That Time My Husband Had A Heart Attack.

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Get ready for a long post. If you’re here just for the deals (I TOTALLY, really do get that), scroll waaayyyyy on down.  UPDATE ~ I tried responding to all your sweet comments tonight and realized I was just exhausted and you all would understand. THANK YOU MORE THAN YOU’LL KNOW for taking the time to be such blessings to me – I am so so thankful for you!

 

13 days ago my husband had a heart attack. 

 

My 45-year-old-mostly-healthy husband had a heart attack. (For the record I’m 40 ~ no reason for you to think I’m quite 45 yet, right?) 🙂

 

My heart still hurts.

 

He’d had some chest pain about six months ago and had done a stress test to make sure everything was okay. The stress test came back negative, and we assumed everything was fine and went on about our lives.

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Our bunch just 4 weeks ago, on our way to ski for a week in CanadaWhile he’s always been a little overweight, James has stayed the same weight since we were married twenty years ago, and is as strong as an ox. He plays sports hard with our kids, and is in general a pretty healthy guy. He doesn’t smoke or drink, but did have slightly elevated cholesterol and some family history of heart issues at an early age.

On Wednesday almost two weeks ago, he started having pain in his arm while driving all over Ohio for work. He called home around 3 and said he really wasn’t feeling well, then finally made it in at 5 that night.

 

Because I’m a horrible (read – awful, terrible, pitiful) not-ever-meant-to-be-a-nurse-wife, I told him I didn’t know what he should do, but if his chest hurt he should go to the ER. (Honestly, I wasn’t all that compassionate about it ~ we had 3 kids going 3 directions and I had no time for this craziness. Like I said, I’m an awful, terrible, pitiful wife!)

 

A few minutes later though I looked at him the way I should have looked at him the minute he came home, and realized he looked awful. He headed to the ER, and I headed out for evening carpool duty.

 

An hour later he called and told me that while his EKG was fine, his blood work came back with some issues and they were transporting him to a nearby hospital for testing the next morning. Remember we’d just moved here two years ago, so while we definitely have a few people we could call on in a pinch, our kids weren’t all that comfortable with folks they didn’t know so well (my oldest is 16).  I left the kids at home around 7:30 PM and headed to the ER to see what was next.

 

I don’t know anything medically, but by the time I got there the second EKG had changed, and the ER doctor seemed pretty concerned. He let us know that a cardiologist would meet us immediately at the hospital, and when the ambulance came to transport James (they said he wasn’t stable enough for me to drive him even though he looked pretty good), I ran home to get a few things and then planned to meet him in the hospital.

 

It didn’t happen like that. 

 

I arrived at the larger hospital’s Emergency Room and was immediately taken past dozens of people in the waiting room to a small waiting room with a night chaplain. She wasn’t allowed to tell me anything, just sat with me as I waited. (I couldn’t figure what on earth had happened ~ just a few minutes ago we’d been laughing together in the original ER?)

 

About 20 minutes went by, and the cardiologist came out to tell me that my husband (yes, the 45 year old seemingly healthy one), had a mild heart attack. He had 100% blockage in one artery (thankfully only 20-30% blockage in other arteries), and they’d put in a stent to fix the blockage. He was doing well, but his life would change.

 

He wasn’t kidding.

 

Thankfully, because he was basically healthy his heart had used “collateral arteries” to repair the problem as much as they could on their own (which masked the heart issues in his initial stress test.) We found out a few days later that despite everything he had absolutely no heart muscle damage, and I’m guessing it’s partly due to those collateral arteries taking on the extra load.

 

(Isn’t it crazy that God makes your body to DO things like that?) 

 

I was allowed to see James who honestly looked great considering everything he’d gone through. I think we were both just in shock ~ and totally unaware of what this meant for our life. (Two weeks later, we’re still pretty unaware.)

 

Around 1:30 in the morning I left him in the ICU to come be with our kids and try to sleep, and his sister (she’s a doctor and was completely a lifesaver through this!) headed up to be with us just to get us through the first through days. (His other sister also came up for the weekend ~ I can’t even begin to tell you what a gift they were to me those first few days!)

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Us out on a short hike last week while playing hooky 🙂 

So here I sit, almost two weeks later, still just in a small state of shock over all this. James wasn’t allowed to work last week, so we kind of played hooky all week. We visited every plant nursery in a 30 mile radius, ate meals at fancy restaurants (he’s supposed to eat salmon and I haven’t yet learned to cook it), and even went to see a movie at 10 o-clock in the morning just because we could. (We were the only people there besides an older couple in their 70’s. I’ve never ever seen a movie at 10 o’clock in the morning!)

 

You know what though? I’m still kind of terrified.

 

I’m afraid of how I’d do life without him.

