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amyd123, January 26,  2019  5:19am EST

What to expect?

My 50-year old husband was diagnosed today with multiple vessel coronary artery disease and is scheduled for open heart cardiac bypass surgery on Wednesday. They anticipate 5-6 bypass vessels. What is most helpful for me to know as we wait and prepare for his surgery?

Also, he is reluctant to tell his friends/family and wants to wait to notify them until after the surgery. I feel strongly that they should be informed as soon as possible -- both to support him and to give them a chance to visit with him before this very serious surgery. Should I respect his wishes, continue to encourage him to tell them, or tell them myself?

Thank you, in advance, for sharing your insights!


2 Replies
  • JamesPL
    JamesPL, January 27,  2019  5:53pm EST

    Hi amyd123,

    I am a person who experienced quintuple bypass surgery 7 years ago. While I think it is important to respect his wishes, I had informed everyone in my family about my surgery prior to the event. The support was important to me as I had many visitors in the hospital. But that was how I felt. I suspect his reluctance has to do simply with his fear. This is common. I was also very frightened before the procedure but I was well informed about what was going to happen. Afterward, I realized that this is a common operation and they have gotten very good at it. My own cardiologist has told me that grafting techinques today have dramatically improved! 

    The best thing I could tell you as you anticipate this is to be patient during the surgery. It is very long. I went in at 6:30 AM and the first thing I remember after I started to come around was the clock in my room that showed it was 4:30 in the afternoon. Prior to my surgery, they had warned my wife that I will not look good when I first come out of the OR and into my room. That was very true, My wife told me that the next day. By the way, that next day, I looked (and felt) much better as my wife can attest. She told me it was nice to walk into my room and see me sitting up in bed with a smile on my face. 

    I should also caution you that he will be exhausted afterward especially when he first comes home. Two things I remember specifically was when I was showering before I left the hospital, I was so exhausted, I could barely dry myself off before I left the bathroom and immediately sat down on the hospital bed. The nurse had warned my wife that that would happen. Also, the second day after I got home, I went for a short walk with my wife. I literally got to the end of my driveway and told my wife I had to go back inside the house. So be patient. He will regain his strength quickly if he follows his doctor's orders which is very important! Part of that should be cardiac rehab. It helped me immensely! I highly recommend it!

    I wish you and your husband the best in his pending surgery and recovery. Please let us know how else we can help.


  • DolphinWrite
    DolphinWrite, February 12,  2019  12:26am EST

    Others may know best how to answer this question, but I can say people deal with situations differently.  No one size fits all.  At my heart attack, I didn't want to inform anyone, and I live alone due to a job move, but I changed my mind.  A lot of good came from the family coming together.  However, I didn't react to the attention well, and I began seeking more attention instead of bearing with it and moving forward.  I don't know what would have happened if I remained self-determined.  I only know I've prayed, things are much better, and I'm pursuing interests, talking to patients, but being my own advocate, trusting in God.  Less do I seek comfort from people, but I do things with people and talk about other things.  God bless. 

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