Glad your surgery is completed and hopefully your recovery will go as well. You could possibly be on a lot of meds you were never on before and that could make for a loss of appetite. My appetite was only hampered by the pain meds so I chose to get off them early and work through the pain. I had too many fruit baskets and goodies to work through at home so didn't want the nausea that accompanied the pain meds!
If you haven't been stretching or bending overly much or if you don't feel you have done anything to be responsible for popping a stitch, I wouldn't worry overly much. However; when in great doubt - call the hospital or your doctor. The popping could be your ribs repositioning a little. Where is the popping happening - chest? Only you know what you are really feeling so is there any pain with it? We are all but turned into pretzels so now everything has to work it's way back.
I am also an avid golfer, and live in a golf retirement community in Tucson with 63 holes of golf. There are many sites on the internet (just google "heart surgery recovery") that give you a better idea of what to expect. I am 72 and had my aortic valve replaced, mitral valve repaired, and one bypass 3 and 1/2 weeks ago. I feel wonderful and needed no pain meds after leaving the hospital.
It will be at least 3 months before golf, but I see my surgeon tomorrow and hope that I can practice chipping and putting right away. As you knopw, that's where the scoring is, so I hope to surprise my golf group when I am able to play real golf.
No automobile driving for 6-8 weeks, and that's what frustrates me right now. I am walking 2 miles per day. I think that the fact that I worked out at our fitness center 4 to 5 times per week for the past 9 years has really helped my recovery.
I have not posted in my journal for a while, but you can read my journal by clicking on "search journals" at the top of this page if you are interested.
Welcome to HVJ. I had a mitral valve repair in Oct/09 and went back to work part-time (at home office) 13 days later. You'll find that most here have to deal with some blip in the road while others deal with more but the thing to keep focused on is that these things do seem to get resolved usually through meds. I can't stress enough about using your spirometer and force yourself to work through the pain and as Michael stated, get on your feet quickly and walk. I got off the heavy meds on the third day and went straight to Tylenol Extra Strength. Don't be a hero though and use what meds you need to keep you comfortable but mobile. There are some good valuable hints on how others here dealt with their fears so try and read as many journals and guestbook messages as you can. Keeping positive helps too because you know your odds of a successful surgery and full recovery are overwhelmingly in your favour.
Glad you signed on. Adam's book is invaluable and you'll find so many great people (like Michael) who are more than willing to share their stories. I learned so much and it made the whole process easier. My surgery was March 18th, mitral valve (bovine) replacement, tricuspid repair and MAZE proceedure. Had the mid sternotomy incision and pain has been minimal since day 2. What you'll learn is that everyone recovers differently and some of us have complications (just had a quart+ of fluid removed from my lung cavity). We all get through and please voice any questions you might have. You might consider logging on to a few people's guestbooks as you'll learn that way too. remember, knowledge is crucial.
I had a bicuspid aortic valve as well. I found out in August right before my 50th birthday. I had an artificial valve put in on 3/22. The surgery was on Monday and they sent me home Thursday morning. If you're in generally good health other than the valve, you'll do fine. The anticipation is much worse than the reality. I had minimal pain, mainly back from being compressed by the rib spreader and gas from an open chest. It was a strange feeling when they removed the chest tubes, but, not a painful one. The only time I feel my incision is when I sneeze. I did not have a minimally invasive procedure. I'm three weeks out and did three miles on the tread mill and 50 floors on the stair climber yesterday. I used the ride mower the Saturday after I got home. The only complications I have had are my right hand is numb. They say that is from positioning on the surgery table and will resolve. The other is they've had some bit of difficulty regulating my INR. I had to re-admit one night last week to get plasma to thicken my blood back up some.
My best advice is get out of the hospital bed as soon as you can force yourself and walk. The more you move the quicker you absorb the gas in your chest and the better you feel. I stood up beside the bed the night of surgery with assistance and just that made me more comfortable.