r/NoStupidQuestions Sep 25 '22

Dad just had a heart attack. Can someone with experience answer some of my questions? Answered

[removed] — view removed post

15 Upvotes

36

u/NUT-me-SHELL Sep 25 '22

Catching anything cardiac related early is always the best possible scenario. He’s in the hospital now, which is the best place possible for him to be. Take a deep breath and take care of yourself.

6

u/HerbalAndy Sep 25 '22

Hey thank you for your comment. Just got word from my mom that it was a partial blockage of the right heart and they unblocked it and he’s going to be ok. He does have minor damage to his heart.. not sure what the means but he’s okay.

3

u/halla13 Sep 25 '22

Awesome! Good to hear. Minor damage may heal with time, depending on what it is. I was originally told I had about 2/3 of a functioning heart, which is not considered bad, after the first echo cardiogram. One done a year later showed almost no damage, apparently the dark parts of my heart were just stunned from the whole thing, and recovered. So it is possible.

2

u/NUT-me-SHELL Sep 25 '22

It means that he’s okay! There may be medications he’s sent home on and I imagine diet and lifestyle changes he will be educated on. But for now, he’s okay and that’s what matters. I’m so happy for you and your family!

1

u/HerbalAndy Sep 25 '22

Thank you!

1

u/LazySyllabub7578 Sep 25 '22

I'm not going to sugarcoat it. He'll need to change his diet and exercise EVERYDAY if you want him around in the next 10 years.

1

u/HerbalAndy Sep 25 '22 edited Sep 25 '22

I take my dog on at least a 7 mile walk, minimum 3 days a week. I think asking him to come with me would be super beneficial for him. Then I want to bring him to my health club (Lifetime Fitness) and get him to do treadmill and sauna a few times a week. What do you think about that?

1

u/dedoktersassistente Sep 25 '22

Give him some time to recover. He might be tired for a while. A specialized physical therapist can help. He shouldn't go to a sauna until he has fully recovered, it puts a real strain on the heart. From the update it sounds like he will be fine.

1

u/Why_So_Slow Sep 25 '22

Careful with sauna. Ask the doctor about it, it might not be a good thing for his heart.

1

u/El_Orenz Sep 25 '22

That probably means he'll be fine, save for necessary lifestyle changes (food, movement), and eventual medications and regular checkups.

As a family, support him in this: changing lifestyle (unless he's already following a healthy way of living) is going to be difficult, but extremely important.

1

u/[deleted] Sep 25 '22

Some of the heart muscle dies due to lack of oxygen. One of my cardiac arteries grew like a vine to furnish blood to the damaged tissue. I take five pills every morning and walk a lot. If he smokes, he'll have to quit. If he eats two Big Macs for lunch, he'll have to quit. But he will live a long time if he looks after himself.

1

u/thelunchroom Sep 25 '22

I don’t know a lot about cardiac health but my father had what sounds like a very similar event a few years ago (he would have been about 55) and he is okay now. They put a stent in and he’s been out and about as usual since. Just finished a 10 week travel around the country and recently took up skateboarding again. He caught it early, in fact they told him it was probably nothing but he insisted they take him to the hospital after all and was right. I’m sure your dad will be okay!

14

u/CriscoWithLime Sep 25 '22 edited Sep 25 '22

My dad had a couple little ones before he had surgery a few years later. He was talking. They put in a stint or two. Be worried but not too worried. Im sure he'll be fine but there will be some adjustments to how he treats his body. He's probably scared, too, so be a little patient with him with whatever he says the next few days. Take some deep breaths yourself.

3

u/HerbalAndy Sep 25 '22

Thank you. That makes me feel better about this

1

u/HerbalAndy Sep 25 '22

Hey thank you for your comment. Just got word from my mom that it was a partial blockage of the right heart and they unblocked it and he’s going to be ok. He does have minor damage to his heart.. not sure what the means but he’s okay.

9

u/Medic6688846993 Sep 25 '22

Yes, it's a good sign he's talking.

I assume they brought him to a cath lab immediately, time is muscle so since they caught it early likelihood of several and being able to rehab is high.

8

u/HerbalAndy Sep 25 '22

Ambulance got there very fast. They were giving him nitrates or something. That’s all I really know.

7

u/Medic6688846993 Sep 25 '22

That's good nitro,asprin morphine or dilaudid for pain and decreasing vascular resistance by dialating blood vessels. you can really do in the field, then get to a Cardiac specialty hospital.

