Excellent post, tons of great points. Not surprising we have back pain, muscle spasms when you think of all the stuff they moved around just to do the heart surgery. I have on and off piercing pain where all the tubes & wires were/under breastbone. From what I read on other's journals the healing process takes a good 6 months. You are doing amazing with your walking this early. Each week is a milestone, Isn't it? We will only get better!! Take Care and thanks for sharing. Janis K.
Hey Mitch, so glad to hear you are doing well. I may be facing heart surgery for mitral valve repair and as I read your posts it is encouraging to see there is life after surgery. When I first found out I was so afraid of the unknown but reading yours and others posts has taken away some of those fears. Keep up the great recovery and of course the posts. Look forward to hearing from you.
It is good to see you so upbeat today. Your posts about your recovery demonstrate that while many people have similar experiences, we also vary greatly in our experiences during recovery. So those going through this need to be careful about comparing themselves to other people in the HVJ.
The main thing is that we need to listen to our own bodies and do what is best for them. The surgeons and cardiologists can advise us, and help us understand what is going on and are a great help, but most of them can not fully appreciate what is happening to us; as they have not actually experienced what we are going through during our surgeries and recoveries.
Hey I 've been dealing with back spasms too. Thanks for answering my questions. I didn't know what was going on. I was going to call the doctors office next week to seem if the spasms were normal following surgery, I had a terrible night with the spasming. Today was a little better.
My two heart surgeries were last April at the Cleveland Clinic. I had a robotic mitral valve repair and a full sternotomy the next day for problems. In my opinion, the upper back pain was far worse than the sternotomy pain. It was the worst, and nothing worked to relieve the pain. Unfortunately, I could not take meds. to relieve pain as I am allergic. So I lived on Tylenol, which didn't help much. The good news is - it does go away eventually. I found that hot showers and stretching exercises helped a littile. Best of luck to you. Ruth Howell, Maine
Congrats on finishing that first mile. I remember how good it felt after my first valve repair surgery (2006) when I was discharged from Emory Univ. hospital, returned home, and began daily walks, which soon became two a days. Our dachsund, Rylie, was really surprised -- he never had two-a-days before. But he adjusted. Keep up the good work!
Hey Mitch, Ok saw the pics and they were scary. Looked like you were wired for surround sound lol. And the other pic really scared me. My daughter Stephanie's scar is only about 4 inches. Your looked like my Dads from his adonomal aortic anuersym. Hope thats not what I am facing.
How did you diagnose your back spasms other than the severe pain?
I have had severe post-op left scapular pain and thought it was some kind of arthritis. Am going to try ativan[that's all I have] when I have the pain again, cause nothing seems to help.....You got me thinking.....maybe it is a back spasm.
Let me know,
Thanks, Pat Culley
That sure looks like a full length scar to me. It also looks like it is healing well. I was told not to put anything on mine for quite a while. Mine really looks fine. I am surprised that it wasn't worse. The fact that it is tucked in between two really good looking things helps lol. Really though you will be very happy with the end result. It flattens and lightens fast. Good luck with your great recovery. 1 mile already? wow.
Enjoy walking, but don't overdue. You seem to have everything under control. For your scar, you can use a salve or gel to apply topically. I used one called Scar Gel from Walgreens and it worked fine. It should lighten it up. Keep up the good work.
WOW!! pretty amazing that you walked 1 mile so soon! I knew you'd bounce back and do well with recovery. Glad the back pain is under control too. I checked out the scar photo, I think you got the full monty not a mini. Mine looks similar but with way more cleavage. Keep up the pace and continued blessings for a smooth recovery!! Janis K.
Sorry about the back pain. I linked mine to my posture, something that changed during the first few weeks that was out of my control. Healing process made me hunch over more than normal. Yes, I agree, make sure you eat some bananas for potassium. I also had and have leg cramps/spasms. You are doing great for 2 weeks post op! It will get better each week too. You are on track and exceeding....way to go!! Janis Kielbasa
Hi Mitch, Just reading your comments on the back pain and how you are only on Tylenol. My biggest mistake was to undermedicate. Its no time to be brave. You won't get addicted and it will help recovery. Trust me. Been there.
Hey Mitch, I've never asked but I think I know now what you do for a living...you must be a stand up comedian...if you're not, you need to be. My gosh, I'm gonna have to stay off the site when I have my surgery or you will kill me!!! Your posts are hilarious! Gotta love ya!
Sorry to say this, Mitch....but, I had to laugh about your 1st sneeze post-op. We all remember that 1st one and only those of us who have had an open heart surgery can really understand the magnitude of it.
My 1st one was about 3 weeks post-op and was 5 dinky ones in a row as I tried so hard to surpress them. Was more work than if I just would have done one big one.
Thanks for the smile today. I'm enjoying your recovery journey.
Sneezing is the worst!!! My first sneeze was 4 days post-op . . . I was sitting in a chair in my hospital room minding my own business when, out of nowhere, I sneezed. No warning. No time to grab my heart pillow. Just a massive sneeze that felt like my chest was exploding. It seemed to take an hour to recover.
