Sep 17
Saj518
Saj518 , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog

The effects afterwards

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Well I am new to this I am usually the person who never asks for help. But lately I feel like I am losing my mind, so I am a 49 year old male never a health nut normal wear and tear on my heart with the addition of high blood pressure finally caught up with me. I was at home and felt crappy and it didn’t go away so I went to er and was told I needed to be rushed into surgery for a massive heart attack. I am a single dad 2 girls by the way. So I get out of the hospital after having 3 stents put in and felt ok, as the weeks went on I started feeling anxious and felt like I could not leave my house, I forced myself to go back to work after 8 weeks and have been battling the anxiety it is horrible to wake up every day to feel like I don’t want to leave my house, I was always a social person and and I have a hard time with short term memory as well sorry feel like I’m rambling. But was wondering if anyone has had similar things happen to them ? Thank you  in advance . 

5 Comments
  • AHAASAKatie
    AHAASAKatie,

    Good morning, thank you for posting this. I believe you will find that many of our members struggle with this. I look forward to reading their words of encouragement for you. Please know that you are among friends here. Best Katie 

  • cookiesdad
    cookiesdad,

    As with any of these recoveries, you have to take it one small step at a time.  My anuerysm and stroke was 3/19 - I have been told I am one of the lucky 10% and furthermore do more than anyone dreamed of.  

    Does that mean I am 100% - by no stretch of the imagination am I close to 100% - I still struggle with balance, I get stress headaches when I over do it or feel stressed - my endurance is nothing like it was - I have gained weight - I can't take the humidity outside.

    All that said, I never quit - I push through the bad times - I always look for the smallest victory - I try to handle the bad times/thoughts (not always successfully).

    Really, this journey and new life (literally) is what you make of it.  Try to understand that you will continue to get a little better each day - but also understand you must be understanding that you will not be the old 100% AND nor will the close family, who have to adjust like us to the NEW ME.

    Good luck with your continued success - if you ever need a friend, feel free to reach out

    Bill

  • AmbassadorDN
    AmbassadorDN,

    Hi, Saj518,

    I’m so sorry you’re having an awful time, and yes, I have been going through the same with regards to depression and anxiety. Both are extremely common for heart patients after a cardiac episode, heart attack,  and even surgery. I underwent a third/fourth heart surgery last November. I was doing great after surgery, but then bam! The depression and anxiety set in late and hard. Combined with not being physically ready to resume work as I had planned—I required months of rehab—I also had to work through the crushing depression and anxiety I felt. I even caught that nasty flu that was going around back in March and that set me back a bit as well. 

    I know what it’s like to force yourself to do things, like going to work, and yet feel like you’re just going through the motions of living. What really helped me was seeking out a therapist to work out my feelings. My neurologist also put me on antidepressants short-term to help my brain chemicals get back in balance. Because of that, I feel tons better now. I’m 10 month’s post-op at this point and still not 100%. I’m not sure I will ever be 100% “myself” again. This isn’t to discourage you; it’s just that we have to find a new normal afterwards. My wise cardiologist even told me that because I’ve been through so much, there is no going back to what my life was like before. I have to adjust and do my best to live the best life I can with this new heart valve. 

    You will find your new normal after all this. It does take time. Don’t be ashamed to seek out help for your anxiety. 

    Keep us posted on how you’re doing.

    To Heart and Soul Health,

    Ambassador DN

  • KimberlyG
    KimberlyG,

    Hello.  I struggled at the beginning of my heart journey. 

    A couple of years ago , I received a new heart valve plus a pace maker. I was born with an abnormal heart valve and developed symptoms at age 42. I notified my doctor, a test was ordered then I received a mechanical valve. Four days later I developed heart blockage . The doctor informed my family that I would need a pace maker to help my heart function. A year later, my third surgery took place : pace maker revision. My fourth surgery took place on December 21st, 2015; I received new batteries in my pace maker.

    I maintian a positive outlook on life by relying on my faith in God and support from my family, medical team , neighbors friends, etc..

    Please feel free to review the information listed below.....

    https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-lifestyle/mental-health-and-wellbeing/mental-health-and-heart-health

    To follow my joruney of the heart, please visit my wesbite....

    http://kagoodloe.wixsite.com/heartofgold

     

    I wish you all the best. Have a beautiful day

    Kimberly

  • Spooky75
    Spooky75,

    Thank you so much for sharing. 

    I suffered a stroke 12 weeks ago at the age of 42. The stroke happened in my sleep, so for weeks, I was afraid to sleep at night. And then I was afraid to get out of bed in the morning out of fear that I'd had another stroke in my sleep. I was really excited to be diagnosed with sleep apnea a few weeks ago because now that I have my CPAP machine, my fear of sleeping has subsided.

    However, I still deal with other anxieties. Large crowds and loud noise can leave me feeling overwhelmed, like sensory overload. I also deal with overall lack of emotions after my stroke, which can be unsettling. I've decided to go see a therapist to talk about all of these things in hopes that I can work toward getting back to my old self. 

    So that's my advice to you, also. Therapy can be a fantastic tool. I've gone before, and it helped me deal with other life issues to the point where after talking it all out, I chose to just leave it all there and move on. Healing is possible. 

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