Coping with it all!

I love this site! People are giving such clear and careful advice, that I haven't felt the need to add anything, yet!

So my post is about just coping with it all. I have had three HAs and nine stents. But whatever we've had, there seems a common problem about what a shock it all is, and, if you've had repeat issues/crises, then how you pick yourself, and get positive, again and again.

I am a Psychologist who used to help people cope with illness and pain. How ironic is that? When it you, of course, it's different.

But, firstly, I have found exercising amazingly positive. I always do classes three times a week, and at least two other days hard walking, and a little jogging. The socials are uplifting. Lovely people. We give each other lots of help and encouragement. I started off after each crisis as the quiet little mouse in the corner, hardly daring to move! Now I hardly shut up! The security of having cardiac fitness trainers is brilliant.

After repeat MRIs, I now learn that my unaffected heart muscle has become stronger, as a result. So I have evidence that exercise really works to get the best out of my poor old heart muscle. I'm 73.

Secondly search out help. Other people. Therapists. Gym trainers. Cardiac liaison nurses. I've used all these, and know where to turn.

Lastly, my daughter told me. 'You're not defined by your illness'. Wise words. I'm still me!

Good rehab. to you all.

13 Replies

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  • Hi Kristin, thank you, wise words indeed. I too find the exercise positive, now just trying to balance that, work and family commitments as per usual!

  • Thank you skid123. It must be v hard to juggle it all. I was never at all good at prioritising, except, when I had the heart problems I eventually realised that keeping healthy must be around the top of my priority list, as I wouldn't be much use for everything else, if I wasn't on good form.

    But, of course, we all have to make our own journey!

  • Yes we do. I am very used to being nagged, wife and two daughters see to that. I will say I've cut hours at work with my bosses blessing which helps

  • Sounds good. How's it working out?

  • Thanks for your positive words, Kristin1812. I was diagnosed with heart failure the day before I gave birth, nine weeks earlier than expected, so it took me a long time to rearrange my priorities and come to terms with all the huge changes in my life. Five-plus years later, I think I'm finally achieving a good balance. I've reduced my working hours too, skid112, and (as well as taking more time to spend with my daughter) I spend A LOT more time on my own, trying to keep physically active and mentally active, doing things that give me pleasure and keep my mood on an even keel, or sometimes just resting, which I've realised is a valuable way to spend time now and again! Sometimes I feel a bit guilty about the good life I'm living while I see other mums slogging away in full-time jobs, but I'm feeling better than I have done in ages - physically and mentally - and I do believe that my health and happiness has to be my priority, not just for my own sake, but for my family's too. That said, it's not perfect. Financially, I can get by at the moment, though I do worry about the future, as I will have very little in the way of pensions/savings, so I'm trying to find little ways to cut back and squirrel away. The whole thing is an on-going process of reassessing/tweaking priorities and making tiny changes - hard work but definitely worth it.

  • Slowly still having good and bad day, mainly good and trying to exercise as well

  • I'm still trying to work out what makes a good and a bad day. Doing too much usually leads to a bad day, for me, but you must have to keep going with it all, perhaps even when you feel pretty washed out!? I have the luxury of being retired. It must be much harder for you.

    Do let me know if you have any flashes of insight.

    Up the good days!

  • My bad days can be anything from pure exhaustion to depression. Exhaustion I can cope with and the depression, well not so good at that bit, oh and anger at everything and everyone. The latter feelings have been helped enormously by talking about the whole heart thing, here at home work etc and by exercise. Set myself targets to achieve though if I overdo it, exhausted the following day!

  • I over did it today, a neighbour told me there was a huge cabbage tree to the side of my house so I went to have a look. Massive rain forest looking thing growing up my wall. Fine, I can cut it back, then spotted the whole area needed a sweep, so I carry on until it looks tidy. Now cabbage tree looks great, but me? I look and feel like that cabbage. However, like you a bad day for me is when I am so overwhelmed with a sort of grief, but keeping busy seems to be the only distraction from the depths of despair and of course chatting to others on here.

  • Twobells, today is rest day, you know you overdid it which you probably realised as you were cutting it back. We all live and learn, feet up watch some tennis, read a book and keep your fluid intake up. Tomorrow is another day

  • Thank you. But even though I overdid it I'm pleased I achieved what I did. Garden now looks great.

  • Hugely encouraging words. Thank you and bless you.

  • Hi Kristin - we're so happy that you love our new online community! It's a really great place for people to support each other, as we all know how tough it can be to get that support once you're outside of a care setting. Thanks for posting and we'll enjoy seeing you dip in and out of people's conversations with your thoughts and comments :)

    Take care, Chris

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