 

I’m afraid of what we would do if our finances really changed because of an illness. (We are so so blessed financially thanks to years of penny pinching, but fear of the unknown still scares the crud of me.)

 

I’m afraid of my kids not having grandparents for *their* kids. (Y’all, I am seriously jumping the gun on this worry thing. I know. I’m nuts.) 

 

I’m afraid of what my life would look like if he wasn’t right here next to me.

 

He’s always been my one. 

 

I don’t know that I believe that people have just one person out there made just for them, but, for me, he’s been my one.

 

He’s the one I just feel safe and cozy with. The one who likes me even though I’m a mess. And more than anything he’s the one who completely cheers me on each and every day. 

 

The thought of something happening to him terrifies me beyond what I can even express. 

 

And honestly, the thought that’s filling my head right now is that something could happen to him, and in just a few short years my cute kids will be gone. And this awful crushing fear of just being without them kind of terrifies me.

 

But as I was muddling through all that in my head today, I remembered that long before I was James’s wife, I was chosen by Him.

 

And way before I ever dreamed of being Jackson & Caroline & Reagan’s momma . . . I was His child.

 

And I was reminded that the same God who has held me through so many difficult things along the way, loves me enough to hold me through this not-so-easy time too. 

 

Whatever may come.

 

Whatever it takes.

 

Now, don’t get me wrong, right now things look good for my sweet husband. (Thank. heavens.) He’s doing an amazing job working to change his diet, is on a mountain of medication to keep this from happening again, and is already heading to physical therapy. His prognosis really is good (in fact, his heart is working perfectly), but my fear still is there.

 

But just this experience has rocked my not-as-firm-as-I-want-it-to-be foundation, so I needed to be reminded that ultimately the One who loved me first holds me no matter what comes my way.

 

 

I have no idea what mountain is in your world right now. I don’t know if your world has maybe been shattered by something so crazy-ridiculous-you-feel-like-you-can’t-even-breathe too.

 

But I do know that the same God who’s holding me? He’s holding you right next to me too.

 

He loves each of us, and desires peace for us, no matter what comes our way.

 

Know that I’m praying for you today. And I’d so love your prayers too as our hearts adjust to this new season too. God’s plan is bigger and better than ours ever is, and I’m so crazy-ridiculously-overwhelmingly thankful for peace that comes when we choose to find rest in Him today.

 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

 

 

(On a quick side note ~ thank goodness I have some amazing workers here on PPP who totally have kept things up and running while I’ve been way more frazzled than normal. I don’t *think* any of this should have any long term impact on PPP except that I need to spend a little more time preparing meals and a little more focused on my family (I so appreciate you  understanding!) Right now we’re trying out the Mediterranean diet, so those are the recipes I imagine you’ll see here for a bit while we figure things out. Thanks so much for your kindness and support ~ so so thankful for you.)

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Comments

  1. Brooke Hodges says:

    Hey Laurie! God has already used this terrible situation for his glory – just your words are a testimony that we are His and His love for us is beyond compare regardless of what we are going through. Chris and I have been praying for your family since we found out. We love you all so much and miss you dearly!

    • Thank you sweet friend – what I would give to hug your neck right now! So thankful for such precious friends and miss y’all so much.

  2. Donna Aldridge says:

    Preheat oven to 450. Take a boneless (skinless if you can) oily fish. (salmon, mackeral, blue fish- eat the fish that is in season) Do not eat imported fish to save money. Support US fisherman who catch is not laden with poison. Drizzle with olive oil. (Start buying 2 liter bottles) sprinkle with Cajun spices. bake for approx. 10 min. You can also grill, some lemon juice. Put olive oil on all veggies except corn. Mediteranian diet is not all fish or pasta, but does have lots of vegetarian recipes also.

  3. Jessica says:

    Praying for you and your family. The unknown can be so scary sometimes but I just try to hold strong that God has a plan, always!

  4. T Joiner says:

    Hugs & prayers sent your way!!! So glad your husband is ok & working to improve his health. My bio father died at the age of 42 from a massive heart attack. He DID smoke & didn’t take proper care of himself, but he was still SO young. My mom was pregnant with me & he died 10 days before my birthday. The day before your husband had his heart attack was the 41st anniversary of my father’s death and 10 days before I turned 41. As you can imagine, as it approached I was more nervous – about my health, about my stress-levels, etc.

    Thank you for the reminder that God is in control REGARDLESS & has us – & our precious families – in the palm of His hand.

