Need some support: Hi to all you lovely... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

26,690 members17,531 posts

Need some support

PippaBlue6 profile image
PippaBlue6

Hi to all you lovely people. I am new to all this but would like some support. Almost 3 months from my very unexpected HA and I still find the recovery so hard. Like you all I realise that we all have good days and bad, but when will life ever return to normal? My last 3 days have been awful and even my walk this morning had to be cut short as I could feel the strain in my heart area. I understand my meds are necessary and I am so grateful that we have them but I want my old me back. Anyone got any magic wands

51 Replies

I havebeen in a very dark place recently due to heart issues.As a non believer I was hesitant to use medittion but I must say it has helped enormously.Guided meditation on you tube is best and you will need to find one you like.I like Honest Guys. Try it but do not expect immediate results it can take a week or two before it even begins to help.

Thank you for your reply. I have already started mediation and on a good day I have gone back to doing yoga. I just never realised that HA recovery would take this long especially when I believed I was already fit. But thank you for your advise

Sheamah profile image
Sheamah in reply to PippaBlue6

Meditation and Reiki really helps me to connect. I also chat to my higher self. I get angry. Even frustrated. I also ask the Angels that they need to guide me through this and equip me and my cardiologist with things that suit me and my body. 😊🙏💜Jules

PippaBlue6 profile image
PippaBlue6 in reply to Sheamah

Thank you

Firstly Hi.I can only advise how I personally dealt with my HA.

It's early days,don't rush ,try to chill your thoughts as in your head I'm sure you role play over and over,how, where ,why?

Feeling Anxious and almost Panic runs hand in hand , you say why me?

There are many ways on YouTube to try to chill .

Find your way to deal with everyday life and almost make it a goal for you to stay Active.

I'm not a Medically trained person,I'm simply a guy that has had the same thought process.

Hey I'm still here and chatting with you ,try to remain positive.

This Forum is a great place for positive responses.

Dr Google ,try not to ,it can scare more at times .

Thank you for your reply. It has been helpful and reassuring that I’m not on my own.

Sheamah profile image
Sheamah in reply to PippaBlue6

Definitely not on your own ....

Hello PippaBlue6

Having a heart event, is life changing there is no other way of saying it. The new normal is different, medication to take, diet to watch, exercise to get done, but remember you are still in there! You are still you and given time you will reappear. You have been through a traumatic event, you body and most especially your brain is still working out what as happened. I am 4 years on from OHS and life is good, different yes, drugs to take daily and Doctors appointments blood tests to have but I am me and have been for sometime but it took a while. Hang on in there one day you will say “life is good “.

I wish you really well for a great recovery.

Pauline

PippaBlue6 profile image
PippaBlue6 in reply to 080311

Thank you. I am looking forward to that day I say “life is good”

Hi pippa. Sorry to hear you are struggling. Firstly, I would say don't be anxious about being anxious! It is a natural reaction to having your world turned upside down. If you were not anxious it would be more of a problem. As Pauline says, you will rediscover the 'you' that was there all along. In these very early days focus on being kind to yourself, taking meds as prescribed, eating well and exercising gently. If you have been offered cardiac rehab, take it up. If not, chase it up. Most of our members have found it invaluable. In my own case, I took the approach of complete denial - which I do not recommend. Probably why almost 2 years later I am still struggling. This, however, is because I have had a few other life changing issues going on, which means I never got to confront my feelings after a ha and 2 stents.

I wish you all the best for your continued recovery. X

PippaBlue6 profile image
PippaBlue6 in reply to Nettekin

Thank you for your kind words and can I wish you well too

Sheamah profile image
Sheamah in reply to Nettekin

Thank you. So good to read all the comments I’m not a lone. Xxx

You already have your magic wand Pippa , it’s got the word survivor written on it :::))) wishing you good health

Thank you

Hi PippaBlue6I'm almost 3 months too after being in hospital and having a stent etc, the meds have made me gain weight so am working on that and with lung conditions too,

I'm trying to come to terms with it all, but we are still here, slightly different but alive, I think we tell ourselves everything is the same, but we need time to recover, and each of us take a different time frame it is a slow process, which is frustrating, but we will get there, hang on in there xxxxxx

Trish

PippaBlue6 profile image
PippaBlue6 in reply to Trishe

Thank you and I wish you well too

Trishe profile image
Trishe in reply to PippaBlue6

Thankyou.

I'd always suspected that I wasn't Superman and it turned out to be proven when I had a heart attack for my 50th birthday. Then the atrial fibrillation set in a year later. I had to accept my non-superhero status. But it also changed my life for the better. I started to take notice of my own needs. I became kinder to, and more forgiving of myself: this in turn allowed me to kinder to and more forgiving of other people. Suddenly, it became clear how much more valuable people are than things.I also started walking a lot more.

