Jun 17
JHofmann
JHofmann , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog

Who Knew?

I was vacationing in eastern Montana with my husband and in-laws when I had a heart attack. I did not know it was a heart attack. I thought I was having severe asthma. After a couple of hours the pain went down and I tried to continue activity on my vacation. I mowed a lawn, repaired fence, went to a dance recital, attended church, played with my 6 year old niece. During all the activity, I had at least 5 more heart attacks all attributed by me to asthma. I had no pain down my arm only chest tightness and back pain that I attributed to hard physical activity and blooming brohm grass. The day after I returned from Montana, I had a doctor visit to examine my blood pressure. While there, I said,"By the way my chest is hurting and I am short of breath." They did an ekg and immediately sent me to the hospital. While trying to sedate me, I reacted strongly to the sedative and my heart stopped. Three stints and one balloon later, I was through surgery but in danger. It has been a week now, I am at home, and I am a little scared. I am only 45 years old, non-smoker or drinker, and was told that I have the heart of a 90 year old. My husband is hovering and researching diets and exercise to protect me in the future. I am still in shock and do not know how to procede. He thinks I need to go on a severe diet that excludes beef and sugar and fat completely. I hope the nutritionist has an easier diet. I feel alone in this. My husband is there for me, but no one else seems to understand the severity of what I just went trhough. They cannot see the bruises, so I must be healthy now. Sigh. Any ideas on what I should do next?
 
  • jlholmes99
    jlholmes99,
    Be thankful for your spouse. my wife has been there for the surgery and the stroke. be thankful for them
  • terranovalaw
    terranovalaw,
    Get some more details from your MD. Participate in cardiac rehab if that is available. Through rehab, your heart can be monitored while performing moderate exercise. Rehab will also address diet and medication. Equally important, you will be with other patients who have had a similar experience. Best of luck. Feel free to ask anything else. You are not alone.
  • Katkris
    Katkris,
    I'm sorry you're going through that. I understand what you're going through. 9yrs ago I went into cardiac arrest. Luckily I had an ICD, so when my heart stopped the device shocked me and my heart started beating again. Two cardiac ablations and a couple of procedures later, I was doing ok. Until just recently my heart started acting up again. I try to remain strong and positive. I do a lot of praying too :-) That really helps. I also changed my diet. More vegetables and fruits. I also cut down on salt. That has helped. Remain strong, remember you are not alone.
  • bhanes
    bhanes,
    I understand how you feel it's hard when people don't see a bruise. But keep your head up there is plenty of support here. Diet and exercise is what is needed but portion control is the way to go.
  • Helendee
    Helendee,
    I went through a similar situation. My jusband performed cpr fpor 17 minutes. I( had 4x byapass and was on life support gor 5 days. My friends did not understand. I went to cardiac rehab which helps. I gave followed the diet and I exercise. I have now had 5 heart attacks since 2007 as ell as have 6 sstents.
  • Limousineagent67
    Limousineagent67,
    I know exactly how you feel. Make aure to ask for cardiac rehab. This will help. Also make changes are a part od your forever future. I was having a real hard time so much until not doing my best got me open heart surgery and bypass. Way more horrible thann a trip to the cath lab. Im goibf with the program now for sure. Message me any time. I love supporting others with anything I can.
  • jsorlean
    jsorlean,
    I could recommend a documentary, "Forks Over Knives" and a book called "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease", written by Dr Caldwell Esselstyn. I've found the information valuable. It is not a replacement for the kind of guidance you can get from a doctor. Along the lines that your husband suggests I do follow a plant based diet that is promoted by my recommendations. This diet at first seemed daunting. I have found good tasting options that make it doable.
  • Bobcat
    Bobcat,
    I want to share my stories with your reader: The call for independence after stroke! I am author, The Power of I Believe, A book of motivation, encouragement and inspirational thoughts after a stroke, a Christian-themed book written to help stroke survivors and others touched by a disability regain their faith and strength as they recover and move forward with their lives. Though I wrote this book with stroke survivors in mind, the feedback I have received through my blog and Facebook page has shown me that The Power of I Believe is a source of inspiration for anyone who needs it. Everyone experiences doubt at some point—whether in themselves or in God—and this is especially true after a sudden and traumatic event. I know from experience. In December 2006 I experienced a sudden stroke, which left me battling aphasia. As part of my recovery, I returned to the journals I had kept for many years to find the same inspiration that had motivated me throughout my life. Through these meditations, I came to understand The Power of I Believe. Many people who have a stroke simply do not find the motivation they need during recovery. And this is not an experience unique to stroke survivors; anyone struggling with a disability, or even a difficult time in their life, can find it hard to muster the strength they need. The Power of I Believe is written for these people. The Power of I Believe means making the choice to accomplish your goals—it means having the determination to keep striving and the faith to know that you will succeed. In this book I share the thoughts and the inspirations that gave me the determination and faith to keep working to overcome my aphasia and recover from my stroke. My reflections focus on the power of God, the power of faith, and the power of the mind. Through these inspirational words and thoughts and through my faith, I found the personal strength preserve. I am now back riding my bike, playing golf, swimming, and going to the fitness center. While most books for stroke survivors focus on specific exercises and tasks that will help a survivor to recover and regain functioning, The Power of I Believe is focused on instilling the strength and faith necessary during the recovery process. www.robertleefields.com/
  • BevPohlit
    BevPohlit,
    I understand completely how you feel. I had a heart attack one year ago and I thought I was very very healthy. I ate organic exercise and did everything that I thought was right. As you can see it happen to you it happened to me and now what you do with it is up to you. The number one thing is cardio rehab, that is important to get your strength back and find out what your heart can do . Next is you need to educate yourself and everything that there is about your heart ailment. If you're on Facebook I highly recommend a group called #GoRedGetFit. Just search for the page and it will come up, and you will find thousands of women of all ages that have suffered or are fighting against heart disease. This group was just created in February by the American Heart Association and it's probably one of the best pages on Facebook that I've ever found. You're a survivor just like me and we're now sisters of the heart ❤️. I pray for the best for you and your family. ❤️
  • milam.ellen
    milam.ellen,
    I do understand very well in fact. Long story but very, very similar. I am 7 years into this now and though I still worry, I'm a worrier and know that doesn't help, but I've been on a diet of low saturated fat, I try to eliminate sugar but not very successful with that. I eat whole grains, vegetables and fruit.... An all around healthy and fairly easy diet and so far all has gone well. With exercise and a healthy diet I've lived a pretty normal life and feel that I at least have some control over this thing. I still worry and every time I have a pain or weird feeling I get scared and wish that I could get passed that part but overall life goes on quite nicely so take heart, (no pun intended) and life will go on and get better for you too. All you can do is control what you can and leave the rest to God. I wish you all the best. Ellen Milam
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