Help: Hi I'm 59 and had a heart attack... - British Heart Fou...

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7749debbie profile image

Hi I'm 59 and had a heart attack 6 weeks ago and had a stent fitted

Since it happened I have felt so lonely, all doom and gloom, I care for my husband who had a stroke

I feel my life will never be the same again and every niggle or ache I get makes me think I'm going to have another

I was on avorstatins but am having blood tests as liver levels are high

I've also got to stop rampril as I've got the rampril cough

My left arm aches all the time and it could be a side affect of rampril or just normal after stent

I'm so down can anyone help?

Debs x

58 Replies

Hi Debs and welcome.

It's really early days for you and must be made incredibly harder by having yo care for your husband through it rather than being cared for yourself!

For what it's worth, the worries over every niggle are absolutely normal but they really do subside over time.

As for the "never the same again" feeling, no you won't be. But it can turn out to be a positive change with just a little luck.

Since my heart attack and stent in Nov 18 at 51 I've lost about 25kg, got back in the gym after a 20-odd year break, started running during lockdown, and ran a half marathon about a month ago.

Despite the heart attack, all the measurements suggest that my cardio fitness is now in the "above average to good" range for a 35-40 year old.

I still do some things wrong (had a pepperami this morning :P) but, thanks to that heart attack, I'm the fittest that I've been this millenium.

I've also rearranged work (never easy when you're self employed) to put a little more emphasis on my own well-known being (mental as well as physical) and if the customers don't like that it's really not my problem!

In the short term, try to find some support so you can devote at least some of your time to you - because you need that - and longer term don't write yourself off just yet! :)

Thank you for your lovely support and advice, I'm laughing at the pepperami as I ate a fresh cream cake for breakfast the other day x

Ohh, there may be the odd cream cake as well :D

Seriously, I'm pretty certain that if you didn't have anxious moments after a heart attack there's probably something wrong with you.

We live our whole lives knowing how serious "heart problems" are, but they're always something that happens to someone else. When they (normally suddenly) happen to us it's a huge jolt to our sense of how the world is suppose to be!

But, while they are serious, they're certainly not always the crippling event all those TV dramas make them out to be.

I'm running half marathons after mine, mum had one in her 50s and went on to be 82, my partner's nan had 2 or 3 attacks and a quad bypass in the 80s and lived to 86, and there are people out there doing triathlons and ultra-marathons after attacks, stents and bypasses.

Try to remember that the important bit going forward isn't "what you can do", it's "doing what you can" - making the most of the chance you've been given by surviving.

If you can get a place on a rehab program, take it - even if it seems hard to fit in with your caring and other duties - because you've earned it!

You are so right my husband had a crippling stroke last year and then me with the heart attack, reality check but this happens to other people not us x

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop in reply to 7749debbie

What a wonderful reply from Thatwasunexpected. I can't add to it I'm afraid except to say what you are feeling is perfectly normal. Do try to have a talk to your GP. Get him/her to explain everything to you in as much detail as you need. I'm one who needs to know the what, why and wherefore before I can stop worrying and my GP gave me a wonderful explanation. Like you I had problems with tablets and ended up with all of them either swapped or stopped. It must be so hard when you are caring for your husband. Can you get help with that to avoid doing more than you should while you recover? You do need to look after yourself even if the help is temporary. Ring social services to see if they can offer anything.

7749debbie profile image
7749debbie in reply to Qualipop

Been to see Dr today for an ECG and was still having left arm ache and pain between shoulder bladesHeart is working.great and if the pains were angina then they would of showed up.on ECG

There is muscle damage to my left shoulder which is causing the pain so I need physio

Back on statins from tomoz but 40 g not 80g as they need to keep an eye on liver levels and have stopped rampril today and started lortsan so hopefully the cough will go

Thank you for your help and support debs x

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop in reply to 7749debbie

As someone whose left shoulder has completely packed up, I did wonder. Take care. I was offered surgery on mine around 10 years ago but when I asked the surgeon if he'd let his wife have surgery for the same condition he said no. When , last year it got so bad I couldn't lfit my arm at all, I went back. He refused to do eh surgery because it was by now too bad to repair. Mind you, my GP telling me that the physio and recovery after wards would take a full 12 months, I think I'll put up with it. Very complicated things shoulder. At least your mind is at rest now that it's not heart related.