JK

PippaBlue6 profile image
PippaBlue6 in reply to JK5AEO

Thank you for your reply and it sounds like you have been though a lot. Your words are very encouraging.

I’m three weeks after my ha and I could have written this , my legs turn to jelly when I try and walk , and I wonder if I’ll ever get better

RufusScamp profile image
RufusScamp in reply to Notdead

The main BHF website has several useful exercise programmes. Have you tried the chair-based ones for starters? The important thing is not to try to do too much at once.

Notdead profile image
Notdead in reply to RufusScamp

No I wish l could come across them, so far in the past three weeks I’ve had one twenty min phone call from cardiac rehab and nothing else . I don’t even know anyone who’s had a heart attack that I can talk to about this .

PippaBlue6 profile image
PippaBlue6 in reply to Notdead

Wishing you a speedy recovery and after reading all my replies I have never felt in a long time so supportive of people going through this. We are in this together one day, one week one month at a time.

PippaBlue6 profile image
PippaBlue6 in reply to Notdead

Wishing you a speedy recovery that will come but I suppose I am learning fast that it doesn’t happen over night. We just need to keep posting to keep in touch.

Notdead profile image
Notdead in reply to PippaBlue6

Yup I agree , I’ve had more support on this hub that I have had from the medical professionals , I’ve learned more here than anywhere else as well .

Best2 profile image
Best2 in reply to Notdead

Hi Notdead I couldn’t agree more with you !!! This site is so great and I’ve had more support and inspiration from people on here in the same situation as me than I’ve had from doctors gps and rehab people I’m 7 weeks after a heart attack and have had one call from rehab nurses and nothing else till follow up with cardiologist over the phone in June !!!!

Notdead profile image
Notdead in reply to Best2

Yup same , one fone call and that’s all I’ve had , I have no clue what the medication I take is for , what this red spray is for or when to take it . How much to walk and how much is too much ,, when I’m allowed to go to the hairdresser or start work , what about benifits? Not a word of help from the nhs at all . Even the nurse who called me said ,, as far as the cardiologist is concerned you’re alive and he’s done his job . What ?!?! If someone was hanging onto my coat jacket to save me from falling off a cliff that’s the only way I could describe this forum . Cus without it I’d be over the cliff already

Best2 profile image
Best2 in reply to Notdead

Aw no that’s shocking !! If I was you I’d ring your pharmacist and ask for a meds review they are more helpful than gps and they know all the meds , side effects etc ! Good luck for the future and thankyou for replying

Notdead profile image
Notdead in reply to Best2

That’s a good idea , thanks for that

Hi Pippablue6,Plus one for the rehab, we are fortunate we have an active and available rehab setup that ordinarily has ongoing classes after the immediate rehab. I found the group classes with others very beneficial but they have been suspended due to COVID, if you have them locally and when they are back this is worth a try - you will meet others and you are not alone, there will be adjustments and as others have said many are positive. I am just heading out to play golf with one of my fellow survivors I met at the rehab class - wouldn’t be happening without the unfortunate series of events 3 years ago (HA and stent). All the best

PippaBlue6 profile image
PippaBlue6 in reply to ken-b

Thank you

Hi Pippa,All of us here are experiencing some kind of loss. Loosing our selves, our ability, our live as it was. This is a grieving process. You get angry, frustrated, depressed, go in denial etc. All these stages are happening one time or another. Try to recognise what you are feeling and let it happen. Be kind to yourself and let it out. I have found that just writing on this website has helped me, and the many phone conversations I have had with my friends and family, who patiently listened to my complaints and frustrations. But what is helping me the most is that I try to live life to the fullest. I appreciate nature and see every flower coming out. I block out people that take my energy. I listen to and enjoy music. I take the time to stand still and engage all my senses. Breath in the second chance of live you have received.

Good luck and we are all here to listen. Xx

PippaBlue6 profile image
PippaBlue6 in reply to fit4walks

Thank you for your lovely positive words.

Hello, sorry to hear you’re struggling and I empathise so much. When I had my Nstemi HA followed by over 2 weeks hospital stay whilst waiting for an emergency triple CABG due to a genetic disorder I had no idea I had, the shock was unbelievable and left me with mild PTSD. A further 10 days in hospital post- op meant that on leaving hospital I was nervous and unsure exactly what I could or couldn't do and due to finding I also had AF, the meds (some which will be lifelong) seemed overwhelming. Luckily, cardiology and my GP were so helpful - pointing me in the right direction for cardiac rehab and any other services I may need. Here I am 2 years on, still a little apprehensive in some ways due in part to also having been diagnosed with fibromyalgia - but much happier and more at ease with things. I know I’ll never be exactly the same as I can’t undo what’s been thrown at me but I feel more aware and on top of things due to things like regular exercise, good diet and meditation. I do have days where I get ‘stressed’ but they’re getting fewer and I realise just how lucky I am my condition was found and treated and all my meds suit me and help is there if needed. Take care and just give yourself time and space. All the best.

