Emotional And Behavioral Changes After Heart Surgery… For Beth & Erik

Beth just emailed me about her husband’s problematic recovery from heart surgery. She writes, “Hi Adam – My husband had heart valve replacement surgery (from mitral valve prolapse with regurgitation) two months ago. Since then, he seems to be experiencing some emotional and behavioral changes after heart surgery. Although his heart is doing great, Erik seems to be “a little down” and somewhat “out of it” since the heart surgery. Any thoughts? Thanks, Beth.”

Here are my thoughts for Beth:

As patients, we enter the operating room with two critical thoughts. The first thought is, “Please let me live!” The second thought is “Please fix my heart so that I can live longer!”

After surgery, the relief of living and having fixed hearts is not enough for many patients. Instead, many patients are bombarded by difficult thoughts relative to pain, complications and ultimately, a challenged recovery. That said, these thoughts can manifest in emotional and behavioral changes after heart surgery.

In my own research, I learned that 30%-75% of patients report feeling anxious or depressed after heart surgery. That’s a pretty significant number. Personally, I experienced both emotional and behavioral changes following my valve replacements. I was moody. I was irritable. I was fatigued. I was tired of the pain.

As Doctor R. Scott Mitchell notes, “I think the cause of cardiac depression is entirely unknown… But, it could be the psychological effect of anticipating surgery, the prolonged time under anesthesia, or the results of the heart-lung machine.”

On this note, reports suggest that these emotional and behavioral shifts are increasing in frequency. In the opinion of many, this increase is directly related to short hospital stays in which patients are discharged too quickly after the operation. Today, patients are in the hospital five days on average. In the past, patients would have ten to fifteen days in the hospital to assimilate their new reality, according to Dr. Richard Fogoros.

As to what can be done about the emotional changes after heart surgery, I took several guided steps including attending cardiac rehab classes, spending less time alone, ending my use of Vicodin, etc.

Cardiac Rehab Program - Torrance Memorial Hospital
Adam In Cardiac Rehab Class

I hope this helps explain a little more about the common emotional and behavioral changes after heart valve replacement surgery and heart valve repair surgery. Scroll down to see over 45 patient comments.

Keep on tickin!

Adam Pick
Written by Adam Pick

Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of HeartValveSurgery.com.

To learn how Adam has helped millions of people with heart valve disease, watch Adam's video, subscribe to his free newsletter, or visit his Facebook, or Twitter pages.

  • Derek Kent

    I had a triple bypass one year ago. My experience, judging from the posts I’ve read, has been unique. I’d suffered from depression for 10 years and had quite a few mild heart attacks, I thought were chronic heart burn, in that time. I received counselling after the operation and now I no longer have the disabling depressions. I’ve developed emotions I’d forgotten. My memory is 10 times better than it was as well. Emotionally I’ve found myself in a place I’d never dreamed of before the operation. This despite the fact that 12 months later I am still unable to return to work because my donor leg is extremely painful. I am unable to weight bear for more than half an hour or so. I have pins and needles pains I cannot describe. Knee, hip, buttock, ankle and foot pains that feel like physical damage is being done in addition. I think my GP simply humors me, but the pain is genuine. The condition has neither improved nor worsened in months and my only concern is whether the pain is permanent or not. Any feedback or advice would be most welcome.

  • Carla

    Im sorry for what you are going through but i had to write you because I have the same situation. I love him so much but i feel so guilty because im to the point of just walking away. Theres no love making no compassion just seems like all hate only towards me. So i do feel for you believe me your not alone. I have no support at all so its all on me. He acts like everything is great around everyone else. He wont talk to drs about the emotional or intimacy part. he doesn’t even want to try to fix it my main question is how much of this is the surgery and how much is him being an ass

  • Syd

    I was born with transposition. I have had 3 open heart surgeries over 30 years ago. Recently I had my pacemaker replaced and a Stent placed in my baffle. I do not feel the same since. I have withdrawn from my family. I did not have confidence to go out of my home for a long time. I feel angry towards my family (not my husband or Daughter ) I have lost myself.

  • Mandy Bressers

    My 26 year old husband had a subcutaneous defibrillator placed on his left side in March. Since then he has been very emotional, easily irritable, quick to anger, and on occasion violent (he threw my cell phone and broke it). I’m not sure what to do or how to help him. I feel like everyday is an emotional roller coaster and I’m so tired of fighting that I’ve started to apologize for things he gets angry about. What do I do?

