Jan 13
Mick.Arnett
Mick.Arnett , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog

My heart attack story.

I am a 49 year old man that suffered my first attack on December 16/2016, just 4 weeks ago. I had 3 stents inserted in blocked arteries on the right side of my heart and I still have 80 % blockage on a few arteries located on the left side of my heart. Recovery during the first 3 weeks went well where I was up to walking 2-2.5 miles each day on the treadmill but now at the end of the 4th week. I am having much more pain/discomfort in my chest and in my arms. I am only doing light activities being careful not to lift too much weight or over extended myself. I have been taking nitroglycerian as needed but twice last night I woke up due to extreme pain in my chest. Waiting to hear back from the doctors as to know what to do next. Feels like the old "hurry up and wait" experience from the military. has anyone else had an experience like this? Feels like a setback but I do not know of the cause.
9 Comments
  • AHA Volunteer Moderator Michael C
    AHA Volunteer Moderator Michael C,
    Don't wait for the doctors to get back to you...get to the ER!!! It' may be CAS, (coronary artery spasms) or you may have clogged up a stent. this is dangerous. better to be wrong than croaked! Mike
  • carol1950
    carol1950,
    Mick, I agree with Mike, get to the ER! Better to be safe than sorry!! Carol
  • dcsmith1213
    dcsmith1213,
    I'm hoping as I write this that you have already gone to the hospital...by ambulance...never drive yourself when you are having heart issues. You are the only one that can judge your pain...but it's always better to be safe rather than be sorry for it later. I did experience a type of pain after my heart attack. I had nurses that would visit me at home and they advised that it wasn't unusual for it to happen while I was still healing. But they also advised me to use good judgement and go to the hospital if I had any doubts.
  • GSergent
    GSergent,
    I had my heart attack at 54, now 70, they put in three stents and after recovery with rehab I felt much better. It just didn't feel exactly right. no pain bur got weaker and some angina as the weeks progressed. This was in August by November I felt very bad, the doctors told me I had an 80% blockage on the backside in an artery that was rarely stented because of the difficulty and that is was also bisected, so no doubt that was the cause. They went in to stent but were prepared for surgery if anything went wrong. It worked and after another recovery and rehab it has been fine for 16 years. A problem with bradycardia developed this year and I now have a pacemaker.
  • KentFSmith
    KentFSmith,
    Yes, Mick, go ahead to the ER. Better to go and have the qualified experts tell you it wasn't necessary than to not and have it get worse. You've probably been coached on when/how to use the nitro and what decisions to make, but if not please ask about that until you are clear and comfortable in your understanding. This is frighteningly familiar to me: "...but twice last night I woke up due to extreme pain in my chest". While you are dealing with your immediate physical needs, and wrestling with the various medical systems and personal support logistics, I want to suggest that you also now ask your doctor(s) and team about psychological help and support. I've been wrestling with the influences of my trauma experience since it happened and now I'm recognizing and getting much-needed help. I haven't needed to take my nitro Rx since the angioplasty in Sept '15, but many times I've been frightened worrying that aches and pains in and around my chest were going to get worse - that in an hour I may be back in the ER - and getting more and more stressed about these episodes. PTSD. There's help for this, too, if we ask.
  • shirleymom
    shirleymom,
    I had a massive heart attack when I was 57 in 2004 and coded several times on the way to the hospital. I had 3 emergency stents put in, but I still had pain like you. I had another heart attack and six weeks later I had open heart surgery and they put six (yes, 6) bypasses in my heart. It was like having a new life. I felt good and was no longer fearful that I would die. I still have pain in my heart once in a while, but it is mostly taken care of with medicine. I feel good and it has been 13 years!!! You have a lot in front of you now. Get yourself to the ER when you have pain, even when you are doubtful. There are so many good cardiologists out there now, and the cardiac care just keeps getting better and better. Also, open heart surgery is a snap compared to replacing my knee. Just wanted to give you some perspective. Good luck to you.
  • ActiveLarry
    ActiveLarry,
    In my recovery, now going on 11 years as of today, you should never be pushing into areas of discomfort in recovery. Just about any exercise discomfort says you have done too much. My doc gave me three years only. Use a heart rate monitor, as long as heart rate stays stable, ok to push A LITTLE harder. But NEVER be breathing hard or panting. Low fat diet ? No dairy ? Lots of anti-oxidants ? Pomegranates, pistachios, curry, green tea, berries. Leafy and other green veggies ? Cut out beef for a month, at least. Keep both a diet journal and exercise journal. What you eat can bring on strong chest pain in 4 to 24 hours. Sometimes faster.
  • ActiveLarry
    ActiveLarry,
    Also, do you do a gradual warm up, then cooldown after exercise ? Without them you are greatly stressing your heart for no reason. few cardiologists study beneficial nutrients, or learn much exercise physiology. There is lots of research that many miss. The most serious patients find it and use it. Like me. Its truly learn, or die soon. See my story of survival. ActiveLarry
  • heart66
    heart66,
    You need to go to the cardiologist and/or ER immediately. One or more of the stents they put in could be blocking- a common thing to happen after stenting- as one of the interventional cardiologists who I went to said its like plowing snow once they go in there- I have four stents- two installed and one blocked up within three months- they cleared it- and then six weeks later, two more of the diseased arteries blocked and then they had to put in four more stents-I did not have a lot of chest pain but I got shortness of breath and could feel a deep pressure in the middle of my heart- the cardiologist I was going to did not take these complaints serious on my follow up visits to the offer- he said, it will go away in a week and I hate to send you back to the hospital so soon- bottom line I ended up in local ER room on Easter Sunday with a medical note from the cardiologist on call that day- he wrote- outcome DEATH- they kept me there all day on Sunday- Easter, then took me to cath lab the next day- DO NOT WAIT. It is better to go to ER right away and get checked out- this is what will save or cost you your life- DO NOT DELAY-
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