Anxiety and fear due to cardiac arres... - British Heart Fou...

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Anxiety and fear due to cardiac arrest 2 years ago

Dan33ynwa profile image

Hi everyone

Dont usually write much here as I find it painful and maybe feel judged in a way.

On the 12th Oct this year was 2 years since my SCA that I had out of hospital due to a severely damaged and narrowed aorta which has since been replaced due to cardiac arrest which was witnessed by my young children, it's been 2 years now as I say but I don't feel like I have progressed in anyway forward at all, I struggle on a daily basis with what I believe to be a severe bout of anxiety, which has very similar symptoms to a heart attack or cardiac events I am constantly on edge I also have an icd which has gone off twice since having implanted once was a case of there was no reason for it to go off but it did and the 2nd time was due to a possible blood clot to this day still not sure if that was the case but by the time I'd got to the hospital and spent 2 and a half weeks on a ward undertaking every test possible they couldn't really find the cause but believed it to be a clot to which I am now on warfarin for. I just can't after 2 years still get my head around all of this and want life to go back to some sort of normality I get these strange feelings going on within that freak me out that I never felt before I'm just an anxious mess and no matter how much counselling I have I just can't seem to break myself free of it, I am constantly worried of something going wrong when at work as I work a good couple of hours from home depending what site I am on etc and it jus causes this almighty anxiety fuelled pressure.

Sorry as I write this feel stupid but I just find myself feeling like I have no where to turn as whenever I try to open up I'm met with a roll of the eyes by whoever I try to speak to and with an attitude of oh not this rubbish again and as it is I've always bottled up my issues due to growing up within a home of mental doesn't exist yet people tell me I'm wrong for bottling it up and need to open up yet when I try I'm met with the eye rolls and attitude of I don't want to hear this crap and I just needed to vent so I apologise again and if anybody else has had or is experiencing the same symptoms or feelings I guess it would be of some comfort to know I'm not the only one.

Thank you for reading if you got this far x

83 Replies

Oh Dan, I really feel for you, constant anxiety is so wearing. I know only too well right now. I’m a woman, quite elderly, but anxious feelings when we have them, doesn’t matter the age I guess! A doctor prescribed me Mitrazapine a few weeks ago, Just one takes me

Dan33ynwa profile image
Dan33ynwa in reply to marigoldb

Hi marigoldb thank you for your reply and yes it's so tiring and exhausting I just don't feel human I can't seem to comprehend anything I struggle around my kids and they are going to grow up hating me because the anxiety is just taking over and causing me to just be very stressed and angry all the time I'm just finding I hard to adjust and cope tbh I've spoken to several counsellors and just nothing works for me and I asked about tablets for my anxiety etc but when I was in hospital they told me that I couldn't take anything as they would cause palpitations etc and maybe counteract with heart tablets and then the go is trying to accuse me of not giving them ago when I explained the hospital recommended I didn't take them he tried to say they were wrong now I know who I'd rather trust tbh and it's the hospital all day long I'm just stuck in a viscious cycle.

marigoldb profile image
marigoldb in reply to Dan33ynwa

I think what I am hearing from you most Dan is the anger you are holding. I’m a retired nurse and also am a trained counsellor. With the latter experience I think you need to be with someone who will really listen to you as you talk out the anger. I was taught with situations unresolvable, generally men have anger, women cry. Whichever it’s expressing the same, the feeling trapped with the situation, and what you express is the all compassing anxiety. Also underneath the anger for you will be feelings you probably can’t yet express, sadness, ie the loss of the father you want to be, with your children, and how you view your life now

Please try to find someone else to work alongside you with this. You can go online to look up British Association Counsellors in your area. Each will say about their training, and speciality they work with. Yes they do charge, it’s their living. You can choose whether a man or woman also.

Don’t give up Dan, things re the anxiety can improve, but it will take some time. You sound a great person, had a lot to go through, and certainly deserve to feel better. Keep us posted, Marigold

Dan33ynwa profile image
Dan33ynwa in reply to marigoldb

Tbh marigold you are probably right but in all honesty I've lost myself I don't know who I am anymore and yes I am very angry still this has happened I was 32 and 34 now and I just cannot get over it or seem to want and I have just lost all faith in everything to do with life

marigoldb profile image
marigoldb in reply to Dan33ynwa

Thank you for replying Dan, the comment you made was “ I just cannot get over it or seem to want to “ the positive thing to me is you did not say “ l do not want to” At 34, yes it sucks as the saying goes, and I can understand you saying you don’t know who you are any more. I’m sure you feel your body has let you down, and with little children, a whole life ahead, feel it’s so not fair!

But the real Dan is still inside you know!

What part of the country to you live in?

Dan33ynwa profile image
Dan33ynwa in reply to marigoldb

I'm in essex

marigoldb profile image
marigoldb in reply to Dan33ynwa

I’m in West Sussex, too far away to recommend anyone for you to see.

Dan33ynwa profile image
Dan33ynwa in reply to marigoldb

Yeah maybe just a little bit lol

As8u profile image
As8u in reply to marigoldb

I second everything marigoldb is saying - I was 49 when I had my heart attack - and it seemed that I had been dealt a huge blow in life (I am usually fit and healthy and able to do souch more than I can do now) - however I realised pretty soon that if I couldnt/wouldnt adapt my life to fit in with how my body allowed to to carry on then I was making matters 10 times worse - adjusting is one of the hardest things to do in in life Dan - please try letting go of the anger you feel towards life for deaaling you this blow and speak to 'correct' counsellor who with the correct advise and technoqies for you to let go of some of this anger should put you back on the path to a real 'mental' recovery and only then will you be able to begin a better physical recovery (to what ever level your body lets you now recover - your new normal) Life sometimes is difficult especially when those around you dont really understand how you feel mentally and physically - if you can try stabilise yoir anxieties your physical well being should be easier to manage/concentrate on after an episode like seems so unfair ....please seek the right help you require and hopefully nor only you but your young children ypu mention will benefit from having their dad 'back' - good luck and take care yourself

Hello Dan,

Don’t ever feel that you are on your own with the feelings you are going through, having gone through such a traumatic events is life changing and unless you go through it you can’t understand.

