Home Lifestyle How I Managed to Stop Worrying About My Father’s Heart Health

How I Managed to Stop Worrying About My Father’s Heart Health

Sep 7
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Father and son at the beach

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I hope he’s gonna be okay,”

my wife comforted me at the hospital.

I never expected my uncle’s birthday to take such a dark turn.

On the way to the function, my dad had a serious look on his face. I asked him what he was worried about. He said he was feeling a little bit of heaviness in his chest but tried to wave away my concern. Apparently, he’d felt like this every now and then for a while, and it would always go away soon after.

He told me not to worry about him and focus on the party we would enjoy together.

We had a few hours of heartfelt greetings and conversations with extended family we hadn’t seen for a while. He looked happy to be there, made a beautiful toast to his brother, and was generally the life of the party.

Then at one point, he opened his mouth only to make a confusing, gibberish sound. Somebody let out a nervous laugh, but I was in a different conversation nearby and turned to him. Within a few brief moments, he got a terrified look in his eyes as half of his face drooped down.

I quickly jumped to him, asking whether he was okay, but he only responded to me with a silent gargle.

I knew I had to take action. I called 911. When I started talking to the lady at the other end of the line, she asked me whether I saw any of the five signs of a stroke.

A couple of those was difficulty speaking and numbness in the face. I confirmed, and the dispatcher sent an ambulance to the party.

On the way to the hospital, I was terrified.

We were having such a lovely time, and suddenly – he couldn’t speak or move properly.

The paramedics were taking care of him as best as they could. I was just frantically asking them if he was going to be okay.

Then we had a long wait in the waiting room. The doctors would rush in and out of the operating room, giving me updates about my dad. My wife was by my side, comforting me and trying to convince me that everything was going to turn out fine.

One by one, the guests from the party started coming to the waiting room. My dad always loved being the center of attention. But this time, on his brother’s birthday, he went over the top.

At some point, the doctors were finally done with the operation. They came out to tell the crowd of dressed-up party-goers that he had suffered a major stroke. 

Then they took me aside and told me that there would still be a long road to recovery, but with proper care, my dad was going to be okay.

The doctor seemed hopeful, giving me a rundown of my dad’s condition and rehabilitation plan.

The pressure lifted a bit when I realized my dad wasn’t in a critical condition anymore.

But my sigh of relief didn’t clear all my anxiety about the state of his health.

He would have to change his lifestyle and start taking care of himself.

My dad has always been a big, stubborn man

I love him to death, but he’s never been too welcoming to anyone who tried to care about him.

For years, he’s had issues with his blood pressure and cholesterol. He would go in for checkups less than regularly. He’d always come back laughing at the doctor’s warnings and urges to make changes.

Older man with moustache

While he was still together with my mom, she would sneak in vegetables and make the meals he had healthier. Less fat, less salt, and less sugar. But he’s always been a fan of burgers and steak dinners. He would make up for what he called “rabbit food” by going out to eat with his friends from work.

After their divorce, the only “healthy” food he would eat would be a wilted piece of lettuce in a burger.

He’s also working a job which causes him a decent amount of stress. He makes a lot of important decisions, but it has an impact on his health and well-being.

I’m an only child, and I live out of state. We talk over video calls a lot, but sometimes I would fly in just to drive him to his doctor’s appointments. Even though he’s getting older, he’s been adamant that he’s at his prime, and nothing bad could ever happen to him.

Until it did.

Not taking care of his health ended up in a stroke and lengthy rehabilitation

I took a leave from work to take care of him during his rehabilitation after his stroke.

I cooked his meals, made sure he wasn’t causing himself too much stress. I also made sure he took all his medication on time.

As he was getting better, we had quite the learning curve to get him into a new set of habits. He needed to stop wearing himself out by living the life he was used to.

Father and son with shades

But I wasn’t going to stay with my father forever. I still had a job and a family waiting for me, so when the doctor okayed him to go back to work again, I flew back home.

We would still video call nearly every day. I spent most of my time checking in on him. Was he taking his meds, eating well, and keeping himself stress-free?

