You just received some great advice from my friends. I'll add a little more without repeating what they said. I've been a gym rat, athlete, distance runner my whole life but, at age 67, I had a heart attack and emergency quintuple coronary artery bypass OHS. The good thing about emergency surgery is that you don't have any time to think about it, so I was lucky that way.
After the surgery, I guess I was lucky as well, in a way. I contracted pneumonia from the ventilator and they kept me in a medically induced coma for two weeks while they fed me antibiotics to knock out the pneumonia. During those two weeks, I was having vivid, lifelike dreams/hallucinations that I was recovering poolside in a hospital in the Bahamas and helping the administration with some legal problems (I'm a lawyer).
When I finally woke up, most of the tubes had already been removed and I had no pain whatsoever. Instead, was pissing off the nurses by threatening to do pullups from the arm of some medical device over my bed, asking for a cocktail in response to inquiries about what I wanted, quoting movie lines and generally just being my usual wiseass self. My wife was explaining to the staff that I must be feeling fine because they were now experiencing whatever she normally has to suffer through.
There was just one problem. After two weeks in a medically induced coma, you basically lose all your muscle tone. I couldn't even get a forkful of food into my mouth, let alone walk. So, after another week recovering in the hospital and driving the nurses crazy, they boxed me up and shipped me out for a three week stint at a rehab hospital, where I quickly ( and I do mean quickly) started eating, walking, cycling again. I remained a wiseass, this time with the physical therapists.
Three weeks later, I was home, kissed my front door, hugged my faithful old dog, I started walking again in earnest and, one week out of the hospial, I was up to a mile a day, plus going three days a week to outpatient rehab. To make a long story shorter, six weeks later, I had graduated from rehab, was back at my own gym beginning to lift weights again and back to work. Three months later, I was running, rapidly regaining weightlifting strength and muscle, and doing wall assisted handstand pushups. And it kept getting better.
I'm now 71, semi-retired, still enjoying all my old physical activities (except running, due to unrelated back problems that somehow don't interfere with my lifting weights) and pissing off my wife, who was and is still a saint for all the ways she has helped me notwithstanding all of her travails in watching what I went through. She truly suffered far mote than me, and I am eternally grateful for her love and support, and the love and support of my daughter. In fact, to echo Bob Levin, the last 3 1/2 years of my life have been the best 3 1/2 years of my life. I'm still a wiseass, but I'm also filled with gratitude every single day for just being alive and experiencing this wonderful universe and all the wonderful people, animals and trees, the river, sun, rain, clouds and wind with which I know that I'm connected in being.
You and your boyfriend will be fine. You will survive this and grow, physically, emotionally and spiritually, as I have, as all of us have.
Best of luck and please stay in touch with us. The people on this website are amazing, wise and loving human beings.
Sent: 08-19-2021 09:27
From: Tommy Broughton
Subject: Advice for loved ones of OHS Patient
I had 5 way bypass surgery at age 61 in Jan 2007. I agree with everything Evelyn said. His age is in his favor and he should do well and have a good recovery. One thing she did not mention is Cardiac Rehab. He should be offered this program and it will help tremendously in his recovery. He will be sore and uncomfortable for awhile but he should be fine. I would think he will be able to do most anything he wants to in life.
I will tell you a few things I have done since my surgery and please don't think I'm bragging but just showing what is possible. I have always be an avid motorcycle rider and 5 months after my surgery my wife and I rode across country from Virginia on the motorcycle. At age 78 I still ride most every week year round. I have participated in 5K and 10K events. I'm not a runner but I can walk at a good pace and throw in a little jogging and do OK. I have also been sky diving 3 times since age 70.
In closing, just stand by him and offer support and encouragement. I wish you both the very best in life.
Mended Hearts Chapter 28
Sent from my iPad
Sent: 8/12/2021 4:43:00 PM
From: Sarah Tay
Subject: Advice for loved ones of OHS Patient
My name is Sarah. I just joined this community and this is my first post! My boyfriend was diagnosed with a congenital heart abnormality this summer and will have open heart surgery soon. He is in his mid 20s (as am I) and we are both pretty terrified. We have had some time to process the diagnosis, but some days I still find it so hard to believe this is really happening... you know?
If you or a loved one have had OHS, can you give any advice/reassurance for the surgery/recovery process? Anything that would help me support him? Perhaps an idea of things you were able to do within weeks, months, years after the surgery?
Thank you and God Bless,