I'm new here

I've only just found this site. It's such a relief to read some of the posts and replies as I thought I was being super ungrateful and pathetic.

On the 19th September I returned from dropping my daughter at her new uni and suffered what I thought was indigestion. I did nothing as it passed. Ironically, I had to attend a first aid refresher course the next day where heart attacks were covered. I was advised by the trainer to go to the doctor, but life and events delayed me doing so. I woke up at 2am on 7.10.16 with intense gripping pain and just knew I was having a heart attack. Luckily I was delivered to the local cath lab in under 45mins and had 2 stents fitted. Two days later I was sent home to recover. I was not expecting the emotional chaos. I couldn't sleep in my bed as I kept having flashbacks. My doctor told me I had PTSD which made me feel pathetic. What had I experienced in comparison to others with PTSD? Why did I feel so low when everyone was telling me that 'my heart was probably better than it had been for months'. I felt really ungrateful.

Last Wednesday I had to have another angiogram to see if I needed a 3rd stent. The induced angina attack brought everything back and I ended up sobbing on the bed in the cath lab...how ridiculous and weak was that...but I can't seem to get past this. I'm having panic attacks now and I have never been a panic attack sort of person before.

I am going to rehab on the 1st Dec (wasn't allowed to start the rehab before now until the 2nd angiogram was performed ) I am really hoping this will help.....does it ever go away?

13 Replies

  • Hey ,

    Don't worry it will pass, I went through the same kinda emotions for weeks. I had a massive heart Attack on a cruise ship had to be flown to the nearest hospital and stent was put in, I almost lost my life. At 45 ,

    I had flashed for weeks even now 11mths on I sometimes have panic attacks but life has to go on and if u feel unwell go to ur gp or hospital don't worry how many times u have to go that's what my gp and cardiologist told me...I'm only 46 and do bodybuilding and was told I wld never be able to train the way I was training but 11mths on I'm back in the gym ..looking to compete next March in bodybuilding..I'm determining that it won't hold me back,

    It's hard to accept but you do get there in the end....:)

  • I am sure the emotional upheaval will pass in time and you will learn to live peacefully with all this. Be kind to yourself. You have had a big shock confronting your mortality. Not even goes through this in such a manner. Do not beat yourself up so much.it is not necessary. Good luck with everything. I expect everything will be fine in the end. Hang on in there.

  • Hi, i do hope you get better. I certainly emphasize. It's not unusual to feel as you do.

    Get some support locally. I attended a group anxiety course & they will soon seen me individually.

    It does improve but out of the blue i still get bouts of anxiousness out of the blue.

    Rehab helps as you meet others and can chat through experiences.

    It was real shock for me & i've struggled. I actually had a cardiac arrest whilst cycling in middle of no where. Again you'd think reaction would always be relief to survive & happy as larry but the anxiety is there!

    On top of that i've lived a healthy lifestyle all my life, henece cycling. No junck food, no fried food, no smooking etc. Low cholesterol & normal blood pressure. So i feel very cheeated :-(.

    Focus on positives & try and avoid Dr Google if you can.

    You are not alone.

    Take care

  • Thank you for your response, I can imagine the frustration you're feeling, I can't admit to living a completely blameless lifestyle...so I have to take some responsibility however I had family history thrown into the mix as well, which I had never taken into consideration. Both my daughters are now aware of the possible risk...that makes me feel guilty, even though that's irrational.

  • Over 3 years ago I had a heart attack returning from a run and had one stent fitted. Looking back it was the best thing that ever happened to me as it allowed me to reevaluate and research the topic. I now eat a far healthier diet and at 30lbs lighter I am now at 60 the same weight as when I was 23 years old. Take matter into your own hands, read everything you can. You will soon realise that you are only getting a fraction of the truth from your doctors. The journey will empower you and put you back in control.

