Post-Surgery - When does it start to feel normal again?
Journal posted on July 2, 2012
It's been 2 weeks and 3 days since since my aortic valve replacement and aortic aneurysm resection surgery.
I have a few questions to ask patients who have gone through the recovery process:
How long before:
1. The back pain subsides? I am still feeling discomfort/pain in my upper back and shoulders. I stopped taking prescription pain medicine on Friday as I felt like it wasn't working and I was becoming constipated. I am alternating using Motrin and Alleve.
2. A good night sleep? I wake up with the back pain after sleeping for 3-4 hours and have trouble getting back to sleep.
3. I give up the daily naps? I was never one to nap and most days I need an hour or two to get through the day.
4. Starting cardiac rehab? My cardiologist mentioned that I might NOT need this because I was so active prior to surgery but I plan to ask about it tomorrow at my appointment.
5. My vision returns to normal? I had to adjust my over the counter reading glasses to a stronger magnification after surgery. Not sure if anyone else has had a similar problem.
6. My appetite returns to normal? I eat because I know I need to heal but food is not as appealing to me. That goes for wine too. I used to enjoy a glass of wine with dinner but have no desire for it now.
Before this surgery, I hadn't been sick enough to take a day off of work in years so I am not a very good patient.
It's also hard when one day you feel pretty good then the next not so much. You assume that each day should be better than the day before.
Well thanks for letting me ask questions. I look forward to hearing from everyone.
It's 3:30 am and I am writing now because sleep is so difficult. The back pain is defintely worse at night. Can't sleep comfortable in a bed yet so I am alternating between a chair and the sofa in my den. Wish I had a recliner, as so many have written that it was the only chair they could get comfortable in. Wondering how long these long nights might last? I am much more comfortable during the day as I get up and take short walks around the house whenever I begin to feel stiff. Don't mean to complain but hoping that someone has some advice.
I arrived home from the hospital at 3:30 pm today. I was exhausted because of the phyiscal therapy that needed to be done at the hospital prior to my release. Once home, I did take a nap on the sofa for almost 2 hours. My husband and daughter are keeping the house quiet and waiting on me. I'll resume my exercise and walking routine tomorrow. I will also try to post a couple of pictures later I think that I felt and looked pretty good for day 5.
Thanks again for writing in my questbook!
I had a better day today. I climbed stairs and walked the hallway quite a bit. Was able to get spirometer up to 1300!!! So I am making progress. On the downside, I am still having migraine headaches and a some blurred vision. I also haven't had a bowel movement yet and I am extremely bloated in the belly area. I might get to go home tomorrow. I think I'm ready but the temperature in Boston will be in the 90's tomorrow so that will be an extra challenge. Thank you everyone for taking the time to write to me. It means a lot!!!
It is very comforting reading everyone's posts. Back pain is a problem as well as migraine headaches. That's why I'm awake right now. I haven't had any coffee since Thursday. Do you think the headaches might be caffiene withdrawal? I normally drink 2 full cups every morning. I have switched to 1 cup of tea. Thank you all again for your thoughts and prayers!
Thank you all for your well wishes!!! Today was better than yesterday. I walked to the atrium room and back. Big accomplishment! I also got the spirometer up to 1000. I seem to have a lot a muscular pain in my back, neck and shoulders. I is somewhat relieved with a hot compress. Trying to eat but I really have no appetite. I was moved to a double yesterday because of space issues. Having a roomate who just went through the same surgery to talk to is nice but she keeps her TV on all day and night. If a single becomes available, I will take it as I need rest and the TV is keeping me awake. That's all I have to report. Just wanted everyone to know that I'm a little better today.
The surgery went well. In addition to replacing the aortic valve, they had to do the aortic root. My chest tubes are still draining so they have not come out yet. Also had trouble removing the IV line from my neck. The had to hold pressure for almost 2 hours to stop the bleeding. The pain is a bit more than I expected. And I am getting nauseous from the medications. I am able to write this note today so that's an improvement!
Thanks for your thoughts and prayers!
I am as ready as I'll ever be mentally and emotionally but never seemed to finish all the things that I wanted to get done at work and/or my projects at home. It will all have to wait. I am looking forward to being on the recovery side of this!!! Thank you all for your words of encouragement and your prayers. I will post an update after the surgery when I am able. My husband is not good with computers or smart phones so it will be when I feel coherent enough to write.
I want to thank everyone who responded to my journal entry asking about personal experiences with mechanical and tissue valves. After taking everything into consideration I have decided that a tissue valve will be the best choice for me. I haven't posted recently as I have been traveling a lot during the past three weeks. Had to get in both business and pleasure trips before the surgery date. I now have less than three week to go before my surgery - June 15th. I'll probably be writing more often with specific questions. Glad that I stumbled across the website and also loved Adam's book!!!
Hi, I was looking for feedback from patients who have had to decide between a mechanical vs. a tissue valve. My aortic valve replacement is scheduled for June 15th. I would prefer a tissue valve because I don't currently take any medications and am very nervous about the idea of being on coumadin for the rest of my life. I also think that the clicking will bother me as I am a light sleeper. My surgeon is pushing for the mechanical valve because he says if I choose the tissue valve I will be back in 10-15 years to have the operation again. I am interested in hearing from patients that have had to make this decision. I am 54 years old and my mother and grandmother were both in their 90's when they passed away so I may have inherited their genes for longevity.