Learning to cope: Hi everyone. Some... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

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Learning to cope


Hi everyone. Some really good and sound advice on here. I had a heart attack and stent fitted just before last Christmas and seem to be recovering well physically. Mentally I am struggling with anxiety, which I was already prone to, and wish my cardiac rehabilitation could have been more face to face. That said I think I am slowly getting there and just wanted to be part of a supportive network like this. I guess my big worries are about the long term - I am 55 now, if I look after myself properly will I still be able to have a long life? Of course there is no definitive answer but that's what's keeping me up at night.

29 Replies

Hello Bob5446

Welcome to the forum, when we have a heart event most of us feel that the ground as opened up under our feet, and our world as been turned upside down. Life as we new it as gone and the new normal begins. A healthy diet taking our medication and getting daily exercise. I had open heart surgery Aortic valve replaced and bypass done 4 years ago and it came as such a shock my body was letting me down it never had before. But here I am living my life grateful every day to the medical team that gave me my life back.

You ask if you will have have a long life, that’s a question I am afraid no one can answer with or without heart problems. All we can do is try and take care of ourselves personally I try and look after my heart as so many people had worked really hard to mend it. Mentally it takes time to come to terms with what we have been through, but we are the lucky ones, we have a second chance so enjoy your mended heart take good care of it, and I have no doubt it will see you through a great many years in the future.

Best wishes Pauline

Bob5446 in reply to 080311

Thanks Pauline for the kind and sensible words. I understand that it is impossible to predict how long we will be clear of trouble. I have many positive things in my life and will focus on them. I hope you stay well and happy too.


Hi Bob.After a heart attack or any heart condition, it does make you scared and fearful of the future and all sorts of questions start popping up in the mind. But with time we start living with the fact that we are now a heart patients and things are not the same no more. As for how long we will live, no one can answer that really as death is sudden approach we can be fine and in best of health but might just get killed crossing the road. Life truly is unpredictable and for now just appricate the fact your alive and living amongst your loved ones and don't stress about what will or can happen tomorrow.

Bob5446 in reply to Page12

Thank you - much appreciated. 😊

Hi Bob, I too had HA last Nov with two stents. Cardiac rehab was one phone call and then signed me off. (Asked if I was capable of motivating myself to walk daily!) I did feel as though I was out there on my own, but this group helped enormously. I have a telephone consultation in March with the consultant and have compiled a list of questions to ask. For a start it was a long list, but over the months the fears have been dispelled and many of the questions have already been answered by forums or myself!Good luck and I’m certain you will have many great times ahead.

Bob5446 in reply to Fairweather1

Yes I feel a bit the same in that I havent seen anyone since leaving hospital so just feel like I could have done with a chat. I am getting my head round things slowly but still feel I have a ni5 of blind panic in me yet!🤣 Thank you for your thoughts - really appreciated

Fairweather1 in reply to Bob5446

Don’t forget to make a list and add to it when any question pop’s in your head. I use Notes on my phone, so it’s always with me!😀

Bob5446 in reply to Fairweather1

That's a great idea - I will do.

Had my 4 stents fitted. 9 years ago this month and going strong. Good diet and lots of exercise and can see my 90s as a goal. Just eat right get fit and what ever will be will be as they say. Try mindfulness for your anxiety. It really helped me.

Bob5446 in reply to Andyman

Thanks Andy. It is the anxiety that is the worst, which is something I struggled badly with in the past before my HA. I do practice a bit of mindfulness and have had CBT previously which may help again. Appreciate all your thoughts.

Pammy124prms in reply to Bob5446

hi im so glad youre on here. i had a ha in august and4 stents then another 1 3 weeks ago , to say im anxious doesnt cut it, im on anxiety tabs but they take a while to work. off to the loo every few hours and desperately trying to ubderstand why my cholesterol is so high, always been ok but now its 5 and 3 bad, another 4 hour stent op 3 weeks ago and taking longer this time to feel better, trying to do things but everyones shouting at me i should be resting. you caant bloody well win, i hope youre feeling better stents are really good but mine re stuck 1% chance of this apparently, it had to be me. anyway heres hoping i get better soon and they dont stick again ive apparently got the est self eluding ones now hope you feel better soon

Bob5446 in reply to Pammy124prms

Thanks Pammy. You have been through a lot - I hope you feel getter soon. This whole thing has been quite frightening but it has been really good to hear everyone else's experiences. It seems like a very helpful community here and I feel more positive already.

Lacarno in reply to Pammy124prms

Well l have AFib and Angina l carry on as l always have at least l try to but of course when l get the AFIB l can’t untill it rights it’s self my family moan at me to l asked the Doc what l can and can’t do the answer was listen to your body it will tell you when you have had enough , mind you the days l can’t do what l want l am in floods of tears l have always been very active and find it extremely hard to not do what l want when l want and l feel really Marcy but don’t know how to stop this never been like this before is anyone else the same ?

Bob5446 in reply to Lacarno

I think you seem to be going through some of the same feelings I am. Just hang in there and one day at a time seems to be good advice. And of course talk to your doctors and let them know how you are feeling. I guess as I have discovered that with this forum you are not alone!

Bob, I am 72 ...had heart attack on holiday in Greece, 2 stents fitted then and another on my return to the UK. Lots of helpful tips on this site and I benefitted from my Cardiac Rehab Team calls and advice. Now meds have been changed, I feel quite OK and thankful that my ticker should be a bit more dependable now stented. I still work a 50hr week and look forward to a return to Greece. I know I should do more exercise so working on that! Best wishes....don’t worry!

