Life Changing Event's: I Never would... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

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Life Changing Event's

I Never would believe that at 48 into fitness regularly,Being non smoker and only Occasionally glass wine not overweight that I would suffer mild heart attack and find I have been diagnosed with CHD and CVD.

This has developed into struggling to walk more than short distance.heavy shoulders and legs all day.Scared to sleep due to thoughts of not waking up.

I have constantly got chest pains and respiratory problems and currently being fine tuned medications to help with diet changes until maybe surgery involved.

I will NOT let it beat me


40 Replies

Similar to you. 51. Kept fit. Never smoked, never drank. But diagnosed with cardiomyopathy 2 weeks ago. Whilst I'm not really experiencing many symptoms. Still devastating news. Also going through medication changes. Wanted to say I like your mind set. I'm trying to do the same. Best wishes.

in reply to sparklesmark

Hi Mark sorry to here of your symptoms.All I can say about mind set as much as it's shocking news for any of us with different symptoms is I truly believe that the best way to deal with these shocking symptoms is to try as best we can to keep our mind positive and healthy.

Talking to people about it and keeping positive to beat this disease.

Building freindships with like minded people with same symptoms is what's helped me and keeping me strong to beat it

My kids and family are my true drive to not let this get the better of me as well

If ever need chat your most welcome to message me.


Hi Mike, and welcome to the club :)

Unfortunately, even if you live like a Saint, you can't completely beat genetics - it's one of those pot luck things.

As a (hopeful) Ray of hope, as a 52 year old overweight smoker with a sedentary job and who hadn't seen the inside of a gym in nearly 20 years, I had a mild HA in Nov 2018 and am currently getting ready for the Anglesey half marathon in Sept.

Yesterday was a 5k row in the gym followed by 1 mile run / walk on the treadmill (pulled a calf a couple of weeks back & wanted to test it out). Today was a 4k run this morning, a 4k walk this afternoon and a 45 minute circuits class this evening. Tomorrow's a rest day before an 8k (but may limit it to 6 with my calf) on Thursday.

So there IS hope after the event with just a little luck and a lot of determination :)

in reply to Thatwasunexpected

Thanks for supporting and kind words I positive I will to my best ability beat this and get some part of normality and regular fitness back so good to here from you Your story gives me drive and hope it can be done

Thatwasunexpected profile image
Thatwasunexpected in reply to

It really is early days for you.

I was lucky with the meds that the "standard package" just worked for me. Once they get those settled down for you it can make a huge difference. Even if you do go for surgery, there are a surprising number of people out there running marathons with a heart bypass and at least one with a transplant!

This story came up just after I had my HA and was a pretty big inspiration for me.

Would you describe yourself as having a 'type A' personality? (confrontational, tending to fester over resentments, that kind of thing) Stress of that character can express itself physically in various ways and just possibly contributed to your present heart situation.

If there's any chance that's been part of your make up, you might find it helpful to learn 'the relaxation response' and/or practice daily meditation / just sitting for 20-30 minutes a day in a quiet setting not dwelling on or thinking about anything.

~wbic, member bhf forum

Nettekin profile image
Nettekin in reply to wbiC

Do you have any lived experience of heart related matters? If not, please leave the advice to people like TWU who know what they are talking about.

Gaz_chops profile image
Gaz_chops in reply to Nettekin

I think the advice of meditation is quite good.

Nettekin profile image
Nettekin in reply to Gaz_chops

I think it was the pseudo psychology I was objecting to.

Gaz_chops profile image
Gaz_chops in reply to Nettekin

What they are saying is correct, although maybe could have been said better.

Milkfairy profile image
MilkfairyHeart Star in reply to Gaz_chops

This is a forum for people and their carers sharing their lived experience of heart disease.

Knowing whether a person has actually experienced heart disease gives context to their comments.

What if they haven't?

Even the best most empathetic clinician doesn't know how it feels to be a heart patient.

