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British Heart Foundation
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Scared

Hello, my first time on this.

It all started on May 4th when I was undertaking a Coast to Coast cycle challenge for charity. Left Scarborough for Blackpool and all was going well until I passed a sign saying York 4 miles.

I collapsed and luckily was seen by highways workmen who came to my assistance. They called for an ambulance and I was rushed to York hospital. I had suffered a heart attack. I'm home now as of Monday 14th but I'm too scared at the moment to do anything. Hopefully someone can give me advice as I'm struggling to cope with this. I'm taking my tablets as prescribed but still very frightened.

Totally unexpected as previously I've done a 75 mile trek and a 24 hour treadmill with no problem whatsoever.

I've trained hard for the cycle challenge by gym workouts and swimming.

Any advice would be grateful accepted

I Thankyou

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Most of the people on here felt that way at first. A lot of the, me included, were very fit before our heart problems started.

You have been through a traumatic experience and it will take time for you to come to terms with it. Talk to your other half and your close family. Ask you GP surgery and the hospital if there are any support groups in your area and join in with them. There may be a cardiac rehab team in your area that can give you medically supervised exercise and advice to help you through this. People on here are very helpful too.

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Hi Jeremy. Welcome to the site. As Jimmy says you have been through a traumatic time and still in shock. Add to the fact you were away from home then it all adds up to a scary experience. You will have more bad moments in the beginning but they will diminish over time. You will be offered cardiac rehab programme which is run locally by specialist nurses and exercise teams. It’s a 16 session programme. You should have been discharged with a heart manual that gives you gentle exercises like walking on the spot for a minute then building up. As well as walking again starting slowly walking for about 2-3 minutes building to 30 minutes over a 6 weeks period. There’s lots of help and resources on the BHF website and they also have a helpline. Get an appointment with your GP and ask for counselling or referral to a health psychologist. I saw both and gave me really good coping strategies. Unfortunately heart disease doesn’t identify who is fit and who is not however because you were so fit this will help in your recovery. Do take care. Keep us posted and ask anything you will get the support from this site. Zena

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Jeremy, your story resonated with me. I to am very fit, was doing an average of 100 miles per week on my bike. Then, bang, I collapsed at an outdoor event. Fortunately, there were volunteer medics who applied cpr and kept me going until paramedics arrived. I arrested 4 more times on my way to a&e. I went straight to the cath lab and had a stent fitted to a blocked artery, others are restricted. All this with no previous warning.

The following day, the stent blocked, again arrested, and again of to the cath lab. Some 4 hours later and after 44 shocks another stent was in place. I stayed in ccu for a further 5 days. The care and expertise of the doctors, nurses and other staff saved me!! and they have my eternal thanks. What a journey, and I now await cabg in about 5 weeks. Through this, I have remained positive and done exactly as I have been told by these fantastic professionals. Their attitude has eased my mind and shown me a positive way forward. I have felt quite secure and walk every day, for at least 3.5 miles on very hilly terrain, in the knowledge that my heart needs building up for the further operation. My wife is also a tremendous support, as she has been on an emotional roller coaster alongside me. I wish you all the best and hope my story helps you settle.

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What a shock for someone so fit! I think we all seem to go through the fear of a repeat episode but now all the cardiac team will keep a close eye on you and give you all the support you need and answer any questions you have rolling around your head. It takes time to realise we are not invincible but being as fit as you are is a good start. Good luck.

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Hi, Jeremy, I haven't had a heart attack but I have collapsed and been unconscious on quite a few occasions and I now have a Pacemaker. It's terrifying to suddenly be aware that you can die unexpectedly especially if you are young or very fit, I never thought about it before I collapsed the first time. It's normal to be worried and not want to do anything that might cause it to happen again, it just takes time, you will get more confident as time goes by. I haven't collapsed for 11 years now but still get worried when I have bad days, it still all comes back to me on occasions. It does help if you have someone to talk to or turn to, it will get better, just know it's normal to feel scared, everyone on here has probably felt or is feeling the same right now. My advice is to try and not worry so much, I know it's hard I had a young son and worried every day, I found writing in a journal helped me, hope things settle down and you start feeling better, take care, Tracey...

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Hi

Thankyou for that

I have started a journal and keeping a record of everything I do, eat, sleep etc

It's the real lack of confidence to do anything really at the moment.

