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How to help 83 year old father who ust had triple bypass open heart surgery

  • 1.  How to help 83 year old father who ust had triple bypass open heart surgery

    Posted 01-16-2021 10:29
    Hello all,

    I am desperately seeking help from those who can give me advice on helping my 83 yr old father. He has always been a very active , not to mention stubborn. All staff and doctor's at the hospital were amazed at how well he was recovering post surgery. There was one major problem, they lost his dentures and he cannot eat. I have been given him ensure, soups, all soft foods but he has lost 50 lbs in the last two weeks.

    He does not understand the severity of what he has just gone through and how long it will be before he can actually do things. He has a ranch in Mexico and has always take care of it himself. As we all know, that is a heavy job.

    Can anyone tell me how I can get it across to him the criticalness of him doing what he needs to do be heal and recovery. How lonf realistically it will take for him to be be able to at least so some things. He seems to think it'll only be about 4 to 6 weeks. I need to get it across to him or I'm afraid he will end up hurting himself or dying because he will start doing things because he feels "better". You help is greatly appreciated. With gratitude

    Norma Singleterry

    Norma Singleterry

  • 2.  RE: How to help 83 year old father who ust had triple bypass open heart surgery

    Posted 01-17-2021 06:56
    Hello Norma.

    I'm not always the most, shall we say, touchy feely person, so if a blunt response will offend you please don't read any further.

    Your dad has proven himself a tough ole guy running a ranch on his own, in fact I'm willing to wager that's why the miraculous recovery. He's strong and physically fit from all he does in his normal daily routine. Let the man get back to living, he's not a fragile ornament to be taken out only for special occasions. What you need to do is be supportive and there if and when he needs you.

    He should speak to his medical team about any limitations or restrictions they want him to follow and know not to over extend himself but learn through trial and error any new limitations he has on physical endeavors. The old no pain no gain doesn't really work so don't overdo it. His doctor will likely recommend a Cardiac rehabilitation program where he will exercise under medical supervision and learn about a proper diet for his situation.

    We all heal at different rates but with his background he's likely ahead of the curve. 4 - 6 weeks is average for people to start feeling human again. There'll still be ups and downs for about a yesr but he'll improve more each day.

    If you treat him like an invalid he'll become one and shrivel up. Good luck to you both, and stop worrying he's been repaired and is ready for a new adventure


  • 3.  RE: How to help 83 year old father who ust had triple bypass open heart surgery

    Posted 01-17-2021 08:56
    I am 83 years old and had valve replacement surgery in 1983.  Do the math!   I ran my own business until retirement, a personal services corporation, and returned to active consulting within three to four weeks.  This was done slowly but I was active.  I was in good physical condition prior to the operation, my second open heart.   I had a text book recovery as per the words of my cardiologist who also tld me that many people never get beyond the "woe is me" phase.  In my opinion, your father is on the right track, emotionally.  Time for his daughter to get on board.  I hope he has new dentures by now.

    Phil from sc.

  • 4.  RE: How to help 83 year old father who ust had triple bypass open heart surgery

    Posted 01-17-2021 12:29
    Norma,  This is the voice of experience.  I'm 82, 3 weeks ago.  I had 2 OHS, one back in 1996 and a fix up 2004.  Norma-Take it easy.
    Let the doctors set the pace of what is OK and what is tooo much.
    From your letter he is in good shape aside the heart issue, That is why he has come thru so well. You are lucky that he has a CAN DO-- mind set. Be his support team .
    We all know watching the process is very hard on the family but a smile ,a joke a hug and a kiss is what you give and the medical advise comes from his doctors. Lay out the recovery plan. WORRY IN YOUR FACE IS A BIG NO NO.  Don't put doubt in his head. Stay strong.   DAD is on the mend. Put the plan on paper so you both know  the next few weeks or months schedule. This plan again can change as time goes by.
    Good luck and con grats to the old guy for his spirit.
    David Rosen  #206  Atlantis, Fla.  ​

    David Rosen
    Lake Worth FL
    (561) 969-7010
    DavidRosenLake WorthFL

  • 5.  RE: How to help 83 year old father who ust had triple bypass open heart surgery

    Posted 01-17-2021 14:56
    Hi Norma,

    I was a little younger than your dad when I had my quintuple bypass surgery at age 67, but I found that I was able to begin a walking program and cardiac rehab exercises at around 3 weeks post surgery.  This was after having remained in a medically induced coma for 2 weeks post surgery after I contracted pneumonia.  Anyway, I quickly regain my fitness level and was walking 2 miles a day 5 weeks post surgery.  Your dad really should try to get into a cardiac rehab program, although I realize that may be difficult with Covid.  A virtual telehealth program might be a good substitute if you can find one.

    So cardio is pretty easy.  The main issue concerns strength training.  You really need to take things very slowly there and follow the instructions of your thoracic surgeon to allow your sternum to heal.  Usually that takes around 12 weeks and the cardiac rehab team teaches you techniques to avoid overstressing your sternum until the bones knit back together.  I resumed light weightlifting at around 12 weeks post surgery but wasn't really fully recovered in terms of upper body strength until almost a year post surgery, although I did make rapid progress (maybe to 75%) during the first few months post surgery.

    Hope this helps.  All the best to you and your dad.


    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ

  • 6.  RE: How to help 83 year old father who ust had triple bypass open heart surgery

    Posted 01-17-2021 18:59
    Hi Norma,

    I had four bypasses at age 58 (12 years ago) and was very weak for a month afterwards.  I don't think your father will be able to do much physically for several weeks (even if he wants to).  Other posters have recommended cardio rehabilitation and I do also, it helped me recover more quickly.  The hospitals in my area (Richmond, VA) are open for cardio rehab. but you do have to wear a face mask, so discuss this with your father's health care team.  Good luck to you and your father.
    Joe Shocket
    Mended Hearts Chapter 28
    Richmond, VA

    Joseph Shocket
    Chester VA
    (804) 748-3681

  • 7.  RE: How to help 83 year old father who ust had triple bypass open heart surgery

    Posted 01-26-2021 19:02
    Good evening Norma, I thought you might like to be aware of the possibilities.

    Did your father have any Cardiac Rehab? If it's available in the hospital locally that would be the best way of making contact and asking questions. With the current difficulties of Covid 19 that may not be possible.

    Have you talked to his cardiologist or his primary doctor? Your father might tell them things that he chooses not mention to you.

    Is he getting any exercise or does he want to?

    In any case he has not made a phone call to me and I remind you the but the door is always open. Dr. Bill.

    Dr Bill
    Ryan. PhD.
    Elkton MD. USA
    443 485 6266
    Mended Hearts Chapter 179. Past Pres.