Daddy Had a Heart Attack/And More

My Mom called me yesterday about 3:15 my time/central time.

She and my dad live in Toas, New Mexico, up in the mountains, so they are an hour behind me.

She took my dad to the Toas local hospital and he had a full blown heart attack.

They life flighted him to Albuquerque, New Mexico’s Veterans Hospital (VA)

Dad arrived at the Veterans hospital about 6:30pm my time and was in critical condition.
My Mom made it safely after her three-hour drive alone.
As of 9:30 a.m. my time they could not get him stabilized, but have him heavily medicated.
He’s in a lot of pain and isn’t out of the woods.
The docs believe he started having the heart attack Sunday night, but he wouldn’t let my mom take him to the hospital on Monday. He sounded winded and tired when I talked to my parents on Monday, but had no clue what was going on.

I guess he got worse yesterday and my mom put her foot down.

Testing is being done today.

I talked to my mom about 9:30am my time and the docs were deciding if my dad would have a heart catheterization done.
A camera goes through the vain and looks at the heart.

My mom is trying to get my dad to ask the doctors to give him a urine catheter because he cannot control his bladder.
He is hooked up to too many things and cannot move quick enough when the urge comes.

Her and I said at the same time that he is stubborn.

She said you cannot tell a PTSD Vietnam Veteran what to do, he won’t listen and wants to be in control of his own life.
She did say the next time he complains of severe indigestion she will have him on the way to the hospital in any way she can get him in the car.

She is blaming herself for not getting him in sooner, but that is her nature, to blame herself. I try to help make her feel better, and tell her we all know how Dad is and he wouldn’t let her take him, so he is at fault. She is hoping and praying he doesn’t have another one, she kept repeating that.

She is staying at the Air Force base in Albuquerque, so goes back and forth to the VA and the Military base.

It is very hard being here and no way to help my mom or see my dad and hug him.

Not sure if it is the previous stint surgeries that caused the full blown heart attack, or damage from chemo and radiation from his prostate cancer last year, or something totally different.

My Mom is 72 and my dad is 70.

**Now, my husband, he is disabled with neurological brain defects and a spine defect.

He was approved for Social Security Disability on July 27, 2011, back dated to Februay 2009 and disability onset being August 2008 when he had his brain surgery, but he became ill and unable to work in 2005.

He received his Medicare card and had his first PCP appointment and a complete physical and EKG on November 4th.

He sees a neurosurgeon on December 1st.

His chronic fevers are always there, chronic headaches, weakness, confusion and memory loss from the TBI.

He starts receiving his disability monthly checks next week via direct deposit, and i receive checks for all three of my children under my husband’s disability, starting next week as well, I am their payee.

We are still awaiting the back pay for husband, which will be 32 months of back pay, and back pay per child, which is 32 months for each as well.

I started my new Job at Shell Oil on July 18th and here over three months later, it is still going well. :)

I am still doing everything, caregiving, bills, raising kids and a sick husband, am exhausted, but get through it.

I went to a Well Spouse Respite and Conference on October 20-23, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia, and it was a wonderful experience. I am glad I went.

My kiddos Dylan is 9, Amber is 7, and Keira is 5.

They are doing ok.

That’s my long update………..sigh.

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6 Comments on "Daddy Had a Heart Attack/And More"

Nov 9, 2011

Debbie, I’m so sorry to hear about your dad. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful photo of the two of you. He looks so proud of you! I’ll be sending positive thoughts & healing prayers for him. You have lots of good news too which is awesome. It is such great news that you have the SS Disability worked out. That will give you some relief and ongoing help. Happy your job is going well and that you were able to go to the respite conference. You have so much going on, you need to take those breaks and refuel. Please keep us posted on your dad. Take care.

Profile photo of Kathy
Nov 9, 2011


Girl you said a mouthful when you said you can NOT tell a PTSD patient what to do. I have one of those, I call him Hubby!
I hated to hear the news of your dad. I hope your mother is gentle on herself and wont play the guilt game too long. (This is always so much easier to write than do)

I know that you have to feel so torn in not being able to get to your parents during this time. My heart is with you.

I am glad to know that some relief is offered financially that puts your mind at ease for the care of your husband, children and yourself. One less stress makes breathing a little easier but illness still looms heavy on the heart.

I’m glad your job is going well and that you took the time to attend the conference. I hope it was helpful for you :)
You are in my thoughts.

Nov 9, 2011

Hi Debbie:

I’m so sorry about your Dad. I hope that he recovers quickly.

I’m glad that your husband got SSDI. Aren’t we usually the ones that do it all. I know I do here as well.

You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Jane ~ mom to Nicole, 17 yo, VSD, PAH, Eisenmengers, BHJS

Profile photo of Liliana
Nov 9, 2011


sorry to hear about your dad. Hopefully soon they will find out what caused it and help the pain go away. It great that your husband has been approved for disability and that you are loving your job. keep us updated on your dad. Will keep you in my thoughts.

Profile photo of Denise
Nov 10, 2011

Oh, Debbie, I am so sorry! The worries for you must just seem endless. I wonder how you are feeling? How’s your health?