Jul 24
jmarpeaches
jmarpeaches , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog

spouse newly diagnosed with congestive heart failure

My husband just got diagnosed with congestive heart failure.  We are stlll waiting on the stress test and the nuclear scan to tell us how bad i guess.  We feel so lost and worried.  He has an apointment with the cardiologist next week. 
1 Comment
  • ModeratorCate
    ModeratorCate,
    Hi, I will never forget how I felt those first days; right after diagnosis. It came as a shock to us as we thought,, as did my PCP, that I had asthmatic bronchitis. When the reality was a viral infection had damaged the pumping function of my heart. And just like that I was a Critically ill Cardiac Patient. The fear of the unknown. Being told my heart was failing and there was a chance I would not make it three months. The look in my husband's eyes. The Fear. Knowing that in that moment our life had changed. As the patient, the first year of life as a cardiac patient was a terrifying, chaotic blur. It was as if we were on a runaway roller coaster. It's now been 3 years 7 months. Though my heart function has improved I have a pretty poor quality of life.... And while its very hard to admit this, so does my husband. Like most caregivers my husband is a victim of my illness. I know he would do anything he could to help me; to get me better. I know that because we've (together) read everything, We fought night and day to understand this disease and make the changes necessary for me to survive. This is not meant to be a "downer" post. But it is the reality of our life. The first thing we were told was to BREATHE... I don't know the extent of your husband's chf, but LEARN everything you can about the disease. KNOW that a person with CHF can and many times does GET BETTER. You, as a spouse/caregiver can play a pivotal role in your husband's care. Go into the doctors appointment with questions written down so you will remember to ASK. And make certain that before you leave the office you UNDERSTAND what is going to happen next and why. Make certain you develop a PARTNERSHIP with your husband's Doctors. Communication and Trust will be crucial in his care and self -management of his chf. If you aren't able to get the information you need and the support you deserve, get a new doctor. I've been blessed that the 2nd Cardiologist who came into my life is still our main doctor 3 years later. KNOW that the stress and crises that make up the life of the "Newly Diagnosed" will calm down. You will be not only a wife , friend, companion, but now you will also become your husband's advocate and caregiver. You and your husband will find a "New Normal" and somehow make peace with the CHF that has invaded your life. I can't say that I know how it feels to watch your spouse go through seemingly endless tests and procedures. Or that I understand the quiet desperation I sometimes see in his eyes. I do know that in the early days what he mostly expressed was fear. Fear and Sadness I know I spent those first days quietly acknowledging and pondering my mortality. Watching, almost as an observer while I was poked and prodded. Staring at the monitor with all of their lines, their numbers, their alarms. . It was pure fear. Fear and Anger. Here is a link to the story of my journey as a "Newly Diagnosed" Cardiac patient. https://myheartsisters.org/2016/07/24/how-why-me-turns-into-why-not-me/#more-38924 I pray your journey will be less bumpy. But a journey it is. I used to wonder why people with serious cardiac illnesses (like in cancer patients) are called SURVIVORS. No more.
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