Spouses of heart attack

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/16/2006 10:13 AM (GMT -6)   
Good Morning,
I guess I'll tell my story and I hope I don't run on too long but most likely will since I tend to be long winded.
My husband had a heart attack December 9th of 2005.  He's been diabled since 1992 with many back surgeries and spinal fussions.  And has chronic pain ever since the last surgery which his surgeon called a failure.  Well some days are good and others are just toooooo bad to talk about.  But he doesn't get awhole lot of excersise and does alot of sitting and laying around because he can find no comfortable position to stay in for too long.
For a number of years I've been trying to make him see that if he doesn't "try" to work threw the pain and get a bit of excersise he was going to have a heart attack.  He's 51 years old.  Too young for all this sitting around stuff.
Now I know for me to try to tell him to work threw the pain is absurd since I have no idea what the pain feels like or how intense it is.  I'm aware of that.  But I also know that he has to do something or we'd wind up right where we did on Dec. 9th.
In 2003 he had surgery for malignant melanoma.  It was a level 3
out 4.  He was lucky---very lucky.  They took out the lession and a couple of limp nodes and they had it all.  It hadn't spread to any place else.
On December 9th he told me he had terrible heart burn and while I was hunting for the tums he follows me to the bathroom and says he thinks it's more than heart burn because now it's down his arms and he's having trouble breathing.  I handed him a handful of asprin and dialed 9-1-1 and away we went.  Sure enough he was having the heart attack I'd been so worried about.
Well he was lucky yet again.  They did a cardiac cath and found an artery that was 95% blocked put a stint in and he's doing very well now.  No chest pain no arm pain.  He's sticking to the new diet and trying to get a bit of walking in.  He's not been released from the cardiologist yet but has big plans for changing his life when he is released.  Like joining the YMCA for swimming and such.  He's got a whole new lease on life.  Which is good!!!  Believe me I'm so excited by this new attitude.
My main problem is ME!!!!  I have nightmares about him having a bigger heart attack.  I see him in my mind falling to the floor whenever he gets up or goes down the basement stairs.  This is all in my mind.  I know this.  But it seems so real at the time.
Like I told him, the doctors and techs all worry about him.  Which is what they're suppose to do and I'd not change that for all the world but no one considers the trauma the spouse and family go threw at times like this.  So I'm dealing with it all by myself. 
I'm having terrible anxiety attacks.  Most days it feels like I'm having the heart attack, I cry all the time for the dumbest reasons.  Mood swings are a way of life for me.
In June of 05 my 48 year old brother didn't feel well so he took a nap and never woke up from that nap.  Turns out he had an artery that was 95% blocked and he had a heart attack during that nap and never woke up.  The anxiety attacks started for me then.  My doctor gave me anxiety medicine to get me threw that horrible period and now I eat my pills like they're candy.
My friends and family all think I'm blowing the whole deal out of porportion since I should just be happy that he lived and will improve.  I understand that and I am.  I can't begin to express how happy I am about that.  But the fear is still sitting in me and I find I can't get it gone.  I liken it to post traumatic stress syndrom. 
Why I'm going threw all this to you poor people is that I need someone to talk to that has been threw the same ordeal and maybe then I could talk about it and not have people look at me like I've lost my mind or something.
And YES I am considering going to the doctor for this but if he does what he did when my brother died, he's going to hand me some more pills to get me threw this time.  The pills help but what I want is to let go of the fear and do away with the pills.  I have high blood pressure and taking my medicine for that makes me nuts most days because I forget about them with work and all. 
Soooo folks that my sad sop story.  I'm sorry I rambled on as long as I did.  But I thank you for reading it.  And if anyone had any advice or wants to talk I'd be sooooo appreciative of that.  Thanks again  Vicky Hartman 

obs ann
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 679
   Posted 1/17/2006 3:04 AM (GMT -6)   

Dear Vicky,

I'm so glad you came back to tell us your story.  I confess my husband has not had a heart attack, but with his high blood pressure, I worry.

And the thing of it is, I battle anxiety, but not because of his high B/P.

But I wanted to reply to you, because you are not taking care of 'you' now.  And that is the same thing that you worried about your husband about.

