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First Post - Widow Maker Survivor

  • 1.  First Post - Widow Maker Survivor

    Posted 03-23-2023 12:15

    Hi Everyone, I am almost 4 years removed from multiple Widow Maker Heart Attacks. My first one happened while I was riding my bike. My second one happened because I was resistant to the medications that they gave me to prevent clotting.


    Physically, I feel like I have made a full recovery. I am back to all of the activities that I was able to do prior to my heart attack. Mentally though, I've really been struggling. I always feel like I am just one incident away from another heart attack. I struggle with things like "survivor guilt" and have times when I suffer from anxiety and depression.


    I've been trying to find In-person or on-line support groups that meet periodically so see if there are others out there like me. I thought I'd reach out to this group to see if anyone is aware of support group resources.


    Thanks in advance for your help,


    Andrew Sullivan
    Loveland OH

  • 2.  RE: First Post - Widow Maker Survivor

    Posted 08-15-2023 13:28

    Similar to a music ensemble that develops cohesion over time, a dedicated team builds strong collaboration and communication practices, which fosters trust, transparency, and a sense of ownership over the project's success. Scalability and Flexibility: Just as an orchestra adapts to different compositions, a dedicated team can easily scale up or down based on the project's changing needs. This flexibility allows for efficient resource allocation without disruptions.

    carlo pinini
    Miami FL

  • 3.  RE: First Post - Widow Maker Survivor

    Posted 08-16-2023 01:47

    Hi. I came to this group seeking help with my depression and surviver guilt too. The people here were very helpful. I think we all look for validation for what we went through. 

    One of my doctors told me that the organ getting surgery on is an emotional organ. It's going to get confused through recovery. It really didn't make sense until I came here and saw just how many heart surgery patients feel the same thing I do.

    It's been 5 years since my OHS, and with the help of this group I feel way better mentally. I did, however, have cancer a year ago. Thanks to God I'm free and clear of any cancer for now, the ordeal was horrific. I spend too much time worrying about how much longer I have to live. It's depressing wondering if I'm going to live long enough to be a grandma, or retirement, or if I'm going to have a future. IDK


    [Carrie] [Kashani]
    [White Bear Lake [MN]

  • 4.  RE: First Post - Widow Maker Survivor

    Posted 08-17-2023 18:21

    Hi Carrie,

    I'm sorry to hear about your cancer diagnosis but happy to hear that you seem to be fine now.

    I don't know how old you are but I am now 73 and it sounds as though I am older than you as you are just thinking about retirement.  And so, what I'm about to say might seem easier to say once you're already older, but I believe it is valid even at a younger age.

    I don't worry about how much time ai may have left.  Even when I think about it on an intellectual level, I don't get the least bit upset.  I feel that I've lived a good and fulfilling life and am still living one now.  That isn't going to change even if I'm gone tomorrow.  And so, what I do is focus on right now.  When I catch myself feeling anxious, I immediately realize I'm fantasizing about a future that may or may not become real and isn't real now.  Right now, this very second that I'm writing to you, I'm on my patio looking at the clouds just before sunset and the light poking through the clouds, feeling the light breeze on my face and the steel fencing on which I'm resting my feet.  I'm sipping a glass of wine and feeling wonderful.

    Will I survive the night?  Who knows?  But one thing I do know is that I'm happy, right here, right now and whenever it is my time to go, which probably will be relatively soon, I will move to whatever is next.

    Love your life now.  Love your family while you can.  And know that I'm your brother, we're all your sisters and brothers, and in the words of Ram Dass "we're all just walking each other home."

    Peace and love,


    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ

  • 5.  RE: First Post - Widow Maker Survivor

    Posted 08-18-2023 00:39
    Hi Ira.
    I do enjoy reading your posts. I think I may have gave the impression I’m super depressed and I want you to know that’s not the case. I do have lots of wonderful things going on in my life. I’m going to be 55 years old September 2nd. My oldest daughter just graduated high school and is heading off to college in a couple weeks. My youngest is heading into her senior year of high school. I have a job I love, and have been updating our home. Plus,I have Jesus walking my path with me.

    However, I can’t seem to shake this fear that I’m going to leave this world too soon, whatever that means. I never thought about death as a part of my life before. Now I realize I’m not promised tomorrow and I’m very aware of that, more than what I want to be.

    I found out about my heart problems when I needed my gallbladder removed. I didn’t know about my condition before that and felt fine. It’s been one procedure after another since, and recently cancer. I thank God every day I wake up. I just want to work on not keeping tabs on the calendar. I am counting another day I made it, and that gives me anxiety. I used to be so active and now I’m most comfortable at home or with my family. I’m working on myself though. Thanks for being so upbeat and helpful. I can feel your energy in your posts.


