Mended Hearts Open Forum

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Question for the group

  • 1.  Question for the group

    Posted 04-09-2020 17:20
    I'm one year (next week) post op for CABG x3 and have had a lot of complications since then. Been in and out of the hospital numerous times and nearly died a couple of those times. Was just back in the hospital again this week. Went to the ER on Monday with severe chest pains that felt exactly like the heart attack that lead to my open heart surgery. They did a heart cath on Tuesday and didn't find any new blockage. They said everything looked like it was supposed to considering I have 7 stents and three bypass grafts (I did have one artery that was 50% blocked but they said that was no big deal). I was released from the hospital yesterday yet I'm still having these same chest pains. They said it could be stomach problems but I don't buy it because I can feel the pain INSIDE my heart. I'm so sick of these doctors always telling me what it isn't and never telling me what it is. Has anyone else out there experienced these same symptoms? Any thoughts on what it could be? I'm a real positive mental attitude kind of guy but this has been going on so long that it's really starting to wear me down mentally. Tired of constantly getting hit with these crushing chest pains and thinking "Is this it? Is this the one that's going to take me out?". Any help on this would be appreciated.

  • 2.  RE: Question for the group

    Posted 04-10-2020 05:19

    You didn't mention where you live, but I think you need to get a second opinion from another cardiologist.  There's obviously something wrong somewhere that a fresh set if eyes may find.  Folks here are good at recommending doctors if you give us your location.



    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ

  • 3.  RE: Question for the group

    Posted 04-10-2020 08:58
    Hi Ira. Thanks for responding. I live in Sarasota, FL. I've been thinking for awhile that I need to get a second opinion but the challenge I face is that as a combat wounded veteran who gets his primary healthcare through the V.A., it's difficult to get one. That's where a lot of my frustration stems from. Although I am grateful for the V.A. and all they provide for us veterans, their doctors aren't real good at following up on issues like this. They look at one thing and if it's it not that, they don't carry it any further. They don't stop and say "Well, it wasn't that. What can we look at next? What else could it be." I want to believe that it's just that their workload is so great instead of just total lack of concern.

    They have just recently made it easier for a veteran to see doctors outside the V.A. system, however, so I'm hoping that will open up the opportunity to see another doctor. I already had a my quarterly check-up scheduled with cardiologist at the V.A. scheduled for next week and I'm going to push hard to allow me to see another doctor. The cardiologist who performed my heart cath at the hospital here in Sarasota is a good doctor and has offered to see me in his office so I'm hoping I can get a referral to see him. Wish me luck!

  • 4.  RE: Question for the group

    Posted 04-10-2020 10:09
    Hi Brett,

    You beat me to the punch.  I was going to suggest the new program that gives vets the right to see docs outside the VA, but you already thought of it.  Please keep us posted on what develops.

    Maybe it'll turn out to be the scar tissue issue that Phil mentioned.  I had some pain and swelling inside my left breast after my 5x CABG surgery but it felt like a muscle pull (even though I knew it wasn't) and I just assumed it was scar tissue from when they removed my left mammary artery to bypass my widowmaker artery.  It took about 6 months, but the feeling did go away eventually.

    All the best and stay safe, friend.


    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ

  • 5.  RE: Question for the group

    Posted 04-15-2020 12:19
    Brett, hope you are doing better.  I have a question for you.  I have been having a problem with my posts on this site and am curious if you ever received a message from me suggesting getting a second opinion.  Just curious since we have been working on the problem and I am still not sure my messages are getting through.
    Gary Price
    Orlando Chapter 296

    Gary Price
    volunteer- Orlando Health
    Mended Hearts Chapter 296 - Orlando

  • 6.  RE: Question for the group

    Posted 04-10-2020 09:05
    I am 82 years old and my valve replacement and annulplasty ring surgery was in 1992.  My first was in 1983.and my mitral valve was stretched open at thay time knowing that it would be a temporary repair.  The first couple of years after my second surgery, I had sever pains in my chest and sometimes my back. I was told that it was scar tissue from the surgery.  It went away decades ago and I continue with an active life, participating in Mended Hearts Visiting programs.  What can I say at this point?  Not much except I look forward to waking up each morning.

    [Phil W

  • 7.  RE: Question for the group

    Posted 04-10-2020 09:33
    Hi Phil. Thanks for the info. I have 7 stents as well as three bypass grafts from 11 heart catheterizations and one open heart surgery so I'm sure there probably is a lot of scar tissue in there. I had never considered the fact that it could be the reason for the pain. Will question my cardiologist about that possibility next week when I see him. I really appreciate you taking the time to share your experience, as well. I'm 56 years old and have been wondering a lot lately if I would even live to see 60 but your story gives me hope that I can still live a long and productive life.

