Husband just had a heart attack. :(

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jwa81
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2015
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 12/1/2015 9:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone,

My husband is 44 years old. Over this past weekend, he developed gradually worsening chest pain and then developed nausea and vomiting. He finally couldn't take it anymore and went to the ER, where he was admitted for a chest pain rule out. He is diabetic and overweight and has a family history of cardiac disease (his mother had her first heart attack right at his age). His EKGs and troponins were all completely normal, but his magnesium was critically low at 1, so they repleted it with IV magnesium. He had a Lexiscan stress test this morning, which showed that he, in fact, suffered a heart attack. His ejection fraction on the right was 55% and on the left was, I believe, around 45%. There was also evidence of some ischemia. Tomorrow morning, they are taking him to the cath lab to see exactly what is going on and to see if they can do anything there to help him. If they can't, I guess the next step is a bypass, which we are praying won't be necessary. He has also been undergoing workup for gallbladder issues (in fact had an upper endoscopy scheduled this week) and he has had classic gallbladder symptoms for quite some time now, so we honestly thought the chest pain was related to that as that is a very common symptom. Both my husband and I work in healthcare, but we are not cardiologists and we are not experts by any means. Has anyone been through this before? I'm a complete mess and worried sick over this. My husband is my best friend and I just want him to be okay. Can anyone offer any words of advice or encouragement?

Franklen
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 12/1/2015 10:57 PM (GMT -6)   
jwa81 said...
He is diabetic and overweight and has a family history of cardiac disease (his mother had her first heart attack right at his age).

Tomorrow morning, they are taking him to the cath lab to see exactly what is going on and to see if they can do anything there to help him. If they can't, I guess the next step is a bypass, which we are praying won't be necessary.

He has also been undergoing workup for gallbladder issues (in fact had an upper endoscopy scheduled this week) and he has had classic gallbladder symptoms for quite some time now?


You really have to wait until they take a look.... but I'd think you are a bit too fast on thinking bypass.

What ever the out come, from your above description, the history, the diabetes, the weight, that gallbladder, and family history, it appears your husband is in for a total lifestyle change. Huge changes in diet and exercise are in store. Just taking a bunch of pills won't be doing the job he needs. You'll need to take the meds AND still make huge changes. You'll have to do it together as a team.

Come back and let us know what the results are...

This time tomorrow you'll know a lot more. Hang in there.

jwa81
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2015
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 12/1/2015 11:01 PM (GMT -6)   
I definitely agree about the lifestyle change. I feel like this was more of a warning than anything else. I am actually a certified personal trainer and I'm heavily into health and fitness and I can help him in many ways. I always try to eat as healthy as I can, but I can't say that he always does the same, although I have seen him try. He is 10 years older than I am. We have practically an entire gym in our basement and even just got a brand new super high-tech treadmill that I have been nagging him to use. I just hope that everything will be okay after this heart cath and that he will be able to come home real soon and that we can start him on the path to a healthier lifestyle.

Post Edited (jwa81) : 12/1/2015 9:26:59 PM (GMT-7)


Franklen
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 12/1/2015 11:41 PM (GMT -6)   
jwa81 said...
I definitely agree about the lifestyle change. I feel like this was more of a warning than anything else. I am actually a certified personal trainer and I'm heavily into health and fitness and I can help him in many ways. I always try to eat as healthy as I can, but I can't say that he always does the same, although I have seen him try. .


As important as exercise is, what he eats will play a larger role in his outcome.
Every problem he has in linked. Weight, diabetes, heart disease, gallbladder.
You say you "try" and that you've seen him "try"...
Sorry to say, but the "trying" phase is over. With his family history, and now I'll assume, Type 2 diabetes, he is right on track for the biggest side effect of those two... heart disease. The single biggest risk of diabetes is heart disease...
Some people, with radical change in their diet, along with exercise, actually reverse their Type 2 diabetes, returning their blood sugar to normal, held in place with diet and exercise alone.

