post-heart attack

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-23-2004
post-heart attack
4
Thu, 09-23-2004 - 6:50pm
Hello,

I'm 44 and suffered a major heart attack last February. I had angioplasty and a stent implanted, which saved my life. The blockage was 100%. I'm trying to get back to my life, but with a remaining EF of 20, I find it hard to keep-up with everyday living. I have returned to full-time work at the hospital that treated me, but I'm very stressed, totally exhausted, and depressed at times. I can't keep up with the housework, laundry, or even daily tasks when I work. I either take a nap when I get home, or go to bed early enough to get a full 11-12 hours of sleep a night. I was wondering if anyone else who has such a low EF is experiencing the same thing. The doctor isn't all that concerned, and his only real advice is to go on Social Security Disability, which I would rather avoid. (No insurance when on SSDI.) Any advice would be helpful.

Thank you.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-14-2003
Fri, 09-24-2004 - 1:17pm

Welcome to this fine board.

Hugs,

Cecilia

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-23-2004
Sat, 09-25-2004 - 11:23am
Hello Cecilia,

After 3 months of cardic therapy, the EF did't improve, and the cardiologist isn't very hopeful at this point. I take tons of medicatation to ease the stress on my heart, including cumadin, pressure medication and other things. The heart attack actually went on for four hours before I realized that something was very wrong. I thought it was indigestion, or possibly my gall bladder. From the way things stand now, it appears that 2/3 of the heart is severly damaged, if not dead muscle. It could improve with time on it's own, but after 8 months the doctors tell me the window time for the most optimal improvement has passed. Guess it's in Gods' hands, and it will improve or not. I'll just have to live with it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-14-2003
Tue, 09-28-2004 - 2:41pm

Our prayers and thoughts are with you.

Hugs,

Cecilia

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-21-2003
Thu, 10-14-2004 - 9:23am
Hi Bambideer,

With such a low ejection fraction, I'm not surprised that you are feeling exhausted and down. I think it would definitely be worth going back to your cardiologist to discuss these symptoms, and to make sure that you're on maximal medications that might help to relieve your symptoms. After a heart attack, a percentage of your heart muscle will have been damaged, and although the angioplasty and stent will have done some work to reduce the amount of damage done at the time, I'm afraid that I disagree with Cecilia's suggestion that that will have improved your cardiac output. I think that after this amount of time, your ejection fraction is unlikely to improve, and so I think it's really important that you make sure that not only are you on the right amount of medication, and that these doses are optimised to give you the most benefit. Are you on any diuretics (water medications)? Or do you limit your fluid intake?

It also might be worth speaking with your doctor about sources of support. It's not unusual to feel depressed in the months following a heart attack, and it's always worth discussing this with your doctor to see if there are either support groups or speciailist nurses who might be a useful resource for you.

The important thing to remember is that you can live a normal life following your heart attack, but that you might need to change some of your lifestyle to accommodate the effects that you have been left with.

Hope that helps a little,

Take care

Silver x