Mended Hearts Open Forum

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  • 1.  Hello

    Posted 09-24-2019 21:57
    I am a cabgx5 and 3 wks post op.  I am having trouble breathing as well as sleeping.  Is this normal?


    Desmond Good
    Landrum SC

  • 2.  RE: Hello

    Posted 09-25-2019 10:43
    Dear Desmond,

    I had a 4X CABG in March of 2015. My first memory upon waking up after surgery was that I was breathing really, really shallow. I decided I needed to take a deep breath, but when I tried, I couldn't even inhale a normal breath let alone a deep breath. That really scared me. If I can't breathe any better than this, I am in real trouble. However, I learned that your heart is behind your lungs so the lungs get pushed aside and bumped around during surgery. I am sure that they gave you a plastic Airlift devise that you inhale through to lift the blue disc up as high as you can. This device will go a long way towards rehabilitating your lungs so use it regularly and often.

    I started walking up and down the basement stairs for exercise because it was cold outside. (The doctor cautioned me to hold the railing for balance but never use it to pull myself up. Use only my legs to go up and down.) I was pretty slow with only a few trips up and down at first but I eventually built myself up to the point where I can go up and down the basement stairs forty times in thirty minutes. So keep working to improve your breathing. Your lungs (and your whole body) will improve to a point that is much better than it was before your surgery.

    Stay positive and keep working at building yourself up. Your recovery will have its ups and downs. This is normal so don't let the down times get you down. It all counts towards your recovery. Good luck and the thoughts and prayers of our whole group are with you.

    Raymond Steck
    Miamisburg OH
    (937) 847-2666

  • 3.  RE: Hello

    Posted 09-25-2019 12:01
    Hello Desmond,
    What Raymond told you is absolutely correct. Use that little plastic toy with the ping pong ball inside several times a day and you will begin to see results. Your entire chest wall has suffered a lot of trauma and you have bruising and swelling in there. Be patient and it will get better. Slow but sure, do not try to overdo it too soon.
    Take care, 

    Richard Short 
    Chapter 395