    Have a blessed day.


  • 8.  RE: Question for the group

    Posted 04-10-2020 09:49
    Just reading mail this morning, Good Friday, and ran across this article in Live Science Magazine.  It is too big to print here, but here is the link to the article about Covid 19 and the Heart

    Mary H 

  • 9.  RE: Question for the group

    Posted 04-10-2020 12:31
    Hi Mary. Thanks for sending this. It's interesting because the more I read about COVID-19 the more certain I am that I've already had it. I took my family to the Grand Canyon back in late-January of this year and while we were there we noticed that at least 20% of the visitors there were from China. This was about the time that the news was finally starting to come out about how bad the pandemic was in Wuhan Province but there hadn't yet been any reported cases here in the U.S.. Shortly after returning back home to Florida my entire family got really, really sick. None of us had ever been that sick from a virus before. We were sick for literally an entire month. I went to the walk-in clinic shortly after I got sick and when the doctor was examining me I half-jokingly ask him if it might be coronavirus and told him about my trip to the Grand Canyon. He blew it off and said I didn't have to worry about it since I hadn't traveled to China. We now know that his statement wasn't accurate. The symptoms we had are the same as what I've been reading the symptoms are for COVID-19 but no one was testing for it at the time so we don't know for sure if that's what we had. It could very well be that the problems I'm having now are related to having had COVID-19. Do you know if there is anyway of finding out?

  • 10.  RE: Question for the group

    Posted 04-10-2020 13:15

    I'm reading that they're about a week away from having an antibody test available.  That would be the way to find out for sure once they make it available at your location.


    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ

  • 11.  RE: Question for the group

    Posted 04-10-2020 14:29
    I am happy you thought this was interesting...
    I do so much reading, and listening to news programs,
    many newspapers, many journals, medical papers and even Quora along with Dr. Google that
    I hate to pass along anything that I can't cite

    I was working out today and the news was on in the background, and a doctor who I did not see and only heard, says that hospitals have found that just turning a person over to their side while in the hospital with Covid 19 gets some of the pressure off the lungs and opens up the airways and could make the difference with recovery or not recovering from the Covid 19.  

    I do remember those damn beds in the hospital and I had a heck of a time being on my back and trying to breath after my surgery.  Once I was able to roll myself onto my side in hospital, the relief in breathing was significant but the nurses would not help me, citing that back sleeping was the best thing for patients in the hospital.

    I also heard of a new app that is being developed that can tell you if you are coming in contact with a person who already has had the covid 19, but there are Hippaa regulations that may be a barrier to this happening

    Mary H

  • 12.  RE: Question for the group

    Posted 04-10-2020 15:54
    Interesting you should mention the bit about breathing easier on your side after surgery.  The same happened to me after my surgery.  Now understand that although projected to be in ICU 3-4 days after my open heart surgery, went so well that i was transferred out of ICU the morning after the surgery. I came out of surgery at 3:30 p.m. and was ordered out of ICU by the surgeon that very evening after his post op visit.  
    However, after the surgery as I awoke with tubes everywhere and lying on my back, I was having trouble breathing because of discomfort I was feeling in my back.  I have always had discomfort lying straight on my back for long periods of time and apparently the time I spend on my back during the surgery exacerbated the discomfort.   I signaled the ICU nurse to please help me sit up in the bed or on the chair and she told me I had to lie still because I was not allowed to move.   I told her I was in extensive discomfort and that I had to move around and sit up a bit because the discomfort was to extensive and that I had to move with or without her help.  She then leaned over on top of me and getting right in face told me she was not going to put up with my shit and or threats to disobey her and if I ever did I would be sorry. 
    I lied still and when my wife came in I asked her to contact the dr and ask him to ok my sitting up.  Apparently the dr contacted the nurses station and advised that if I felt well enough to move and sit up to help me do so and in fact to help me move from the bed onto the chair if I so felt up to it.  Tubes and all.  Later that evening while sitting on the chair the dr came in, took one look at me and told the nurse to find me a regular bed out of ICU.   I didn't need to be in ICU.
    Let me say that all the nurses in the ICU and the regular cardiac floor were incredibly wonderful caring persons.   Maybe that one I came across in the ICU was having a bad day, maybe I reminded her of her drunk, wife-beating ex who abandoned her, I don't know.  I don't care.  I would not come across her again and the rest of the nurses were God sent.  My point is that all too often health care workers don't seem listen to the patient, and instead seem to lose site of forest for focusing too much on the trees.

    George Baraque