Husband going for heart cath tomorrow. This month is the 5 year anniversary of my mom's death. I am terrified of getting into another caregiver situation. The marriage hasn't been good even though it has been 46 years. Just last week, I was consolidating my possessions and looking for another place to live (unbeknownst to him). Now, he has been diagnosed with a heart blockage that, minimally, may require stenting or, worse, heart bypass surgery. He was already difficult with which to live - verbally and emotionally abusive. I just don't know if I have it in me to be his caregiver. Our two kids are too busy to even visit, much less help out. Mentally, he has started slipping - not to the point of requiring POA - but denies it. He refuses to do a will or POA. Oh, he is 66 and I am 63, both retired. I just need a hug and what to expect life to be like after stent or bypass.

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You are a valued member of this community. I just went back and read a whole bunch of your responses to others who were suffering in difficult situations.

In EVERY instance, you told folks to stand up for themselves and get themselves to a better situation. That it was their right to live as they chose.

So, you are enduring an emotionally abusive marriage and have been for a long time. (D)H is going to have what is in essence an outpatient procedure that should improve his overall health. That's good news for him....and for you.

Pack your stuff. Stash your money. Figure out where you are going to stay short term.

You've been given a gift of an extra week. Call his cardiologist and talk to her/him. Believe me, they've heard it before. You're just letting him know that you are NOT going to be his patient's long term caregiver and why. Tell the doc that H may need a referral for home health and for other services because you won't be around.

Are you in therapy? Do you have supportive friends, relatives who can encourage you and support you in your new life.

Stick around with us; we have your back!
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My mother survived a 2 vessel CABG at age 84. She did so well, the heart surgeon who saw her after surgery said he added another 10 years to her life & my mom & I just laughed when the surgeon realized she was 84.

The surgery itself went well. The worst part is when you see them post op in ICU immediately after. I am a RN and have cared for many intubated post op patients but it’s another entire ball game when the patient is your little, petite, tough as nails mother - all of about 120lbs of her.

But my next visit, the breathing tube was out and they were getting her up in a chair long enough to change her sheets. She was dc’d and attended cardiac rehab.

My point is that chances are your husband will do ok and recover from whatever procedure he has. But you my dear are a different story.

Continue to gather your own assets and try to save some money unbeknownst to him. Figure out a plan to leave him and stick with it. Save enough to retain a divorce attorney and start the ball rolling.

I can tell that you are “done” with him and his lack of respect towards you for years. You are still young enough to enjoy life going forward. Don’t allow him to keep you down or continue his disrespectful behaviors.

Best of luck to you. At our age (I ‘m 61) you realize life is too short to suffer and you’ve got some great years ahead.
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katiekat2009 Mar 2019
Thank you. You must be an awesome nurse.

You have a very tough situation. Hugs! I hope you will be at peace with whatever you decide.

I can understand you staying with him for now. I wish you the best.

My younger brother was in this situation. His wife had cancer and he decided to leave while she was in treatment. Most men are reluctant to speak about abuse. It took him quite awhile to open up. His wife would beat him after he would go to sleep with spike heel shoes. She pushed him after he had back surgery. His doctor said she could have paralyzed him. She never stopped. Emotionally abused him, locked him out of their home, he slept in his car in their driveway. Was awful for him. Went to his job and cursed him out. He was almost fired.

My SIL’s sister finally got her to commit herself into mental hospital. She had mental illness. He tried to stick by her during the cancer but couldn’t. He never hit her back because he believes a man should never hit a woman.

So if you feel that the marriage is over, sometimes you have to leave. I wish you well.
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he should recover just fine from the procedure. Be sure to ask the doctor what is the expected recovery time, what restrictions he needs etc. so he does not have you waiting on him hand and foot. Then after he recovers, make an appt with a lawyer and tell him he is going so you can both make a will and do POAs. You need one too; but if he won't go, then I suggest you keep the lawyer appt yourself so you can make other arrangements. You seem to be married to a man you don't love and don't want to care for; so do yourself a huge favor and do something to make your retirement years happy; if that is a divorce, so be it.
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Katie, if you don't mind my asking how long has your very long marriage not been good?

