My Husband's Heart-Related Stroke (Part 2)
Editor's note: This is part 2 of a series. Be sure to check out part 1.
This was the first time my husband left on an ambulance, and I wasn’t immediately behind him. Our oldest son was already with family, but our youngest son was at home with us.
He was terrified
We both sat
After the ambulance left, we both sat there for a couple of minutes. I had my arms wrapped around him because he was terrified. He was not present for either of his dad’s heart attacks.
Fragility of life
At the age of 14, most kids do not yet understand the fragility of life, and my husband and I are both still working through the pain of knowing he watched his dad having a stroke at such a young age.
Emergencies in the time of Covid
Calling my mother
My closest family member lives an hour and a half away. By the time the ambulance had left, I had called my mother and told her what happened. Her initial response was to say to me to call 911. I couldn’t figure out why she thought I had called her instead of 911. She had taken medication that causes drowsiness.
I didn’t want to travel an hour and a half away from the hospital, but the hospital still had a one visitor rule due to Covid. Thankfully, my sister’s fiancé was able to pick him up. I noticed our son was carrying his dad’s Tractor Supply hat and wouldn’t let it go. It broke my heart to leave him, but the hospital was not safe for him either. My husband was the only one in our immediate family who was fully vaccinated.
The phone call
Hoping medication worked
When I was about fifteen minutes away from the hospital, I received a call from someone on his treatment team. He had arrived at the hospital in time to receive the medication they give to stroke patients to help dissolve the clot. Due to the location of the clot, there would be little chance of survival if they attempted surgery. Retrieval was not an option for him. We just had to hope the medication worked.
Her final words to me were “Chris wanted to say to me he was sorry for the way he left the house.” Was he telling me things were worse than what they were willing to share over the phone? The rest of my drive to the hospital. Based on previous experience (after his second heart attack) I knew they don’t necessarily give all of the information to families over the phone. I truly felt isolated the moment the phone call ended. No one would be waiting for us in the waiting room this time. I was completely alone walking into the emergency room.
Stay tuned for part three.
Do you use exercise to help manage your heart failure?