Sep 13
NBaez777
NBaez777 , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog

How do I go on?

I'm so happy I found this site.  This will allow me to express all the thoughts in my head and hopefully get some much needed answers.  Having a heart attack is life changing to say the least.  I am so blessed to still be here with the people I love.  I hear so many stories of people suffering heart attacks and dying instantly and yet here I am.  There is history on my mother's side.  Almost every member of her family died of heart attacks or heart related issues.  I am 57 years old and suffered a heart attack almost 2 years ago after loosing my mother to a heart attack.  (Sharing my story is extremely painful to me...but I realize I need to do this).  Nothing is nor shall it ever be the same - my mother and I were best friends and that's an understatement.  we were glued to the hip.  My heart attacked started with a burning sensation in between the breast area but for some reason I thought it was indegestion because every time I rubbed it I burped.  My daughter and I thought it was hillarious - but little did I know that was my sign.  That night the pain increased and woke me up in the middle of the night.  I then thought of taking a muscle relaxant (since the heart is a muscle) and I was able to tough it out and go to work the next morning.  I worked all day with the pain increasing, went grocery shopping and then called my daughter to drive me to the ER.  My heart attack lasted 3 days and my right artery collapsed 90%.  The only thing keeping me alive was the fact that the heart was pumping so hard (palpitations) that it was actually lifting the artery and splashes of blood were going through to the other side.  After the stent was placed - nothing felt right.  I was terrified and became very conscious of my breathing and heart beats.  I could not hear my heart any longer and I panic all the time thinking I'm not breathing right.  When does the sadness go away - when will I be normal again?  I feel like this is not me - not the real me.  At times I feel that allowing the doctores to perform the surgery was not the right thing to do - will my heart ever be the same?  It feels emotions in the same way for sure - I am definately sad - I try to be brave and strong for my children but the truth is that this is terrifying to me.  I'm trying really hard to do the right thing and take good care of myself.  But so many different emotions every single day really stress me out.  As we speak my bp is pretty high but I can't understand why.  I am taking meds as indicated and this is the first time since my heart attack that my bp is not under control.  I know its stress.  But what to do? 
6 Comments
  • AHA Volunteer Moderator Michael C
    AHA Volunteer Moderator Michael C,
    your story is, I'm sure, very similar to a number of us here which should give you some comfort. when the sadness goes away is not something anyone can answer. It's tied to your question "when will I be normal again?" you are normal, just not in the sense that you're asking as it's a new normal. the pains you get, the breathing things, they should all pass there's just no time table on it. what I do with the nitro is if get a pain and it lasts more than 5 minutes or I keep getting pains on and off throughout most of the day I'll take one. sometimes it takes a little while to work. only a couple times I've had to take a second one. luckily never the pop a 3rd call 911 one. I think most of us can agree what you're going through is a normal pattern. on a personal note, I never really got sad about what's happened but I got extremely mad about it. even to this day almost 4 years later I'm still ticked off about it but hey, it's the hand I've been dealt and I'm not going to fold so I'm playing it out. I don't follow a strict diet as I believe everything in moderation. I take my meds, which I hate, go to the gym 4-5 days a week. I'm no poster boy for what doctors would like one of us to follow but I find it's good for my brain. I guess what I'm really trying to say is to accept what's happened, adapt to it and DO NOT STRESS over it. It may take some practice. oh, and if you read through the site you'll see my feelings on humor. it helps. take care of you and we're all here for you. mike
  • NBaez777
    NBaez777,
    Thank you Mike for your words of encouragement. It means a lot to me. Stay well! Nancy
  • GSergent
    GSergent,
    I had my heart attack at 54, now 70. Four stents were put in main artery was 95% blocked, I was med flighted from small community hospital to major ER in a large hospital two hours away. Never any pain just a light pressure in my chest. Didn't take long to get over it physically, a little rehab and back to work in four weeks. Emotionally took 3/4 years! Heart attacks happen to other people not me, were first thoughts but this was me and I had stents, for a long time no matter what I was doing if I got short of breath or very sweaty I just knew it was my heart again! After several years it finally left my mind, it became the new norm, we human creatures do adapt, give it time, you'll get there. Being afraid is normal this is serious stuff, can't ignore but can't let it take over either. Keep telling yourself, I made it through a heart attack, I can do this! After fifteen years, I passed out last December an when taken to ER they discovered I had heart arrhythmia and after two cardiologist testing I now have a pacemaker for five months. Now on two meds for blood thinning and atrial fibrillation. The majority of my mothers side of the family had heart problems most passed away from them. The positive side is that the medical people know so much more now and can better help us. Keep smiling and take care, you will make it!
  • NBaez777
    NBaez777,
    Thank you G Sergent. After my heart attack and stent placement I never had any rehab...at all. I got to go home and that was about it with the exception of my clinical checkups. My recovery has been really hard and long. I have had to be my own rehab - from trying to climb stairs slowly - and taking short walks whenever I was strong enough to do so. The first year was extremely hard since I was also mourning my mother's passing...Its been two years and now that I look back I have come a long way and with God on my side I continue to move forward in faith. I am grateful to you and others for encouragement. It brings new strength. Thank you.
  • carolfedorowicz
    carolfedorowicz,
    Good morning......Glad to know you are still with us.....Keep that smile on your face......I am on Lopressor 2x daily and that has helped keep my bp manageable. Also I do breathing exercises that help.....I close my eyes..imagine myself in a wonderful spot (like a field of lavender)....breath thru my nose, exhale thru my mouth....I can actually start to feel better.....Try not be get stressed out; but we all know how hard that is today....Since I am retired, I am trying to get a part time job to keep my physically and mentally busy...I am a widow with my daughter and her family living 3 hours away from me; so I get lonely, depressed, feeling sorry for myself and what I have been thru...so I need to change things around.....I did not have a heart attack. My doctor didn't like the way my EKG looked so he booked me for other tests and a cardiologist....I was in denial.....but finally agreed to a heart cath; which couldn't be done, ergo, the triple bypass... I am glad this website is here for us. We all understand each other as we have been thru the same "stuff".... keep smiling,,,,,,,
  • NBaez777
    NBaez777,
    Carol thank you so much. Many blessings to you.
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