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thankful
@thankful

Posts: 154
Joined: Apr 27, 2016

Staying healthy physically (and mentally) post heart attack

Posted by @thankful, Apr 27, 2016

Hi there, I just now joined your group and after reading a few of the posts, I am glad to be here with so many informed folks. I’m not sure how to start other than to give a brief story of my heart. Back in 5/14 after finishing my workout I went home for a late lunch which I’ve done for years. After getting cleaned up I sat down to lunch and conversation with my wife of 38 years. I began noticing a faintness and then a pain that began in my left arm and then moved into my chest. Immediately sat down and told my wife what was going on and as much as we were surprised especially because I had not had any symptoms till then. We jumped in the car & headed for the ER a 20 min. ride from our home. There was no question in my mind that I was experiencing a HA, but I was in a lot of pain. Although it took more than 2 hrs. for the ER to determine I was having a HA, fortunately after several tests they brought in a Echo cardiogram tech and halfway through the procedure he left and returned with the Cardiologist. From that point things ramped up big time and after 4 hrs. of coming in I was rolled into Cath lab and received a stent. I survived a “Widow Maker” that was caused by my LAD being 100% blocked. I was released within a day and began there Cardio Rehab program which although I felt out of place with many that had never used a treadmill or elliptical, this was really a great time not only meeting others that had recently gone through HA, but it helped me tremendously regain confidence working out and being monitored. It’s been nearly 2 yrs. ago now and I have gone back to the gym after graduating from cardio rehab and I am doing well. My biggest let down was after a year of working hard with exercise, weight control and diet my next echo showed no signs of improvement. I am on 2.5 mg of lisinopril, 50 mg of metoprolol, 80 mg of atorvastatin & a 81 mg of aspirin. I never realized how mental this whole thing could be? Even with the efforts of all that I mentioned it seems like I am “damaged goods”. I’m working hard to get past this and live my life with thankfulness every day.

Liked by Joe M.

REPLY

Welcome @thankful,
Your message is a perfect way to start. You’re definitely in the right group. Let me introduce you to a few Hearth Health members to start. Please meet @cynaburst @HeartPatches @wangs @Sensation @ronbee @billmichalski who know about the ups and downs of staying fit and heart healthy. There is definitely a mental component to it along with motivation and plain old determination. It can help to have a support group like this when the going gets tough, like the frustration of a darn machine telling you there’s no improvement when you’ve worked so hard. Of course, you know that you’re doing the right thing with exercise and diet, but it sure would help to have that confirmed by the echo.

Have you seen the discussion that @gramps64 started? “How do I begin living a healthy lifestyle to benefit my heart?” https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/this-is-now-the-second-time-in-the-past-3-12-years/

I am a 52 yr. old female with low cholesterol, low BP and no family history of heart issues. I awoke a month ago with numbing in both arms and a burning sensation in my upper chest and back. My husband called 911 and they put me in an ambulance where I promptly coded also experiencing a Widow Maker. The miracle was that this happened with 5 paramedics standing over me and they were able to get my heart started again. I am having alot of anxiety as well, emotional stuff and being very jumpy. I call it the “day my heart attacked me”, because I realized I am upset and disappointed in my body. I feel as though it really let me down and I’m working on trying to pay attention to my thoughts and changing them. I have heard that there is not only a PTSD type reaction that is common when something like this happens but also a physical reaction in the body that can contribute to some depression and anxiety. I start cardiac rehab next week which I’m hoping will lift my spirits.

Liked by thankful

@pboaen – I know exactly what you are going through cause almost the exact same thing happened to my 56 year old husband. Did you get a stent? Are you now on Plavix and a bunch of other drugs that you were never on before? That is exactly what my husband has been through lately, and he feels the same way. He has now completed a few months of cardiac rehab and is beginning to acclimate to his new normal, but it has not been easy for him.

My body started to rebel on me when I was in my 30s, so I can also relate. In my mid 30s just after my son was born I had a benign brain tumor called an acoustic neuroma which caused me to have hydrocephalus and I lost all of my hearing in my right. Then, in my 40s I had to have open heart surgery and get an implantable defibrillator which has since been replaced twice. Then, I had melanoma twice (but caught it very early). I guess I am telling you all this because unfortunately, this is the curse of middle age. There is hope, however. You will learn how to deal with your new reality and move forward. There is however an adjustment period, and yours has just begun. Coming into groups like this one will help you get your bearings as you move forward.

