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What would you do about an ill dh?

(52 Posts)
TransfiguratingLily Wed 11-Jul-07 08:44:45

My dh had an angiogram yesterday and they are saying he had a minor heart attack which they stopped with treatment before damage was done to the heart but there are two blockages, so they are going to decide if he needs angioplasty or intense medication to deal with the blockages. So he is staying in hospital for another couple of weeks at least.

He lives and works 300 miles from me and the children and travels up every two weeks for a few days. It's two and a half weeks since I saw him and a week since his heart attack.

He told me not to come. To cancel the flights and come down after my sisters wedding which he knows is in August. (And never intended to go to it anyway-no change there)

He doesn't want to see me until he is better. And he doesn't want me to tell his brother in England what happened.

I am doing what he asks and not what I want to do at the moment.

I'm hurt that he doesn't want me and needs me to stay away.

It would be really hard for me to go down there with the children while he is in hospital. But if I thought that was his only reasoning I would do it anyway if he needed to see us.

Am I doing the right thing? Would it be just selfish of me to go against his wishes? Should I tell his brother?

milfAKAmonkeymonkeymoomoo Wed 11-Jul-07 08:47:02

I'd go anyway, TBH I'd be a bit suspicious about why he doesn't want me there?

mother2b Wed 11-Jul-07 08:48:41

i thought that too, just didnt want to say it, i would go and see him

hoolagirl Wed 11-Jul-07 08:49:40

I would go maybe minus the children though.
He'd be glad to see you I bet.
If he was close to his brother I would have to tell him, if not then probably not.

ggglimpopo Wed 11-Jul-07 08:49:49

Lily - it is not quite the same thing but my sister is terminally ill and recently came to the UK from Africa to see if she could be treated. She can't. I organised flights etc to come over from France - and at the last moment she asked me not to come. I was very hurt and upset but she rang a couple of days later and said that she just could not deal with seeing anyone at all, she was so taken up with being ill and her predicament. She said that until it comes to the crunch, none of us know how we cope with being very ill, and we all react differently so I should not judge her, or be hurt by how she was dealing with it, and also she would have felt bad about me leaving my children to be with her, or uprooting them and hanging around a sickbed with them.... I am still hurt but understand. She has since gone back to Africa. I hope this helps and I hope your dh is better soon.

RubySlippers Wed 11-Jul-07 08:51:24

when people are ill they can do all sorts of strange things
perhaps he thinks he is trying to protect you? If he is full of tubes and wires he may not want you or the kids to get upset

hoolagirl Wed 11-Jul-07 08:51:28

Some people deal with things like this better on their own, unless you have any other reason, I would not be suspicious like some others have suggested.

saggermakersknockturnalley Wed 11-Jul-07 08:54:12

Could you go without the children? He perhaps doesn't want them to see him unwell.

TransfiguratingLily Wed 11-Jul-07 08:58:40

A part of me did consider maybe he has someone else there who is doing the job I would like to be doing. I don't think so though.

I think he is doing that thing men do according to 'men are from mars' or something and retreating to his cave where he wants to be left alone. Trouble is I'm trying to mind read because he is the strong silent type and if he could put it into words and explain I could understand more easily.

It is really helpful to get everyones feed back.

milfAKAmonkeymonkeymoomoo Wed 11-Jul-07 09:02:52

Sorry Lily I didn't mean to plant any doubts of that nature in your mind I think if you need to go then you should go, maybe explain that to him.

Just it sounded like there are some wider issues here from your perspective?

TransfiguratingLily Wed 11-Jul-07 09:04:40

I booked a flight to go with just the two little ones (age 2 and 4 months), then he said he wouldn't travel back with me to rest, he wanted to open a takeaway he's been working on as soon as he leaves hospital!

So I booked the 4 year old to come too because I didn't want to leave her for a long time.

Then when he knew he would be in longer, he told me not to come and I've changed the flights to early August

TransfiguratingLily Wed 11-Jul-07 09:08:44

Monkeymoomoo, it's okay I had already thought it because I do find our long distance relationship hard at times.

His brother is a doctor and about the only person dh listens too. I would like to tell him but dh said it would cause him stress to have his whole family fussing.

TimeForMe Wed 11-Jul-07 09:36:58

Maybe, because you have such a long distance relationship he is just used to being 'strong' and dealing with things in such a controlled and emotionless manner but, usually, when men are ill, no matter how strong and silent they are they do tend to become wimps and want lots of sympathy

Regardless of what he wants I would go see him. He has just had a threatened heart attack hat was only prevented my medical intervention. We are not talking about a runny nose and a bit of a cold!! I would want to make sure he was ok and being well taken care of, for my own peace of mind.

muppethasakitten Wed 11-Jul-07 10:12:47

Could he be in denial? Sounds like he's the sort of man who doesn't like a fuss... the more people he cares about who know about what has happened to him the more real it becomes... perhaps this is his way of pretending nothing has changed???

