British Heart Foundation
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Hi everyone, I have landed myself here after a nightmare of a week. Dad had a heart attack and had angioplasty - all successful and last echo showed very little damage to the heart. This is great but I’m struggling. I’m fearful of everyone around me now and what they eat, do/don’t do and have been quite tearful at times (in private). My Dad was never the one to be sick and this has just shocked us all. I’ve read basically everything on the BHF website on how he recovers etc and positive steps to take going forward but I feel like I need to reach out to someone else. Surely I should be able to move on now and get back to normality, not be a blubbering mess thinking about all that has happened. I’m a nurse and maybe I’m looking into everything too much, the butter in the fridge needs to go, the salt has to be binned, everyone please turn into health freaks!!! I know this is ludicrous and changes will take time, my parents have said they will make them but I’m now becoming anxious at even the thought of meal times. I’ve told myself to take a back seat and let my parents do this without trying to force it. I know they will get there but maybe in my head I need changes now.

Anyone else out there feel like this? Any tips on getting through this?

Many thanks,


8 Replies

Hi Steph, don't be too worried about the healthy food stuff as that's the easy bit. Keep the salt low and cut out the fatty food and let the meds your dad will be on do the rest. I lost two stone in two months then levelled out.

What you might find though is that he will need yours and your mums help dealing with the psychological impact a heart attack has... if he's anything like me anyway! Anxiety will at some point raise it's ugly head and I've found it the most difficult thing to deal with. Every little heart twinge and skipped beat created a sense of doom for me the first couple of months. Eventually the anxiety faded but can still crop up fro time to time. Just having loved ones around you to hug and distract you helps a great deal.

Like I tell my wife, try not to worry too much because the last thing your dad needs is people worrying around him.

Good luck with everything.


Thank you David, I will definitely look out for any of the psychological effects and spend a lot of quality time with my family. He’s not the type to speak out about how he feels but at least I can maybe help with distraction like you said.

Congrats on the weight loss by the way, you’re doing something right!!

You’re right, worrying won’t change anything or do any good. Thank you for taking the time out to respond, I really do appreciate it - wasn’t sure what reception my message would get as I feel like I’m struggling more than the actual person affected.

Take care

1 like

Hi, I know exactly how you’re feeling, my husband had a heart attack on 29th September, without a doubt the most scariest time in my life. For over a week I cried at least once a day, a week after to the day an ambulance stopped outside my house and I broke down in tears. I’ve turned into a healthy eating nut & am driving my husband and children (14&10) nuts! Thankfully for them and me I have calmed down a bit. We saw a nurse at cardiac rehab on Thursday and she was amazing! Dispelled all the myths I’d been googling, she really put both our minds at rest a lot. She also asked how I was doing as she said we(other half’s) tend to get forgotten about as everyone concentrating on HA patient, I’m not taking anything away from my hubby or any patient, but the mental stress, worry and fatigue along with making sure kids ok has been a living hell for me, which like you I don’t want to moan about, but as the nurse said it’s tough and effects everyone, not just the patient. Feel like I’m waffling and haven’t actually gotten to the point, which is in my opinion the way you have reacted is completely normal. Just be there for your Mum and Dad when they need you and gently encourage them. Sorry for going on so long and good luck x


Thank you Jujet. I’m glad to hear that I’m not alone in feeling this way & you have made me feel more normal about it too. Mum opened up today and said she can’t sleep since it happened as she’s afraid something could happen - I’m off work for a few days and will be helping with things around the place, take the pressure off.

I get the impression you’re getting back into routine with the kids and shows that this all is going to take time. So thankful that the rehab is available and there’s outside guidance without him being made to feel a target in his own home.

Thank you & all the best x

1 like

Hi Steph,

Don’t be too hard on yourself it is such early days since the shock and trauma of your Dad’s heart attack you are bound to be all over the place emotionally and at the same time want to instantly bring about changes to ensure your loved ones hearts stay healthy. As Jujet has mentioned, your Dad will get good advice when he starts a rehab programme; even small changes can make a big difference.

Try not to get too stressed, you are no use to anyone especially yourself if you become ill.

You can care about others but you can’t care for them.

All the best and I hope your Dad stays healthy now.

Dory ❤️💕❣️

1 like

Hi Dory,

Thanks for your message. It is early days indeed and I can’t wait for this rehab programme to start. Right now at home the atmosphere is tense at times, me and Mum had some bother over cooking food and we both want to provide the best etc, but from this forum already I’m learning to just step back and not cause anymore stress than this whole thing has caused already.

You’re right in that you can get so upset it doesn’t put you in a good place either. I really need to watch that one.

Thank you for your well wishes and good luck with your upcoming surgery. x


So pleased that this forum has helped you.

Thank you for your best wishes x💕


Hi Steph, really sorry to hear about your dad. He will be invited to cardio rehab that will get him up and going exercise wise, tgere will also be lectures on good heart eating, what to and what not to do. Yes it's a huge shock, I dare say your dad is probably going through the emotions along with the rest of you. It's a long road back but with the support of you all it will be easier. Are there any follow up? Stent? Surgery or meds?

There are some fabulous people on here, all willing to advise, listen to rants and to feel good stories, I hope your dad gets better soon. One tip, get some him some good books, box sets as sleep patterns go to pot.


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