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Newbie.... Just joined and trying to make sense of this new situation in my life!

David618 profile image

Had my heart attack back in June, stent fitted, lots of complications. I had previously been fit and healthy (or so I thought), weak as a kitten when I came out of hospital and have slowly got stronger...

Three and a bit months later still off work. Been through all the emotions, tears and low points, gladly I am supported by my fantastic wife. At the moment I am feeling like things have stopped improving and wondering where my life goes from here?

Struggling if I’m honest!

26 Replies

Hi David618Firstly, a big welcome. All emotions are normal. My husband had a heart attack Nov2020 had just turned 50 and was considered healthy till that point.

You just need to take one day at a time. If the sun is out it’s a beautiful day. If the sun is not out, your lovely wife can be the Sun for the day :) .

my husband has taken up watering the indoor plants. The life in the plants I think gives him hope and he recovered very

Hope my rambling helps. 🙂

David618 profile image
David618 in reply to Heartylife

Morning HeartylifeThanks for your rambling... it’s good to hear from people in similar situations.

Trouble I’m having is I am a very impatient person, I take my hat off to the nurses who had to look after me while I was in hospital.

I need to change my mindset and that’s not going to be easy

Heartylife profile image
Heartylife in reply to David618

Well the first step is recognising the need for a change. Rest will follow. Having said that, most of us are impatient. We all expect something to have happened yesterday 😂.

Anyways just a side note. My husband has now had to go through a by pass and I’m waiting for him to return home from the hospital, so we are very much in the same recovery boat ( again). Only thing is i keep saying there is light at the end of the tunnel and it’s NOT a high speed train. 😂

Wise words Heartfelt... I wish your husband all the very best for his next procedure and a good recovery.

And you I’m sure have you’re own emotions to go through, so look after yourself too.

Hello David618

Welcome to the forum, not somewhere you ever thought you would be joining. When we have a heart issue it’s as if the ground as opened up under our feet the life we knew flies and the window and this new life flies in.

Being emotional is normal as is being angry, our brain is still processing what has happened to us.

Life does get back to some sort of normality but it takes time. 5 years ago I had Aortic valve replaced and bypass done, had no idea I had a problem.

So it’s one step at a time, get your stamina back get use to taking your medication.

So again welcome, we are all travelling on this heart mended road.

Best wishes Pauline

David618 profile image
David618 in reply to 080311

Thanks Pauline, all helpful thoughts and very much appreciated

All normal. I would suggest seeing a therapist. I've been struggling with anxiety, sense of purpose, why me? etc. I talk to a therapist once a week for an hour -- even if it's just letting out some stuff that I'd never tell my wife, it's helpful.

I share your frustration with plateauing, and I've had multiple heart issues over the years. Each time I've started from scratch and each time it gets harder to muster the enthusiasm to keep on. But we have to!

David618 profile image
David618 in reply to pasigal

Hi Pasigal, Therapy is something to consider, someone to talk to other than family.

Just got to keep plugging away, fortunately I don’t give up easily

pasigal profile image
pasigal in reply to David618

Yes, it's just to talk to someone other than family/friends. All confidential, no pressure.

Hi David618, I would suggest if you were fit before you will be fit again, but as the others said it takes time.Have you considered that it may also be your meds causing you your issues?

On a personal level I could not tolerate my dose of statin and had to halve it and still have to drop it once a week, also the PPI appeared to take away Vitamins that I had to replace and have now stopped as it was wiping me out!

Do some research I guess and mention your concerns to whoever you may be lucky enough to have on your medical team?

Best of luck and stay positive

Simon

David618 profile image
David618 in reply to Legs

Hi SimonI agree, my medication has been messed about with a couple of times now without any real success, so still trying to get that right.

Been out for a long but slow paced walk today and feel absolutely knackered now... blow this for a game of soldiers!

Legs profile image
Legs in reply to David618

Ha ha I feel your frustration but to be fair 4 months in I was the same as that and now 10 further months on I am competing at tennis and playing 2 hour singles matches, back then I never thought I would be able to play again….Another thing that helped me, still does, was getting an Apple Watch because it gave me an estimated vo2 max on each walk and from that I could see my fitness level very slowly but steadily going the right way

Best of luck with your journey 🤞

It can be tough recognise that you have some limitations that you may not have had before. And just adapt it doesn't change who you are and accepting things are different is 1st having lived with 2 stents and more in the past 7 years. Dont let it define you living relatively normally is often possible its what you go through in your head that makes it worse. Just stop and think , smile about what you can do and you're still here. Your issues are hidden so unless you say nobody knows and life is relatively normal. All right you may not be able to do what you could before but its likely that you will do much of what you want.Its normal to worry about being normal again....but what is normal like many of us you have a new normal....and you can control how you react to it and those close to you know things are different but the fact you're still there is more important to them ...I am 7 years in now with my issues. Meds control it and I have a more chilled but full life and I accept my limitations now once you do that you have a new normal....

