Going all serious on you all today. Talking a little about heart attack recovery. It’s something that has affected my life massively and it’s something that really needs speaking about. Nobody expects their friend or partner to suffer a horrific event at such an early age but alas that is exactly what happened to me.
There’s really nothing nice about it to be real, Ben had a heart attack on the 5th May 2016 at around 4am in the morning. He was working at the time, and he had quite a good, important yet strenuous job. The fact that he somehow managed to continue working, get down safely from a ridiculous height, return the hazardous materials to their safe place and ensure that his work colleagues were safe before notifying the security team of his pain is quite incredible really. And stupid.
Everything that has happened since that day has changed our lives completely and not necessarily for the better either. So I thought I’d share out story, the heart attack recovery process for us and some other great sources of information for anyone that may find themselves in a situation such as ours.
We had quite a long recovery process, in fact, as a couple we are still working on it now over 12 months later to be fair. It’s hard, but it can be done. Think of it as a nice comfortable middle class family losing everything, their health, their jobs, their house, their security, their friends and more and ending up at the bottom ready to start fighting again.
Trust me middle class Labour haters, when you unexpectedly hit the bottom, under this government there is no ladder to step back up or hand to hold. It’s a fucking fight, whether you’ve paid your 40% tax or not.
The first step of heart attack recovery was signing up and attending cardiac rehabilitation to help rebuild your body. We were advised that a heart attack is like the internal equivalent of being hit by a bus and your body just can’t take it. This meant that several times a week Ben had to attend the local hospital and work with the heart team there to build back his strength, balance and core all whilst trying not too pass out from all the medication he is now on.
The cardiac rehabilitation was a great help. It was a 13 week program and once he’d finished that he was able to join the local gym to continue the great work he’d put in. He had a grand total of 2 months off work as they decided that they weren’t going to pay him full pay even though he had a heart attack whilst on site at 4am in the morning after 21 straight nights of 12 hours a time. Hmm.
The great thing was that they promised the Ben wouldn’t go back on night shifts while he was in recovery. Unfortunately that was a lie and he was put back on the night shifts after 2 weeks of returning. Three weeks later at the end of August, a few days before we were due to go camping in the Lake District he suffered another heart event.
While the above was happening I had left my previous dead end job of 8 years to try something new. So I was attempting to look after him and juggle the demands of a new full time job and arrange the kids around all that as it was the summer holidays.
After the second event Ben was left unable to walk to the front door, or anywhere in fact. His body just couldn’t take it. We were advised to apply for PIP, the joke of the DWP. This caused us 200% more stress then everything else just because it’s absolutely disgusting how these arseholes treat people that need help.
Anyway, let’s jump October, it was all too much. Pushing Ben around the local supermarket I had my first panic attack in years. Full on hyperventilating, shaking, heaving, crying, curled up on the floor style. I had to quit my new job and went on a course of anti-anxiety medication as well as having to take beta-blockers to lower my heart rate. I’m still on these tablets now. Ben was then made redundant on medical grounds.
So there we were, just over a month or two until Christmas, both without a job and no idea how we were going to pay our bills, run our car, keep the house over our head.
I’m going to leave it there, the recovery is a long process, I’m not saying everyone’s experience is as crap as ours after a serious trauma like this but wow what a year we’ve had.
Ben is doing so, so well now, he can walk around, do a few things independently, goes to the gym and has an amazing outlook on life, like myself. We’ve completely changed our whole lives over the past 12 months even during the crap times. Food, health, fitness is all SO important and we’ve been focusing really hard on improving every aspect. Also ensuring we educate the children on why it’s so important too.
And although I now suffer with some serious mental health issues and Ben has heart disease, an abdominal aneurysm and suffers with a few infections and viruses regularly we are building back up and we WILL take over the world.
There are so many ways that you can look after yourself to help prevent heart disease.
- Don’t binge drink
- Don’t take drugs
- Don’t smoke
- Eat well
- Manage stress effectively
I’m planning on doing so many more posts relating to heart disease, recovery, prevention, etc as it’s played a HUGE part in my life over the past year. I wouldn’t be the person I am now if these bad things hadn’t happened and of course I wish it hadn’t. However, we wouldn’t be as happy and fulfilled as we are now if it hadn’t of happened. So… are you going to wait for your wake up call or are you gonna change before it’s too late?
The British Heart Foundation are one of my supported charities and you can find out so much amazing information relating to heart issues from their website. Take a peek, share the page, donate to their cause.
– Emma –
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I’d really appreciate the feedback.
If there is anything you would like me to write about please feel free to email me!