Hello Susan and congratulations on being 3 weeks post-op! I read your post and wanted to mention a couple of things to you regarding your "incision" and the ...Read more
Hello Susan and congratulations on being 3 weeks post-op! I read your post and wanted to mention a couple of things to you regarding your "incision" and the a-fib.
Prior to my surgery in Aug. nearing 8 months now, I had already been experiencing SVT's which are irregular heartbeats that I have been on meds for and pretty much are keeping them controlled but they react similar to A-fib. When home from the hospital and walking my first few walks at the park with my husband I began to have both the SVT and the A-fib which I had not experienced at the hospital (so we are saying around the 3rd. day home). My heart reset itself within a short time but none the less scared me too. In the course of discussing this with my cardiologist he told me how common A-fib is after surgery and let me know also that as I ease into my walks at the park to also avoid extreme heat and cold as my body re-adjusts to all of the aggravation it has dealt with due to the surgery. Especially to avoid irregular heart beats by NOT taking Hot showers/saunas/hot tubs for a bit or to get too cold and even a bit later into re-hab to avoid swimming in
too cold of water as for my SVT's and a-fib it is good to avoid the extreme hot and cold until the body has a chance to heal(especially if your sternum is still irritated or painful. I would just wait a bit since you are fresh out and just beginning to heal and recover! Your(our)bodies have gone through quite a bit so be gentle!
Also, it was suggested by our heart sister Eleanor R. and Ginger French prior to my surgery to purchase several good wash clothes and heat them up under hot water, let them cool a bit and gently lay the warm cloth down on the incision area and let them sit a bit keeping the warmth there letting it help the pain. I did this over and over again with six different clean and warm clothes and found immediate change in that it never got itchy or ached as much. I found it quite soothing in the long run and my incision was a full sternotomy so the whole area benefited from the application. I think if you do this on and off careful not to get it too hot you will be happy with the results. I also don't know if you also had staples which I did that didn't help! I hope you don't experience any more A-fib and your recovery runs smoothly. Be patient with yourself as you heal and the days will get better as your body heals! I agree that the
first few weeks are the toughest so hang in there and keep sharing things with the community and understand the mental ups and downs are just a part of your entire body putting itself back together again. Sort of a Humpty Dumpty thing? Don't mind me as I just got back from a 2 mile walk and I am feeling a bit like
"Humpty" as it is warm out there today! Take care and continued great "Healing".
Thinking about you. Hope you aren't too stressed. Have you done your pre op stuff yet or are you doing it on Tuesday . Positive thoughts and healing hugs your ...Read more
Thinking about you. Hope you aren't too stressed. Have you done your pre op stuff yet or are you doing it on Tuesday . Positive thoughts and healing hugs your way
Peter Willard posted a note for Susan that says:
Susan what kind of valve did you chose I had a bovine valve put in 2010.I wish you the best of luck and a speedy recovery .
Jenni Miller posted a note for Susan that says:
Hi Susan, do you know what kind of incision you're having? Mini-sternotomy, partial or full? I had a mini & was able to sleep on my side. Of course, I was clutching ...Read more
Hi Susan, do you know what kind of incision you're having? Mini-sternotomy, partial or full? I had a mini & was able to sleep on my side. Of course, I was clutching my "heart" pillow closely to my incision. They'll give you a pillow in ICU. I still use this little pillow for sternal comfort in the car because the seat belt hits right across my scar. Back to sleeping: I was fortunate to have an adjustable bed. Having the head raised helped take pressure off the incision immensely. A lot of people rent power recliners though--you should check into that. Also, with the anxiety you're having, which is COMPLETELY normal, consider asking your physician for medication. I couldn't sleep at all prior to surgery--you know how all the worries come out in the quiet darkness--so I was prescribed very low dose Xanax. It helped me so much!
Besides getting your home ready to come home to post-op (cleaning, cooking & freezing meals, etc.), I highly recommend getting several wireless bras. I found front closing bras easiest & most comfortable. It's amazing how much breasts pull on the incision, even for a B size gal like me! I thought it'd be more comfy to go without, but NO, totally wrong assumption! I'm 2.5 months post-op & still sleeping in a bra. If I don't, I sure feel it the next morning!
You mentioned you little dog not being able to sleep with you: why can't she? I also have very dependent pets (2 cats & 1 dog). They slept wherever I was, as usual! I couldn't lift my big cat or my dog for awhile, but they were able to jump up on my temporary bed. Just protect your sternum at all times with your pillow.
You'll likely be very content to rest, read or watch TV vs. being antsy & wanting to be busy for quite awhile. Your body needs time to heal & you've got to give yourself permission to "be lazy". You'll be walking a bit daily, but other than that, your job is to rest & heal. If you enjoy TV, now's a great time to "binge watch" Mad Men, Downton Abbey or Breaking Bad.
Hope some of this is useful, Susan. I neglected to respond to you previously about how I came to discover Dr. Castro & Sequoia Hospital. I live in Fortuna, about 5.5 hrs north of Redwood City in Humboldt County. There's one Cardiothoracic Surgeon here & he doesn't do a lot of mitral valve repairs, mostly replacements. Plus, he does the full, 10" incision. I had a couple months to research options & came upon this site. Thank you, Adam! My wonderful husband was behind me the whole way, supporting whatever decision I made, chauffeuring me hundreds of miles around northern Calif. After meeting Dr. Castro though, the decision was so easy for both of us.
Take care & I hope this helps!
Hi Susan, you commented on my journal about not being able to sleep. Hope its doing better. I saw you have are a boater as we are. Im hoping to be able to enjoy ...Read more
Hi Susan, you commented on my journal about not being able to sleep. Hope its doing better. I saw you have are a boater as we are. Im hoping to be able to enjoy the boating season more this year. My surgery is 03/03. I will be glad to tet it over with. Would love to stay in touch! Susan
Sandy Augustus posted a note for Susan that says:
Susan, I was so happy to see you today and to get to meet your beautiful daughter! I was thinking of you all day and hoping that your consultation with Dr. ...Read more
Susan, I was so happy to see you today and to get to meet your beautiful daughter! I was thinking of you all day and hoping that your consultation with Dr. Castro went well. He is an amazing man and surgeon. I hope that you feel a bit more at ease about your upcoming surgery. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I was blessed to meet you last month and I will be there to support you along the way. I love you Girl!