Anxiety with High blood pressure is, well .... of course you know, like a match and gasoline.

You can seek out a Counselor.  You don't need a Psychologist necessarily, but at least a Licensed Counselor to talk to about your fear and whatever else that may surface during your talks with her. It's never enough to "just take pills"... but when you go to your Dr. (which I hope you will), I wouldn't turn down the pills, but just take them until you feel the Counseling has gotten you through the worst of these feelings and then 'taper' off of the medication as you feel better.

I don't think the worry will completely leave you, but he does have a better chance now that he is doing the right things.

When my husband is an hour late from work, I would worry.  When I'm watching the News before he gets home, and I hear there's been a 10 car pile up on the Hwy he takes home, I worry. 

Mother's worry about their children.  Children worry about their pets when they run loose a lot.  

Seems to be a part of life for us, but when it affects 'your health' ... it's time to take action for yourself, so you won't someday make him worry about you, while you're in the Hospital.

As you go through this, live each day making happy memories together for the future.  Laugh more together.  Be silly with him.  Make as many moments as Precious as you can ... because, someday, we'll all have to lose a loved one or spouce and we don't want to look back and think, "Why didn't I make life more fun, etc. while we could ?"

Worry has never added a day to anyone's life.  But it sure can cut life short.

Have fun together, in any way you can think of. 

In the meantime, see your Dr. for any suggestions he has, and a Counselor to see if you need to dig any deeper to other fears.

You'll be in my prayers Vicky.

Hope you'll keep posting and even on the Anxiety board if you feel to. 


Hugs, Ann


Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2003
Total Posts : 525
   Posted 1/18/2006 2:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Vicky!  I'm so sorry your going through all of this and Ann's advice is excellent!  Also, just posting here will be helpful just knowing your not alone with this and having a place to vent!  Sure has helped me!  Hang in there!  Hugs, Pat

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 1/20/2006 10:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Lorna, Ann, said it all. Im going to have my husband read her post, i have the heart problems, so he needs to read this also. It's always about me, i see clearly now how he must feel. He has been my heart for 35 years, he gives me support and tlc everyday. Its been 5 years since my 3 mi's. and by-pass, just haven't looked closly at all he must be going through. Thanks Ann, you sure opened my eyes. And welcome to the healing well this a great support site. I'll keep you in my prayers. DELTACECE

Post Edited By Moderator (Admin) : 1/26/2006 10:01:13 AM (GMT-7)

New Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 5/5/2006 6:56 PM (GMT -6)   
hi, this is my story, happy, yet sad,but shows only the lord knows.
 my husband had his heart attack when he was 25. we did not think about herdity. we had been married about 10 months. that was 19 years ago this month. a year later, he found out he had a blood clot, however they were able to dissolve it with coumadin.,he continuously had chest pain. he was hospitalized and the doctor diagnosed him with cardiomypathy. the damage had been done, and the bottom part of his heart was not working properly. he was given about a 5 year survival. in 1999, he was hospitalized again,(he already has bracycardia) and found out that he had episodes where his heart speeded up too much,tacycardia,and at night, it stopped, bracycardia. anyway,they put a 2 wire defibrillator in.,unlike pacemakers, it stopped the heart from going into cardiac arrest,and shocked it back into beating. the defibrillator malfunctioned and sent a jolt through him equivalent of standing in a mud puddle and holding onto an electric fence. later,they put in a three wire,and it does it's job,hoever sometimes he feels it and it knocks him down.
this week,he found out that his top part of heart is starting to shut down.,and he found out a few months ago,he has bronchitis and sleep apnea.and a high white blood count. doesn't look good, huh? well,anyway, sometimes i forget how sick he is,because he kept on going and working despite this. and chose God. having a heart attack,or any illness is not a death sentence,by any means.  i have another story of my 17 year old nephew with heart problems too, that is another story

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 216
   Posted 5/6/2006 1:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Im glad you told your story, it has helped me to understand what my husband and children must be going through. I have heart disease, and I have to admit I go through times when I feel sorry for myself. You helped me to understand that it isnt always about me and that they are suffering right along with me. Thank you for the new insite. God Bless you and your husband!

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