To save one life is as if to save the world.

- The Talmud

Is it just me?

yubanarog's picture

My blog is really what I just wrote for my bio. Sorry, I am new here. I’m a 52 year old white male. Not fat, not skinny. Not sedate, not athletic. Work a fairly physical job. Paranoid my ENTIRE life about having a heart attack. I was constantly nagging doctors about terrible family history of heart disease most of my adult life to no avail. (Caveat: Not that I took care of myself!) Aug. 31, 2013, getting our house ready to sell with my wife and 15 year old stepdaughter, I start realizing that "don't feel real good." My wife says I'm probably hungry because all I had for breakfast was donuts (of all things!) I also come to realize my jaw hurt really, really bad and I was trying to figure that out. I sit down on the floor, and then I lay down on the floor. My wife leaves to get us all something for lunch. I tell my stepdaughter I feel dizzy and she props my feet up with a box. Next, I wake up briefly in an ambulance – paramedics yelling my name and out of my sight I hear someone ask “Does he have a family history of heart attacks?” What an incredible feeling of dread! I came to again briefly in ICU. Thought I was dead and in heaven. Finally came to in some other unit of the hospital and spent a week in a morphine induced haze trying to comprehend what happened. I was released wearing a Zoll LifeVest and very little understanding of what I was supposed to do. Today, I am STILL trying to figure out what happened and what it all means. I am really happy to be alive, but yes, truly bitter that doctor after doctor couldn't have done a test to discover this was going to happen. They HAVE to wait until an artery is 100% clogged and you suffer a heart attack and SCA before they use a catheter to discover this?

Beyond that bitterness, ultimately I am super grateful to be alive and the story of what happened during my periods of unconsciousness are in my mind truly amazing. But in addition to that, I am scared. I keep myself distracted during the day, but when the tv and lights go out, my mind is free to wonder about every little twinge in my body and ask the question "Is tonight the night I die?" "Assuming I don't die tonight, do I never feel like doing anything I used to do ever again?" I have EF of 17% and my cardiologist said "Well of course you feel tired. Your heart isn't pumping very much blood!"

amira65's picture

No it's not just you

Hi, I just read your blog about your SCA. I suffered mine on July 30th. 5 days after having a back surgery. Although I had an EKG and a Stress Test before the surgery that turned out normal, nobody checked on the arteries in my heart although I have a strong family history of heart attacks. I am also so very happy and grateful for being alive, and like you, am very scared about what's really happening. I was fortunate that When my SCA happened the ambulance had already reached the hospital ( I was told I had chest pains) and I was talking to the doctor. Suddenly I had a severe seizure and my heart stopped. They had to do CPR on me for 90 minutes before they got me back and after that I went into a deep coma for 5 days. Thankfully they put me on Hypothermia and saved my brain (although I do have short term memory problems now and I have no memory of the incident or anything 2 weeks before my back surgery). All the doctors were telling my family to prepare themselves for my death or if I did make it I would be like a vegetable. My EF at that time was 20% and now it's 41%. I go to Cardiac Rehab. at the hospital and work out on a monitor 3 times a day because it will strengthen my heart muscles. I was wondering what that Zoll Lifevest that you were referring to? Have you started doing Cardiac Rehab yet? it truly is extremely beneficial to strengthening your heart so that it will pump more effectively. They usually have you on a monitor while you excercize and measure what your optimal heart rate should be.
I hope that with time you will continue to improve. I was so happy to see that someone else out there is as scared as I am.
As for being scared to "death", I am right there with you. Just these past 2 days I am now staying by myself at home. Before that my son or another family member was with me. Now I wonder what if something happens when no one is around? I wonder how much damage my heart suffered? I wonder when will it happen again.

SCAFoundation's picture

You are not alone

Thank you for sharing your stories. We hear from many heart attack and cardiac arrest survivors that while they are grateful to be alive, they are afraid. In addition, their family members are afraid.

We hope more people will respond to your blog to reassure you that you are not alone.