Sep 19
jonnymaun , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog

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August 3rd 2018, I had a heart attack and now have one 3mmx23mm stent in my left anterior descending artery. My Dr. said that artery was 95% plugged and called it a widow maker.  He said I have another artery that's about 40 plugged but is hopefull that the meds will take care of that.  I am 50 years old, I've been somewhat physically active.  The last 18 years I was a smoker.  I have not touched them since my heart attack and I don't plan on it. My syptoms prior to the event were my neck and my upper back were extremely soar and tight.  I was getting horrible headaches with messed up vision.  This lasted a couple weeks.  I thought I had a pinched nerve so I went to the chiropractor a couple times but that didn't help.  The day it happened, I was working at home and just couldn't catch my breathe and we have a blood pressure machine, mine was sky high.  Thankfully my wife made me to the er and they immediatley started working on me.  4 hours later I had a stent in place.  Physically I feel much better, not a 100% but much better.  Mentally I'm struggling with anxiety and maybe depression and I am having a very hard time focusing on anything. I was in school full-time but I just withdrew.  I'm just not ready for that right now.  I think I need to focus on me for a while.  Thanks for listening and I'm here for advice and coming to terms with what just happened to me.  My Dr. says everything looks good but I have many unanswered questions and feeling to deal with.

  • AmbassadorDN

    Welcome, jonnymaun!

    You've come to the right place for support! Glad to see that you are feeling better after your cardiac event. However, I do completely understand the emotional toll of going through heart disease. I recently had a third/fourth heart valve surgery last November, and I struggled deeply with depression which arrived late after the surgery but was indeed crippling. This is way too common, and often under-recognized in heart patients. We might feel great physically, but we still struggle with life post-event emotionally. Part of it is the whole facing of our mortality, and part is the fear of having to deal with another event in the future. 

    I recommend seeking the help of a licensed therapist or if you have one, a trusted clergy member you can sit down to speak with. Additionally, many hospitals have support programs for post-cardiac patients. You can see if the hospital you were in offers such programs. Cardiac rehab, if you're doing that, can also help with your mental state. After this most recent surgery, I did begin seeing a counselor and leaning on my faith which helped. My neurologist even prescribed a mild antidepressant to get my brain chemicals back in order.  I'm feeling a ton better than I did a few months ago!

    Please feel free to ask away, vent, and keep us updated on your progress!

    To Heart and Soul Health,

    Ambassador DN


  • AHAASAKatie

    Welcome to the Support Network, we are so glad you are here! Best Katie 

  • cpatriaw

    Hey , I have same experience: a neck pain one week prior to the event. Do you have follow up for that issue ?

  • jonnymaun

    Thank you for the replies. I've been trying to figure out where my story went and just now found it. I thought my story would be on my dashboard

    I am struggling with depression and anxiety and I am seeing a counselor.  I've also started a mild anti-depressant.  It's very odd to me that I am depressed after having a new lease on life, you'd think it would be just the opposite.  I should be bouncing around happy and stuff. But apparently what I'm going through is not unusual. 

    Cpatriaw, I don't have a follow up for the nech pain.  I've always held a lot of stress in my neck and shoulders, I try to relax more and breathe deep and do some stretching. 

    Thanks again.

  • writer43

    Hi John,  Thanks for sharing your story.  Fifty is young to have these kinds of problems!  Thank God your wife was able to help and that you've had a pretty good recovery.  I just joined and am having a heart cath next week. Unfortunately, I am also here as a caregiver because my husband had a stroke when he was only 53.  Like your wife, I was able to help save him. That was 13 years ago.  He functions fairly well considering his limitations, and he seems to be coping with my heart issues.

    Anyway, I know what you mean about depression and after effects.  We tend to compartmentalize our thinking==body, mind, spirit, but all 3 are connected!  I think you've received some good advice already, but I just wanted to add my words of encouragement--thanks for the opportunity to introduce myself, too.

  • enriquer


    thank you for sharing your story , like you i also had the same artery plugged and a Stent installed 

    and have Low EF , and have Experienced some of the same Emotions , i found myslef at Home worrying about things 

    i cant control, i talked my Doctor into letting me go back Work ,  ive Relized going on with my life is the best i can 

    for myself and my Family , ive been able to move on thanks to my support Structure (Family and Co Workers , Company i work For )


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