Been awhile since I've posted but I need some advice from a group who knows what it is like to experience a cardiac event. I'm in a rut and I can't seem to get out of it.
In January of 2019, I woke up and felt fine. Made coffee and was working on emails when I passed out. When I came to, I sat there for a few minutes thinking I just wasn't awake. Minutes later, I passed out two more times. Got to the hospital, and while they were running tests, I went into asystole (12 seconds). They rushed me from radiology into the ER and I had a second episode (another 12 seconds). The cardiologist was standing over me when I came to and told me I was in complete degree heart block and needed a pacemaker. Within minutes, they were moving me into an ambulance, sent a nurse from the hospital to ride with EMS (in case I went into cardiac arrest), then they transported me to a cardiac center 20 miles away. Within two hours, I had a pacemaker. They even let me go home the next day. My recovery went smooth and all of my interrogations since then have turned out fine. My EP did put me on Metoprolol which I've been on since that time.
A year ago I was having some issues with chest pain. The cardiac catherization showed a 60% blockage of the left artery. The doctor said no intervention was necessary and they would treat me with meds and keep an eye on it. All of my bloodwork this past year has been great. My bad cholesterol went way down and the good went up. My routine cardiologist seems to be really happy with the reaction to the meds.
From time to time, out of nowhere, my heart will race like I'm running for my life. I'm sure a lot of it is anxiety. Even the doctor has said he feels anxiety is the contributing factor to a lot of the episodes. Three weeks ago, my BP was high (I could hear it in my ears) and he put me on Lisinopril which has leveled it out. But this past Saturday, I ended up in the ER with palpitations. While it was happening, it felt like someone was driving a sword from my chest through my back. Just to be safe, I went to the ER. The ECG showed tachycardia, but after three hours and a myriad of bloodwork, the doctor let me leave when my HR was around 80. The ER doc said she thought I was fine. I have a follow-up with my regular cardiologist this coming Friday (not because of this episode -- it is part of my six month routine check-ups).
I am riddled with anxiety. Every..single..day. I am not making excuses, but before I had the PM, I lost my parents in a short amount of time, six months later my 22 year relationship busted up, then our dog died a few months beyond that, and I became almost reclusive. I acted as if things were fine but I was suffering. Then bam, the heart issue and the PM. My neighbor who is a nurse for Hospice swears I was in broken heart syndrome which led to the cardiac issue.
I'm functional. I work and do what I need to do daily. But every single day, several times a day, I keep thinking that my heart is going to fail me. Every little twinge makes me think it's my heart. When my heart picks up speed (like it did Saturday and landed me in the ER) I automatically think the worst. Even though it is going on three years since the asystole and PM implant, it seems like it just happened. A friend I confided in says he thinks I have PTSD from the day I went into asystole and the whole situation. He's encouraged me to get therapy to help myself get out of this funk I'm in. But so far I've resisted thinking I can handle it or it will go away. Obviously I'm not handling it. Here I am. Some days I feel ike I'm hanging on by a thread.
So I'm here to ask if anyone has gone through therapy or gotten counseling after your cardiac event. And if you did, was it helpful? If I thought it would help, I would do it. But if I'm just going to sit around and tell some stranger about the day it all happened, and not figure out how to get past it, what's the point of the time and money?
If you've been through therapy after your cardiac event, whether it was a month later or 10 years later, I'd like your feedback.
Thanks in advance!