cfjohann
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cfjohann, April 11,  2021  5:01pm EST

New to the Support Network, CHF caregiver 3 months

Hello everyone,

My husband was officially diagnosed with CHF 1/27/21. It appears he had COVID early 2020, which explains his being ill off and on throughout 2020. It starrted getting constantly bad the end of October, by late November in to December he could hardly get out of bed without being exhausted. He had a chest X-ray mid Janurary (to look for pneumonia) which is how they found his enlarged heart. His Echo was 1/27 with a diagnosis of an EF of 14, he had his LifeVest 3 days later. I have a support network with family and friends but helping him, doing things around the house he normally would do, helping care for grandkids, taking care of my mother-in-law, helping my adult daughter with her medical issues and working part-time it's a bit much. Family and friends offer support when they can, their lives are also busy and complicated. I've always been the caregiver for friends and family, I've always prided myself on it and could handle anything, no matter how many directions I was being pulled. Not this time, I feel I am failing everyone, especially my husband. I am being told I am doing a great job by all and I am allowed to be worried and scared. I guess I need to practice what I've always preached and take a little time to myself but then I feel guilty. I'm finding it hard to listen to myself and acknowledge I am doing a good job caring for my husband and I can't be everyone's everything and that's not failing. I'm also finding it hard to let him do things when he feels well enough, I need to trust he knows his body and will take a break when needed. Thanks for listening! Sending good thoughts to all!

3 Replies
  • AHAModerator
    AHAModerator, April 11,  2021  6:18pm EST

    Hello there,

    Thank you so much for reaching out to the Support Network and sharing your experience. I am so sorry that you and your husband are experiencing this. I understand that the road ahead may not be easy, but your husband is lucky to have you by his side. I hope that you can foster a sense of community and solidarity here on the support network with others who have had similar experiences. 

    Here are a few resources I can share with you about Caregiver Resources, Ejection Fraction Heart Failure Measurement, and Communication Tips for Caregivers.

    Please keep us updated on how you and your husband are feeling.

    Best wishes,

    AHA Moderator

  • JamesPL
    JamesPL, April 12,  2021  7:16pm EST

    Don't ever feel guilty for making time for yourself. It is so critically important for both of you because without you being at your best whenever possible, your husband would also suffer. It is remarkable that you have provided the care you've given for so long. It is not easy and would wear on anyone. On those times when he can do things for himself, you might want to give him some space. It would make him feel better about himself and give you a much needed break!

    Best of luck to both of you!

    Jim

  • Judy83059
    Judy83059, April 14,  2021  12:19pm EST

    Just reading all that you do is overwhelming! 

    As you wrote, and others have written, it truly is important to make time for yourself. There's no need for you to feel guilty. How does your husband respond when you manage to get time away from all of your responsibilities? If he undersatnds your need, could he even encouarge and affirm you in this?

    It's so hard to step back and give up control. You may experience that when you try to get away or when your husband wants to do things for himself. Perhaps you can look at his desire as a blessing. So many disabled people either aren't able to help themselves or don't want to.

    Hope this helps a little!

    Judy

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