7749debbie profile image
7749debbie in reply to Qualipop

I know it sounds silly but even though I've been told my heart is good I still think what it they got it wrong? Since my H A I worry if I've nothing to worry about which is ridiculous, it's had a real knock on affect and I've never been like this before, is it because with a H A it just comes out of the blue? I really don't think I've come to terms with it yetAnyway positive thinking cap on and will arrange to see physiotherapist

Take care

Devs x

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop in reply to 7749debbie

We all think we are immortal. We will get illnesses sure but that's all we consider. A heart attack is an enormous shock and forces us to face our mortality. That's why almost everyone has the same reaction. That's one area where I think the cardiac doctors really need to improve and arrange follow up mental health treatment. Instead they often act rather like a plumber. "We've fixed your leak or your blockage. Bye bye" You don't even get told that there's rehab; just sent off back to your G P without further support. It's as if they don't realise what a huge shock it is. A lot of people actually develop PTSE from the shock. Mine came completely out of the blue; no BP problems or anything else beforehand. Just 36 hours of horrific indigestion in my back then slowly a tingling in my arm. It was only then that I acted and suspected heart . I had been breathless when bending over but my GP just put it down to muscular problems.

7749debbie profile image
7749debbie in reply to Qualipop

I totally agree the support afterwards becomes very relaxedMine went on for three weeks with pains in left arm, went to hospital and they said it was a muscle strain when it was angina attacks, didn't even do an ECG

Four days later lifted my husband's bedside up and that was it thrown to the ground in excruciating pain

I am researching rehab and emotional support

It's so nice to be able to talk to others like yourself who have been and are going through the same thing x

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop in reply to 7749debbie

Your GP should be able to easily refer you for counselling. Mine did . Time was my best healer; just getting used to it and realising I'd got a second chance and am now actually in a better, safer condition than I was before I knew anything was wrong. It still jumps up and bites me at times like now, trying to find out why my BP has suddenly started dropping but I'll get there again. I reckon I was lucky having a heart attack that I survived because I've been able to make the necessary changes and have medication to help too.

7749debbie profile image
7749debbie in reply to Qualipop

Yes I totally agree I think the Heart attack brought me into realityCaring for my husband for nearly a year after a stroke had taken its toll on me and I knew something had to give, charging around all day long and rushing to keep up with the house , garden and everything else plus I was smoking 50 cigarettes

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop in reply to 7749debbie

OMG that's chain smoking. I'm not criticising because I got up to 40 a day and that's what caused mine. NO question about it - that and a family history but mainly smoking. The physical strain of caring for someone is tremendous too. You really must get help with that and if you haven't already, then stop smoking. Your GP will have all the help you need from counselling to patches to vaping. I had a stop smoking lady came to the house every week for months..Hardest thing ever. But no use now looking back. You have a second chance; grab it with both hands. Changing your diet is the easiest. My husband still has no idea that he's eating Quorn in bolognese or shepherds pie; hundreds or recipes on the BHF website. Then tackle the smoking.

7749debbie profile image
7749debbie in reply to Qualipop

I'm on six to eight cigarettes a day and I'm honest about it, Dr and heart people look at it that it's 52 less, sometimes I only have two a day, I've got the patches, I'm getting there, I'm being a lot better with my diet and drink loads of water instead of coke, little changes but all positive x

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop in reply to 7749debbie

You've done fantastically well but from personal experience, be careful. I cut down and got down to just one a day; half with breakfast and half at lunch but cutting down just didn't work for me and it crept up again. I had to start over.