  5. Wendy Briscoe says:

    Dear Laurie, My I encourage you? My father had 2 blocked arteries 19 years ago, and had a cardiac catherazation done, and last fall had a full blown heart attack, and they did the major double by pass operation. He is still with us and he is 71 years old. Diet change, exercise, The hosital put him on a cardiac rehab program, and finding a new normal. The medication will decrease the stronger your husband will get (at least for my Dad it did.) Your days now, may be totally different. Eating healthier, or resting not going as strong as your used to. Rest I think has been key for my loved ones. Praying for your family as I KNOW the road your walking down. It is very scary, but our God is great, and our God is good! Praying for your family!

  6. karen b says:

    Oh my……I’m older than James & my dear hubby will be turning 45 this year so this definately makes me stop & think. Yes we eat pretty healthy here also & hubby is very active me probably not as much as should be but God only knows whats in store for us in the future. I will be praying for all of you as you are finding a new normal & I’m looking forward to the recipes. Our God is an amazing God that always always knows best for us, we have had a few times that we have relied on him in a mighty way & he is always been there for us.

  7. robin riner says:

    Thank you for sharing this with all of us.God has to remind us what is truly important in life.This has encouraged me so much .I’m very glad your husband is ok.blessings to you and your family.God is so good!

  8. Jimmy Moore says:

    Thanks for sharing Laurie! Let James know the Shalom guys are praying for you all!

  9. Jamie Doyle says:

    Good Afternoon Laurie,
    As soon as your first cryptic message came out, I knew it was very serious and began praying immediately. I am happy to hear things are going better and you are so blessed to have family who came to your assistance and your PPP family too. I will keep praying for your family and for your husband’s full recovery. Many blessings for a long and fulfilling future as husband and wife and at least 50 more years of wedding anniversaries to celebrate together!

  10. My husband experienced a problem during a routine surgery a few years ago and almost passed away. Even though I never doubted that he was, is, and always will be my love, the experience certainly made me look at things differently and now I am so much more appreciative for the simple fact that he is here and well. Prayers for your family. Hope your kids are taking things as well in stride as possible.

  11. Teresa Mayberry says:

    I had no idea, and now I feel so guilty for bugging you for the freezer file. I’m sorry.

    Thank God for sparing your husband. Re: fish, The Pioneer Woman JUST posted a recipe for salmon on her blog. I can always count on her recipes in the blog to be clear, easy-to-follow, and tasty.

  12. karenn butterworth says:

    Please know that I am praying for you and your husband, children and family! ! things happen in this life that we have no idea why.

  13. Duane/Theresa McGee says:

    Laurie,

    Proverbs tells us that life and death are in the power of our tongue!! Recently, I developed a bakers cyst behind my left knee due to having a torn meniscus. I could hardly walk. the pain was crazy. I wrote down some healing verses and started speaking them over myself when I walked our dog Keely. The verse I settled on was Psalm 107:20 He sent his word, and healed them and delivered them from their destructions. I have repeated that verse for a little over 3 weeks now. Probably 4-6 times each day every time we walk. My doctor is amazed, as is many other people who do not realize how God operates….One last thing……In Hebrews 4 and Ephesians 6 it is mentioned that God’s Word is a two-edged sword…..the greek word for two-edged is actually the word dit-tomos…which means a two mouthed word….God spoke it first and put power in it. When we speak it we release that power in our lives….hence the meaning two mouthed!!!! Tell that husband of yours to start speaking the Word over himself!!! Be blessed!!! If you two ever want to talk, discuss the Word or need an encouraging word…you have our email. My wife Theresa is the prophetic one in our house. I am the pastor/teacher. Find us on Facebook…..Word Of Life Ministries.

  14. I know how you feel. I have taken my husband twice to the er for heart attacks. Hs has an enlarged heart and high blood pressure. He had a mild one abt 4 yrs ago at the rip old age of 34. He is ok and is on medicine and sees the dr regularly. Im so glad ur husband is ok. Its traumatic for all parties then all the what ifs start pouring in. Just watch him and make sure he takes care of his self and does what the dr says. Prayers.

  15. Thank you for sharing, Laurie, and for the reminder that it is not our plan but His. Praying still for all of you.

  16. Mis in Ks says:

    Praying for strength and peace. I was in the SAME situation four years ago.. My husband’s tests were negative as well. He was also in his early 40’s. We made it to the hospital and they told me he was having a heart attack. My head started spinning as they took me in that same small room to gather my thoughts. I was so lost because my mother was dying of cancer and my husband was whisked off to surgery. Fast forward eight hours later, while my husband was recouping in the NICU, my mother died. Four years later, I can’t help but tear up over the situation. But, you can get through this. I believe the Lord will put you through things that you don’t feel you can handle at that time, but He will guarantee He will carry you through it. It is scary at first, but it will pull things from you that you never knew you had. Blessings to you and your family.

