Overwhelmed with fear: I have become... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

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Overwhelmed with fear


I have become obsessive about reading about my heart problems. I’m still in the process of completing diagnosis but I know I have MVP with severe regurgitation and CHD for which I’m having angiogram on Monday 19th. My question is if this overwhelming anxiety is normal as I won’t do anything or go anywhere and my personality has completely changed since I’ve been given this news. I’m so worried that the angio will be cancelled on monday because of the new Cobid restrictions and I really need help. I’m just terrified all day and all night and my chest is very uncomfortable. I’m actually frightening myself...

30 Replies

I think it’s normal to have anxiety but not goin over I was obsesssed reading everything after my ha ended up worrying more I still read things but not as much I try not to because I will end up feeling very stressed anxiety isn’t easy but try doin something you enjoy I had echocardiogram today since then kp wondering if my results r goin to be ok but I try to think of it this whatever meant to be will be and worrying will mk me worse

Meatless in reply to Yasyass

Many thanks yasyass for your prompt response to me. You are of course right in everything you state. I will try to focus myself in some other direction . I hope your echo results turn out ok and thanks again I really appreciate your time..

Yasyass in reply to Meatless

Thanks for your reply hope u r feeling better I did the echo but awaiting the results I doubt if anything has changed but hope it has they recommend a icd but when read the side affects panic sets in so I’ll try to do other things I enjoy like shopping🤪keep me posted how u are doing take care

I love shopping too. I do not know what gender you are, but for me a new pair of shoes, bag, perfume etc always puts a smile on my face. xxx

Yes I can relate to new shoes although would prefer an apple tart at the moment😀 to be honest...

Apple tart sounds good to me too. x

I love to buy pjs and slippers also perfume I think if u look nice u feel good even if in joggers my relative sees cushions to keep busy yes we do have illnesses but not knowing wh will happen worries us oh yes and the apple pie sounds delicious with bit of custard🙂

Meatless in reply to Yasyass

I’m learning very quickly not to engage in reading anything about side effects of anything I might need whilst I’m I’m this current head space i.e panic. Shopping is a good alternative though 😀. Good luck I will let you know How things go..

Qualipop in reply to Meatless

Talk to your doctor. Tell them how you are feeling. Perhaps a full explanation of your risk v safety would help you. Hospitals tend not to explain fully enough for me- if at all. After a Heart attack I was discharged wih a simple "Oh well, that wasn't too bad" and that was it.

Meatless in reply to Qualipop

Thanks for that Qualipop and you are spot on. Cardio dr seemed somewhat casual about the whole issue to me even though they describing my Prolapses MItral valve as severe and also a mild/moderate leak in my tricuspid also plus CHD with a high calcium score (angio on Monday to assess for blockages). Therefore I’ve attempted to calculate my own risk/safety assessment which had stressed me no end... thanks again.

Qualipop in reply to Meatless

Do NOT Google. DR Google is notorious for causing panic.. When I was told I still have two blockages in the LAD, not bad enough to stent, I didn't even know what LAD was so I googled and what did I get? Hundreds of pages describing the "widow maker". Keep your research to the NHS website. Remember, for the cardio team these things are routine; the discharge letters tend to need a degree to understand them and they just don't think anyone needs an explanation. I wrote a pleasant letter to the cardio dept pointing out how worrying it was to most people and even if they are pushed for time, we need explanations, details, prognosis rather than just sending you back to your GP. I'm, lucky to have an excellent GP who understands the worry it causes and took the time to sit down and explain everything.

Meatless in reply to Meatless

How right you are! Yes I’ve already come across the term “widow maker” as you say and sat upright in my bed until 4.30am following that useful piece of info ,so so scared! I’ve ditched the google now after listening g to all you experienced people on here so hopefully I’ve dealt with that aspect at least. Thankyou

Hello Meatless

When any of use are going through the process of being diagnosed we all feel anxious. Being told we have a heart problem means we are looking into a very scary place, but once we get the right diagnosis and the treatment can begin things become much clearer. I have had my Aortic valve replaced and bypass that was 4 years ago and my life is now back on track.

What you have to tell yourself is that you are now being looked after, they are going to get your heart mended being so terrified that you can’t function is only making your symptoms more pronounced.

Your angiogram will be carried out on Monday and that’s another step in getting a mended heart.

I send you best wishes Pauline

Hi Meatless

I’m 2 weeks on from having open heart surgery to repair my mitral valve and I can reassure you that things are never as bad as they seem. I had MVP with severe regurgitation too, with the diagnosis coming completely out of the blue in May this year. I’ve learnt that it’s best to only read what you need to about it; it can be easy to find yourself in the deep depths of Google finding out far more than you wanted to know! From my experience, taking things as they come and not thinking too far ahead is the best option.

Going into this everything seemed so big and daunting, so I can fully relate to your feelings, but coming out the other side you realise whilst it is a big deal, it’s not as bad as your brain tries to make you believe.

