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wife of CABGx4 survivor at 44

  • 1.  wife of CABGx4 survivor at 44

    Posted 11-26-2018 11:27
    My name is Rebekah and I am a wife of a CABGx4 survivor.  I say that lightly because he has physically made it through very well, his emotions have been a roller coaster.  It has been very hard for me to know how to support him through this time.  He is scheduled to see a therapist this Th, lets hope he goes.

    Our journey began April 24, 2018, but really much earlier, signs that were ignored.  He had been sick all winter, refusing to go see a doctor, just fast care visits that were mis diagnosis.  I made the doctor appointment and took him to the appointment.  We both thought we would be going to work later.  I am a social worker and left while they did one test only to get a text reading, so do you want to drive me to Mayo or should I take an ambulance.  The test showed his EF was 15%.  They said he was a walking stroke or heart attack waiting to happen.  I am holding back the tears as I write this.  It is one of those days, a person never forgets.

    We have a 13 year old girl and a 10 year old boy.  I have attempted to be the strong one for them and their father.  This experience has thrown our whole family on its tails. My friends have no idea, my family has some idea as many of the men have had CABG also, but it is different when the struggle is yours.  I have decided that to get through this I need support, to hear from others that things will get better, that there is hope.  That although everything seems upside down right now, it can get better.  Every day seems like a battle.  I am usually a positive person, but my smile has been replaced with tears many days. Looking forward to hearing from you on ideas , resources or comments.

    I think that is enough of my story for today.

    take care and good luck on your own journey,

    wife of CABGx4 survivor

  • 2.  RE: wife of CABGx4 survivor at 44

    Posted 11-27-2018 12:56
    Hi Rebekah,

    I am Mike and I am a 60 year old CABG x 5 survivor of now 16 years, so I was just ready to turn 44, like your husband, when I had my CABG. At that time, I had 2 daughters, aged 7 and 3.5. I was very active, really had no symptoms, and quite surprised when I was told after having a catheterization that, " we can operate on you tomorrow."  So, I had the surgery and began my rehabilitation; a fairly slow process, however, I was able to get back to work in about 6 weeks. I would say that within a few months I was feeling pretty strong again. So, how has it gone since then? I've taken my medication, exercised regularly, and tried to eat healthy (my biggest challenge). I feel that I have not been limited by my procedure at all. For the past 16 hears, I have been very active; biking, running, boating, landscaping, etc. and had another daughter who is now 15. Though I do not know the specifics of your husband's condition, my message is to stay positive and be patient and I hope that my survivor story helps a bit.

    Michael Bankovich
    Hudson OH
    (330) 603-7432

  • 3.  RE: wife of CABGx4 survivor at 44

    Posted 11-28-2018 11:37

                  I would repeat Michael's advice to "stay positive." Amazing recoveries are possible.

                  All couple's relationships differ, but I would encourage openness between you and your husband. This is tricky because, as my wife found, it helped if she could share her concerns with me, but she didn't want to overload and burden me while I was still at my most vulnerable. I, on the other hand, knew how I was feeling and sometimes showed outward signs of distress that were worrisome to her, but I could sense were nothing. Some people find anti-depressants helpful. (I did.) Some find counseling from therapists or members of the clergy. My treating cardiologist was wonderfully supportive and my wife also talked, by herself, with our PTP.

    Bob Levin


    Sent from Mail for Windows 10


  • 4.  RE: wife of CABGx4 survivor at 44

    Posted 11-27-2018 13:43
    ​Dear Rebekah,

    I am a 68 year old CABGx5 survivor.  My surgery occurred nearly 10 months ago.  While it certainly is not unusual for CABG survivors to experience depression or other mental health issues, it also is not a necessary experience on the road to recovery.  For example, I have felt nothing but a profound sense of gratitude, both to my caregivers and for still being alive, every single day since my surgery.  It has changed my life for the better.

    I also know that people bring to their post-CABG recovery the emotional issues and coping mechanisms that they had before the surgery, but that it is possible to develop a new understanding either spontaneously as a result of the experience, through the involvement of loved ones or through the assistance of mental health professionals such as the therapist that your husband is scheduled to see.  In other words, there is great cause for hope.

    I wish you and your husband the very best, and I believe that you will find the support and guidance that you seek on this board.  So will your husband, if he gives it a chance.  There is a lot of accumulated wisdom shared by these good people and, no matter how badly a person feels that he or she has suffered, there is always someone you can find on this board who had it worse but emerged triumphantly to live a happy and perhaps even more fulfilling life than before.

    All the best,


    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