I had a major heart attack back in May and a stent inserted in my LAD. This came after a routine visit to my GP showed that my blood pressure and cholesterol was on the high side. I was about 2st overweight too and I told the GP not to worry as I was going to start exercising more - which I did. I started doing 30 mins a day on the cross-trainer at home and started to loose a bit of weight - went back to the GP two weeks later and the BP had dropped so I thought "good, I'm going in the right direction".
A couple of days later I started getting tingling down my right arm towards the end of the exercise and thought I'd tweaked a tendon or something. The tingling would go away after a few hours and I didn't think much of it. But as it kept happening I made an appointment to see my GP the next day... but I never got to go as later that night BANG - the "mother of all heart attacks" as the paramedics called it happened. I blame Question Time and the two Jammy Dodgers I had!
As shocking as it was to experience such a thing at 48 years of age, I wasn't prepared for the mental attacks that followed.
I was feeling pretty good after the operation and was back to work within two weeks (desk job) so I thought I was well on the road to recovery. I went on to loose 2st through healthy eating and thought I was getting my life back to normal... but I couldn't have been more wrong.
I soon started to feel all the twinges and skipped beats etc which I was warned about and the doctors said was normal, but I still found it very unsettling. This brought on severe anxiety attacks which were not too dissimilar to the heart attack itself. What didn't help was the fact that I had always suffered with arrhythmia and supra ventricular tachycardia (SVT or rapid heart beat) all my life and is non life threatening. So when the SVT started happening again after the heart attack it really messed with my head. It was like reliving the whole HA event again.
It took several months to get to grips with things. I went to see a therapist for a while and although talking to someone helped a little, it didn't "cure" me. What I found was that after several SVT events and ambulances called, I started to realise that it wasn't going to provoke another heart attack and I wasn't going to die. I also got used to the skipped beats etc and don't notice them so much now (5 months on).
What I found really helped me was returning to church and reconnecting with God - whom I'd not prayed to for many years. I know not everyone will share my Christian faith but I found great comfort in Him. Praying took all my anxieties away almost immediately. And the whole "life after death" thing was put into a more reassuring perspective too.
What I want to say is hang in there - things do improve. Recovery can be a bit like walking up a down escalator at times, you'll reach the top eventually but you might slide back a bit each time you stop to catch your breath. Find help and comfort where you can, be that on message boards, family, friends or as I did with our Lord and Saviour. If you're finding the mental side of things difficult, please make that prayer and ask Jesus to help you because trust me - He WILL.