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Any suggestions on how to deal with ^very^ stubborn dh

(23 Posts)
Katek Mon 30-Apr-18 11:24:10

Dh had heart attack in 2006 and had a stent fitted. He then had a second small attack in 2007 and has been on a myriad of drugs ever since and also has PVD. He’s very well, quite fit, attends cardiac exercise class every week and is still working on a consultancy basis from home.

So far, so good....the problem arises insofar as he does not accept limitations on his activities. He lifts and carries heavy items including up and down stairs, has rugby tackle sessions with dgs, climbs ladders, moves fridge freezers and furniture, chops logs with get the picture I hope.?!

In many ways I know we’re very lucky that he’s well enough to do these things, but he is taking risks all the time. I’ve sort of learnt to live with it as this is who he is - despite having some heart stopping moments myself. What is worrying me this week is that he’s insistent on driving a 250 mile round trip in one day and not for the first time. I think it’s far too much, will tire him out unnecessarily and then I’ll be worried about strain on his system. I’ve also noticed a couple of little incidents in the car where his attention isn’t quite there.

Is this a reasonable concern or am I overreacting?

Katek Mon 30-Apr-18 11:25:03

What happened to my italics??

Izabella Mon 30-Apr-18 11:47:11

I speak personally, but it is from experience that I have become aware of my own limitations. I am stubborn and paid little heed to the nagging of others at the time.

It's very hard for you to sit back but I fear that is what you have to do.

Greenfinch Mon 30-Apr-18 12:50:17

Without all these activities his life would be very limited and perhaps in his eyes would not be worth living. The driving is something different though as lives other than his own are at risk but still you can only express your concerns or suggest alternatives.It is his responsibility in the end

Telly Mon 30-Apr-18 13:20:17

After my husband had his heart attack a nurse at the clinic said that activity will not cause another. Having said that he is ill anyway so over activity is not likely to be a problem. I think just let him do what he feels he is able to do, not as it you can or probably should stop him. He is responsible for his own health and life is for living.

humptydumpty Mon 30-Apr-18 13:35:58

I have no experience of this, but am inclined to agree with greenfinch - other than the driving, I think it's important to let him live until he dies - rather than living longer but without the quality he wants.

Luckygirl Mon 30-Apr-18 13:51:24

OH with PD tried to climb on a stool to get to a high cupboard - a sobering sight! An unwise decision. But how do you stop him?

At least he recognises that he is not safe driving and does not do it.

janeainsworth Mon 30-Apr-18 14:52:38

katek If your DH had to restrict his activities he would probably become depressed and end his days miserably.
I don’t think 250 miles in a day is too far to drive. I often drive that distance to DD’s and it’s ok as long as you take enough rests and don’t try to beat the clock.
Driving is only stressful if you set yourself unrealistic time scales, become angered by other road users, or persist in driving in unfavourable weather conditions.

SueDonim Mon 30-Apr-18 14:59:56

Has your dh been told by health professionals that those are risky activities or is it just a general assumption that they're risky? If the latter, I think he should just do as he wishes, really. Just being alive is a risk!

Wrt the journey, are you going as well, to share the driving? We regularly do 200+ mile trips in a day (and will be doing 500+ next month) so it wouldn't worry me. What is the nature of his lapses? Losing concentration, feeling sleepy, making misjudgements?

lemongrove Mon 30-Apr-18 15:08:24

Similar situation here KateK and I often say ‘be careful’
However it doesn’t stop him! I have now stepped back from saying anything, and he will use his own judgement in any case.

lemongrove Mon 30-Apr-18 15:10:38

He wouldn't consider doing all that driving in a day, and not sure that anyone older should do it.DS does it, but he is half DH’s age.

Jalima1108 Mon 30-Apr-18 15:29:17

My DH is quite stubborn too but is just beginning to realise that he may have some limitations although he seems to get less tired than I do.

If you are going with him on the journey could you do some of the driving, or at least keep him alert? I suppose it depends what happens during the day before the return trip - could he have a snooze somewhere before the journey home?

Baggs Mon 30-Apr-18 17:05:37

Are you going on the trip too, katek? And do you drive? Just wondering if you could share the driving.

