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Just Diagnosed with CAD and I'm scared!

  • 1.  Just Diagnosed with CAD and I'm scared!

    Posted 10-02-2019 12:58
    Hi, I'm 62 years old and was just diagnosed with CAD.  I'm very scared!  I'm supposed to be my husband's caregiver, he has end stage COPD and retro-peritoneal lipsarcoma (inoperable).  I have known something wasn't right for a while, but stupidly put it off.
    From what I have read, I can minimize some of the progression with diet and exercise, as well as follow doctor's instructions (of course.)  Is that correct?

    Thank you for any feedback!

    Sharon - California

  • 2.  RE: Just Diagnosed with CAD and I'm scared!

    Posted 10-03-2019 05:12
    Dear Sharon,

    I am not a doctor, but while it is true that diet and exercise are supposed to be beneficial, and I din't doubt that wisdom, they are not a guarantee of anything.  I am 69 years ild and had quintuple bypass surgery just over a year and a half ago, after a lifetime of athletics including weight training, gymnastics, long distance running, walking and a natural affinity to healthy eating (although I confess to having problems with portion control).  People were shocked when I had my heart attack and surgery and the universal reaction was "but he's in such good shape and eats so well."

    I'm not saying that I shouldn't have weighed 20 pounds less when I had the heart attack, but I looked mire like a pocket sized football player not some out if shape old guy.  And yet it was me who became a proud member of what I like to call the zipper club, not the countless guys my age who were never particularly attentive to duet and exercise, at least nit since high school and college.

    So why did this happen to me?  The answer, as I since learned, is that my father, uncle, 49 year old marathon running cousin (female, no less) all have or had diagnosed left anterior descending coronary artery disease (the widowmaker) the same as I.  It just runs in the family.  I suppose that I could have been a vegetarian or vegan and maybe, MAYBE, that might have helped, but who knows?

    The point I'm trying to make is that diet and exercise will no doubt make you a healthier you, but it won't necessarily make you healthier than some totally out if shape, smoking, hard drinking, poor eating person who was gifted with impeccable genetics, and it is no substitute for regular visits to your cardiologist, who should become your new best friend and business partner.

    I'm sorry if my tone seems somewhat lighthearted about this, but I also am an unusually positive person that has learned to laugh at my own adversity (another very positive health benefit).  I've learned that there is no "supposed to be's" in life, that we do the best we can to stay healthy, raise our children, live a good life (however we define it), but that challenges will come, often when and where we least expect or desire it, but that it is all okay, it is our own reality, and we can learn, grow and find (and spread joy) in any circumstance.

    Do live a healthy lifestyle and listen to your cardiologist, but do also learn to stop worrying about a future that is just in your head and may ir may not ever become reality.  Learn to focus in the one moment that is real-right here, right now-and enjoy everything, challenges and all, that life throws your way.

    I wish you and your husband, great peace, happiness and the best health possible.


    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ

  • 3.  RE: Just Diagnosed with CAD and I'm scared!

    Posted 10-04-2019 18:47
    To Ira. Family history is an important cause of heart issues... the one we cant change. My impression is that because you’re so healthy in the other ways.( Exercise and diet )that you set the stage for a good result from your surgery and that recovery was easier for you .., than for us others .” Why ME? “. Well its just one of those things that we cant know why.

    Marilyn B. Rosenhouse
    Mobile: (214)850-0655

  • 4.  RE: Just Diagnosed with CAD and I'm scared!

    Posted 10-05-2019 07:02
    Hi Marilyn,

    I agree with you 100%.  But for my lifetime of exercise and good diet, I probably wouldn't be here talking to you now.  Everything matters, in the end.

    As to "why me," that's really a rhetorical question.  Maybe it's a koan.  The answer is "why not me" or maybe just "life." The truth is that life just "is" without any "why" or "should" and we, all of us, are swells in the ocean of experience, always moving, changing and finally disappearing into that ocean of which we are a part.

    Enjoy the ride, people!


    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ

  • 5.  RE: Just Diagnosed with CAD and I'm scared!

    Posted 10-05-2019 15:05
    Marilyn B. Rosenhouse
    Mobile: (214)850-0655

  • 6.  RE: Just Diagnosed with CAD and I'm scared!

    Posted 10-03-2019 08:31

    As a 12 1/2 year survivor of 5 way bypass surgery I would say first of all, please do as your doctor says.  Yes, diet and exercise are very important so watch what you eat and exercise daily.  Another factor is stress.  You are in a very stressful situation with your husband which is very unfortunate.  His condition is something you have no control over.  Again, please follow your doctors advice.  I wish you and your husband the very best and remember you are not alone in this.

    Tommy Broughton
    Chapter 28
    Richmond, Virginia

  • 7.  RE: Just Diagnosed with CAD and I'm scared!

    Posted 10-03-2019 14:03
    Hello Sharon,
    As the others have said staying positive is key. Look at it this way, it was found before it put you in the hospital. It can be helped with diet and exercise. Two positive factors right there. 
    The key to being a caregiver is taking care of yourself first! You must do that, otherwise, you might not be well enough to care for your husband. Just try to look at this as a yellow light. Caution!
    I am sure you have already begun to look at getting other assistance with your husband so you do not have to do it all alone. You may want to proceed with getting some partial help in place to just give yourself more time for you to get your batteries recharged. 
    Please remember any advice any of us give is without full knowledge of your situation, so just use the information that helps and ignore what doesn't. 
    You will get through this and you may ask any questions at any time.
    Take care,

    Richard Short 
    Chapter 395

  • 8.  RE: Just Diagnosed with CAD and I'm scared!

    Posted 10-03-2019 09:10
    ​Hi Sharon,

    Yes, it can be scary. I've been living with CAD for six years now and although it can be challenging it is manageable. Diet and exercise help a great deal as well as being diligent about taking any medications your doctor prescribes. If you do those things you should be fine. The important thing is staying positive and not letting it bring your life and your plans for the future to a halt. There's no reason why you shouldn't still have many wonderful years ahead of you.

    Wishing you an amazing and blessed day!

    Best regards,

    Brett Temple
    Project Manager
    Sarasota FL