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Yesterday morning my dad had a heart attack. He's 66 and has been retired for exactly one month. My mom isn't planning to retire until June. He's doing fine thanks to great EMS response and outstanding hospital care. I'll be 40 in a few weeks and I didn't think I had to deal with these issues just yet. My own children are in their groove in elementary school and I thought I could come up for air for a "moment" now that they are beyond infant/toddler years. I watched my parents deal with their parents for years... hospitals/nursing homes, etc. I'm not ready for this.<br><br>
Any thought on how to cope?
 

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{{{ksurp}}}<br><br>
I'm so sorry to hear that. I have no advice for you. Just hugs and positive healing vibes for your dad. <img alt="sad.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/sad.gif">
 

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Just thoughts...
<ul><li>Understand that you need to balance time spent helping/supporting/caring for them with time for <i>yourself</i>.</li>
<li>Know that you can't do everything for them.</li>
<li>Cherish the fact that you have them around (I lost my mom when I was 17).</li>
<li>Don't assume the worst. My father has had multiple cardiac bypasses. He's going on 81 now and strong as a horse - we take him to Italy Thursday! Your dad may well, hopefully, bounce back from this.</li>
<li>Have a {{{hug}}}.</li>
</ul>
 

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First of all... best wishes to your Dad for a complete recovery. It's amazing what can be done "these days" with regard to heart disease. I wish him all the best. Some lifestyle changes can turn things around for him, hopefully. 47 years ago, my grandmother died of heart disease at 60, nowadays she would have had a bypass surgery or something.<br><br>
I just got back from a visit to my Mom in Florida (nice warm temps and a 15k thrown in for good measure!) but it is very hard. She is lonely and though physically very healthy, she is forgetful and repetitive. Sadly, I think she'll lose it mentally before anything else. It's scary to think she could get taken advantage of and things like that. My Dad passed away almost 2 years ago at 79 and it is very hard. There are alot of great resources on the web and plenty of articles and helpful suggestions. The hardest thing for me and my sisters is that none of us are local, so we have that to deal with also.<br><br>
Anyhow, know you are in my thoughts and prayers. It's tough but do whatever you can to cherish the time you have left. I hope it will be many years to come!
 

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Oh, I'm so sorry about your dad! (((((healing vibes))))) for him. I'm not sure that I have any answers....my father-in-law just underwent quintuple bypass, and my step-dad is getting ready to undergo testing for a possible lung transplant. Both have spouses that are still fully capable of taking care of them for the most part....but if they didn't, I don't know what I'd do. My only role right now is that of "supportive daughter."<br><br>
Are your parents close by or far away? Do you have siblings who can help? I'd suggest finding someone outside of the family that you can talk to...friend, therapist, etc. I personally think therapists are wonderful people to help deal with hard stuff like this. Some people aren't comfortable with that, though.<br><br>
Hugs,<br>
jen
 

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{{{ksurp}}}<br><br>
I hope this little prayer helps: <i>God, give me the strength to change the things I can, the grace to accept the things I cannot, and a great big bag of money (in lieu of the wisdom to know the difference).</i>
 

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I'm sorry for your having to go through this. If I could turn back the clock on a similar journey I took with my dad 5 years ago, I'd have kept a notebook handy and made a point of grabbing it when we went to the hospital or ER, there were so many doctors that I often lost track of who was who and what they said was going on--you dad needs a strong advocate and perhaps your mom won't be able to do so, so maybe it's your time. I hope it all clears up fine for him.
 

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I'm sorry for your having to go through this. If I could turn back the clock on a similar journey I took with my dad 5 years ago, I'd have kept a notebook handy and made a point of grabbing it when we went to the hospital or ER, there were so many doctors that I often lost track of who was who and what they said was going on--you dad needs a strong advocate and perhaps your mom won't be able to do so, so maybe it's your time. I hope it all clears up fine for him.<br><br>
I cried a lot in the car many nights driving home, but never in front of my kids, go figure.
 