You are not stupid at all and remember you will always get support from your fellow Hearties. So write down how you feel here no one will ever judge you, we are here to help each other through these issues.

After my surgery I had a period of not being able to get my head round the thought of someone holding my heart, it really unnerved me. I then suddenly realised I had been given a wonderful gift a second chance to keep living by a very clever medical team.

You sound like you have young children, and you are going to have all those thoughts about will you see them as adults. The thing is when we have a young family those thoughts happen heart issues or not.

You are here you are a survivor you have beaten what was thrown at you. You are stronger than you know.

Always remember you are part of the Hearties family and we are here to lend you a shoulder to lean on.

Best wishes Pauline

Dan33ynwa profile image
Dan33ynwa in reply to 080311

Thank you Pauline I appreciate your reply I'm just struggling and I just think I know I've been given a 2nd chance at life but tbh with the way I feel and am struggling it's not a life its not a way anyone should have to live its to me a form of torture and I just feel like for this hell to be going on still then I'm being punished for something ya know it sounds daft I know but that's how it's making me feel I just don't see an end

080311 profile image
080311 in reply to Dan33ynwa

I have just read marigoldb post, and she as made such a lot of sense. You say you feel you are being punished, that’s not possible. You most certainly need help in dealing with what you have been through. Please try another councillor as marigoldb says, there will be someone who can help you.


Sorry last message cut short, the tablet, just one made me fee like a zombie, lasting nearly 24 hours, so did not take any more. There is no magic answer is there? My latest reasoning is, if I’m going to collapse and die, it will happen, all the worrying won’t help. So I tell myself to try and get on with enjoying what I can.By the way this forum is just where we can have a rant and share our deep fears, so do feel we are listening to you, and hope it will be helpful. Write again when you need to. Best wishes Marigold

Hello Dan so sorry your having a tough time but the replies you have had on this forum are so brilliant it is a question although we don’t always want to do it is to crawl and I mean crawl our way back you have only got to look at your children look at them as the positive they are and don’t let the fear win!!! You can beat this Dan chin up - honestly I’ve seen patients over the years (worked in general practice) as have people on this forum had multiple operations and various things happening to them win through - take heart (pardon the pun) on there experiences and know you can do the same take care 😊

Hello :-)

I felt for you so much as I was reading your post yet a relief as well as I am a long term anxiety sufferer and having 3 heart attacks and then a triple Bypass just 11 weeks ago I am just like you in constant fear and worry and just cannot let go no matter how hard I try and it is worse than the actual heart attacks and Bypass surgery because it never goes away and there is no operation to cure it

I to have had counselling so many times before my heart issues and after and as much as I try and want it to work it never does and then I feel worse and a failure

You have done the right thing posting these lovely members will have so many words of wisdom to share with you but most important talking about how you feel is what you must always do even if on here and you should never ever be sorry that you suffer with anxiety

I do understand that it was the same for me people looking at you like you had lost the plot if you mentioned you were anxious so you learnt to just hold it all in and the rolling eyes but anxiety is something you cannot see only the person suffering can feel it and if others could they would realise just how debilitating it is and certainly not stupid in anyway

I have fought anxiety and I say fought as it seems like I am in a battle with it for years , I have always resisted medication for it even though I have had therapy but that seems for me to last a short while and then I am back to square one again but I wonder how you would feel about taking medication for your anxiety ?

My Doctor and Consultant think it will be the best thing I will do to help me get through this and years of nothing else working I think I have to give myself the chance of seeing if they are right :-)

You always have somewhere to come and talk now on here :-)

Don't ever feel anything you post will be read as stupid or silly because it won't it will be read with compassion and people wanting to help and well done you and I mean that for having the courage to come and open up on here how you are suffering , it takes some doing and that tells me you are stronger than you think and you will get through this with the right support :-) x

Handel profile image
Handel in reply to BeKind28

What a lovely reply Bekind28. You've been through so much too and I'm sure Dan will have some comfort from your words. Jan xxxx

BeKind28 profile image
BeKind28 in reply to Handel

Thank You :-) x

I am honestly so sorry to hear 1 what you have been through n 2 that you're feeling exactly how I am as I believe it's worse than the other issues we have been through.

I so desperately want the counselling to go well and work but as is only through NHS it's only 8 sessions and it's no enough and just when I feel I'm opening up and getting into hard to talk about stuff the session ends and I'm just left with nothing ya know and I'm just left feeling like it was pointless and a failure.

I've found myself my whole life apologising to people for opening up about my feelings because they are fed up of hearing it etc and I like you have battled it for years but this battle just got a hell of a lot harder I feel like I'm walking a never ending dirt track road in middle of nowhere and I'm being knocked down at same spot everytime and then back to the beginning I go n it repeats over n over.

As for meds the hospital consultants said basically any meds for anxiety will mess up heart failure meds an my gp even said about a couple of meds but said they cause palpitations and other symptoms and tried to get me to take them and I refused as I'd rather not put my already messed up heart under more stress by using meds that would counteract my heart meds ya know.

I'm so glad I'm not the only one suffering like this but also sad that there are others suffering like I am and as for being strong I don't feel it, tbh I feel an absolute failure and a pathetic excuse of a man.

