Father had triple bypass yesterday

Jsgreatauntie
By Jsgreatauntie Latest Reply 2011-03-02 22:41:32 -0600
Started 2011-02-16 18:35:15 -0600

My 83 y/o father found out a few days ago that he had had a mild heart attack and had an angiogram which showed 3-4 severe blockages and had a triple bypass yesterday. We were able to see him after the surgery while he was still sedated and again this morning after they brought him out of the sedation and they had removed the breathing tube. The surgeon didn't really give us alot of hope, said that his arteries were very diseased, alot of blockages in the smaller vessels that they couldn't do anything about. I know my father is now very concerned about his condition because of something he said to my sister and I would just like to know how to deal with the fear that he will have another heart attack which could kill him. How have others dealt with the emotional ups and downs of heart disease and how can I be of the utmost help to him?
Thanks for any help.
Pam

Tags: heart attack

9 replies

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2011-03-02 22:41:32 -0600 Report

Js,

Despite the obvious concern about rehab, it is geat news that your father is fesity enough to want to be at home! Also, good call on the food. Processed food, especially processed carbs is often the the culprit despite what you hear about fat.

Stay in touch with our community as things develop.

HH

Jsgreatauntie
Jsgreatauntie 2011-02-22 05:24:53 -0600 Report

Thanks to everyone for your responses. They have helped me feel not so powerless in this situation. My father refused to go to a rehab facility so he is now at home. His emotional outlook seems to be pretty good, hopefully that will last so that he keeps up with his exercising (walkiing around the house) and doing his breathing exercises. My only real concern is food. I have told him we will be eating more fresh foods and staying away from prepackaged foods, stuff in boxes and vegetables with sauces. I think a good motivation point with him is to remind him that his great grandaughter is only 22 months old and he wants to be around for a long time to see her grow up and develope into a beautiful, intellegent, awesome young lady.
Thanks again everyone.

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2011-02-22 00:51:28 -0600 Report

Js,

Age and advanced disease are always obstacles and there are no guarantees. But, I have seen and heard of remarkable recoveries from devastating conditions. It is a lot of work but even advanced heart disease canbe prevented from advancing and even reversed.

No one lives forever. With my mother already taken by a heart attack I live with prospect that someday my father will die and the depression of my own heart disease.

I was at my wits end at first but what saved me was constant education, hard work, and the support of a personal community I built from scratch. Places like this make it much easier. I wish they existed back then. That is my motivation to come here.

Welcome aboard! I hope we can help and you can help all of us by sharing your experience.

HH

LennyDenny
LennyDenny 2011-02-18 14:33:38 -0600 Report

Griz is right, you ask some hard questions. I am 61 had a heart attack 7 yrs ago and had 4 stents put in. I was told I was not a good canidate for bypass. I also have a great deal of blockage in the smaller vessels around the heart. I live in fear of having another heart attack. The one thing I asked right from the start from my family and friends was to treat me the same as they always did. I have the constant reminder of what can happen, I don't need anyone else reminding me. Again Griz is right, I went through a lot of depression. Just be there for him and don't be affraid to reach out when he needs it. At times don't be surprised with things he says and does, it's going to be a rough ride for him for awhile. My wife helped me but didn't baby me, she pushed me when I needed pushed and told me to slow down when needed. The sooner he can get back to a normal life the better, but as I said don't push. With a lot of help and love from family, friends and drs. he will make it through. We're all here for help and support. God Bless.
Denny

Jsgreatauntie
Jsgreatauntie 2011-02-18 15:01:37 -0600 Report

Thank you for the reply. I do want to achieve that balance of being there for him but not being intrusive. Because as much as I love him and wish he hadn't had to go through this there is no way I can really know what or how he is feeling and I don't want to give the impression of being judgemental by pushing. We think he will go to rehab right from the hospital because he is very weak and my mother is pretty frail at this point, she was in the hospital for about 2 weeks and has difficulty getting around and my sister lives in South Dakota and my brother has his own family and business but I know he will help alot. I just hope I can stay strong for both my parents through this period of recovery.

LennyDenny
LennyDenny 2011-02-21 07:47:58 -0600 Report

No doubt you will stay storng. It's amazing how family and friends come together in a time of need. But you need to take care of yourself, don't over do. Your no good to anyone if you stress yourself out. Sounds like you have a lot on your plate right now. You are right , we don't know what he's going through right now. Just be there and you will know when the time is right to step up. God Bless.
Denny

griz104
griz104 2011-02-18 10:09:27 -0600 Report

I see that no one has replied to your questions and the reason being i am sure is because it is a hard one to answer. Everyone is different when put in the same circumstances..I would just continue to treat him as i always had..Maybe reminding him to slow down just a bit..That will most likely be hard for him as i am sure he has worked hard all his life.
The main thing right now is to be there for him as in the next few months he will go thru a period of immense Depression.. It usually isn't anything to worry about as it is one of the things that happens after Heart Surgery.. If it is offered let him go to Cardiac Rehab as they will teach him quite a bit of things while going and will answer any questions he may have.. If it was like where i went then you will be able to go along with him if you so desire..They will answer any questions you may have also..
I know that wasn't a lot of help but maybe it was some help! I wish him all the best…

Jsgreatauntie
Jsgreatauntie 2011-02-18 14:42:55 -0600 Report

Thanks for the reply. My sister, niece and I went to see him this morning and they had him sitting up in a chair and while I was there the physical therapist came in and got him to walk to the door of the room and back to the chair and he was really tired but I understand with what he's just been through that's to be expected. They gave him a really good binder of information on the procedure, what to expect during recovery and nutrition. Alot of good info. The PT did ask him questions about his lifestyle before the surgery and he was totally self sufficient and when she began talking about goals he said he just wanted to get back to being able to take care of himself. He used to say that as long as he could still get out and cut the grass he figured he was doing ok. We did talk about getting an electronic start lawnmower this year.

I am really concerned about his emotional health. I have been getting medical treatment for major depression and anxiety disorder for about 30 years and one night I was having a panic attack and asked my parents to take me to the hospital. When the doctor finally came in to talk to me my father wanted to be there because he said he wanted to understand what was happening with me.
He doesn't let his emotions out much, tries to be stoic. The only times I have seen him cry was when his father died and at my sister's wedding reception, of course, at the reception he was just a little teary, didn't really out right cry. I don't want to impose upon him but I want to be there if he wants to talk. I guess it's just 'take it a day at a time' with this sort of thing.

Again, thanks for the reply and the good wishes. One thing that did make him smile was talking to my greatniece on the telephone. She's 22 months and lives in South Dakota but my sister, neice & great neice came out here before the surgery so he got to see Jailynn on Sunday for a good while and when my neice put her on the phone with my father today she said 'Hi PopPop' and that really made him smile. Now that's great medicine!

griz104
griz104 2011-02-18 18:56:08 -0600 Report

There is a very good book that you should get..it really does not cost much at all and has a ton in Information in it.. It helped me a great deal after my By-Pass.. The name of it is "The Cardiac Recovery Handbook" by Paul Kligfield M.D.
He won't get over this as quick as he wants more then likely..I had mine done June 21 st and still have good days and bad days.I also slept in a recliner for a long time after coming home as many others did also..Exercise and diet are probably the most important things he can do for himself..Best wishes to him!