5

u/duhduhduhdummi_thicc Sep 25 '22

Nitroglycerin. He'll probably be discharged with some. Heads up: they should be refrigerated and have a shelf life of 6 months. Good luck, hoping the best for both of you.

7

u/FantasticWeasel Sep 25 '22

They will likely monitor him for a while while they decide what to do next. This could be anything from a few hours on a monitor to deciding if he needs surgery. His doctors will have the most useful info.

If you are going to visit him and he is likely to be kept in for a while take in a few things for him like slippers, pj's, a sweater, a book, phone charger, a toothbrush and toothpaste etc. Make sure he has essentials like his glasses and prescription meds details as hospitals don't always know what medication his gp might have prescribed.

You and any family members are likely to feel scared and shocked and a bit helpless while all this is happening. I've been in your shoes a few times over the years and it is extremely frightening when your dad is having a heart attack and rushed off to hospital but modern medicine can be amazing and if they caught it early and he follows the doctors instructions there is no reason why he might not be back om his feet for another 50 years

Once your dad is in recovery there will be ways to support him based on his doctors advice.

2

u/arkrunningbear85 Sep 25 '22

Useful info but 50 years is a bit of a stretch. OP said he was 66 dude.
Not a lot of people live to 116.

4

u/FantasticWeasel Sep 25 '22

Ah I misred the age as 46.

6

u/Busy-Tangerine6706 Sep 25 '22

Watched my Uncle have a heart attack when I was 17. He was clutching his left chest and saying "I didn't think it would feel like this". He put his shirt on (we were at his pool) while calling 911. Like literally putting a button up short sleeve shirt on while telling the operator he was having a heart attack. I couldn't believe he was so calm. Then the ambulance showed and took him away. I'm 44 now, and he's still kicking 27 years later. I think he's 76. Lots of people have heart attacks, and through modern medicine, taking the right pills, and watching diet, live the rest of their lives pretty much as normal.

1

u/0kb00 Sep 25 '22

What a badass!

Edit to add: Did he take anything like Aspirin shortly after that maybe helped him weather it so well?

2

u/Busy-Tangerine6706 Sep 25 '22

No aspirin just buttoning his shirt, talking to 911, and then getting on the ambulance. Two weeks later, my shitty brother told the whole family I smoked weed, including Uncle. I went to visit Uncle, and he gave me 40 bucks. Said sorry you had to see that. While drinking beer! And I bought weed with that 40 bucks.

6

u/TowneCrier Sep 25 '22

I was 25 when it happened to me. I had a 95% blockage in my coronary artery. I have never smoked, was not a heavy drinker, and never used any street drugs. I was a healthy weight and had just finished working out at the gym when it happened. They did lots of tests on me. Doctors were very curious since it's not something that happens to someone so young. After a year, I was back to normal, just have a daily cocktail of pills to control blood pressure and cholesterol. Now 46 and go once a year to see a vascular specialist and according to her, you can't tell from any x-ray or scan that I've ever had any heart problems.

