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My husband Randy died of a sudden heart attack 3/2/19.  He was fine at 8 pm and dead in the hospital by midnight.  The shock was tremendous, as I’m sure it has been for anyone in this group.

He was always somewhat overweight, and a few years ago was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, so he was often trying to lose weight.  I would usually be encouraging , sometimes a little nagging (which never worked).  We talked a lot about weight and blood sugar,but never about his heart.  He had no symptoms at all, yet had a 100% blockage.  Now when I read things, which isn’t very often, the connection between diabetes and heart disease especially in men over 60 seems like it is everywhere.

So I regret me not realizing that, his doctor not sending him to a cardiologist even though he had no symptoms, the idea that men so often have these fatal first heart attacks so why aren’t they all screened.  If I had had the least inkling that this could happen, I would have helped him pay more attention to his labs,etc, etc

Please don’t get me wrong.  I’m not dissolved in a puddle with guilt.  I just feel like there was this whole terrible possibility out there that it seems no one thought about, me included, him included, and it’s so likely that knowing about it would have prevented this. When it first happened I told myself that he wouldn’t have wanted to be a heart patient, or an invalid, or have a big surgery.  Now I’m not so sure.  If someone had told him he could literally die I think he would have paid attention.

So I wish someone had, me included.

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Replies to This Discussion

Oh, DebiT, I'm so sorry.

My husband had the same health issues as yours, along with high blood pressure. He had all the tests there were because he also had Multiple Sclerosis and due to the medications he was on for that, his heart function, kidney function, liver function, and blood levels of everything were checked quarterly. 

On Monday he came back from having all of his test results gone over by the doctor. The doctor was pleased to see that he'd lost some weight and his kidney function was good. We were planning a trip to Montreal the next week, so we were glad we didn't have to worry about his health and could enjoy the trip.

On Tuesday he had a massive stroke and died thirteen days later.

I'm telling you this because yes, your husband should have been screened. But even if they'd found the blockage and corrected it, something else could have happened. We did everything right and my husband still died.

If it would make you feel better, you might talk to your husband's doctor and tell him what you told us. Maybe you can persuade him to send his diabetic patients to a cardiologist. I talked to my husband's doctor the day after my husband died. I asked why this happened when he did everything he was told to do (except lose enough weight) and his tests were good. The doctor told me that Type 2 diabetes is a "brutal disease" and even with every precaution it is still unpredictable.

 I know there is nothing anyone can say to ease your pain. Please just know you're not alone in your feelings about this. My husband has been dead for almost two years, and I still wonder if I (or the doctor) missed something.

Take care of yourself. I wish you peace and comfort during this awful time.

Melissa

Dear Debi, I feel exac the same.my husband of 52 years of age went to bed and never woke up. We had no idea he is ill.The autopsy said his heart was at the end if life: previous heart attach, atherosclerosis, enlarged heart. So he died of systemic heart disease. He had some medical issues that could have as cause heart , yet the doctor never checked. He was also unfit, running out of breath very fast , yet neither me or him ever tough  of his heart, we assumed its his asthma. It breaks me to pieces, his death would have been totally avoidable. Im out of my mind with pain, guilt and regret. 

Hugs to all

Ciao DebiT i'm very sorry for your traumatic loss...i know how you're feeling now and the   obsessive questions that are in your mind...i lived  the same last year when my love suddenly disappear one night...i found some comfort in a book..."the year of magical thinking" of great American writer Joan Didion... Wish it helps you too...take care of yourself ciao hugs Roxi

Thank you all.  I'm sure everyone in this group feels the same way.  His doctor did call me right after and we had a long conversation.  I think that hindsight makes everything seem so obvious, but I'm not sure anyone would have recommended the tests that would have shown the blockage, like some sort of scan. And would he have done it? 50/50 at best.  I feel more peaceful this morning, for which I'm glad. Thank you all, and my sympathies to each of you.

Dear DebiT,

I am so sorry for your loss of Randy. I am three years out of a very similar experience and I responded to another post somewhat similarly as I am responding to you. Nearly three years ago, my husband Alex died of a massive heart attack. Five days earlier he had been diagnosed with "stable angina" and placed on medicine which the cardiologist strongly recommended over angioplasty. Well, despite seeing a cardiologist and despite being place on medicines, my husband had a heart attack only five days later and died.

I spent the next few months analyzing every detail, every misstep I supposedly made, everything I should have done differently, connections I should have made and the advice (although I have no medical training whatsoever, much less cardiology training) that I should have given the doctors.

Three years later, I realize that blaming myself, identifying my supposed missteps and thinking I could have informed the doctors of something that they didn't know or somehow comprehend lab tests in a way that the doctor's didn't, was simply my way of trying to control a situation that was completely out of control and that I could never have controlled.

Take care,

Erica

Hi Erica

Thank you for this.  My condolences to you as well.  Your experience just shows me that no matter what is already done, we think about what more could have been done.  In the end, it just happened, and if these things could be predicted then they wouldn't happen so very frequently.  

Take care,

Debi

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