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So, I died.....

David_W
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Registered: 19-07-2007

So, I died.....

Long story short, I'm 38 years old and on Saturday morning, I died.  I had chest pains and the paramedic came out and (I don't remember any of this, my brain must be fried or something) told me the chest pains were simply a panic attack, I replied by stopping my heart and dying.  He (or she, I don't remember) managed to bring me back to life and so I've spent the past few days in hospital (was released Monday but back in the same day due to chest pains) and currently am slightly, very tired, but am home with a stent in my heart and more pills than a Justin Bieber party.
Obviously it's very overwhelming, so much so in fact that I think it has yet to set in what has actually happened to me, I'm trying not to dwell on it and think of all the awesome stuff... "I DIED!" "I saw my heart thump on the monitor with the dye" "the nurses and doctors were really cute" "the one nurse had the most beautiful brown/amber eyes", though not sure the first one is technically a positive.
Negatives are that I can't ride my motorbike for a month (sucks to be responsible, I'll probably get run over now), but I'm not sure how to deal with this stuff if I'm honest, people my age shouldn't get heart attacks, I don't drink booze, I'm a medium smoker (1/4th ounce a day, though only 1 since Saturday), I could do more exercise, except that now I'm not sure I can unless I do really slow exercise like watching TV.  I'm not overweight either (6'1 and 12 stone).
Well, this forum is a diverse sphere of peoples, so I'm sure I'm not the only person who has faced this sort of thing here, any tips on how to cope with the abrupt introduction to my own mortality, good tips on exercise, tips on how to get my family off my back, worrying about me to the point that I start to get stressed out can only be considered a bad thing!
17 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Re: So, I died.....

I am glad you made it and it proves its wise to be cautious.
Bit alarming, that the NHS continues to keep making assumptions tho to cut corners.  Did they assume a panic attack because you was 38 instead of 68?
Community Veteran
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Re: So, I died.....

Hmm.... can`t say I have had that experience.... would be very traumatising to me, as, although I am (almost) 70.... I feel  (inside)... about 35... Only thing is, I don`t have the energy of a 35 yr old... I don`t do ANY exercise,.... I, maybe, take a walk "down town" for about quarter of a mile, there and same back of course... legs feel the strain sometimes, heart seems to be coping well with the "exerccise"... I am a bit overweight.... side on  view, I look about 9 months pregnant. ( I`m male,... so not pregnant)... I do "volunteer" as Mate on a trip boat, which can be quite exhausting in the exercise department... lots of tooing and froing, and a fair bit of bending.... just normal stuff really,... sometimes I get out of breath doing it... but not unduly so... I move about fairly quickly,... I don`t dawdle, or limp, so movement is fluid ...  Not sure if any of that is of any help to you.... but I do feel for you... and hope that you will gradually get stronger, and recover sufficiently to get back to your "normal " way of life real soon..... Best Wishes...
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Re: So, I died.....

I'm unable to offer any advice as I've been fortunate enough to not suffer as you have. All I can do is say glass you survived, and hope all is well for the future.
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Re: So, I died.....

Please stop smoking, I know it is not easy but try to do it.
The best thing you can do is get on with your life and keep the stress levels as low as possible, again not easy considering what you have been through.
It might help if you can check your family history to see if anyone else has had similar problems.
I have no idea about your health prior to this but your Doctor will have so take his advice along with the hospital consultant  who will no doubt give you a follow up appointment.
David_W
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Registered: 19-07-2007

Re: So, I died.....

Quote from: chrcoluk
Bit alarming, that the NHS continues to keep making assumptions tho to cut corners.  Did they assume a panic attack because you was 38 instead of 68?

