She had been experiencing regular headaches and stress, at one point thought her blood pressure machine must have been broken. Who’d have thought about a heart attack.

Constant headaches and stress

Sara was fit, healthy and ate a good diet. She had been experiencing regular headaches and stress, at one point thought her blood pressure machine must have been broken. Living in Bristol, she left for a meeting in London, had an early telephone meeting at the station. Then she went on to her business meeting that was the reason for travelling. She has a sense of dread, and indigestions, but didn’t want to draw attention to herself. She continued all day until the end of the meeting when a friend mentioned she didn’t look too well at all.Then being all British about it asked for help as she knew that there was something seriously wrong.

When she arrived at hospital they really didn’t think she was a candidate for a heart attack so they were focused on bringing her blood pressure down which was sky high at that time.  Sara was indeed having a heart attack caused by a blood clot. She was in disbelief; how could she be having a heart attack she has two young children.

At first, she was so poorly that the distance from home didn’t matter but as time passed and she felt better she missed her partner and children. It was the first time she had been away from them and was grateful to the technology that allowed her to normalise what was happening for her young family.

Finding the positive

Sara sees her heart attack as being quite fortuitous as whilst she did have an angioplasty, she didn’t have any stents but they did find she had a bicuspid valve. She feels lucky that this was found while she was young as she can keep herself healthy and fit with exercise along with managing her stress levels. If it hadn’t been found until later in her life her prognosis might be different.

Going back to work can be complicated and worrying, Sara tells me how it was for her and what she found difficult.

We talk about how at first Sara was feeling okay during her recovery but how some 6 months later she is finding things a little more difficult emotionally and has experienced bouts of tears.

Tips and tricks for heart attack recovery

She gives her tips and tricks about how she stays happy and buoyant. Interestingly it includes her favourite shot glass.

Her children were very important and she wanted them to understand in childlike terms. She talks about a book she found published by the British Heart Foundation. How it helped her explain her heart attack to her children. Make sure you listen to find out more.

My Dad’s Heart Attack Free Downloadable Book. There are many other resources for children that are living with heart disease too.  

During our chat Sara also mentions a couple of Facebook groups. These helped her on her journey, you can find them here.

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013 Interview with Sara Bushnell – Having a heart attack at work far from home and an important discovery
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