Heart Disease Community
When Your Heart Won’t Let You Work
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This patient support community is for discussions relating to angina, angioplasty, arrhythmia, bypass surgery, cardiomyopathy, coronary artery disease, defibrillator, heart attack, heart disease, mitral valve, pacemaker, PAD, stenosis, and stress tests.

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When Your Heart Won’t Let You Work

I had spent the whole morning monitoring my heart rate.  I began to obsess over the number of palpitations I’d experience.  Forty-one in one minute – my all time best!  Since I was at work, however, I had to snap to and focus on the task at hand.  Smile - answer phones.  Smile - fax document.  Smile - hide my suspicion that I was having a heart attack.  Few can understand how difficult it is to pretend everything is ok when you believe you might be dying.  Nonetheless, I was at work; what was I to do?

I know there are many of you out there who know exactly what it means to experience chest pain while at work.  It’s as if you don’t know whether to panic or not.  You know it hurts but you convince yourself that its nothing; or worse, all in your head.  

As your heart rate skyrockets and the beads of sweat form on your brow, you begin to imagine the conversation you will have with your boss.  Is there a way to calmly tell him that you need to leave early today because you are having a heart attack?  Not in my experience.  That being said, you have to do something!!  

You start to panic and call home.  You hope for the reassuring voice of sanity on the other end.  Instead, you get the answering machine.  That’s ok; you know what you must do.  You take a deep breath and you knock on your boss’s door.

When It’s Time To Acquiesce
Telling your boss that you have heart trouble is bad enough; doing so with mascara-stained cheeks because you are freaking out is worse.  Trust me, I know.  

However, it’s a fact of life when living with heart disease.  There comes a time when each of us must make the decision to alter our current situation.  Don’t say it can’t be done; it can.  

When my heart suggested that I quit my job, I could have refused.  Practical reasons as to why this was an impossibility swirled in my head.  First, the ‘money hurdle’:

“I can’t quit!  We need the money!  What would the financial pressure do to my husband?”  Next, the ‘pride factor’:  “The office needs me!  They can’t so much as turn on the lights without me!”  And my personal favorite, the ‘denial roadblock’:  “I can push through this!  I have to! It’s not that bad!’

Reality Check
Whether I chose to stay on the job or not, life would go on.  Yet, when I put aside my pride and worry over an uncertain financial future, I came to one universal truth:

None of it would matter if I were dead.  

Life goes on.  Bills get paid, my husband copes (quite famously I might add), and the office functions and remains well lit.  Your career is a very serious thing.  Just remember the universal truth mentioned above.
  
Has your heart suggested that you rethink your career?  
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OK, but what are you taking to help with those frantic attacks? It is not helping your underlying MVD. You're not having a heart attack ( you've had many episodes like this before) but you are putting an un-needed stressor on your heart MV system. PVCs indicate that there is a problem with blood flow; are you taking a CCB? A lot would matter if you were dead; you would be missed by your hubby, friends, family. And you would be missed in getting your story out. In your words, we are in this boat together, but where you were, 5 years ago, and where you will be in 5 years is the mystery.I hope you will share more specific information that defines this MVD from the 'regular' heart CAD patients' trials.Joan.  
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