BeKind28 profile image
BeKind28 in reply to Dan33ynwa

Hello :-)I am sorry I hope this is for me this reply as I have read it and feel it is but I think you may have forgot to press under my reply so if I am replying and it is for someone else I will really look stupid myself :-D

I honestly feel you pain I do

I also 100% agree with you that when we get therapy because it is the NHS which we are grateful for in so many ways the amount we get hardly scratch the surface and it can feel worse than at times than if we never had any at all , I have just had a similar experience with a phycologist I got on with her so well and then the sessions were up

Other than paying privately I am not sure what the answer to this is and I know I cannot afford to go private not the amount I would need

The medications ...I had 3 heart attacks and triple Bypass , I am on a cocktail of tablets but my Consultant as well as my Doctor say I would be safe on Sertraline or Fluoxetine those are the two they came up with I will be picking Fluoxetine

I wonder if you mentioned these two medications if your Consultant would be ok with either of them it could be worth asking even though your heart condition has to come first but there has to be more than us that have heart conditions and need an anxiety med so there has to surly I would hope be one that is safe

I also have found myself over the years saying sorry and have to watch myself because what are we saying sorry for ?

We have a heart condition do we say sorry because we have , well I hope the answer is no as we did not want it or ask for it and just like the heart can shall we say get poorly the mind is a part of our bodies that can get poorly to so why are we saying sorry for something we did not ask for something that is causing us so much pain , something we try our best to deal with etc

People that do not at least try and see how difficult this is should be saying sorry to us if they do not show us some kind of care and support

You really do have to try and learn not to be sorry for something that is out of your control

Think of the many people that suffer with anxiety if they all went round saying sorry we would hear them all saying it all over the world as there are so many of us

Acceptance that at this moment this is who you are and work with it rather than fight it , you are a survivor with your heart issues and your anxiety issues how many men or women could cope with both of those ?

Please trust me you are not a pathetic excuse for a man

Because you are male does not mean you cannot suffer when life is difficult just not all men can be a man and admit it like you :-) x

Handel profile image
Handel in reply to Dan33ynwa

Hi Dan. Firstly you're not pathetic. You have some great friends here, most of who(m) have been or are going through what you are feeling. My husband is coming out of a similar situation following his quad bypass 3 years ago.

Keep posting and getting your worries and concerns out. You'll always have support here.

Sending love and hugs. Jan xx

Dan, I keep thinking about you, have just re read your first message on here, and something fresh came to me. You mention people eyes rolling when you open up to them, and feel they are judging you. I actually think you are being really hard on yourself, and judging yourself harshly.Were you brought up to be a big strong boy, and big boys don’t cry?

You are probably suffering with PTSD, has anyone looked into that for you?

And the ongoing blaming yourself for how you are now is only dragging you down more.

I’d love to know what you used to like doing?

By the way you are very precious to your children, and you to them. They probably either act out because they worry about you, or keep out of your way in case they do something wrong and make you angry!

I grew up with a father much older than my mother, and he had a severe stroke when I was quite young. Yes family life was not the same after that of course, but I know I learned I lot over those years. Probably why I took up nursing. More than that how my father coped, couldn’t talk properly, walk, but I’ll never forget his patience. That has always been such an example to me

Well I must not go on any more, just remember, I know you are special to family, and also friends you were around with before all this happened. Best wishes, Marigold.

Hi Dan, I'm 2 1/2 years post out of hospital cardiac arrest, I was 49 at the time & my kids are teenagers so they were able to help me after my op, I had a mechanical aortic valve put in & a graft on my ascending aorta, no ICD needed. I'm pretty much recovered from the op, just chest pains at times when I overdo it.

What I haven't recovered from is the cardiac arrest. My memory is not so good, I sometimes can't find the right word, my ander threshold is lower & at times I feel quite emotional for no reason. I also find myself thinking about my cardiac arrest & it's effect quite a lot.

I am on a Facebook group for those who have suffered a cardiac arrest, SCA UK, and they say that if you haven't had one you don't get it. I think it may help to talk to someone who has had one and has an ICD as they will 'get it' so will have more understanding about your situation.

It is difficult but stick in there for your children.


Dan33ynwa profile image
Dan33ynwa in reply to andy110519

Andy I'm really sorry to hear your struggles and I went for the resilia valve which I believe is the newest one or the bovine valve I think they call it and also had my pulmonary route replaced and obviously the icd as back up but I don't see I as back up more a hindrance and something I hate and same goes for tablets I resent taking them everyday it frustrates me I know it only takes seconds to take them but just the thought of having to take them when he time comes up to it just annoys me and feels an inconvenience and I know people will say I'm ungrateful as been given a second go of things but as I said further up to someone else I Dont feel I've been given another life I feel like it's more a prison sentence if that makes sense I really do want to be grateful for this 2nd chance but I can't seem to get past the anger and resentment of the things there to help me I'm really stuck between a rock and a hard place I really want my therapy to work but it never seems to I just can't help but feel this way and believe me I really don't want because is no where near who I am.And maybe you're right I should give it a go on there and see what people say aswell

Thanks Andy

I think we have all ‘vented’ on here at some point, that’s one of the reasons it’s here! You have to remember that it’s often a great help and sometimes a comfort to others that someone else has had similar issues - I don’t mean anyone wishes it on anyone of course! - but the experiences of others can be a great help in understanding and contextualising what we are all going through, so please continue to post. I’ve almost stopped talking about my situation (MVP) but I often feel quite weak, especially in the morning and I wonder if others feel the same. This is the only place where we can share these things!

I hope things get better for you, if not we are all here to listen!

Some counsellors do have different scales of charges and use different approaches,one might be more helpful for you than another. Also have you thought about becoming involved with a local church,even if you feel perhaps you have no faith,,they will have faith in you and you could find a new support network for you and your family.

