to share the patient education information that we have on Heart Attack recovery and ask if you have looked at the information we have on stents & heart conditions? Here are three links that I am hoping help you. . If you can look at these and tell me if they are helpful or not, I can try and find more for you. We are excited to get to know you and to be here with you. Best Katie
  • dphilli42
    tambane43, your story hits close to home for me. I'll be 35 in 8 days. I had a minor heart attack back in September of this year. I had a 70% blocked LAD artery and a 20%-30% block in my RCA. I had a stent put in the LAD with the 70% block. I really don't have a family history to speak of except my grandmother. When she was in her 50's she had an angioplasty but she hasn't had any major problems since and she's 85 now. PVC's are a very strong hereditary trait on my Father's side, everyone has them, but to my knowledge, nobody except my grandmother has heart disease. I wasn't (that) overweight. I was a college athlete, and still worked out quite a bit. I smoked a lot in my younger years and chewed about a 1/2 can of skoal a day for the last 18 years. All that has stopped. I'm eating very well, running and lifting everyday, and my weight has went from 238 in the ER to 206 this morning. My cholesterol was mildly elevated as were my triglycerides, but nothing eye-popping. I also cut out the binge drinking I was doing on an almost daily basis and limit myself to 2-3 drinks a couple times a week. Stents are just a band aid on the problem from what I understand. They increase blood flow to your heart if there is a blockage, but they don't slow down the progression of the disease... lifestyle changes are the only thing that can slow or halt progression. I still get very depressed and riddled with anxiety from time to time since my stent. I know exactly how you feel on being too young to have to deal with this. My last Cardiologist appointment when I went to the scheduling desk the young lady said... "do you really need a follow up" I said "Yes ma'am" she said "you're way too young to be in here" and when I told her I had a heart attack and a stent placed a few months prior, she had to pick her jaw up off the desk! I look at it like this: Heart disease is the biggest killer in the United States. I have read many studies on autopsy reports from young people (18-40) who died from other causes like car wrecks etc. already had evidence and in many cases advanced plaques in their coronary arteries. A lot of the people who are looking at you and saying or thinking "this person is way too young for this" is probably battling the same thing you are, they just don't know it yet. They may be walking around with several coronary lesions of 50% or greater and have zero symptoms. We are the lucky ones who had symptoms and had something done about them. A new lease on life. I'm pulling for you man. Hang in there and if you haven't made the necessary lifestyle changes, get on them.
  • shirleymom
    In 2004, I was 57 and had a massive heart attack, and had 3 emergency stents placed that day. About a week later, I had another heart attack and they scheduled me for open heart surgery six weeks later. They anticipated 3 or 4 bypasses, but I ended up with six, yes, 6!!! I have had no troubles except heart pain, but the heart meds I take have alleviated almost all chest pain. Now, I have trouble with edema in my lower legs, and, of course, I have heart failure. For me, I have been relatively healthy, learned to listen to my body and know my limits. Ask questions and don't let them NOT answer your questions. I faced the uncertainty you are talking about and it took time for me to realize, everything will be ok and to live not in fear, but in the present and with hope. I do have 9 grandchildren to occupy me, and my fuzzy friend, Bella the dog. Sure, I do have to take naps, but being 70 yrs old and retired entitles me!! The road has been rough sometimes, but I just keep being grateful for today as much as I can. Release the fear.
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