New guy to the site and I've been reading the chat-lines on emotional changes and thought I'd add my bit. I had a Bentall procedure, new aorta valve plus ascending ...Read more
New guy to the site and I've been reading the chat-lines on emotional changes and thought I'd add my bit. I had a Bentall procedure, new aorta valve plus ascending aorta artery, about 7 or 8 years ago when I was 56 with a great lady surgeon here in Belgium. All ok with quite a fast recovery and back at work in the office 7 weeks later. Had about 1 1/2 hour drive home from work each day and for 18 months I had to stop halfway in a parking place off the autoroute and fall asleep for 1/2 hour. After 18 months it was like someone turned on a switch and within a day suddenly the world felt better and no more stopping on the way home. But short term memory is completely shot following surgery, sometimes I can't remember my g'childrens names and things people tell me very often are completely gone again. Close family say I've changed, more irritable, less patient and more self centered to the point where we are going to start marriage guidance counseling next week, and that's a big wake up call! But consider, we've gone into invasive surgery to the core of the body by stopping the heart and there's always the risk of it not starting again. We've had to face our own mortality with the potential of dying, we've had to say goodbye to all those nearest to us just in case, seen the tears in grown up children's eyes and cried ourselves for them. Some, me included have had the out of body experience, I clearly remember floating up to the surgery ceiling, turning round and looking down on the team working on me then floating back down again. Then waking just after surgery in the recovery room, can't open the eyes but can feel the tube in the throat and can feel every facet of the skin of the two people, wife and mother holding a hand each and feeling who was who. I can feel their hands now but I can't remember what I had for breakfast yesterday. In the following months you realise you have a different outlook on life, death is something you no longer fear as you have a second chance and accept you could have gone earlier. So realize we are a bit different now and face you may need some advice, listen to those nearest and believe what they say about your changes and remember your people love and want to be with you, but you may need to flex and change yourself again.