Dan, I'm sure you are suffering from depression as well as probably PTSD.. There must be some medication you can take for depression which won't affect your heart . These meds can be different from those for anxiety.I was on an antidepressant before I had heart surgery for an aneurysm repair and a valve replacement and no one told me I should come off them . I hope you find something to help you soon xx

Dan33ynwa profile image
Dan33ynwa in reply to Isobel1

Hi isobel I've been told of a couple but they come with the palpitations etc as I've explained above and when I left hospital the first time they refused to give me any antidepressants etc as I was on them before and they believe that they done something to cause my cardiac arrest

Hi Dan,

Things can get pretty intensive sometimes can’t they!

The old saying "you need to walk a few miles in another man’s shoes to know what he’s going through" (or something like that) is quite true.

Nobody can really, not really, know what you are going through or have been through, but people that has walked the same path as you will have some idea.

I was brought up in a Welsh mining village. My father worked down the coal mine, that was in view of my house, as did most of my friends. At the age of fifteen I was working on a building site. Life was hard.

I have played rugby, rode high powered motorbikes (to the age of 66). I was in a Rock n Roll band in my early sixties.

What I am trying to say some would consider me as a "Man’s Man" yet after my heart attack, five stents and then five bypasses there was many a time I found myself sitting on the edge of my bed in tears.

I found that little things could make me snap at someone and ten minutes later I’d feel the tears welling up again.

I'm now two and a half years post bypass op and things are getting better but I still have those moments. Those moments of fear, those moments of feeling why me.

But there’s one thing I’ve learned that most of us that have been through what we’ve been through feel the same. So I’m not "weak" I’m not wrong in checking my medication, I’m not wrong in asking if it’s safe to take a vitamin and do I need it. In fact it’s bloody understandable.

I have come to understand that this makes me no less of a man. In fact it makes me more of a man. A man that has more experience in life, a man that has been through quite a lot in life and is still here fighting. In short I am a survivor and not a victim.

So welcome to the club my man, you too are a survivor.

Oh and about the "eye rollers" out there… well they just haven’t walked our path to understand so I guess we just have to forgive them.

-007- Licensed to Pill 💊

Dan33ynwa profile image
Dan33ynwa in reply to -007-

This is amazing thank you so much

-007- profile image
-007- in reply to Dan33ynwa


Hi well said 007 love the name, and Dan I just know from my mum who had 2 hearts attacks and eventually after each one became confident again she is 82 has one stent and a balloon anjiaplast as too close to the last block and stent, this was 3 years ago, Xmas day I still feel anxious on Xmas day and my step dad died on a boxing day, what I'm saying is I think you do have a bit of PTSD with depresshion too, and so young too no wonder your angry, I had PTSD from something else and have anxiety about things I found hypnosis c d Paul mackenna is good for anxiety I did it in bed and sent me to sleep and in the night and morning, I think if you can distract your thoughts too some all consuming hobby and give it time it's a grief your dealing with too, my niece n nephews dad just had heart attack age 61, I noticed you are one of my followers and so you'll know what I've mentioned about swimming therapy I'm not sure if you are able to do this I go in a warm pool it's the baby pool and find it very relaxing and there's often nice people to chat with It always takes me away from my problems and helps me sleep and relax and releases seretonin, I'm sorry I can't help you properly take care 🤗

080311 profile image
080311 in reply to -007-

Morning 007,

As always great post.


-007- profile image
-007- in reply to 080311

Morning Pauline,

How is things up in Scotland?

We had sun on the south coast earlier but it’s clouding over now.

Have a great Sunday 👍

080311 profile image
080311 in reply to -007-

Beautiful day sunny but a real nip in the air, have just put double chip muffins in the oven, going to be a nice afternoon cup of coffee muffin and read some of my book. Reading the second book by Richard Osman The Thursday Club Mysteries. Am loving them! You have the rest of a lovely weekend.

Pauline x

-007- profile image
-007- in reply to 080311

(-007- has double chip muffins envy)

080311 profile image
080311 in reply to -007-

😂😂😂 you would be very welcome to one.

nursenancy53 profile image
nursenancy53 in reply to -007-

What a heart warming understanding post, the world needs more folk like you x

-007- profile image
-007- in reply to nursenancy53

Ahahah thanks but I’m not sure my wife would agree with you, she says one of me in this world is enough 😳🤣🤣😂🤣

nursenancy53 profile image
nursenancy53 in reply to -007-

I tell my hubby the same thing quite often 😃😃 take care x

fit4walks profile image
fit4walks in reply to -007-

Thank you 007 for this great reply. All those feelings you describe are so true. A year Before my CABGx4 my husband's young children moved in with us, which made me feel resentful as we were slowly working towards a retired life. The surgery was very sudden, but looking back on it, I became more and more short fused and emotional. These feelings have only strengthened after the surgery. I have been told to 'ride the waves' and counselling by the NHS was sadly useless. The people on this site with their responses, have helped me more than all the people that surround me, as they have gone through the process. After a year of family struggles, with children that want attention, a husband who wants everything to get back to normal, we have started family therapy through the NHS. There is no limit to the counselling. We, as a family are learning to understand and accept each other's feelings and behaviours that go with it. It is an eye opener to the children and to my other half, that certain behaviours are stemming from feelings that they didn't know I had, because I was always the 'strong' one. But vice verse, the children and my husband can talk freely about their fears and frustrations. It is starting to create a bond within the family, rather then each of us feeling like separate islands. We are not there yet, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.Dan, keep on telling us what is going on. Whatever makes you get up in the morning is worth living for. We are here to listen and share.

-007- profile image
-007- in reply to fit4walks

Very glad to hear that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel for you and your family.One of the finest things in my life was hearing my little granddaughter call me granddad for the first time. Worth getting a quintuple bypass for.

Handel profile image
Handel in reply to -007-

Nice one 007. All the best. Jan xx

-007- profile image
-007- in reply to Handel

Good morning Jan,Hope all is well with you. 👍

Handel profile image
Handel in reply to -007-

You've brightened up my day yet again so yes - all is well xxx

Please do not think you are stupid. There are always people on this forum who will listen.

