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Hi- Sorry for long post. It's my first and I'm looking for advice. I'm 44 and my husband is 55. We're both healthy and active, but my husband went into full cardiac arrest in the passenger seat of my car as a result of a 99 and 100% blockages of both left arteries. Yup, the infamous widow maker. We were lucky-incredibly so. I pulled over, called 911, was talked through chest compressions and after AED and help by the paramedics and 2 stents, my husband lives today. He's going to cardiac rehab, even though he feels out of place (his age and fitness level vs. others) He was an elite athlete and overcoming the physical portion of his cardiac event is not what has me overwhelmed and anxious. It is the mental and emotional side of his recovery. Yes, he has risk factors: moderately high BP and cholesterol despite healthy lifestyle and hereditary factors.....but the real culprit (IMHO) is how he manages stress. He doesn't. He just holds it in. His dad, whom he inherited the cardiac issues, passed away from a short battle with CJD on the day of my husbands hospital discharge. They were close as adults and the family considers my husband a "copy" of his father.Yet, my husband walks around like nothing has happened to him. Even prior to his heart attack he showed all the signs of depression and even more so now. Not surprising-we moved cross country a year ago. New house, new jobs, new friends, COVID, etc. Anyone here have any advice for me in trying to convince to get professional help short of delivering ultimatums? I'm addressing my anxiety and seeing a professional next week, but my husband refuses. Apparently, he's the only person whom therapy doesn't "work" for...(sorry, sarcasm). I'd love to hear from other survivors and their caretakers...I just don't know if I can watch him slowly kill himself, which is how this feels. TIA
AHAASAKatie, July 31, 2020 8:59am EST
I am so sorry that you both are having to manage this. It is good that you are here talking with us and also seeking professional help to work through your concerns regarding all that has happened. This has to have been traumatic for you as well. Giving your husband CPR, waiting for the EMTs to arrive and concerns during his surgery and recovery- that is a lot to have to manage. I am sharing the information we have related to caregivers for you as well.
Your husband has also been through two traumatic experiences, the STEMI and the loss of his father. Please share your concerns with the therapist and together you may be able to create coping mechanisms that will help you both.
Please know that we are here for you, to support and encourage during this time.
BrianG, August 3, 2020 11:55pm EST
55 former athlete here....100 blockage aka widow maker at the gym lol...same as ur guy...healthy , ok cholesterol, moderate high BP but genetics n family history etc etc but ****. I actually asked my cardiologist for a psych referral but after perhaps 4 months of anxiety during rehab..... my family has anxiety issues so wasn't new to me....sadly I don't think u can force therapy on some one...they need to be open to it....perhaps just try to talk to him openly, directly ...... I too felt odd at cardiac rehab as I was at least 10 to 20 yrs younger than the group n was a fit former athlete ...and knew abt a healthy diet etc.....is he here in the forum with u ? this forum help me enormously with my anxiety..... I would even be open to talking to him if he wants.....again it's tough ....we have spent our whole life forming our ways of dealing with stress....can't expect it to change over night...even after a horrific event as u both experienced....not sure if any of this helps..... best of luck !
LuckyDucky, August 11, 2020 2:06pm EST
I too am a SCA x 2 and widowmaker survivor. I found this booklet to be of infinite value for understanding what I was going through. It should help you as well.
Observations of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest Survivor or What I Wish I'd Been Told When I Was Discharged