👍Trev

David618 profile image
David618 in reply to Sprinst

Hi TrevWise words

David, Welcome! You are not alone. The mental impact of these things is huge and us men probably don't talk about it enough. Like you, I thought I was fit and healthy. I ate sensibly, exercised regularly and I even knew my cholesterol level (which was always at the top end of normal range) and my GP said I didn't need statins. I admit to being a stone above the ideal weight. No-one had paid any attention to my heart for the last 67 years and then last year angina suddenly hit me, I needed a triple bypass and it's now coming up to my first anniversary after the operation.

I was horrified, shocked, angry. I felt cheated. How can this happen to me when I thought I was looking after myself fairly well? How do all those other people who don't look after themselves in the same way "get away with it"? I had plans for doing stuff in retirement that seemed to fade into the distance. I worried that I might do something that might make things worse.

But slowly, slowly things get better. If you were active before, then you can be active again. It helps to be an optimist. Wrapping yourself in cotton wool is not a good idea. Walking.... walking more .... walking further was my saviour. My lovely wife came with me every day and we started slowly (around the garden) and ended up doing 3 miles every day at a brisk pace. Now I can do almost anything I want. I'm even beginning to think I could go skiing again.

You will have days when you feel you've gone backwards. But please stay positive and keep fighting, and things will get better.

David618 profile image
David618 in reply to Mart25

I 100% agree with what you say... I’ve done and continue to do loads of walking, just still getting knackered afterwards Just got to crack on and keep smiling!

lovely honest ,inspiring post Mart25, small steps David618,,things can only get better!!!good luck to you 👍👍

Hi DavidI had my heart attack in April and had a stent fitted. Just returned to work today🙂

I really struggled with anxiety and low mood afterwards but had the support of a great mental health group who got me counselling. All the emotions are perfectly normal after such a shock and life changing event.

I found i felt quite abandoned aswell as carsiac rehab consisted of a few phone calls and although she was really helpful i feel i would've benefitted a lot mentally from the full physical course and i am still a bit scared to push myself too far.

Get out,do the walks and take care of yourself and the rest will come.

Good luck. Julie

David618 profile image
David618 in reply to Jules2021

Hi JulieWhat you’ve said all rings true, so 6 months out of the workplace and just gone back... I’m still waiting for a scan before they will consider me going back to work... how was going back to work for you?

Jules2021 profile image
Jules2021 in reply to David618

I had a great day thank you! Think it will be dinner and bed though as im knackered now🙂Work were happy for me to go back once I was signed off by consultant as I had no complications afterwards other than playing about with meds and finding the right doses for everything.

David618 profile image
David618 in reply to Jules2021

Good to hear you are glad to be back to work... don’t do too much

Hi David, nothing really to add other than welcome to the group and sending best wishes in your recovery. You'll get there. I'd recommend mindful meditation to help with the extremes of emotions.

David618 profile image
David618 in reply to I-a-n-

Thanks Ian

David, welcome to the club no one wants to join, but having found it I for one am glad I am in. I look through the daily message and tend to read those who have similar stories to my own, you ticked that box and I am a year ahead of you. I had 2 stents fitted in June 2020 in LAD, previously healthy and been a keen ParkRunner.

Emotionally it hit me like a train and in the early days, weeks and months my emotions were all over the place as you describe......however a year on I'm back to running, cardiologist is keen that I don't go and look for a new personal best time, but has said that running, built up very gently, is good. Walking equally good and whilst all of our recoveries are different we can create a 'new normal' that can be both satisfying and rewarding.

Don't be too hard on yourself, do talk to those around you and celebrate the small targets that you achieve.

I had one grandchild when I had my MI, now 3. I am looking forward to seeing them growing up and feel that I have a lot to live for.

Good luck on your journey, rarely a straight road and with some setbacks, but life is like that!

Well done to you for getting back into running again, my hats off to you.

Hi David. I’m six months on from CABG x4. On Sunday, I cycled round the Isle of Wight - 105km and 1600m of climbing. It took me 4hrs 18, 20 mins slower than my fastest time in 2019. The ridiculous thing is I spent quite a lot of the ride annoyed that I was slower, when obviously I should have been feeling amazed and grateful I was doing it at all. Are we unlucky to have heart disease, or lucky to have survived? I think it’s a state of mind that has to be cultivated. But it’s not easy, and undoubtedly there will be crap days as well as good. The good days get more numerous over time, in my experience so far.

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