It's quite possible, as I am not overweight and am not quite old then a heart attack was probably low on their list of possibilities.  Though if the paramedic had not been there at the time, and if the wonderful doctors and nurses at Trelisk were not awesome then I'd most likely be a lot less in debt right now  Crazy
Shutter, keep up the good work, your exercise does put me (and quite a lot of people who drive rather than walk) to shame, tomorrow is my first test of my heart with a walk from the doctors back home (it's uphill all the way there so I've been told I have to go for a ride there, by car, and walk back).  I imagine it will take several days for me to walk the mile or two with breaks every 10 steps for 5 minutes to catch my breath.  It does worry me, not knowing how I am going to feel tomorrow after a shortish walk, it's quite disconcerting, if I'd had your exercise plan and walked 1/4 of a mile frequently (and maybe didn't smoke, that's my only vice!) then I'm sure I'd have been a fair few years away from where I currently am.
On a more morbid note, I may actually outlive my mother, currently we share the phone/net, my mother has the phone line (with PN) and I have the DSL (with PN/F9) so if I were to pop my clogs, is there any procedure in place where my mother could get the DSL switched over to her (if she wanted it) without any fuss?  Obviously I intend to live for at least another 100 years, but having a backup plan can never be too much trouble.
@doris - thanks, I also hope all is well Smiley
@Gleneagles - I'm trying to quit, I haven't sparked up since I got back a few hours ago, haven't even gone for the e-cig, though the nurse told me to stay away from the e-cig and stick with patches and stuff, I tried then before and they were not as successful as I'd have hoped, obviously if I start to smoke my family is going to nag me which will induce stress which will be a bad thing.
Family history, father has had heart attacks (heavy smoker/drinker), grandmother (maternal) had heart attacks (non-smoker/drinker/good weight).  My heart isn't damaged much, I am really pretty lucky, though if I have another one there could be more damage, just have to rely on the drugs for as long as I need to take them Smiley
Community Veteran
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Re: So, I died.....

As regards stopping smoking...... I did it the hard way...... I used to smoke 20 to 30 a day, when I was in the mob,.... ( R.N.) with 200 duty free fags a month it was easy !.... after I left in `72, I suppose I slowed down a bit and stayed at about 20 a day.... about 25 years ago, I decided it was time to give up... so I gradually cut down the daily fag rate, by not having the first one in the morning ( on waking up ) ... until well after breakfast.... then tried to increase the time between fags from 30 mins to an hour, and so on.... It was hard, and to help me along the way, I use do have "Extra Strong Mints"..  to replace the missing fag !.... gradually, I got down to the last fag in a packet on a Friday evening.... Walked up the road. happily puffing away..... The next morning, I knew I didn`t have any more fags handy, and fortunately, we lived in a "hamlet"  ( no,...... not the cigar place  Roll eyes ) that did not have a shop... and the nearest one was 3.5 miles away...... well.... I have only had one fag since then, and that was about 15 years after that day...( which is one of my best memories ! ! !)...( the day I stopped.... not the one fag ! ! )...
Big problem is... I am now " addicted " ( for want of a better term...) to Extra Strong Mints... and get through about 4 or 5 tubes a week ! ! !.... My teeth are surprisingly good though ! .   Grin  . Cheesy
Note..... the time frame for the above was 3 years ! .....
David_W
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Registered: 19-07-2007

Re: So, I died.....

Not sure I have the patience for a 3 year stint  Embarrassed the really, really, amazingly cute nurse who gave me the leaflet for the GTN spray (with the amber eyes, worth having a heart attack just to meet her.... though I'll never meet her again) said stuff which I forgot, I just like remembering that nurse.  The other one (who was also cute, what is with the number of really cute nurses in Cornish hospitals?) pointed out that I'm on pills which are designed to reduce something, to prevent clots forming and protect the stent thingy but smoking causes the opposite effect, so I'd guess I wouldn't be able to manage 3 years without another heart attack so I either have to have pure willpower and not smoke the baccy infront of me.
It's tough, I've always known that smoking would "one day" kill me, I just didn't realise that it would be before I was 40, I'll have to get as much help as the doctor can throw at me tomorrow to try and seriously reduce the risk of having another attack, but again it comes down to willpower, not something I've much of if I'm honest.
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Re: So, I died.....

There are two parts to giving up....... Will power.... and resistance to temptation..... Take away the temptation.... ( get rid of the baccy ).... refuse to go in a shop and get  more....( that is part of will power )... !... Main thing, for you though, is to get a positive outlook on your present situation, then get a more positive outlook on your immediate future, looking forward to the more distant future.... and Keep Smiling... You have a great deal to be happy about....  Smiley
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Re: So, I died.....