4

u/Ok-Shelter-3033 Sep 25 '22

I some experience in this area. My husband passed away, unexpectedly on Christmas Eve a few years ago. It was from a massive heart attack (commonly referred to as the widow maker) He was only 40…now before you or anyone reading this things I'm awful for scaring the op, please allow me to explain. Tony (my beloved hubby) had 2 heart attacks before the 3rd that took his life. He was alert and talking during the first 2, so that's a good sign. Your husband will be fine! I'm writing this comment to serve as a warning...I don't want anyone to go through what I did. Now, back to the point. The physicians will do lots of tests, and may decide to stent any blocked arteries. But the single biggest thing your hubby can do is: change his diet, exercise, no smoking or vaping, regular check ups with his cardiologist, and TAKE HIS MEDICINE! He will more than likely be prescribed a blood thinner - I cannot stress enough how important it is to take it every day and not miss a dose. Tony (my hubs) cut down, but still smoked, didn't get enough exercise, and a couple days before he died he ran out of his blood thinner and didn't take it for 4 days. Even with insurance it was expensive (not all of them are) and he made the fatal choice of believing he'd be ok without it for a few days. Sadly he was more bothered about having beer and cigarette money. I asked him a few months before he died if having the stents in his heart gave him a false sense of security. He was honest and admitted it did indeed. I think he knew he'd have more heart attacks, but believed they'd be like the others where he was awake, talking and able to be treated at the hospital and put on meds. I'll never forget the night he died. I was working late and on my way home I had to stop at a store to hurry and get some last minute Christmas things. I was talking to him as I was wandering around the store. I arrived home not more than 20 to 30 mins after last speaking with him. I opened my front door and found him unconscious on the floor. I dropped my bags and started screaming. I was able to call 911 and somehow I remembered from when I'd taken a course in CPR as a child, and immediately (while pleading with him and God) to do CPR. Miraculously I did get his heart started (albeit a slow beat of 50) the paramedics finally arrived (8 mins later which felt like a lifetime) and CPR is exhausting, fueled only by my adrenaline, I'm sure. The paramedics took over giving him all kinds of shots, CPR and using those electric paddles like you see in movies. Single handedly the most traumatic event of my life. Tony was transported by ambulance to the hospital. They continued to work on him for about 40 minutes. In my heart of hearts, I knew he wouldn't make it. Not because I'm a pessimist, but because it was abundantly clear he had been without oxygen for too long and was brain dead. All it took was me to see the glazed, almost cloudy look to his eyes and I knew. Still, when the doctors came out and told me he was gone, I collapsed to the ground. My friends and family lifted me up and comforted me as best they could. I am so so sorry for the long and probably unnecessary story...guess I needed to get it out. Moral of the story, your husband should be just fine as long as he takes his meds and follows doctors orders. I'm keeping you and your husband in my prayers, I really do have a strong positive feeling that he, that you both, will get through this just fine. Thank you for letting me vent and if there's anything I can do for you, please feel free to DM me. Much love, Charlotte 💖

2

u/HerbalAndy Sep 25 '22

Hey thank you for your comment. Just got word from my mom that it was a partial blockage of the right heart and they unblocked it and he’s going to be ok. He does have minor damage to his heart.. not sure what the means but he’s okay.

2

u/Ok-Shelter-3033 Sep 25 '22

Fantastic news. Sending you a great big hug! 🤗❤️🤗

2

u/Ok-Shelter-3033 Sep 25 '22

Hey, sorry that I was referring to your husband. I now realize it's your mom. Sorry about that! I was very sleepy when I wrote it 🤦😆♥️

2

u/HerbalAndy Sep 26 '22

Haha no worries. I understood what you meant.

1

u/Ok-Shelter-3033 Sep 26 '22

♥️🥰♥️

1

u/Ok-Shelter-3033 Sep 26 '22

Just one more quick thing I'd like to add. Whenever someone has sustained a heart attack there is commonly a little damage to the heart. As long as your mom follows all of the advice set out by her docs, this shouldn't be a problem. In fact, your mom could actually end up being healthier than before the heart attack. So don't worry too much, and with any luck this will be a wake up call for your mom. Best wishes, Charlotte 🥰

3

u/DonJuanTriunfante Sep 25 '22

So far many good signs. First heart attack ever, they caught it early, he's conscious, ambulance was fast, read on the comments he's been given nitrates (helps discern between angina and true myocardial infarction, the fancy name for heart attack). You said he's 66, this is ironically fantastic because as we age we form new blood vessels throughout our bodies (neovascularization, that is your Word of the Day), because of this heart attack survivability is inversely proportional to age (no joke, a heart attack before 35 WILL kill you, and yet I've met people 70 and up who somehow survive their third heart attack).

Best thing you all can do is really try and keep a cool head. I know this advice will make you want to punch me, but I'm gonna let you in on a trade secret: the first heart attack rarely kills; the true killer is the second heart attack patients may get from the fear and stress of undergoing a heart attack. If it is indeed a heart attack, keep your dad in the hospital for 24-48 hours, chain him to the bedpost if needed. If he responds to nitroglycerin and it's only chest angina, maybe he goes home today but keep an eye on him nonetheless.

If this is indeed acute myocardial infarction, what will happen is the doctors will run an EKG, this way they can figure out which areas of his heart got affected, and thus which blood vessels got clogged. After that the cardiologist takes over, they'll place a catheter to enter his arteries and likely place a stent device to open up the affected artery.

Godspeed my dude, hope this helps out.

2

u/HerbalAndy Sep 25 '22

Hey thank you for your comment. Just got word from my mom that it was a partial blockage of the right heart and they unblocked it and he’s going to be ok. He does have minor damage to his heart.. not sure what the means but he’s okay.