Covid is definitely throwing a spanner into the works, fingers crossed your angiogram goes ahead!

Try your best to talk through how you’re feeling with friends and family if you can, I promise it’ll help.

Feel free to message me if you want to know anything at all, or just need someone to listen.

Stay strong and you will be just fine.

Best wishes x

Oh I know exactly how you feel Meatless and anxiety makes things feel so much worse.Try to stop reading things...I know that's hard.I nearly googled myself into oblivion last year but it doesn't help at all.Try to keep yourself busy with things you like doing, and look after yourself well.Hope everything goes smoothly.

Thank you letting off steam for your helpful words. Comforted to know there are others who also google themselves stupid. It’s ridiculous how I’m carrying on but I just couldn’t stop researching. Thank you for taking the time to comment for me.

Hi very true don’t read things I just read a report from th hf nurse recommend icd so first thing I do read the side affects mistake then started thinking positive I’ll wait for the new echo results hope for the best and try to have positive thoughts about a icd

I think it is normal to be anxious. I was very frightened when I got my diagnosis of heart failure and read lots about it, much of which did not help at all and only made my anxiety worse. I saw a counsellor after a bit of time to help me put things in perspective, that did help. Best thing for me was people on this forum who had been living with my condition, heart failure, and living fine responding to my posts with encouraging stories of thier own journey.

Meatless in reply to GracieOS

Thank you GracieOS. I too find the forum a wonderful help to me just to know that other people who understand are there to talk me through if I need it. I hope you continue to keep well with your own heart issues and thanks for taking the time to help me.

Yasyass in reply to GracieOS

Hi very true this forum has helped me a lot and people’s experiences have made me feel much better than google

You need to try relaxation techniques. Worrying all the time will make you feel worse. Whenever I feel stressed I stop and take slow deep breaths to calm down.Talk your feelings out . Never keep them to yourself. It helps

Meatless in reply to Fifimyangel

Thank you Fifimyangel. I am trying the breathing techniques but find it very difficult to talk to anyone even my husband about any of this which is why this forum is invaluable to me presently.

Fifimyangel in reply to Meatless

We are all on here to support each other 😊

Hi Meatless, sorry to hear about what you're going through. Yes, I think having anxiety in these situations is normal. Having overwhelming anxiety is not how we are meant to live. I have been there (recently) myself. I know the feeling of being terrified day and night and not wanting to do anything or go anywhere.

Googling your health problems can be a blessing and a curse. I think it's important to remember that what consumes your mind, tends to control your life. So I think that a healthy dose of knowledge about your health is one thing, but when it goes to the extreme of only feeding your worry and anxiety, then it's leading you down the path of an unhealthy existence.

Feed your faith and your optimism, starve your fear and your anxiety. Because what you feed tends to grow, and what you starve tends to die.

I hope things improve for you on all fronts. If you feel the want/need to chat, please send me a PM. I'd be happy to listen.

Meatless in reply to pmspaul

What a reassuring and motivating response Pmspaul. Your words are so true and I thank you for them. I realise that I am feeding my fear and need to change direction and get into a more positive lane with it all. You and all the other kind people on here have helped me to refocus. Much appreciation to you all.

The weekend is going to be very difficult for you - the waiting always is the hardest part but the 2-3 days before the angiogram seems to be the worst of the worst waiting.

I got through the time before my angio by repeating out loud:

'I've done all I can do. I've done all the right things - when I had symptoms I went to the doctor. I'm following their advice. I've done all the right things...'

I know it sounds trite on the surface but constantly reminding myself out loud I'd done all I could to get to the bottom of my heart wobble really did help calm me (mostly).

Please repeat the 'I've done all I can' mantra to yourself every time you feel the worry starting. It really truly helps.

And when you arrive to the cath lab Monday, make sure you tell them you want ALL the anxiety relief they can pump through the IV - LOL, they were so generous with it for me it took three days for the lovely fog to lift:)

Meatless in reply to Sunnie2day

Sunnie2day thank you I will be chanting this on Monday morning to myself. I’m very grateful to you..

Switch your worry centre off. Tell yourself I am not going there. Get up and do something. Think of all the jobs you have been putting off and go and do the one you have been putting off most. If it is a fine day make the most of it, get out for a walk, go and admire the falling leaves before the winter starts. Buy some waterproof gear and find an garden or a park or a seafront to wander round. Don't sit still. If you absolutely must because you are shattered from keeping busy, get the holiday brochures out and start planning. It's my life and I am going to make the most of it.

Meatless in reply to Ianc2

Thank you Ianc2 I feel like everybody is rallying round me on here and it has really helped to lift me. Holiday brochure sounds like a plan... even if we can all only dream about it in present times... thanks again for taking the time..

Thanks for all the posts,recently diagnosed with mitral valve problems and mild bronchoestasis.went wed for results of a follow up ct which the respiratory team had sent me for only to find the reason was a small nodule had shown up in my lung.going for petscan. Just dont know which bit to worry over first.common sense says I m lucky its all been picked up.

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