The view from the bed is very different from the foot of the bed.

lateguitarist profile image
lateguitarist in reply to wbiC

It is true that learning to not let life's little ups and downs "get to you" is no doubt beneficial, but there is no evidence that stress plays any part in causing CHD. In this guys' case, as in a lot of us, it is our genetics that have played a major part.

Hi Mike and thank you for your post. Tony here and at 53 virtually identical situation happend to me although I did use to smoke socially when I was younger.I was running 5 k runs at least once a week, always eaten a good diet and bang rushed in for 3 stents.

I have found the mental side so hard and very scary to deal with and like you panic over not waking up etc…. Feel I have lost who I am and all my confidence.

I have been going to cardio rehab which has really helped and try my best to meditate as I find the more relaxed I am the safer I feel.

Do you have anyone to talk too? I find it hard as all my closest rely on me and I don’t want to scare them or worry them.

I am happy to talk if you think this could help, are you due any surgery?

Wishing you all the best


in reply to toners2000

Thanks Tony for your support I would love to chat anytime like yourself I don't like to put on my family as like yourself don't want to upset or scare anytime.

Hi, you are exactly where I was last year when post Covid breathlessness turned out to be due to a silent heart attack at 55. Having done regular half marathons it was a huge shock. However, as someone else has already said, you can’t get away from your genetics. I was in a state of shock and feeling just like you describe. I found that acupuncture and meditation really helped calm me. I also got some counselling which really helped. Had bypass surgery in September and following cardiac rehab completed couch to 5k and and gradually increasing distance and hope to get back to half marathons next year. Am on the standard cocktail of meds.

Consultant and GP been very good and clear that whilst body recovered physically, but takes longer to deal with the mental side. Take it a day at a time and you will get there. This forum has really helped me, seeing how others are going through the same.

Keep well.

in reply to Runningman55

Thanks for the encouragement running man gives me hope that others have successfully got a level of fitness back

Hi Mike,

Just a brief note to say that I am really sad to hear that this has happened to you at such a young age. However, it is great to see your positive attitude which is so important. I hope the medication is sorted out soon and you have a clear view as regards possible surgery.

My very best wishes for the future.


in reply to GWP1952

Thank you Gerald

Hi Mike, great to see your last para. Stay positive and strong and look forward not back and you will indeed stand up to your challenges ahead.

Best wishes Terry (1 year double bypass anniversary next month).

in reply to Telboi

Wow great news that you are on a recovery year down line really good to here thanks also for you support and encouragement

Hi Mike,

I was similar to you, aged 47, non smoker in the gym 6 days per week prior to lockdown last year, then out cycling about 100miles a week. I had a STEMI last year with 100% blockage and sudden cardiac arrest. Short story resulted in 1 stent. I’m now 48 and back in the gym. I do x2 1 hour long PT sessions per week now, I’m also out running 3-5k, weight training x1 per week and cycling about 10 miles.

It’s taken me 12 months to get to where I am, but I see it the same way as you. It won’t beat me, and I refer to it as my summertime blip, instead of a heart attack and being revived.

I wish you the very best in your recovery and know that things do get better, but a little more slowly than before.

Take your time buddy


in reply to Slimdaz

Thanks Darren I like how you turned it into a summer time blip to deal with it I like that...I hope I can follow in such positive footsteps

Similar to you, albeit a little older (59). Was feeling fitter than ever, non smoker, occasional drinker, not overweight, regular at the gym etc then in Feb had mild heart attack. Had angiogram and it was discovered that main arteries were 95% blocked! Quadruple bypass followed and recovery continues. Onwards & upwards 🙂Very best of luck to you.

in reply to BobbyB1962

Wow Bobby that's amazing so glad to here you are continuing on wards and upwards after such big op great to here your story and the positive direction it's going I can't thank everyone enough on here for there encouragement and support it's a true help

Stay strong Mike. My story has some similarities to yours.