Welcome, and we look forward to getting to know you better.

@pboaen

I am a 52 yr. old female with low cholesterol, low BP and no family history of heart issues. I awoke a month ago with numbing in both arms and a burning sensation in my upper chest and back. My husband called 911 and they put me in an ambulance where I promptly coded also experiencing a Widow Maker. The miracle was that this happened with 5 paramedics standing over me and they were able to get my heart started again. I am having alot of anxiety as well, emotional stuff and being very jumpy. I call it the “day my heart attacked me”, because I realized I am upset and disappointed in my body. I feel as though it really let me down and I’m working on trying to pay attention to my thoughts and changing them. I have heard that there is not only a PTSD type reaction that is common when something like this happens but also a physical reaction in the body that can contribute to some depression and anxiety. I start cardiac rehab next week which I’m hoping will lift my spirits.

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@pboaen, I want to encourage you as you begin the cardiac rehab program. For me, although I was familiar with all of the workout equipment, I had real concerns that I would trigger another HA. What I found was very competent people with a great understanding & compassion for what we all had been through. Wearing a monitor & knowing that someone would be monitoring me all through the routines added that extra measure of confidence I needed. I wish you all peace & confidence you need to take the next steps in recovery!

I also found cardiac rehab very helpful after my open heart surgery. My husband has found it helpful as well. I recommend.

Liked by thankful, Joe M.

@colleenyoung

Welcome @thankful,
Your message is a perfect way to start. You’re definitely in the right group. Let me introduce you to a few Hearth Health members to start. Please meet @cynaburst @HeartPatches @wangs @Sensation @ronbee @billmichalski who know about the ups and downs of staying fit and heart healthy. There is definitely a mental component to it along with motivation and plain old determination. It can help to have a support group like this when the going gets tough, like the frustration of a darn machine telling you there’s no improvement when you’ve worked so hard. Of course, you know that you’re doing the right thing with exercise and diet, but it sure would help to have that confirmed by the echo.

Have you seen the discussion that @gramps64 started? “How do I begin living a healthy lifestyle to benefit my heart?” https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/this-is-now-the-second-time-in-the-past-3-12-years/

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Greetings to my new friends! I’m looking forward to our discussions and hope I can add to them as well! I look forward to your continued support.
Be well, @thankful

@colleenyoung

Welcome @thankful,
Your message is a perfect way to start. You’re definitely in the right group. Let me introduce you to a few Hearth Health members to start. Please meet @cynaburst @HeartPatches @wangs @Sensation @ronbee @billmichalski who know about the ups and downs of staying fit and heart healthy. There is definitely a mental component to it along with motivation and plain old determination. It can help to have a support group like this when the going gets tough, like the frustration of a darn machine telling you there’s no improvement when you’ve worked so hard. Of course, you know that you’re doing the right thing with exercise and diet, but it sure would help to have that confirmed by the echo.

Have you seen the discussion that @gramps64 started? “How do I begin living a healthy lifestyle to benefit my heart?” https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/this-is-now-the-second-time-in-the-past-3-12-years/

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@colleenyoung – Colleen, has there been any posts associated with Chelation Therapy or EBTA supplements regarding cardio plague, etc.? We have some friends that there farther began this therapy over 15 years ago after suffering 2 heart attacks & receiving 3 stents. Now after all this time his cardiologist tells him that he has the arteries of a newborn? The little amount of research I have done (Even Dr. Weil) does not give it high marks?

@colleenyoung

Welcome @thankful,
Your message is a perfect way to start. You’re definitely in the right group. Let me introduce you to a few Hearth Health members to start. Please meet @cynaburst @HeartPatches @wangs @Sensation @ronbee @billmichalski who know about the ups and downs of staying fit and heart healthy. There is definitely a mental component to it along with motivation and plain old determination. It can help to have a support group like this when the going gets tough, like the frustration of a darn machine telling you there’s no improvement when you’ve worked so hard. Of course, you know that you’re doing the right thing with exercise and diet, but it sure would help to have that confirmed by the echo.

