We’re Celebrating My Husbands 39th Birthday With a Cardiac Catheterization

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Yesterday was my husbands 39th birthday. If you would have asked me at 25 yrs old how we would be celebrating, I would have made some snarky comment about how we would be playing shuffle board since we were getting ready to become old farts.

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The years since I met my husband back in 1995 have flown by. We married, had three kids, and have fallen into the humdrum of the daily grind. The highs and lows exists, and I have learned over the past 15 years that marriage is work. Hard work.

In May of this year my husband ended up in the emergency room with chest pain. They ran a bunch of tests, ultrasounds, echo-cardiograms, EKG’s, and everything else that our Insurance would cover. I sat there holding his hand thinking,

“How the hell is this happening? How is my husband having a heart attack? We’re not old. We’re in decent shape.”

All of his tests showed his heart was not in crisis, but something was going on. He was discharged from the hospital the next day and was told to follow up with his doctor to have a stress test.

The years since I met my husband back in 1995 have flown by. We married, had three kids, and have fallen into the humdrum of the daily grind. #hearthealth #heart #healthy #love #marriage

Fast forward a few weeks and my husband had his stress test and blood work completed. Blood work was normal but the stress test was abnormal. We made drastic changes to our diet and lifestyle. He lost 24 pounds by sticking to a heart healthy diet. I’ve read a bunch of books on hearth health and we’ve been diligent on portion size.

Fast forward one more time to yesterday, my husband’s 39th birthday,  we sat in the cardiologists office at 8AM to see what the stress test and new EKG showed. We heard a lot of words including, blockage, stent, heart disease, LDL, and so many others flying around the room.

So today, the day after his 39th birthday I sit in a hospital waiting room while my husband has a heart-cath to see if his arteries are blocked and if the doctors will have to place a stent.

The day after his birthday I sit and pray that I will not have to raise our three children alone.

I sit the day after his birthday and think will we have a 16th wedding anniversary? I sit here knowing that our lives will never be the same again. Our lifestyle has to change, our mindset has to change, our perspective has to change.

Tomorrow is not promised. If you would stand in front of my husband you would have no idea he has blocked arteries and is in this position. He isn’t overweight. He isn’t a smoker, he isn’t a big drinker, but we made poor choice with the way we ate.

He wasn’t exercising regularly, and in terms of work stress, it was a disaster.

So today, the day after my husbands 39th birthday as I sit in this hospital waiting room, I beg you to do an inventory of your health and your spouse’s health.

Get your physical.

Do not ignore symptoms.

Watch what you eat.

I know that fast food is fast and easy and with a bunch of kids it can feel necessary. I know that because I use to drive through fast food restaurants twice a week, but I won’t ever do that again.

I sit in this hospital waiting room and I pray about our future. I pray we can stay on track with our new lifestyle. I pray this cardiologist can repair my husband’s heart so that I may get to lay my head on his chest and hear it beating in perfect rhythm before we fall asleep.

I sit here in this hospital waiting room also praying for you and your family so that whoever needed to hear this story can make the necessary changes to live a long healthy life.

Please know the signs and symptoms of heart disease. Be vigilant. Someone reading this today needs this message. This story I am telling you from the waiting room of the cardiac ward, was meant for you.

15 COMMENTS

  1. I can relate! Last year we spent April, May and June with husband was having multiple procedures and tests around his birthday, trying to rule out lung cancer. He turned 28. Luckily everything was benign but we worry every day that it can turn into something worse. Enjoy everyday and live in the moment. And take care of yourselves for your loved ones sakes.

  2. Meredith, I am praying for you and your husband! I’m a nurse on a heart floor and still find myself making really stupid decisions with regards to our diet. My husband turned 41 yesterday and I read this just now and thought…I will not take that for granted…tomorrow is NOT promised and we need to do everything we can to take the best care of ourselves. Sending you a hug!

  3. You are now a member of the “My Husband Is a Heart Patient” sisterhood. I feel you. My husband had quadruple bypass surgery at the age of 49. We still had kids at home. There was no incident and no signs to warn us of his condition. He asked for a stress test to make sure he was entering his 50’s in “good shape”. Five days later he had heart surgery. It blows you away. We are now in our 60’s and will soon be retired. One of the hardest things for me was I knew of no young wives, going through the same thing, that I could talk to. Area support groups consisted of folks 20 years older than us. We only had each other and it wasn’t easy. You make adjustments, get used to the idea, eventually, and learn to appreciate all that life has to offer. You’ll be ok. I promise.

  4. Meredith, don’t panic. This is a scary time, but it will pass and you will go back to your family routines and life will continue. You will make some dietary changes that seem daunting, but will be fairly easy once you set your mind to it. Read labels, limit anything canned, premade, or full of additives to lengthen shelf life. It will be easy once you take the plunge to learn. You can still have quick meals and they can be tasty. Use lots of herbs (fresh, frozen or dried), limit salt, use of lemons and limes, good ol olive oil and vinegar is your friends. 🙂 Chin up!!

  5. We are some that needed to hear this. Thank you, Meredith, for turning around to help the next one in line right in the middle of your own hardship and uncertainty. I just texted my husband and asked him to call in to schedule a physical. Hoping for the best possible outcome for your husband and your family.

  6. My 38 year old daughter just had a mild heart attack. It was a wake up call for sure. She almost didn’t go to the ER because she thought she was too young to have a heart attack.

  7. This is so true. I turned 32 on the 9th. I’m 380 and have already been to the cardiologist for pvc’s. But as I sit staring at my sleeping wife and 3 yr old boy I know I cannot leave them. There is too much for us to experience together. Too many “Daddy can I have a strong hug?” After we’ve already said goodnight. Too many balls to pitch, camp fires to sit around, kisses to give my wife, too many I love you’s to say to leave them because I’m too apt to take the easy (lazy) way out. We are at the end of our loop of the country trip. As soon as we get home things are changing because I want all those moments. Thank you for your sharing. My family will be praying good results and many more moments for your family.

    In Christ,

    Hoss

  8. I hope your husband is heart healthy and continues to be so. Follow the advice they give you regarding diet and exercise. My dad is going strong at 82 after two stents and revamping his lifestyle. My husband ignored the signs and doctor’s advice and passed unexpectedly this past Christmas Eve and our lives will never be the same. Tomorrow is NOT promised but we do everything we can now to make sure we see many tomorrows. Sending prayers your way.

  9. Wow! You take care of you and know that your readers and watchers are praying for only positive outcomes. God Bless and thank you for thinking of others as you are going through this yourself

  10. I can relate to your fears and feelings.
    We’ve been married 42 years. My husband was diagnosed with lung cancer the first of May.
    Somehow I made it through the last few weeks of school. Our summer has been chemo, radiation and doctors.
    Yesterday was his birthday and I wondered if this would be his last birthday.
    I go back to work Tue. and he will be on his own.
    This year I will be teaching students affected by Autism so I have to be there.
    We’re told his cancer is highly curable and I hope that’s true for him.

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