Doesn't help you though ... I'd be tempted to go anyway.... but then I can be a bit of a bull in a china shop at times and may not be the right person to advise...

... hugs to you all...

Mossy Wed 11-Jul-07 10:22:58

Lily you poor thing.

I wonder if perhaps it's because he is, as you say, "captain caveman" and he doesn't want you to see him in a vulnerable state? As Muppet says, perhaps also, if you don't go and see him he can pretend to himself nothing is wrong?

Is there any way you could get someone to mind your older dc's and just you and ds3 travel down to see him, despite what he's said? That way he wouldn't have the stress of worrying about the dc's seeing him ill.

Also, I wouldn't tell his brother if he's specifically requested you not to, but is there any way you could engineer it so it "slips out" by accident? I mean, if he calls you for example and asks about dh, you could always tell dh you had no choice but to tell him, iyswim?

{{{hugs}}} to all of you.

MadEyeMisdee Wed 11-Jul-07 10:27:15


dont be suspicious. some people push others away when ill. there were several cases like this when dh was in hospital. one man never had visitors. he told his family not to come and see him. he didnt have anyone else doing that job. he didnt want to be a burdan to them. occasioanlly friends would pop in to see him, but his family never did. he kept in contact with them, but didnt want them to see him ill.

hope everything gpes well fopr your dh.

TransfiguratingLily Wed 11-Jul-07 10:39:24

aw thanks everyone,
I do think he's in denial.

I shall put all suspicions and insecurities from my mind and try to focus on him.

It helps to hear that other people also cope with illness in a similar way.

I am trying to work out how to let his brother know. I think I'll ask dh again to think about letting him know.

I'm considering the practicalities of driving down.

obimomkanobi Wed 11-Jul-07 11:17:48

If you had a heart attack and were in hospital do you think that regardless of what you had said your husband would not come and see you?

As someone said, when people are ill they say and do odd things.

Go and see him!

mylittlestar Wed 11-Jul-07 11:31:30

Ok he doesn't want to see you, but he is very ill and you want to see him.

I can't speculate over his reasons, perhaps wanting to be strong, perhaps wanting to protect you, perhaps someone else is there... it's anyone's guess. And you won't know unless you go and see him.

If I were you I would definitely go.

TransfiguratingLily Wed 11-Jul-07 14:41:32

If I was in hospital with a heart attack I would be desperate to see dh and devastated if he didn't come. And I'd have all my family fussing round me.

That's why it's hard for me to understand dh.

I've had a good chat with him today. His nephew works with him and in a state of drunkenness has told the family what's happened. Dh wishes he hadn't. I've had a call from his family in Pakistan now and they are obviously fretting.

Dh is still adament that I don't drag the kids down there while he's in hospital. He says he'll know on Tues what is happening.

So I'll sit tight for now.
I'm trying to play it cool because I think if everyone starts getting upset that what he's afraid of and it will upset dh.

I suppose if you are dealing with a big problem, the last thing you need is other peoples distress.

obimomkanobi Wed 11-Jul-07 14:51:21

Is your DH from pakistan? Could it be a cultural thing...i.e he doesn't want people to see him 'weakened'?

Or am I talking bollocks?

TransfiguratingLily Wed 11-Jul-07 15:22:55

His culture is definately part of his personality and being strong and it not even occuring to him to lean on me is all part of that I think.

obimomkanobi Wed 11-Jul-07 18:11:16

I think that pretty much explains his attitude at the moment, and probably 'cos he is ill and not himself he is interpreting being strong as dealing with his heart attack by himself.

foxcub Wed 11-Jul-07 18:24:12

Hi Lily - how about you tell him on the phone how much you want to see him, how worried you are etc and what it would mean to you? Be a bit insistent. I suspect he doesn't realise how hurt you are that he doesn't want to see anyone. I think men generally downplay illness and just hope it'll all go away, while us women get all worried. I think if you see him it'll put your mind at rest.

have you a trusted friend down there who can visit him and report back to you and how he is?

Callieco Wed 11-Jul-07 19:35:51

Dear Lily, it must be really hard to make a decision when what you want to do is not what your DH wants. However, I think you have to think of yourself a little bit in all this too. If he is worried about you arriving and making a fuss, then you can reassure him you won't, you just want to see him, kiss him and thank your lucky stars he is still around for you to be able to do that. As other people have said, it's not like he's just got a bad cold. I don't mean to make you worry even more, but imagine if something happened between now and the time he says it would be ok for you to see him - how would you feel after that if you hadn't been able to see him? (I should point out I may be a bit paranoid because I lost my dad to a heart attack). Now that his family know anyway, maybe you could have a chat to his brother if you get on well with him and explain how you feel, and get him on board too.

Very for you. Hope it works out. <<hugs>>

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