After your surgery, what are some of the things that you found out that surprised you

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mn2mx

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May 21, 2012
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15
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Northern Minnesota
I'm going in for AVR and double or triple bypass on Monday morning. Reading this thread has been both reassuring and frightening. In hospital now and have been since my angiogram Tuesday. Yikes. It's boring. Sounds like a casino in this area. Live 4 hours north in the middle of a state forest so surgeon put me under "house arrest". My wife left Wednesday to take care of things at our place. We weren't expecting me to have surgery this soon. She's on the road now returning here to be with me. Daughter arriving tomorrow. They can keep each other occupied while I'm in surgery. The important thing for me is to see them in the ICU and go home in a week or so. Have to admit to some anxiety about the outcome. At the VA in Minneapolis. Bicuspid aortic valve. Blockages are presumed to be due to agent orange exposure in Vietnam.
 

Paleowoman

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All the very best for Monday, and for a smooth recovery ! And all the best to your wife and daughter too in what is sure to be a stressful day for them while you're asleep. I'm sure you'll all feel very relieved when you see each other in ICU :) My best day in hospital was in ICU - felt really great ! Be thinking of you on Monday, sending good vibes across the pond from the UK :)
 

almost_hectic

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naples, florida
mn2mx;n859711 said:
I'm going in for AVR and double or triple bypass on Monday morning. Reading this thread has been both reassuring and frightening. In hospital now and have been since my angiogram Tuesday. Yikes. It's boring. Sounds like a casino in this area. Live 4 hours north in the middle of a state forest so surgeon put me under "house arrest". My wife left Wednesday to take care of things at our place. We weren't expecting me to have surgery this soon. She's on the road now returning here to be with me. Daughter arriving tomorrow. They can keep each other occupied while I'm in surgery. The important thing for me is to see them in the ICU and go home in a week or so. Have to admit to some anxiety about the outcome. At the VA in Minneapolis. Bicuspid aortic valve. Blockages are presumed to be due to agent orange exposure in Vietnam.
I felt the same way when I read this post before surgery, like I probably woulda been better off if I hadn't. But I made it through with very little drama. Best wishes and a speedy recovery. Put it all out of your mind, none of it can be of any help to you at this stage.
 

cinconinos

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Oct 27, 2015
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RVA
I was very surprised to have extreme pain in my arms/ shoulders. Our best guess is my arms were put in a splayed and awkward positions for my 8 & 1/2 hour surgery.
 

epstns

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Dec 26, 2002
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Chicago area
cinconinos;n859965 said:
I was very surprised to have extreme pain in my arms/ shoulders. Our best guess is my arms were put in a splayed and awkward positions for my 8 & 1/2 hour surgery.
You've got that one right. I had significant pains off and on for a long time. Even now, 4 1/2 years post-op, I still have some pain in my neck, but now they think it may be arthritis. Who knows? It wasn't there before surgery. I wonder if I can get it covered under the extended warranty. . .
 

mn2mx

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May 21, 2012
Messages
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Location
Northern Minnesota
I have to say that the ICU was a relative piece of cake. No insulin drip, no catcher mitt hands...tube came out without a hitch. Left hospital 6 days after having surgery. They would have left me out on Halloween, but my wife didn't like driving to the cities from the woods here...4.5 hours. Can't blame her. The ride back was the toughest. Now, two days later I'm feeling much better and getting around well with decreasing pain meds. I do have a question about my valve, though. I'll copy and paste from another page. I came through my surgery well, am home and getting about back in the woods. I just got a card in the mail which said I have a TF-21 heart valve from St Jude, also. I kinda remember a surgeon in the ICU saying the other surgeon was hoping to get at least a 23mm valve in, but the opening was too small. Anyone know anything about this? I'm alive, that's all I care about now.

Thanks for all your support.



 

Robomom

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Nov 14, 2015
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Seattle,WA
How depressed I was
How angry I was
How food tasted awful
How to this day I dont want to be touched by anyone but my kid
HOW FRIGGIN LOUD THIS VALVE IS
How PTSD can be a diagnosis I never expected
How many people say they will do anything for you and when you swallow your pride and ask.....
 

extraordinary

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Aug 9, 2010
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Kuwait
surprised that i still don't feel well :(
and to find out nothing works better that your own organs everything else well have it own complications
 

mrichardson

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Feb 2, 2016
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Near Dallas, TX
A few things that surprised me:

1. How quickly I "went under" the anesthetic. I mean, I figured it was some kind of "drift asleep" thing. Nope.
2. That my sternum didn't hurt. I figured with a sternotomy that there would be some pain -- but I haven't had any at all in my sternum.
3. How good I felt after I moved from ICU to standard recovery.
4. The sheer number of tests that they did. Every couple of hours poked, prodded, and given meds
 

Paleowoman

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Glad you seemed pleasantly surprised :) With the sternum they inject the site with a longish lasting local anaesthetic ! Or they cut a nerve by accident - I have a numb patch still to this day in an area to one side of my sternum - PS, unlikely to cut the whole lot ;)
 

heartburst

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Feb 27, 2016
Messages
27
Location
Los Angeles California, USA
Surprised:
How much I was cared for and loved by family and friends, and how much strength I derived from it.
How they have open heart surgery nailed.
How great pain management is. Off my pain meds by the time I got home, 5 days. My preference for drugs leans toward the recreational!
How amazingly talented and caring every person from the surgical team to the nursing staff was.
How I had sex 10 days post surgery and I didn't kill myself doing it!
How resilient the human body is.
How I don't care that I have these funky scars on my body.
How the financial strain of all this is merely a side note.
 

