British Heart Foundation
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Husbands cardiac arrest

my husband aged 53 had a cardiac arrest a few weeks ago in front of me and our teenage children. Hes home now and we are all coming to terms with it and watching his every move. Cant sleep because im watching if hes ok and breathing, if i do get to sleep i wake easily. He has a dry cough at the moment which is a side affect to ramipril but this cough is making me anxious. Has anyone else gone through the same? Does it get easier, i have today been advised to go for counselling which I am going to do thanks for any advice

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Hi Karen, sorry to hear about your husband. You are perfectly normal, your husband is probably feeling exactly the same. The cough will be the ramipril, go see your doctor they will change the meds.

Has he any follow up appointments with any specialists? What treatment has been discussed going forwards?

Mark

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Thanks for your reply Mark, yes he starts physio this week with cardio rehab, so thats wednesday and friday. He has an echo at the end of november too. I just feel constantly scared, especially when he is coughing. I cant relax at all. Worried about the physio too

Karen

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Ah bless you, the rehab is a wonderful oasis in your storm, if you can, go with him. He will be pushed, urged to do things he will believe he can't, but he can and he will. It will show him what he can do and give him confidence to move forward. It is only a start, he must exercise, the heart is a muscle and like muscles needs to be worked and needs rest, it's all about building it up to protect it. The nurses you will meet are fabulous people.

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Hi sorry to here about your husband, it must have been a terrible shock for you all, I understand the worry that comes with something like this, I was on ramipril and due to the cough I got it changed to candesartan and then to entresto, it made a big difference the cough is almost away, I here from my other heart chums that re hab is great, it's not offered for my condition, so hopefully the nurses there will be able to put your mind at ease, I am just waiting to go in and get a cdi fitted mabe they will do something like that for piece of mind, take care char xx

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Thanks both of you for your replies, im so glad ive found this forum. Unfortunately i wont be able to go to rehab with him. Ive already had a lot of time off work and because im struggling im only working part time. Ita a scary thought having to leave him but i cant watch him all the time. i think we do need to change his ramipril,hes been coughing a lot again this morning. Skid..did you have a cardiac arrest too?

Thanks karen x

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Heart attack and bypass a year ago now. He will be fine in the rehab class, get him to talk you through it, there will be 30 minutes or so of exercise, a talk on subjects like healthy eating, how to look after your heart etc. all good information. Unless you live a life on takeaways and copious alcohol it isn't that bad, they don't all advocate lettuce leaves and alfalfa, things in moderation. As for exercise, unless your husband was running marathons (some here were) then the regime is gentle and easy to follow, with the intention it continues post rehab. Walking, easy to start but then at a brisk pace. Most of us here exercise, some less some more. We are happy to help and offer assistance, as well as our own little Fitbit club run by the lovely Laura.

We help when asked for and when needed, between us we have a range of heart issues and we all know there is little support so its all personal experiences at all hours of the day, night and weekends!

good luck

Mark

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Only stupid people would NOT be spooked after a cardiac arrest; it's a terrible thing and us survivors are a minority and very lucky survivors at that. An experience like that makes you listen to every murmur and worry about every twinge. But the anxiety eases, the confidence grows - it's now nearly 5 years since my own cardiac arrest and it's part of my everyday life but a small part of it. In my experience, medical care for cardiac problems is brilliant and to be trusted. I end with a giggle. I took my older daughter to the railway station the other day. On the way back I was worried as my ICD, buried away below my collar bone started making strange buzzing sounds. I stopped the car- and then remembered that I had my mobile phone in my shirt pocket and it vibrates for incoming calls. Cheer up Karen- count the blessings and start having some fun together.

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Hi I appreciate your concerns. I had a heart attack 8 weeks ago whilst playing golf and had 4 stents fitted. The medication does take a bit of getting used to but persevere and it does get easier with time.

I am attending my last cardio Rehab session this week and they are very beneficial.They offer great advice and assistance on a wide range of topics.

You can talk to Rehab staff about your concerns and discuss them on a one to one basis.

Don't be afraid to ask for help or advice.

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Thank you all so much for your replies, cant believe the support on here. Its so comforting to hear positive stories. I will let you know how his physio goes tomorrow, thanks all of you

Karen xx

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Hi, my husband went into cardiac arrest in front of me & it was the scariest thing ever. I've done the watching him breathe bit as well. This was 20 years ago & can still remember it vividly. Its early days for you but it does get easier. It's also a very stressful & exhaustive time. Remember, your husband is being looked after, you need to look after yourself. Cardiac rehab was brilliant, was the saving of my husband as he'd pretty much given up. Take care, hope things settle down soon x

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Hi Karen.

Just spotted your post.

I just wanted to ask if you are okay? My 56 year old partner had a cardiac arrest five months ago. I performed CPR until help arrived. He was in hospital three weeks in ITU then CCU and eventually on the cardiology unit. He has an S-ICD fitted now. I still watch his every move but yesterday for the first time since it happened I left him in the house alone so I could go to a dental appointment. It was only for 45 minutes but I saw this as a giant step to getting back to normality.

I hope all is well with you and you are also starting that journey back to a normal life.

With warmest regards Ron.

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I realise I’m late to the thread Karen, my partner arrested in front of our daughter and grandson in middle of the street in April. No chest pain, no dizziness, no lightheadedness, nothing, just collapsed. I am medical so I started CPR, broke her rib on the second compression but kept it up till the ambulance arrived, she was in shockable VF and came back with one shock. She has no memory of just before or about 48 hrs afterwards, which could have been the head injury (thank god she fell backwards) but was alert enough to chastise the paramedic for calling into resus that he had a 64 year old female, and this voice piped up ‘I’m not 64 I’m only 60, when 10 mins early she was in effect dead on the pavement. I thank the universe every single day for her being here with me, with no complications and an ICD fitted, but I relive the whole episode many times each day, as if it were only 10 mins ago. I know this will get better with time, I know I will eventually sleep through the night and not panic when she gets up for a wee, but it’s hard, really hard. So it’s perfectly normal, as everyone else has said, and for Christmas I am thinking of getting her a tee shirt with “I’m in the 6-8% group” because sadly that’s roughly how many people survive an out of hospital cardiac arrest. So I go on counting my blessings and put up with the other! Good luck to you and to the others who replied and know what we all share. Hx

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