Can't get my head round this - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

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Can't get my head round this

mrsk06 profile image
25 Replies

Hi Totally new to all this!

My hubby who's 32, fit and active lifestyle had a heart attack on Sunday.... It just doesn't make sense! We have 2 boys aged 9 and 5 and even the Doctors are baffled as there were no risk factors so waiting for him to have a angiogram to see what damage there is... it just feels like our world has turned upside down. All i want to do is cry and looking after the 2 kiddies and work full time is pretty hard at the mo and with trips back and forth to is the 1st day i've not seen him and feel really guilty. Sorry for such a depressing post i need to talk about it and tr to understand it better...

25 Replies
Sina-6491 profile image

Hey honey,

The worse thing is when we don't know this is a problem in our body. Because we can't do anything about it.

Now I know it is a shock & really scary for you.

But the doctors know now & once they know, they can then deal with it. And believe me, the cardiac teams in the Uk are the best in the world.

He'll be on the correct medication which will help him to get strong again & that happens really quite quickly. The meds will prevent a repeat episode. So please don't worry. Believe itbor not, although he is only 32, that isn't as unusual as you think. He is one of the lucky one because they are onto it.

Please don't feel guilty about not visiting today.

This has hot to have been a huge shock to him, like yourself. So on exspireance I would say, he may be needing a little space right about now. Just to get his head around it all. When you are there, he will feel he has got to be brave, strong & support you. He wont want you to see him try to work it all out in his head. You'll both be needing a good nights sleep by now.

So if you have a bath at home & you have the chance to relax in it when the kids are settled in bed, I would take it lovey.

Honestly he will be in good hands & he will improve by the day. Hugs Jo:)

mrsk06 profile image
mrsk06 in reply to Sina-6491

Thank you for your kind words jo, thats an issue i cant seem to switch off im constantly thinking! but ill feel better once i know whats going on, a rehab nurse has been to hubby today but no one talk to me so i just feel left in the dark of what i need to do for him

Sina-6491 profile image
Sina-6491 in reply to mrsk06

I know, I don't think they mean to leave partners out, but I know it happens.

Try & talk to the team leader tomorrow, staff nurse etc. Just tell them how it is effecting you as you feel a bit in the dark.

Remind them you have two young children at home. And that they would be looking at mum for strength. How can you do that if you are in the dark. Just demand a few moments of their time, you have a right to be included.

As far as after care, I think you will find they wont let him go home until they are sure you are both comfortable with everything.

Generally it's just take it easy for a while, no lifting heavy items etc.

But not to just sit around or he'll slow recovery down.

Walking is the best one, little & often, while knowing his limitations. Should not walk too far first few times. He should always remember, wherever he walks to, he has to walk back.

Good healthy diet is a must of course.

And he should learn to relax a couple of times a day by lying down, eyes closed, with maybe a little music.

You could do that together as a family. That would teach the kids about chil out time &;how it is good for everyone.

Ask about cardiac rehabilitation groups, most hospitals have a group. If he can get on one of those, he will feel so much better.

I thought I would just go to one to keep eveveryone happy.

But I went to all of them, usually 8 setions. It was great because it takes any fear out of the event that has turned your world around. It shows you that you can probably do a lot more than you dared to dream. Basically you can get back to pretty much what you did before. They just teach you how to ease your way back gentally & gradually. The one I went to at the BRI in Bristol, let your partners sit in if they wanted to.

Really, now they are on to it, he will be fine. Just a little patients on all parts.

Whatever you do though, try to get him to do things for himself where possible & appropriate.

If you feel he is being a bit off with you. Please don't take it to heart, excuse the pun.

Give him a little space, then have a sit down & explain how this effects you. And how he has to be patient too......hugs, Jo

mrsk06 profile image
mrsk06 in reply to Sina-6491

Thank you so much jo it's great to chat with Someone that has gone through this... I'm sat here crying at 4am in the morning too much stuff warring around in the head, roll on 6pm when I'm at the hospital x

skid112 profile image
skid112Heart Star in reply to mrsk06

he is in the best possible hands. They will concentrate on getting him better then you can start to think about causes, as he is so young I would think a weakness somewhere but you never know. Its a difficult time for you both especially with young children. I can understand your worry but do go and ask questions of the nurses and doctors, yes they are busy but they will be as helpful as they can be regards next steps, medication etc.

What you need to do is try and rest as if you're exhausted its not helping you. Even if its just feet up and laying down

Sina-6491 profile image
Sina-6491 in reply to mrsk06

Oh you poor thing, I hope you did manage to rest. Just try to stay calm, so you don't land up ill yourself. I agree the staff are always overworked very busy.

That is why sometimes it is easy to forget how anxious & upset the family may be.

