Husband's recent heart attack

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My husband got admitted to hospital this week after attending A&E with horrendously high blood pressure plus other symptoms and they've diagnosed a heart attack. His angiogram showed several blockages and they're are now discussing options. Option 1 would be stents but they say there would need to be four or more, so second option is bypass. He had an attack similar to this last year but the out of hours doctor at the hospital did nothing and just told him to take an extra BP med that evening so now we're of the opinion that the blockages were there back then but no tests or meds were given.

Dont know which way to turn or what to expect. Does anyone have any knowledge of either stents or bypass procedures, recovery time, etc. His job is reasonably physical and quite stressful so it's likely he'll be off for some considerable time and he doesnt get sick pay, just statutory sick pay which wont even cover the mortgage. I work but my wage alone wont support us although it would be too high to receive any other benefits I think.

Never been in this situation before so just need some guidance from anyone who has experience of this kind of thing.

Thank you.

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Hello ,

    Really feeling bad after reading this. May the good wishes and warm thoughts of those who care about you send a little cheerfulness into your world and help you feel better.

    Coming back to your question : My uncle had couple of blocks for which they installed stents in his body. Though he is not doing any stressful physical work but it looks like its workings for him since last 6 years. I guess recovery time after stent implant should not be more.

    If you need financial support I guess you can request a helping hand from NGO's or Go Fund me type orgs.

    Hope your situations will be better soon. Dont loose your hopes !

    Thank You,

    Kunal

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    • Posted

      Thank you Kunal for a lovely message, I really appreciate your kind words. I guess I'll find out more as we go along, just feeling a little bit lost at the moment, along with being very worried about his health. Thank you so much again for your reply.

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  • Posted

    Hi Loxie

    sorry to learn about your husband, I've never had a heart attack but did have severe angina 5 + years ago and ended up with a quadruple heart bypass op. Its a long op but can have good outcomes and since the past five years I've recovered almost to my more youthful levels. The recovery can be quite tedious and one needs to patiently work at building up strength again. So your husband will need your support not to do too much too soon if this is the route chosen. Best wishes to both of you and let us know how things progress.

    There is a lot online stuff but if you are in UK the NHS are very proficient in this field , I'm not sure about other countries though , as regards financial side of things helpful advice can be obtained from Citizens Advice so you could give them a call if you are in UK.

    Roy

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    • Posted

      Thank you Roy. Your comments are very helpful. We are in the UK. He is in the cardiac unit at our local NHS hospital. It seems very well run with constant obs and sufficient nursing staff on hand, so at least that reassures me. I havent got full details of the extent of the bypass proposed, they are meeting today apparently to discuss it so hopefully I will find out tonight at visiting time. He's very poorly so anything that will help him survive is good news. I'm trying to get my head round what comes next, ie probably having to give up his job, not driving, etc. It takes a while to come to terms with all this such a shock. Most of our plans for the future will need to be changed but I'll have to get my head round all that once he's out of the woods. So glad to hear your op was successful and you've recovered well. It will be difficult for him to step back but he has no choice if he wants to get well. Once things have settled a bit I'll contact Citizens advice. I did a bit of searching online and it would seem we dont really qualify for any government assistance because my earnings are over the limits. They apparently dont take into consideration mortgage and house costs just an arbitrary restriction on wages/savings. We have savings but were going to use that to pay off the mortgage next year when my interest only mortgage comes to an end, so they're not really available to live on. But hey ho, broke and alive is better than the other outcome.

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  • Posted

    Hi Loxie

    My hubby had a heart attack February 2018, they initially put a stent in the most blocked artery (LAD), let him recover from the heart attack for six weeks then put another four stents in. After having stents put in you return to normal almost immediately, hubby is fine with the stents and would recommend them.

    The problem my hubby had was with the drugs given, they gave him bisoprolol, that one little tablet made him very ill, he had every side effect and more. If he just had the stents his recovery would have been perfect, any problem he has has is with side effects from the drugs not the stents. Good luck with whatever you both decide.

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    • Posted

      Thank you Jen. I just got a message from hubby to say they are recommending bypass surgery - which sounds quite major. I'll question if I can when I visit this evening. I heard from a friend that stents give a good recovery time but it sounds as though they didnt want to go that route because of the number needed. However, from what you've said above, it worked out well for your husband. I hear what you say about the drugs - he's been changed from a vaso dilator to a beta blocker and he's becoming really quite unwell on it. Also a blood thinner and that is causing lividity on his feet. He's developed breathlessness whilst in hospital which he didnt have before, even the day or two after the attack - I'm pretty sure its the meds. Thank you very much for your post, it's very very helpful.

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  • Posted

    Sorry to hear of this. I would go onto the British Heart Foundation website, a lot of information in for you. There's also a community page.

    Hope he improves.

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  • Posted

    Time moves on and bypass surgery to the LAD has been decided upon by the doctors. CABG I think they called it. Whilst researching what is involved and recovery time etc., I found a lot of info about the healing of the sternum which is opened up during surgery. Since about 50 yrs ago the original repair option was wires but in recent years this has proved to be not very satisfactory as healing time is prolonged and it presents with a lot of complications, including major life threatening infections. A rigid clamp was developed, (sternal talon) which is a much improved option. Then in 2010 a Canadian doctor developed a bone glue they called Kryptonite which reduced fusion time of the sternum from weeks to hours and drastically reduced both pain and complications. It's been in use ever since - ie 8 - 9 years. I cant find any info on whether this method is used in the UK, particularly on the NHS. Has anyone had open heart surgery where they used kryptonite glue to repair the sternum? I'd be interested to find out if it's available in the UK and if not where it is available - we might consider using our life savings or selling our house if the outcome is that much safer and his life is less at risk.

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