Now comes the hard work

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by katya02, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    husband has continued stable although he's had a few 'twinges', as he put it, that scared him. The bigger issue now is that he's falling into a depression. Not surprising, it's a combination of post-traumatic stress and frustration at being deprived of virtually every normal activity and freedom, plus wondering what bad thing is going to happen next, plus a new diet that is radical for him ... strict nonfat vegetarian. We're Eastern Orthodox and have observed fasts for years, in which we eat a vegan diet at certain significant times of year, but oils/fats are typically allowed. It makes a big difference. Plus this diet is supposed to be permanent, whereas a fasting period is of a defined duration.

    husband has started saying things like, "I'll do these dishes; it's all that I'm good for now,". He got very irritable with our two youngest PCs this afternoon - strange behavior given that he was looking forward SO MUCH to easy child 1 & 3 coming home from college, and easy child 2 had been away for the weekend.

    husband's partners have decided to rework staffing so as to give everyone an easier schedule - something to celebrate! But I think it's going to be a rough few weeks here at home. husband absolutely hates doing nothing; he has some Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) about neatness and cleanliness that he can normally manage, but at home he'll notice every speck of dust on the baseboards and want to literally take the house apart to clean it.

    This SHOULD be a happy holiday with everyone home, but I don't know how it's going to work out.
  2. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Those 'twinges' are normal. First, the heart has just been through a traumatic event. Second, studies have shown that heart attack patients are more sensitive to those 'twinges', especially in the first year since the attack. I'm guilty as charged, as well. And of course depression with heart patients has been well documented.

    Nonfat diet? So, even the good fats are out? No olive oil? No fish? Omega-3's are really good for the heart. The Mediterranean Diet has found to be really good for the heart. I know it's different for everyone, but I'm allowed a certain amount (not much) of saturated fat and all the good fats I want. I read all labels and anything with 'hydrogenized' or 'partially hydrogenized' gets put back on the shelf. Trans fat is really, really, really bad and they don't have to list it if it's less than .5mg per serving.

    Is he going to be doing cardiac rehab?

    I hope he settles soon and you are able to enjoy your holiday.

  3. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    Thanks Wynter, yes, patients with stents seem to get quite a few of those twinges but I guess it doesn't help husband's anxiety too much even though he has the theoretical knowledge. The diet is from the Dean Ornish program; the hospital husband was sent to for treatment runs an Ornish rehab program so they wanted husband to follow the Ornish diet and, if possible, do the whole program. I'm partial to a Mediterranean-style diet myself, and I really don't know if we'll be able to maintain the Ornish thing. I think it might result in too many frayed nerves at our house!!

    I sincerely hope husband calms down. He came with me to pick up difficult child from work tonight and he was SO rude to me when we got home, I turned around and told him NOT to talk to me like that, and now he's not talking at all.

    Thanks for the hugs; I can use some tonight. :(
  4. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I haven't heard of the Dean Ornish program. I'll have to look into it. My cardiologist group pushes the Mediterranean diet and people come from all over the state to go to this group. They've got a lot of "First in Ohio..." and "First in the Country..." things to brag about. ;) Unfortunately, I really *hate* fish. So, I stick to Omega-3's and am also taking Hawthorn Berry and Coenzyme Q10 which are both good for the heart. Here's some info if you're not familiar:

    I have 4 drug-eluting stents so I know about the twinges. I ended up with 2 more heart caths because of them. I still get paranoid when I get the symptoms similar to when I had my heart attack and it's been almost 2 years. What I've learned is that all of the new medications have caused GERD and even though I take medications for that, I occassionally get breakthrough symptoms and I have to stop myself from panicking - my GERD symptoms feel a lot like my heart attack did. First thing I do is take Maalox. If that doesn't help (and 99% of the time it does), then I take nitro. I hate the nitro, though. It makes you feel like crappola which makes me not want to take it and then I get yelled at. :tongue:

    It takes time to adjust. You become so aware of every little thing in your chest. And I never had chest pain, so explain that one. It's just par for the course, I think. And you're right, having that knowledge doesn't help the anxiety.

    I'm sorry he's taking his frustrations out on you. :( Hopefully, once he settles into his new routine and feels a sense of normalcy, things will settle down.

  5. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    I'm sorry, Katya! It's also supposed to be a happy time because he has survived the MI. My husband is a retired doctor, it's amazing how much of his life was involved worrying about other people's health. Now he mopes around and does the dishes AND the vacuuming! Men's self-worth is so attached to their careers. Would he consider ADs to help him adjust to what has happened?

    I know about the Ornish diet, have made a couple of recipes and they needed much more spice. Life is too painful to give up olive oil (or wine). I'm sure you will be researching other possibilities, Ornish isn't the only solution.

    Years ago I saw a documentary about MI survivors attending a program using Ornish, yoga and relaxation techniques. I was able to predict the one man who did not survive for long. He was the most type A in the group. He did everything the other participants did but he started to compete with himself!

    I feel for your family, this is a very hard time, especially around the holidays. Is your Christmas January 7 ?

    God bless.
  6. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I just looked up the Dean Ornish program. That *is* hard work. We wouldn't have to worry about my heart anymore, because I'd starve to death! That is one heck of an adjustment. I think a lot of people would find it hard to stick to. in my opinion, I'd rather have something with a little more variety that one will stick to even if it's not quite as good a program. Because it doesn't matter how good the program is if it's too rigid and hard to stick to.

    Nonfat cheeses - even low-fat cheeses - are just :sick:. That's one thing I couldn't give up; I just eat them in moderation. I was also devastated at having to give up Caesar dressing, but I found one that is naturally low fat - 3 grams total fat and none of it listed as saturated or trans. Most 'low-fat' Caesar dressings still have 12 grams of fat and most of it saturated. I was determined. :anxious: I *love* Caesar dressing in salads and wraps.

    It's a huge adjustment no matter what. It's scary to be faced with your own mortality. I sincerely hope husband can find some peace with it sooner than later. For everyone's sake.