  • Frances woodland

    Hang it there Frank … These mood changes won’t last forever. As some of my friends who have taken heart attacks, had valve replacements, or stints but in all involve the heart and is a traumatic event for the person. The fear takes at least a year to subside so just be patient.

    Eventually, hopefully you will be able to enjoy doing thing with your wife again. I was advised thar the key is “to make new memories” . Good luck!!!!!

  • dilan silva

    Im 31 and faced angioplasty in two months back, I had two blocks in my heart valves and the angioplasty was successful. My problem is I have problem in my common interests, I mean now I do not have libido and I would rather stay silent. I just married and my wife is pregnant, I guess the medicenes im taking may cause these problems in my life. I discussed this with my doctor and he says that everything will be all right but slowly. Im taking plavix as anti platelet treatment and aspirin and rosuvastatin to lower my cholesterol levels. Loosing sexual ineterest is really a problem to me in age like this since my half of a life is ahead of me.

  • Lauren Visser

    Cheryl, I’m not sure if you still respond to these messages, but I’m in the same emotional boat. I’m 24 and I just had open-heart surgery 3 months ago. I had an infection that seeped into my mitral valve, which was abnormally long. I was literally going to graduate college in 2 months, go on a spring break trip, and hopefully start a career. Now I’m half a million dollar in debt from hospital bills and I just am not myself. I have the same problems as you, vision problems, speaking problems, and simply just enjoying life. It’s good to know that we are not the only ones. These forums certainly help.! Anyhow, I hope you’re doing well, my Grandma’s name is Cheryl πŸ™‚ Trust me, it’s a major compliment, she’s a wonderful lady and I’m sure you are too!
    <3 Lauren

  • Sev

    Hey, I’m 14 years old and I had mitral valve repair in April. The results were amazing, thank god πŸ™‚ thanks to the amazing surgeons and nurses who nurtured me throughout my days of hospital. However, since my surgery I’ve been very down, depressed and emotional. I’ve had psychological problems. I haven’t told anyone about my situation either. I can’t bare anyone touching my scar. When they do, even when it doesn’t hurt, I feel like instantly crying. I always try to hold it in. I can’t touch my scar either, I get scared and anxious. Also, I had a nightmare the other day. A troll with an axe was chasing me wanting to cut open my chest. I woke up really sweaty and my heart beat was so so fast I had to calm myself down and do breathing techniques just to get my heart rate back to normal again. Am I depressed, or is this normal after open heart surgery. I need help :(.

  • Phillip Devine

    Hi Lauren, I read your post and decided to reply. What you are going through and struggling with sounds very similar to my own experience 8 years ago. I went through emergency cardiac surgery due to an Atrial Myxoma which had also damaged my mitral valve. I was a fit 30 something, never been ill ( apart from the usual stuff ) and had never been in hospital other than to visit other people! So to say the diagnosis was a shock to me was the understatement of the year! Physically, the recovery went well but emotionally I was a wreck. Constant anxiety, stomach butterflies, feeling like I couldnt relax or calm down, that the ‘rug had been pulled from under me’ ,no interest in life, feelings of ‘doom’ & very introspective.
    This went on for over a year. Please dont do what I did and bottle it up because doing so cost me a lot in personal life and career. If I knew then what I know now after researching PTSD post cardiac surgery, I would have been banging on the GP’s door to arrange counselling or CBT ( which does work, trust me)….but, unfortunately I didn’t for a year.
    All is good now! Its completely behind me and I rarely think about it….but that took a couple of years to get there and I want to save you that ‘ not very pleasurable’ journey.
    I hope this strikes a chord. If it does then the solution is to talk to people; family, friends and professionals and dont be embarrassed to admit you are struggling

  • Dave

    Diana, I implore you, PLEASE do not leave him. He’s a mess right now, but it’s only temporary. Everything about his life right now is 10x more difficult than it used to be. Now is the time to step up show him how much you love him and reassure him you won’t leave no matter what. A few months of heartache (pardon the pun) is not worth punishing him with a lifetime of loneliness. He’ll get better, I promise!! I know, my live-in gf left me after my surgery for the same reasons.