David W, I am so pleased to hear you survived the ordeal. You are so young for a heart attack. Have a chat with your doctor and he may arrange for you to attend a special exercise course at your local sports centre specially designed for heart attack patients. My GPs surgery offers such a scheme.
It's good to hear you were looked after so well by the NHS.
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Re: So, I died.....

Not sure if I've related my near death tale on here before, stop me if you've heard it...
I don't swim very well, in fact not at all <I'm negatively buoyant> but quite by accident I found that as long as I keep moving I can get around with a snorkel, face mask and flippers.
Once in Minorca "swimming" around a horseshoe shaped bay near Citadela.I had been getting quite tired, but stupidly decided on one more swim, near the middle of the bay where I know I had over fifty feet of water under me I became unable to keep my head and snorkel above water, I was in real trouble. I was quite near some moored boats, but had no idea if there was anybody on board them. With a great effort I forced myself head up out of the water and yelled "helppp" as loudly as I could and fell back into the water.
I remember nothing else until I found myself laying face down on the nearby beach being given artificial respiration by two Spanish nurses who were having a day off at the beach. My snorkel tube had been forced across my mouth to stop me biting my tongue off. In the distance I could hear someone groaning rhythmically, it was me but I didn't realise that at the time. Slowly, very slowly I started to become aware of a tiny pin-point of light that became bigger until I could see reasonably well and hear cheering.
The nurses had it seems brought me back from the brink. There had been people on the boats who had dragged me unconscious to the beach. I was taken by ambulance to Mahon to spend three days in hospital where I was pumped full of anti-boitics. The medical staff were very worried about the "quality" of the water I had ingested.
For several days afterwards I would find myself just staring into space, often I don't mind admitting bursting into tears. I revisited the bay several times after trying to find the boat owners who saved me, or the nurses who actually saved my life. I left many messages for those to contact me any time anywhere, none ever have. To this day 25 years later in quite moments mostly when I can't sleep at night and the mind wanders I am disturbed by this failure to thank those who helped me.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
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Re: So, I died.....

Welcome back Smiley
I've had a couple of occasions where I should have left this existence but Lady Luck was on my side both times (not health related). Death doesn't bother me any more, it will happen when it happens.
rongtw
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Re: So, I died.....

@ David W
Take it from me , i have experience 58 yrs old  & 5 heart attacks !
My Cardiologist  keeps telling me its a matter of a change of lifestyle  Roll eyes  to limit the causes of your attack  .
as they all say it a matter of everything in moderation  Cool if you want a smoke,, well its not helping but its not the main cause .
learn to turn off and relax  Cool
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Re: So, I died.....

Quote from: David
I'm 38 years old
<snip>
people my age shouldn't get heart attacks

You'd be surprised.
My 23 year old neighbour died last year of a heart attack (technically a aortic aneurysm that burst but still classed as a heart attack). Twenty three years old. I was only talking to him the week before and then one night two ambulances spent over three hours outside, the police turned up, they were all rushing in and our of his house and then a couple of hours later, the private ambulance turned up to collect his body.
Then there was the footballler too.. collapsed on the pitch a year or two back (I'm sure someone will know his name). He had ticker problems in the middle of the game and that was it.. down he went.
A couple of years ago the sun reported on a 14 year old who dropped dead on his mums arm chair while drinking tea.. the list goes on.
I also had an ambulance called out last year when my heart started doing very strange things too. Paramedics wired me up and said all was normal and so I stayed at home thinking I was doing them a favour so they could go to another job and instead they got snotty with me for it  Roll eyes
The problem with the NHS is that they decide everything on age. The people of this country are getting ill in increasing numbers and their policy of "your too young for that" is not right. Last year I was in trouble after an operation and the surgeon refused to believe anything was wrong because in his words "the operation went very well". It didn't, I told him the symptoms, my gut ripping / bursting in the night and he refused to believe it until I was in severe trouble. The NHS and it's idiot doctors are over confident ego headed fools who cannot admit they are ever wrong.
David W.. Glad you're ok  Wink
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Community Veteran
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Re: So, I died.....

That footballer played for my football club leics city, but I cannot remember his name now.
Also he wasnt the only one as when it happened it was in the news another footballer had the same issue the same week for a foreign club.