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Sad after surgery...
just had heart vale replaced, but I feel sad I feel like nothing hasn’t changed much... my back still hurts, feel like I have to take deep breath here and there, i know it’s onlt been barely two weeks but some people said you would feel fresher you would notice right away well I don’t...the scary part is think the vale is rejecting, I hear a clicking nose wich is what I heard when I was to tired b4 surgery....have a check up Monday and it’s a pig vale I just hope my vale isn’t being rejected
AmbassadorDN, January 31, 2019 10:15pm EST
I don’t know if you have read my responses to your other posts, but please do. Remember, healing from heart surgery is a process. You won’t feel 100% better overnight, or even within a couple weeks. After my second heart valve surgery, my surgeon’s nurse spoke to me the day I was going to be discharged and said, “Your body has been through a tremendous trauma. Healing takes time.” She advised me not to expect to be “up and running” in a matter of days or even a couple weeks. Honestly, it took a good three months before I started feeling “human” again. I know you are young—in your 20s—but recovery is different for everyone. Some heal more quickly than others. You will get better. It just takes a lot of time and a lot of patience. Use your incentive spirometer to help you with your breathing. The more you use it, the better you’ll breathe since you’re helping your lungs heal.
As far as worrying that your new valve is already failing, try not to worry. I know it’s easier said than done. When I had my second valve surgery, I was given a bovine (cow) valve and it did seem to make a strange sound at first. Your heart is still healing and getting used to the new valve. However, please call your surgeon or your cardiologist if you are worried. Tissue valve failure, especially this early on, is extremely rare, but talk to your doctor to help you alleviate your concerns. Also, if you are feeling depressed, reach out to a therapist to help you work out your feelings. Depression after heart surgery is more common than people realize, and if you are OK with seeking out a licensed therapist, then I advise you to do just that to help you process your fears and worries.
Stay strong and take care of yourself!
To Heart and Soul Health,
AHAASAKatie, February 1, 2019 10:09am EST
Good morning! Recovery is soooo tough and never seems to go as fast we would like. In reading your posts and Ambassador DN's responses, I truly believe she is spot on. Please give your body time to heal and also accept that this is going to take a while. Recovery has been likened to a journey by many of our members-it takes a long time. It just does. I also want to encourage you to stay in communication with your surgical team, let them know how you are feeling and report any concerns. They are valuable partners during this time. And, if a therapist is something you are willing to consider, that is also a wonderful option to develop coping skills. This was a traumatic event and it is totally OK to need help working through all that you are feeling. Please know that we are here for you, understand your concerns and fears and want to support you through this. Peace and healing wishes for you, Katie
JamesPL, February 1, 2019 11:46am EST
As has been stated, recovery from open heart surgery takes months. Five days after my surgery, I took my first shower and was so exhausted I had to immediately sit down while I was still drying off. Shortly after I got home I attempted to go for a walk and only reached the end of my driveway before I had to go back inside my house. It took me at least two months before I started to feel like my energy was returning. And that was during cardiac rehab. Be patient. Your body has been through a traumatic experience and it will take time to heal. But with the healing comes the energy and strength. Once you get into a daily routine of walking, you'll start to notice a change. I highly recommend cardiac rehab or some other form of exercise as prescribed by your cardiologist. It will work wonders!
Best of luck in your recovery!
jerzeycate, February 1, 2019 11:50am EST
I'm so sorr to hear that things have not picked up as of yet. I know how that feels. My issues are very different from yours but when the "fix" was in place I still didn't feel good. I used to feel like I was the only one in the world not getting better.
Next week it will be 6 years since they told us that a virus had infiltrated my heart, my EF was 11%, and without an immediate transplant (which I was not eligible for)I had 3 months.
It takes a village.
In terms of the symptoms you are describing you NEED to CALL THE Cardiologist. Let him tell you it can wait until the scuedlued appointment on Monday. You describe some significant symptoms and I would not wnt you to take a chance by waiting.