It's the 'what to expect' issue. It may be that the improvements this treatment aims to deliver will help to put right some things that have gone wrong, for example. Your husband might feel so much better he's a new man, and a lot more like the one you used to like.

Or, if you've always had your reservations, it may be that you need to forge ahead with your plans for a different life in retirement; but in that case rather than fearing his care needs you will want to detach and plan for them as well, instead.

Right now here is a hug, and a 'let's see.'
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katiekat2009 Mar 2019
My despair and fear is less today. To answer your question, It's never really been a good marriage. In previous years, there were always jobs, kids, taking care of mom and other responsibilities to keep us busy. Now, it's just us and, since we retired (me two years ago and him last year), things have taken a complete nosedive. He is doing retirement on his terms, doesn't care what I want to do. This has caused a lot of arguments. I am depressed and know it.

The cath has been pushed to next Wednesday.
I went through this with my DH last summer. He had 2 heart attacks in 2 weeks. Stents were placed and he began healing. I have to say, he is a terrible patient and we've been through the wringer with him and health/lifestyle issues for 43 years.

I, too, had a bag packed, unbeknownst to him, before he had the first heart attack. It stayed packed. He came home to rehab. 2nd heart attack and back home with double the meds and triple the crappy attitude.

Had I known I even had a CHOICE, I would not have brought him home to rehab. He just assumed I'd be happy to be his slave once again.

2nd heart attack--I was too slow on the draw and again, he was sent home. On my birthday---well, that's not here nor there.

During the 'healing'---we did have a quite a few huge fights, which we really never did, nor do. I did tell him I was going to leave him--and he was totally shocked. And he changed. Went to his psych doc and was prescribed and anti-depressant even though they are not really supposed to take them post h/a. Luckily, these worked, he began to listen to me.....and eventually, I unpacked the bag.

He knows now that I have a limit. He knows I will leave him if things gets that bad again.

IF you are planning, without question, to split from him, you'll get NO judgment from me.

Although--dumping this on him when he will be feeling emotionally unbalanced is kind of cruel--that's why I didn't do it.

You need an advocate in this. And you can talk to his drs and explain that you are not capable of caring for him. They'll have heard it all, don't worry about how it appears to others. I'm sure the drs have to sign off on his release and he cannot go home to 'no care'.

A stent being placed is practically an outpatient procedure. A bypass, of course is much more involved.

Let the drs know you will not be a part of his caregiving team going forward. No doubt your husband will have a fit, but sounds like that's "normal" for him.

He probably won't be sick enough for FT care in a rehab place--I honestly don't know. I wasn't at the hospital for the discharge planning and I wasn't happy with the 2nd one at ALL. I wanted him to go to a facility and I didn't get to the hospital fast enough, and I wasn't 'brave' enough to fight for one.

If things aren't good now, a bypass or stents aren't going to make him nicer or make your marriage better or stronger. Only you can make that decision. Stay and care for a man you no longer wish to be with...or go and start a new life w/o him.

I can't make that decision for you--I can only empathize--and I do, with all my heart.


And you may think your kids don't want to be involved, but they should be, at least as far as supporting both of you. I have 5 kids and within 12 hours of the first h/a, 4 of the 5 were here, supporting me. (#5 had just had a baby, and couldn't get here). My kids all said to me "If you need to divorce dad to have peace and joy in your life, we're there for you."

