I finally figured out that the cramping in my upper chest and upper back was caused by muscle strain. The initial strain may have been related to the positioning for the heart surgery.
About a month ago, I had been lifting my bike up onto a bus racks. I also during the same period of days had been wearing a backpack. I don't drive so I end up carrying a lot of stuff. At one point the elevator was out at the metro station so I had to carry the bike on the escalator!
Suddenly, the symptoms which had abated all came back with a vengeance. Again I was no longer able to walk more than a block or two without the cramping. This is very hard on a person who needs to walk for transportation!
Well, I rested up and didn't carry heavy objects and bought a small folding bike which is easy to lift up on the bus rack (those racks that are on the front of the bus.) I am symptom free after almost three months of tests and medication. Meanwhile, my heart is great! I am starting to be able to ride my bike for extended trips. (4 mi. round trip) Soon I'll be back to 6 miles. ;-)
I'm about 6 weeks out from surgery but wonder if I have overdone things. I have had a tightness in my chest and crampy feeling around and between my shoulder blades whenever I walk. I saw my cardiologist but he didn't seem concerned. He said I seem to be recovering well but that he would put a Holter monitor on me just in case. One was not available so I'll probably get one tomorrow. My question is, are these cramping sensations perhaps my body trying to heal? I did some house painting and cramped up while I was doing that. Then a few days later cramped up after climbing some flights of stairs. The cramping when I walk seems to be getting less. Thanks for your help!
I was recovering well when last week I overdid it. I was walking around for hours at a time and in the evening I went to a lecture. At the lecture, I started to have tightness in my chest and shortness of breath. I didn't hesitate to go to the nearest emergency room. The hospital kept me for 2 days. All the tests came out fine. I had the pleasure of watching a beautiful echo of my lovely newly repaired mitral valve. That's great but I could have avoided all that by resting more. I need to exercise plenty but with plenty of rest in between. I wasn't being good about the resting part. I needed to walk an hour at the most and then rest!! But now I am back on track. Still haven't ridden my bike but I am in no hurry. I keep getting stronger every day!
2 weeks out...I am feeling stronger every day. My doctor says that one week from yesterday (i.e. 3 weeks from surgery) I will be able to ride my bike and do yoga! I no longer have a foggy head. Today I have been walking for a couple of hours and shopping! Surgery exercise (walking) is a great "shopportunity!" ;-D I also am taking a nap every day sometimes only one hour sometimes more. I still smooch with my new boyfriend, Spiro, every day! (my incentive spirometer!)
I've been out of surgery for a week and out of the hospital for four days. I feel like a new human being! Sure, it's obvious that I just had major surgery but there is a new stability in my energy levels that I haven't seen for years. I rest throughout the day and take a nap of 30 min to an hour but never at any time do I feel that I have hit the wall or that the bottom has dropped out of my energy. Wow! I feel so blessed! I have had fatigue for 25 years.
I've known for a couple of months that I needed surgery and am very happy to have a the date!
Over the past several months I've had more fatigue, atrial fibrillation and a little more shortness of breath. The surgeon will probably repair my valve rather than replace it. He will know what type of repair once he gets in there and looks around.
Had a heart catheterization two days ago. I was awake for the cath and afterwords while I was still on the table they showed me an "instant replay" of my film. Very cool! The doc says arteries look clean and my lungs don't show hypertension so I am in pretty good shape apart from that pesky old mitral valve! ;-)
I have had unusual fatigue for 20 years and NOW at age 60, I am ready to get my energy back. I cannot tell you, my friends, how happy I am to have this surgery! I feel like dancing!