  • Phillip Devine

    Sev, its completely normal. Talk to your doctor, its nothing to be ashamed of. I had major heart surgery a few years back and it took me a long time to get back to normal ( read my story a few paragraphs up/down from here). Dont bottle it up,it will come back to bite you ( trust me!)

  • Pat Oneill

    Hi my name is Patrick I am 47 and had a mild heart attack and triple bypass Christmas 2013. Over 3 years on I find myself suffering from high amounts of anxiety which has become more and more constant. It’s stopping me from sleeping and affecting my ability to function normally. I’m really starting to struggle with work and find myself feeling depressed. My question is. It’s this common for people to suffer from anxiety 2 to 3 years after .

  • Helen Yade

    Alaina

  • Helen Yade

    Have not done this this reply thing before..but i am 13 months post op…please talk to your Dr..it has helped me alot!! Good luck

  • Helen Bletcher

    A very good friend of mine had major heart surgery nearly four years ago. She was supposed to have a triple bypass but only had a single, a valve replaced and another heart repair, not sure of the details. She was at least a month in hospital. The surgeon said she may of had a minor stroke under surgery and that was not unusual but he considers the operation a success. She, her husband and friends do not. She is depressed, tearful, cannot concentrate, cannot finds the words when conversing and very poor memory. Also physically she has trouble walking, uses a stick and has stumbled and fallen a few times. She also has bladder problems and has just been fitted with a permanent catheter. She does not sleep well and often wakes six or seven times a night. Her husband is wonderful and cares for her very well but it is exhausting for him as well. Her quality of life is very poor and she is miserable. She is definitely worse than before the op and says she wishes she had never had it. We, her friends want to help her but we just don’t know how to apart from visiting her and trying to cheer her up. Any thoughts, any helpful advice would be gratefully received.

  • Christopher Sasso

    Hello All,

    New to this. My father (70) had TAVR procedure in March. Surgery was rough but landed on his feet. Initially he was forgetful (memory issues as well) and talking about his rough life (childhood, serving in the army, losing a brother, etc…) . But it seemed to subside. He then had several set backs in regards to managing his meds and dehydration in first few months. After that he had a great 3-4 months for the summer and was exercising very well. By October he seemed to lose his steam and zest for life. He didn’t look well. He was always a positive man and a great father. He started talking about past issues again and being noticeably upset (crying). Then he ran into a few more setbacks in regard to dehydration and meds. He spiraled out of control and landed in the hospital several times with stomach issues. (He would complain about his stomach all day long, and it would make him nuts) The hospital did so many tests and everything was fine. He has developed severe anxiety and depression issues. We eventually brought him to psychiatrist to help him. This put a ton of strain on my mom and the family, because we all care so much. His personality has been a little mean spirited and he seemed happier at the hospital. He has definitely withdrawn from everybody and has said he has gotten sick of taken a ton of medication and people asking him “how he’s feeling”. It has now been a week since the psychiatrist diagnosed him with severe General Anxiety Disorder (GAD). He was put on anxiety/depression meds and has shown good improvement in 9 days. It’s amazing to me what heart surgery and your mind can do to your body. His memory was and still is my biggest concern, but seems to be improving. My mom says he doesn’t even talk about stomach pain and complain about any medical issues anymore. I was unaware what heart surgery and anxiety/depression could do to your mind until this year and educating myself about it through blogs like this. I knew they were tough, but not this bad. He had two follow up appointments with cardiologist and gastroenterologist this week and everything was great. Now he only has to see cardiologist every 3 months instead of 1 time per month.

    Please let me know if anybody has experienced this. I know recovery is tough as you get older but this was a shock to me.