I've had many replies to my post all saying much of the same thing which is reassuring

It's all a shock to me and my family and close friends and especially to me

A heart foundation nurse is visiting me on Wednesday to check up and discuss healthy eating, exercise etc and discuss any problems in having and work round them

I feel I'm in a shell right now but with support from family members and people like yourself I will overcome the feelings I'm having at this present time

Thankyou again

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You will overcome it and what you feel now will fade, it sounds like you was a sporty confident person before this happened, you are still the same person you have just had a huge shock to your system physically and mentally and just need time to bounce back, don't be hard on yourself and take all the support on the way :) hope the nurse helps on Wednesday, Tracey...

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Thankyou Tracey

I trained from October hard for my cycle challenge , gym 4 times a week and swimming 2 times a week.

The same routine I did for my 75 mile trek and my 24 hour treadmill challenge. I felt really comfortable and confident of the cycle challenge

I Set off, enjoying the day, the views , and I saw a sign saying York 4 miles, then a couple of minutes after that is when the incident occurred.

It's the what if that I can't get out of my head

My family were 50 miles away, my phone had died, if it wasn't for the highways workmen who saw what happened then I shudder to think

I'm so lacking in confidence right now and feel locked in

As you say this feeling will eventually disappear

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I spent many hours upset thinking my tiny son would grow up without a mother, that's why I wrote him a journal just in case and it did give me some peace. I totally understand how scary that must have been for you, it's just really raw for you at the minute as it only recently happened, you are still here though so try and stay positive and let your family and friends help you come to terms with it all :) it must have been really scary for your family too. Your confidence will come back soon once you start to get over the shock of it all :)

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Ask your GP to refer you to cardiac rehab. It's a great way to regain confidence again. You will start with very easy exercises all done with a heart monitor in place. Phase 2 is in a gym using equipment. The feeling you have will ease - just give yourself time.

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Hi Jeremy

I can relate to this too. I was fitter than I had ever been too. I was picked to be a bone marrow transplant for a stranger as was on the Anthony Nolan trust.

My work were trying to get rid of me at the time so was really stressful. My cat attacked me one morning and as I got up to tell him what I thought of him the artery blocked and dialled 999.

I had a stent fitted and later a reveal device. I was so nervous after the heart attack even going for a walk, you are always anxious about (What if) I did a CBT which was quite useful.

I now have a pacemaker and although I had heart failure because of the meds have been taking it has now changed to low side of medium. I had my heart attack in 2010 when I was 37.

I did get a gp referral to the gym twice a week to help with my confidence. I did cycle around Cuba and lots of charity work in sri Lanka. I fundraise for the British heart foundation now at a local group.

Keep going my friend 😀

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Hi Jeremy. No heart attack but have had a pacemaker fitted mid March. No previous warnings, felt faint on a walk, Dr Monday, pacemaker Tuesday, home Wednesday! All tremendous mental shock. Staff very professional and helpful. I would suggest that you take the professional advice and also talk it through. I wasn’t particularly fit to begin with but am trying to build it up now. Biggest shock is mental which is harder to sort out - I don’t think I’m there yet! All the best to you and good luck with you’re forthcoming operation.

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Hi Jeremy. I had a cardiac arrest two months ago. Like your event it was completely out of the blue. So I was in hospital for a week, sedated. The first night at home; I was scared. What happens if. The first time I walked five minutes up the road and back; I was scared. And so on and so on. The first time I walked to the village, the next village, ran across the road to avoid a car, went to a supermarket, had sex, caught a bus on my own, went to a yoga class, went with some friends to a concert; I was scared.

It is scary, but your life is going on. Take things slowly at first, there isn't that much you need to rush for. You build your confidence with all these little events and achievements. And........enjoy things, you're alive.

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Hi there Jeremy I hope you're feeling stronger today...yes it is a huge shock when this happens especially when we're keeping fit and everything else that entails..this forum is great for support and advice as we've all experienced a cardiac issue.. If your interested in other advice from a cardiac consultant consider watching Dr Sanjay Gupta on his you tube videos..York cardiology.. well worth watching.. thinking of you and hope you can enjoy this sunny day.. Keep positive Jeremy..hugs

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