As for the other stuff, he wouldn't do it if he didn't feel up to it, would he? Does he seem knackered after tackling the GS or chopping logs?

Baggs Mon 30-Apr-18 17:06:47

Er.. whoops, jal. I only read the OP before pitching in 😬

Stansgran Mon 30-Apr-18 18:23:09

I make a point of researching a gastropub lunch on the way and a well know chippy or similar on the way back. Could you do that? The good pub guide is a godsend.

Eloethan Mon 30-Apr-18 18:52:02

I agree with those who feel it is probably better that he leads a relatively normal life and isn't constantly worrying about his health - although I too would be concerned about him lifting very heavy items.

I personally think a 250 mile drive in one day would be rather much for most people, let alone someone who has had some health issues. Can he not break the journey overnight or stop for a few hours, have a meal, a walk and a couple of hours rest?

Katek Mon 30-Apr-18 23:21:10

Unfortunately I’m not going with him as it’s a business trip-wouldn’t make much difference if I did as I never get to drive if we’re out together. I’ve held a licence for 45 years with no accidents, not even a parking ticket, but he cannot cope with being a passenger. He won’t stop en route either as he’ll just want to get there and back as he has things on the next day.

Docs have said he shouldn’t do anything that involves straining - which a lot of his activities involve. He not only has a stent but one coronary artery is totally blocked. It’s created a collateral blood supply so docs have decided to leave well alone.

I know I’m a worrier but sometimes I just wish that he would be a little more circumspect.

Jalima1108 Mon 30-Apr-18 23:26:24

Er.. whoops, jal. I only read the OP before pitching in
It's OK Baggs, I think I did it to you on another thread grin
(micro beads?)

stella1949 Tue 01-May-18 04:01:21

If his heart has created a collateral blood supply , he is in pretty good shape. He is just doing what men do , ie " doing it his own way" and after 14 years he is no more likely to damage himself than any other man in this age group. Sometimes we just have to stand back and let them live their man likes to be told he shouldn't do this or that.

gillybob Tue 01-May-18 09:13:19

As others have said I’m not sure there’s really much you can do katek and I’m speaking from experience . My DH had a huge operation many years ago. He lost the job he loved because of it which was what prompted us to start our business. He is not supposed to lift stretch or carry. He pushes, pulls and lifts pieces of extremely heavy machinery and crawls underneath things like he is 26 instead of 66.He had a stroke at the beginning of March and was told in no uncertain terms that he must slow down. Of course he didn’t at all and is doing exactly what he has always done. There really is nothing at all I can do. He couldn’t drive for a month after the stroke so he left the house before 6 and took public transport to work instead.

I do think you are right to be concerned but like mine, your DH sounds determined to “carry on regardless” I don’t think my DH would feel like he was living at all if he was forced to slow down.

annep Wed 06-Jun-18 06:54:24

My dad once told my mum he would rather live life as he wanted than restrict himself and live longer. He died at 66 from his third heart attack. Selfish maybe? My mum just tried not to think of the day that would come too soon. Would he consider your feelings maybe? If not you must let him be. However if his driving gets to the point where others are in danger you must report it, sad though that would be.

M0nica Wed 06-Jun-18 07:42:13

You do not mention how old your DH is, Katek. We are in our mid 70s and regularly drive 200-300 miles in a day and do not find it particularly tiring. Most journeys like this are mainly on motorways and dual carriageways, modern cars are easy and comfortable to drive. Just follow all the usual rules about regular rests. There should not be a problem.

Last week we drove 70 miles and arrived home exhausted, because it was pouring with rain, absolutely sluicing down, for most of the journey causing restricted vision, water pouring across the road, it was a dreadful journey. It is weather and road conditions that make journey's tiring or not rather than distance itself.

Belgravian Wed 06-Jun-18 08:27:55

Your number is up when your number USB up! Whether you be in the middle of a sky dive or lolling in a hammock!

He wants to live his life to the full and not be constrained by thinking if he carries the bins out he could keel over!

It would be a rotten life for him to keep thinking he can't do this and he can't do that, just in case.