PippaBlue6 profile image
PippaBlue6 in reply to Trog1

Thank you for your reply and your words are encouraging. Can I wish you well too

Hey there PippaBlue6,

The other guys on here have covered all the points of recovery, meds and "life is good" so I’ll give my own personal experience.

For ten years I was treated for "borderline asthma" and a host of other possible complaints that was making me breathless and could hardly walk up hills.

Then in 2016 I had a heart attack (The previous ten years was in fact angina!) I had five stents fitted and after recovery I felt great! I attended cardio rehab, took my medication, cholesterol level was down to 2.7. I could run up those hills pumping my arms to get my heart rate up to get into my cardio zone.

Most people would now be fixed but ten months later I started to get angina symptoms again.

Yet another angiogram and I was told I was in a bad way and I needed a multiple bypasses. Two of the stents had also blocked back up.

The surgeon stopped the angiogram and said "there’s no point in carrying on".

It seemed like my world had come to an end. I remember tears falling as I went back into the ward.

Back into the system of hospitals and waiting rooms.

I was told that I’d need a quad bypass and they booked me in as urgent.

I didn’t make that date because I was taken in before due to heart attacks.

They eventually put my into intensive care on the rum up to the operation "to drip feed me to keep me alive".

I was told by the anesthesiologist that I was in for six bypasses. In fact they could only do five due to a stent problem near the heart???

That was March 2019.

The way I looked at it, I could either be a part of the problem or the solution to it. So I said to myself "every day in every way I’m getting better and better". I knew there was days I was fibbing to myself, some days I just sat on the end of the bed crying, I’m not ashamed to admit that. It was tough.

Then…

I had the operation Monday… I was home the following Saturday eating Steak and drinking a nice glass of red.

Four weeks later I was driving my car.

12 weeks later I was riding my 900cc motorbike.

Since then I’ve seen my son get married.

I’ve heard my granddaughter call my granddad for the first time.

I’ve now got a little two seater 3 litre V6 sports car (whoohoo what fun).

I’ve done masses of repairs to my home including installing a new bathroom suit including floor tiles.

We’re just in the process of buying an old motorhome to travel the U.K. and Europe (especially Scotland because I've never been there😳).

I could go on and on… the point is, there is life after a heart attack and you are your own magic wand.

Now some people would say that I’ve done really well, and to be honest, I think I have, but there is one place I fear to tread… an argument with my wife. Now that’s where my knees knock and I shake and I think I’m not going to survive this. There only so much a man can take 🤪😂😂😂😂.

————————-

My name is Bond, James Bond and I take my aspirin shaken not stirred 🍸

————————-

Handel profile image
Handel in reply to -007-

😂😂 Nice one! You really do brighten up dull days. Keep up the good work! xxx

PippaBlue6 profile image
PippaBlue6 in reply to -007-

Mr Bond you have made my day. A massive thank you.

-007- profile image
-007- in reply to PippaBlue6

You’re more than welcome 👍————————————-

-007- Licensed to Pill 💊

————————————-

Trog1 profile image
Trog1 in reply to -007-

Amongst the tough time and the doom and gloom you’ve experienced you still remain positive and are a breath of fresh air and a great example to follow. Best of luck and keep well and happy 007.

-007- profile image
-007- in reply to Trog1

Thank you Trog1, Very nice and kind words, appreciated. 🙏🏻

Time and patience. A change of lifestyle is hard to get used to but do one thing at a time. Don't try to do everything at once. The first must be to stop smoking if that applies; then gentle exercise and gradually a change of diet cutting out pre prepared food like pies, pizzas, fried food, take aways and increasing veg. The BHF website has some great recipes. Your recovery time will also depend on how bad the heart attack was and how much damage it caused. Have you asked your GP to explain your discharge letter? I felt so much better after I knew just what had caused mine and how badly ( or not) my heart was affected. The difficulty just now is getting rehab. Our local rehab wouldn't see anyone who is disabled but all I needed was t o be able to exercise safely under supervision to know I wasn't doing too much. Now covid has prevented that but there are rehab exercises online. Mentally a sudden heart attack is really hard to come to terms with and that's something cardiologists just don't address. They literally fix your plumbing and send you home. I think they should do far more. You can get counselling if you ask your GP. . You've been given a second chance at life. Yes you had a heart attack but your survived. Make the most of it but expect it to be gradual. You should have a rehab nurse you can contact at any time. Talk to her about the amount of exercise you do.