  17. Praying for you and your family.

  18. I’m sending love, Laurie. One day at a time for all of you. I’m proud of you and praying for you.

  19. Judy Avis says:

    In times like you just went through we realize who and what is most important! Sometimes we get so into our routine and don’t see the little things. Our family are our most important things in this life. With God’s help and guidance you can make it through this trial. Your story made me cry while I was reading it when you spoke of Him. We are in God’s hand and He is in control! Thank God for the reassurance that He is our father and loves us so very much. Praying for you and your family!

  20. Praying for continued healing and strength for your husband. I’ll also be praying for you and your kids;for God to calm your fears.

  21. Do a Pinterest search for ‘Pioneer Woman Salmon”. Easy & best Salmon I’ve ever had. Thinking of you & your family as you navigate this new chapter in your life.

  22. Kellie says:

    I am fairly new to PPP, but I just wanted to let you know that I am praying for you, your husband and the rest of your family. God is good every day. Bless you all.

  23. Patti Collins says:

    Thank you for sharing. Praying for you and your family. God is the great physician and has it all under control. And thank you for sharing your faith throughout your blog posts. I enjoy your blog and have “scored” some great deals! God is good!

  24. Tears running down my face. Praise God he went to the ER. I hope his recovery is smooth and his diet easy to undertake. Don’t let fear control you. Let God guide you and your family through these new life changes.

  25. barbara says:

    So scary for all of you…..praying that he continues to improve and that he will be there with you to welcome your grandchildren and great grandchildren. We had our lives changed 20 years ago due to a progressive disease, but your situation was so sudden and scary. Even though you are scared, it seems like you have handled this situation so well . Good luck to your whole family 🙂

  26. Tina B says:

    I am glad that your husband came through this scary episode, Laurie. If you discover ways to save on quality salmon, please share! My husband loves to eat it but the good quality stuff is expensive.

    I know this isn’t a pleasant topic – and this comment is only meant to be helpful – but I would offer the suggestion that you and your husband make sure you have life insurance and a proper will in place. It’s not easy to think of life without your significant other, but as you have witnessed, life can change in an instant.

  27. Amy Sandage says:

    I’m sorry for what you have been going thru but glad you wrote this post. I needed to hear it. My husband has not had a heart attack but he was diagnosed with inoperable, terminal pancreatic cancer in November, 2014. Drs said 9-12 months with chemo and all I could think of was “how am I going to DO life without him??” “How will I raiser our teenage daughter alone??” Your words today give me comfort that I am HIS child and HE will get me thru. I also learned that the drs don’t know everything and I have an AMAZING God who can do miracles. Hubby is currently doing extremely well 18 months out and while he is on permanant disability (that has enabled us to do many things as a family) he continues to LIVE with cancer and not let it define who he is. God Bless you and your family. <3

  28. Angi F. says:

    I need my tissues after this one! i just love how much you love him! That’s how I love mine! We could go one without them but we don’t want to. In my religion we are sealed to our spouses for time and all eternity. And thankfully we have that knowledge of being with our spouse forever in the hereafter to make this all worthwhile. You and your loved ones will be in our prayers.

    • Thank you so much Angi – goodness we are so fortunate to have ones we just love so dearly (I am so thankful for him, even on the days when he’s making me nuts)!

  29. Oh, Laurie! I’m so sorry for all you’ve been through. Thank the Lord everything is ok! Everything you said is so true. Thanks for using your influence to point others to Christ!

    • Thank you so much Julie – goodness it’s been a crazy few weeks but God’s faithfulness has so covered our family. So thankful we can rest in Him!

  30. Monica says:

    Wow! I never answer on these blogs but enjoy all your tips! So glad you are able to see the amazing love of God even in the midst of your storm. You passed the TEST with an inpsiring TESTimony!
    God bless to you and your wonderful family.

  31. Janell in Georgia says:

    I just sat and cried like a baby while reading this. I’m 46. At 30 I was hit head-on by a drunk driver. After numerous surgeries and a year of in/out patient therapy, I learned to walk again. Now I am facing another obstacle. I am waiting for a referral to an urologist because my potassium is high which means I could have possible kidney failure. I too have and am in that frightened to death place. My daughter graduates from nursing school next week. I need to be here to see her find *her one*, marry and have children of her own one day. Thank you so much for the reminder that He holds us in his arms.

    • Oh Janell – I wish I could hug your neck today! Praying peace for you that surpasses all understanding, I know this has been such a difficult few weeks for you and my heart aches for that. But the One who loved us first loves us best and I know He’s clinging to you tonight – praying a covering of peace (please let me know the outcome when you hear something – I’ve been thinking of you these last few weeks)!

  32. Wow! It will be 3 weeks tomorrow that this same thing happened to my very active and fit, healthy eating 63 year old father. He had a heart attack in the night and didn’t even know it although all the signs were there. He drove himself to the ER. They took him in for a stint and ended up doing an emergency triple bypass. Shock isn’t even the word for our emotions at the time! It is definitely a life changer – for him and the family. As the doctor said – as of now, he is and will always be a “heart patient.”

