Re: Questions about a cardiac patient
Gee, have I been there!! My Mom was 82 when she had open heart surgery (Aortic Valve Replacement in 2000). She too was very active. Walked three miles a day almost every day except Sunday. Mom lost Dad in Sept. 1999 and found herself alone for the first time in her life. She had always had episodes of her heart racing, actually started as a young girl, but had never let that stop her. In February of 2000 she had to have surgery. Immediately after the surgery she wanted to get right back to walking. She was up the very next morning walking the haulway of the hospital and her Doctor was concerned she was pushing a little too hard. He wanted her to return to normal as soon as possible but not so fast.
Unfortunately, Mom quickly found that her strength was not coming back like she had hoped and fell victim to depression. It sapped her strength and made her anxious about the slightest "feeling". She became fearful of everything. Open heart surgery on a slender thin person takes away the cushion around the heart and makes the heartbeat very noticeable to them. They feel every beat very distinctly. Mother actually puts cotton in her ears at night to keep the beats from distrubing her sleep. She became fearful of dying.
She also became very dependent on me and my brother, and we did the wrong thing...... We started by having her spend her nights with us to prevent her from being alone during the night. We thought this would give her some comfort and she would rest better and recover faster. right? WRONG...... It is not a good idea to change a routine of a person who is 82 year old. The quicker the person can get back to their own home, bed, friends, their life, the better for that person. Mom now lives with me and my brother. I keep her for a week and he keeps her for a week. Back and forth. She had a nice home with the many comforts she used to enjoy....but not anymore. She would really like for my brother and I to be at her side every waking minute of the day. She has become very dependant. We helped to make her that way in our efforts to take the best possible care of her. My Mother is a very sweet woman, always kind and so easy to get along with, she is never demanding or mean spirited. If she were any of those things we would really be up the creek.
My advice to you, have her Doctor check her out. Let her know that it is in HER best interest to get back to her normal life as soon as possible and that you will be taking her home. [U]Don't let her believe she is and will always be [/U] SICK. And, for sure ask her Doctor about getting her on a very good pill for depression. I've never known of anyone her age that goes through major surgery who does not benefit from Celexa or Zoloff (both equally good).
No one was/is as shocked as my brother and I about the change in our Mother. We know our mistakes now that it's too late to change them. Mother would have been much happier today if we hadn't helped her too much. We love her so much & she returns that love double fold, but she is not happy.
In the end I know you will do whatever your heart tells you that you must do, but be careful, for her sake and yours.