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British Heart Foundation
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So scared

Hi all. I expect you are familiar wi5 my name now as I post on here a lot. It gives me reassurance. I am struggling with my anxiety. Every single twinge I get makes me think I am having another HA. I had mine in July this year and every day since has been awful.

Today I had a strange feeling in my chest (not unusual) but it made me go hot and cold and I felt all shaky. It soon passed then came back again. I have been reassured by my lovely GP many times that my heart is in good condition. I and am on all the ends including anxiety and depression meds. I don’t see the cardiology team until December 19th

Nothing seems to work. I am so scared I will feel like this always and my life is over. I am only 48 and just lost my mum too.

Please give reassurance.

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Thinking of u can’t give advice cuz u no what I say your mind is your enemy and as long as h sit there thinking all sorts h will get the symptoms I speak from someone should as worked 22 yeRs In mental health and have been there myself but come through it and now jystbgrttinv on with it your heart is ok you are getting the symptoms if your anxciety

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Thank you so much. It’s good to hear from you. I just can’t help thinking, it was all four mo this ago, my arteries may have blocked up again? I only had one stent due to a narrowing not a blockage so I should be feeling on top of the world....yes?

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Yes u should but u also have a higher help who understands u have got to stop over thinking ur heart is in good shape I had one stent and mine was only part blocked my cardiologist your heart won’t kill u it will be ur head. So now I jystbluveveach day to the max I do my cardio eat very healthie only take min amount of bets blickers and I take captive of every negative tjought

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Thank you. Yes, God and His Angels are a great source of help x

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Feel free to call me if u feel it would help

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Hi oooh bless you. You are really struggling at the moment arent you... i think this anxiety is heightened in you as a result of two massive events that have happened on such a sort time. With this wil come the things you are expecting. You just need to recall on all your stength to remember the drs said you heart is ok 😁😁❤ yay.... and that you may need to switch your brain to coping exercises to ease the anxiety.

I know as i experienced exact events. My mum passed away 3 months before my HA from vascular dementia. I hadnt had time to process this before my HA. At the hospital a nurse told me the reality of the HA wont have hit me yet so be prepared when it does, as i may feel like im on a rollercoaster of emotions and anxiety might be heightened. I told her "it will have to get in line because im expecting grief to hit first." She was right it was a rollercoaster and after 2.5 years i have come to accept my HA and grief for my mum is there but the realisation shes not here anymore was the one that was hard to come through, and still is, but with patience and lots of time to just sit and remember when it hits has worked. If you have a day when you feel low and just want to read a book go for a walk or watch tv and do it without any guilt! You need this time to process and heal.

Think, what calms me. Maybe yoga at night before bed to calm yourself for a good nights rest, or when anxiety hits practise some yoga moves to try and distract the brain. See the bhF website for exercises or you tube for gentle yoga.

Remember Be kind on yourself, your at the beginning of your journey, and remember your breathing exercises when anxiety grips. After a few times of deep breathing you will get the hang of it and it will become second nature. So go on take so slow deep breathes now, whilst thinking , i am going to be ok! Take care and hugsx

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Thank you so much. Such a lovely, reassuring message. Xx

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As I always say on this forum - if you are a heart patient and have chest pain call emergency - that is the advice of the various Heart Foundations around the world. I was symptom free for years, had a little shortness of breath one day accompanied by a sore arm and was immediately admitted, angiogram confirmed blockages and had another bypass.

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Hello,anxiety can be a strange bedfellow mate. I was seven years post-CABG x 3 now two months ago I had a pacemaker inserted, and two weeks ago they put in 2 stents. if I didn't smile, I don't know how I could be so jolly. It will be ok.

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Thank you x

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Hi, It can be difficult after a Cardiac event and of course you can feel anxious with every twinge you get - it also can make you more aware of every little twinge or unusual feeling. If your GP is there to reassure you and tells you your heart is doing what it should - this should hopefully reassure you till your next Cardiac Consultants appointment. If you get any unusual feelings take some deep breaths and if possible relaxation techniques can help - also focusing on something to take your mind off the unusual feeling your having. Mind over matter can be amazing and you will be surprised how it can help you to over come things. I know as I have done this and it works. Good luck.

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Thank you. It’s so hard isn’t it?