Then, for months and months, every time I would sneeze, which seemed to be several times a day, I would try to wrap my arms around my chest and hold on for dear life. I didn't care about covering my face with my elbow. Germs be damned! It hurt like hell. But over time it did get better. It hurt less and less. And one day, it didn't hurt anymore. But the instinct is still there. When I feel a sneeze coming on, I wrap my arms around my chest and steel myself for the pain. Who knows, I may do that the rest of my life.
As bad as sneezes are (and I had similar but lesser pain when I yawned but no pain when I coughed), if that's the worst the surgery dishes out, I figure things are good.
Hey Mitch. So you want to talk about sneezes. I didn't know where or when but figured I could deal with it. I had no pillow. About a week after my surgery I was walking through the Santa Monica Farmers market. Outdoor stalls wall to wall growers and people. It must have been the dust from all the vegetables. I suddenly start to feel my breath stop and my chest rise. WTF is going on? And wham.. Right to my knees. Then the moan and grab my chest and 50 people turn and stare. A few seconds after I'm down I look up and smile, don't worry, I say. I just had open heart surgery. More gasps. Then as I get up I show them all my scars. I love to show my scars. It's like a cool tatoo. In fact I had thought of getting a tatoo around my scar but the scar says enough. Like". Here I am. Bring it on. I can take it". So when you feel like a sneeze just roll with it and collapse like a rag doll. Don't try to fight it. You could pull a muscle. Remember they rearranged your anatomy and spread you open so there for sure is soft tissue damage to the ribs especially where they join the spine. First I had the worst pain in the back behind my scapular. Then it moved to the shoulders. I couldn't get an adjustment for a month or so but when I did things started to look up. It's a few days past 6 month today and my shoulders are just now feeling back to almost normal. Hang in there. Jeff
Mitch - Glad you are progressing so well. Good decision to just listen to your body and let it tell you what it needs! I also found myself a little more emotional after surgery and think it's just due to finally accepting what we faced and went through w/o having to put on the strong outer face! Hang in there - I know it's gotta be tough being away from your family, even for a little while. Praying for you!
Glad you're doing okay and recovering as expected. I was just reading your journal about some of the emotional ups and downs you've been going through. I'm not sure if you're aware, but that's normal after general anesthesia. Take it easy like you're doing and let all the gunk get out of your system. You'll start feeling more like yourself.
I can't believe you went out to dinner the day you were discharged! It doesn't sound like a huge feat, but it probably wasn't a great idea. Take it easy and be kind to yourself...you've been through a lot! Feel better.
Oh, Yes, that 1st sneeze hurts like heck! I found if I didn't have a pillow handy, crossing my arms over chest and holding tight during sneeze helped. God Bless You, for the sneeze and always!! Janis Kielbasa
Hey world...Mitch is back!!! Had me a little bit worried there for a day my friend. Now I feel better, maybe I can do it. The sneeze thing...I am in BIG trouble if I sneeze, for you see there is no such thing as 1 sneeze for me! If I ever sneeze..it's at least 4 or 5 back to back. Might as well shoot me now!
So...welcome back Mitch, sounds like you have really crossed over to the "it's getting better everyday" side.
It is so great seeing you recovering so fast. You are like Rocky Balboa on a brisk Philadelphia Morning. Ba Bom Ba Bom Bom Ba....Bell Ringing....People in the streets cheering you on as our hometown hero....you making your way to the top of the steps and jumping around with both fists in the air. I love it. Keep it going!!!
I dread "THE SNEEZE"! Funny enough, my wife and I were just talking about that yesterday. We spoke of trying some sneeze aversion techniques like pressing at that ridge at the bottom of your nose between the nostrils. Mitch, since you are blazing this trail for me, go ahead and sneeze often and let me know what works best to avoid it. - LOL.
Just stopping by to say hi and hope today is another good one. You are doing great and week by week, you will see huge improvements with recovery. So glad I passed the torch to you with the 'Patient Spotlight", its exhausting being popular, Isn't it? LOL. Janis Kielbasa
Can always count on you Mitch for both entertainment and information all in one! Keep up the good attitude and the good work. Take it easy cause you deserve it. I am like you (and JH), can't sit still long. I am actually looking forward to some ME time. Gonna read lots and catch up on some movies I never had time to see. (In between my walks of course)
Hang in there Mitch...it gets better and easier as time goes by...just got to be patient. That was a tough part for me, as I have a hard time sititng still too long. But I would try to do just a little bit more each day...not too much but more. That would be walking around for 10 minutes, then 12 min the next day, to the corner, then down the block, whatever...just a little bit more. The night sweats definately are a nuisance but they will go away soon. I slept in my recliner for 6 weeks due to the discomfort of laying flat or on my side.
Just keep hanging in there, work on getting just a little bit better each day and soon you will be doing alot more and feeling alot better.
You go Mitch. You rock ;) Although the joke was funny. Its probaby a good thing you didn't get a pig valve, you might have had a hard time with the bacon. Wonder how the hamburger will do.lol. Just continue to do your best. One day at a time.
Until Later Linda H