Sep 17
Begga , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog

Heart Aches x2

I'm not sure where this going to post but I certainly hope I can get some feedback. Also, hoping I can locate comments.
I recently had open-heart surgery. Left main artery had at 95-97% blockage where a stent had been inserted only a year ago. A year ago, I had been on blood thinners from my 1st open heart surgery (mitral valve stenosis). I didn't feel well; just an all round yukky, lethargic feeling. Turns out I was bleeding internally because of blood thinners. They found a small ulcer type laceration in my stomach. A year before the internal bleeding episode, I'd had a stent inserted - I'm not even sure I've the year by year right anymore.
I'm a 61 year woman who worked for 36 years. 4 years ago, I retired and it's been one thing after another. Right after I retired, I was diagnosed with lung cancer. Aggressive chemo and 30 zaps of radiation later and the CAT scan shows no evidence of disease. Not long after that, I started experiencing big-time shortness of breath and so the beginning of all my heart issue. Since then, I've had a heart issue every year. 
The recent one was a double by-pass in the left main artery. I just came home from the hospital last week.
Because of this and the last 4 years, I am so depressed. I put on a semi-smile of recovery but inside I'm so, so scared and my brain takes off on a journey of "what ifs" which I can't seem to stop. My quality of life has taken so many hits, I feel like my body is at war waiting for the next bomb to go off. I know I have to think & be positive but it's really hard to be hopeful when I feel like I live in a minefield.
  • AHA Volunteer Moderator Michael C
    AHA Volunteer Moderator Michael C,
    Begga, I know all too well that feeling you've described. for about a year before I needed my quad bypass surgery I'd been having problems and it was all due to inflammation in my body. one of which was a lump in my neck which was a lymph node. I had a few other things also. some of this I've mentioned here and there on the site. anyway, 3 months after the quad I had a clog form at a graft site which pert near killed me. so after the stent I ended up with coronary artery spasms, I'm easily short of breath and venous insufficiency in my legs. then one day I woke up during the night in extreme pain in my leg. my wife took me to the ER where the first dose of pain juice didn't help so I got a second. they checked me over pretty good but had no diagnosis. 2 days later, still in pain I found I had shingles in my leg just above the knee to the tip of my big toe. where am I going with this? well, I called my doctor and he got me right in. when he walked in the exam room he just smiled at me and shook his head which made me laugh. so, you see, you're not alone. some of us can totally relate and we have great empathy with you. if you dig around and read other's posts you'll see that humor helps you to see things in a different light. sure, we all have that feeling of dread now and then but, well, we just have to learn to look beyond it and not dwell on it. it may take practice but I think you can do it. you've been through a lot and myself and others relate. I'm so glad the cancer is non-evident. I can only imagine what that was like. not something I'd want to go through, that's for sure! anyway, please try to not dwell on things and live as normal a life as you can. minefield? the mines only take up a portion of the field, there's more open space. it can be tricky but it can be gotten through. we're pulling for you. take care! mike
  • rozmataz79
    Dear Begga, I have had open heart surgery and was told depression is something to expect afterwards. I was already in counseling and on antidepressant because of a family member's troubles. I am much better now but remain medicated. This is to say I know something about what you are experiencing. What I really wanted to do is recommend you read "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease" by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn's, his book on reversing heart disease with a plant-based diet. I've been following his regimen for a year and a half and have been very pleased. I lost 10 lbs. in a short time after starting the program. My lab results are very good, and I feel much better and have more energy. Drs. Stephen Sinatra and Dr. Michael Greger, among others, have information that I found very informative. I hope you will get Dr. Esselstyn's book, at least. I think his results with very, very sick people will give you inspiration. Good luck and good health to you.
  • Sunshine1111
    Hello, I can relate to it when you say "what ifs" my body is at war etc.. I just got out the hospital with there scents and a balloon I am 59 and I am just sitting waiting for the big one. Arg...
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