I've had a very stressful week last week. So, I apologize in advance if I might seem a bit snappy in the Locker Room. A couple of Saturdays ago, my brother called me and told me that my dad was being rushed to the hospital for chest pains. He suffered a severe heart attack; a couple arteries 100% blocked, and two more 80% blocked. When I arrived at the hospital, I saw the look on my family's faces, and it was not a look I was hoping to see. Sitting there in the ER waiting room, I really felt that was the last time I'd see my father on this earth.
Luckily though, the first aid that he received saved his life! On the Monday following his heart attack, he had angioplasty. He received two stints to fix the arteries that were 100% blocked, and will receive two more stints in a week to open up the other arteries. You know, sitting there in CCU looking at your dad, someone who has always seemed to be invincible to things he's faced was just quite humbling. I nervously kept an eye on his blood pressure and oxygen readings, making sure it wasn't too high or too low. I felt a bit of relief after his procedure, but it's cautious optimism.
The good news is, he kept getting better throughout last week, and finally got to go home last Thursday night. And what seems as if it's a strange coincidence, I was almost hospitalized Wednesday night because my blood pressure shot up over 100 on the bottom side. I was so dizzy that I couldn't walk or stand. I was trying not to give dad any concern, because he's already been through a lot himself. Anyways, since then, my blood pressure has been up, and I've barely been able to function at my job. I went to the doctor today and he's put me on a certain type of water pill/blood pressure medication.
So, I've decided for myself, I'm going to start taking better care of myself. I went to the grocery store yesterday and bought tons of veges, fruits, and lean meat. The dietitian from the hospital gave us a heart healthy diet (and let me add she was HOT!) I've started following this diet. I'm giving up all my bad habits! Namely, no drinking! Which, well, I can't do on this medication anyway. This situation has really scared me! I never really understood the full extent of heart problems and diseases until I witnessed it first hand with a family member. I hope if there is anyone on this board who has delt with heart attacks directly or indirectly, maybe you can give me a word of advice to get through this. For instance, how soon can dad start exercising? How hard can he exercise, and what can I do to give him encouragement?
Re: Heart Disease
I'm sorry about the stresses. My dad had a major heart attack a couple of years ago. I wasn't around, though.
I also have made a major effort to change my lifestyle. I quit smoking around two years ago. I still drink occasionally, but instead of grabbing a donut or sausage biscuit in the mornings, I pack a yogurt and an orange and a banana. I eat low calorie low fat foods for lunch and a sensible dinner with the family, and much more chicken and fish than red meat.
I don't really have any advice, but I can sympathise somewhat. It takes a dedication to make a lifestyle change and the discipline to stick to your convictions, but the payoff is definitely worth it.
I wish you and your family the best!
Re: Heart Disease
I am sorry to hear about you and your father and I hope he continues to make a full recovery and I hope you keep that BP under control!
My dad suffered a heart attack... It must have been in 2003 because it was right before my high school graduation. He was only in his late 40s (Bout 46-47 or so when it happened) and had to have a triple bypass because of it. It was pretty scary for me because heart problems and blood pressure already run on my moms side of the family. My grandfather just died a few years back from congestive heart failure.
My dad is a fairly active guy, used to play tennis and golf and work out on a weekly basis. After his heart attack it doesn't do anything too active anymore besides play golf. He lives out in Cali so I really don't know the exact details of everything he does and how he handles it (such as the exercising). In my opinion to give him encouragement let him do everything he used to do, just make sure he doesn't over-exert himself. If ever he feels tired tell him to STOP and rest. My best friend's mother was born with a hole in her heart but she still runs on the treadmill for 20-30 min, everyday. But she knows if she feels fatigued or faint to stop and just sit down.
Good luck and God bless. :)
Re: Heart Disease
be careful about sudden dramatic changes in diet. it might be a month until you're fully adjusted to it.
when i did that (before basic) i had a week where i just felt like total crap before it got better.
that said, i wish you and yours all the best.
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