7749debbie profile image
7749debbie in reply to Qualipop

Hi I will keep an eye on it as I can easily see how it could increase back to normal, I do appreciate your opinions and really look forward to your replies x

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop in reply to 7749debbie

Not opinions, just experience. Been here, done it and failed LOL

Hello :-)

I am 58 nearly 59 and had 3 heart attacks and 9 weeks ago had a triple Bypass

I felt down after each heart attack and thought once I had had the Bypass done I would stop worrying but I feel I have got worse I still live in fear

I think this is a normal reaction , we were not expecting to have a heart attack and because of that we fear will we have another

You have to remember you were lucky , you had a heart attack and survived , they had a good look round and saw you needed a stent , if they thought anything more was needed they would have done it so you are as safe as you can be , there will be people walking about not knowing they are in danger but that is not you now

I think the pains you are getting will be the stent settling down and the meds they will find the one's to suite you :-)

You may wonder how come I had 3 heart attacks long story but I did not have an angiogram till the 3rd one because I sufferer with severe anxiety , had I had one after the first heart attack they would have no doubt seen I needed the Bypasses doing but I hoped meds alone would be ok but that was not the case

I am not sure if my reply will have helped as there are many with so much more knowledge on here but wanted to let you know that you are not alone in how you feel , everything will be ok and now you can come and talk with us anytime and that really helps and I hope it will benefit you and eliminate this fear that given time will get better :-) x

7749debbie profile image
7749debbie in reply to BeKind28

Hi thank you so much, your kind words have given me reassurance and I will eliminate this fear x

BeKind28 profile image
BeKind28 in reply to 7749debbie

We are all here to talk if you need help while you are trying :-) x

Hi 7749debbie, I hope soon you feel better 🙏🌸

My father had many heart attacks & because of my own issues I started learning how powerful food vitamins & minerals play a role. I was caregiver to both parents albeit different levels & if there is one thing I believe played a role in their health becoming worse it was lack of magnesium. Course we didnt know this pre internet.

Take a look at this article

drhyman.com/blog/2010/05/20...

I take this kind of magnesium (bis-glycinate ) as it does not need stomach acid to absorb,

shop.reset360.com/products/...

For any condition there are other ideas/treatments/ additional care just Google the word & add Functional Medicine, Sonething will resonate with you & hopefully give you new help for even better betterment ahead. 😊

Sending a hug!! 🤗🥰🌺

Milkfairy profile image
MilkfairyHeart Star in reply to Boohbette17

Can you please provide the research evidence to support your advice given?

Functional medicine is not recognised by the NHS.

Supplements are not researched in the same depth as medicines, nor have they gone through the same safety checks.

It is important to discuss with your Cardiologist or your GP first before taking any supplement as they can effect the way other heart medications work.

ABSOLUTELY ONE MUST CONSULT ADVISE ANY MEDICATIONS /SUPPLEMENTS FIRST the article even says so. The fact is many foods such as green leafy vegetables are full of magnesium and many of us wandered off from having steady day in & day out of them . And additionally consume caffeine which pulls it out.

Here in the states, functional medicine is gaining strength to use in addition to conventional medicine . There is a new targeted field referred to as precision medicine too.

I will find such a report & post later on after my work day is done ( time zone difference ) 😊

Milkfairy profile image
MilkfairyHeart Star in reply to Boohbette17

Please can you help me understand why you have used capitals?

This is considered to be digital 'shouting ' and aggressive.

The National Institute of Clinical Excellence, NICE provides guidelines of evidence based care here in the UK.

The NHS tends to direct it resources to research based medicine, which includes precision and stratified medicine.

Functional medicine isn't offered by the NHS.

nhs.uk/conditions/complemen...

Wow! Sorry did not know how it is considered there, I want everyone to see it & use common sense to never just do something but rather include their health provider.

Despite being at work - I took some time to find 2 studies. There are many one has to look up .

ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161...

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl...