1

u/DonJuanTriunfante Sep 25 '22

This is honestly fantastic news. What they mean by "minor damage" is that, if you look at a map of how the heart receives blood, certain arteries feed certain regions of the heart (btw, did they say "right artery" or "right heart"? Not much in the grand scheme of things but still, slightly different). Without looking at an EKG or an echocardiogram, minor damage could mean 1. only a small area of the heart got affected, 2. whatever area of the heart was only slightly damaged, 3. a bit of both. However, what really matters is the "ejection fraction", a number that in a ridiculously oversimplified terms calculates "of the blood that enters the heart when it relaxes, how much of it exits when it contracts". If the damage was only minor, that number has dipped slightly. Whether this is permanent, returns to normal, or somewhere in between, only time will tell, it's a case-by-case basis. It's very likely your dad won't be able to run a marathon or lift heavy boxes for a while, but anything beyond that is basically a coin flip

All in all, seems your dad will have a good prognosis. Hope he makes a good recovery.

1

u/HerbalAndy Sep 25 '22

According to my mom they said minor damage to the right heart..

Also just wanted to thank you again.. this shit came out of nowhere and scared me like no other, and all these responses have made it so I can distract myself instead of waiting to hear good or bad news.. Thanks again

1

u/DonJuanTriunfante Sep 25 '22

Don't mention it, I'm just a dude fucking about on the internet past my bedtime. You can fear a thing, but knowing about it often brings a bit of peace of mind; you can fear it, but you kinda know what's going on behind the scenes, so you can steel yourself if shit goes sideways. Not knowing about the thing, on the other hand, the fear is squared because you don't know what to expect and so ANYTHING will blind side you, and that's when we make stupid (if well-intentioned) decisions.

Now go take a nap, do some yoga, smoke some weed, whatever calms your nerves, and go to your family. What your dad will need more than anything is a cardiologist and his loved ones.

3

u/hajiomatic Sep 25 '22

I had one at 45. Depends on where the clot is. I'm 59 now..he will be ok

1

u/HerbalAndy Sep 25 '22

Hey thank you for your comment. Just got word from my mom that it was a partial blockage of the right heart and they unblocked it and he’s going to be ok. He does have minor damage to his heart.. not sure what the means but he’s okay.

1

u/hajiomatic Sep 25 '22

It means blood was not flowing to the heart muscle and some of the heart tissue has died. He has some stents in his heart to open the blocked passages

4

u/StealthSecrecy Real fake expert Sep 25 '22

Catching it early is awesome. The beginning when you don't have medical help is definitely the worst, so the fact that he was doing well up to that point is a very good sign.

I know trying not to worry is impossible, but he really is in the best possible environment right now so the best thing you can do is wait it out, and take care of yourself.

1

u/HerbalAndy Sep 25 '22

Hey thank you for your comment. Just got word from my mom that it was a partial blockage of the right heart and they unblocked it and he’s going to be ok. He does have minor damage to his heart.. not sure what the means but he’s okay.

2

u/StealthSecrecy Real fake expert Sep 25 '22

Awesome to hear! Sounds like the best outcome given the circumstances. Heart problems are pretty common especially as you get older, but now he will be able to look after his heart going forward to minimize the risk.

2

u/HerbalAndy Sep 25 '22

Atleast he’s got a chance to make some changes and that’s all I needed to hear

2

u/somewhenimpossible Sep 25 '22

My dad had a big one in his early 50s. He was throwing up, couldn’t breathe, passed out, came to and told my mom what to do in the case of his death, had a double bypass surgery and was shipped to a more equipped hospital for the surgery and recovery.

He’s here 15 years later and golfing or playing tournaments almost every weekend. Retiring next year!

1

u/HerbalAndy Sep 25 '22

Hey thank you for your comment. Just got word from my mom that it was a partial blockage of the right heart and they unblocked it and he’s going to be ok. He does have minor damage to his heart.. not sure what the means but he’s okay.

2

u/HerbalAndy Sep 25 '22

Mom just texted me. Said they’re at the hospital and he’s still talking but in a lot of pain. They gave him morphine and are going to do a procedure. They said a partial block on the right side of his heart. Can you tell me anything about that?

