I'm hoping someone can give me some advise on dealing with my 44 year old boyfriend who 2 weeks ago (on Christmas night) suffered from his 2nd heart attack in 2 years. He was lucky both times that they were able to clear the blockages in the arteries using stents, however he has been told that he was very lucky and that is very rare that one man has been able to have 2 stenting procedures done without at least one of them having to be done by bypass surgery. The last blockage was a 100% blockage, however it was a fresh blockage and they were able to clear it and stent it. They said the next time he will not be so lucky, the next time they see him, he will need bypass surgery, or it may be fatal and he won't make it to their table. He was warned the first time that ne needed to quit smoking, cut back on his drinking and start exercising, which for the first few months he did really well at, but after his mandatory 3 months off work, he started smoking again, was back at the drinking and the exercising halted. He also has the misfortune of having a family history of heart problems by way that his father died at 58 from a heart attack, but had many smaller heart attacks from his mid 40's. I can't stand the thought of losing my boyfriend at such a young age, and need to get it into his head that he needs to stop his bad habits and change his lifestyle before it does permanent damage to his body, he is killing himself and just doesn't understand it. He says he is going to quit smoking, he is taking Champix, and so far has not had a cigarette since he came home from the hospital, but I am so worried that once he goes back to work in 2 months he is going to go right back to his bad habits. If he dies, What can I do to make him see what he is doing to himself. The doctors have all told him, but he refuses to believe. HELP!!!
This is one of the most difficult problems/issues that cardiologist are faced to deal with. Your boyfriend already has proven he has accelerated coronary artery disease at a very young age in conjunction with an early family history and multiple risk factors. Smoking is the single, most important risk factor that he has the power to remove. Unfortunately, not all patients are able to quit smoking effectively even after having 2 near death experiences. I am glad that he is trying some medications to help quit, but the majority of this depends on his will and desire. The best thing you can do is to continue to encourage him to stop smoking and having him participate in activities that will reinforce the same actions.
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