Heart Disease: Let’s Talk About the Emotional Side

Recovery from a cardiovascular event is not easy; it’s not just the physical pain–the emotional pain can be an unexpected challenge. Depression, anxiety, fatigue, feelings of guilt, emotional distress are common repercussions of heart disease, heart attacks, heart failure or heart surgery.

Talking with people who’ve gone through a similar experience can help make sense of the emotional and psychological aspects of heart disease. Connect is a place where such honest conversations can safely take place, where you can learn to feel better, together. I invite you to share your thoughts and emotions.
How has a heart-related diagnosis/treatment affected your mind and mood? How did you cope with these emotions? What strategies and tips would you offer a friend who’s going through a similar experience?

@pha2340840

I am just so grateful that my open heart surgery on 2/3/20; at Mayo went so well. I am recovering well – every day is a good day! Never give up!

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Fantastic news

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In reply to @rrowner2 "Fantastic news" + (show)
@rrowner2

Fantastic news

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Thank you.

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@pha2340840

I am just so grateful that my open heart surgery on 2/3/20; at Mayo went so well. I am recovering well – every day is a good day! Never give up!

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So happy for you. Enjoy each moment and every day. Blessings.

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In reply to @rrowner2 "Fantastic news" + (show)
@rrowner2

Fantastic news

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Thanks so much!

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Thanks so much for your kind wishes.

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The emotional side of HCM has been difficult at times. When I was a young woman, I was told not to have children and this was devastating to me and left me unable to understand the ramifications for marriage, etc. The man I was dating at the time I never saw again, he said, "I can't marry an invalid." That was 40 years ago. But the memory haunts me not because it interferes with my life now, but it was cruel and harsh when I was young and had no idea how long I would live. Knowing I will never go to the doctor and have a complete good bill of health is overwhelming at times. The erratic complications — palpitations, fatigue, atrial fibrillation, shortness of breath — crop up when you dread being held back for any reason. People react can be cautious and scared to be around you. So it takes telling yourself a story of strength and courage and being your own best friend. Finding ways to combat the loneliness and isolation that comes with the disease.

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@gwenm

The emotional side of HCM has been difficult at times. When I was a young woman, I was told not to have children and this was devastating to me and left me unable to understand the ramifications for marriage, etc. The man I was dating at the time I never saw again, he said, "I can't marry an invalid." That was 40 years ago. But the memory haunts me not because it interferes with my life now, but it was cruel and harsh when I was young and had no idea how long I would live. Knowing I will never go to the doctor and have a complete good bill of health is overwhelming at times. The erratic complications — palpitations, fatigue, atrial fibrillation, shortness of breath — crop up when you dread being held back for any reason. People react can be cautious and scared to be around you. So it takes telling yourself a story of strength and courage and being your own best friend. Finding ways to combat the loneliness and isolation that comes with the disease.

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Hi Gwen, I think that young man you were dating was not worth your time. Even without your health issue, he wouldn't have been a good husband. He sounds narcissistic. So don't let that memory haunt you. I think you "dodged a bullet" when he left although it must have been heart breaking when it happened.

I am guessing you are in your 60's now and probably your life is slowing down anyway. I don't know why any of your casual acquaintances need know of your heart issue. If an activity is suggested that you don't think is wise for you, just say "I don't think I am up for that". You don't need to provide any more information than that. I freely explain "I have heart disease" but I don't give details except to my close friends.

I wish you good luck, a quiet and enjoyable life and someone who loves you despite your heart issue. Really, that young man was an idiot and you were better off without him.

Donna

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@gwenm.. @degarden_girl is absolutely right, the guy who called you an invalid is a shallow idiot.. Not worth your time. There are plenty of fish in the sea. I have a guy friend who knows about my TIA, and he's still around. I was kind of worried about telling him at first because he's very healthy, and I was afraid he might judge me, but I figured if he's like that then he's not worthy of my friendship. We've known each other for almost 10 years. If he is a new acquaintance, I may not be so open.

Don't sell yourself short, we all have some health issues when we get older. Like a car, sometimes the check engine light comes on and we have to take care of it. We may need new parts replaced. I always say positivity goes a long way.

I hope you will maintain a positive attitude, you are a wonderful creation and you are worthy of attention and love.

Keep calm and carry on!

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@degarden_girl

Hi Gwen, I think that young man you were dating was not worth your time. Even without your health issue, he wouldn't have been a good husband. He sounds narcissistic. So don't let that memory haunt you. I think you "dodged a bullet" when he left although it must have been heart breaking when it happened.

I am guessing you are in your 60's now and probably your life is slowing down anyway. I don't know why any of your casual acquaintances need know of your heart issue. If an activity is suggested that you don't think is wise for you, just say "I don't think I am up for that". You don't need to provide any more information than that. I freely explain "I have heart disease" but I don't give details except to my close friends.

I wish you good luck, a quiet and enjoyable life and someone who loves you despite your heart issue. Really, that young man was an idiot and you were better off without him.

Donna

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Thank you Donna. What a kind response. Over the years, I've struggled to let go of some of the anger and disappointment that happened so long ago. Providers didn't know what they know today. But each day is a gift and I find myself fortunate to live a rewarding life!

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@mayofeb2020

@gwenm.. @degarden_girl is absolutely right, the guy who called you an invalid is a shallow idiot.. Not worth your time. There are plenty of fish in the sea. I have a guy friend who knows about my TIA, and he's still around. I was kind of worried about telling him at first because he's very healthy, and I was afraid he might judge me, but I figured if he's like that then he's not worthy of my friendship. We've known each other for almost 10 years. If he is a new acquaintance, I may not be so open.

Don't sell yourself short, we all have some health issues when we get older. Like a car, sometimes the check engine light comes on and we have to take care of it. We may need new parts replaced. I always say positivity goes a long way.

I hope you will maintain a positive attitude, you are a wonderful creation and you are worthy of attention and love.

Keep calm and carry on!

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Very kind of you and totally on point. Thanks for the boost and kind words. Yes, each day is a gift!!

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I am 70 , soon to be 71 . And on top of a list of chronic conditions , was recently diagnosed with claudication and peripheral artery disease. I was previously on all the usual meds and my blood tests were normal . Previously exercised and ate pretty well . So now it apparently didn’t matter and I’m just a time bomb for a coronary event . The foot numbness and leg pain make fly fishing impossible. Bottom line , I instantly feel very old for the first time and really don’t want to live a diminished life as an elderly person with 10 meds a day . Although I have feared death my entire life , I would chose to go today if I had that option. That’s my diatribe for today

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I got PAD at 67 and am now 81. My physician didn't know how to treat it, but luckily my daughter is a Cardiology Nurse. She gave me the Treatment Guidelines for PAD. In addition to meds, the recommendations were to stop smoking and get into a structured exercise program. I did all of them and have had no claudication for 13 years. Previously I could only walk a half a brock pain free. Now I can walk 3 miles with no cramps. I hope you can do the same.

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