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British Heart Foundation
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What help can I give?

Hi folks, my wife had a serious heart attack early Sunday morning. It's now Tuesday. Consultant came to explain what is going on with her heart after all tests and..2 stents in her right ventricle, which had become totally furred and closed, which caused it to get diseased, which in turn made nearly 20% of her heart to get diseased. Her left ventricle has 50% flow, but we were informed that it was acceptable. She has to change her lifestyle and I wondered if anyone has a similar case, and what I need to do to support her.I'm sure the hospital will eventually give her some paper work and guidelines to bring home. Does anyone know if the other partner gets some guideline too.

I should have asked but forgot.

Im a 66 year old with 1st onsets of dementia.

Is there any help out there for any of this please?

Thanks for listening, I think Im still in a bit of shock with it all.

Thakyou.

Lee.

6 Replies
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Hi Lee,

Sorry to hear of your wife's resent news.

Things are looking up now they are on to it, so please don't worry. She'll be on the radar now with the right meds and should be able to get some booklets on diet etc.

One way you can feel included is to talk to the cardiac team around her.

Explain your own health issues and let them know you really want to support your wife.

Also ask if she can go to cardiac rehab, you can both attend.

And believe me, you will both find their advice and support second to none.

It just reassures you both on the fact she will be safe to do pretty much anything once she has recovered.

Try to let her do some things for herself though. As long as she doesn't lift or push too heavy in the early weeks, not evan a kettle.

Just tell her to pour a cupful of water in at a time. So she can still make herself a cuppa.

When I had my HA, I still needed to know I was worth something, that is poticually important, as I really needed my independents. I didn't want to suddenly feel useless.

Just give her lots of loves and let her know you are there to support her. That will be all she needs.

But don't forget yourself in all this. Make sure you get support too. I am afraid you will probably have to ask for this though. The partner can more often than not, go unnoticed.

Maybe see the nurse pratishaner at your surgery for advice & guidance.

She'll be just fine now and she'll improve by the day, you'll see 😊

Big huge hugs to you both, Jo 😆

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Thankyou Sina for your reply and reassurance, just nice to know there's someone to talk to without using the usual channels.

I hope you are on the mend now after your HA.

I'll speak to the main consultant tomorrow who did her op.

I shall give her that hug from you when I see her tomorrow.

For your kindness, here's a hug from us both....and a smile.😊

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Yes thank you Lee, my HT was Sep 2014.

So yes as you csn tell, there is life after a heart attack.

Both take care now, Jo 😊

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Hi Lee, sorry to hear your news. There is little secondary support for partners usually. In your case I would ask the nurses to point you in the direction of the hospital care scheme. There should be a social worker on hand to help out in these cases though not exactly sure of how or what help they will be able to give. One piece of advice I always give is start to write you and your wife's questions down, it's so easy to forget to ask and then, bang, you are out of time. There will be many leaflets you will get, so e can be confusing and downright scary, but if in doubt ask, here or call the BHF helpline 0300 330 3311 open 9 till 5 Monday to Friday

You might want to ask your local Citizens advice bureau and your local council for some more advice on the care

Echoing Sina on the rehab, go, the teams will show you what your wife can do, you'll get expert help on all aspects of post care, diet, exercise and taking care of yourself.

One thing, please ensure you eat regularly, too easy to forget, sleep is important for you too. You need your energy and your health to help your wife.

Good luck and welcome to the forum

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Hi Lee, I can only echo the others excellent advice, and say what a comfort I find in this forum. My other half had similar to your wife just under 3 months ago, it was a huge, huge shock. Like your wife, stent in similar position. Looking back we are just coming to terms with it now. He didnt want to go to rehab (he said no, no, no) lol, but did go and it has been amazing, and he is getting his fitness back, there is light at the end of the tunnel, you can both get through this. All you can do is be there, look after yourself, encourage and maybe sometimes be the voice of caution if/when they try and do too much! Things are really scary for you right now, but the forum is right, she is in the right place and the only way is up now. A week after discharge, we went to the cinema, a treat that bucked us up and was easy enough for him to do.

Be kind to yourself Lee too, let your gp know so they are actively looking after you, BHF will let you know about local support groups and your local carers centre too. Good luck, best wishes and another virtual hug 😁

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It sounds to me like you are already doing a fantastic job in supporting your wife - so important to find out the best way to do this, but hard to think so practically after such a big shock. Lots of good advice above, I don't think I have much to add, other than to say that your emotional support will be really important to her and the best person to guide you in that is probably your wife herself. My husband spent the first year or so getting really frustrated that his attempts to "solve" my problems didn't make me feel any better. Eventually he listened to what I needed and changed the way he responded, letting me feel sorry for myself now and again, making me laugh when I needed it... I was (and still am!) so grateful to him for this. Everyone copes with these things in different ways and it will take time to find the right balance, but I'd say you should let your wife guide you. And find an outside source of emotional support for yourself too.

I hope you get the practical help and guidance you need. I've found all the medical professionals I've seen have gone above and beyond to help me with all sorts of requests and queries, the key thing is that you ask for what you need.

Best wishes to you and your wife x

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