So just a little reminder you are there & I am sure they will answer any worrying inquirys you may have. They are so supportive, so they would want you to be happy:)

Heather1957 profile image

I often wonder how mothers manage to work let alone have to now fit in visits to the hospital. The shame is he will get visits from Dr's etc when you are not there who will give him info you won't get to hear it unfortunately that is always the case.

Your husband is a survivor and as much as it is hard to accept at the moment it could have been so much worse.

A heart attack can be caused by many things it doesn't always have to be down to lifestyle but the angiogram should give an indication as to if his arteries are blocked.

We are here to support you as much as we can but when you go to the hospital ask one of the nurses to either explain what is happening or get someone to to that for the benefit for both you and your husband.

mrsk06 profile image

Thank you skid112,ssayb-649 and Heather1957. I think with me doing all that I'm that it's finally catching up with me I'm knackered...this morning the hubby has told me to toughen up he's fine and not to worry. He's getting annoyed at me, So I'm in a no win situation at the moment apart from talking to you lovely lot to get off my mind. I'm seeing him today with the kids after 2 trains and then won't be back till 9.30pm. I hope the work training will keep me occupied tomorrow and Friday

jonathan1234 profile image
jonathan1234 in reply to mrsk06

Try not to concentrate on the 'whys and wherefores' and the 'what ifs'.. Look to the future. Your husband is a young man and at his age he has every chance of making a full recovery and leading a normal life. Oh yes, it is more than possible. When you see him words of encouragement are so important. Try not to let him see how upset you are. (Difficult). Minimise it as much as possible, but not to the point of trivialising it. Yes, it is a major setback in your lives, and believe me, I know! As someone said we have the best cardiologists going so he is in safe hands; the best. For the sake of your kids try and keep as cheerful as you can because they will find it all confusing, but explain in simple terms what has happened. Daddy is going to be fine. That is a truth so keep it in your mind too. Blessings.

loubylou08 profile image

Hi, My hubby (45) was diagnosed 4 weeks ago with severe aortic stenosis caused by a birth defect (biscuspid) which we were not aware he had. He is shortly to have av replacement/bypass. This came as huge shock to us as he was being treated for an ear infection! Like yourself, our world changed overnight. I also work, young child. I remember ringing him every hour just to check he was still alive (currently under house arrest)! But you will be amazed how strong you can and will be. It's amazing how we adapt to our situations so quickly. I still have my moments but 4 weeks on I'm still smiling and feeling positive about the future. Just want to get through surgery and get him recovered. This is my first post on here but I'm on here reading everyday and feel it really helps. Great people and more importantly I find everyone really friendly and positive and it has helped me. Keep smiling Mrs! x

MKB38 profile image
MKB38 in reply to loubylou08

Hi loubylou, I was really interested in your post about your husband previously being treated for an ear infection before discovering the aortic stenosis. I went to my Drs in April feeling disorientated and they diagnosed vertigo, which I was told would fizzle out. I persisted as I wasn't getting better and they discovered I have aortic stenosis. I have my first meeting with the surgeon next week. The disorientation seems to be worse now, particularly when I look down, but I hadn't heard of anyone else with this symptom. Does this sound familiar? Good luck with everything. I feel sorry for my husband as our life is on hold. I'm just praying the operation will cure the disorientation, as apart from being tired, I don't have other symptoms such as breathlessness.

loubylou08 profile image
loubylou08 in reply to MKB38

Hi MKB38, sorry to hear about your diagnosis, bet it came as a shock. Yes, hubby was the same as yourself. Went to the doctors beginning of April and was treated for Labyrinthitis. The only symptom he had was the dizziness but also found out his blood pressure was high. After several weeks and like yourself, persisted, doctor listened to his heart and picked up a murmur. Then was referred to hospital. He saw the heart surgeon couple of weeks ago and had his pre-op Tuesday (St Barts). We talked a lot with the Cardiac Nurse regarding the disorientation. This is a symptom of the condition (lack of oxygen/blood flow) . My husband also became slow at talking, everything really, again just a symptom which the surgeon has assured us will disappear once you have had your operation. Hopefully feeling amazing after all this!! :) Hubby is still awaiting date for operation, on the cancellation list but won't be any later than early September. He also is very tired all the time. The hardest part is all the waiting and feeling like your life is on hold, its tough at times. I just keep visualising our future and once get through this tough time life can commence! I wish you all the best. Let me know how you get on with the surgeon xx

MKB38 profile image
MKB38 in reply to loubylou08

Thanks Louby loo, that is really reassuring, I wish you and your husband the very best for his forthcoming op. I know exactly how he is feeling and wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy! Please keep me posted on his progress. I'll be thinking of you. I've got my fist appointment with the surgeon next week(Papworth). Best wishes MKB x