    Sent from my iPhone

  • 6.  RE: First Post - Widow Maker Survivor

    Posted 08-19-2023 07:18
    Hi everyone, Ira, Carrie and our new members especially....

    I too am 73 and 5 years since my surgery for Open Heart Surgery.
    The 73 years passed super fast and the last 5 especially, and I have lots of issues with unhealed sternum bones and ribs bones that shake and rattle if I am doing too much in the garden or house cleaning.  

    I have also increased my oxygen level by using the Voldyne that was given to me after the OH Surgery.  I was released with tubes of oxygen because of a 90 Blow Reading on the Oxygenator, but I gave the oxygen up and only use the Voldyne now and am up to 95 or even 96 for a healthy reading.
    I had never tied the lower oxygen level in my body, but it played a significant part  in how my thoughts and feelings went, and my level of gumption that I especially need.  The addeded higher number in my oxygenator has made the difference in my attitude and ability to paint and garden every day
    There never is as much time in the future as there was in the past. We can get hooked on the past many times because it is safe, and it has already happened to us.  The mind is a wonderful thing, but it can also fool us and make us yearn for the past that we know, but not the beautiful future that is waiting for us...
    I also do YouTube School, many teachers from Harvard, Canada, India and Stanton who have had patients with low levels of sadness or regrets.  
    I am reading Neil Gaiman now on YouTube and he said Writing is the key to any recovery...Write every day, leave your friends and family little notes like " I am here, I am still here" and celebrate every breath and second.

    Have a great weekend everyone, and Ira it is wonderful to see you still so healthy and happy......MEM

  • 7.  RE: First Post - Widow Maker Survivor

    Posted 08-19-2023 11:30

    Congratulations on your daughters, Carrie!  It was not so long ago that I was sending my daughter off to college.  Enjoy all the great days to come as well as the inevitable struggles.

    Folks, Alan Watts once said that a sense of time is a function of living either in your memory of what you believe was your past experience or what you believe might be your future experience, but that the sense of time doesn't exist at all in the now. When you truly live in the present moment, in the eternal now, time disappears from your consciousness.

    It strikes me how analogous this is to the concept of time dilation in modern physics. Basically, as you move faster relative to an outside observer, time slows for you compared to the observer.  This actually has been measured to a minute extent when people fly on airplanes.  As you approach the speed of light, time dilates dramatically so that if it were possible for you to travel at the speed of light, time would no longer exist at all for you relative to an outside observer. 

    While it is impossible for any object having mass to reach the speed of light, your consciousness has no physical mass at all.  Release your consciousness to now and experience the disappearance of time as it achieves the speed of light.


    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ

  • 8.  RE: First Post - Widow Maker Survivor

    Posted 08-18-2023 08:40
    Dear friends, 
    I am new to the mended-hearts group and am appreciative of the posts I am reading. I agree with the idea of living each day fully, knowing that we have no idea how long or short our lives may be. I had a heart attack in April (12th) and my perspective on living and dying is different, and definitely more thankful and appreciative for each day. I, too, like the writer before me, take notice of nature, people, tastes, smells, etc. Mindfulness is the way I describe it for myself and it shapes each day. Peace and joy be with you all. Rich

  • 9.  RE: First Post - Widow Maker Survivor

    Posted 08-18-2023 09:36
     I had a heart attack in 2021 and experienced the same doom and gloom feelings afterwards for at least two months.  As a result I wasn't sleeping.  I went to bed but had terrible anxiety which I could not shake.  Even though my husband was here to support me, he wasn't able to help me shake off my anxiety.  I did seek professional help and it helped me stay focused on the present.  And my PCP prescribed a sleep medication.  But the bottom line is you have to stay focused on the present.  I think just the mere thought of someone caring enough to help me with my anxiety probably helped more than the meds.  It's all a mindset gig. Just my insight. And with that you become grateful.  

  • 10.  RE: First Post - Widow Maker Survivor

    Posted 08-16-2023 09:49
    I must have missed Andrew Sullivan's initial post in March which is too bad because I had a similar experience. My first MI (minor) was while swimming, not biking, but my second (major) was because I was resistant to the blood thinner they gave me. If he is still listening/reading, I'd be happy to discuss with him.
    Bob Levin

  • 11.  RE: First Post - Widow Maker Survivor

    Posted 08-16-2023 14:37
    Here's what I like. Get your "calcium score" and if that doesn't look good, check your LDL (the bad cholesterol). If that doesn't look good, get a statin plus a non-statin drug and you can get your LDL to 20 for regression of plaque buildup.