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HF carer support
Hi everyone- have just found you! I’m in England, husband in early 70s has had AF for many years and now pacemaker dependent for it. Meanwhile he has developed HF and is now having investigations and meds adjusted. My issue is he is active but gets puffed, he is overweight but cannot / will not take steps to lose weight, eat healthily. It’s almost as if he ignores it all it will go away! I feel very alone and isolated in my worry for him - anyone in a similar position or with suggestions for me to cope better? Thanks
AHAASAKatie, September 25, 2019 1:23pm EST
Good afternoon. Thank you for coming to the Support Network and sharing what is happening in your world. I know it must be very hard for you both at this time. Would you be willing to talk with a therapist to help you develop coping skills to help with the situation? Please know that many of our caregivers are managing these same concerns and have shared these concerns before. I look forward to reading more of what our members have to share as well. Best Katie
JamesPL, September 25, 2019 8:21pm EST
I think it is critically important that he have a serious conversation with his doctor if he is huffing and puffing while exercising. He probably has to exercise under some guidance. We have a program here called cardiac rehab in which heart patients are guided by physical therapists to slowly increase their exercise regimen. If you have that available to you, I strongly encourage your husband to enroll. You might also remind him that losing weight will have a positive effect on his struggling exercise program. Again, he really needs to consult with a physician.
I wish you both well!
jerzeycate, October 3, 2019 7:42am EST
Hopefully, things have begun to stabilize at your home.
A new diagnosis and new symptoms to deal with. I know how much fear, anxiety, and stress this brought into our home. I watched the toll that my illness took on my husband and understand what you mean when you say you feel so alone. There is no worse feeling in the world. Are there any local groups or services for families dealing with chronic illness? The more information you can gather, and the more you can share with others the more control you will gain over this blasted disease and the less alone you may feel
Since your husband has you, a doctor and an entire medical system to address his needs, I wonder who is addressing yours. It's easy to put all of your focus on your husband while putting yours to the side. But that won't be beneficial for either one of you. The best advice I can give you is do not ignore your own health and well-being. Simple things like making sure you get out of the house for a bit. If not every day, then a couple of times a week. Even a cup of tea with a friend can be a welcome break. If your husband is still too unstable to stay alone, ask a family member or friend to stop by and visit while you get some well needed time away..
As he begins to feel a bit more stable it may be easier to address the dietary concerns. Some simple steps are things like not adding salt to food preparation. There are so many wonderful herbs out there it won't be long before you'll wonder why you ever used it in the first place.
The heart.org website has wonderful resources in this area as well as resources for caregivers. I urge you to go through them and see if you find anything helpful.
Please let me know if there is anything else we can do to be of assistance.
Keep the faith... Take care of yourself.
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