    I found the verse you quoted 3 years ago when my father in law had a stroke. It has meant a lot to me and helped me through many tough times. God will see you through! Prayers for you and your family!

    • Thank you so much for sharing Misty – goodness it’s crazy (and like you said – all of a sudden they become “heart patients” and not just regular people any longer – it’s a tough thing to take!) Praying continued healing for your father – blessings to him today!

  33. Laurie, I’ve been following you awhile. So sorry to hear about your husband and praying he’s better soon. A mild heart attack can actually be the perfect wake-up call to do better and live healthy and avoid the big one. It may be a blessing in disguise.

    About Salmon… it’s sooo easy. It’s one of my go-to easy meals for when I don’t have a lot of time. I buy a full slab at a time but have them cut it in two pieces at the store because it’s easier to fit in the pan. Whisk up a marinade of about 1/2 c. lemon juice and 1/4 c. olive oil plus a large spoonful of minced garlic, a 1/4 tsp. or so of dried oragano, 1 T. dried parsley plus salt and pepper. Lay salmon in the pan you’re going to bake it in and dump the marinade over it. Throw it back in the fridge and let it sit a few hours or overnight. Later bake at 350 for about an hour. It comes out so perfect. We love, love, love it and I’m happy to know it’s good for us too. 🙂

  34. Karen Hamilton says:

    When you wrote asking prayer a couple of weeks ago, I got a knot in my stomach for 11 yrs ago in October my world turned on a dime. My hubby, 55 yrs old…stage 4 Brain tumor known as GBM. Today as I read this, I thought, I have much to share. And I will.
    I am remarried…almost 6 yrs; Ted lived 12 1/2 months. If you know anything about gbm’s it is incurable. I am so thankful for your outcome.
    But the Lord carried me through the hardest journey of my life just the same. Bpeople have said to me, “the Lord didn’t answer your prayer”. But He did… I prayed for healing and Ted is whole.
    I will write more later; you now have a new normal..
    Cherish the days; write memories on your heart. I will be praying. Isa 41:10 is the verse God gave me at that time. He spared him for a reason.

    • Oh Karen – thank you so much for sharing, I cannot even imagine your whole story but your faithfulness in trusting God’s healing is so inspiring to me. THANK YOU for sharing – God’s blessings to you (hugs!)

  35. Michelle G says:

    I could have written this story. Two years ago, my husband had a heart attack at 47. He had always been in good shape and active. Did not smoke and his weight was normal. I had gone out after work and came home to him sitting on the couch. He said he wasn’t feeling well, but didn’t mention anything specific. I said alright and went to bed. Luckily, he became uncomfortable and woke me. Drove him to the hospital and while waiting in the emergency room, he had a heart attack. Blockage of the left anterior descending artery, also known as the “widow maker”. Doctors met with me after his surgery and told me how lucky I was that he didn’t try to sit there and get comfortable. I would have found him there, on that couch, the next morning. It was a huge shock and altered our lives. He was not able to work for a month. We own our own business and thankfully our employees helped us out. We face each day knowing that you never really know what is in store and that we must appreciate the time we have. Prayers to you and your family!

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story – so glad your husband went to the doctor Michelle when he needed to! (It’s just crazy how fast that can happen – still unbelievable to me!)

  36. Marina says:

    You are not an awful wife! I reacted the same way when my husband had to get his appendix abruptly removed. I felt terrible too.
    Praying for your family and your husband through this scary time.

    • Thanks so much for your kind words Marina – they mean so much to me (yes – I would do the same if my husband had appendicitis!)

    • Karen Hamilton says:

      Laurie, when Ted was diagnosed and had his 1 st of 3 brain surgeries, a nurse friend brought me a steno pad and pen to the waiting room. She told me to write everything down…meds, dosages, dr comments, nurse instructions, my questions etc. that pad went everywhere with me. I think that might be helpful for you and your sweetie. You just can’t keep everything in your head.
      You are your hubby’s #1 advocate… I learned how to be pushy for him. If I thought of a question it went in the notebook. I would go to doc visits with him notebook in hand. If the doc or nurse gave directives, I would say ” is this what you mean” and say what I thought was being said…sometimes I understood right and sometimes I was wrong. Don’t assume all the docs of different specialties report to each other. Assume they don’t .
      I love that you spent this last week doing fun things together… That is so important in every marriage. It is scary… Just because you trust the Lord doesn’t mean you don’t get scared. Life is precious! God knows everything… My present hubby is a pastor who had lost his 1st wife. He often says that the Lord will not take you one minute before he is ready to.
      Let people come alongside and help…I pray that through this the Lord will bond your hearts With some people who will become dear, dear friends. It’s hard being the new people.
      Just do the next thing… That’s what Elisabeth Elliot said and God used those words to get me through. Wish I could give you a hug and pray with you… But I can pray. You are doing well.

