Recovering from recent heart surgeryI am 55 competitive Type A person and recently had open heart surgery to perform a double bypass and aortic valve and stem replacement. My condition really started in late 2015 after my fourth surgery on my shoulder to deal with a stubborn infection. Listening to my heart my infectious disease doctor commented on my heart murmur. I told her is was something I have always had but that every other doctor has just made a passing comment. This doctor however referred me to a cardiologist who ordered additional tests where we discovered a bicuspid aortic valve and evidence of infectious endocarditus. From that point on I began to feel progressively work tired, short of breath, chest tightness, etc. All of this led to additional tests and a discovery of significant blockage in the LDA and RCA arteries. Apparently, I have a genetic problem that prevents my body from adequately absorbing LDL. For most of my life up to late 2015 it was kept in check by my athletic activity. (I had cut that back significant as a result of the 2015 surgery and just had not gotten back to it with the aortic valve issues taking place). As my condition worsened the treatment was to try and get the valve to last as long as possible treating my symptoms (cholesterol and angina) through medication. All of that worked until February 1 of this year. On that day I had just finished a meeting at my church with a fellow member who had been through heart surgery. He was helping me understand the surgical and recovery process. It felt good to talk to someone about it. After that meeting I was driving to work and started having angina pain that worsened and did not go away. Instead of treating it with a dose of nitro (the reason for that is a long story) I turned around and headed for the emergency room. Once there they informed me that I would not be leaving that day. Additionally tests were performed to discover my blockages and valve disorder had progressed significantly warranting surgery on February 6 of this year. I should note that several people told me that once the valve starts to go it happens pretty quickly. That was certainly true in my case. Less than a year from when my symptoms first started.
That was the short version of the story. I am still recovering and am overwhelmed by just how hard it is to do so. I started cardiac rehab this past week and often wonder if I am going to be able to get my strength and endurance back. Everyone assures me that I will get there but that I have to have patience and not to push to hard at this stage...Patience...that is just one of the many things God is teaching me through this whole process.