Honestly, Milkfairy I wish you & all that are here well. My replies are nothing less than from the heart to help.

Take care.

Milkfairy profile image
MilkfairyHeart Star in reply to Boohbette17

Thank you.

Many of us on the forum are proactive in our approach to our well being including diet.

Perhaps if we have any concerns about our Magnesium intake we should ask our GP to check our magnesium blood levels, then supplement if necessary.

Hopefully by eating a varied diet we can also ensure an adequate intake of the various nutrients our body needs.

7749debbie profile image
7749debbie in reply to Milkfairy

Yes I agree x

Yes! Just mentioning/ I don't know about there but here a person get some resistance when you ask for that specific blood test. Doctors usually do that when something significant happens as its found mostly in bones not so much in blood. That said, your GP may be helpful to oder it.

2 more info links

Look at sentence under gray box on L

ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/M...

and general info on the test

medlineplus.gov/lab-tests/m...

Im totally with you on the varied diet 👍🥳

TRST profile image
TRST in reply to Boohbette17

I realised you used capital letters to emphasise your point. We do that in the UK too 🙂.

I was interested in the article you referred to, as a medical professional recently told me that many people - in her opinion and experience - are deficient in magnesium and it was worth investigating. It has been my experience that a doctor/GP will not automatically offer a blood test for magnesium, and as you point out, can even be resistant on occasion.

You are quite right - the article says: "People with kidney disease or severe heart disease should take magnesium only under a doctor’s supervision." I would not advise, of course, that anyone should take it except under the strict guidance of a medical health professional.

And although many people ARE (intentional capitals 😊) pro-active with their diet and health, many more are not, so thank you for your time and effort in posting.

Boohbette17 profile image
Boohbette17 in reply to TRST

Thank you very much TRST 🤗

Thank you so much I will check this out, my love to you x

You are welcome , much love 💞

Spoke to heart nurse today about pain in left arm and shoulder, she said it use spray, if it stops it's angina, if it doesn't it's notSo I tried it, pain still there which made me feel a bit better so plan is to speak to doctor as I think it's trauma related x

Aww , glad she gave you that test peace , love & good things to you! 🥰

Hi, I too had a heart attack 6 weeks ago and have experienced similar concerns. I am 66. I also suffer with asthma and prostate problems. I do worry about things and am annoyed with myself that I can't now play full on 5 aside footie. You have my support and understanding and there is always people worse off than ourselves.

7749debbie profile image
7749debbie in reply to Raffles77

I really thought I was the only one and you are right there are people worse off than us, I too get annoyed with myself, thank you for your support x

Hi, I’m also new on here after having been diagnosed with heart failure. I blacked out driving my car at 70, thankfully I did not crash. I know it is not the same as a heart attack, but it was sudden and I was not aware I had heart problems. I now have a pacemaker and a bag full of drugs.

I live with and care for my mum and like you have been feeling very lonely and wondering if life will ever be ‘normal’ again. So you are definitely not alone in how you feel. I have a few friends who have been diagnosed with different illnesses but also life changing. They have both had counselling to help come to terms with their diagnosis. Something that may be helpful and accessed through your GP. Your mental well-being is also very important to aid your recovery and move forward in your life.

It is so heartwarming to hear other people’s stories and that life can be just as good and sometimes better. Also that people take the time to respond to others and try to help alleviate some of their concerns.

Thank you guys 😊

Morning Mumfordandsons,

Welcome to the forum, reading your post that must have been so very frightening when you were driving.

I had Aortic valve replaced and bypass done 5 years ago, and when we are told we have a heart issue it’s as if the life we new flies out of the window and this new life flies in. Well up to a point that’s exactly what as happened, we now have medication to take doctors appointments to keep healthy eating, getting our exercise. All these things help to keep us well. I always think we are the lucky ones we have been given a second chance and we should make the most of it.

