Feb 26
simsimma771 , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog

Struggling to get my dad to do things

Hi everyone.  I am Kelly and my dad has had his life change drastically since the beginning of December.  My dad ended up having a bipass.  The night before he was to be discharged he went unrepsonsive for a few minutes.  Neurologically everything is fine, he was not expected to make it through the night.  He came through and did go to Cardiac Rehab but his issurance only covered 13 days.  Since he came home he has had a number of somatic issues as well as acute kidney failure.  He was doing well and then in the last two weeks he has decompensated.  He is sleeping all night and most of the day, his appetite is poor, he is moving around, and he refuses to seek any help for his depression and anxiety.  My mom is at her wits end as she is the primary care taker.  I don't know what to do.  I work full time as a mental health therapist and I feel helpless that I can't help my dad.  He won't leave the house unless it's for an appointment.  He can't afford to continue with PT or OT (an extraction occured on his primary hand) which is getting better.  He yells at my mom, won't allow her to go in to his appointments and refuses to listen to her or myself.  Please any feedback would be helpful.  
  • Btravis214
    It appears to me he has a hard time accepting his situation. Is your mom preaching at him and making the issue worse? Is he type A personality? Has he always been his own man? Independant? That are the ones that have had the worse time adjusting. Does he have a hobby or something he really enjoys? Try incorporating that into his actions. I think he thinks life is over and that is why he is responding as he is Give assurance and comfort to him and tell him its not over and he has many years ahead. The average life of a bypass is 10 to 15 years. Take it slow with him and let him move a long at his own pace. I have been there I think I know where he is coming from. Bill
  • sprayer1
    hi- i had a heart attack almost 2yrs ago, 100% blocked lad artery. after 3 days in E.R. i went home feeling weak & tired. the 1st 2 months were bad in the fact that yu are scared yu are goinbg tpo have another attack & my anxiety wrent thru the roof! after about 2 months of feeling this way i asked my doctor for some anxiety medicine & started walking. i walked first just around my house for 5-10minutes, now i walk at least 3 times a week a couple of miles or more. it has helped me feel better & stronger and with the right heart meds i do great. i also work as a painter which has kept me in shape & busy. i would strongly recommend that yu father talk to his doctor about his anxiety & maybye take some pills to help with it. it did wonders for me & after 2 months or so i stopped takeing them & just put more work into my exercise, i just didnt seem to need them but they helped me get to that point to feel that way. it will take time for him but hope he will walk or exercise even if it is just a little bit to start out. i wish him & yur family the best.
  • fluffy
    First of all: It is necessary to know the underlying cause of his decompensation: Is he in renal failure? Blood pressure low? Only a doctor can say. I, too, am a Mental Health Therapist, but therapists 'in the family' are persona non gratis, usually. We can help others, but not our family members. Although the HIPPA laws prevent you and your mother from consulting with your Dad's doctor: I have tried a method with non-compliant adults and adolescents, where I might "leave a Voice Message" for a doctor, stating that I know that we cannot "talk" or confer, but I am going to "talk at you" about serious issues regarding my father which he will not divulge to you. Then, I will leave a short message regarding the gravest concerns. You could also 'take by a one page list" of grave concerns on the day before your Dad's appointment, and leave with the doctor, asking that he not reveal his source. Other professionals will disagree with me on this one, and please don't take the time to do so, as a life-threatening situation trumps HIPPA and confidentiality rules. Although you say he "can't afford" to go to PT and OT: How can he afford NOT to go? Might involve taking money from savings, or finding a Silver Sneaker exercise program at a local Senior Center which is paid for by Medicare. It also might be time to enlist the aid of 'others', i.e. any family members who might have influence with him, i.e. his brother, your Pastor, a sibling of yours, etc., and do a kind, loving, but firm intervention with him: Let him know that you are not willing to sit by why he allows himself to extinguish his life.....I wish you so well, and hope that you and your mother can get help from Dad's doctors, and significant family/friends, to let him know that you cannot sit by quietly while he slips away from you. Tell him your love is stronger than his stubborn refusal. All of this and more, but I truly do think something "medical" happened to your dad when he began to go downhill: A small stroke? (need an EEG for that one) TIA? Something happened.........God Bless from Suzanne
  • hanscombecky
    If there is any way to get him back in Cardiac Rehab, it might help. Even if it isn't covered by insurance. The comraderie with others suffering the same issues is really priceless, it gets one out of the house, it helps structure the week, gives hope, and, of course, helps physically. My monthly rehab cost for 3 times a week is $37, and it is worth every penny.
