Stress Relief

Since my bypass surgery in February and then PM implanted in June, I seem to get stressed out a whole lot easier. I'll feel sick for two or three days. My cardiologist has told me there is nothing mechanically wrong with my heart. I've never had a heart attack. He tells me that I'll still have bad days from time to time but not to worry about them. He has told me to get my mind off how I feel and quit checking my bp all the time. He says when you check your bp too often you'll expect it to be high and that alone will keep it up. I believe him and think he's the best.

My problem is that I am having a hard time handling stress now. What are some of the ways or exercises that some of you use to help relieve stress?



Relieving Stress

by johng - 2007-08-28 01:08:03

Your body will take some time to recover from any surgical procedure. Stress is also a natural consequence of surgery.
Your doctor is absolutely right !. But, unfortunately, we still get anxious.
I found that light exercise, walking etc. was a great help.
On the occasions when this failed, my own doctor prescribed a sedative, (only to be taken when required).

This worked for me, and now (twelve months later) I have returned to a normal state of mind, but I'm MUCH healthier.
But you will find your own way.
Best of luck,

Stress relief

by Vai - 2007-08-28 01:08:11

Anxiety over one's health and the ensuing stress is natural but it need not dominate your life at this time. You cannot let it take control of you. Taking your BP frequently will stress you out. You will imagine all kinds of negative thoughts at the slightest change and that alone will cause you more stress and drive your bp up even worse. If you want to monitor your BP, do it on a regular day or week and time no more than twice per week, Record it and show your doctor. Don't be your own doc and try to read all kinds of fears and problems into the readings.

Prayer and reading scriptures is a great help. Focus on others. Find ways how you can help others. Research and share your get well, feel well ideas with others on this site.

Soon you will forget the PM is there. There are much more pleasant things in life than worrying about yourself.



by randrews - 2007-08-28 01:08:51

I have had real issues with anxiety since getting my pm 5 months ago. Like you doctor mentioned, the "body monitoring" is not always helpful, although it is normal. I have found that spending time talking with friends really helped me alot. Getting outdoors is helpful, prayer, and being on this site, along with what everyone else mentioned is also good. Try to remember that you need time to heal. That you will feel better with time and rest. How you feel today won't last forever. Give it time and stay connected here since the people here have also dealt with this.
I eventually took medication and saw a counselor which was very helpful for me.
Take care friend,


by Vicki - 2007-08-28 02:08:52

Hey Rick . I know exactly how you are feeling. I got my pacemaker in mid July. I asked my doc if I should buy a bp and pulse gizmo and he said "why?" Seemed like a reasonable thing to do. Then he said no, you don't need it. Didn't elaborate but am sure that he knows me well enough to know that I would be stressing and checking it constantly. Every time I feel a tad strange or off kilter I am manually checking my pulse. I've been getting short of breath at times I have to take these long deep breaths to get enough air..and I am thinking this is anxiety. Cause if I don't think about it, I don't feel the urge to take deep breaths. Anyway, I believe others have given you some good ideas about ways to de-stress. I find that when I am alone and idle, then my mind starts working against me. Good Luck to you.

Cumulative Stress

by RickSt - 2007-08-28 04:08:08

My stress isn't so much just PM related but a cumulation of this year. My bypass surgery, leg infection, walking pneumonia, a-fib, PM, wife having surgery 9/11, I return to work 9/11, have only worked 5 1/2 weeks this year, father figure passed away. It adds up to a really bad year so far.


Talked about them

by RickSt - 2007-08-28 06:08:41

But then considering I'm a truck driver we decided anti-anxiety drugs may not be such a good idea.


Oh How Well I Understand

by Vicki - 2007-08-28 06:08:55

Same here. Not just PM related. In fact, I'm getting used to the PM and have had no problems ...course the surgery and the anxiety of it all certainly effects me. I have numerous issues too. SVT (sort of like afib) 2 leaky valves which are getting worse, business problems, family issues, and more. This all adds up and like you everthing seems overwhelming sometimes. Good luck to your wife with her surgery and your return to work. Hope you start to feel better soon. Have you thought about talking to your doctor about an anti-anxiety medication? Just a thought.

deep breathing

by jessie - 2007-08-28 12:08:29

in thru the nose and out thru the mouth helps relax one. yes stop checking the b.p. all the time. definetely. also tense every part of your body one at a time beginning with your head hold for 5-to 7 seconds and let go. it is so relaxing. scrunch your neck up and hild that and then let go then arms everywhere. it will really realx you. take care jessie


by saragunther - 2007-08-28 12:08:49

Hello there Rick! I know how you feel.Believe it or not the pacemaker club has helped me to relieve alot of stress.When I get on to this site and read alot of things different people post it some how gets me out of my own head.The mind is like a dangerous don't want to go there alone.I also do yoga which I find very relaxing.Good luck to you! Sara

not a sign of weakness

by jessie - 2007-08-29 02:08:10

it is neither embarassing nor a sign of weakness to take antidepressants subscribed by your doctor. you don't need nor does it even involve a mental evaluation. they are not addictive like PAIN PILLS and SLEEPING PILLS. after heart problems the brain does not produce as much seratonin and some peole become depressed and benefit from an antidepressant. there are many on the market to-day that are safe when ordered by a competent physician.....jessie

Maybe misunderstood

by RickSt - 2007-08-29 04:08:33

I didn't mean to say I am depressed or in a depression. I just get stressed out more easily with everything that's going on. It's not a gloom and doom type thing. It's more of an anxiety thing. Thus my doctor telling me to chill out.

That was where I was going with my question. What do you all do to chill out or relieve stress? Maybe something I hadn't considered or tried before. All so far have been good answers: prayer, yoga, stretching, walking, listening to music, doing puzzles or playing games etc.

Also, part of the reason I posted this topic to begin with was that the major theme of the posts that day were stress related in one way or another. I wanted these answers not only for myself but for the others posting. Not as an answer to their particular post but something that would grab their attention and help. I wanted something current that newbies could look to before it gets buried in pages and pages archived posts.



by jessie - 2007-08-29 12:08:54

they are not addictive. look it up on the internet. the side effects are usually not an isuue jessie

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