  • Try the rehab. it's great you get to meet others who understand where you are in your mind. They can't cure you but they make you feel not alone. I had to take counselling in the end I couldnt shake the victim feeling and I was letting out my anger on people who triggered in me frustration. I was screaming at them. The councillor let me just talk and although after going 8 times I was not cured I felt better. Yes it is PTSD and you shouldn't feel a fraud what happen to you nearly killed you. But you survived. I survived and nearly 5 years on I am still going. Still worry I will have another but not anxious about it. I know with the lifestyle changes I have made I can cope with it. The councillor recommended I take a look at Mindfulness to help control my anxiety and help deal with the trigger people. This has really helped me. Good luck it does get better but seek help if you need it. There is no stigma in it.

  • I certainly agree with the anger. It's not so much anger as tolerance...I have so much less at the moment and my 'filter' is decidedly damaged, so I end up saying things that I would have kept quiet about before.

  • Exactly. That's the word I have been looking for, tolerance. I have lost it. I now tend not to go in my mind where I will feel my tolerance tested. What amazes me is how a heart attack and 4 scents caused this massive change to me and my life. I have to say I an enjoying it even though it is 180 degrees to the old life.

  • Exactly the same!!! That horrid avid tightness in the chest and you think it's coming on again!! I get it buddy.... it's the pits. Crying etc. Is perfectly normal tho I know I feel like a child. It's been 4 weeks now and I am feeling better....though still get a bit depressed.... not back at work yet though this will be the big hurdle next week.... have u started diet changes to reduce cholesterol yet ?? I find no cheddar cheese the hardest!!

  • Good luck going back to work, I intend to do that on the 6th, are you doing a phased return? I'm hoping going back to work will help with the emotional issues and diet....it will get me away from the fridge! It seems to be calling my name louder since I've been home. I don't think I'll have an issue with cheese, my issue will be eating fish...unfortunately I have a well developed gag reflex when I eat fish...so that will be entertaining.

  • Diet is about balance and a small and I mean small amounts can be tolerated. Over indulging in anything is the enemy.

  • Does it ever go away? Over time it lessens more and more. I had it happen twice, once in 2001 heart attack and in 2013 I survived cardiac arrest. All the feelings and concerns you describe are quite normal for what you've been through. That said, to each of us they are plenty disturbing and upsetting. No need to feel guilty about any of the feelings you're having. Its just the way your mind is trying to process the whole experience. You may relate to it like this: You have experienced a loss in how your life used to be. It is kind of like when someone dies, those still here grieve the loss of the individual. Only in this case you are still here, just with some new limitations. It is upsetting. Much like people who have lost a loved one go through a grieving process, we do too now, because of the loss of how we used to be. One of the things I experienced as a result of my most recent 2013 experience was a brain injury which causes issues like what you're describing as well. Anyway here is a link to the greeting process I am talking about: biau.org/about-brain-injuri... Also here is another resource you may find helpful msktc.org/tbi/factsheets/Em... Things will get easier, just maybe not in the way you way them to. When things seem overwhelming I find taking things sometimes one hour or one day at a time help really seems to help too. So sorry you are going through this. I wish you peace and comfort in your healing process.

  • I find everyone's responses really interesting & can relate to many. Interestingly i've become more relaxed / a whatever attitude to issues & people around me so there is a positive. However the anxiety there on & off. I feel i'm on borrowed time!

    I''m researching mindfulness & something similar my local vicar does - it's not about god, he knows i'm not religious. Again another example of noticing things around me & the kindness of the community. There again my village was voted kindest in Britain the other year 😁.

    As you all state it's a grieving process. I was fairly high performing cyclist, mountain & road & despite cardiologist saying i can return, as long as don't stress heart, i'm too nervous to 😕. Over 25 yrs biking, seen and been in some amazing mountains. But positive is i'm no longer desperately trying to fit in work, family and this level of performance.

    Shame we live all over the place, how nice it would be to come together & have a chat. But you have rehab folks to share with.

    Take care

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