It all started in approximately 1980 with arterial stenosis in my legs. In 1983 I had percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in the Andreas hospital in the Netherlands. After my recovery, I started working in kitchen construction, but unfortunately, due to circumstances I had to take early retirement.
After stopping work it became very difficult to continue a normal social life. I received a lot of support from my wife. However, taking several medicines for blood pressure, diuretics, and blood thinners had a big impact on our sexual life and I developed erectile problems. Finally our sexual life stopped entirely. My wife has been fantastic in accepting this, but unfortunately I still have difficulty coming to terms with it.
In 2005 I was driving in my car with my wife and I fell asleep waiting for a traffic light. This also happened several times during long drives. My wife slapped me, which woke me up. It appeared that I had been suffering with sleep apnoea, which eventually led to a heart attack. I received very good treatment in the Slotervaart hospital.
After my heart attack, my wife and I have had to adapt our lifestyles to manage my condition as best we can. I am terribly grateful to my wife for her support and I greatly appreciate the support that I have received during the PCI, heart rehabilitation and heart failure.
To my regret it is not possible to do everything I want to do any more. But my wife and I have accepted this way of life. We think that there are always cases much more serious than mine.
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