I can understand you say you feel lonely, you care for your mother 5 weeks after my surgery my husband had a stroke and I became his carer. We have been married for over 50 years, and neither of us had any health issues and in the space of 3 months our lives were turned upside down. But we still manage to laugh sometimes things seem so unbelievable that laughing is the only thing you can do😂

Remember you are now part of the Hearties family and are never without someone to talk to.

Best wishes Pauline

Things are always better when you have a partner. I am lucky to have a wonderful supportive husband. , My thoughts and prayers go out to those not so lucky as me. Love to you all.

Thank you for your reply, it's something I've got to get sorted and I send my love to you x

Keep fighting Debbie, think positive. Today I count my blessings and NHS is one of them. Watch only 'feel good' programs on TV / YouTube etc.

Good advice x

Hi Debs I found you do a lot of thinking asking questions “why me” etc and every ache twinge, shortness of breath worries you AND going into A&E is a common thought, BUT it will ease it will become something you live with without a few seconds thought importantly use these forums share your worries and enjoy something every day, a film a book a conversation………Good luck Mike

7749debbie profile image
7749debbie in reply to Misstibbs

Thank you like x

Hi Debbie this is a great community of parts missing, parts renewed and caring people. In any period of life such things can seem weird and unfair the pandemic has caused all of us to look again at where we are and what we are. But humans are resourceful both individually and collectively. Just remember as a member of this family help is always available 24/7. So when you need get on the old dog and bone. You will be OK.

7749debbie profile image
7749debbie in reply to R3mi

Aw thank you x

Hi Debbie,You're not alone, we are all here to help you. Please reach out to others for help. You are a carer too so you need lots of support. Is there a local carers group you could attend? Ask your to for help and tell them how you feel. You need support.

Ruby40 profile image
Ruby40 in reply to Ruby40

Sorry I meant ask your GP for help

7749debbie profile image
7749debbie in reply to Ruby40

Hi ruby yes I've just got in touch with a local carer group x

I will x

Ruby40 profile image
Ruby40 in reply to 7749debbie

That's good. You need to get some help.

A very normal reaction after a heart attack. I felt exactly the same after mine, 3 years ago,. IT wasn't helped by the horrible side effects of the tablets. I had to have every single one changed but I'm 3 years on now and back to how I was before the attack- apart, of course from having to take tablets. I changed my diet, lost 2 stone without trying. The only thing I can't do is exercise because I'm a wheelchair user and cardiac rehab wouldn't accept me> If you have a chance to do rehab grab it. I really needed the mental support of having someone knowledgeable there when I tried to do things.

7749debbie profile image
7749debbie in reply to Qualipop

I will and thank you for your advice take care x

Hello Debs . I am nearly in the same position as you . I had a triple bypass 2 years ago and my husband is disabled . I too get very low sometimes and think I was brought back to life but don’t have much of a life. However I have a great group of friends and family who make sure I still play tennis twice a week . My husband can walk a bit but I am always worried about him falling . He also had sepsis a few months back. I think you must try and have some self time if you can and not feel guilty about it. I know this isn’t easy but it really is important for you to take up something you enjoy

7749debbie profile image
7749debbie in reply to Pollypuss

Yes I think you are right, I trying to find something x

I found these first months really difficult and I didn't have your caring responsibilities. I was exactly like you thinking every twinge was another heart attack. You will calm down and your anxiety will fade. I find this forum great for advice and support. So are the cardiac rehab nurses and the specialist nurses on here. I also referred myself for C.B.T. on the N.H.S.

Thank you, I going to think positive and it's comforting to know that I'm not the only one, xxx

I was diagnosed 5 years ago with afib and was told I was 5 times likely to have a stroke now and at first I worried about it a lot and had several attacks and went to hospital but then I read magnesium helps your heart so read up about it and then started taking magnesium and have had the odd afib attack but have not been taken into hospital and I’m not sure if it’s the magnesium that has helped me stop worrying about it or the confidence the magnesium has given me and made me feel safer so my afib attacks have been a lot less

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