What next

My husband has severe heart disease, several peripheral vascular disease and COPD. He has coped quite well u till a couple of weeks ago when he lost feeling in both his legs - but at the same time was in such pain he was screaming out. The doctor could find no pulse and said they would refer him to a vascular clinic but that they felt there was nothing else to be done. For the first time, I feel my husband has given up and I just don't know how to cope - with both the pain and also supporting him. Does anybody have any idea what is likely to happen next? The doctor won't talk to me without my husband present and I know that my husband wouldn't be able to cope with any more negative news. If this isn't the right place to ask for some help and advice, maybe somebody could point me in the right direction. Thank you so much. Jan

12 Replies

  • Whoops - shouldn't you be giving out the Helpline number 03454 505988 which for many people it won't cost them as it is an 03 number (you got it changed on the main website a few months ago!!).

  • The question is why did Heart UK change the number from 0845 to 0345?

    Is it cheaper for people to use? or totally a free call?

    There is always a charge to any phone call in UK, some one has to pay for the telephone call, to the caller number or the called number!

  • The majority of people on both mobile packages and landline packages get the calls free as all 01, 02, 03 are included in the packages but often they pay for 08 numbers, often at a higher rate and with a lot of the numbers the organisation received part of the call revenue (cost) band so it incentivised them to use the 08 numbers. People who paid for calls again were often charged higher rates rather than the 01 numbers. The rates varied enormously depending on the digits after the 08. The supposedly freephone number 0800 only applied if you dialled from some landlines. This was an area that was getting the biggest number of complaints and so the government initially coerced and then made it compulsory that 08 numbers that charged higher rates could not be used by any public bodies, financial institutions and other categories. For many years I have used a specialist website to find alternate numbers for 08 ones that charged higher rates (which was most).

  • Started with British Railways in 1973 and finished with Vodafone, both landline and mobile Telecommunications.

    Calling charges a very difficult subject, just like cholesterol!

  • I had suspected that it was actually engraved in your mind!!!!!

  • It's not that your doctor won't discuss without your husband; he is duty-bound not to. Write down any questions you have and ask with your husband present; he needs to know too.

    NHS Choices can give information on many conditions nhs.uk/conditions/periphera...

    If you haven't tried reducing his carbohydrate intake, I would recommend that. What have you got to lose? Keep grains, cereals, root vegetables, tubers, legumes and fruit to less than a cup at each meal, replacing with some natural fat instead.

    All the best!

  • Sorry to hear about your husband's health problems.

    I wonder if it worth posting on the HU Lung site?


  • Thank you so much for finding the time to reply to me. I really do understand that it's not the doctors personal decision not to discuss my husband's problems with me - that was my reason for posting my question in case anybody else had been through the same thing and could give me the benefit of their experience. Unfortunately it will probably be after the weekend before we hear whether the vascular surgeon feels it's worth seeing him. It's going to be a long weekend........ Jan

  • Is there no way to get urgent attention in the UK. Here in Australia, it can be similar if it is not an emergency EXCEPT if one has private medical insurance. I had a triple coronary bypass in November 2012 which was arranged in days. I had to wait for the coumadin to wear off before they could operate. All went well but I am investigating why after 12 years of taking Statins, my arteries still became 95% blocked ... They were supposed to stop plaque build up. In the first instance I had a couple of brain stem strokes in 2000. The reason wasn't a plaque deposit but due to a spasm in a tiny artery in the brain stem (posterior inferior cerebella artery) You need to push hard to get action! Best of luck!

  • Thank you for your reply. Yesterday I managed to speak to the vascular surgeon's secretary. Apparently my husbands's doctor sent the "Urgent" request for a referral by post, not electronically - so the request hadn't arrived yet, unbelievable!! The secretary has now managed to get the request from our GP's surgery but unfortunately the surgeon wasn't there yesterday so he won't see the request until Monday. As I said before, it's going to be a long weekend!!!! Jan

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  • Janann25, I'm so sorry for the struggles you've had with enduring all of these health issues with your husband. I'm wondering if his Dr gave him pain med., blood thinner, or what, for the time until seen by vascular surgeon? If he has no pulses in his low legs, He is at high risk for blood clots in his legs, (DVT) that could go to his heart and lungs, which could cause pulmonary embolism. that is a worst case scenario there, but with his other health issues, not to mention his lack of motivational status, I'm not sure what the plans to avoid blood clots may be? The vascular surgeon will assess him for potential fixes to his dire circulation problem. He will likely consider leg artery bypass graft to get Arterial flow to the low legs and feet. Or the dr. may consider amputation. I don't mean to scare you but it sounds like you're somewhat in the dark here. Without blood flow in low legs and feet, at some point gangrene will set in. So his condition, As is, needs much medical help. It doesn't sound like his health would tolerate a major surgery of any kind. So I hope his dr. Or the vascular surgeon has ideas to treat this medically. On another note, his will to fight is mandatory, as he is in a very serious medical state. I'm wondering if he is on any type of antidepressants that might help with getting his fight back? I would take him into the VS office tomorrow whether they like it or not. Best wishes and Praying for speedy treatment and healing!

    Also, take care of yourself! Get help with his care. Maybe even see s therapist to get ideas for helping you to deal with this. Your plate is full.

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