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56 YO Male CABGx3 - 5 Weeks Post Op

  • 1.  56 YO Male CABGx3 - 5 Weeks Post Op

    Posted 04-03-2019 14:38
    Hello,

    As the title states, I'm about 5 weeks outt from post op for a triple bypass. Don't smoke and am not overweight. Heart disease runs in my family so I suppose I should have expected this but I didn't.

    Started having bouts of angina back around thanksgiving and through testing and a couple of trips to the ER, ended up having surgery. The big 3 got grafted as 2 were totall blocked and 1 was 70 percent blocked.

    I start rehab next week and in the meantime I am trying my best to walk and climb some stairs for exercise.

    I have to admit that I really hoped I'd be feeling better by now. I have good and bad days but nights always seem to be the worst. The angina has kicked up again and keeps me up at night some. I mistakenly thought that once the surgery was done, I wouldn't have to worry about the angina anymore. That does not seem like the case though.

    Has anyone else experienced the return of angina after surgery? Am I expecting too much too early? Days like today (bad day) seem like they make me thing I'll never be back to what I would call normal.

    Sorry for the down post. Sometimes it's just good to talk to other people who have gone through this. Everyone I know has never gone through this so there's noone to really unload on about it.

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    Craig Ellis
    Bremerton WA
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  • 2.  RE: 56 YO Male CABGx3 - 5 Weeks Post Op

    Posted 04-04-2019 03:45
    Craig,

    Talk to your cardiologist.  Is it really angina or might it be something else?  You say you feel it at night.  Do you feel it when you climb stairs or walk?  At 5 weeks out of a sternotomy, it is not at all unusual to feel pain in the chest wall, but I don't think you should be feeling angina.  Your cardiologist will be able to evaluate this .

    Best,

    Ira

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    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ
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  • 3.  RE: 56 YO Male CABGx3 - 5 Weeks Post Op

    Posted 04-04-2019 16:38
    Hi Ira,

    My last visit (last week), I did talk to him about this. Angina was what started this whole party so for him to say that I might STILL have to deal with some angina was so disheartening to me. He did say that over time, it might go away as my heart grows more collaterals and I begin exercising more and more. For me, that was good motivation for exercise.

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    Craig Ellis
    Bremerton WA
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  • 4.  RE: 56 YO Male CABGx3 - 5 Weeks Post Op

    Posted 04-04-2019 18:39
    Hi Craig,

    I just read an article that said 20% of bypass patients suffer angina up to a year after bypass surgery.  Live and learn, and build up that collateral circulation but ease into it in accordance with the advice of tour doctor and rehab therapists.

    Ny the way, I never had angina either before or after my surgery, but I did feel shortness of breath and as if I was walking in waist deep water for about a month after I returned to work, three months after surgery.  It eventually went away.

    Best,

    Ira

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    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ
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  • 5.  RE: 56 YO Male CABGx3 - 5 Weeks Post Op

    Posted 04-04-2019 06:32
    Your going to continue to get angina/weird pains etc...I'm 10 months out and still occasionally get weird chest pains. Once you start cardio rehab and drs.get meds right trust me things will change for the better and you will figure out your new normal.
    Hang in there.






  • 6.  RE: 56 YO Male CABGx3 - 5 Weeks Post Op

    Posted 04-04-2019 16:36
    Thanks for the encouragement Dave. At this point encouragement from others is huge for me. I really do appreciate it.

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    Craig Ellis
    Bremerton WA
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  • 7.  RE: 56 YO Male CABGx3 - 5 Weeks Post Op

    Posted 07-16-2019 00:31
    Hi Craig. It's been a few months since your post... I'm wondering how things are going now.?
    I have similar feelings flying around my house right now. And everyone who's never done it seems a lot more positive than the person going through it (my significant other). He won't do online forums and chats on his own, but I'd like to have a realistic message to relay to him from being on this site.
    he can't drive; he's at my mercy; I'd take him to a support group meeting if I could find one!
    Thanks and I do hope you're doing better

    -jessica
    denver of the east (NC)

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    jessica gold
    denver NC
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  • 8.  RE: 56 YO Male CABGx3 - 5 Weeks Post Op

    Posted 07-16-2019 13:20
    Edited by Craig Ellis 07-16-2019 13:21
      |   view attached

    Hi Jessica, thanks for reaching out and sorry to hear about your boyfriends surgery.

    I'll start off by saying that when I went back and re read my message, I was immediately transported back to 5 months ago. That was a scary time and a very dark time for me as well. I never thought I'd feel better again.

    The difference between 5 weeks and 5 months is night and day. Do I feel like a new man like everyone was telling me? Nope. But I'm getting there. I was still getting some pretty sever angina during physcial therapy so they went back in and put 3 stents in one of the grafts. One of the grafts had failed but when I came out of surgery, he had told us then, that that one was iffy. All is good now though. Great blood flow through the remaining 2 grafts and those were the dangerous ones.

    At 5 months I'm now back on my mountain bike albeit for short stretches only. I still am dealing with some angina but not near what it was before. A little nitroglycerin pill and I'm good to go for a while.

    It does get better but it is a painfully slow process. The biggest thing I've had to overcome is coming to grips with the fact that healing takes time. Just because I walk farther, eat better, etc, does not automatically equate to healing faster. After 5 months, I'm still healing. I have more better days now than bad days but I still have bad days. I'm sure even before all this I had bad days but now I'm more hyper aware of them.

    But you know what? I'm also more hyper aware of the good days. THAT'S the thing I've learned the most.

    Hang in there and continue giving your support. It will get better.

    I like my view I had today much better than the one I had 5 months ago (see my attached picture) :)



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    Craig Ellis
    Bremerton WA
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  • 9.  RE: 56 YO Male CABGx3 - 5 Weeks Post Op

    Posted 07-29-2019 11:04
    Craig,  I feel your pain and doubt.  My original symptoms were angina related and I did not have a repeat of them.  I only had the "widow-maker" graft so it wasn't as many grafts as you had.  What I have learned about angina is that the feeling comes because the blood is not carrying enough oxygen and the blood vessels are starved and constricting.  Do you know what your Ejection Fraction is?  This is a measurement of the percentage of blood pumped from the heart chamber.  Typical person pumps 50-70% when the heart is healthy.  My EF was 25% when I presented at the emergency room.  Over the course of several months of rehab exercises (mainly running on a treadmill) I strengthened my heart to achieve a 59% ejection fraction.  I am not a doctor so this is only my theory.  I suggest you have conversations with your doctor to get a clear understanding of how angina works.  Also, really commit to a rehab program.  See my earlier post as well.

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    Ron Haugland
    [Certified Metabolic Balance Coach]
    [Wellness Awakenings]
    [Carlsbad] [CA]
    [760-420-2077]
    Ron
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