Have you seen the discussion that @gramps64 started? “How do I begin living a healthy lifestyle to benefit my heart?” https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/this-is-now-the-second-time-in-the-past-3-12-years/

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@thankful You’re right query the effectiveness of ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) chelation therapy for the treatment of plaque and heart disease. @jordanm posted on Connect about chelation therapy with respect to Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), but there hasn’t been a discussion about it with respect to heart disease yet.

Here’s some information written by the Mayo Clinic
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/expert-answers/chelation-therapy/faq-20157449
http://www.mayoclinic.org/medical-professionals/clinical-updates/cardiovascular/results-trial-assess-chelation-therapy-tact-study-presented

The effectiveness of chelation therapy for heart disease has not been established, even after a large clinical trial (TACT). Furthermore, there are serious concern about the safety of this treatment for patients with heart disease.

@colleenyoung

Welcome @thankful,
Your message is a perfect way to start. You’re definitely in the right group. Let me introduce you to a few Hearth Health members to start. Please meet @cynaburst @HeartPatches @wangs @Sensation @ronbee @billmichalski who know about the ups and downs of staying fit and heart healthy. There is definitely a mental component to it along with motivation and plain old determination. It can help to have a support group like this when the going gets tough, like the frustration of a darn machine telling you there’s no improvement when you’ve worked so hard. Of course, you know that you’re doing the right thing with exercise and diet, but it sure would help to have that confirmed by the echo.

Have you seen the discussion that @gramps64 started? “How do I begin living a healthy lifestyle to benefit my heart?” https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/this-is-now-the-second-time-in-the-past-3-12-years/

Jump to this post

PS: @thankful, you may wish to join this thread
What are the best methods for removing plaque from the artery?
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/what-are-the-best-methods-for-removing-plaque-from-the-artery-what/

Cynaburst & Thankful, My hat is off to You both. An allergic reaction that got me to the hospital a couple of years ago discovered I had a blocked artery at 80%, after the stent things have moved along. You are not “damaged goods”, I also experience problems with weight control and exercise that I am addressing. I am grateful and in my case it has had its effects mentally, I am less tolerant, I have stress and I don’t sleep well. After the stent I took plavix for one year, started to get black and blue every time I bumped into something. Had a talk with my cardiologist and was taken off of it. My ECG have been the same, “no change”. The medicines I take are irbesartan 300,aspirin 325, crestor 20 that I did not take before.
If you don’t have a hobby, try to get one that you enjoy, that gets your minds total attention, You will see and experience a difference. Exercise is good and if you miss a day or two, don’t beat yourself up for it. And don’t worry about your heart, YOU both are taking care of it!.

Liked by thankful, Joe M.

@cynaburst

I also found cardiac rehab very helpful after my open heart surgery. My husband has found it helpful as well. I recommend.

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Cynaburst, Although each of us have a tough story to tell and because we are still climbing a mountain or walking through a valley each day, I am humbled reading your posts and the several others because they make me feel that I am very fortunate. I did receive a stent and after a year was taken off Plavix a year later.
I am working out 3x a week doing approx. 55 min. of cardio and 25 min. of weight training.
I was placed on 80 Mg of Atorvastin and have been having issues with numbness in my legs & feet if I walk much more than a mile or if I’m just standing still for prolonged periods. I’ve have been through several different tests to determine what the source of this problem might be and all have come up negative.
I began thinking that it was the statin drug and so I contacted both my regular doctor and my cardiologist about this. I’m somewhat convinced that it may be the statin, but both don’t agree but are willing to have me go off it for several weeks and see if my symptoms dissipate. I am in the midst of this at the moment and will report back.
I want to encourage your husband to become comfortable in trusting the staff at cardio rehab and when he feels more comfortable to begin pushing himself a little more each week. Simple things like adding a few extra minutes to the treadmill or elliptical or another set of 12 for other weights will add to his confidence. This will be key after he graduates from cardio rehab and hopefully moves to a local gym that he can continue getting stronger and more & more confidence. I am fortunate in that the gym I was working out at for a number of years prior to my HA is a place called Fitness over Fifty and so the make up is older adults pursuing some level of fitness. It is a very encouraging place to work out for me. Be well!