Mate, thanks for having the courage to speak up.

I think I’m luckier than a lot of folks whose experiences I’ve read about recently on these forums. I’ve just turned 40, always been very fit but found the last few months a real struggle with no answers from anywhere and my local GP practice telling me it was “probably long Covid”. Tried to battle on and eventually blue light to hospital having had a heart attack and several PE found in my lungs and artery.

By the time I was hospitalised I’d convinced myself it was all in my mind and I was battling anxiety and depression. It was kind of a relief finding out there was something physiologically wrong with me but the anxiety and depression hasn’t left me yet. My confidence has been shredded by the last few months to be honest and I feel like I’m having to build myself up, physically and mentally, step by step. Some good days, some bad days.

I don’t have any advice other than to say keep talking and hold to the belief that you can and will heal - even a tiny bit of progress is progress and please celebrate it.

I’ve never spoke up about this, thanks for leading by example and getting me to share it, it’s helped.

Stay strong bud.

Fullofheart profile image
Fullofheart in reply to GC012

My response to Dan goes for you too!! Uncertainty is so difficult to deal with, especially if you feel you're not being taken seriously.It can really mess with your state of mind.

Hope those good days get more frequent for you.

Dan33ynwa profile image
Dan33ynwa in reply to GC012

That really means alot that I have encourage someone else to open up their issues that they've never shared before and a massive well done for doing so 👏

080311 profile image
080311 in reply to GC012

Great that you have posted, being able to share is such a huge step forward. You will get back to being you.

Best wishes Pauline

From all that you have described Dan, I'm blown away that you had/ have the courage to post on here and open up with your feelings/ expose your (perceived) vulnerabilities. You probably don't realise how inspiring and brave that is!

Hi DanWho exactly is giving you the eye-roll? They aren't being very supportive😢 Having such a big cardiac event means your own mortality bounces up and hits you in the face!

I have lived with depression and anxiety for over 20 years and after my massive heart attack in April I have to say the anxiety of having another one plays on my mind quite constantly.

Im sure you will find a lot of supportive comments on here as we all never expected to need this group.

Take care. Jules x

Oh my god Dan I really feel for you. I've had 2 heart attacks and 5 stents put in .I'm an absolute jibbering wreck my anxiety is through the roof ove got ibs and spend my life on the loo sometimes going14 timesa day. Don't go out much husband works from home which is a godsend I sit and think all day about dying its my birthday today and I think I'm glad to be here like me you're fixed now and you've got through 2 years which is great the first year is the most risky apparently the slightest twinge is a ha olive had at least 5 in the last month dr says if you get chest pain always call 999 they'd be living here I tell are you feeling today I'm not going to say don't worry keep me informed how you're doing I'm always up for a chat.

Hi pammy thank you for your reply and I'm sorry to hear about everything that has happened to you.Yes I've heard that alot doctors and people saying I'm fixed but I've got to be honest I don't feel fixed if anything I feel worse of now than I was before it all happened silly I know but I understand what I mean lol and happy birthday I hope you have a great day and today not so great I keep finding that I wake up between 3 and 4am in a sweat and have read that it could be caused by the anxiety it's not everyday and would be good to have a chat sometime x

Definitely I also wake up bathed in sweat ru nto the bathroom and have sweats during the day.if you want to have a chat ill give you my mobile no as I'm not really into texting prefer to have a good old chinwag

No I don't have sweats during the day that I know of like the nights as I work in construction so I'm on my feet up and down all day long it's only been happening the past couple of weeks where I have found my anxiety has been at its highest but with my mind and mental state the way it is I have all manner of things going through my head x

-007- profile image
-007- in reply to Pammy124prms


Funny happy birthday graphic
Pammy124prms profile image
Pammy124prms in reply to -007-

Thank you very much can't even have cake now let alone candles

-007- profile image
-007- in reply to Pammy124prms

Pauline (080311 above) has baked double chip muffins. I’m sure if you ask her nicely she’ll give you one with a candle on 🥳

Anyway, here is a virtual birthday cake for you and I’m singing "Happy Birthday To You" in a voice very like a cross between Elvis, Art Garfunkel and a Golden Retriever 🐕. X

Photo of a chocolate Birthday Cake
Pammy124prms profile image
Pammy124prms in reply to -007-

thank you the cakes look gorgeous, starving now

080311 profile image
080311 in reply to Pammy124prms

As 007 as said have made double chocolate chip muffins this morning as a treat with a cup of coffee this afternoon. You are very welcome to one and I will certainly put a candle on. Wishing you a very happy birthday.

Best wishes Pauline

Pammy124prms profile image
Pammy124prms in reply to 080311

thank you thats lovely wish i could have some. ive had a lindt instead

Hi Dan,

Really sorry to hear what you have been going through.

I feel exactly the same as you, I’ve had CBT counselling, gone back to the doctors so many times, I’m on anti depression pills the whole works, and nothing has worked for me. I just cannot move on and stop thinking about what happened, to the point I’m losing a lot of weight just worrying about stuff, and my HA was nothing in comparison to what you’ve gone through, and my HA was a few years ago now.

Take care Dan I wish you all the best.


