Alone?

Hello all,

I'm not sure if this is appropriate to post because it's not directly related to the pacemaker itself, but I'm just terrified and so afraid.

As everyone knows, my cardiac journey has been an up and down road. Recently, physical therapy and medication adjustments have helped keep the SVTs and general visual disturbances mostly at bay, to the point of experiencing them less and less, but still weekly.  
 

Now the topic of my post is in regards to being alone. My wife decided to surprise me this past weekend with the notion of divorce and it's absolutely destroyed me -- came out of left field and doesn't seem like she cares to want to fix it. My heart has been racing nonstop since Sunday evening. It's beating through my chest and I'm just terrified to take my blood pressure. I feel like I've got a shot of adrenaline in me (haven't slept in days, barely can stomach food, crying quite a bit, etc)
 

She's been my rock for the past few years with my heart complications -- she's always taken an active approach with me to my doctors appts and now I'm just trying to comprehend living in an empty house, going to my appts alone and just not having my favorite person by my side through this journey (and our lives in general). 
 

i thought I've been making good progress with my medical stuff and I don't want to fall backwards, but im just so worried now. That this new stress and depression is just taking a beating to my heart. 
 

I'm not quite sure why I posted this. I'm just so confused and upset and angry and sad and just hope that someone has words of advice. Has anyone else with a PM gone through a divorce or a bad split? 
 

Take care 

Jer


7 Comments

Not alone

by Lavender - 2022-10-06 05:32:59

Jer...First-hugs. I'm so sorry for what you're going through. I'm aware that you are dealing with a lot on your plate. I hope she will at least agree to go to marriage counseling with you so you both can sort out why this is happening and if things can or should be salvaged. I've read this:
 

Top stressors in life:

Death of a spouse. ... 

Divorce. ... 

Marital separation. ... 

Being incarcerated. ... 

Death of a close family member. ... 

Major personal injury or illness. ... 

Marriage. ... 

Being fired or laid off from work.

Many of us can see this check list and identify with much of it. For myself-I've been through all but two-and I still get up and get going daily. 
 

Divorce is painful no matter if it's your decision or not. Unknown is scary. 

Jer-it took a long time but I adapted.  I prayed a lot. I did bible studies with others from church. God was with me. Through church activities, I met others. 

You adapted to your illness and you fight back and seek help. You're stronger than you think. My life was hard at first being divorced but things changed in ways that I never thought possible. 
You don't know your future. For now it looks bleak. I know your wife has been supportive to you, and she may continue to help you along as you adjust. I don't know what made her make this decision. It's probably been brewing in her for a very long time.

See about marriage counseling and if she's not willing to go--go yourself. You will need resources to help you cope. You found this pacemaker support group. You know how and when to find help. Be proactive in reaching out. You will get through this no matter the outcome. It's so difficult but not impossible. 
 

oh...and Jer...be gentle with yourself. Get immediate counseling so you can reinforce your need to eat, sleep and do the basics. You've fought too hard to get to this level of health to backslide! You're in a crisis. It's a point of both danger and change. More than half the population is divorced so it's common. You're so young and you have a lot of adventures ahead. 

I agree with Lavender, you are not alone

by Gemita - 2022-10-06 07:38:54

Dear Jer, I am truly sorry to hear your news.

I haven’t been through a divorce but I have experienced loss in my life as I am sure many of us have.  At the time, the emptiness I felt was intense and difficult to overcome. The loss of a mother, father, wife, husband, partner, child, pet, the loss of our own health, the loss of our livelihoods are all difficult to cope with and can lead to serious health issues. You sound as though you need help right now to address your worsening heart symptoms.

Have you sought help Jer, perhaps from a marriage guidance counsellor, a close family member or friend, someone you can trust?  You might consider starting with your doctor too.  Your surgery will have many “safe” contact numbers for their patients who are looking for emotional support. 

Whatever you do, I would try to keep communication open with your wife for as long as you possibly can if you feel there might be a chance to save your marriage and if this is something you both want to try?  This will give your wife a chance to express her deeper feelings and fears and for her to truly understand how you feel too and the life changes you are going through.  Often it is simple things, like the fear of not being able to cope with a partner’s illness or the fear of what the future may hold that can drive a loved one away unless they receive advice, help and understanding too.  Opening up and talking about our fears with a therapist or doctor can really help but if your marriage cannot be saved, then whatever you learn about yourself and your wife during therapy will always always be helpful and worthwhile.

https://cmhc.utexas.edu/griefloss.html

We can die from a broken heart Jer, so shall we try to repair it while it is still beating?  I wish you lots of encouragement and strength to start your fight back and to find the life that is right for you. I hope it is a life with your wife by your side, but if this is not possible, it may be an opportunity to discover what is missing in your life, an opportunity for growth.  I wish you all the very best Jer and remember, you are never never alone 

I hope you're hanging in there OK

by Persephone - 2022-10-06 17:12:00

Jer - maybe this analogy is relevant or maybe not, but let's go to the oxygen mask dropping down in the airplane scenario - what must come first? You putting on your oxygen mask, right? You can't help anybody else unless you've got the resources you need to keep yourself going. A long way to say You Come First. You'll figure out how to navigate what's ahead if/when it changes. 