  37. Hi there! I’m so sorry your world was rocked…. But by grace we see the world in a different light! It is how we perceive the situations we go through and how we act that defines our faith. May I say that your faith and gratefulness is of the up most importance at this time!! My husband is 39, a little overweight and his cholesterol was a little elevated. I asked my husband to switch doctors because I felt as if his doctor was not listening to him as a patient, it became more of a revolving door glued to budgeting then a physicians office. His new doctor noticed his cholesterol was a little high. Immediately he sent him for a Cleveland Heart Lab study and other tests just to get a base line of what he was looking at. Those tests came back quite normal but had a few marks that needed to be “watched ” and “tweaked”. My husband is now on cholesterol medicine and a new diet. If anyone’s physician can do these labs I strongly suggest it! I have an extensive line of heart disease in my family and began testing at 25 (recommended by my physician). With any history, any small diagnosis of cardiac issues, pre cursors etc it is so important to be over cautious and tested before 40! Just a PSA from a “nursewife” ! I’m thankful James is doing well and I will pray for your worries to lessen! Your testimony is strongly needed and so well received! Always know that…. Even if it only truly reaches one person, it is needed!

    BTW- I am a terrible nurse wife! I see terrible things happen and transpire with patients and rarely give my husband the sympathy and empathy he deserves! Kind of like the time I told him he was having gas pains (until I took his temperature) but he really had a perforation in his colon due to diverticulitis I’m getting better after that!

    • Thank you so much for sharing Mandy – goodness I appreciate your words so much and praying your husband does well on his new diet (so glad he went to a new doctor!)

  38. Connie says:

    You are not an awful wife!! I think we all have similar reactions, especially when our husbands haven’t ever really been sick.

    I was in your shoes just a little over 3 years ago. The Hubby had a major blockage in “The Widow Maker” artery. Who names these things?!? No symptoms that we identified with a heart issue – discomfort in the belly region, painful swallowing. No tingling in the arms, no pain in the chest.

    12/04/2015. It was my Mom’s 70th birthday, and she was on a celebration trip with her best friend. I remember Mom calling from 1,000 miles away, and Daddy sat with me while we waited for the Cardiologist. Calls and texts were coming in with prayers and love, but we were waiting on the Cardiologist to tell us what was found. It was a single blockage, but a major issue. Some lifestyle changes, some diet changes, and medication.

    Three years later, The Hubby is healthy! Because of the stent used (it’s actually a double stent placed in the curve of the artery), he will most likely be on medication for the rest of his life. But he has a life!

    The fear eases, but it takes time. I cannot tell you how many times I checked on him at night during that first few weeks (okay, months) after the stent.

    The worry lessens, but it takes time. At some point, I stopped hitting the panic button when he didn’t answer the phone when I called to check on him during the day.

    We are told to “fear not,” but human nature takes over sometimes. It doesn’t make us awful wives, it makes us normal.

    I remembered that my parents taught my brother and me to earnestly pray. I began practicing that again while sitting in his hospital room that night. I remembered that we were inexplicably brought together by a power far greater than our own. I remembered that each day is a gift and a blessing from our Heavenly Father, and is never to be taken for granted. I remembered that sometimes God has to have our full attention so we will sit down and listen before He shows us the path forward.

    You are a great wife and mother! Send love and prayers to you, your hubby, and family!

    • Thank you so so much for sharing Connie – goodness, it’s so hard (and really – who DOES name it the widow maker. Jeesh!) I’m still in that scared space but praying the worry will lessen one day too – thank you for sharing and for the reminder to earnestly pray.

  39. I needed to read this today. Thank you for sharing your fears and your faith. Just yesterday we got a bad cancer scan when we thought we were doing well. My husband (42) has gallbladder cancer and it has spread even after one year of treatments. God is beside us too and I needed that reminder today. Thank you!

    • Oh Angie – I’m so so sorry and my heart aches for you. Praying peace for you and your family right now – I know you’re in His arms this very moment!

  40. Will keep you & your family in my thoughts & prayers

  41. This is exactly how I have been thinking! My husband was diagnosed with cancer last year and is still doing treatments but the what scares me the most is that he is having chest pain and pressure from his job. I am afraid he will have a heart attack from his job. His keg was normal too but we have wait 6 weeks for a stress test. I am a nervous wreck that something will happen before then. Thank you for posting your fears and anxiousness because it validates my fears and anxiety while we wait. Praying for your family tonight.

