The Second Heart Attack

As scary as my husband’s first heart attack was, his second has left lasting anxiety. We had lived together for almost four years at this point, and he was in his last semester of nursing school. I took the day off work to catch up on my school projects and do some things around the house. My phone rang, and I didn’t answer since I did not recognize the number. The person immediately called back, and I answered. My husband had just experienced another heart attack.

They had to revive him

The call had come from his clinical supervisor. He was in a clinical rotation at a local emergency room and had to be transported to another hospital nearby. Once I arrived at the cath lab, she told me how bad his condition was. The emergency room staff at the previous hospital had to revive him. His heart had stopped for a couple of minutes, but they were able to revive him. Even though they were able to revive him, she let me know he was not out of the woods yet.

What I had to do

I had to make arrangements for our kids to be picked up by my mother. I had to make calls to his family as well. This helped pass some of the time. His nursing professor sat with me for a bit but had to leave because winter weather was heading our way. I was able to walk back to the recovery room with him and visit for a few minutes before he went to the ICU.

The weather held, so I could go home for a bit and gather some things he would need once he was moved out of ICU. I was concerned about the weather and not being able to make it the following day. Driving home, this one hit me harder than his first one. The thought of my husband dying was almost too much to handle. I made it home and loved our dogs for a bit and started to pack a bag for him. I was trying to avoid thinking about losing him if this ever happened again.

Our relationship changed

When I finally arrived back at the hospital that evening, they let me into his room even though visiting hours were over. The ICU was full, and the nurses were more than happy to let me stay longer than the 15 minutes they allow so I could feed him and spend a little bit more time with him before heading home.

The dynamic of our relationship changed after this. Not in the wrong way, but I devoted myself to making sure he was actively taking his medications daily, eating right, and doing anything else to keep him safe and healthy. Being a partner and a caregiver can get tricky at times, but I am happy we still have him here with us, and I have devoted myself to making sure he is with us for a long time.

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