i had, and continue to have, a pain like you are describing. i am 8 weeks out...it will actually be 9 in a few days!!! wow! anyway, i started having that pain about 3 wks post op. i actually went back to my doctor because i was afraid it was pneumonia or something. like you, i had a chest x-ray and everything was fine. he reminded me that when the sternotomy is done, that affects things not just in our sternum but in our back, etc. when i started cardiac rehab last week and let them know about the pain, they nodded and said, "oh, that's common". and told me the same thing...that everything (muscle, nerves) is healing from being "pulled apart", and some people say it takes 6 months to a year to feel completely better. i'm not happy you have the pain, but it is nice to hear of someone describing something so similar. it is usually when i take a breath or deep breath, when i bend over, and especially when i lay down at night! it's not every day, though...
i hope it gets better for you. best of luck to you. what a journey, huh?
Hi April, So glad you found the site and are posting. It sounds like you are doing well. Yes, the shower & hair are tiring. I wore a ponytail for the first few weeks. You are beautiful so anyway you do your hair will be awesome!! You will do great, you are young and recovery will come. Each week gets easier. Sending good thoughts and prayers your way. Keep us updated. Hugs, Janis Kielbasa
I had some problems with extreme pain on my left side a few day's after surgery. My Cardiologist said that is was the paracardium sac being imflamed and rubbing on something. It was very hard to take deep breaths or even move. He said it was a very common thing that happened after heart surgery, especially in younger people. He prescribed me a pain medication that was specifically for the inflamation, called Tramadol. It helped alot and eventually after about 2 weeks the pain went away.
Hi April, my first time visiting your HVJ. Welcome!!!!! Sounds like you are doing great. Yes, going from being very active, to 90 years old overnight is a tough one. But, I assure you, you will be back before you know it. I am not quite at 3 weeks post op and already walking a mile at a decent pace. Take it slow, listen to your body, and you will be amazed at how quickly you progress. Measure your progress in weeks, not days, because you will be all over the map. Great one day, tired the next. Just try to do something everyday and improve a little daily.
Now as to the hair and the shower, I have a buzz cut, not sure that would be a good look for you, unless you dye it a fun color. But again, I don't know you, so not sure that is your look either. LOL! So, deal with your beautiful hair and it will get easier. Until then, take nice long hot showers, then nap! Again, a la 90 year olds.
I wish you all the best for continued success in your recovery.
You're too sweet April. Thank you for your kind words. Yes, I sometimes feel like the "mom" of the HVJ site, I am amazed at how young so many "valvers" are. And the majority are otherwise healthy and in very good shape. Hope you are feeling better, but please check with your doctor anyway, just in case. You've come too far to let something get ahead of you.
Hello. I also had pain in my left side with gurgling in my chest. The surgeon said it is wall chest pain. It has been 7 months since my procedures. The pain has been gone along time (about 5 months), the gurgle is still there. It does get better.
My surgery is March 5th. I was having bad pain in my leg after a heart cath. The cardiologists nurse heard my symptoms but said that all was normal. I knew in my mind that something wasn't right. A week later, I was admitted to the hospital with a blood clot.
If I were in your position, I would ask for a chest ex-ray just to be sure.
I am sorry to hear your having some trouble, I have not experienced anything like that so I can't be of much help. I can tell you I have been through a lot, especially with my last surgery in 2002 where I experienced complications and was in a coma for three months following the surgery. So if you ever need anyone to talk to come visit my guestbook!
I hope you start feeling better soon:) I am also new to HV, I'm so happy to have found this website, for the longest time I didn't think anyone understood what I was going through!
Anyway, I wish the best. You will be in my prayers.
I just wanted to say please listen to Samantha. I'm 8 weeks post op and had slight case of pnemounia 4 weeks ago and was hospitalized for three days. The pain is a dead giveaway. I was embarrassed to go to the hospital but they told me they didn't care if it was a cold it's always better to be safe then sorry.
Hi April, Glad everything went good for you. My daughter had a valve replacement and her breathing tube bothered her too. Just make sure you keep using your spirometer. It works and will help. My daughter voice changed from all of it and she sounded like Minnie Mouse for about a month. Kinda funny to listen to her. Now she will be making fun of me someday soon. You take care and go slow.
Until Later Linda H
Congrats on getting through the hard part! My name is Samantha and I don't have a journal but my husband does. However, I am a cardiac thoracic RN who takes care of post heart surgery patients. I just wanted to touch base on your symptoms of lung pain. Are you having difficulty breathing at all or shortness of breath? If these symptoms continue to occur and you have trouble breathing make sure to go in and have it checked out. Sometimes after they take out the chest tube it takes awhile for the lungs to fully expand leaving behind sometimes small pleural effusions or pneumothoraxes in the bases of the lungs; theses may take up to a of couple weeks to fully heal and they do leave behind some lung pain, especially taking in deep breaths. However, they can sometimes increase in size and might need to be drained or medical managed. So if at anytime you find it difficult to breath or shortness of breath make sure you tell your cardiologist or see a doctor.
Keep up the good work and listen to what your body tells you. Best of Luck, April!
Hi April, welcome to the HVJ site. I'm afraid I can't offer much advice, I don't have my surgery until March 13th. But I have read many journal entries that stress how important the spirometer is in recovery and making your lungs feel better. Glad your surgery went well and hope you recovery does as well.
I had a Mitral Valve repair 11 weeks ago. I had pain in one spot that felt like lung pain for a few weeks. I keep doing the breathing exercises (spirometer). I found that when I walked it hurt more. When I walked too much or overdid it I found that I also made a weird noise with my breathing.
You have to listen to your body as silly as that sounds. You will be out of breath and cough for a few more weeks. It really does take much longer to get back to your old self. The actual scar on the skin heals fast, but the assault on the heart and sternum take much longer. Relax, I promise it gets better. If it doesn't you really have to tell your doctors.