    • Thank you so much Mary for your prayers – praying your husband gets the medical attention he needs if there is anything going on (it’s so scary)!

  42. Katie Hill says:

    Thank you for sharing with us! I am praying for your husbands health… And for you! And SERIOUSLY, take time for yourself and your family! We will all be here when you’re ready! You are a wife and a mom first, and a passionate penny pincher second!

    • Thank you so much Katie! I have WONDERFUL help here on PPP who have made it so much easier – so blessed by my sweet helpers!

  43. linda duenow says:

    Nov. 2015 my sister and brother -in-law went on a cruise till first wk. of Dec. Jan. 13 Robert was feeling tired ( which he has been feeling for some time and tight chested now and then and did not go to the dr.) Jan. 13th. the dr. called him he was sharing how he was feeling that day and off to ER. 3 hospitals were full and no beds. One finally opened and he was at one of the best hospitals and cardiologist! God knew :0 By Jan. 15 ,2016 he had a 4 way by-pass surgery. Tall not over weight but was a sugar junkie and pizza all the time. Another 24 hr. or so the dr. said 1/13 he would of not survived a heart attack. All 4 were 95 % blocked. God is so good. And I am thankful your husband did not have any damage to his heart. Praying God will give each strength and peace. God holds our tomorrows just lean on Him and draw strength and faith from his love and promise.

    • Thank you so much for sharing Linda – so glad that your brother in law found the medical attention he needed (so scary!)

  44. carol hovinga says:

    Thank you for sharing your story with all of us. Sending Love, Hugs and prayers to you and your family.

  45. Angie Crawford says:

    When my son was 15 months old he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Our world was flipped upside down. The first few days after he was released from the hospital I was so afraid to feed him and give him insulin for fear of killing him. He is now 7 and doing great. Google Trim Healthy Mama. These two ladies have a line of healthy products and recipes. It is very helpful to me. My suggestion is to make the diet changes slowly so that you don’t get overwhelmed. Make sure you take care of yourself so you can stay strong and healthy for your family. (I failed at that part and would go back and change it if I could.) Soon, your family will have a new normal. God’s blessings be upon you!

  46. Clarisa says:

    Hi Laurie, I have followed your blog and used your tips for several years, I’m so grateful for all your hard work! Seven months ago my husband went for a routine physical and pancreatic cancer was found- he had no symptoms. We lived in China at the time, so we’re in the US now and needless to say it’s been a roller coaster, which I know you understand. Today he is completely cancer free. I am in awe of the goodness and kindness I see from the Lord in all that has unfolded. I pray the same will continue to be true for you, and He arranges time to process and remember His goodness to your family in the months ahead. Thank you for blessing my family!

  47. Thank you for sharing! My husband is 55 years old and had a mild heart attack last week, he had no damage. Praise God! My reaction was close to yours, my husband is physically fit and he is my rock so it took me by surprise. I thank our good Lord for peace and healing to our men. Thank you again for sharing.

  48. Broken hearted. says:

    What a blessing! Although what you’re going through is scary, at least you have a husband that loves you. Even if you lost him, you would know he loved you with all of his heart. Try facing the heartache of your husband leaving you after 25 years of marriage. Talk about being broken hearted. This person who you thought would be with you til death do you part and ripped your heart apart. Knowing you have no one to share the rest of your life with. Knowing that you will grow old alone. So thankful your husbands heart can be healed. Wish there was a way to heal a broken one.

    • Hugs ~ I’m so so sorry and know that must be so incredibly difficult! I do feel crazy blessed to have a husband who I love so much (although we still have our moments, but I think everyone does!) Sending thoughts and prayers your way – I know you must be so broken hearted and my heart hurts for you.

  49. James Mace says:

    Laurie, the world can be a scary place, and when it is flipped upside down and around like that it can be devastating. I remember the day my dad went to the hospital like it was yesterday. He had an esophageal tear that leaked toxins into his stomach. He collapsed in front of us. My dad the big burly cop of 40 years very rarely sick and he dropped. My mom was scared to the point of no reaction and my two younger sisters freaked. I was terrified, but I couldn’t show it at 16 in two seconds I was forced to learn to stuff that scared feeling down deep. We got him to the hospital in time and he recovered. I’m not a religious person at all but I remember the lady in the chapel that night she sat with me and kept everyone out so I could allow my heart to break and balled my eyes out. She helped me that night more than most have helped me in my life. Thankfully 19 amazing years later my dad is still going strong me and my mom and dad even do our yearly holiday together and he is active and healthy. But that night, that night will never leave my mind even thinking about it now gives me goosebumps. Today i’m still not what I consider a religious person, but I know that someone or something beyond my comprehension sent that lady to me because I don’t think I could have survived that night and help my family through it without her. I know the terror you felt and still feel. Thank you for sharing this with us, and tonight I will do something that I even rarely do for myself and say a prayer for your family in hopes and wishes that your story ends as well as mine did 🙂 stay strong

