Family matters

Gulcherboy
By Gulcherboy Latest Reply 2012-10-22 21:37:21 -0500
Started 2012-09-23 19:30:33 -0500

I am looking for any advice I can get. I was diagnosed 10 months ago with CHF. I have since been through cath, received two stents, had an angioplasty done, gone to cardiac rehab and the whole nine yards.

I realize that CHF is an "invisible" disease, but I have a troublesome "doctor" who causes a great deal of stress in my life and that is Dr. Family.

You should know that Dr. Family graduated with honors from the Idiot's School of Medicine and the College of Hardknocks. They went to residency at Blessed Mary of the Ignorant Hospital under the guidance of Dr. I. Will Killyou. They are trained specialists, board certified in Whateverailsyou.

Dr. Family seems to think that fatigue is no problem in CHF patients. Their line of thinking seems to be that the body get energy from food and food enters the system via the stomach, therefore, energy comes from the stomach, not the heart. Thus, two hours of housework or three hours spent grocery shopping or washing, folding and putting away two or three loads of laundry should not fatigue me in the least. And if it does, resting or taking a nap is the very last thing I should do. Afterall, that would rest my heart, which has nothing to do with creating energy in the human body and their training says the human stomach does not require rest after activity.

Remember, they are "college" educated and "board certified." I am never going to get them to watch the videos on this site, nor will they use the Web to properly educate themselves. I am currently without the benefit of a properly licensed doctor and even if I had a legion of them, Dr. Family would never go to another doctor's office for a useless lecture by an obviously uneducated quack on how and why they are wrong.

Any thoughts on how I can successfully deal with Dr. Family without getting a divorce or shot?

I thank you, in advance.


15 replies

mbeamers
mbeamers 2012-10-20 15:21:40 -0500 Report

I'm not sure why the topic changed to basketball, but I'm going to address the initial question about people giving you all kinds of advice. I have had 4 heart surgeriies—the first when I was three-and-a half years old. My medical proplems destroyed my family—my parents, in an overcompensating matter, triedto treat me as though I was normal. But my two older brothers saw me go away (to the hospital but they possibly didn't know or understand that) and come home with an armload of new toys. Both brothers grew to hate me because relatives would ask about me and neighbors brought me presents, etc. I'm 56 now and those two brothers STILL don't talk to me. I got very depressed in college, largely because ofthis family dynamic, and started seeing a shrink. He recommended family therapy. Everyone agreed to come but they only showed up the first time.

So, regarding your situation (and I'm not clear—is your "family" your wife? Neighbors, friends?) It would be great ifa cardiologist could attend in addition to a family therapist. Because your worrying about this situation is just making your heart condition that much worse. If you don't like your cardiologist, as you indicated, I think, ask another docter that you trust for a referral. Your GP, your dentist (I'm not kidding—maybe your dentist has stents or has had plasty!) But don't put up with it because stress will eat you alive!

If, by some chance, you live in Minnesota, I kow a bunch of cardiologists I could recommend. I wish you luck and let me know how it goes mbeamers@q.com small

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2012-10-21 22:48:38 -0500 Report

mbeamers,

Thanks for getting us back on track! Gulcher and I are such basketball junkies we sometimes go off on tangents. But, that's part of the "social" aspect of HearConnect as well.

Now then! Thanks for the great input and for sharing your story and the offer of cardiology recommendations. There is nothing better than first-hand experience. I can understand envy at early eage but you would think that as your brothers aged they would "get" it. Perhaps you should offer a trade. See if they would be willing to take your heart condition and all the physical suffering in exchange for all the toys and attention!

You are smart to seek medical help for your mind as well as your body. Many people do not. I keep reminding every one that a brain is just another bodily organ. Don't be afraid to treat it when it hurts!

HH

mbeamers
mbeamers 2012-10-22 12:21:21 -0500 Report

Thanks for your response. I did try the trade—I think they both 'get it' inellectually but not emotionally. You know what's the saddest thing? My oldest brother, when I was very little and he was pretty young, stopped speaking. He became totally withdrawn. Didn't play with other kids—just hung around my Mom (he'd talk to her). And he grew up to be a doctor! But if he and and I are in the same room, you could nearly cut the tension with a feather. Anyway, thanks a lot for letting me vent. Do you guys like football? That's my spectator sport weakness.