MKB38 profile image
MKB38 in reply to loubylou08

Thanks Louby Lou. He wasn't able to give me any guarantees unfortunately. He said my symptoms are atypical, as I don't have any of the usual issues such as breathlessness. The surgeon's waiting list is very long (up to 3 months), but he said my op is fairly straightforward and therefore could possibly be slotted in in an afternoon or weekend. Like your husband I've said I could go in at short notice, but I'm not holding my breath!! Please let me know how your husbands op goes. Take care.

loubylou08 profile image
loubylou08 in reply to MKB38

Hi MKB38, just thought I'd check in & see how you are feeling? Hope things are comfortable for you & your husbands doing ok. Mine goes in Thurs as op is planned for Friday. So pleased the time has come as it feels like we have been waiting forever but also dreading it! I'll let you know how it all goes x

MKB38 profile image
MKB38 in reply to loubylou08

Hi Louby loo, thanks for the message. I wish your husband all the very best wishes for Friday. Please do let me know how it goes. Unfortunately for me, I've been told I could be waiting until November/December as my condition is not urgent. I'm not too bad, it's mostly tiredness which I am managing. I've even asked my employer if I can work a few hours a week from home to help pass the time and keep me sane! Good luck and keep me posted. MKB38 x

hearty1 profile image

Hi ssayb-6491. I'm sorry you and your family are having to go through this shock. I was in shock too, disbelief as I thought I was fit and led a healthy lifestyle and lo and behold I started to have chest pains and trans ischaemic attacks end of last year. Fortunately it didn't go into a full blown heart attack. I got worse into the new year. To cut a long story short after lots of tests I was put on several meds from the Consultant Cardiologist and I must say I am not having the trans ischaemic attacks and the chest pains are not as frequent. So I'm sure your husband will feel better as the days go in. There is a lot out there that can be done now. So chin up everything will work out fine. It's just the initial shock at first.

Best wishes to you and your family.

Sina-6491 profile image
Sina-6491 in reply to hearty1

Bless you, I think your message was meant for mrsK06........

FMW62 profile image

When it comes to visiting, you must look after yourself. It is in both you and your husband's interest for you to concentrate on the children. They are effected too.

Here is a cautionary tale!. I had a mitral valve replacement nearly 2 years ago. The op went fine, but I had a rare allergic reaction to a drug I had afterwards to control AF. I was in and out of hospital for months. My husband and I, together with our adult daughter, run a family business. To begin with they both visited , one in the afternoon, one in the evening - an hour or so's drive for each of them - while keeping the business going somehow. To cut a long story short - the strain on my husband was too much and a couple of months after I was discharged, he was admitted to the same ward with endocarditis and a shredded mitral valve. Don't risk it - look after yourself and your children!

mrsk06 profile image

Thank you for your advice everyone. I've went to see him yesterday even after our traim was delayed! He was up and about and we sat in the ward seating area rather than at his bedside and all being well will have his angiogram this morning so fingers crossed we can move forward and put a plan of action in place and fingers crossed have him home soon! So I'm trying to keep positive since he is up and about and still pain free since the original attack on Sunday and felt better opening up to him as well and had a cry but it was nice to have a hug from him, it felt like things are getting better....I hope I don't jinx it!! X

Marc68 profile image

When a heart attack strikes, it's not easy to come to terms with, especially if you're fit and healthy and it's out of the blue. I was in the same boat last November. It's downright scary! The first few days are a complete unknown for you both and at the moment you just don't know what you're dealing with. It will improve as the days go by and the tests are done, as you'll be more informed and a plan can then be put together. It sounds like you're both getting things back on a (relatively) even keel after the initial shock. Small, positive steps are the name of the game at this point.

At the end of the day he's still here, and in the right place to get things sorted, so that's something to be grateful for. Hold on to that gratefulness as it's a potent motivator and very positive, which can only help in recovery.

Look after yourself though.. the last thing you need is making yourself ill with exhaustion, even if it means missing the odd visit.

mrsk06 profile image

Hi everyone, thank you so much for your kind words it has meant a lot! He has been finally discharged from hospital but the angiogram revealed that his arteries and inside of his heart are an okay thankfully!!! So they are saying it's myocarditis and that's why his bloods indicated a heart attack as his heart was attacked but it was the muscle itself. So waiting for an mri appointment but he is really drained and tired but he isn't on any medication... so still worried....

Heather1957 profile image
Heather1957 in reply to mrsk06

All sounds positive to me!! I am no Dr but it sounds as if it wasn't as bad as you initially thought. Now to move forward.

mrsk06 profile image
mrsk06 in reply to Heather1957

Definitely I'm just concerned about lasting damage but we'll know more after the mri

Lolalacey profile image
Lolalacey in reply to mrsk06

I was in same boat as your husband myocarditis or could be embolism now waiting for 2nd mri scan results to come through although consultant feels sure it's myocarditis . Hope hubby feels better soon x

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