CJSchmitt
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CJSchmitt, September 8,  2020  2:55pm EST

I know I am not alone

My husband had a Non-STEMI last October 20th with subsequent emergency CABGx4 complicated by post-op AFib which has since seemed to resolve. His EF was preserved after his CABG, thankfully.  

He was 52 at the time and I was 50.  We had no idea prior to this that he had heart disease, no hypercholesterolemia, no hypertension.  He had asthma and sleep apnea.  He (and his doctors) always assumed his bouts of SOB were related to the asthma not being well controlled - looking back it was probably a signal about his CAD and CHF - hind sight!

Anyway, we are about at the one year mark and our lives have changed dramatically.  Things are tough.  He is healthy now, according to his doctors but he cannot do what he thinks he should be able to.  He is depressed by all the changes/restrictions to his lifestyle and suffers from anxiety - both understandable given his situation. He struggles to follow the diet and exercise regimen his doctors have prescribed and is both frustrated with himself for not doing it and angry that he has to. I am frustrated that he doesn't do what he knows he should; it irritates me to no end that he is willing to let himself go to an early grave and "abandon" the kids and me... that sounds harsh, but I don't know how else to describe it. 

There are days I tell myself (and him) that he might have survived his heart attack and surgery but I am not sure our marriage will.  There are just so many frustrations that if I started typing them all out, I could be here all day.  I know I need support. 

He is in counseling and 2 of our 4 children as well.  Me and the other children probably should be, but I am having a hard enough time keeping all the ***** in the air for everyone as it is, making sure that "life goes on" as normal as possible. 

I guess I am just here to hear someone else acknowlege that what I am going through is normal (I am sure it is) and that hopefully someday it will get better??  Or maybe it won't and I will just learn to handle it better?? 

3 Replies
  • AHAASAKatie
    AHAASAKatie, September 9,  2020  10:01am EST

    Good morning, caregiving is very very hard. I have a favorite article that I always refer others to when this conversation comes up. If you want, read this article on When Caregivers are Honest it Makes Folks Very Uncomfortable and see if that resonates with you at all. I also wanted to see if you are also in therapy, or are the two of you doing separated couples therapy to help? Please know that many of us understand where you are and support both of you. 

    Best Katie

  • JamesPL
    JamesPL, September 10,  2020  8:08pm EST

    I fully understand what you and your husband are going through. I had 5XCABG and was warned about depression prior to my surgery and encouraged to seek counseling afterwards. At the time I dismissed it and convinced my wife that it won't happen to me. She questioned me on that and I told her that I would be determined to get back into my exercise routine after the surgery. Even still, a couple of things I didn't expect. My recovery took longer than I anticipated and I did end up seeking counseling via online. I can tell you that the counseling was very helpful as they enlightened me to things I hadn't considered. I also became a little more patient with my recovery. I think it took me close to a year before I started to feel like myself again and I was being aggresive in my approach.

    Attitude is so important in recovery. You almost have to adapt a never quit mentality and make sure set backs don't derail the ultimate goal. Eventually your husband will get stronger as long as he continues to put in the work and stick to it. It's been years for me and other than a few occasional pains, I can do all the things I used to prior to surgery. Tell him to be strong and patient and good things will come.

    I wish you both all the best!

    Jim

  • CJSchmitt
    CJSchmitt, September 18,  2020  1:50pm EST

    Jim,

    Thank you for your reply!  It is heartening { that's just too good to pass up } to hear your success story.  I am truly hoping my husband can overcome this. We are nearly at the year mark and he still struggles to do what he once did.  He is easily exhausted when he tries to do what he used to and being a carpenter he is frustrated! 

     I appreciate your reply :)

     

    Christine

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