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(17 Posts)
Nanny41 Fri 23-Aug-19 21:58:14

My OH had a heart attack at the begining of this year, and has revovered remarkably well.I have supported him through out but I am finding being his full time councellor is getting to much.From the minute I waken until he goes to bed at night I have perpetual conversations, mainly one sided, about either blood pressure, cholesterol levels or blood sugar levels,or how much weight has been lost,it really is stressful, unfortunately he has always wanted to be the centre of attention,and loves to be praised, I do this as often as I can,but can only do so much.After six months this is getting me down, the same every day.Being a relative of someone who has been ill but fully recovered isnt easy, and I ask if there is anyone who can give any advice as to how I continue in this situation.I think people forget about "carers" and their need.Thank you.

CaroDane Fri 23-Aug-19 22:34:20

Nanny41 Not surprised it's getting you down.
Maybe if you moved this to the Carers thread you might find more people with a similar experience, who can give you support and advice.
Chin up ?

Tangerine Fri 23-Aug-19 23:42:57

Perhaps join a group for carers. Could your OH go to a day centre or similar? This would give you time apart. If he met other people, perhaps he would not be absorbed with his own health problems.

CanadianGran Fri 23-Aug-19 23:56:22

Depression and anxiety are a quite common part of recovery after a heart attack or bypass surgery. When my DH had bypass the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation really helped with his recovery. He even went to a support group during recovery. It was an informal gathering at the hospital learning about diet and exercise.

Dealing with a new understanding of your body, and how it has failed you (or you have failed to take care of it) is very hard for some.
Perhaps your local chapter of this charity has some advice, if you have such a group. Then he can be more proactive and feel he is active in his recovery.

BradfordLass72 Sat 24-Aug-19 00:57:56

I'm taking a different tack. He is lucky to recover but going over all the 'risk' factors is only making him more fearful and you more irritated.

Tell him, kindly, 'I'm sorry but I'm not prepared to discus this or listen any longer - you're doing well, connentrate on that and how to live a happy life.'

By taking part in this inevitable daily diatribe you are enabling him to put the focus where it does not belong.

Constant anxiety is the biggest risk factor of all if he could but see it. Help him to stop this by refusing to take part.

PamelaJ1 Sat 24-Aug-19 06:45:04

Get him a special note book.

He can keep a day to day account. You could both read it once a day and compare it with yesterday, last week or last month.
He’ll think you are really interested and you will only have to do it once.

Make it a special time, him with his book, you with your gin and tonic!

mumofmadboys Sat 24-Aug-19 06:50:13

Could you agree to discuss his health and how he is doing once a day ,say after breakfast and leave the subject alone then till the next day? Tell him it is getting you down and making you anxious. Good luck!

sodapop Sat 24-Aug-19 08:28:16

Good idea PamelaJ1 limiting the conversations about his health should also lessen his anxiety.

love0c Sat 24-Aug-19 08:58:20

I agree with Bradfordlass. Encourage him to only talk about the good things he/you can now enjoy together. Remind him he has recovered well. If he continues to dwell on 'before his recovery' he is not celebrating that he has actually recovered from a very serious health issue. Tell him to enjoy being 'alive!'.

GagaJo Sat 24-Aug-19 16:19:58

Speaking of one who had a severe cancer several years ago, I can see where he is coming from. HOWEVER, he is stuck in a stage of development. What he needs to do is be put into an environment where he has to put the needs of others before his own (I'm a teacher, so this is what I had to do). It is AMAZING. Not focusing on yourself is refreshing. Eventually, you see the world goes on, and that you probably will too.

Not sure what he could do for that?

If that isn't possible, he could probably do with some therapy / counselling. The counsellor would hopefully help him to manage his anxiety over his illness.

midgey Sat 24-Aug-19 17:36:34

I think you need to take a turn for the worse! Tell him how lucky he is but murder may happen soon! flowers I do know how you feel!

Tedber Sun 25-Aug-19 17:59:05

Nanny41 - my sympathies with you and I am guessing you just want somewhere to 'vent'

Correct it is hard being a 'carer' ....but there ARE things you can do to help yourself.

For starters: Explain to your DH that you are not super human and although you will help him as much as you possibly can that he has to help himself too!

Then set boundaries. Tell him you are joining a? (book club, swimming club, wine tasting, hiking in Scotland) anything that suits you. If he doesn't like it then....tough!

What you need is time apart for yourself. Only you can instigate this.

Good luck

Luckygirl Sun 25-Aug-19 18:46:54

My OH talks about nothing but his symptoms - but that is because, sadly, he has nothing else in his life. However hard we try his symptoms are all-consuming for him.

For my part I deal with it by going out and meeting people with other things in their lives. A carer stays with OH.

Soozikinzi Sun 08-Sep-19 11:05:24

I sympathise 100% I think it is a condition called health anxiety. My husband has had 2 strokes and so he is very similar. Of course they have actually had these serious health conditions so do need support but it’s very draining at times . I’m afraid all I can do is sympathise I can’t offer any solution other than as others have said . Make sure you have your own interests and hobbies and time for yourself xx

blossom14 Sun 08-Sep-19 14:51:25

After a stroke 20 months ago I believe my DH has designated himself an Invalid. I spend a lot of time thinking up ways to get him out walking and being positive, it is hard when you are not sure just how far to push especially if there is only the two of you with opposing views.
I still make sure I get out for exercise and a social life myself.

notanan2 Sun 08-Sep-19 14:59:38

I can understand this. At one point DH had a horrible boss, I was sympathetic but it got to the point where I was having constant blow by blow accounts of every minute detail of DHs working day all evening every evening to the point where I felt like I worked there too and I was getting more stressed about it than DH was!

I had to limit it. I was interested in his day when he first got in, but evenings had to be "non work talk" and that actually helped us both!

Fiachna50 Sun 08-Sep-19 16:41:09

Caring is a very lonely place. Most folk vanish like snow off a dyke when health problems arise. You are normally left to it.