AFIB Support

 View Only
  • 1.  Normalcy, Healing Time and Sudden Changes

    Posted 04-21-2022 08:28


    I'm Ricardo and I am new to the group (just joined this month). I had my first open heart surgery on March 18 after having an Aortic Dissection. I had no clue it was that serious but I was in pain unlike I usually had in my chest. However everyone kept telling me "you're lucky to be alive" "most don't make it" "you could/should have died" this is all new to me and to be honest makes me slightly nervous to have my second open heart surgery. But I know some things depend on the person, or most things depend on the person. However I have a few questions:

    • How long did it take for you to gain some sense of normalcy
    • I had my surgery on 3/18 but I still feel pain in my chest and can't sleep comfortably. Is that normal (it's been a month and I still have pain).
    • I still cannot walk very far and I have to rest after walking up flights of stairs.  Is that normal?
    • My left eye goes dark sometimes (it's happened four times since my surgery. I googled and it said there's many times there's a lack of oxygen reaching the eye.
      • Could this be an effect of surgery
    • My skin is peeling on my hands. Large portions (my finger print and close to the base of my finger). The hair on my knuckles has come up also
      • The back of my hand is scaling
    • I am tired A LOT! Like I feel exhausted.
    • My incision on my shoulder is still a little numb (when does feeling usually come back after surgery)

    So I have to have another surgery to repair the aorta on the lower part of my aorta/heart. I'm just now seeing my chest scar heal. Has anyone had two open heart surgeries due to aortic dissection? And how far a part were your surgeries?

    • What are the biggest permanent changes that I should expect
    • Advice you wish someone had told you that you believe will be helpful before, and after the surgeries

    Ricardo McCrary

  • 2.  RE: Normalcy, Healing Time and Sudden Changes

    Posted 04-22-2022 08:24
    Hi Ricardo,

    Welcome to the group!  Actually, I have not logged into this support group for over a year now.  Last time I logged into this group was prior to my AFib procedure - Catheters ablation last year (April 14 2021).  My procedure was very minor (1 day stay and not that invasive, 2 incision near the loin) as compared to yours. But I resonate with your feeling of the uncertainties in the post procedure days.  I was very fortunate in that, some AFib patients the ablation did not help or they have to get a 2nd ablation.  I only had one episode of erratic heat beat (150/min) on April 16, and was symptom free since then, knocking on wood and keep my finger and toes crossed that it will stay that way.

    Even though I cannot answer your questions as your surgeries is different than mine, I like to let you know we are here for each other. Medical events that happen in our life are truly scary and traumatic, for the patient and for the family.  Friendship and families play a key role in our healing, both physically and mentally.  You have friends here in this group that understand to different degree what you went through. I wish you the best.

    One thing I do learned and started to practice daily is to care for myself more by eating well, exercise more, reach out to friends more.  American living is very stressful to put food on the table and put kids to college.  We can only control what we can control. Diet is key - we are who we are by what we consume. So nowadays, I condition my body to refuse all kind of fast food, more plant based diet and exercise religiously, pick up good hobbies like biking (love my eBike), fishing and outdoor activities like hiking.

    I wish you well, my friend, you will do well.  Our body has an amazing way to recover and very resilient.   I am very positive you will be good again. And I look forward to keep in touch with you to see how you do.