Staying healthy physically (and mentally) post heart attack

Posted by thankful @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.

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@ronbee

I went to the 36 X cardo program that the gov pays for then went to the YMCA and got a program started by the wellness director. I am now positively addicted to working out 3X a week…1/2 hour intense interval training on a treadmill and one hour strength training. I add more exercise every several weeks. Underline positive addiction. There are many other heart patients like me at the Y. Four others have pacemakers as I do.

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Thank you so much for info. Good luck!!

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@sharlane

I have just been diagnosed with coronary disease. What should I do to improve lifestyle?

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Thanks so much for support and advice. I am making changes in diet
following Dr. Fuhrman’s new guidelines in his book End Heart Disease. I’m
also impressed by Dr. Esselstynn’s protocol. His wife has a wonderful new
cookbook, on plant-based nutrition. And you’re right about exercise. I’m
afraid of exercise because of angina, but I should be seeing my doctor this
week for advice. So happy to be in this community.

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I have a recommendation for a great book on both Cardiology as well as a treasure trove of recipes put out by Dr. Miles Hassell and his sister Mea Hassell. My nutritionist at Cardio Rehab highly recommended it to us and I have been using it since. It’s called Good Food, Great Medicine and is available on Amazon.
Today is my 2 year anniversary from having my Heart Attack and I want to say that I am extremely “Thankful” for these past 2 years. My thanks to my new friends here. You have already encouraged me!

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Will look it up! Thank you.
I have cut down on fried foods, I am eating more smaller portions of food and I am taking more time to enjoy each bite vs gobbling down the whole plate fast like I did in the past.

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@colleenyoung

@hals Now that’s advice to live by! To have one heart attack is tough, but get another a year later must’ve been a heavy mental blow. Really glad you’re here to tell us this story.

@joem – I like your thinking around the team approach. How are you managing stress these days?

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Hi troops! Ok lets talk about stress. I call it the invisible killer.The more technology embraces our lives, the more stressful you become. I”ll give you my experience , we have everything now, news,weather,situations, requests, email, notifications, etc.,tens of them a minute! We eat more, we want to do more, like watching TV and eating at the same time,but time has not changed, its still 60 seconds to the minute, 60 minutes to the hour, its the same time , the thing is we want to squeeze more and more into it.
It starts to take a toll on our bodies. This is where “sickness” starts to pop up, combine this with “not enought time” (physical inactivity)and ( bad food habits) …and we end up talking here! I imagine the brain getting ready before you wake up, when you wake up, you are already “stressed”.
I do recommend a book called Mayo Clinic Guide to Stress-Free Living or similar that you can use as a guide to organize, minimize, contain,handle your stress. Yes, my friends, I do feel stress, I talk to friends and family, l listen to music, I read , all this helps!

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@thankful

I have a recommendation for a great book on both Cardiology as well as a treasure trove of recipes put out by Dr. Miles Hassell and his sister Mea Hassell. My nutritionist at Cardio Rehab highly recommended it to us and I have been using it since. It’s called Good Food, Great Medicine and is available on Amazon.
Today is my 2 year anniversary from having my Heart Attack and I want to say that I am extremely “Thankful” for these past 2 years. My thanks to my new friends here. You have already encouraged me!

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Happy 2nd birthday @thankful as I call it; as for me I consider it a day of new beginnings and new life!! 🙂

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@thankful

I have a recommendation for a great book on both Cardiology as well as a treasure trove of recipes put out by Dr. Miles Hassell and his sister Mea Hassell. My nutritionist at Cardio Rehab highly recommended it to us and I have been using it since. It’s called Good Food, Great Medicine and is available on Amazon.
Today is my 2 year anniversary from having my Heart Attack and I want to say that I am extremely “Thankful” for these past 2 years. My thanks to my new friends here. You have already encouraged me!

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Thankful, thanks so much for your message. I’m happy to hear you ‘ve had 2
years of improved health. Have your numbers improved? Cholesterol, and HDL?

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@joem

Will look it up! Thank you.
I have cut down on fried foods, I am eating more smaller portions of food and I am taking more time to enjoy each bite vs gobbling down the whole plate fast like I did in the past.

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It’s a journey. Step by step. Good luck!

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@joem

Will look it up! Thank you.
I have cut down on fried foods, I am eating more smaller portions of food and I am taking more time to enjoy each bite vs gobbling down the whole plate fast like I did in the past.

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@joem. It is a process of small steps. Also, don’t deprive yourself, as it has been said to me. It is okay to have that “treat” occasionally and in moderation and exercising—walking three times a day for 10 minutes each and weightlifting 3 times a week whether you use weights or your own body weight helps.

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@joem

Will look it up! Thank you.
I have cut down on fried foods, I am eating more smaller portions of food and I am taking more time to enjoy each bite vs gobbling down the whole plate fast like I did in the past.

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I’m trying to get referred to Cardiac Rehab for exercise advice.

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@sharlene, if you cannot get to Cardiac Rehab, there are many gyms including the Y who have personal trainers that will be able to help you. I remember going through Cardiac Rehab, it was the scariest time, as I did not know how much to exert myself, as I was afraid of having another heart attack. But it was the best thing I did. I now workout 5 days a week (30 to 60 minutes cardio and 30 minutes weightlifting). If I get fearful now, I just think positive! I actually don’t feel good if I don’t exercise any more, it is so helpful with stress and just an overall good endorphin feeling.

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@HeartPatches

@sharlene, if you cannot get to Cardiac Rehab, there are many gyms including the Y who have personal trainers that will be able to help you. I remember going through Cardiac Rehab, it was the scariest time, as I did not know how much to exert myself, as I was afraid of having another heart attack. But it was the best thing I did. I now workout 5 days a week (30 to 60 minutes cardio and 30 minutes weightlifting). If I get fearful now, I just think positive! I actually don’t feel good if I don’t exercise any more, it is so helpful with stress and just an overall good endorphin feeling.

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@sharlene, I would think that your Cardiologist would be able to get you into Cardiac Rehab? As I had said in an earlier post, that was the best thing I ever did! The staff was very helpful and I felt very confident that by being monitored through the exercise time for the 1st month gave me that added confidence that they “had my back” and that even if I felt a little pain or something they were right there letting me know that things were going fine. One time the staff person said if anything were to happen where else would you rather be (the Cardiac Rehab was located next door on the same floor as the Heart Center). I could not argue with that!

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