  • kat

    hello Phillip and everyone else, you’re the the first person i’ve read about that had a Myxoma. i am 7 months recovering from open heart surgery from a Myxoma resection and Mitral Valve Replacement. i am 53 years old. physically i seem to be doing well but i too am definitely going through some negative mental issues and marital difficulties. nothing in my life seems good, it was hard before but now it all just seems so impossible, dealing with a pain in my chest and wondering if my life will ever be stable. i’m at the point now of sabotaging my 20 year marriage, which had issues and unresolved conflicts before. i just don’t think i can love anymore. nothing is good enough, everything he does angers me. as if all our previous issues are stacked up on the table and i just don’t have the strength or will to deal with it anymore. it makes me feel like a horrible person and i feel emotionless about it. but i want to be free of it. i too feel like a different person, and i am now recognized by my family and friends as this amazing strong survivor. but i didn’t do anything, i just went along with what i was told to do. and it sucks how i feel now, before i was healthy and had never been inside a hospital except to give birth. i never needed a doctor or took medications. now it’s all i do is go on appts, take my meds, deal with pain and answer everyone’s questions. and if one more person wishes me a “speedy recovery” i’m going to scream. i am different, i have changed, and i’m sorry to all the spouses out there, including mine, but we have no control. i want my life back. i’m afraid to go home, in the wilderness off-grid and 4 hours from a cardiologist. my insurance doesn’t cover cardiac rehab that i wish i could have. things are just so much more complicated now πŸ™

  • Phillip Devine

    Hi Kat
    Wow! I’ve found somebody else who had an atrial myxoma! It only took 8 years ! πŸ™‚
    Glad to hear your physical recovery is going well but sorry to hear that other things are not so good. If its any consolation, I can relate to a lot of what you are going through. At 7 months after surgery I was an emotional mess so dont be too hard on yourself. Do you have a feeling of permanent anxiety? Worse on waking up? I was plagued with that for a long time. Like you say, we were both fit and healthy and then, out of nowhere ( a slight persistent cough, slight breathlessness and swollen foot for me ) life changed overnight.
    I changed but I didnt ask for it, I felt it was forced on me. I dont like change that much , I’m a creature of habit and just wanted a quiet life. Like you say, I certainly didnt feel like a hero although people at the time assumed that I would be grinning from ear to ear about how close to death I had come but survived….heh! The luckiest person alive! etc but it didnt feel that way. Actually the opposite.
    Some doctors are better than others. In my experience the younger ones are more in tune with the psychological side of things and are more aware that cardiac surgery can really effect your mental health. One doctor in particular was great for me. His theory on my troubles at the time ( which sound similar to yours) was this: You dont realise it but you are actually grieving. You are grieving the loss of a part of you . You didnt die in the operating theatre but that person, ( i.e that side of you…the immortal, fearless, ‘ bad things never happen to me’) side did to a certain extent. Does that make any sense? It struck a chord for me. Please research ‘PTSD after cardiac surgery’ on the internet and you will see some interesting articles on it. ( https://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-matters-magazine/my-story/richard-gale) for example.
    Things get much much better with time and I’m sure it will for you as well. I ended up getting divorced 2 years after my surgery but there were problems prior to this so I cannot say that it was linked. It did change my perspective on life though. All I suggest is not to do anything in haste or you may regret it. The other person and other family, friends, colleagues around you need to be made aware of what and how you are feeling. ( although I know that is easier said than done).
    It sucks big time BUT things do get better, believe me, they really do . ” time is a great healer” is a clichΓ© but that doesn’t mean its not true!
    On the bright side of things, the myxoma is gone, its done and it wont be coming back. Dont worry yourself that the myxoma ‘may come back’, it wont! Its virtually unheard of in medical journals ( although that didnt stop me becoming convinced that it had re-occured every time I had an echo cardiagram ! Hehe! The surgeon who operated on me performed my very last check up scan 5 years ago and told me to stop worrying because I had more chance of winning the lottery, and then being in a plane crash on the way to picking up the cheque! ) . Was yours a left or right atrial myxoma? Mine was a leftie! πŸ™‚

    Take care Kat, I hope I havent bored you to death! Just drop me a line if you want to chat and I’ll keep a look out for it.

  • Jesse Dillon

    I had my surgery in sept. 2005. It was a complete aortic valve replacement with a new arch installed with a mechanical valve. i will be 60yrs. old in april. I have never been the same since. It took me in the beginning at least 5 to 8 yrs. to find out what pump head was. Not until Bill Clinton did it actually come to the surface for everyone on a computer to read it. Well now doctors are talking about it on web sites. I also get day seizers or phycic sezerius. Major problem as you can see. I can not spell correctly or go brain dead when words won’t come out of my mouth correctly. Forget in the middle of a sentence what i am talking about. It is very ambarresing for me. (i need spell check all the time.) I believe this is starting to get worst lately. They say i am healthy as anyone with out the surgery. I know better as it is my emotions not there’s and my thoughts. I am gratefull to be alive but sometimes i wonder. Iknow one thing now i am not afraid to die. i am also not in a crazy state of mind writing this, i swear. I just kinda wish they would have told everyone close to me what they where going to live with. that wasn’t fair for anybody. Buy the way i was under for 9hrs. instead of 5 hrs. for surgery. I guess i am the lucky one to experience the extremes of the heart operation. I should be on one of those medical sites or help people for real with my story. My name is Mark Sherwinsky, live in shelton ct. if i can be of any help to anyone let me know. One thing i got is a great sense of humor, my chest clicks like a clock, and i try to stay sane. it is really tough. My close family & relatives don’t understand me anymore. Not a good thing. i hoped this helped.

