I'm 5 months out. The surgeon fixed my sternum with a titanium plate and 8 screws, along with the two sets of wire.. I was high-risk, because I have ehler-danlos, and my tissue tends to stretch and tear. Now that the swelling is gone from my sternum, I can feel the hardware and the screws, and the skin and tissue over the hardware is very sensitive. Does anyone else here have hardware installed? I take ballet classes, and I notice the hardware primarily during ballet class when I'm stretching.
@Paulrose, My resting heart rate is still in the 90's, and it's in the 70's with metroprolol.
I am still feeling the ups and downs, but most of them are up's. I am still frustrated in ballet, starting over again. I had breast cancer in 2011, so this is the second time I'm starting over in ballet. But I'm staying positive and enjoying life!
I'm 5 weeks out from my surgery today. I had a mitral valve repair, where the surgeon implanted two sets of chords, and also a ring. The surgery went well. I had a full sternotomy, with a metal plate, 8 screws, and some wire to hold me back in place. I have Ehler-Danlos, and it causes my skin and tissue to tear. The surgeon was worried that the wire alone would not be enough.
I'm having quite a bit of neck and shoulder pain that comes and goes. At cardiac rehab yesterday, the nurse had me use 2 - 1# weights and do some curls and butterflies, really simple stuff. Man am I feeling it today, but just in the shoulders/neck. Weird.
I've been fighting an upper respiratory infection since week 1 that is kicking my butt. I've had a low grade fever on and off since. It goes away for a couple of days, and then it returns, usually with the shoulder pain and a high pulse. The doctor took me off of the beta blocker a week ago because my blood pressure was really low - 87/53 and I was really tired. Now I have more energy, but my pulse is always in the 90 - 100's. But hey, I'm alive, and hopefully will be around for another 40 years or so, thanks to my surgeon.
I am a little frustrated at how long it is taking me to heal. Everything is so heavy - doors, windows, even my laptop. I am on a 10 pound weight lifting limit for another 3 weeks. A gallon of milk weighs about 8.6 pounds. So it's been an adjustment asking people for help. I am also on coumadin for another 2 months. So I am very wary of cutting stuff up. So far, so good, I haven't bled to death :-)
I am grateful that I was able to save a little money so I don't have to work this summer. I teach, and I usually teach summer classes. I live with my two grown children who are sometimes helpful, and sometimes not. I am grateful that I have friends and family that help out when I need it. My family is 200 miles away, and my sister drove up here 3 times in the last month to be with me after surgery, and take me to her house and took care of me.
My mitral valve was repaired on June 10, with a ring and 2 new chords. He closed me up with some wire, and then a long bracket with 8 screws. I was intubated for 2 days, because of my oxygen levels. I took oxycodone with an anti nausea med on Friday and Saturday that made me exhausted. I tried extra strength tylenol on Sunday and have been off the opiod drugs ever since. Minimal pain! I'm walking around, reading, sitting in my chair, eating 4 meals a day (and second breakfast ). I feel great. I won't be trying any ballet moves for a few months, but I am about 80% better than I thought I'd be!
My mitral valve repair surgery is slated for June 11th, so I am a month out yet. It will be a full sternotomy. I find I have days that I'm fine, and other days that I'm crying and scared to death. What kinds of relaxation tools did you use to help you relax and not worry so much about open heart surgery?