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Hi there. No wonder you're feeling so shaky, those are two huge things happening in succession and it'll take some time to get your head around them. I'm the same age as you and had 3 stents fitted out of the blue in May. These events really shake you to your foundations, make you suddenly aware of your mortality and can make you question (and fear) everything. I've been having counselling which has been horrible but also invaluable. I'm no expert but please try and find some kind of outlet for your feelings. We all have different ways of coping. And be kind to yourself - these are huge life events that have happened to you and its perfectly natural to feel like this x

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Hi I think you would be very unusual if you didn't have anxiety as we all do , but at least you can recognise it as such , this forum is very helpful but do you have a partner or friend that you can talk to as well when you have these feelings, you sound as if medically you have had good news about your heart and as time goes by I'm sure you will feel better , I'm not making light of your anxiety as I also have those feelings from time to time but it has got better, all the best for the future and as you can see your not alone .

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Hi I recognise exactly what you are dealing with and I too struggle with anxiety and thinking that every little thing that gurgles/changes/breathes means something is going to happen. Things that have really helped me and have made a real impact are; taking rescue remedy available from most chemists and health shops, learning to meditate to help quieten the negative thoughts (this has probably had the biggest positive impact), counselling (available free on the nhs and you can refer yourself you don’t need a doctors authorisation), yoga, wearing a Fitbit so I can see that my heart is performing normally even though in my mind it feels it isn’t. Good luck it will get better if you use some or all of the tools and techniques xx

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Bless you. Thank you xx

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Hi Harekatie

I am sorry to hear you are still anxious and worried. I think what you describe is very common after a heart attack. I wondered if you had been to a Cardiac Rehabilitation Course. If not ask about one locally, I am sure you would find it helpful. It is good to meet other people with similar problems, then you can get support.

Look on the British Heart Foundation web page for more information about Cardiac Rehab. Hope you will feel assured and get more confidence very soon.

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Aww bless ya you have gone through a lot ... it's only natural your gonna over think every twinge ... if it's of any comfort I've had two heart attacks my last being in February gone had two stents fitted too . And yes it's scary when one gets a pain or unexplained twinges ... chat to your doctor about your fears maybe a some counselling might help too .. hope all works out for you hun .... please try not to worry too much

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Thank you for your reply. I think this is my fear.....to have another HA. They tell you it’s all fixed but you hear of so many people having second HAs. Did they stent you first time around😩? What caused your second?

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Hi, I m so sorry for your loss, I don’t reply to many posts as I rarely think I am in a position to advise others. But one thing that always gets me is that there is little acknowledgment in our society that sometimes it’s okay not to feel good. You have had two horrendous events in a short space of time. Grief in itself has a physical aspect. I was shocked to discover this a number of years ago when I lost my sister. Try and think how you would treat a loved one who has gone through what you are. Treat yourself the same way. Be kind to yourself, cry when you need to, don’t feel guilty when you find yourself laughing. Breathing exercises and meditation can help. Sending you loads of love xxx

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Hi harekatie .im badger I am the same as you.every little twinge makes me feel like I am having ht.i have had 3.two in one day three years ago second one 2and 1/2years a go .it is not nice.keep your chin up talk to your family or friends .i am still under Harefield.i go every 6 months and I get nervous every time I go.

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It surprises my how few people will admit to anxiety, especially over health. You are not a hypochondriac, you just need reassurance. Normally I suffer badly from health anxiety so after my heart attack in August my GP told me to expect it to get worse. Guess what? It didn't. I truly don't think it's sunk in yet. I had a total blockage and two stents and they found two more bad blockages which are to be investigated this Friday. The only things that have upset me have been side effects from tablets, ie breathlessness and chest pain and the fact that I haven't seen a cardiologist at all at any time. One did my angiogram of course but he didn't speak so I've had no advice. The rehab nurse was worse than useless and I can't get a GP appointment for 5 weeks. All I've had is a couple of phone calls when one stopped my BP tablets. It doesn't give you much confidence. Have you tried hypnosis for the anxiety? I used to get dreadful panic attacks but once I was taught self hypnosis, I could recognise them starting and stop them in their tracks. You have to learn to control these thoughts.