Hi Dan you have no reason to be sorry for the way you are feeling. You have been through a traumatic event. I had a SCA at home 7 years ago. I felt exactly the way you do but it hit me a few years later, you are not alone. The therapy I finally found started to really help me was EMDR. You will get there just give your body and mind time to heal. x

Dan33ynwa profile image
Dan33ynwa in reply to jowalk6

Hi Jo is this the rapid eye movement stuff I've heard about before x

jowalk6 profile image
jowalk6 in reply to Dan33ynwa

Yes it is. It takes you to the trauma so it gets harder before it gets better. It really helped me x

Dan33ynwa profile image
Dan33ynwa in reply to jowalk6

I would love to find out more and learn more if you have any info etc x

jowalk6 profile image
jowalk6 in reply to Dan33ynwa

I will see what I can find x

Dan33ynwa profile image
Dan33ynwa in reply to jowalk6

Sorry I wasn't sure if you had some like contact info etc already

jowalk6 profile image
jowalk6 in reply to Dan33ynwa

You would probably have to go to your doctor first. I went to the Lancashire womens centre and they booked me with a psychologist there. I started on CBT then started on EMDR after being diagnosed with PTSD. I really would recommend it hun, I'm so sorry you're feeling this way but please get the help, you will get through this x

Dan33ynwa profile image
Dan33ynwa in reply to jowalk6

Il literally try anything I just don't want to feel like I do anymore

Hi Dan, just an alternative way of looking at things but congratulations you surged the heart problems and that make you a winner and you have joined our club.We all go through the “why me” thoughts but looking back at your lifestyle, etc may show you some of the causes. In my case it was being overweight, sedentary work patterns, poor diet, drinking too much. Family history also as virtually all of my dads side died early to mid 50s from heart related diseases. However one thing on my side I never smoked.

Anyway you have a lot to live for with your family, so you can look at yourself and maybe say ok let’s make some small changes. I now go out walking for ages every day and so on.

But again you survived it and also you have reached out recognising that you need some help.

They never tell you in hospital that you will feel a lot of twinges after having stents put in, nor how long these can go on for; coupled with that I think we are just more aware and almost looking out for aches imagining that each one could be “the big one”.

Your children will be a lot more resilient than you imagine as well, so although they will have been scared of what they saw at the time, you can help reassure them and explain what happened, what was done to repair that and how you are getting on now.

It’s good to talk about how you are feeling but the downside is most people especially other men do not really know how to respond. Hence the eye roll etc.

This is the new normal for us all, but another thought is our bodies have been given a good service and MOT that people not in our club haven’t.

So make the changes if there are any you can do. You’re a winner so tell that to your kids too.

It’s been 2 years since mine and I’ve lost 3 stone, I have put a stone back on but overall I’m still 2 stone down on what I was.

Good luck with your journey and keep us posted if you feel you want to.



Hi Dan,

I read your story with interest and although I have not gone through anything like you have I suffer horrendous anxiety, especially around health concerns. I am also a fellow hearty with a few issues as well, which may well be linked to my anxiety, however they certainly make it worse. Worrying sadly serves no useful purpose in modern times, it comes from our hard wired brain and is only in existence for fight or flight, useful if being stalked by a bear, but an utter hindrance when trying to understand our feelings towards a traumatic event.

Firstly try and not be too hard on your self you have been through a major trauma and are in probability suffering from some form of PTSD. These feelings and emotions you have are absolutely normal. The good news is you have the resources within in yourself to overcome these fears and anxieties and to move forward and live an amazing life for you and your children.

I witnessed the death of a loved one in my early twenties, my now wife's father, he suffered a CA and was not able to survive (he had some hereditary heart issues and lived in a time where ICD's were not available), my wife was sadly on the other side of the world at the time with her work and I had to not only break the news but also deal with the arrangements as my mother in law and wife who is an only child were unable to. Quite a thing in my mid twenties. It affected it me greatly. However I didn't realise this until I found NLP quite how badly it affected me. (Neuro Lingusitic Programming) NLP is a collection of techniques and strategies one can use to better understand our thought process, language, both internal and external that directly effect our emotional state. An instruction manual for the mind is probably the best description! It is a bit like CBT, but better, and best of all it is content free.

I took a two day personal breakthrough a few years ago and it changed my life, so much so I am now training to become a Master Practitioner of NLP. The mind is hugely complex thing capable of so much. However it is unable to process the myriad and quantity of information it receives on a constant basis and uses filters to help us understand the world, these filters, such as deletion, generalisation, distortion, beliefs, values, memories and decisions eventually give us our behaviour and emotional state. These filters are different for everyone, hence the wide range of behaviour and emotional state to the same thing can be seen. NLP techniques help the unconscious part of our mind, sort these filters out so that we can change our mindset and subsequently our behaviour and emotional state. They truly work. It is amazing, and the good news is all these resources you already have available.

I work with an amazing NLP teacher and she has a charitable foundation that deal with Trauma and PTSD, they offer free services and privately funded, if you PM me I will send you her details.

You will find a way through this, and go on to live an amazing life.

Dan33ynwa profile image
Dan33ynwa in reply to Thecyclist

This is amazing thank you so much I will pm now sorry for delay in reply tried to keep busy today

Dan, I spent 10 days in hospital, after an emergency admission over a fear that the femoro-femoral bypass graft was infected.I was opened up irrigated, and taken back with the incisions packed with antibiotic beads, and covered with an adhesive dressing.

This second op resulted in the site becoming infected, and I have been on antibiotics for nearly a year, and the consultant warned me that the graft may fail due to the infection, and I would have to lose my leg.

Being on the HDU unit was traumatic, thanks to the incompetence and clumsy staff, ine of whom came to take my obs, ignored my warning that she was nearly standing on my catheter tube, and a tube attached to my wound to extract excess serous fluid. I then had to tell her to get off the tubes, which she had proceeded to stand on.

After a previous angioplasty, I had to have a catheter removed, but the HCA probably hadn't done this before, so she pulled it out, without first deflating the balloon that was keeping it in place.

The pain was indescribable, and I had a fear this time of my catheter getting pulled out, whether intentionally, or accidentally.

There were lots of mistakes being made, and no attempt was made to reduce the pain of various procedures.

There was also the issue of my wound sites being regularly inspected, because my pubic hair hadn't been shaved, so every time they pulled off the dressing, they pulled out the hair.