3

u/[deleted] Sep 25 '22

[deleted]

3

u/HerbalAndy Sep 25 '22

Thank you. Just got word they unblocked everything. Doctor said it was a major heart attack and that he received minor damage to the heart but he’s okay and will be in the hospital till Tuesday. I’m so relieved my dad didn’t die tonight

1

u/[deleted] Sep 25 '22

[deleted]

2

u/HerbalAndy Sep 25 '22

Thank you

2

u/Ruby257 Sep 25 '22 edited Sep 25 '22

Hello, I am a nurse in Quebec, Canada. (Sorry for my English, I am French Canadian). Heart attack caught early is really good. It is just normal that he can talk to you. You don't juste immediatly die having a heart attack. You get chest pain that means that your heart is suffering. But the rest of your body is normal so he can talk to you. If he couldn't talk to you and no counsciousness, would probably mean cardiac arrest, which this isn't good and the medical staff would start CPR.

Being caught early, they just give nitro to dilate the vessels of the heart, so more soace for blood flow in the blocked vessels. They also loaded Aspirin for "less coagulation" and prevent blood clot. They can give morphine for peripheral dilatation which give less resistance against the heart pumping.

They will just bring him in for Coronarography by the wrist or femoral. Put a stent when it is blocked in the heart and the blood flow will become normal. Easy as that for these cardio doctor.

2

u/HerbalAndy Sep 25 '22

Hey thanks. Just found out that he had a partial blockage on the right of his heart.. and also found out that they were able to unblock and he’s ok. He does have minor damage to the heart but he will be ok. Again thanks for your input

2

u/UncleFuzzy75 Sep 25 '22

If caught in time, they put clot busters in. He may need stents which are put in thru an artery. The are then expanded to open the clotted spot. This is procedure done under sedatives so they know your status.I have 7 after 2 serious heartattacks. Stents are a huge help, as in new man level. But, after my MI's they can only help so much.

He needs to rest, figure what was the cause and heal. Even if it is very minor. Bitch at him when he says....I'm fine. He ain't.

2

u/HerbalAndy Sep 25 '22

Hey thank you for your comment. Just got word from my mom that it was a partial blockage of the right heart and they unblocked it and he’s going to be ok. He does have minor damage to his heart.. not sure what the means but he’s okay.

1

u/data_now Sep 25 '22

My best advice is to talk to his doctors. They are going to know best given their expertise.

1

u/DageezerUs Sep 25 '22

Getting to the hospital fast is key and from your description he is stabilized.

They will do diagnostic testing (Echo-cardiogram and or a cardiac cath) and see what blockages he has in his cardiac arteries.

From there stents or surgery to address blockages.

Talking to his doctors is best.

1

u/HerbalAndy Sep 25 '22

Hey thank you for your comment. Just got word from my mom that it was a partial blockage of the right heart and they unblocked it and he’s going to be ok. He does have minor damage to his heart.. not sure what the means but he’s okay.

1

u/DageezerUs Sep 25 '22

When an artery is blocked blood supply to the area of the heart it supplies is affected. The overall effect on heart function depends upon where and how large an area is affected. From your description, it is likely that your Dad will need to make some lifestyle changes but overall it shouldn't change his day to day living. Maybe more exercise, better diet and some meds for cholesterol and a blood thinner.

Glad he's in good shape!

1

u/halla13 Sep 25 '22

That they caught it early is in his favor. I (F58) had a heart attack at 45. Again, they caught it early and minimal damage was done. He will need to make a number of lifestyle changes now, though -diet,exercise, medicines that must be taken regularly. You can be of great assistance helping him stick to his new regime as he recovers.

Also, be advised that major depressive episodes are not uncommon after a heart attack, even when your prognosis for recovery is good. Be alert for symptoms and encourage him to get treatment if he is having problems. A good home support team can do wonders.

Make sure he understands and follows Drs orders.

As someone else here says, he is in the hospital, where they are best able to deal with things.

2

u/HerbalAndy Sep 25 '22

Thank you. He’s ok now, he had a partial blockage on his right heart and they were able to unblock it and he’s stable and coherent. Thanks for your comment

1

u/[deleted] Sep 25 '22

[deleted]

1

u/HerbalAndy Sep 25 '22

That’s scary but also informative. Have you experienced this before?

My dad is alive and they unblocked his heart.. but I would like to here your experience’s

1

u/MLMLW Sep 25 '22

I think talking is a good sign. How is your dad now? I hope he's doing ok.