Any SCA/bypass survivors?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-25-2007
Any SCA/bypass survivors?
4
Thu, 06-17-2010 - 1:36pm

Hello,I'm new to this board looking for information on sudden cardiac arrest and bypass surgery after-care. My story is below:

On June 4, 2010, my father suffered cardiac arrest. Through many twists of fate, divine intervention and overall good luck, he survived his bout with ventricular fibrillation after 3 minutes of unconsciousness.

He remained unconscious for about 18 hours after the cardiac arrest. he suffered short term memory loss in the first few days but that improved significantly to about 80-90% before his bypass surgery. He had his triple bypass on June 11 and was discharged on June 15. he is now home with my mother and grandmother (my parents care for my grandmother). Also important to note, my mother suffered an episode of Broken Heart syndrome as a result of the cardiac arrest my father experienced. My mother, grandmother, my 2 kids and I were there when it happened (thank God!). His memory seems to be intact since the surgery, but he is very uncomfortable and very sad. I see it in his eyes, it's all so overwhelming for him, for my mom, for everyone.

I offer all the background because I need advice please. I feel this is too much for my mother to do on her own, especially with her heart in a weakened state. I also do not think having a bunch of people in and out is good for my father who needs predictability, peace and quiet. I fear that everyone is making emotional decisions about his care rather than logical, we are just too close to the situation.

As a sidenote, my 92 year old grandmother who lives in the home is fairly mobile but requires assistance for meals, showers, and general companionship.

From those who have been there, or have experience with this, is it best to hire a nurse/assistant 8 hours a day, or for around the clock care? Or would my father be best served by having family on rotation? Is having kids around a way to keep things positive or too much commotion for the trauma my father has been through?

Your advice is greatly appreciated. We are blessed to have my father and mother still with us. But I really feel like there is more to do to ensure their full recovery. I trust the advice most from those who have been through it or seen it first hand.

Thanks in advance for your feedback!!


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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Thu, 06-17-2010 - 8:58pm
Hello and welcome to the board! I have personal experience with only one person who suffered a heart attack and had bypass surgery. She has 4 daughters and a husband. She depended on her dh for moral support mainly, yet he had to care for her until she got well. She also has 4 daughters who were there for her as often as possible, although they all had lives of their own. It was suggested to her that she have outside help come in, but she refused. She said that she didn't want strangers around. Everyone is different, of course, but I'm assuming that your father would much rather have family during trying times. If your mother is not up to caring for your father, then she most definitely needs help. I also agree with you that your dad needs R & R, however, he should decide that for himself. If rest helps him to feel better, then so be it. But if he's more cheerful with everyone around, then you should allow him to make that decision. Just don't over do it with too many people at once or staying for long periods of time. I wish you and your family lots of good wishes and you'll be in my thoughts. Feel free to come back anytime and let us know your doing! Beautiful children, btw!

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I lost my daddy on June 17th, 1991


I miss you, Dad!


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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2009
Wed, 06-23-2010 - 3:17pm
Your instinct that your mother can't do this by herself is right on!



My FIL had a double-bypass in October 2009. My MIL needed full-time help for a couple of months afterward, and she didn't have health problems of her own and an elderly parent to care for as well!



If you have a large enough family to do most of the care, that might be best. However, check into what your options are for hiring a home health worker at least two days a week. You will all need a respite, and your mother (and grandmother if she is able) needs to get out of the house and do something else for a bit.



I think having your adorable kids around for a while would probably be a boon to your dad, but you probably shouldn't try to have them there all day. Your dad will continue to need a lot of rest and care for quite a while. He is blessed to have such a thoughtful daughter, best of luck to you all.



iVillage Member
Registered: 07-25-2007
Sat, 06-26-2010 - 11:02am

Thanks to both of you for your replies and well wishes.

It's been a rough 2 weeks since surgery but all seems to be stabilizing now. Thankfully my sister in law was able to provide coverage 4 hours a day, 5 days a week. So this helps my mother a great deal. My father is getting better each day but it's def a process.

Thanks again for your feedback, I really appreciate it!


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Community Leader
Registered: 10-22-2001
Sun, 06-27-2010 - 11:36am
Personally, I would ask him or both of them...maybe the doctors could or would also help with this.
Everyone is different, they have different wants/needs.
I know I liked quiet...rested a lot and my ds made sure I didn't overdo it, he made me tea and toast, got my meds for me, reminded me about them.
My daughter helped me if I went grocery shopping, she carried my bags.
It is basically what they would like, be comfortable with.
I was off work and was definitely not up to doing too much of anything.
Even when I went back to work I did take it easy and still do.
It's scary but with ALL OF your family's love and support they will both fine...baby steps.
I didn't worry too much about the future just dealt with one day at a time.
It's been over two years...
<3
~hugs~
I know both my kids were scared but every day they see that Mom is doing okay and slowly I think things returned to "Normal"...not quite the same but each day gets better.
Nightangel
Nightangel