You are the center of attention these days, weeks and months. The heart failure or attack has woken up people around you and they know that you need help. No words needed, it is just a natural reaction from people who care about you.
Close family and friends are worried about you and they will do their best to help you. It can be hard for them to understand what help you need so they try to assist where they think it is needed.
These are amazing gestures and you should be grateful for every moment and thought they give you. Without them, you would not be healing and recovering as quick. Their love and support will carry you very far.
BUT, the real challenge is often forgotten. We tend to look at the patient and may forget to support the families; wife/husband, kids, close family. It is natural despite the fact that families also need help at some point.
You have to ask yourself, how is your family affected by your heart incident?
Not that you can do much in the early stages of your recovery, but we have to bring them into the conversation and support circle at some point. They cannot carry the burden alone and need someone to support them too.
My kids were severely affected by my incident, but they were so brave and strong. They never stopped and questioned their help. They just helped me with whatever I needed.
I know it is what families are meant to do, but I still believe that we need to let the kids be kids and not worry about helping out all the time. My heart melted every time I saw them clear my little table next to my La-Z-Boy.
- Our youngest daughter was visibly traumatized by my incident. It didn’t help that she saw me get picked up by ambulance one day. To this day, she wants us to be together as a family all the time, even when at church. A few weeks ago she cried in church because there was no room for all of us on one pew.
- Our son was less affected, mainly because he didn/t fully grasp the severity, and just saw me sit in a chair all day. That said, he still knew he had to help and he still knew that I was immobile due to something that had happened. He started hugging me more and giving me high fives when walking by my chair.
- Our oldest daughter needs someone to talk to. It has been a lot for her to take in. She cried a lot in the beginning and was visibly worried about my condition and the possibility of losing her dad. She matured and aged quick, and we have great talks. Just like me, I think some counseling will help her deal with the situation better.
They have been super kids and have helped me more than they realize. That is also why I want to recover quicker, so I can start helping them, and let them relax again. If they see me get stronger, then the pressure and stress will go away.
My wife has been absolutely wonderful throughout the ordeal. She has been by my side every day. She has been alone in the house worrying about me while I was in the hospital. She has managed the kids’ routines and kept the family together. It is clear that it has been stressful and taken its emotional tolls on her.
Not too sure how I can help her cope and process what has happened, but she needs some time for herself and she needs to be able to sit on the sofa and just relax.
It will take time for all of us to heal and to start getting back to normal. There is no back to normal. We are living in a new normal. The alternate reality. We have to make the most of the time we have together and support each other as a family.
Counseling is certainly being arranged soon for our oldest daughter, my wife, and I. We need to process what has happened, with someone who is not emotionally attached to the incident. Someone who can help us repair our minds and souls.
How has your family helped you?
What support did they get?