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2012-10-22 21:37:21 -0500 Report

mbeamer,

Big Packer fan! Watch the game with relatives every Sunday - ages 2 to 84! And, hey, venting is what this place is for. Wish more people would! Keeps things exciting, provocative, and most importantly, it is good background info into the human condition!

HH

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2012-09-24 00:47:22 -0500 Report

Gulcher,

You know, it is difficult at best, and some say impossible, to teach an old dog new tricks. Sadly, I think "divorce" is in your future. Yeah, I know, it is tough to switch. But, if "Dr. Family" keeps feeding you B.S. then your only alternative is to become a mushroom or find another "chef!"

Trust me, I have fired plenty of docs!

HH

Gulcherboy
Gulcherboy 2012-09-24 00:53:30 -0500 Report

I'm sorry to hear that you, too, have more "docs" than you need. But, perhaps that is something worth studying: "Why do heart patients attract so many no-nothing, faux experts?"

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2012-09-25 01:11:03 -0500 Report

Gulcher,

The fact that there is so much money to be made, it is such a complex field, and too many lawyers are involved make docs lazy and cowardly in my humble opinion. When I hear young cardiologists sitting in hospital cafeterias saying, "I need to find a way to do more procedures" I am appalled. In fact, they should be saying they need to find a way to do FEWER procedures.

Every procedure is a failure to prevent advanced heart disease. But, there is more money to be made putting in stent and it is a hell of a lot more work to prevent the need for one!

HH

Gulcherboy
Gulcherboy 2012-09-27 08:47:08 -0500 Report

I'm sorry, but I apparently did not make myself clear. I'm talking about people who know me and have known someone who had HF. These people never went to medical school and they couldn't name a coronary artery if they had to. But, until my HF conforms with what they remember seeing in Uncle Billy two decades ago — or some such other person — I don't really have any problem or any illness in their eyes. And, of course, what they remember is the last two weeks of Uncle Billy's life — when he was suffering the worst. So, until I'm near death, I'm perfectly healthy because Uncle Billy was worse. Am I making sense?

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2012-09-28 00:00:00 -0500 Report

G-Boy,

Yup, perfect sense! I am in a similar boat. I have severe CAD but am completely asymptomatic at this point. In fact, at the ripe old age of 57 I played basketball this evening and won three out of four one-on-one games (admittedly in an over-50 league).

Nonetheless, I an fully aware I could drop dead at any second as did so many of my close relatives (mother, grandfather, uncle, etc.) - fine one minute then dead of a heart attack the next with no warning.

Oh well, we'll always have HeartConnect to commiserate, lol!

HH

Gulcherboy
Gulcherboy 2012-10-07 18:57:52 -0500 Report

And commiserate, we shall! How tall are you or is you "trey" just that good? Remember: I'm from Indiana, where hoops is the state religion! Not saying I could beat you, but I'll bet I can tear down you game, give you a few new moves and other improvements and make you a better ball player! :-) Me, I can't wait for the basketball season to start!

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2012-10-07 22:16:52 -0500 Report

G-boy,

Hey, hey Bird-country! Only 5-10 but but at 57 still a little faster than the other old guys I play with, lol. I'll take the free coaching but not certain this old dog can learn new tricks! As far as treys, it's just square up, over the top, and follow through will everything I got.

HH

Gulcherboy
Gulcherboy 2012-10-08 08:03:24 -0500 Report

I can teach you a wicked spin move that will give you at least a step on your defensive man every time you use it. Once you get it down — you will love it! :-)

Still can't wait for hoops season!

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2012-10-09 00:53:33 -0500 Report

G-man,

Yeah, spin moves are great, right up there with the drop step. Now, the question is, "how do I get it down" given my age?

Hey, I rent a full-court every Thursday night for a bunch of over-50 guys. If you are ever in the Milwaukee area I am always up for learning new tricks. The only catch is I want you coaching only me! I may be old but I am still a competitive SOB!

HH

Gulcherboy
Gulcherboy 2012-10-13 00:49:03 -0500 Report

Fair enough! If I've practiced exclusivity with my wife for more than a quarter of a century, I can be exclusive to you — at least in the Milwaukee area. Do you have a neighbor, friend, son, brother — someone willing to play "defense" on you as you learn this move?

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2012-10-14 01:57:18 -0500 Report

G-man,

Yup! Rented a local gym several months back and started an over-50 pickup game. Play (then drink) every Thursday night!

HH

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