5/26/16 This is what happened

Hi, Elizabeth here. I know Maggie mentioned that we are having the stress from Jim because I suspect he had a mild heart attack and refuses medical attention.

This is what happened.

A couple of weeks ago, we got on the plane to Punta Cana, and about an hour into the flight, Jim slumped in his chair. The flight attendants happened to be coming around with drinks at the time. He looked at me and was somewhat disoriented, but his face was completely gray and he was sweating profusely. He said, “I don’t feel good. I don’t….feel good.” I immediately asked the flight attendant for help and the two of us got him up front near the restroom. I asked Jim if he thought he might be having a heart attack.

Jim’s knees buckled and he fainted for a brief few seconds. The flight attendant told me, “I can’t hold him myself” and I told her, “I have him on this side” but Jim regained consciousness. He was very unsteady and while the crew called for medical personnel who might be on the plane, I helped Jim into the restroom. He moved his bowels and felt better shortly thereafter.

In the meantime, a nurse was on board and gave Jim a motion-sickness tablet. The flight crew was considering diverting the plane but when Jim’s color came back to his face, they accepted his “no” and his “no” to having medical personnel on the ground.

Jim insists he had a panic attack. He very well may have. I fear he had a heart attack because he had all the symptoms. It’s been a couple of weeks and he still refuses to go to the doctor, even for my peace of mind and to get me off his back.

I’m depressed and terrified. Jim’s father died of congestive heart failure at the age of 67, I believe. I have done the unthinkable and called Jim’s brother and “told” on him. His brother, John, was very upset and gave Jim a talking-to, but so far, it’s been no good.

I realize that sometimes, men in particular have a hard time asking for help or facing what they perceive to be a weakness. This is a generalization that Jim fits in to. He’d rather “turtle down” than face something like this. All I want is for him to take a stress test or an echo test to see if there was any damage. I am upset and broken hearted at what I think is my husband’s selfishness of not taking care of himself. His brother Larry died of cancer at 62 and left his widow a wreck. I said to John, “Jim is going to do the same thing to me.”

I don’t like drama or making mountains out of molehills but really, all I want is for him to take the test. He has a regular doctor he likes and insurance, so I frankly don’t see what the problem is. I know that if the shoe was on the other foot he’d be screaming down my throat to get my butt to the doc. It just doesn’t seem right, and I’ve been very unhappy.

I’m afraid of everything at this point. We have the upcoming trip to Houston and I would feel so much better if I knew that Jim’s house was in order before we left. I’m afraid of him picking things up, or straining, or any and everything.

This is a very difficult time and Maggie and I may not blog as much as we’d like. Thank you for your support and understanding.

Your (sad) friend, Elizabeth





22 thoughts on “5/26/16 This is what happened

  1. CrimsonCorundum

    I’m really sorry you’re going through this. If I’ve understood you correctly, you and Jim have three sons? Could one of them (one of the oldest) talk to him, if he won’t listen to you. I lost my dad far too early, at least I think so, and if something we could have done to stop it, I would have been really happy. Unfortunately, in dad’s case, it all happened very quickly and there was nothing anyone could have done. I hope you don’t think I’m butting in. I’m sending you and Maggie many warm thoughts and if Maggie wants it, a big hug. I’ll be thinking of you.

  2. loisajay

    What if you made an appointment for Jim and went with him? I did that for my husband; I told him we were both getting on in age and I would feel better if he saw my internal medicine doctor just for a check-up. Turned out he had prostate cancer. We caught it in time, and he is forever grateful, but if I had not made the call to schedule an appointment for him…..This is hard, Liz, and I really feel for you. Good luck.

  3. paws2smile

    How scary! 😦 Sending prayers your way…

    My exboyfriend was like that, would not go in no matter what. And I figured it out–it was because of his mom dying of cancer. So now, he doesn’t want to see a doctor if he is sick, or get any testing done. He doesn’t want to know if he has something big happening to him. As they say, ignorance is bliss. So maybe Jim has the same mindset??

  4. cb

    Tell Jim to “man up” and go to the doctor. I know they can do blood tests to check for cardiac enzymes indicative of an infarction, but it may be too late for that. Based on history you have shared he should just go see the doctor. I won’t second guess the tests but it is not unreasonable to suspect an EKG and an ultrasound. All uninvasive. A radioisotope imaging study in conjunction with a stress test will tell the heart is getting properly oxygenated. Finally the definitive test to look for blockage is cardiac catherterization.

  5. Sunshine

    I have had panic attacks so strange in nature that I was convinced I was having a heart attack. I quickly went to the hospital. He needs to at least go get an ECG or an EKG and a blood test. It is a little late, so the heart attack enzymes may not be in his blood anymore (if he did have a mild cardiac event), but the ECG/EKG may be able to pick p something. I’ll keep him in my thoughts.

  6. hitandrun1964

    He’s afraid. He doesn’t want to know. Talking to him won’t help because his fear is bigger than anything anyone can say to him. I’m really sorry Liz. He’s not being selfish, he’s just terrified. Anything you do to try and help him will just make him upset and angry. At least that’s what I’m thinking. I wish you luck but it’s a difficult situation. Blah. 😦

    1. maggie0019 Post author

      😦 I tried one last time to speak to him yesterday in a non-threatening and kind manner. He laughed in my face. I’m done. My heart is broken.

  7. hitandrun1964

    We can never make other people do anything Liz, no matter what tone of voice, or what manner we use. Things that make sense to one person, don’t always make sense to another person. I’m really sorry. Nothing may happen to him. He has to make his own choices, even though you would like to pour water over his head. I hope he’s okay. I hope you are too.

  8. sepultura13


    sorry that you have to deal with stress…fear makes people do (or not do) strange things.

    We can only control our own actions, unfortunately…it sucks when those that we love don’t do what’s sensible or right.


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