A wife’s heart disease teaches her husband a big lesson

by Carolyn Thomas  ♥  @HeartSisters

Physician Dr. Robin Schoenthaler once wrote in a Boston Globe column that, instead of looking for men who like those long romantic walks on the beach at sunset, women would do well to picture how the man of your dreams handles things when you’re sick. In fact, her recommendation for ideal husband material is a man who will hold your purse in the hospital waiting room.

It can be rare to hear in person from men about what it’s really like to live with us while we’re living with heart disease. It isn’t often, for example, that our WomenHeart online support community of thousands of female heart patients on Inspire.com hears directly from a real live male. But when Steve Kirsche of Wethersfield, CT stopped by to write about his own perspective as the spouse of a heart patient, I asked him for permission to reprint his personal observations here for you. Here’s what Steve had to tell us: Continue reading “A wife’s heart disease teaches her husband a big lesson”

How to cope when your spouse is the heart patient

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters

I’ve heard it said, as bizarre as it may seem, that it may be easier in some ways to be widowed than to be the spouse of a recovering heart patient.

If your spouse has survived a cardiac event, you may even feel grief that seems entirely inappropriate to you, even as you also feel intense relief because he is still alive. You may also experience what’s known as hypervigilance – that sense of dread that yet another crisis is about to happen.

There are role models, as author Rhoda Levin explains, for widows’ behaviour, and appropriate ways to express difficult emotions:

“People respect the time it takes for the widowed to adjust to the changes in their lives. But cardiac spouses have no role models, teachers or mentors.  No one, professional or friend, can tell you what changes you will face as a cardiac spouse – and yet change is now your reality. The challenge of any cardiac crisis is facing this reality, letting go of what is lost, and developing new ways to live your new life together.”

If your spouse has recently had a cardiac event, you might find one of these three books helpful:   Continue reading “How to cope when your spouse is the heart patient”