I love my father, but I didn’t want to keep treating this grown man like a baby.

I started looking into my options. We were considering hiring someone to come in. Someone to take care of his home and meals and double-check whether he’s been taking his meds properly.

But, once again, my dad is a stubborn, independent man. He didn’t want anyone helping him, as he was “capable of taking care of himself.”

He even had all the devices to check his blood pressure and cholesterol levels, but he insisted that he’d keep forgetting to use them.

Then, of course, I turned to the web. I started looking for solutions that would give me peace of mind while not interfering with my dad’s daily life.

I needed something to keep him accountable and let me stay in the loop

That’s when I found Cardi.Health.

The app is ridiculously easy to use – you can put in all your data from your cholesterol and blood pressure measurement devices. That gives you an overview of what your stats look like over time.

I brought it up to my dad. We agreed that he would use it if I showed him how to. We went through the app, and he navigated it better than I could have explained. The app was intuitive to him, even at his old age.

We went through the features, and even he agreed that it would be useful for both of us and would save us a lot of worries.

It gives my dad reminders for when he has to put in his stats. It also sends out notifications for when he has to take which medications.

This way, he can feel independent since there’s no one nagging him to take care of himself!

It’s also solved the eating issue – it’s taken note of my dad’s favorite foods and gives him healthy recipes he can easily make for himself. It even gives him a grocery list to make shopping easier (and help him avoid buying unhealthy options).

Without his personalized diet from Cardi.Health, my dad would still be stuck eating burgers and steaks. He’d be putting himself at risk of another stroke!

And the best part is that I get weekly updates from the app – I see my dad’s stats, whether he’s taken his medication, and how he was feeling every day.

Since my dad started using the app, he’s even lost a bit of weight, and the doctors aren’t as worried about his health anymore. Most importantly, I’m not as worried about him anymore.

Father and son taking a walk on the beach

I honestly thought that after his stroke, I would never be able to get a full night of sleep again. This app has really helped me not worry about my father’s health.

Cardi.Health has ticked all the boxes for me.

Now when we have our regular video calls, I don’t have to pressure him into telling me what he’s been eating and whether he’s been taking all his meds. Now I can spend that time listening to him talk about how he’s doing and letting him see his grandkids.

And now that he’s doing better, he’s not as irritated when he has to see a doctor. I think he’s proud of his newfound health.

He uses the app every single day -– he doesn’t miss a single notification! He’s even started recommending it to his friends who have heart issues too. Now my dad’s formed a little community of friends who share their stats and keep each other accountable.

Now, if you or a loved one is suffering from a heart condition, you can get the Cardi.Health app too.

It will save you a lot of time and worry. You won’t lose track of your or your loved ones’ health again.

All you need to do is take a simple test to see if it works for you.

Try This 3-Minute Quiz and See How Cardi.Health Can Help You Maintain Your Heart Health
Click Here to Take the Quiz
If you have problems with high blood pressure or high levels of cholesterol, you MUST consult with your doctor before starting a new diet or a workout plan. Make sure it’s safe before doing so.
Written by
Edibel Quintero, MD

Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel's goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.

Father and son at the beach

Comments (3)

  1. avatar
    Ron
    24 Jan, 2022 at 3:56 pm

    I’m actually using cardi health too and it’s been an absolute lifesaver. I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have all the reminders for my medications on my phone. And my doctor really appreciates that I have all my health measurements ready in one place

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  2. avatar
    Stanley
    24 Jan, 2022 at 7:22 pm

    What a great idea! My kids won’t get off my back about my health. I do all the things right – I go to my appointments, I take my meds and measurements, I’m somewhat healthy but after my incident last year they only talk to me about what my health is like. Maybe sending out a report every week will help them talk to me about more than just my blood pressure.

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  3. avatar
    Samantha
    25 Jan, 2022 at 8:03 am

    I totally understand, I’ve always been stubborn about my health too. Tried to prove to everyone that I didn’t need the help when my health was deteriorating. I’m glad you and your father have finally found peace in this matter!

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