6 months post op still struggling

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VR.org Supporter
VR.org Supporter
Jan 4, 2021
I had my aortic valve replacement for severe aortic stenosis. I am a 61-year-old female. I had my surgery at Mayo clinic in Rochester. I spent eight days in the hospital, which totally sucked. I feel the staff including the fellow let me down because he didn't read my portal to know that I also had central sensitization. At the top of my sternumI have a rather large soft tissue "" mass. Mayo is not concerned with it at this time and it has gone down since my surgery. However, it bothers me when I turn my neck or raise my arms. After the surgery I developed a sort of fibromyalgia which I never had and now I have widespread body pain. not to mention I also have a torn meniscus that is causing me great pain. I have hopes to get that fixed sometime later this summer. I also hit my head in March 2020, and Mayo assumes I had a concussion. I had migraines all my life, ocular, but only one or two a year. Now after the surgery I am getting vestibular migraines wheelchair prevented me from driving and sometimes depending how severe the dizziness is affects my daily life. I just want to feel like myself again and I'm really struggling because now I'm having flashbacks from the surgery and sometimes I don't see a light at the end of my tunnel. I am grateful though, that there was a surgery for my condition which is giving me a second chance for life. It feels to me that everything came gangbusters and severe after the surgery. Does this get better? Thank you all for reading.


Well-known member
Oct 3, 2009
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Sounds like a bumpy recovery road which, unfortunately, is your unique experience. That’s not to say that every one else has it easy. That is to say that your bumps are different than my bumps are different than someone else’s bumps. I can’t promise it’ll get better, but it usually does. There is hope.

What I can say is that, for me anyway, there seems to be this long stretch where one is in recovery. You’re doing recovery things. You’re walking. You’re having setbacks. You’re worried about your sternum. But then, and I can’t put a time stamp on it, but there’s some date in the future where you look back and think, “I’m pretty much recovered. When did I get here?”

Ever go on a long drive and just get lost in thought and find yourself at your destination without being super conscious of the time passing? Wow! I’m here already!?!

My last open heart, I was bouncing back fairly quick. Then about three weeks out I developed pancreatitis. Anything sweet tasted gross. My teeth hurt like crazy for months. Then I picked up an infection in my hand that was following my lymphatic system up my arm forming great big pus balls along the way. That took forever to diagnose and longer to clear. So I had different stuff, but it was stuff and it took a while. Maybe it was a year later, I don’t know - but I realized I had felt okay for a while. Just didn’t know how long.

All that to say, I’m confident you’ll get there. And when you do, you won’t remember how or when. 😁👍

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