How long till your back to normal?

G

Guest

Guest
Curious if people are willing to share the stories of recovery? How long did it take till you were normal? How hard are the first couple weeks? What is the hardest part? How long till you returned to work?

thanks everyone, have a great Holliday season!
 

libra rising

Active member
Joined
Mar 8, 2018
Messages
43
Location
England
Hi guest. Thanks for your questions. It would help if you were more precise about your area of interest. Whilst being a heart valve forum, forum members have had differing procedures, or more than one heart issue addressed at time of surgery.
Do you have upcoming surgery ? If so. for what. Will it be sternotomy, thoracotomy, or TAVR (aka TAVI)
Thanks i advance for your clarification.
Geoff
 

MrsBray

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Nov 2, 2013
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Clearwater/Tampa FL area
Welcome to the forum! Warning - you'll get brutally honest answers here that aren't sugarcoated like other forums. (That's why I'm still here!) Tell us about yourself.
 

SumoRunner

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Oct 25, 2006
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915
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Latham, NY
I had good health coverage at GE, so I got 6 weeks, plus there was a way to apply for an extension of another 6 weeks, giving me 3 whole months off. I began going out to walk a mile each day as soon as I got home. I stayed in hospital 7 days which was the norm back then 1991. And was up to walking 3 miles by 6 weeks. I had been a runner for years and was eager to return to it. I tried running a bit at week 6, but didn't make it far, maybe 100 yards. I increased a tiny bit each day and was running 3 miles by 3 mos. I entered my first 5K post-op at 5 mos.

The hardest part was sneezing. That's no friggin joke. The breastbone does not want to get jolted like that until it heals.
 

DachsieMom

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Mar 3, 2015
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253
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CT
I went back to work at 8 weeks, although worked from home for a few weeks (I couldn’t lift my riducously heavy briefcase or dress in a suit for a bit). The first week was the most difficult but you progress quickly. Exercise is key. Like Sumo runner, I started cardiac rehab at week 6, and could only walk very slowly on the treadmil. Later in rehab, I was running 3 miles at a fast pace.
 

epstns

Premium User
Joined
Dec 26, 2002
Messages
5,059
Location
Chicago area
I was the Poster Boy for post-op complications. I probably hit every speed bump on the road to recovery (search my posts from Feb. 2011 onward to read it all). In spite of all that, though, I was back at work (office job, high stress) at 6 weeks. I started out at 4 hours/day, then 6, then 8, then back to my usual 10-hour days by about 3 months.

I was not deemed "healed enough" for cardiac rehab until I was 12 weeks out. During weeks 5-12, though, I began gentle walking, and was soon up to walking a couple of miles a day. I remember that on my first walk, I left the house to walk to the mailbox about 2 blocks away. Once I got there, I remember thinking, "Holy Cr*%! I'm so tired I may not make it back!" That feeling didn't last more than a couple of days. I gradually increased the length of my walks without issue.

Once I started rehab, I began to feel much more normal. I became the class clown. When the rehab tech would ask "Do you think you can do XYZ?" I would answer "Bring it on!" I tried (and generally succeeded) to do everything at 110% through rehab. In fact, I had rehab on Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons. On Tuesday and Thursday I did the same routines at my regular fitness center. Oh, and during rehab I was already working full-time as well (at age 63).

I can't really say at what time point I really felt "normal" but for most activities I was back at normal levels before 6 months. The one exception I can still remember is that I didn't feel comfortable doing push-ups until about a year. I was capable of doing them, it just didn't feel right. I think it was related to how my chest muscles healed, and the relatively lighter workouts I had done since surgery.

I could go on and on, but I'm at work now and need to get back into the job. (At age 71, no less.) If you want to discuss my own specific experiences "one-to-one" then just sign up to create a user name here and PM me. I will answer any questions I can for you.
 


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