Ryanvs

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Jan 10, 2016
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113
Location
Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Well, I'm now 1 week post surgery and, wow! What an eye opener. Things i weren't prepared for;
* having the breathing tubes down my throat was freaky! I felt really clostraphobic and it took me a while to breath independently before they removed them. I later found out that when they said to breath, i instinctively took deep breaths and held them. Due to this the machine would kick in. Once they explained to breathe normally it was sweet.
* once awake, for the first 8 hrs or so during the night i kept just passing out and waking in 15 minute intervals.
* Ice chips rock!
* I had (and still have) terrible shoulder and back pain, especially after sleeping. Is getting better though.
* The removal of thefluid tubes hurts! Alot! Pain relief didn't help.
* going to the bathroom after the catheter was removed took time. It was awkward to put downward pressure to wee.
* i get exhausted after my daily walks and excercises. I was fit before.
* the ticking of the valve is really loud!
* getting home is the best feeling!
* after going through this, I feel i could accomplish anything i want to
 

almost_hectic

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Jun 30, 2015
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naples, florida
Ryanvs;n864704 said:
Well, I'm now 1 week post surgery and, wow! What an eye opener. Things i weren't prepared for;
* having the breathing tubes down my throat was freaky! I felt really clostraphobic and it took me a while to breath independently before they removed them. I later found out that when they said to breath, i instinctively took deep breaths and held them. Due to this the machine would kick in. Once they explained to breathe normally it was sweet.
* once awake, for the first 8 hrs or so during the night i kept just passing out and waking in 15 minute intervals.
* Ice chips rock!
* I had (and still have) terrible shoulder and back pain, especially after sleeping. Is getting better though.
* The removal of thefluid tubes hurts! Alot! Pain relief didn't help.
* going to the bathroom after the catheter was removed took time. It was awkward to put downward pressure to wee.
* i get exhausted after my daily walks and excercises. I was fit before.
* the ticking of the valve is really loud!
* getting home is the best feeling!
* after going through this, I feel i could accomplish anything i want to
Yeah initially my ticking was pretty loud. Now months later it's much quieter, not sure why but it is. Mostly I don't hear it much any more. It also took months for all of my sternum pain to go away completely. As many of us can tell you, the younger and stronger you are the more it hurts! As for feeling exhausted, it gets better a LOT better, not to worry. You'll be fit again, even more so.
 

Paleowoman

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Jun 14, 2010
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2,530
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Surrey, UK
Surprised:
• The way family and friends spoiled me with flowers, prezzies and cards, it was better than a birthday ! I felt so loved and cared for.
• The fact that the drainage tubes didn't hurt one bit when they were removed - I'd been expecting them to hurt as everyone on here warned about it.
• The way I felt great in ICU
• The way things went downhill after ICU because the pain meds were changed to ones that don't work on me, and because they gave me the wrong meds for one of my other conditions, and for another they gave the meds at the wrong time. I received an apology from the hospital matron some weeks post surgery I'm happy to report.
 

Warrick

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Dec 27, 2015
Messages
404
Location
New Zealand
Surprised:
chest drains when they were pulled out and sewn up
pacing wires being pulled out OMG... that was the worst
the length of the IV line in my neck
crying
ticking ..ticking...ticking
the wires on the x-ray
how places were sore where you thought they wouldn't be.. its amazing how they stretch your chest open
how routine warfarin has become
by the people here :) :)
PTSD
how much I've learnt here cause before surgery I knew zip about it
how much my life has not changed :)
 

Mellyouttaphase

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Jul 19, 2016
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87
Location
Queensland, Australia
I don't have much to add that hasn't already been mentioned so I shall attempt to keep this light:

+ I was surprised to develop a voracious appetite for chicken in my days post-surgery!

+ I was surprised that other patients were such a big support - I was glad I declined the offer of a private room

+ I was surprised the nurses were so forthcoming with the heavy pain relief, I felt like a fiend asking for Endone but they were telling me that I should have been asking more!

+ I was surprised at how humble my surgical team were and how patient and caring despite working huge hours! And the nurses were always run off their feet, yet nothing was ever too much trouble (meanwhile there was still no pleasing some patients but the nursing staff in the Australian public system are extremely overworked!)

+ I was surprised at how okay I was with losing all independence in the immediate post-surgery phase and how I was okay with relinquishing this and allowing myself to just be cared for

+ I was surprised that when I woke up in ICU I wasn't really in much pain but kept forgetting why my chest was stinging so much and had to remind myself that I had just had surgery
 

Trinalovescats

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Aug 26, 2016
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168
Location
Seattle,Wa USA Go Hawks!
That I no longer like pop or coffee.

That I punched the nurse after I was sedated while she was putting the breathing tube.

That I was going to be put on a backpack with oxygen and be sent home to die if the valve was rejected.
 
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