Even though I am currently back in hospital for the 4th time since my HA 6 weeks ago you have to stay positive. Everybody seems to have a slightly different story to tell in terms of meds and their recovery.

This forum is a great source of information and support.

Good luck.

in reply to Carl1167

You stay strong to Carl sorry here your back in hospital I truly wish you fast and huge recovery

So many of us who have not abused ourselves and in this club! I presume that if they are talking about surgery that like a lot of us, the problem is atherosclerosis? If so their is every chance that with the correct medication, lifestyle and medical intervention you can be back enjoying a full life. The mental side of things is challenging, even years after, but it does get better especially if you something like fitness to focus on. Good luck you have a great attitude.

I was similar to you except a bit older and had Mediterranean diet for 30+ years. 2 and a half years later it still feels unfair and I still feel shocked that I, with my "heart- healthy" lifestyle had a heart attack. In the months following my H.A. my anxiety levels were off the scale but I did cardiac re-hab and C.B.T. (free on the N.H.S.) and these helped enormously. However being too strong doesn't help . I think that at first you have to let yourself grieve for the life you have temporarily lost. It definitely won't beat you. Good luck.

Hello Mike, the thought of not waking up is a bummer and it still comes into my thoughts 2 years after I had a cardiac arrest. The only thought that helps me is thinking that it could happen at anytime and to anyone. Time makes it easier to cope with. Good luck.

in reply to DKLeeds

Thank you

Hi Mike. You have a lovely positive attitude . Very hard to accept at first , we all feel the same. Hope they sort your meds out and hopefully things will turn out much better for you. Wishing you lots of good health xx

in reply to Fynndog

Thank you

I am 27 and diagnosed of idiopathic mildly dilated Cardiomyopathy (definitely not genetic). We've all got our own stories. Sorry for your condition but a healthy lifestyle and positive mindset, right now,is the way out. I wish you the very best of recovery. Stay safe, stay positive. Take care.

in reply to Chibuzo

Thanks and yeah definitely trying stay positive

Hi Mike , I had a stemi three months ago tomorrow, 15th April. So happy not dead day to me .😂 . I also find sleep difficult for the same reason as you , when I had the heart attack I was asleep and I woke up at 2.30am ,, I stupidly sat taking my bp with the wee monitors and deep down I knew I was having a heart attack. I waited until 6 am to wake my husband cus in my mind I thought , he can run me to hospital and get back home in tome to go to work ( working from home) dumb eh ! Ended up blue lighted , had a near death experience and two stents for my trouble . Even three months later I have bad days sad days , but mostly I’m ok . Sleep though , well that’s a whole new ball game . Every twinge I think , is this it ? Is this another one ? How long will I leave it before I get up and wake him ? Or I think , does everyone know the funeral arrangements what songs I want ? Yano incase I don’t wake up . So I’m right there with you buddy . My heart attack was/is genetic as well and I’m only 53 . It just sucks balls doesn’t it . Anyway if you need to vent gimmie a shout. We are all here together, just together apart .

in reply to Notdead

I truly here what you saying and so sorry to here of your episodes it's so hard to register at first what really happened and then it kinda sinks in and your brain goes in over drive well mine does anyway.Like yourself life plans what music were I have thought like this to.

Like wise for yourself if need chat anytime please don't hesitate

Thanks for your support like everyone else.

In my 75 years experience I think you should just follow your instincts. Often relationship stress is a prime cause. Go and help someone worse off than you. Then text me back when you’ve done that.

in reply to Skertchly

How don't know me....I spent all my life looking after young children in need and people it's my job and my relationship is fine my wife can't be more supportive...thankyou

MDR1 profile image
MDR1 in reply to Skertchly

How rude! If you have nothing helpful to say keep quiet. Your profile does not mention any heart issues so why are you on this forum?

Notdead profile image
Notdead in reply to Skertchly

Wow someone needs a hug .

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