Hi all. I wanted to share something in case someone else goes through the same thing.
I never had the cardiac blues to journal about during my journey - I remember some in my circle going through it, perhaps taking an awesome trip somewhere beautiful to get through it - and that is a great idea. I am one year and 3 months post op now. I thought it passed right by me. I was informed most likely they would hit a couple months or a bit more post op - and hit hard. I never had one day during recovery where I felt the ton of bricks of the reality of what happened. Maybe it was having to take care of my girls, on my own, that kept me focused and unable to feel and spend time with myself. Or being focused on trying to breathe better....whatever the reason, that was how my journey was meant to be.
So, I am letting you know they have hit :) - and have hit with an unexpected force. No medication needed. I am letting myself go through every hard day - some days are pretty good - but most days are hard. Crying for me. Not like I cannot go on type of feelings, more like.....emotional pain that is connected to my past. Sounds crazy, right? Well that is the gift that cardiac blues has brought me - perhaps yours will be different. I choose now to look at the pain and see what I can learn from it - and I will share for me, what an eye opener it has been. Why so long? Well, if you knew the deeper me, you would know why, so this all makes sense for me, and perhaps there might be a few others with a delayed response to what happened?
So...to the awesome caregivers who never signed up for this journey either.....when you see us like this...we are not going crazy, we will be ok once it passes - but we need to go through it. Do what you need to do to back off, not be worried, and learn to handle it in the best way possible so your patient can get to the other side. Do not be hard on him/her. It is the last thing we need.
To the patient - my advice is give yourself permission to go through it. It is not easy to - not for me. if you pay attention there is deeper meaning in it than you could ever have imagined - yes, of course we are grateful we are alive, but perhaps there is even more to be learned from it. Talk about with others if you have to. That helps too.
Love to all.
It is a little over a year now since my open heart surgery. I, by mistake, deleted all my connections, so this will reach some and many new people as well.
I had a repair of my BAV (used my existing valve and created a tri cuspid valve - it was not beyond repair, and allowed me to pass on the blood thinner. I should be cured, or at least good for a long while. Time will tell. I also had an aneurysm in my ascending aorta, which really hurt by the time I had surgery. Burning and pressure.
For those who are interested in my story, there is a video on this site about myself and Pedro...so I will skip over all the details and get to the point.
I am still recovering, like it or not, but have come a long way. Recovery, to me, was the scariest part...yes the surgery anticipation was cruel and an emotional roller coaster - mix in a recent divorce and taking care of two beautiful children full time, and well, that makes for an interesting recovery. But we did it, and did it beautifully.
This site, as it has for so many, has played a huge role in support - listening, responding, understanding, feedback. It is not a place where we feel sorry for one another, it is a place where we lift one another up, and empower one another. How cool is that?
I, the type A that I am, was out running around month 6 post op (I think a lot of us on this site are type A's) and I highly recommend cardiac rehab. I could not breathe well until month 4. That was such a challenge and I do not miss those days at all.
I am doing Yoga again now, and when I do planks and side planks, my back muscles shake and tremor as I rebuild them, and I am so present and grateful that I can do this and feel my body growing stronger.
I get really sore after running - the surgery area, my upper back all the way up the right side of my neck...but my lungs and body love it - I run almost three miles and feels great. I have slowed down a bit and taking a slight rest as I am realizing my body is still healing, and being sore all the time is not a bad thing, but I probably need to go a little easier on myself.
I was suppose to run a 5k with my surgeon this fall, at least that was my plan and my challenge- and I could have done it, but want to run and not feel sore after the race, My plan is to see how the spring and summer go, and maybe run first thing in the summer, and take it from there.
Acupuncture has been HUGE for me in the last two months - it rids me of all the soreness that comes with running. Upper right side, where I always get knots when stressed, turns out it is also tied to the pericardiam in chinese medicine - how interesting is that? I leave feeling no pain, which tells me this will all go away, if I just go easy on myself and have patience.
Mentally, I would say my head is spinning so much less from all of this. I think I looked the other way and have tried to forget to get on with my life...but deep down will always remember how lucky I am that my girls get to have me around for a little longer, that I am still standing, and that I am a pretty strong woman. Don't get me wrong, I still sometimes have a moment where I cannot believe at 45, in good shape, that I went through all of this, even though I knew for seven years about the aneurysm...it still is surreal.
I played in an adult soccer scrimmage recently- parents vs kids (my daughter plays for top soccer team) and I loved it as I played a good part of my life, and it was fun to keep up with all the other adult competitive players - we all take it pretty seriously. I had a blast, and was just as strong, if not stronger than others. I did feel my heart rate go way up at times, and I know enough to stop and breath and bring it down - takes just a few seconds, and then I am good to go.
I am realizing I probably have at least another good year before all of these symptoms go away - the first year went by so quickly.
I think, for me, this journey has been a chance for me to get to know myself, and others, a lot better.....and I know I can handle anything coming my way - pretty much how I felt before surgery - even if I need to stop and have a good cry - so be it.
Do your homework, collect as much information as you can, and please, select a top surgeon who has performed what you need and is one that is trustworthy. Fly to another state if you have too. There is always a way, I promise you that. Have help during recovery - I had three weeks of help.....get more if you can - although I know it is hard when people have obligations such as work. But you will need help, no matter how strong you are.
Good luck, have faith, and pray for focus and a healthy mind. and when it is all over, live, love and laugh...A LOT!!!