I had their quiet support and we weathered it. Not well, I will say that the recovery was and still is, pretty awful at times. But I think he'd trying to be less of a jerk and I am trying to forgive him for being him.
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katiekat2009 Mar 2019
Thank you. The first part of your response mirrors my situation. I'm not going to leave him mid-treatment - I've put up with it for this long! I'm glad you and your husband were able to reconcile. Just in the past two days, my husband has become more "humbled". I guess staring death in the face does that to you, but we'll see. Thank you for giving me hope.
Insist that you can not be his caregiver and see what options they suggest
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katiekat2009 Mar 2019
He's not incapacitated yet. I'm just afraid we will end up there.
PART 2:  I wasn't finished with the post, but it wouldn't let me write any more. 

When he came home from the hospital, he had to take it easy, but did very well and he was 75 years old at the time.  He said he felt better than he had felt in a long time (better blood flow and more oxygen in the blood).  Bottom line; you can expect a full recovery.  He is young and Lord willing, everything will be fine.  Stay strong - you WILL be OK.  You have my prayers and lots of ((hugs)).

Also, I would expect that before any procedure is done, the hospital will require that your husband complete a MPOA.  They did for both my Dad and my husband.  They can take care of this at the hospital.

PS  My husband won't make a will either.  My heart goes out to you Katie.  💚💚💚
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I didn’t read your message until now
( a few days late ) Just wanted you to know my 🙏 prayers are with you. Here’s a big HUG‼️ Not the same illness, went through same thing. I am a Caregiver and over the top with stress. Everyone tells me I need to take care of myself! No one has been able to tell me how? I’ve been married 45 years in our 13th. of marriage he had his first Manic Attack. I have stuck by his side thru years of verbal abuse. I’m NOT asking for sympathy, just wanted you to know, there are a lot of us out there going thru the same situations 💔. Big HUGS help me, so get as many as possible‼️
I wish you the very best. I can’t give any advise. I was never able to take any of the advise I received 🤷‍♀️
🙏 🙏 🙏 🙏 💝 ❤️ 💖 💞 🥰
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MJInslee Mar 2019
Love your answer!! I'm finding 'way too many situations like my own on here.
You have given me consolation this morning. Hugs to you. THANK YOU.
We’ve been through the blocked carotid artery, stroke, so many patches and stents I’ve lost track. Mine is also an abuser. Sadly, most women have had lower earnings throughout life, raising children, so we often won’t get enough Social Security to cover our needs. Many of us will have to file to receive benefits under our husband’s benefit. That is my case. Being disabled myself, I can’t support myself, very sick all day every day, or most days. And I am expected to care for him, and being verbally and emotionally abused all the while. I’m too sick to even pack and leave, nowhere to go. And the doctors and hospital keep dumping him on me, even when I tell them I cannot care for him. They just refuse to make him good and ready, before sending him home to a sick caregiver. So don’t count on that happening, despite how many people telling you the doctors and hospital will take care of arrangements. Not always do they do their discharge job.
That said, whatever you decide, we are here for you. One thing I had to implement during the last recovery was my own version of time outs. I simply remove myself to another room. There’s always something I need to do in another room. And I’ve found he doesn’t make the effort to follow me to continue his haranguing. I simply announce, here’s your water, a snack, I’ll be working in another room, will be back to check on you. After an hour, I reappear. If he starts verbally abusing me, I leave again, another hour. He’s most likely a narcissist, as he will never apologize. He wasn’t like this when we married. Now the closet Narc is out. I’m just not putting up with it. If I’m sick, I have a TV in bedroom. It’s not the best way to live. I understand your situation. Due to the length of marriage, 10+ years, you will be able to file for Social Security under his benefits, if higher than yours, even if you divorce. It’s the paltry reward built into the system, to compensate women for being home, raising the children. But you can get it if you choose to leave.
Head up, chin up, come here whenever you need.
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MJInslee Mar 2019
So sorry to hear of your situation. I'm in a similar one. There are just too many of us living like this. I so wish we could gather once a week, for laughs and encouragement. I'll be thinking of you, when I, also, am "working in the other room". I've been doing that for far too long, but it's necessary!! Hugs to you.
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