Mar 13
Eric's Tita
Eric's Tita , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog

Stent placement has me angry and scared

I am a 66 year old woman who has been in excellent health, except for the occasional fall and sprained or broken ankles or hand.  I never smoked, I rarely have a glass of wine, I am at my BMI, and I took no medication. My BP has always been excellent, my cholesterol has always been at goal, great sugar levels, and I try to get in at least 5000 steps a day.  I eat a low fat, reduced salt, and low sugar diet with little red meat.

Two weeks ago I woke up with chest pains and called 911.  I spent the whole day in the ER, all tests normal.  The next day I had a stress test which showed an anomaly and that afternoon, had stents placed in my heart.  Up until then the doctors were stumped because I was so healthy.

Now I am angry and scared.  Angry that I was doing everything right yet this happened.  Scared because I don't know what to expect.  I am also scared because my father's side of the family have all died of cardiac arrest....some having no symptoms, two who had bypass surgery, and one who died at 67 but was a smoker.

 I am a college professor of 37 years and plan to retire at the end of the semester.  I also work part time as a medical social worker and plan to continue with that.  I have been married for 37 years and have one son and now a three year old grandson.  I want to be able to spend more time with my family but am scared.

 I am glad to have found this site and hope it will help me through this.
10 Comments
  • ricker
    ricker,
    I'm 59 having a heart attack one yr ago-100% blockage one stent placed, I feel your pain...it truly is a head game with all the anxiety about what if and what do I do now....every pain normal before is not so normal...it is a life changing event....this site has helped me realize that I'm not alone in my struggles and it gives me comfort to blog and see that others have the same concerns that I did when I first had mine...it will be a year on March 23, 2017 since my heart attack...I have learned to live life, eat healthier and exercise more...all thing you were doing right.... There is a sense of peace within me that took quite a bit of time to come to the resolution, that you must embrace the ones you love, enjoy life, be happy...in reality no one knows when there time is up...I'm making the most of the time, as they say when my feet hit the floor in the morning they say "Dam she's awake & full of life" and what a great feeling it is....time will heal these thoughts and concerns you have, only time....can do that....keep blogging it truly does help....C. Booth
  • Mcgeehan
    Mcgeehan,
    I can relate. I had a 100% blockage of the left anterior descending artery (widowmaker). At age 59 I was apparently very healthy, bloodpressure 110/70 resting pulse rate 48, never smoked exercised vigorously regularly and boom. Total shock they thought I died on the way to the hospital. They removed the clot and installed a stent. It has been 8 years, they couldn't offer me any suggestions for lifestyle changes or dietary changes, I was already doing it. I have had no reoccurances and except for giving up tennis, my life hasn't changed that much. The hardest part is getting past the fear and anger, but you will get through it. I did.
  • curtiswood18atyahoo.com
    curtiswood18atyahoo.com,
    Yes the mental part of having my stent was exactly where I had the most problems coping. I sought out some therapy and found some relief there. It is not a treated part of the issue and one has to seek their own path. Even doing all the "right" things can still land you in cardiac problems. Cardiac rehab was also an excellent confidence builder for me even though I had high co-pays for that phase of treatment. Lots of adjustments needed in confidence after these events in all of us!
  • steedo
    steedo,
    Sadly its very misleading to all of us to read and follow the the common wisdom to exercise, eat well and avoid certain pleasurable things. Wead, hear or see the statistics that prove all of the forgoing deminishes risk of heart respiratory or circulatory deterioration. Unfortunately it only puts one in a lower risk 'group' it doesn't garuantee every individual. We can't change genetics, badluck- s#*t happens. In the end we are simply animals. We have two small dogs about the same age we have had them from weeks old; one we think pure Jack Russel the other Jack Russel/Chiwowa. Same food same walking routine bot now about 12/13 years old. The later like a young puppy the former going blind , cancerous growth cant walk very far. Genetics are our real enemy? In my case I developed High really high BP so I had an MRI of my heart and tested for hardening and narrowing of the arteries and all were like a young bloke slight enlargement of left ventrical of heart [did obscene amount of sport as young guy]. but I had a stroke! why ? because the only narrowing was one of the 3 main blood supply vessels to my brain!!? its inoperable and hopefully blood thinners will stop re-occurence.
  • abnicolas
    abnicolas,
    You have been blessed to happen this before your retirement perhaps the in best time of your life. Just to let you, like you, I also had my 2 stents but super grateful because I know God has extended my life here, together with my family. Enjoy life, you will still have long years of joyful living.
  • zeeheart
    zeeheart,
    I am a 52year old and I had a heart attack 20 months ago, they placed one stent in. I too was healthy, non-drinker, nonsmoker busy with life and I woke up one morning and starting preparing breakfast for my family and found myself havechest pains. I spent the day in the hospital while they checked everything--- and much to my chagrin they found 60% blockage and thus the stent placement. It took me months before I could half way wrap my head around what had happened. I still have days when I feel angry and annoyed-- but I am grateful to be here. I agree with the others-- time will heal your thoughts and concerns. This forum was and is very helpful to me and I suggest you continue to talk and share. You are not alone.... Z Williams
  • cardio myopathy
    cardio myopathy,
    Your doctors might want to consider an ICD for you to lower the risk of "sudden cardiac death".
  • Sownman
    Sownman,
    We never know the future, that's just not how life works. We keep doing the best we can for ourselves and enjoy life one day at a time. In 1984 I got a lousy prognosis. Men in my family die of heart disease. My Dad died at 59. His Dad died at 55. I'm going strong at 66. Maybe I'll make 86, maybe I won't manage to hit the button to post this. I keep doing the footwork And trust God with the results.
  • popscolly
    popscolly,
    At age 44, I had double bypass. From then, I have had three heart attacks. Subsequently, I have five stents. Then, in December of 2014, I had a stroke. Initially, I was scared. One month after the stoke, I had an ablation in the left ventricle. My family is heart disease. I lost a brother in 2015. He was 51. I am 65 now and continue to be as active as possible. In short, it is what it is. Relax and take solace in the experiences of all of us that are survivors. Anxiety is normal but it is a deterrent to a full and happy life. Be grateful for everyday you are given.
  • jsorlean
    jsorlean,
    I can relate to your fear and anger. I had a stroke 20 months age and a heart attack 2 months later. Heart disease runs in my family. I've outlived two generations of men by a decade. According to the Heart Disease Facts & Statistics | cdc.gov, "about 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year–that's 1 in every 4 deaths. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women." There is a lot of confusing and contradictory information out there. What is thought to be the healthiest diet may not be. It's an adventure for all of us. I've taken on many different life-style practices such as following a plant-based whole food diet, increasing aerobic exercise, yoga, meditation... to complement what modern medicine has accomplished for me. I have cardiologists that have told me I wouldn't be here now if I had not made those changes.
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