  • steedo
    Hi Stroke Bloke here from down under in Aus. I think 'Btravis' is on the money and this follows that up. Heart is not my experience except for Atrial Fibrilation [which probably caused my stroke] however I speculate psychological recovery is similar. I think your dad is going through a grieving process; grieving for the person he was before the event. This involves all the classic elements of grief for a loved one - only more intense as one lives with it 24/7. Shock, Anger, Depression, Denial. Hope can bring about Acceptance. The secret is to find things that make him feel VALUED as a person, whatever that may be [ I don't Know the intricacies of his life- only you,he and family can work that out]. Then he needs to be steered toward what he can still get joy from. Prior to event for me;I was a larger than life , nothing I couldn't do and I had done most of it, a legend in in my own mind! What turned the corner for me was my grand daughters 6 and 4 who innocently laughed at how I talked and that they could lift my leg and it just dropped down- they still loved me and wanted to connect with me. That was helped by the adult family, wife and kids not treating me as hopeless and a woe is us approach. They mocked my speech too but acted as though this was just a bump in the road and refused to join me in my grief! The kids later told me my wife cried a lot but never in front of me she and they just carried on and took it in their stride. pushing a wheel chair or getting dressed was a humorous not sad event. Good Luck
  • Free2Day
    Sorry to hear about your dad's challenges. I too am in serious condition, two heart attacks, 8 years in heart failure, end stage for the last two years and may have suffered my third heart attack last week. Your dad's irritability comes from his meds...my meds made me the same way. It changes your personality in a negative way as well as make you feel bad or worse. But i had to concentrate...focus on catching myself from blowing up at my wife or loved ones over trivial issues...it's tough but it can be done. I finally went to another heart doc and told him these meds are making me feel worse than the heart attack. (i was on 13 meds). He told me I was on Dinosaur meds...meds that isn't used anymore for my condition. He reduced the meds from 13 bottles to 4. I began feeling great and my temperament improved. I also had issues with kidney's failing...my doctor changed out my meds that were hard on my kidney's. You should look into this for your dad. Be patient with your dad, share with your Mother "it's the meds" when your dad is in rare form....allow time to heal his heart and issues. It will come. Be Blessed.
  • Wallyd1
    Has he had the TEST for CPAP....I was just outfitted with one and just this week my 50 year old...also! He sounds very much like a candidate...I had no idea I needed one but my cardiologist suggested I take the test and sure enough very much needed one! I'm 75 and had 1 heart attack on Jan. 25, 2016.
  • sgaunt
    I encourage you and your Mom to somehow speak to the doctor about your concerns via telephone.
  • Sownman
    I had a problem with taking out the fear and frustration of my heart failure on my wife. There was nobody else to blame and I didn't Yet see there was no blame. Me if anything, but not me either really. It's difficult to go from feeling strong And healthy to weak and dependent. It requires an attitude change. That change must come from within. He needs to developers an attitude of gratitude, a focus on the good he has rather than the parts that are missing. You and your Mom can't force him into this but you can nudge his thinking with affirmative statements.
  • ActiveLarry
    Kelly, Please contact me, through the AHA site, or directly at cardiacrecovery@gmaillcom. After my bypass surgery, still hospitalized but in recovery and out of ICU, nurses referred to me in whispers as the miracle man. I had no long term prognosis, but have survived and thrived. ActiveLarry
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