NurseTessa, February 1, 2019 12:16pm EST
First, What you’re experiencing is completely normal. Your back pain is most likely due to the stretching of your muscles and ligaments during the procedure. The best way to help it is to keep moving, keep doing your coughing, deep breathing and inventive spirometer, and take whichever non-narcotic anti-inflammatory/ painkiller that your doc has okayed (usually Tylenol). I know “keep moving” is WAY easier said than done.
At two weeks out your body is still recovering from anesthesia and the trauma of a MAJOR surgery. Most patients I have spoken with feel like they have a turning point in their recovery at 6 weeks. So have patience, the relief your waiting for is coming.
As far as rejecting your valve, it is extremely rare. The clicking you’re hearing could be related to the normal swelling in your chest. Your doctor on Monday should be better able to determine where it’s coming from.
I hope you have a relaxing weekend, hang in there!
llorenz1221, February 1, 2019 12:20pm EST
My husband had his heart valve replaced when he was in his early 30's, he opted for a mechanical valve, so he clicks all the time, but he too struggled with recovery. Being young, and he is a runner and was very, very active before surgery, made it even harder I think. My husband was also told that he would feel so much better, but he also didn't right away, and he was worried about the same things that you are worried about right now. It took quite awhile for him to finally start feeling normal, a good 5 to 6 weeks after surgery, and then a good month or two later to finally start feeling the full effects of his new valve. His cardiologist informed him that it could actually take him an entire year for his body to learn this new normal, and feel the full benefits of having a good valve. Talk to your doctor about your concerns, and don't be afraid to reach out, we had tons of questions, before, after, and even to this day, for all the staff, his surgeon, his cardiologist and his primary care doctor. Talking to others has been the best thing for me, as his caregiver, to know that others suffer with the same things, and are fighting the same battles, it makes me feel so much less alone, and more empowerd and educated. I'm not sure if you will go through cardiac rehabilition like my husband did after his surgery, but this was one of the best things for him, as he really did start feeling better when he started that process, if you have that option, please go, and take in all the information and resources that are provided to you there. Never be afraid to ask questions and ask for help, you are your best advocate when it comes to your health. Take care!
taurabarr, February 1, 2019 1:02pm EST
Sending you so much love and prayers. Hang in there. Healing takes time and you will heal, believe it and take it one day at a time. Hugs :)
Meme21, February 1, 2019 1:45pm EST
Awww thank you all so much for the love and support it makes me feel much better reading these comments :) will keep y’all updated
JeffB, February 1, 2019 4:04pm EST
Wishing you improved circumstances soon. Keep your positive thoughts brighter than the darkness around you. I really hope that everything turns out all right for you.
Healing vibes to you.
JimSinclair, February 2, 2019 9:23am EST
Every recovery. Although unique to each person is a series of what can be described as small miracles that are often so small that we are not always aware that they are occurring. Early in my journey I was very depressed and constantly complaining that I was not progressing. It was not until my wife showed me a journal she had been keeping of my progress that I realized that I was improving.
Someone once told me the journey of recovery is similar to the old fable of a bird flying over a river seeing a mountain it thought would be better on the other side of the river. Each time the bird crossed the river it carried one pebble from the mountain to the other side of the river and dropped it. Each trip back for another pebble the bird looked back where it had been dropping pebbles and was disheartened by the thought that it didn’t look any different than the previous trip; until the bird eventually upon finding no more pebbles looked where it had been dropping pebbles and was astonished to see the mountain was now on the on the other side of the river.
Remember. while it may seem that you are moving mountains ;you are just in a long slow process of working to heal and recover until at some point you will realize that you have accomplished what you had been working to achieve I will not tell you that it will be easy or quick. It may seem to take forever but you will get to where you want to be. You are correct in that it has only been two weeks; but you have survived through these first two weeks of a very long unique journey that you are taking best of luck on Monday