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Not much a consolation, but I don't think we can ever truly be prepared for something like this happening to our loved ones. I think about it all the time with my father. He's still healthy but getting up their in age, and I know the day will come when his little pings and pangs and non-emergency doctor's visits turn into something more than that which was planned. The way I'm preparing myself is to tell him I love him and that, yes, I will miss him one day, and to talk about it with him, which I've found helps the two of us not only better comprehend the inevitable but also to draw closer together.<br><br>
Stay strong and don't be too hard on yourself. Do what you can. Love a little more. But don't give what you don't have. Because it'll take away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for your great thoughts/suggestions/prayers everyone - it really helps me put everything in perspective.<br><br>
I am logistically the closest to them - 3 hours drive time. They are hoping to eventually move a little closer to us. My one sibling lives in Seattle - he was feeling rather helpless on the other side of the country.<br><br>
My mom has spent her career as a nurse working with aging patients and helping families through situations like this so she has a lot of expertise. I'll just need to talk with her more about it and get clarity on what their short/long term health/lifestyle/caregiving wishes are while they are still able to make rational and coherent decisions. I can deal better if I know there is a "plan" in place.<br><br>
This is also further motivation for me to take the best possible care of myself. I want to be able to spend my retirement playing hard with DH and kids/future grandkids and hopefully have a chance to win my AG!
 

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{{{hugs}}} for you and your family and most of all for your father. I understand how you feel about taking care of parents, and like your brother, I feel totally helpless. I am 6-7 hours away from my mother who has cancer ... Spend as much time with them as possible and let them know how much you love them and how much they mean to you ... time goes by too quickly ...<br><br>
Sally
 

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Sorry about your dad. Hopefully he'll fully recover. These days many people survive heart attacks and live full lives for many years. There is a decent chance you won't need to do much caregiving for your parents for another 10-15 years or more.<br><br>
When my mom was 84 she had emergency surgery for a perforated colon. She was given about a 5% chance to survive. The doctor came out from the surgery to prepare us for the worst. She spent a week in ICU, but she pulled through and within 6 months was back to living on her own. She did well for a few years until she had a fall and fractured her tailbone. During the course of treatment the powerful pain drugs they used pushed her over the edge into dementia. She now resides in a very nice nursing home and is doing well physically, but mentally she has difficulty remembering what happened 5 minutes ago. She is 89 and could go on like this for quite a while. It's very sad to see a loved one in this condition. I visit regularly, but talking with her is very difficult because she has no memory. Most of the residents are in similar condition. They sit at the same table for meals three times a day, yet are unable to remember the name of the person next to them even though they've seen this person daily for a year.<br><br>
It is my hope that staying active will keep me from ending up in that condition. My mom sure didn't want what she now has. Unfortunately by the time a person gets to that point they have no ability to make any decisions.
 

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Cherish EVERY moment!<br><br>
I lost my mom way too soon!<br><br>
I'm glad your dad is doing OK and he's still there with you and your mom<img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"> That's a blessing!<br><br>
Big hugs to you and your family!
 

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<span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">I just lost my mom in the fall. My dad is still around. He’s 85, living on his own and still driving. Nevertheless he still needs be checked on constantly. About ten years ago the various old age health issues began to really become complicated for both of them. Mom developed dementia and Alzheimer’s. Based on what my siblings and I have dealt with my suggestions to you are:</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">- Get a handle on their medical conditions. Get permission to have access to their medical records so that when you call their doctor’s office, the office can give you any info you need. That might require a power of attorney. Check with their doctors’ offices.</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">- Make sure they have a will, or that it is up to date.</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">- Get a handle on their finances. That’ll probably require power of attorney too. Get legal advice and think about having a trust fund set up, or even transferring their property into your, and/or your siblings’ name. It varies state-to-state but if you wait until they pass away it’ll cost much more in tax $$$ and time in court to have everything transferred to you and your siblings. You need to have it all set like 3 to 5 years prior.</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">- Find out what they want done when they do die. Cremation, burial plot, type of ceremony, etc.</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">- If you have any siblings and you are the one taking care of your parents, make sure you communicate everything with your siblings. I have six brothers and sisters. Only two of my sisters live in the same town as my parents. So, one of them has all the medical and financial permissions and powers of attorney. Still, she lets us know everything she’s doing. But, I’ve heard of families going to all out war because the care taker didn’t communicate with the siblings and they assume she was being sneaky.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Good luck</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Dan</span></span>
 

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{{ksurp and dad}}<br><br>
I echo your sentiment. My dad had his first heart attack when I was in the 7th grade. Again when I was in college and most recently had to have his carotid unclogged a year or so ago. He's 66.<br><br>
As my husband and I are thinking about starting our family we're also thinking about how to accomodate parents too. sigh.<br><br>
My only advice is to have open communication and positive outlets for yourself and your family.
 

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{{{KSurp}}}}}}<br><br>
I went through this 5 years ago with both Mum and Dad (Dad had a Heart Attack and Mum had a Stroke ) within 3 months of each other - 5 years down the line you wouldnt know that either of them had been ill at all -They are off to Portugal next month no worries<br><br>
I am sure your dad will be fine Many Haling and Positive vibes sending out to him<br><br>
Neil
 
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