  • Bobby

    Wow. I read all the posts here and I am truly amazed. In 2014 I had massive heart failure from a Mitral Valve. I was near death caused by an unknown and undetected birth defect that lasted 58 years of my life. Doctor told me I would only live a week more with some meds and needed valve replacement asap. My thought was I just wanted to get this fixed and get out of the hospital. I agree with a lot of other posts here. There is fear, pain, some depression and other issues. I was lucky that I didn’t have time to think about my heart failing. I was under for 8 hours. It was successful and I had a bio-plastic valve installed. Unfortunately my body had some small issues and caused me to stay in the hospital for an extra week. All better then. I had the mind set that what ever happens happens. I wasn’t scared, nervous, depressed or anything. What could I do? So I just left it up to the professional staff to fix me which they did. I highly recommend the cardio therapy. Its a hassle but worth it and you doctor will get a weekly report. I hated recovery at home. I have a small electronic construction business and I was always busy and working at construction sites. No driving for 4 weeks. Golfing was out for a year. Lots of pills to take after recovery. Small change in diet. Had to wash and care for my large scars. I don’t like medical stuff. (I hated needles but this kind of surgery will fix that) You see, I saw what this did to my wife emotionally. She was in fear that I may never leave the hospital alive. She cried a lot and I told her things would be fine as I had the best care in town. Heart surgeons don’t mince words. I made a promise to her that I would do everything the doctors told me to do no matter if I liked it or not. I also promised to see a doctor 2 times a year for “health checks”. Something hard for me to do if I feel fine. I had 2 issues. 1 short term memory loss. Its bothers me and may never come back but I carry a pen and paper to jot details down. 2 one of the drugs I was taking after recovery gave me symptoms of cataracts in my eyes. The drug was Amoronidone(?) Hazy vision with halos at night around street lamps. Symptoms went away after 3 months off this drug. I was very naive to think things would be back to normal in 3 or 4 months. I was in the best physical shape when I had surgery. But it took a FULL year to feel “normal’. After the year I was like a locomotive that wouldn’t stop. My energy grew and grew. I now see that I had the hidden condition all of my life and has hindered me. Now the final item. At 58 my sex life with my lovely wife was nil. I had ED. It started about 10 years before failure. I figured that happens when you reach 50. But now I see it was because of my heart. It roared back to life after the full year and with the help of a “blue” pill my wife has to keep tennis shoes on as I am always chasing her. We have made a new connection in our 39 year marriage. For all of you that have questions for after surgery seek out help from the cardiologist first then I would go to the family doctor. Try to get as much exercise as possible and don’t sit on your butt. I joined a gym but hated to pay someone to exercise. So I got a part time job early in the mornings as a food merchandiser. I lift heavy trays of products everyday and I get paid for it! 2 birds with one stone. I get to meet so many new people. And the heart doctor is happy. I also had sever panic attacks all of my life and Im taking a beta blocker drug for that. Ironically my hospital has asked me to be a support person in group meetings for people that are getting ready for heart surgery. The hospital didn’t have this and it is starting next month. I would also recommend very mild antidepressants for patients that are down. My friend took these for several months while recuperating from a bad car wreck. Very little side effects and he dropped them after 8 months and feels great now. You have been given an extension on life. Please grasp this precious gift and do something productive. Every day I see a sunrise I thank God that he let me live some more. So for all you patients out there keep at it because if your work at it, it will get better for you!

    Bobby, heart patient since 2014

  • Otto Hsu

    many thanks, my mother went through similar process. After heart stent, she changed. She depress and don’t care about his daughter any more.
    I have a colleague. The same, after heart stent, he lost is compassionate and became meaner. I just wondering if there are many the same cases in the world

  • Janet Mauney

    What to do?

