Posted by dianewoodcock on 06/13/2009

On May 2,2009 my husband of 41 years suffered a sudden cardiac arrest while bicycling on Hyw.26 here in Kokomo, Indiana. I didn't know anything was wrong until a sheriff's deputy came to the door and told me that I was needed at Howard Regional Emergency Room. I was actually pretty calm as I drove to the hospital as the deputy had told me that he was not hurt bad. When I arrived at the hospital I was taken to a room and told to wait for the Doctor. Then I knew it was bad! When she came she told me that my husband had had a heart attack. My first reaction was "No, that can't be right!" My husband has been in good health the entire time we have been married. He did have high cholestrol but it had come way down. After getting sick, the Doctor took me to see my husband. It was almost more that I could bear seeing him lying there like that. I broke down and could not handle it. They were taking him to the Cath Lab so I was taken to a waiting room to wait. After what seemed to me to be agonizing hours (actually not) the Dr. Ritchie came to talk to me. I didn't actually get much of what he said to me at that time. But he told me that my husband did not have a heart attack but sudden cardiac arrest. He placed two stents as all of my husband's arteries were blocked. Three of his arteries had auto bypassed. When I saw him finally I fet that my heart was shattered. When I left the hospital that night I did not know if I would ever see him alive again. It was on Sunday that I got to meet two of the people that who saved his life. He has his arrest right in front of their house! Then they were helped by a nurse and two EMT's who had been mushroom hunting. My husband was in the ICU for 2 and 1/2 weeks then another week in a regular floor. Then he went to the rehab hospital. Finally a month later he came home. He is still recovering and recieving therapy. He lost quite a bit of cognitive skills when he had the arrest and his lung is in bad shape and they say that he has COPD. He also has a broken collar bone and ribs and sternum. Now we deal with therapist coming to the house, lots of medicine(it cost me over $300.00 with insurance to get it) and my fear. He also had an ICD so I worry that it will go off. He does not remember anything but I do. I worry that it will happen again and that I will lose him. I have had to start doing things I would never thought that I could do. Today I took the car to get the oil changed. I almost had a flat time one day. I sometimes wonder what next!  I actually think I am having a more difficult time now than he is.

Comments

Submitted by rturri on 07/06/2009

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(This has been edited for a couple of typos. It  was  first  posted 6/30/09)

Dear Diane;

  I just read your post and I am greatly moved to respond.

I hope this note finds you and your Family feeling better

each day.

  My name is Bob and I fell from my excercise bike in a

full arrest on April 6, 2008. I was 57 years old.

It's been over one year, now, and I can't believe that so much time has gone by.

Well, I have cognitive 'issues', too. Along with memory,

taste and smell (my nose - not me!), I have a heck of a

time keeping track of time. What I'd like to say first

to you is that after a year I'm still here - alive. Life 

can still go on. It's been hard for me but mostly for my

Wife and for my Son and his family. My little GrandSon

was born just weeks before I "fell" and to be able to see

him smile and grow and to be playing with him, a year

later, is the greatest miracle of my life. I hope that you,

too, will have great miracles.

  My experience and that of your Husband sound alike in

many ways and it's almost "scary".  My Wife's story

could match yours, too.

  On May 2, though one year earlier, I was in open heart

surgery getting one of the three bypasses that I needed.

They didn't think I'd get through it so they just did the

most critical one. I was in no shape for an ICD at that

time but could get one later in the year. (I recently turned

it down but that could change.) I don't remember more

than a few minutes of those first five or six weeks.

  Well, I shouldn't overwrite the entire internet with this

comment. Oh, yeah... did I tell you that I talk incessantly,

now? Watch out for THAT one!  Anyway, it's been a

couple of weeks since you posted your experience, and

since things have a way of changing fast, I'm hoping that

my words have not fallen upon more adversity and I

only wish to lend some hope and confidence if I can.

 It really is a hard thing to deal with and MUCH stress

can come from all the little things that we don't usually

want to talk about with others. Let me say that simple,

everyday TALKING is the absolute best medicine in all

the world - so talk, talk, talk!  With your family, with your

Husband (don't worry... he hears you and understands

WITH HIS HEART, even if his responses are not yet

back to normal), with the Divine, or even with the mirror.

Just keep the talk going. It will help as much as anything.

 One more thing for now. You said that you feel like

reaching over to him in the night and touching him - just

to reassure yourself that he's still there. Go ahead. You

should. And consider this... reach over there and touch

him to reassure HIM THAT HE IS STILL THERE, and

that you are, too. Now, that may sound a little spooky, but

he needs that. For a while, you're going to be the only

real strength that he has. Be there. Just like those

wonderful people who were there to help him when he

"fell", alone. I'm sure we all feel very much alone and "off

the team" after this happens. He needs you and from the

tone of your writing, he couldn't be with anyone better.

 My very best wishes to you and your Husband and your

Family. If you have any concerns that I might help with,

please message me. I'll give you my email address.

Don't hesitate. And again, I trust that this (too long) little

response has found all of you still together. I will keep

a special prayer for you and your Husband in my new,

one-year old heart for as long as it may help you. Hang

in there, dianewoodcock. You're doing well. May you be

blessed everyday.

                               Sincerely,

                               Bob