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I understand you harekatie, I lost my mum March this year. I had my heart attack in October. Before my heart attack I was really struggling losing my mum. She went into hospital on the 15th Feb as she wasn’t feeling too well. By the end of the day she was told she had bowel cancer and only had days to live. We managed to get her home as she didn’t want to die in hospital. We done 24/7 care until she passed away on16th March. We had some really lovely bonding times during caring for our mum. The only way I could cope with losing my mum was to pretend she was at home. On the evening of my heart attack I was very calm which everyone couldn’t understand. While I was having my stents fitted my mums song that we had at her funeral came on the radio . I cried so much as I felt that my mum was watching over me and that’s why I wasn’t scared but since then Iv excepted my mum isn’t no longer here but her presence is. I get anxious but I tell myself I had that pain or niggle the other day and I’m still here. I’m so sorry for your loss and I'm here if you need to talk, I may not have the answers but I certainly know what your going through 😢😢xx

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Bless you. There is no loss like the loss of a mother.

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I totally agree Katie, I miss my mum so much. I hope in time that your anxiety settles. Life can be so cruel xx

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Have you been referred to a counsellor through the Cardiac Rehab team ? .. I have found attending the physio to be very helpful in translating the pains & twinges and giving me the confidence to test my heart in a secure environment. Be assured you are not alone in your thoughts/worries and time is a great healer xx

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I have just finished my rehab and found it helpful. Would like to do it all again.

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I want to add my sincere best wihes to you and let you know that you aren't alone. Its a difficult time after any event that involves the heart; it's just natural to think about all the 'what-if such-and -such had happened, or might happen.' I do it myself, and I've just had stents fitted, but no HA. The problem was found soon enough to avoid that; but its there now, in my future, the "what if" that chest pain or little niggle/twinge is the real thing?

So how do I cope? The best way of putting it is that I find out what I should be doing (eg. diet, exercise etc - all the things you can find on this website); I've read things on the web to try to understand what is happening. Then, I take the advice. That way, should anything at all happen, I can think that I've done my best, both for myself but more importantly for the rest of the family.

I now regret some of my decisions made in ignorance of their likely affect on me (mainly my diet and lack of exercise), but I also know heart disease runs in the family. So the why me? question will never be answered - so I try to ignore the issue. If it does come to mind, I try to get busy with something (but not watching TV, there's too much there to remind me - eg soaps and Casualty, a disaster every 5 mins, very bad for me).

So things have altered for me. I can look back and feel I've done my best and take consolation from that. I've just started a cardiac rehab course - talking with others helps to find I'm not alone. The exercise, even after a few sessions, seems to be changing things for me and the way my body feels to me. Perhaps there is a group locally who you could join?

Anyway all the best, I hope things go well.

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Thank you so much. Great words of reassurance.

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Hi Katie

Over time you will forget about your HA and just get on with your life normally

Forgive me if this sounds simplistic

Take care

C

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Thank you

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I am sorry for your loss and also sympathise with your heart anxiety.

I was the same with heart anxiety following a mild heart attack that caused a bad arrhythmia but like you have been assured my heart is OK but still struggle to get this into my head when heart misbeats or have funny feeling in chest.

I’ve been trying self hypnotism which seems to help my anxiety but I have to do it every day for it to work. I’ve also tried using a 7:11 breathing technique where you breath in using your diaphragm muscle for a count of 7 and then out for a count of 11. By breathing out for longer than you breath in stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system which may help to calm you down.

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Thank you. I am certainly going to try the breathing technique.

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Hi

I am 3 weeks post heart attack and even writing or saying that phrase scares me. I always seem to be a few seconds away from panic. But I have received an enormous amount of reassurance from professionals and I believe that I will start to calm down. This forum is brilliant and I am already grateful for all the support I have received from people. There are lots of strategies to help anxiety and you just have to find something that works for you. Good luck

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Thank you. It’s so horrid isn’t i? Good that I’m not alone x

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If the cardiology team and GP are happy then it may just be anxiety which I know is hard to dispel. Have you been on the cardiac rehab programme yet? I found that helped a lot. Also if in doubt ring 111. If they're concerned they may advise you to go to out of hours Dr or A&E, etc. Physical activity I find helps take my mind off things and makes you feel good. Also get stuck into a hobby that gives you satisfaction. If your mind is still playing tricks on you then enrol for some online CBT maybe. Good luck.

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