That pain was horrific, too. In the end, I refused to have yet another procedure done because I had had enough, and there was also the fear of contracting covid from staff, or patients, some of patients were fully mobile and would sneak off to the ground floor to buy stuff from the shop there, but they were mingling with people coming from outside.

I ended up leaving the place seriously depressed, and anxious, not least because of the fear of losing my leg that the consultant would remind me of at every outpatient meeting.

My GP prescribed duloxetine, but it was stopped, and because I take over twenty pills a day, and because my pharmacy stopped providing the medication in blister packs (to save time & money), I didn't realise when he stopped issuing it.

As a result of coming off the duloxetine, I spent several weeks just lying, and sleeping, on my sofa because I couldn't motivate myself to eat, go to bed, and I barely drank any fluids, as I spent my time drifting in and out of consciousness.

It was only because I had a clear spell that I sorted it out, but I an still waiting for the pills to take effect.

It is a ling story, but what I am trying to say is that any spell of time, especially in a quarantined unit, with no tv, music, books, or visits, will see anyone having nothing to do but consider their position, I'd say it would be odd if anyone came out of hospital without being depressed and /or anxious.

I saw grown men crying because they were told that they'd be released that day, but it then get put off day after day. The frustration of this got to them, and the atmosphere in the men's ward was tense. No-one felt like talking to anyone, and staff were rarely seen because they spent all their time on the women's ward bay next door because there were a few who kept crying and calling for attention.

My stay was so bad that I vowed that I would rather die than be admitted into hospital again.

The terrible thing is that the NHS prefers to just stuff people with pills, rather than spend time talking to you. The biggest joke is that asking Livewell Southwest for mental health support, that they are supposed to provide, and they will tell you that you are too depressed for them to help you.

The NHS just doesn't invest money in mental health healing. They will fix broken legs, but not broken minds.

I hope that where you live, the situation isn't that bad, I have given up on the hope that I will be healed.

Usually what would previously have helped was finding a hobby, or interest, to distract me from worrying about what may happen.

Just try to keep in mind that nothing lasts forever, and things often improve over time.

It helps if you have someone to talk to, and it might be better to find a charity like CALM, who have a helpline that you can call to talk to someone.

I know what you mean about friends, or colleagues who roll their eyes, if you mention problems, and you are better off not bothering with talking about problems, a non-biased, non-judgemental person on the end of a helpline is a far better bet, and you can be sure that only they know what you are feeling, and they won't roll their eyes, or talk about you behind your back.

I hope that you can get help and support, and I wish you all the best for the future.

I’m so sorry. You had a horrible, terrifying experience and it’s not surprising to me at all that you’re still finding it hard to come to terms with. Have you been assessed for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? If you haven’t then do ask your GP - there are specific treatments for PTSD that can help. I really do understand what you mean about people not understanding why you’re “not over it”, but you’re grieving in a way - grieving the life pre-cardiac arrest. One of the most useful things I’ve had since having a cardiac arrest has been excellent therapy with a specialist cardiac counsellor. Believe me, I know how lucky I am to have had that. She’s helped me to accept that having a heart attack is part of my story. I’m reaching the point where I can move on and not be afraid to live because I’m scared of dying. I really do hope you can get the help you need x

So happy you found this site Dan. Family and friends can be the worse listeners. That's how we all found this site; it's called 'desperation' and thank goodness for it as it is a saviour. Experience is your best friend with your issues and there's plenty of it on here. If your anxiety continues, have a word with your dr. Sertraline has helped me with both pstd AND ectopic burden loadz of palpitations. Hopefully your dr will be able to help. The answer isn't always instant but perseverance is the answer. Thanks for writing in.

hope you don't mined but it my husband who going though this he been ill and will not show how worred he is sorry can not spell good my husban my full time care but im trying now to look after him he been on many pill and now been told one off the pills is given him kendnee to give up i dont know wot to do can anyone help im fulling my self into a bad place were i thick i should just end me and my husband life as i see no hope

Hi mate. Thanks for sharing how you’re feeling. I can relate to you having had a heart attack less then six months ago like a bolt out of the blue. I live with my young son who was with me at the time and assisted me for 50 mins that ambulance took to get to me. Long story short it was a very traumatic event. I accessed counselling which is helping me understand my anxieties and working with my counsellor to understand PTSD has also helped enormously. I have also reached out to a mindful community to join in on mindfulness and meditation practice which helps to manage difficult emotions and thinking in everyday life. I kept my counselling separate for talking about the difficult stuff and the mindfulness practice online for personal growth in peaceful, safe place. I know that everyone is different but these things have started to work for me. Also facing the reassure from heart rehab nurse on my current health checks. You’re doing the right thing reaching out. You are not alone. We are all here to support you and each other. X

Hi Dan,

I really feel for you. I don't think anything about the way you feel is unreasonable. I didn't have nearly such a close brush with death as you. Long story short, I had unstable angina and an urgent quadruple bypass (CABGx4) in December 2006 being discharged on 27/12. Christmas in hospital. Yippee. All scary stuff, and I was also a single dad to boys aged 18, 16 and 14. Even now - nearly 15 years later - I remember the experience pretty much daily - but not in a negative. It's something that 'just' happened.

I try not to dwell on stuff - because I don't want to get depressed. What works for me is to 'box' problems separately - so I don't think about stuff unless I pull it out of my memory. I have decided that my priorities are: family, friends and work (pretty much in that order). This also helps.

Work is a bit of a bugger because sometimes colleagues and managers think that whatever the hot topic for work is, it takes priority over everything. I am a pretty conscientious worker, and when I think it's reasonable I'll get on with stuff, but when people 'take the piss' I don't mind defending my point of view. I don't like being gaslighted or people thinking their stuff is so much more important than mine ... and not prioritising use of my time. It's probably got me into a couple of 'scrapes' in 15 years ... but my own wellbeing is critical to the way I am. :-).