Bob5446 in reply to Soppybat

Thank you so much. I think I will get a lot out of this forum from people like yourself who are so positive. My other half is very supportive which helps too. I hope I will ge able to give something back to others as time moves on.😊

I had my heart attack and stent Christmas 2018. Since that time my anxiety has been out the roof never suffered before with it until H/A also the lockdown has made my anxiety worse like a lot of us. I fear everything about death,every pain, twinge ache cause in my head I’m having another H/A IVE learnt how anxiety makes everything twice as bad and it’s hard to get a grip on things after such a major event. But two yrs on and I’m dealing with my issues and have realised every twinge ache etc doesn’t mean it’s going to lead to H/A but my stress and anxiety will contribute massively to a H/A so I live for the moment enjoy everyday and thank god the paramedics saved me. 59 when I had mine and I had same thoughts as you and constantly worrying, not sleeping, one thing after another, getting medication right took some time which always worried me etc my mind was consumed and all I could think about was H/A and dying. But not anymore we need to live for the moment and be thankful we got through are ordeal as I’m sure you will eventually it’s true it takes time I never thought I was going to get over and deep depression set in But here I am 2 yrs and feeling the best I have since that awful day it will get better bob5446

oh im so glad im not on my own here. i too spend every waking hour worrying about dying , ive had 2 hert attacks in 6 months caused ny the stents seizing up , have a look at my reply to bob. ive now got anxiety tablets cant see them helping but ill give them a go. yes pain in my toe ha coming on hairs dirty cant wash it ha could come on. tired and lethargic guess what ...ha getting worse. never the thought ive got 5 stents and a ballon all up and working and should be grateful just thinking what if they go wrong again its extremely rare but it would bloody be me wouldnt it. they threw me out the day after id had the 2nd op as i was driving them round the bend looking at the heart monitor. so heres hoping everythings up and running now before the 2nd ha i was really well walking 6 miles a week now i cant even get up the stairs early days yet good luck 2 years is brilliant

Thanks Kimberley for the positive message. I am sorry you have struggled so badly with anxiety and depression too. So pleased to hear you are coming out the other side - they can be hell to have together. It is sunny today and it feels like time for me to start looking forward. 😊

Kimberly07 in reply to Bob5446

Yep onwards and upwards Bob we will all get there. Doesn’t feel like that at 3 in the morning. I always remember the words of The rehab nurse she always said to me If in doubt check it out. I called 911 on a few occasions when my chest pain was telling my head it had to be another heart attack.They were wonderful amazing calming people and helped to ease my anxiety whenever I made contact 🌻

I was similar to you Bob after my HA and stent in September. However I feel much more positive now. I think time helps deal with some of the understandable anxieties and you worry less about things. But give it time. 👍

Bob5446 in reply to Fruzzy

Thank you very much. I guess in the back of my mind I know that time always helps but still it doesn't seem to carry much weight at 3 in the morning!!! Greatly appreciate the positive encouragement- I will hang in there.

Hi Bob

I think we all worry about our futures but as others have said it’s really about looking after yourself in terms of diet and exercise.

I had a HA and a stent a year ago. I’m 62. I asked the doctors if it would affect my life expectancy. They told me there was no reason to think that it would so I am happy to accept that answer and focus on staying fit and healthy. Of course there are no guarantees in life but we just need to maximise our chances. Modern medicine is incredible and it will only get better in the future. Try not to worry and I’m sure you will be fine.

Best of luck!

Bob5446 in reply to Bigheart58

Thank you very much!! That's exactly the kind of message I need at the moment. I already eat well and do a lot of exercise so fingers crossed that there are no further problems 😊

Hi Bob

I could write you a very long post, but will try and cut it down to something manageable.

A year ago, in a couple of weeks time, I had a heart attack at the age of 42. I was in the gym on Monday morning and had a heart attack on Monday afternoon.

You will see my recent post on anxiety, me blaming changes in medication and generally not feeling well.

That, I am pleased to tell you - because you can be the same - is behind me. I saw a cardiologist recently who said “keep taking your tablets for the next 50 years, you are doing very well”. That was it for me, this guy who’s an expert expects me to live for a long time.

Manage diet and exercise and do the best you can, I’ll also fess up to having butter on my toast at the weekend, enjoying a beer and a glass of wine and a steak now and again... well we’ve got to live. I also try hard to keep my diet sensible most of the time and exercise hard three times a week.

Go forward my friend and don’t dwell on what might have been, enjoy what’s in front of you.

Bob5446 in reply to Outforawalk

Thank you so much for responding. I am really happy you are doing so well know and that you have been given such a great prognosis. It gives me great encouragement. Due to current circumstances I am not sure I ever see anyone medical again about this but I will certainly hope for the same conversation!

Hi Bob,

I had HA in April

Last year 1 stent .


Me a good few months to feel better as the anxiety really got to me .

I’m happy to say nearly a year on I am back at work and enjoying life once again . I take every day as it comes and feel lucky to be given this second chance in life . It does take time though to accept what has happened but you will

Honestly get there because I did and others too on this forum.

Take care , small steps be kind to yourself x

Bob5446 in reply to EmmyLaury12

Thank you Emmy for the support. Very much appreciated. I am trying to be patient and take that "one day at a time" approach. I think the more I get back into a routine the better. Hope to start work again next month, due to be married in summer and moving house too so plenty to try and think about! Thanks again. x

EmmyLaury12 in reply to Bob5446

Take care

Lots to look forward to .

Wishing lots of happiness in your future xx

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