PippaBlue6 profile image
PippaBlue6 in reply to Qualipop

Thank you for your reply and I have been referred for rehab as soon as it starts operating again. Interestingly my husband has been a volunteer for our rehab group for over 20 years and has been so supportive but neither of us were prepared for the emotional side of all this.Already using this group I feel so much better knowing I am not alone and so many people are going through this at the same time and sharing their stories. It really helps.

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop in reply to PippaBlue6

NO one ever is prepared for the shock to learn that you are not immortal. It's the one thing doctors should cover but they never do. It really does hit people hard but it honestly does get better. I'm 2 years down the line and no longer wondering if ever ache or pain is going to be another one- well , most of the time but it's always at eh back of your mind. Good luck.

Hia. I tend to meditate and give myself Reiki. I’m only 6 and 1/2 weeks in with my ICD unit. I’ve called it Billy the Gizmo. I totally get where you are coming from.... ups and downs. Keep chatting and sharing we will get there together. Jules ❤️😊🙏

PippaBlue6 profile image
PippaBlue6 in reply to Sheamah

❤️

It is extremely difficult, but you do learn to focus on what you have control over. Find your new normal. I've had to cope with negative comments from cardiologist, like it's only a matter of time until the 'Big one.' Or just learn to live with your constant angina. With other health problems and a sick husband, you learn to love each and every day. Find things to be thankful for. Focus, focus. I know you will find peace, if not here, you will within yourself. You can do it! Take care.

PippaBlue6 profile image
PippaBlue6 in reply to MONIREN

Thank you

Hi PippaBlue6,

Reading your post took me back to when I first posted on this site last year, with the same question... when will I feel like me again - I also had a very unexpected event in August last year. I was told I had a heart murmur and needed a Mitral Valve repair. That in itself knocked me for 6 as I'm a fanatic fitness person and felt indestructible - ha! April 25th 2020 changed my life.

I had my valve repair on the 18th of August. I've always been an outgoing, confident person, but the year of lockdown (which I probably would have taken in my stride) seemed to be exacerbated due to my condition. My first question to myself - when will I feel like me again. Physically I knew I'd recover but mentally .... mmm

I didn't really 'see' anyone due to C19, but the phone support has been amazing, and remember, there's no daft questions, so when you speak to your Cardio Nurse or Cardio Physio, treat them like your best friend because they KNOW what you're going through, even when you think those around you don't. Family/friends have been affected by the event, but in a totally different way. They will see you as 'fixed' even although you may still feel broken. I lost my brother due to cancer in October and although we knew it would happen, it's still hard. I actually contacted my GP to arrange to speak to a CPN - just someone I could talk to - something I'd never even think of before. I've realised I need to talk to people LOL.

The meds I was on affected my levels of concentration (span of a gnat!). I'd had enough of telly re-runs. I couldn't sleep due to the various meds I had to complete the courses on, so I signed up to the Calm app and I have to say that's the best thing I've done their sleep stories are amazing, anything to take my mind some where else. So find something like this that works for you.

There is light at the end of the tunnel :) I'm nearly 9 months in to recovery and I just took one day at a time. Not easy for me as I'm not patient at all. There were great days and days I thought I'd fall apart - but as the bruising started to go, the reminder also started to go.

I'm now on .75mg of Aspirin and 1.25mg of Bisoprolol (I can never spell or even pronounce that!). The most I'd ever taken was paracetamol... As your body gets stronger and you stop listening to every single heartbeat, your confidence will grow and you'll find that the 'you' you think you've lost is actually there, recovering and ready to face the world again. I'm back on my Wattbike for 40 mins and rowing machine 20mins (still building that one) and I'll be heading to the gym to speak to one of the trainers to get a programme together.

Don't let the anxiety take over, don't wear a fit bit and watch your heart rate all the time (lessons I've learned) it's allowed to go faster or slow down for whatever reason, even if you're just sitting still. Anxiety kicks it in to a higher level.

Be kind to yourself and know that each day is a step in the right direction.

This is also a great site for support :)

Sorry this is so long, but I hope I've given you some comfort.

Sending hugs.

Nobody wants to have these events/changes but I must say a lot of positive re-thinking about what really matters to you comes out of them and I really do appreciate all the people I've "met" on this site - loved your reply to Pippa.

Thank you so much for your reply and it sounds like you have had a difficult time, but your words are so reassuring and I am glad things are working out for you. I am amazed how much support their is on this site, another reason to stay positive. Good luck

You may also like...