jenbro
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jenbro, July 28,  2019  6:38am EST

Mitral valve replacement

Hello all. I am a 31 year old mother who just had open heart surgery to replace my mitral valve. I have severe mitral valve regurgitation. Anyway, I am about to hit 4 weeks post op, and I seem to have hit an emotional wall. I feel worthless and that recovery is going too slow. I've already put myself back in the hospital at 2 weeks post op from overdoing it. Is it normal to be so depressed? I just feel like I'm never going to recover and find my new normal. My energy still had yet to come back, and I'm not allowed to do anything. I can't even sleep on my sides yet because of the pain of the breast plate. When will I start feeling normal again? I keep reading all this articles about people being back to normal activities and golfing or what have you at 4 weeks and at this point walking for half an hour is excruciating. I just am so down and out and any answer helps. Thank you. 

5 Replies
  • afibabit
    afibabit, July 29,  2019  10:01am EST

    What was the cause of your mitral valve going bad?  Any pre-existing conditions? Are you diabetic, over-weight?

  • jenbro
    jenbro, July 29,  2019  3:27pm EST

    I went through chemo and radiation as a teenager, and the combo fried my heart pretty well. All the valves are moderately leaky but the mitral valve was not working at all  

  • afibabit
    afibabit, July 29,  2019  4:39pm EST

    All things considered, you're doing well if you can do a 30 minute walk at this point. Don't know where you got the idea that people are back to normal activities 4 weeks after the type of surgery you had. That simply is not the norm. As far as "over-doing it" 2 weeks after surgery, you shouldn't have been doing anything at that point other than resting as much as possible. Hopefully, the fact that you're a young mother doesn't mean that you are dealing with demands of the household and not getting the help you need with that.   

  • jenbro
    jenbro, July 29,  2019  6:14pm EST

    No I  getting help of course. I have a large support group. I just feel like recovery should be going quicker. I was just feeling very down and upset because I can't do things that I did before. I know it'll all come in time, but I'm just being impatient I guess  

  • vikingheart
    vikingheart, August 12,  2019  9:15am EST

    Dear @jenbro, I can certainly understand the desire and urge to get back to 'normal', but patience is your best friend these days.  While some recover quicker, others just take a little more time.  Open heart surgery is invasive and you will need time to heal. It is merely your body saying that it needs time.  If you push it too hard it can also have some negative side effects, and you want to pace yourself to what you can do.

    Do the daily exercises prescribed by your medical team, and walk daily.  Not long walks, just long enough for your body to feel the impact.

    The emotional rollercoaster will be different too.  You just have look at the smaller milestones that you achieve, celebrate the victories and stay positive.  I like to listen to K-Love or Sound of Life radio stations, as both offer some positive messages and no stressful news.

    Stay strong!  You got this :-) 

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