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Advice:
How to cope (desprite)
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I am 20 years old, going to college, and working. I met my best friend at an AA meeting (as we are both in recovery) almost a year ago and we started dating almost 6 months ago. It has been the best time of my life, i genuinely love this man with all my heart, like i said he is my best friend. Jon is 33 years old with a spirit of a 25 yr old. With a serious family history of heart problems and heart attacks i guess i knew this day was coming, but certainly didn't think this soon.
11/30/11 at 1:30am i drove Jon to the hospital for chest pain, to find out he had a heart attack, after a day or two put in a "heart stent?". I am trying my hardest to be strong, but i guess i have an overwhelming desire to be strong and "act like an adult" in such a serious situation, and because I want to be strong for him i will not express fears directly to him. Short term, i guess being strong helps maintain a positive mood for him, but long term effects i have already started to notice such as, mood swings, intense feelings of helplessness that i turn to anger, and just randomly crying.
I know i am not dealing with this the way an "adult" would. I desperately need advise on how to cope with such a serious situation.
Posted on 12/02/11, 11:02 pm
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Reply #1 - 12/02/11  11:42pm
" Hello Moriahjane,

I am the spouse of heart attack survivor Minor7th. I believe that you are handling the situation the way a loving and caring "adult" would. A heart attack not only affects the survivor, it is also a traumatic event for the spouse and loved ones. Different people handle trauma and stress differently. Please don't be so hard on yourself. It will take a while for everything to sink in, settle down, and for you and your loved one to recover.

I am glad that you found this site. The people here are great and they really what to help. Keep posting and letting us know how you are coping.

Namaste,
Minor4th "
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Reply #2 - 12/03/11  7:55am
" Hi Moriahjane,

I know just how you feel - I am also the spouse of a recent heart attack survivor and stent receiver - November 10 - and I still feel rather helpless most of the time. Just relaying to people what happened is likely to send me into a crying spell. I am quite fearful and nervous. Yesterday I, too, got angry because things just wouldn't go the way I was wishing - a lot of this is because I am trying to do things which I am not used to doing.

We must stick together and know that others have also gone through this - and we will be okay. I just keep telling myself this and praying for grace to keep up.

The people at this site have helped me a lot - reading their posts lets me know that I am not out of the ordinary in this situation. Please know that I am praying for you and Jon that his recovery will continue well and you will be strong. Just doing what you are doing is very strong - and you will do a great job. Just keep on keeping on!!

Blessings to you and Jon,
Sallie "
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Reply #3 - 12/03/11  6:29pm
" Hi Moriahjane,

Well as both Sallie and Minor 4th attested. You are handling this whole thing just the way you are.Anyway that you can that is. There is no life script on how to dealwith a loved one's coronary event. Our DailyhopeSue, and Ican still hear her words echo right to my very essense. We all are "Heart Attack Survivors" we are not heart attack "Victims". That includes the signifinat other's of the heart attck recipient. It can only be natural to feel the way you feel. I would venture to say that it may not be a good place to stay though. Hell who is to say what is "Adult". Gee Wiz your read a big kid in me. You being there for your Beau is very mature and loving. No one want's to go through this alone. "No-One. What better way to show your love than to be right there beside him just to be there for him. He too will experience crazy wierd mood changes as a result. But with the correct attitude, you, family and friends and yes, "The Love of Jesus in his heart, you both will cope and be strong.

Be Well,

My Best To you Both,

Just Joe ♥ "
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Reply #4 - 12/03/11  11:33pm
" thanks a lot everyone! It definitely helps to be able to read other peoples stories and get motivation to keep pushing forward and inspiration from people that haven't been stopped by this. There are many feelings that i have which I don't know how to express mainly because Jon is struggling as it is, and I just want him to feel like I am strong and can take care of him during all this. I don't want to express hopelessness and fear to him because I want him to think everything is okay, at least on my side. I know he is tired of me asking if he is okay, and having all his medications ready at the right time exactly each night. I just get scared because he is the kind of guy that just thinks "it will just go away" he actually said this the night of his heart attack. I am fearful that he will not want to say anything, or that he wouldn't want to scare me with a little heart burn.
A sad thing for me, when i was waiting for all his prescriptions to be filled and was looking for the aspirin that was prescribed i noticed myself looking at every bottle on every self. I looked to Jon and just said, " I think I'm looking for something that will stop this from happening, make everything better" because in most cases if a headache, stomach ache, UTI or whatever, there is a cure for it at your local rite aid. I don't know why i was looking for something on the shelves to stop all of this fear and pain and worry, and just make everything okay.
Sorry for ranting. It feels so good to get this stuff off my chest. I know it will be a long road for both of us, but i appreciate the motivation you all are giving me to help me keep pushing, for Jon. Please continue to keep us both in your prayers as i will for all of you. I think i will start a journal because it really helps just to get all this out of my head. "
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Reply #5 - 12/05/11  6:53pm
" Rant away Moriahjane,

