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Need Help With my Anxiety as a Caregiver
My husband has Heart Failure and he does not seem to be getting better after a three month diagnosis. I woud like to correpond with other spouses who are in the same situation. The stress and anxiety I feel are hard to deal with, if I had someoe to write to who is in the same situation, I think it would be helpful, I think we can help each other in this most difficult time. It is doubly hard with the corona virus which keeps me home all the time. I am afraid to go anywhere with the fear that i might bring the virus home. I look forward to hearing from you, and helping each other !
LMS79, May 11, 2020 6:39pm EST
Hi. I’d be happy to be your email support. Not sure how to safely exchange emails through this site, though. My husband has been through various stages of heart failure for 16 months now.
helplease, May 11, 2020 7:02pm EST
Thanks for responding., LMS79 ! Maybe we can write each other through this site. I feel so overwhelmed with all of this, and so anxious. Have you had the same reactions ? If so, how have you been able to keep yourself on a even keel ? I try to be strong for him, but I am so afraid that he will pass away. 16 months is a long time, so I know that your husband has weathered the storm, as have you, and I hope you are able to give me some suggetions that have worked for you. Thanks !
AHAASAKatie, May 12, 2020 8:45am EST
Good morning, I am so sorry that you are having to manage this. I can share two pieces of information, resources for heart failure, and resources for caregivers. The role of caregiver can be daunting and I know this is hard for you.
I did read in the conversations that you both are interested in exchanging emails. If you want, send your usernames and emails to us at SupportNetwork@heart.org and we can put you in touch with each other.
Please know that we are here for you and do understand how hard this is. Best Katie
JKViggiano, May 12, 2020 12:21pm EST
Hi Helplease. I have been my husband's caregiver for 12 years. His story is different--massive stroke at age 51--but caregiving has defined me ever since. I remember the stress and anxiety of those early days. Horrible. We had children at home and everyone looked to me for answers and reassurance. The load was overwhelmingly heavy.
I cried in my closet. I cried and pleaded with God to save me or take me because it was all too much for me. It was a huge relief as I learned to hand it all over to God and let Him do what was best. I could only do my best for my severely disabled husband and my terrified kids. I had to pull myself together before I left the closet--everyone was looking to me for strength so I needed to project some assurance.
It took me a couple years to fully understand that our old life was over. We started building a new life that included disability. It was hard, it was lonely, and it took time. Even after 12 years, we continue to work on recovery. Our new life is good! Different, but good.
Try to do something fun every day. Our thing was walking in the afternoon. We looked forward to it and it was good for us. We smelled the flowers. We waived to people driving by. It made each day livable.
I encourage you to do your best each day. Try not to look ahead. Today is your day.
helplease, May 12, 2020 12:45pm EST
To JKViggiano = Your words came to me at just the right time. i was sitting in front of my computer, crying my eyes out saying how am I ever going to manage this ? i will try to do the best I can each day, and know that I will often feel overwhelmed and alone, but know that I am doing the best that I can, and try not to look ahead, as you said.. I pray often and ask for strength to keep going on; my husband does not need to see me crying; that only makes him feel worse. This is the new reality - not one that I like, but what is. I need to accept it, and do the best that I can. I often wonder why we have to deal with such things. I do not know what the answer is to that. I wish we could go back to the way things were but this is the new reality, Me crying serves nothing. Thanks for writing me, and caring for me. Your words meant a lot to me. I wish the best for you, and your husband.
06CareBear, May 12, 2020 2:08pm EST
I totally understand as my husband is going through Congestive Heart Failure and his heart is only functioning at 20% and it is hard to see him every day with his struggles.
helplease, May 12, 2020 5:56pm EST
To 06CareBear: Thanks for writing ! It is very helpful for me to hear from others who are in the same shoes, as me. It is hard not to feel alone in thiis difficult time. Hope things will get better for you, and your husband.
Cynthiaa, May 13, 2020 10:44am EST
I am so sorry to hear about the struggles you are experiencing with caring for your husband with chf. As a caregiver for both of my parents, I experienced some of what you have. I do frequently experience anxiety as my mom struggled with chf. The biggest lesson that I have learned as a caregiver and the greatest gift I could give was to be there to offer help in what ever circumstance my parents needed it.
You are extremely giving and are doing great work to help your husband. I am in awe of your strength. Please know we are here to support you.
helplease, May 13, 2020 11:41am EST
Thanks, Cynthia. I appreciate your kind words, and support. Each day is hard for me, but I am doing the best I can. Hope your family is well !
steflou, May 16, 2020 11:57am EST
My husband had a major heart attack in 2017. I know the new catch phrase is a "new normal" with this virus and I hate to use it but you will eventually establish a new normal in your household when limitations are learned and a routine is established for follow up care. I know that each day given for us is valued more than it was pre heart attack. But that doesn't mean that some of those days aren't really hard.