You asked how long before I could "walk around the neighborhood, run errands etc.". You can pretty much walk okay a day or two after surgery ( it doesn't hurt to walk! ), but you will be extremely fatigued for a few weeks. It gets better every day though. I was probably walking a half mile at a stretch about two weeks out, but everyone is different. Not sure there is a " normal" recovery routine. Some days will be better than others, but you basically need to move around and then rest to recover. It's a balancing act, but I was able to do a whole lot more than I thought I'd be able to do. I was told not to drive for six weeks, but I broke that rule at four weeks. I was feeling pretty good and needed to get to some appointments. My energy greatly improved at about three weeks out, and I was really anxious to start cardiac rehab. Rehab was great....I loved it and learned a lot.
Just take your recovery one day ata time.....you will figure it all out as you go.
You have a great surgeon and medical team. Stay strong.....you will do great!
Good luck on your upcoming surgery. I know exactly how you feel regarding wanting to run away. I am 17 days away from my second open-heart surgery. The first at age 7 and now this one at age 48. I have severe MVP/MVR. Like you I have had several other operations but none have left me as scared as this one. I know I have to go through with the surgery as you do too. I have found so many supportive heart patients on this site who are either having surgery or who are on the other side of it. We will all be praying for you.
I'll answere the question you asked Deb.
I was doing laps around the nursing station on my own before I left the hospital. I was able to go outside and walk around the yard as soon as I came home. It was about 3 days after discharge when I was able to make it uphill to the mailbox...as I recall, I had to take a few breaks as my lungs were not fully expanded yet. my first decent walk was about 3 weeks post-op. My husband and I took a mini-vacation to New Hampshire and I was so happy to be able to hike in the woods...it felt great.
I was in good shape prior to surgery (for a 53 year old)....did an aerobics class twice weekly and walking about 3 times a week. I think that helped with my recovery.
Wow Brenda, Dr. Adams is your surgeon! You are going to have the best care that can be given. Sure, the hospital experience is not the pinnacle of fun entertainment, but they are very good at controlling any pain you might have. So much so that lots of folks claim "it's not so bad". Hope that is your experience as well.
Be sure you get up and moving as soon as possible. Taking walks around the ward is a sure-fire way to kickstart the healing process. Not much else to do in there.
I agree with Deb's comments. Not everyone experiences pain. I had MVR in June 2012. I had a thoracotomy where they go in by spreading your ribs. I expected residual pain from that but never had any. Everyone is different.
I don't believe I was given contrast dye so I can't comment about allergic reactions. However, I did experience vomiting when coming out of anesthesia. They were playing around with the breathing tube that triggered my gag reflex. I'd say that was the worst part of my surgery experience. Talk to the anesthesiologist on your day of surgery, s/he will give you anti nausea meds and adjust your anesthesia to prevent post op nausea.
best of luck!
I can totally understand your apprehension. I think all of us who have had open heart surgery know exactly what you are feeling. But, we are all on the other side now, and we know that you can do this! I, too, was terrified of the pain. I just couldn't imagine how awful it would be, but I was hugely surprised and relieved that it really wasn't bad. It was no where near as painful as the hysterectomy I had had 12 years earlier. It is more uncomfortable than painful. The waiting truly is the worst part, so hang in there!