  • Thq

    You truly broke my heart. I haven’t had surgery but my 74 year old dad just had it and I am doing some reading about it. Please hang in there for your family. Please please do not give up. These feelings WILL pass. Major surgeries will bring havoc to your emotions and it takes a while for everything to settle back down. I am praying for you.
    I just saw that this was three years ago. If you see this comment, please let me know how you are doing.

  • So here I am five years out from an emergency 3x CABG (The Widow Maker), and I still cannot shake the hollowed out wonder of why I’m still here. Now 50, my career is stable, my home is apple pie order. Things get taken care of when they come up, and not left for another day, but I wonder why, or what I’m waiting for.

    I don’t play music professionally any longer, and do not have the desire to. Time used to be I could not go even one day and not pick up the Bass, and get lost for an hour or two. Music is different now. I’ve started giving “things” away.

    I purposely pushed everyone away, and now take comfort in solitude. I can no longer be around crowds of people, and social engagements make my pulse race, but not from excitement, or anticipation of the event. I truly do not want to go. I can be around people that truly want to spend actual “true time” with me, but I make no pretense any longer in distancing myself from plastic people.

    Interestingly enough, my closest friends and family have described our times together as the most intensely intimate, as though it may be our last activity. In that I give everything away. Focusing solely on them, and whatever, or wherever we go.

    I take the meds I’m supposed to take, when I’m supposed to take them. My diet is better than most. Still, after the day is done, I still wonder why I am still here. What the hell am I doing all this for?

    I remember my primary care physician asking if I felt like something is missing, and I told him: “Yup, everyday.”. I truly think, and feel like I am not supposed to be here, and taking my own life is out of the question. This is not what was supposed to happen. My death occurred August 29th, 2012 around 3am. It’s surreal knowing that I am here, and still walking, talking, breathing, and living.

  • Wayne Garrett

    John

  • Wayne Garrett

    I’m very happy to say that each and every one of you will get better, please be patient. I had a single stent put in last January after a mild heart attack. No damage whatsoever and didn’t even need cardio rehab. The emotional problems struck several months after the surgery, I didn’t want to be alone. No one knew anything of this and my GP didn’t really know what to do with me. What developed was anxiety to the degree that I experienced extreme insomnia that required a hospital stay just to get the correct medication. I finally discovered a psychiatrist in my area and he was aware of the emotional issues surrounding a cardiac event like mine. I was given Terazodone and was already taking Bupropion so I’m still getting a double dose about 7 months later. The doctor says the anxiety is a chemical imbalance as an end result of the body responding to the heart attack however, he didn’t really say it was temporary but didn’t say it was permanent either. I don’t consider myself a push over or someone who will give up, I simply have too much to take care of. I’m 54 years old with a 14 and 19 year old son and I have coached them both since their beginning. I work a very stressful job for a very difficult supervisor but it all works. What happens is I get the morning anxiety so terribly it nearly paralyzes my thoughts but that’s only the morning?? It goes away in several hours with interaction among others but I don’t understand how I can treat any of this?

  • Bobby

    Wayne
    I have a post one month ago under “Bobby”. I had massive heart failure at 58. What you have is probably hereditary. I suffered from anxiety attacks my entire life. I hid this from family and friends. I thought it was just “stage fright”. Just like you I had a stressful business. In the mornings I could feel my muscles tighten up around my stomach. This caused me to have dry heaves. This symptom started when I was 22 and buying a house. The papers got lost at the mortgage office and the realtor was no help. I got sick every morning. 2 years before my failure the attacks got worse. I thought I could control them mentally. But they were so bad. My heart would race, chest would tighten up, heaving and then I started getting paralyzing pains in my spine to where I could not stand up.. All the while I couldn’t concentrate on my work. Then they would subside and I could work. I also found out my dad had this and now I see that my 2 young adult children show signs of anxiety issues. Coming out of the hospital I had drugs I had to take. I wanted to know what they did. One of them was a beta blocker. This keeps the heart from racing. Well it not only did that but I have yet to get an anxiety attack. I feel so calm. Stressful things that happen (just going to the doctors office would cause my heart to race) do not bother me now. My worries are still there but not so intense. So I see myself in your description of your morning attacks. The 2 drugs you listed sounds like anti-drepressents to help sleeping. I take Carvedilol. A beta blocker. See if your doctor will start you one these to ease any anxiety you have. Good Luck!