(...and keep up the electrolytes since you said you're not eating much)

hang in there

by athena123 - 2022-10-06 18:27:41

i know what your going through but there is light at the end of the tunnel. keep yourself busy and spend lots of time with family and friends. please, keep yourself hydrated and eat well. reach out for help if you need it. good luck

Can relate

by _Claire_ - 2022-10-06 18:39:27

I’m so sorry to read this. I really feel your worry about the impact of this stress on your health. It's super worrying and I can totally relate. 


Try not to think about everything at once because it's overwhelming right now. Focus on one step at a time. It may be that with some marriage counselling or time that your marriage won't end in divorce. 
 

I experienced the sudden death of my younger brother (heart failure with no symptoms), whilst going through a difficult divorce, we lived together during the divorce for quite a while with lots of conflict. I also have a young son. Three months after my brothers death, still heartbroken,  I had lots of tests because they found an abnormality on my echo scan and admitted me to hospital for a week. I had convinced myself that I was going to be told that I wouldn't have long left to live. All I could think about was dying and leaving my little boy behind. Got discharged with a loop recorder. I've never felt so relieved that it wasn't bad news. 2 weeks later my heart paused for a long pause, I felt like I was dying prior because my heart slowed down for ages before pausing and my now ex husband called 999 and it resulted in an emergency pacemaker. 
 

I’m telling you this because I remember thinking every few minutes, for a good 6 months to a year, that the crushing stress and severe grief over my brother was going to kill me! It didn't!! I survived that level of stress and although it seems horrendous right now, you will survive this, whatever the outcome. Saying that, you do have to prioritise your health as you do have a heart condition. 
 

Do you have friends or family that you can talk to for support? Don't be afraid to ask for help and support from others. Sometimes people like to talk to someone impartial and there are helplines out there for support or use this forum. I know at the moment it seems terrible but things always get better. Your partner sounds like she has been very supportive in the past and obviously knows your health condition. I'm sure she hasn't just stopped loving and caring for you even if for whatever reason she is thinking about divorce. So can you both talk about the stress impact and how to manage it best for your health as a priority? If not, can a friend advocate for you to communicate your immediate health needs and how this stress is affecting you right now. 
 

In terms of the bigger issue of not wanting a divorce. I used to feel that I would never meet anyone else, I used to think what if no one wants to be with me because of my pacemaker, scars etc, all kinds of difficult thoughts! I chose to stay single for a couple of years to recover from the stress and I spent the time travelling a lot with my son. We had an amazing time. I’m now in a new relationship which is so much better than my marriage was. The thoughts you are having, are normal but not necessarily accurate at the moment, due to how sad this all it for you. It's hard to have hope and think of a new future. But everyone I know around my age that are divorced are all happier in their second marriage or new relationships. 
 

Try and get a good sleep, eat something and take one day at a time, prioritising your health over everything else. I wish you all the best and you are not alone! Take care 
 

Agree pls hang in..

by skigrl3 - 2022-10-06 21:44:21

Please hang in... it will get better. 

Thank You

by MinimeJer05 - 2022-10-06 23:30:39

Hello,

I just wanted to thank everyone for their comments and support. I logged off after posting just terrified of the idea of facing the world alone and then logged in today to see such words of encouragement. And reading your stories helped remind me that I'm not alone and that others have been through much worse times than me and made it out stronger and better. 
 

I didn't get great sleep last night, but today was the first time I was really able to eat some food and drink some liquids. I also went on a really long, peaceful walk and it felt like a weight was briefly lifted off of my shoulder. 
 

I have found a personal therapist and a marriage counselor and am taking the next steps to schedule them. I am going to try to face this with as positive of an attitude as I can and as so many of you have said, I need to focus on my own health and well being first and the rest after. 
 

One step at a time, I can do it. 
 

Thank you again for your thoughts, your stories and your experiences. You have changed my outlook greatly and I'm starting to feel like maybe I can make it through this!

Jer

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