My kids were really important to me. As teenagers and young adults, I felt my input could still be valuable to them. Their mum could not have coped on her own (she had her own issues to deal with) so I had to live.

In truth, I'm not sure that trying to be positive alone is a slam dunk. I still take 6/7 meds every day; I try to be careful about what I eat; and I probably don't do enough exercise. But I try to be happy every day - even when it's a challenge.

So far it seems to to be working.

However I do recommend this book for trying to get on top the way to think about things < (My GP suggested it to me about 20 years ago.

On a purely personal note, I'm glad you have an ICD and it seems to be doing its job. A friend of mine had a SCA while out jogging and was saved by friends jogging nearby who were a cardiologist and cardiac nurse. He recovered, but due to his expat lifestyle, I'm not sure he had proper follow-up. He never got an ICD fitted, and when he had another SCA, a few years later, there was no cardiologist or cardiac nurse running nearby. :-(

Good luck with everything ... and try to find some one to help you on your journey.

Best wishes,


Fish4Info profile image
Fish4Info in reply to Fish4Info

P.S. I forgot to say "looking after number 1" (myself) is an important prerequisite to me being able to support others. So I try not to take on too much stressy stuff. ;-)

Hi Dan, I can understand how this is effecting your life, kids, acting totally out of character and it's taking over. I thought I was superwoman and all of a sudden I needed a valve repair..out of the blue, took the rug from under my feet. I didn't feel myself at all.

Personally speaking, after my heart valve repair I too needed to speak to someone, someone who would understand the physical and mental changes I'd gone through as my husband (bless him) just said 'you're fixed' ... yes....physically, but not mentally.

I called the British Heart Foundation help line and spoke to someone who was really helpful. They suggested I speak to my Community Psychiatric Nurse (all new to me) at my GP's so I booked a session with her. I'm not saying this is an instant fix, but what I can say is that I began to feel I was taking the first steps to dealing with things- getting the control back.

Can you sat down with your kids and explained what you're going through?

Be kind to yourself.



Really pleased you’ve decided to come on here, talk to others in your situation and feel you’re not so alone.

You’ve been through such a devastating shock and at your age,

Plenty of people on here to message and I’m the same situation .

Hi Dan, there is no reason whatsoever to feel stupid as your thoughts and feelings are perfectly understandable and you are sensible (not stupid!) to share your concerns with others. If they don't take you seriously then that is their problem not yours and perhaps you can find someone else to talk to ... whether that be someone you know, self help group, or counsellor? At least stick with this board as the people seem very compassionate and it's a useful outlet for sharing.

Sometimes others find it very hard to understand just how life-changing and frightening events such as yours can be ... particularly when things happen at a young age when it was not to be expected. Of course, I'm not saying that older people DO expect such things to happen or indeed that older people should be 'fine with it all' but I'm just saying that things can be more disruptive when some 'unusual for age event' occurs. In a way, this can make it harder for others that are close to you to empathise because if your friends and family are mostly younger and healthy, it really is very difficult for them to truly imagine the physical and mental impact this has had on you.

I had a stroke seven years ago, when I was 49; prior to that I was the liveliest, craziest and happiest person out there, but I am a different person since it happened. I know exactly what you mean about fear of something else happening. I was living alone with my 13 year old son when I had the stroke and he had to call the ambulance for me; he had to stay at home on his own for a week whilst I was in hospital, and then had to look after me for months afterwards.

I've been unwell ever since with frequent stays in hospital, and I'm constantly disorientated because I lost most of the balance function in the left side of my brain. On top of that, the medication makes me feel awful so I can barely function at all. It's upsetting, depressing, worrying and infuriating, all at the same time.

I found exactly the same as you - that most of my forty-something, fit, friends couldn't care less and would say things like "Oh just crack on and put it behind you - life's too short!"

The thing is, psychologically, there's quite a big difference between a trauma that involves something like a stroke or a heart attack (which often comes about as a result of a chronic /systemic condition that will stay with you and need constant monitoring and treatment,) and an accident involving something like a broken leg, which can be endured, fixed-up, rested and restored, rehabilitated and (often) returned to normal, with psychological impact being limited to the trauma of the accident itself (and perhaps the impact on finances and family.) Once the leg is better, the event is soon forgotten but this is not the case so much for an event that has been caused by a 'system failure!' I think this is perhaps the aspect that those around you are not able to appreciate and to some extent, I think it's probably something you can only fully understand once it's happened to you.

I'm not aiming to depress you but rather to be very realistic by saying that (as a direct result of your experience,) you are inevitably going to think and feel differently. You may or may not experience further physical illness directly related to your condition but fear and anxiety are naturally going to linger, and they too can have an impact on your physical health so the most important thing to focus on is learning to live with that fear and anxiety and devising ways of minimising it. There's a lot of decent, free, self-help info online which covers various coping/calming/distraction ideas and I think there's an NHS 'online counselling service' where you can just request to speak to a counsellor without having to go to a GP. I have just looked on the NHS website and it's called 'Talking Therapies' and you can even request an urgent online appointment if you feel really desperate.

There are also some excellent 'self-help' books an Amazon and it's good fun reading the reviews and if you do like the sound of one - then you instantly have a distraction (good book to read!) which may in turn lead to things you can try to make life a little less frightening?

I hope this has at least convinced you that you're not being stupid. If not, I'll say it again - you are not being stupid at all. Don't bottle things up for fear of what others may think or say - if you feel you want or need to talk, then do so. If it gets a flippant response, just try to brush it off and remind yourself that other people find it hard to understand when they haven't lived through it. That said, there are probably a few occasions where it may be prudent to keep health chat to a minimum (weddings and funerals spring to mind.)

I do hope you soon feel a little brighter and that you find some good support so that you can enjoy life with less worry.

Best wishes x

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