  • Bobby

    Mr Spencer, your life didn’t end on August 29th. A new life for you started on August 29th 2012 at 3am. You and I were given a gift from heaven. I suffered massive heart failure. Take your new gift of life and run with it. Enjoy everyday. Say ” I love you” to your family every day. Pick up that Bass guitar and write a new song. Or start a new hobby. Only God knows when we have to leave our loved ones. I don’t question why I was given a 2nd chance. I would have died in days if I didn’t have emergency surgery. So make each day count. On a final note see your GP doctor and start a mild antidepressant to see if it will temper your mood. Also look into a beta blocker if your not one one already. That will curb your apprehension in large groups. I know. Open heart surgery is a tough one. Took me a year to fully recover. Yes I changed some things I do after surgery. But I picked up my hobbies and enjoy them as much today as I always have. Business, golf, car shows and astronomy. I look up to the heavens with my telescope and view our nearest galaxy neighbor Andromeda and wonder if there is another Bobby out there trying to fix his Ford truck. I wish I had your talent to play a musical instrument. Don’t let your music go. You can get through this!!!

    Good luck
    Bobby

    P.S. My dad was born on the 29th of August. I miss the old man!

  • m00npenny

    Since my husband had a quintuple bypass five years ago, he has had more affairs than I care to think of. He peruses Craigslist picking up anything he can sex up. My heart is broken in so many pieces I cannot take this anymore. He shows no affection or attention to me, but I have found emails to his “others” and there is MY attention, MY affection. He says the surgery made him feel young again, strong again. States he doesnt mean it and they mean nothing to him as if that explanation is going to help anything. I now refuse to have relations with him because of the other women. I am so disgusted with him.

  • Richard Alexander

    Hi this richard i had heart surgery last year n i been on steroids antibiotic and all the side effect was really bad n i work at wear house n i tried to work while i was still on the medicine now this year im off of them i have emotional and feel like i have short term memory lost and feel mental and i have a pump head it feel like my brain not leting me work so im just doing easy stuff but i still feel it so i dont no wat to do but i keep trying to work but when its all over i might get scared to do it all over again i need help try push my self rightvnow im takeing it easy

  • Kellie

    I have a difficult comment to make & also a question. Several years ago my father-in-law had triple bypass surgery & came thru it well. I have never been close to him but know that he attempted to live a Godly life & was socially ackward. 6 months after surgery he sexually propositioned my 17 year old daughter , his grand daughter. She was able to get away from him before anything else could happen. Needless to say my daughter, husband, & I are still distraught. The rest of the family thinks my daughter should be ‘over it’. They all are blaming the awful act on the surgery he had 6 months prior & medication given for his heart problems. Please tell me if this can be true or are we dealing with a criminal mind?

  • Mermaid_life

    I had bypass surgery 1 month ago, 1 week before my 49th birthday. I had a stress on Thursday and surgery on Friday so I had no time to process what needed or was going to happen. I’m trying to piece things together as best as I can now. I have been moody I know but considering what my body has been through and what my mind is now going through, I think it makes sense.
    Overall I feel pretty good but somedays mentally I’m overwhelmed!
    I think about everything I put in my mouth. I question whether I’m getting enough exercise or am I overdoing it. I wonder if/when I might feel “normal”. When will things stop hurting? I have an appt. with the surgeon this week so I’m hoping he can help ease some of my concerns. Ultimately I know that whatever goes on God is with me so I’m trying to cling to that. I’m a fighter so I won’t give up. I guess there are days that I just don’t have as much fight as others. I just want to rewind and make it all go away.
    I’m thankful to be breathing so I’ll do what I gotta do to keep on keep in on!
    I hope all who go through this will to!
    God bless!

  • Tina Pool

    I had open heart surgery in April 2015 and recovered very well after having 6 weeks off work. I was in my 50’s and have had trouble dealing with the scar but as I am constantly reminded I am a survivor. Emotionally I have really struggled with feeling rejected, anxiety, very teary and quite irrational. With the love of my wonderful family I am getting better. I still have a day here or there where I struggle, but I am so grateful to have had a wonderful surgeon who saved my life.

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