  50. I am heading in May 9th for a rare cancer surgery at the Mayo in Rochester Mn. I was told that at some moment I will not think of the word cancer. You will do the same with heart attack. For me either way is a win; it just may suck for everyone else more. Don’t get me wrong though I’ll fight like the dickens but I am His first. However, I believe I am not done yet here. Satan may throw a wrench in this all but every morning I put my feet down I think your messing with the wrong family.
    “I will not die but live to declare the works of the Lord.” Psalm 118:17
    Let Your game changer teach you to seek him more urgently and to tell others how to seek Him too. ~Shelly

  51. Marcie A Smith says:

    As someone with a daughter living in Alaska I have learned a few things about salmon. Defrost it slowly or it goes mushy. Put it in marinade overnight for more taste. Just an italian dressing is great. Don’t over cook it. Just broil or bake 6-8 minutes until it flakes with a fork. Turn over half way thru. That’s it. Wishing your family all the best.

  52. Nicole Fischer says:

    You, your husband and your kids will be in my prayers! My dad had a heart attack last year and we all felt the same way, he was totally fine and then they were putting in the stints. Is is with you and your family, just remember to always take time to enjoy the little things in life!!

  53. Lindsey P says:

    Thank you so much for sharing with us. I NEEDED to read this and be reminded of this right now. I am praying for you and your family while you are on this journey. I understand the fear and the worry. My husband is my only one, too. I can’t even process what my life would be like without him.
    But, I thank God that He is always by my side.
    Wishing you all happiness and good health.

  54. Crystal says:

    Laurie- I’m praying for you & your family. Know your Jesusgurls are just a phone call
    Away here in Bama..

  55. Pamela C. says:

    A friend’s niece who was murdered a few months ago (very sad tragedy) have clung to the thought or saying that with God, “Nothing wasted.” God will use what has happened for good even though it is difficult and different now. Prayers as you continue to adjust. May you feel God’s big arms wrapped around your whole family. Continue to lean on him.

  56. Penny A, says:

    Sending thoughts, prayers and love for you, your husband and your children.

  57. Hang it there, keep praying, and be strong with God. I suffered a heart attack almost a year ago, and I’m a 50 year old female! Low blood pressure, don’t drink, don’t smoke, not overweight, but family history of heart disease. Be diligent in what you eat. It doesn’t have to be salad everyday, but cutting back on processed food, and reducing salt intake are the biggies. Keep strong with God and know He has a greater plan for us all!

  58. Laurie, my thoughts are prayers are with you and yours during this stressful time. I am soooo thankful that your husband is ok. Take care.

  59. Laurie, I am so very glad you are ALL ok, and prayers for you all.
    I know where you are coming from on all your thoughts about how your hubby being your “one” and how you think your crazy…YOURE NOT!! I think most of us wives are crazy anyway…right??
    I love your site

  60. Hugs to you! My pastor likes to say that in life, you’re either in the midst of a storm, or coming out of a storm, and if it’s not either of those, get ready, because you’re about to head into one! Prayers for your family during this time.

  61. Laurie: You, your husband and all your family are in our prayers. Trish

  62. Trust and faith and prayers are with you more than ever hearing this shocking news. I am so sad as I read through the anguish and pain …. as a Mom I wish I could take it for you.

  63. 2-1/2 years ago I walked into my husband’s shop and found him unconscious on the floor. He also had a heart attach and had to have open heart surgery. I felt exactly how you felt. God helped us through that time and is still working in our lives today. My husband is doing great and is working again. I feel like we had a wake-up call from God. I appreciate people and things more than I ever have. Keeping putting one foot in front of the other and just be glad you are on “this side” of the heart attack.

  64. Praying for you and your family Laurie. I can’t imagine how hard that was for you all. God is good and is always with us. God Bless.

  65. Laurie I don’t know how I missed this post last year. I have been through the same exact thing with my husband at the same age. This after a few years prior having a terrifying cancer scare. It rocked my world so hard! I could not and still can’t imdhbe life without me “one”! I too felt my Heavenly Fathers arms around me comforting me every step of the way through both trials. Financial security I still do not have. Long story about a business partner. Guess what!?!! The Lord carried me through that. I was able to forgive. My life financially is still not back together. Probably never will be at my age but I have my partner and best friend by my side and that’s worth more than all the money! Thanks for your inspiration and powerful testimony! It touched me more than u will ever know and I needed this reminder. Just feeling sorry for myself today! Thanks for this reminder. Prayers for continued health and a long love story to you and your “one” ❤️

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