Feb 17
cspikerc , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog


Hello Everyone,

On 11 Feb 2017 I suffered a heart attack and survived. I am 36 years old and active duty military. I have been around the world and in & out of combat situations, but this is probably the most scared I've ever been. It was Saturday and I was home alone (my wife was at work- she's a military Reservist), I went through my regular morning routine for when she's at drill on the weekends: wake up, make coffee, sit outside with the dogs drinking coffee and have my morning cigarette (I am in the process of quitting- funny how a heart attack will make you change). Afterwards I got in my Jeep that I hadn't driven in a couple of weeks due to onset of Sciatica (I couldn't work the clutch) and saw that a chicken had laid four eggs in my floorboard. So I got out, grabbed the eggs, set them in my front yard and went on to run a few errands. After a couple of hours, I returned home, had another cup of coffee (and cigarette) with the dogs in the back yard. Then we (the dogs and I) went inside and I laid on the couch to watch a movie; this was around noon. About 30 minutes into the movie, the chest pains began- thinking heartburn/indigestion, I got up for a drink of water. Then, knowing that I was home alone, and that noone would come around for another few hours, I went to sit on the front porch to monitor the situation (that way if anything bad did happen, someone in the neighborhood would see) but as soon as I walked out the front door, my vision blurred and both arms lost strength, became numb/tingly and hurt at the same time. I already had 911 dialed on my cell so all I had to do was hit the 'dial' button. I couldn't hold the phone to my ear so I put it on speaker and told the 911 personnel "I need an ambulance at (my address)" repeatedly. I could hear him asking me questions, but couldn't process it so I just kept repeating "I need an ambulance at (my address)."  I ended up in the hospital being told that "your heart has 3 arteries (descending arteries, I learned later), the left and right were 100% occluded (blocked) and the middle was 50% occluded.

Now I don't know what to do. Any advice/insight/help you all may have for a 36 year old heart attack survivor (and his family) would be nice.

*UPDATE* 16 March 2017


Thank you for all the prayers, kind words, and support. It has been just over a month since my heart attack and I am beginning to get follow on care; had my first cardiology appointment last Friday.Unfortunately, it has taken a while for the records to get transferred from the civilian hospital to the military hospital where my follow on care will occur. I still do not have a lot of information- except that another procedure, type unknown, will be needed (because I still have one full blockage and a couple of partials) which is reinvigorating a lot of the negative emotions that accompanied the heart attack.

I have (with the help of my wife and some nutrition/diet classes I've taken) re-evaluated what I eat and am (slowly) starting to eat healthier. It is difficult to change the meal prep/cooking and grocery habits (not to mention expensive- but you can't put a price on life...unless you're an insurance salesman) that have developed. There are plenty of resources and good options out here, even in the middle of the Pacific, but my biggest struggle with changing what I eat seems to be the psychological barriers to change- and throw some stubborness/denial into the mix too.

I have also realized that I still have a lot to learn about what happened- the only info I have gotten so far was while I was in the hospital, still in disbelief and unsure of what to ask or even what I was being told meant.

Again, thank you all for reaching out to me; I will do my best to get into with all of you with any questions that I may have or for help, advice, etc.

  • 35yr old female
    35yr old female,
    Hey Chris, I am a 36 year old female MI survivor. I can relate to your fears because a year ago I was in the same situation. 1stly I hope you quit smoking as that is 1 of the primary factors that led to your heart attack as was mine. Going forward you going to have to make a few lifestyle changes, watch your diet and exercise regulary and you will be fine:) I heard the phrase "your body is a temple" many times and I never took heed of it, you have a 2nd chance at life, make the most of it and take care of that body :) Lotsa Love From SA
  • angelateacher
    You can do this. Like you, I had a heart attack at a young age (37). I was absolutely shocked that at that age and as a female, that this was happening. I was so depressed for a while and always in fear. Get yourself to a cardiac rehabilitation program if you can. That was the best thing I could have done for myself. Slowly, my confidence and physical ability levels increased, I felt healthier than I had in years. You will never be the same, but perhaps that is a good thing. You have a second chance to live a long and healthy life. It is possible to live a good life with Heart Disease. Take your medications, eat healthy food, get your exercise, and quit smoking. But also be gentle with yourself and your current emotions. Baby steps all the way. Don't expect things to change overnight. Every day gets better, You've got this.
  • dyjydyler

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