Oh Boy! Your beau, sounds just like me. "If you ignore it, it will just go away". No it won't. The damage is done and he has demonstrated that he has a propensity to have heart attacks. Now is the time to be proactive and prevent further, more life altering damage. Have him request a full body arteriogram so he can know the condition of his other critical vessels. Chances are there are more occlusions elsewhere in a similar state, lying dormant for the correct set of circumstances to raise their ugly head.

His attitude is key in both your recoveries. You as a care giver and he as a Heart Attack Survivor. Embrace the experience with love and live attitude. Move on past this to bigger and better things. What? Who knows. But much good lies ahead for both of you collectively. You can even take his experience and learn to live a heart healthy life style and thwart heart issues yourself. It means much more when you can partner up and face this dragon together and grow on, beyond your wildest dreams.

Welcome to the DS group of a life-time. This little collection of souls, saved my life. Because I allowed them to. By letting them help me, it enabled me to help others by giving back that, which was freely given to me. Their love and support. Minor 4th is a great example of a spouse who teamed with her husband, Minor 7th and partnered with his recovery. Her heart healthy recipes are smokin and we have celebrated her on our reunions by preparing her savory suggestions each since. Soo Cool, this site is and welcome again.

Best Regards,

Just Joe ♥ "
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Reply #6 - 12/05/11  10:35pm
" Hi Moriahjane (adorable name!),

I'm sorry that you and Jon have gone through this recent hard time. IT WILL GET BETTER. I'm quite sure of it. That's the thing- it sucks to have a heart attack and to become diagnosed with the CHRONIC ILLNESS of heart disease, but there is a hopeful side of it. Once Jon and the rest of us are diagnosed, we embark on a path of treatment and recovery that can GREATLY reduce the likelihood of further occurences of further problems. Or at least, many of us embark on a pather of recovery, including all of the various life changes that that entails. I hope Jon will use this scary event to do everything in his power to avoid future heart attacks. Most of us on here are doing the best we can toward that goal.

I agree with what people have already said here, that you ARE handling things quite maturely and appropriately. I'm glad that you're getting things off your chest by writing here. I LOVE the story about your thoughts while walking around the pharmacy. It's the American way (or so we're told in the advertisements!)- take a pill, be CURED and have a happy life! So no wonder you looked for something to take the problem away. And even though medications can't fix the scared feelings, the feelings about realizing that your loved one is mortal and vulnerable, we are VERY fortunate that we have modern medicine. The medications that Jon and so many of us here have been placed on greatly improve our longterm chances. That can give us increased peace of mind.

No wonder you're freaked out and scared. It sounds like you and Jon have become very important to each other. Love is a wonderful gift that I'm sure you treasure, and of course it's scary to see that you can lose your loved one. Thirty-three years old is so young to have to start the whole heart disease journey. Twenty years old is so young to start it, too. But the alternative is much worse. Better to know now. I don't think you have to hide your fear and upset from Jon as much as you are. If he is like most of us on here, it might help him to be a bit more honest about the related fears that come from a heart attack, especially at such a young age. It ROTS to have one's youthful sense of immortality challenged so young. We know we're all going to eventually die, but we hope to have the luxury of postponing that awareness. It's hard when something shatters that blithe denial of our mortality.

My Dad had a heart attack at age 32. He DID NOT particularly take care of himself after that, and he lived 24 years longer. Fifty-six years old was still too young to die, but can you imagine if he HAD taken increased care of himself? Your Jon can live a long and healthy life despite what has happened.

By the way, the changes you see in his mood and crying, etc, don't mean that this is just the way heart attack survivors are. Yes, many of us were/are like that in the first months after our heart attacks or other setbacks, but most people do return to whatever personality we had before. Jon is likely to bounce back with time. You'll see some threads on here about how a number of us were emotional wrecks at first, but then we level out.

Please keep posting, MJ. And journal or whatever else feels helpful to you. Sending you and Jon hugs and prayers. Sue "

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