6 months later

6 months later

I hope it is ok for me to use this site. I am actually from Canada but own property in Florida & couldn't find something comparable inCanada. My husband suffered SCA last November, 2016 while out for a drive in his sportscar on one of the last nice days before winter set in. It was a beautiful day & everyone was outside doing yard work. He was pulling into his friend's driveway when he blacked out. He rolled into a parked van & the noise alerted the neighbours on the street. They pulled him from the car, started CPR & EMS, Fire & police were there soon after. They shocked him twice & he was transferred to a Cardiac Intervention Centre immediately. He spent 9 days in ICU sedated & on a ventilator. On the 12th day he had an ICD implanted. He lost 25 lbs in the hospital & was very weak. It was a long struggle. He started Cardiac Rehab & was doing great until 3 weeks ago when he was shocked 35 times - out of the blue. Turned out he had been feeling well & was doing too much probably & the wire moved. He also had some metabolic problems - low K, too much diuretic - that were corrected as well as the wire & he felt much better. Only 5 days this time in CCU. He is extremely anxious bordering on panic attacks now. I guess my issue is - & I know it's not about me - but nobody has ever asked me how I'm doing. He wanted to get out of the hospital both times desperately! & I wanted him to come home but I knew when he came home I wouldn't sleep again. Everytime he moves, gets up, isn't in my sight all the time I get anxious. I feel selfish or self centred complaining, & I haven't said anything to anyone! Did anyone else feel that they wanted to scream "what about me?" I watched it all, I'm trying to keep it together for the rest of the family - how can I help him get through this if I'm feeling tired & scared myself?

536708's picture
536708 wrote 24 weeks 5 days ago

Reply to Benny4 "what about me"

You are correct; while all of the cardiac arrest (CA) sites and published research back up data showing that CA patients do better if they have strong family support, and that the family can be as traumatized as the patient, the health care providers continue to ignore input from spouses and the needs of the spouses. In fact, I was very surprised that the Cardiac Rehab program my husband goes to does not have a support group for spouses of survivors. The psychologist with the program stated that she has had other spouses ask her about this type of program as well but she informed me that nothing was being done to create one. I would love to have a group to meet with to discuss the ways in which we have learned to cope with the immediate months after a CA. I have found the months since my husband's CA to be more trying that the initial days in the Cardiac Care Unit and his pace/defibrillator implantation surgery. Living with his anxiety, panic attacks, and PTSD has put a huge strain on me and our two young children. Every time my husband is more than 5 minutes late coming back from running an errand they panic and want me to call him to see if he is OK. Every time they hear something drop upstairs, they run up to see if their Daddy has collapsed. This is getting a little better with time. (My husband had a massive heart attack a few days before Christmas in 2016, then a stroke from a thrombus in his heart three days later (a complication from the MI), then the CA in March 217 as an additional complication from the MI.) To stay sane, I have taken a "glass half full" approach and have become the optimist in the family. Perhaps this is a form of denial, but the "act as if" everything is fine now approach has kept me going.

What is the most frustrating is when the physician asks my husband how he is doing, or if a new physician asks for history related to the CA. He only tells part of truth related to "how he is doing" and he has no memory of the day of his CA due to short-term memory loss that occurred in the immediate period of his CA. I am the one that has all of those details and I am the one who is aware of his personality changes that he is oblivious to.

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