What an absolute whirlwind of a week it’s been here, you guys. I’ve been working on gathering up the energy to post here today.
So, my husband apparently had a heart attack last Saturday night and we didn’t know it, according to doctors. We had been spending the weekend in Margaritaville for Reeves’ dance competition and the boys and I had gone to bed. Sometime late that night Pete had some really big pressure happening in his chest (this was the heart attack, we think) for about 15 minutes and then apparently, he was able to fall asleep. Crazy, right? (I’ll be forever thankful that God spared my husband’s life that night and the opportunity to make this a powerful part of Pete’s testimony going forward.)
So, the following day, we woke up, went to brunch and he drove us all the 2 1/2 hour route back home. He was still doing ok by everything that I saw. Nothing out of the normal. He was a bit tired, but he had been dealing with that for a week or so beforehand, so I didn’t think much about it.
We got home, Pete went to pick up the weekly groceries, came in, sat down, and called me over. He was terrified. He had had another chest pain episode and decided he needed to go to the emergency room. They did an EKG and some blood work and based on the results, decided he needed to stay through the night.
A heart catheterization was recommended to see what was going on with his heart. So, off to a different hospital we went (Pete rode on a gurney in an ambulance), us following behind in our cars.
The procedure was done with the possible outcome scenarios being (1) he had minor blockage and would need medication to control it (2) he had a little more blockage and would need a stint put in or (3) he would have to have bypass surgery if they found 75% or greater blockage.
When the cardiologist came back with the results, you could have knocked me over with a feather. My love had 90% blockage in ALL 5 arteries.
His parents and I were stunned.
It also turns out Pete’s sugar levels were close to 500 (a healthy number is ideally somewhere in the 140 range) and his cholesterol numbers were so high that they could not even be calculated.
After assessing his family history, the doctor came to the conclusion that what Pete was dealing with was an unfortunate hereditary issue. The doctor assured him that there was no possible way he could have lived in such a way to cause that much damage at 46 years of age on his own. Genetics played a crucial role in the heart blockage (and the diabetes).
So, on Wednesday morning, while we all waited the painfully long 4 1/2 hour procedure, Pete had bypass surgery on all 5 arteries. That’s a quintuple bypass surgery, you guys. Crazy.
But, God is so good, friends. I didn’t cry a single tear the day of the surgery. A peace just kind of washed over me and I wasn’t scared….just calm. I can’t even tell you how thankful I was and still am that God got me through that day in such a wonderful way.
(Photography by Vivid Dream Photography)
I’ve already gotten too lengthy with this post, but just to close it up, Pete was released from the hospital yesterday and last night was tough. My sweet husband isn’t getting a lot of sleep right now and we’re trying to work out his new eating plan. The recovery will take a full six weeks, with no driving for four of those weeks. He also can’t lift his hands above his head in order to protect his chest incision. So, I’m getting the chance to help nurse him back to health and help him with those small daily tasks like putting your shirt on over your head, checking vitals, prepping meals, etc. I’m honestly happy to get to be a part of the process. It’s bringing us even closer.
We’ve gone on a few walks in the neighborhood, trying to get his strength back. He is doing so well, overall. I’m sure I’ll be sharing more on our ‘new normal’ lifestyle in the weeks ahead.
To all of you who have kept Pete and our family in your prayers this past week, THANK YOU….from the very bottom of my heart. We’ve truly felt your prayers on our behalf.
Much love to you all!
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Hi there! My name is Joyce- I’m from Oklahoma! I follow your instagram and noticed you posted about your husband. Crazy- but nearly identical story happened to my husband December 10. Tomorrow is week 11 of recovery for him. He is also young- 44! Same exact scenario- chest tightness -it let up before we got to the er- one Sunday- and then it happened again the next Sunday. This time his blood pressure wouldn’t come down. So we went to the er and he was admitted- heart cath the next day-a balloon pump was even put in.. they had us get our kids up to see him before surgery. So scary. Tuesday he had a triple bypass- 6 blockages! One was 90% blocked and one was 95%. The others were less.. I fully understand the craziness you just went through! It’s such a crazy rollercoaster for them afterwards. My husband didn’t sleep well the first week or so either- He was still on hydrocodone- so when he went off of that it got a lot better.. funny- he snored before and now is silent.. He is still sleeping every night in a recliner. That is his comfort zone. We are also watching his diet! Low fat,low sugar,and low sodium. I couldn’t not believe all you were saying about your husband… we feel like we are seeing so many heart attacks right now- I don’t know if that is because now we are more aware.. if you ever have any questions I’d love to share anything I can with you. It has been the hardest on him emotionally. My kids still cry here and there because “dad’s just not the same” but he is getting better and better everyday- it’s amazing how they make such huge strides each day. Your hubby isn’t in the car biz is he?! Lol Mine is- and we at first felt that it was genetics,but have learned a lot about stress and he has had a high stress job for 18 years of owning his own business..anyway- I wanted to reach out and be available if you ever have any questions! Ps I love your style😄 And Sprouts has so many low/no sodium snacks and foods! Their bulk bins have a lot of snacks that work- Whole Foods also! We have made a 180 in our eating!Prayers for you all🙏 Joyce
First off, I’m really sorry your family is going through a similar situation, but am so grateful to know that we are not alone in all of the challenges we’re facing. It truly does help to know that others are in the next phase of recovery and doing well with it. Pete is not in the car business (Ha!) but he’s about as Type A personality and high strung as they come, bless his heart. I already see a few changes in him in that department this week though, which makes me happy.
Thank you so much for sharing your story and for the food tips as well! With conflicting diets for the diabetes and the heart disease, it’s a bit confusing(and scary) to know what all he should and shouldn’t eat. But the doctor recommended the “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Diet” book as a good guideline for his situation.
I’ll have to look into Sprouts and Whole Foods for some food options going forward…thank you for that!
Thank you for your prayers, Joyce! I’ll be keeping your family in my prayers as well!
oh my gosh. WOW. Thank goodness he’s recovering and doing better. amazing story.
Thank you so much! He’s doing really well with his recovery!