Oct 22
md1973 , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog

Heart Attack

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Hello, Three weeks ago I has a heart attack, lad 90% blockage with stent placement. I am a healthy eater, clean foods mostly organic plant basd foods, nonsmoker and nondrinker. Risk factors low according to my primary and ED docs. Had yearly checkups with normal vital signs and lab work. I am  pretty active. I have been caring for my wonderful 95 year old mother for about 17 years with help from my niece and brother the last ten years. My cousin is a nurse and is helping out until I recover. I am grateful for that. My family and I took a trip to Hawaii for my mother's 95 birthday and a week after we got back I had my heart attack. I am numb, angry, depressed and mad at God. I will not pray or go to church. In the past I always relied on my faith to get me through some tough times.I have no desire to do any of it anymore. My main concern is my mother. She stopped eating and drinking while I was in the hospital and when I got home she started eating again. I am worried what will happen to her if I die. I feel I am a time bomb ready to go off any moment. I have back pain wondering if it is my heart, taking so many pils, legs cramping from the statins. I would like to give them all up.The cardiologist told me I am on heavy duty blood thinners so I have to be careful or I could have some serious bleeding problems. My version I could bleed to death. I am a positive person at least before my MI and now I feel very negative. Cardiac diet what good is it? In the past I made fresh homemade meals with high quality ingredients for my family and I. We joined the Y and worked out and did laps in the pool. I feel I do not want to waste my time and energy trying to get healthy when I did this in the first place. I would welcome any suggestions/advice and I thank you for your time.  

  • JamesPL
    You're feelings are normal. Trust me. But I wouldn't abandon your healthy eating. It's critically important for continuing a healthy life even though you had a heart attack. You will get past it and embrace your past life style. I am and have always been active. Although not as healthy an eater as what you described, my eating habits were not bad but they have improved. I am not a smoker and have no family history of heart problems. Yet I had quintuple bypass surgery 6 years ago. When I was diagnosed, I was stunned and bitter. I then decided I was going to work hard to get back to where I was prior to surgery. Like you, I was given a heavy dose of blood thinners and also put on blood pressure medication (even though blood pressure has never been a problem) and am on statins as well. Over time, the blood pressure meds and blood thinners were no longer needed and I was taken off them. I have returned to my active life style and will continue to do so because I enjoy it. I still experience some abnormalities in my chest and have had many a discussion with my cardiologist about them. She has never been concerned about them since my numbers are good. 2 years ago she had me do a stress test and all looked good. I am telling you all this because there is life after an event. Please don't be discouraged. I wish you all the best.
  • md1973
    Thank you, James. You made me feels better!
  • Algern
    Hi there. How are you coping these days? I was struck by your post because I have been struggling with some of the same feelings of How did this happen to me and what good did all those healthy behaviours do me. I have not questioned my faith but I understand. In October I landed in the hospital for a week trying to sort out what went wrong with my body. I am 39 years old, employ all the healthy behaviours you mentioned, but do have the family history of my dad needing quadruple bypass at 66 yrs old. I had a long drawn out story of burning in my chest that I ignored for a couple years, blaming asthma and then reflux. It all snowballed until October when I finally had a stress test and failed it. I entered the hospital and had a cardiac cath and had the shock of my life when they finished and told me I would need triple bypass surgery. I had 100% blockage of my Circumflex and 70-80% of my LAD in 2 branches. Thankfully no heart attacks or long term damage to my heart was found. Due to my age, the surgeon consulting shook his head and told me to look into stents instead and to ignore the blocked artery for now. I Have 3 young boys and I was relieved. I had some other things going on, mainly severe anemia, that delayed my stenting. I was able to use that time to find an interventionalist who was willing to attempt CTO PCI to reopen the circumflex. So the week of Thanksgiving I went back in to have that done. It required 4 stents and a long uncomfortable procedure, but I am so grateful that I have bought time before I need bypass surgery. The LAD blockages are still there and will need stenting but I am feeling well and able to take a break from procedures for a bit. I share all this because I know that I am looking for stories and support and to make sense of something senseless. Why me? I have always tried to be careful and concerned with my heart health. I see the people around me eating horrible things, treating their bodies like dumpsters and yet they have no obvious repercussions. I am the youngest of 4 and a premenopausal woman and yet I am the one in my family struggling with Coronary Artery Disease. It's simply genetics and there is no way to make sense of it. I encourage you to take a moment to think "what if I hadn't been doing all these healthy behaviours and supporting my body well?" This is what I know deep down. I would be dead if I hadn't been keeping the inflammation down, eating the right foods and avoiding the ones that would have exacerbated my disease. I am alive because I tried. I may not be able to do a lot against genetics, but everything I can do to try to beat it, I will. Also, please realize that depression and anxiety are completely expected after a heart attack or diagnosis like ours. I feel like I should be overjoyed to catch this and avoid surgery for now and everything, but I feel blah and frustrated and sometimes hopeless. It is life-altering, scary, and i feel overwhelmingly helpless to change the outcome. But we can't give in to that. The depression is going to pass and I hold on to that and just try to soak up the support from family and friends and am not holding back when people ask how I am doing. Don't just say ok. I hope this message finds you in a better place.
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