@joem

Cynaburst & Thankful, My hat is off to You both. An allergic reaction that got me to the hospital a couple of years ago discovered I had a blocked artery at 80%, after the stent things have moved along. You are not “damaged goods”, I also experience problems with weight control and exercise that I am addressing. I am grateful and in my case it has had its effects mentally, I am less tolerant, I have stress and I don’t sleep well. After the stent I took plavix for one year, started to get black and blue every time I bumped into something. Had a talk with my cardiologist and was taken off of it. My ECG have been the same, “no change”. The medicines I take are irbesartan 300,aspirin 325, crestor 20 that I did not take before.
If you don’t have a hobby, try to get one that you enjoy, that gets your minds total attention, You will see and experience a difference. Exercise is good and if you miss a day or two, don’t beat yourself up for it. And don’t worry about your heart, YOU both are taking care of it!.

Jump to this post

@joem, Thank you for your encouraging words and story. I too want to drop about 15 lbs.! We just returned from a 10 day vacation so I didn’t help myself in that area of weight loss. I am still working and so I have found that adding my workout times in my planner is no different than another scheduled appt.
I agree with you about the hobby. I am currently trying to ease into retirement and it not near as easy as I had thought. I know I will get there soon and I am trying not to stress over the time frame. My hope will be to volunteer in different capacities which is something I look forward having time to give back.
As men we often think that unless we are in a gym pumping weights or whatever we are not really exercising, but that is such a farce. Start slow with just walking and work your way up to a mile or so. Besides the exercise you get you will be surprised of the things you miss by driving by them. Smell-the-flowers!

Good evening @thankful
Your statement of “damaged goods” really made me stop and think. I just had my 8-year anniversary of receiving my stent at 46. To be very truthful, there are some days that I feel “depressed” with the things I have gone through, but then I stop myself from thinking this way and look at the positive. I have had eight more blessed years with my boys and my family and my friends. I don’t think anybody after having an event such as you have had, myself, or anyone else has had that we ever will not have these feelings. I believe they are meant to come into our thoughts occasionally so we actually remember how blessed we are. So from one “damaged goods” to another…..stay strong!! Work through those feelings but don’t stay there too long…..Take that deep breath and say “I am alive.”

Liked by Joe M.

@HeartPatches

Good evening @thankful
Your statement of “damaged goods” really made me stop and think. I just had my 8-year anniversary of receiving my stent at 46. To be very truthful, there are some days that I feel “depressed” with the things I have gone through, but then I stop myself from thinking this way and look at the positive. I have had eight more blessed years with my boys and my family and my friends. I don’t think anybody after having an event such as you have had, myself, or anyone else has had that we ever will not have these feelings. I believe they are meant to come into our thoughts occasionally so we actually remember how blessed we are. So from one “damaged goods” to another…..stay strong!! Work through those feelings but don’t stay there too long…..Take that deep breath and say “I am alive.”

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@HeartPatches,
Thanks so much for your encouraging words this afternoon!
I will celebrating 2 years from my HA on the 12th of this month and will toast you as well.
I truly do feel blessed to be here and just this past weekend my youngest daughter & son-in-law shared there good news of being 12 weeks pregnant. Our oldest daughter has 3 boys and this though caught us off guard because of the path they were on we did not think this would happen for at least a year or more. It really was a special early Mothers Day for my wife.
I do feel that the good Lord spared me for a reason and I am on a new journey to hopefully discover what that is for me.
My cardiologist told me the next day after my HA that there were not many that could survive a “Window Maker” as I did with 100% blockage so as I said, I am truly blessed.

Thankful for so much!

Liked by heartpatches

Greetings to all. First of all I want to wish all a Happy Mother’s Day observance.
I joined this group because I am convinced that a “team” approach to our conditions will greatly improve our individual health with everyone’s input. We can input on themes of stress management, exercise, food management, medications etc, following the doctor’s orders. Tks.Joe

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