Mended Hearts Open Forum

Expand all | Collapse all

Constant Worry - Tissue Valve

  • 1.  Constant Worry - Tissue Valve

    Posted 06-05-2020 18:30

    Hello everyone,

    Firstly, I hope you're all well and staying safe.

    My name is Matt, I'm 28. I had a pulmonary valve replacement aged 21, a tissue valve.

    I'm due a telephone check up on 12th June so not too far away but I am hoping to share my worries in case anyone here has felt or resolved the same issues. 

    In general, I stay very active at work (I'm an indoor Skydiving instructor). 

    I've always suffered with muscular pain in the left side of my chest intermittently since surgery, which when flared up is awful and usually accompanies a few days of worry. I tend to use the old trick of if you can press the pain, it must be outside of the ribs.

    In terms of breathing, I'm in constant fear that I'm "slowing down". I seem to assess my own breathing constantly. I've found that I'm getting out of breath much quicker but of course that could be due to the lockdown. I have weeks where I don't notice any of this, then weeks where it takes over my life.

    I know the check up will clear up my worries (or confirm them, but fingers crossed not!)

    Does anyone else have these issues?

    best wishes


  • 2.  RE: Constant Worry - Tissue Valve

    Posted 06-06-2020 08:58
    Hello Matt,
    I too have pain on my left side more ofter when I am doing things like chopping wood or repetitive motions with my left arm. I am left-handed and like you, if I can press on it I know it is muscular. My CABG was in 2015 and I still have tender spots along my sternum and left chest wall. 
    As for shortness of breath that comes and goes for me as well. However, I have allergies and some other issues that affect that. I do notice that when I am active the easier it is to recover. 
    I did report all this to my cardiologist and hed did adjust my medication slightly. This improved the situation. He also ordered a pulmonary function test on me and found that I have developed high altitude hypoxia. He said my cardiac condition may have induced that and I need to use O2 above 7000 feet.
    Any change in the norm should be reported to your provider if you are concerned. Sometimes taking 1/2 a pill instead of the whole pill a day makes all the difference.
    Google luck and take care,

    Richard Short
    Chapter 395

  • 3.  RE: Constant Worry - Tissue Valve

    Posted 06-06-2020 15:18
    Matt, in some ways yes and no
    i had 3x CABG 15 weeks ago. Currently I still have pain hi sternum, and left breast where they harvested the artery from my graft. I do the same thing, press on The pain and if I feel it or it makes it worse than I know it has nothing to do with the heart. Similarly since I had a mild attack eight years ago and four stents in between my surgery anytime I have an ache pain or something that might make me think heart I diagnose to determine the difference. Sometimes it's coming from my neck other times it's acid reflex other times I may have done something and usually the yard Which is causing a muscle ache. One of my key checks is does activity make it worse or about the same.
    If activity makes it appreciably worse Then I suspect hard otherwise I suspect otherwise they can relax.
    The process usually only takes a couple minutes.
    So in many ways to your first question I do the same thing.
    As to the other I have been recently introduced to the surgery slowing me down, Having times of being out of breath, sometimes quickly other times not at all. Discussion with nurses and the doctors is basically since I have an O2 monitor, use it And as long as my 02 is above 90% I'm doing fine. The feeling of being out of breath maybe the result of anxiety or something else. Although, Getting up and going to the restroom, and it's not really an activity front with anxiety and sometimes I'm out of breath and other times not.
    Also I think sometimes I simply forget to breath for a moment or two and it catches up with me.
    I'm not sure if this helps except somebody else does what you do to check the pain and having an O2 monitor that is very inexpensive at your local drugstore, remembering or when you're out of breath think about it for minute did you hold your breath or were you breathing throughout the activity. Check The O2 monitor and it sure that it's above 90%.
    again hope this helps

    Thomas Devlin
    Boynton Beach FL