Come back and give us the results of his angiogram.. and what the docs are suggesting to prevent further incidents.

jwa81
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2015
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 12/2/2015 4:50 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes, diet definitely does play the biggest role. I am a certified personal trainer and a fitness nutrition specialist and also work in healthcare. It's about 80/20, being 80% diet and 20% exercise. Of course, trying is no longer going to be enough after what he has just gone through. However, his doctor also suspects that he may have a metabolic syndrome, which is genetic and, to be fair, his PCP has grossly mismanaged his care. He just saw a new gastroenterologist last week just before Thanksgiving, and he said that he should have had his gallbladder removed 9 years ago, which is when he first started having problems with pancreatitis. When he had his first attack of pancreatitis in 2006, gallstones were seen on an ultrasound, but nothing was ever done about it. He has had flare-ups of pancreatitis about once a year since then caused by elevated triglycerides. His new GI doc linked the elevated triglycerides to a dysfunctional gallbladder and was floored that no one ever removed it. A previous out of town gastroenterologist even sent his PCP a note 2 years ago stating that he needed his gallbladder removed after having many stones removed from his bile duct, which were causing a serious obstruction, but his PCP never followed through on this and essentially blew my husband off whenever he even mentioned his gallbladder. His new gastroenterologist said last week that he's fairly certain that we have a malpractice case. There are plans to remove his gallbladder after he has an upper endoscopy and an MRI of his pancreas, which were supposed to be happening this week, but now we are not sure if they will. It depends on what the cath shows this morning. This GI doc also said that my husband's PCP absolutely should have referred him to an endocrinologist and a weight loss specialist years ago, which this doctor is going to do once he has his gallbladder removed. He even said that he could have bariatric surgery performed when he has his gallbladder removed, which is something my husband is definitely interested in. In all fairness, my husband does try to watch what he eats and he does not overeat, but he doesn't always eat the healthiest things. I think, or at least hope, that this experience will be a wake up call to him to really buckle down.

Post Edited (jwa81) : 12/2/2015 2:58:01 AM (GMT-7)


jujub
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 12/2/2015 9:33 AM (GMT -6)   
Please inquire as to whether a cardiac rehabilitation program is available in your area. These are often offered at hospitals, and are a great jump start toward getting someone on a plan of regular exercise and dietary changes. Cardiac rehab at our local community hospital turned my couch potato husband into a regular gym user and changed our family's eating habits a lot. Good luck to you, and I hope your husband doesn't need bypass.
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jwa81
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2015
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 12/2/2015 4:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Unfortunately, I wasn't too quick to be thinking about bypass. He has a 100% occlusion and then an 80% one. Surgery is on Monday.

Melissuh
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Date Joined May 2015
Total Posts : 763
   Posted 12/2/2015 7:38 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm so sorry that he needs surgery! But hoping for a speedy recovery!! We're all here for you!
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Franklen
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 12/2/2015 9:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Sorry to hear that you need a bypass, although once done, they are better than stents.

After his surgical treatment, a complete change in lifestyle will be needed to keep the new grafts open and clear.
Bill Clinton had a quadruple bypass, didn't do the lifestyle change, and needed stents to keep the bypass clear.

After that scare Clinton went full-on with the lifestyle and diet changes.
No need to wait like he did before finally making the changes.

Good that your husband has you by his side. I know it is scary, but there are lots of people who live productive lives for decades after bypass.
I wish you well on Monday and in the weeks that follow.

Here is a article in a medical journal, written by a man who had bypass 33 years earlier.
Talks about the very real need for changes.
BTW he had his in 1977 and the article was written in 2010..
The technology and skill today is much better.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2900982/

jwa81
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2015
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 12/2/2015 9:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks everyone. He is home right now and goes for preoperative testing on Friday and then goes in Monday for surgery. We met with the surgeon this afternoon and he was very confident (98% confident, he said) that the surgery will go well and he will have great results. He said that he will be out of work the rest of this month and can probably go back in January. I know the surgeon is confident, but it's still open heart surgery and it's very scary to think that he will have to go through that, but I hope and pray that all will go well and that my husband will feel much better afterwards.
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