Mended Hearts Open Forum

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Emotional impact

  • 1.  Emotional impact

    Posted 05-04-2021 12:54
    For all the newbies to heart surgery be aware of the post surgery emotional impact.

    It can be bad. You'll cry at the drop of a hat and laugh at things you thought stupid before.  Your spouse needs to understand this as well, he/she will think you've gone crazy, but you haven't.

    Don't be afraid to ask for an antidepressant, Prozac is a good.

    Men also find out what your testosterone levels are and correct accordingly.

    An over abundance of estrogen in men can be debilitating.

    Martin Shannon
    Summerville SC

  • 2.  RE: Emotional impact

    Posted 05-05-2021 16:05
    Just had to add a little up beat comments to all you YOUNG physical fitness guys. I don't know much about the medical side but i will agree
    some what with Martin. My sensitive side did show up a lot.   I was 56 ,2 kids, wife, ran my own business( no Partners). Stress was high .
    Developed some good thinking then. You woke up to a new you--what was, was. Pick up the good stuff maybe not all will be there and may never.
    Time is on your side.
    Music,music music. Great help in the hospital, when you start thinking at a quiet time. Takes your mind into another place. Give yourself time to heal both your heart and your mind.
    I'm 82, I'm still not back 100%( Some friends do tell me that I'M NOT ALL THERE) after my cabg x4 and then 8 years later a cabg x 2.  Thank all that you are here and enjoy every day .and your new YOU. Next year you can say ==== BOY THAT WAS A ROUGH TIME.
    David Rosen    #206   Atlantis,Fla.​

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

  • 3.  RE: Emotional impact

    Posted 05-07-2021 09:37
    Hello all,
    I just want to echo that yes, the emotional impact is HUGE.  I actually cannot believe how extensive it is.  BUT... I have found therapy for post traumatic stress syndrome to be helpful.  I am 15 weeks out from OHS / mitral valve repair, and the worst part of the trauma didn't really kick in until about week 10.   I think that maybe in the first few weeks you are so focused on the physical aspects of recovery there is little room for anything else. :)

    I think it's realistic to know that the trauma is there, but that it can be helped. It's also super important for your significant other to know this.  I don't think that anyone who hasn't undergone OHS can ever understand fully, but at least family and friends should know that it is part of the healing process.

    Take care all!

    Liza Levine
    New York NY

  • 4.  RE: Emotional impact

    Posted 5 days ago
    I have been referred for mitral valve surgery and my anxiety has me in torment. I have always been anxious. I was in counseling  for a decade, took antidepressants for three years. I retired and and I cope by lifting weights. Sometimes that coping breaks down, like when I had an orthopedic problem.

    The clinic has many pages of directions for surgery. There is a mention of mindfulness and even a "visualization recording" that is played on headphones during surgery. I cannot integrate this information. I just sent a message to my cardiologist asking for help now. Thanks for listening.

    Thomas Pirko
    kirtland OH

  • 5.  RE: Emotional impact

    Posted 4 days ago
    Hi Thomas,

    My daughter suffers from anxiety and panic disorder so I understand and feel for you.  Your surgery is pretty routine these days (I had quintuple bypass surgery 3 years ago, also am a weightlifter and am doing fine) and you have every reason to expect a full and complete recovery.

    In the meantime, and really for the rest of your life, I strongly recommend that you begin a meditation program.  Find a teacher, listen to online apps like "Calm", listen to music that calms you.  The meditation is not a magic pill that will give you instant results but, in time, you will find yourself transformed and will find a stillness that always will be there for you.

    Peace, friend.


    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ

  • 6.  RE: Emotional impact

    Posted 4 days ago
    Hi Thomas,

    As you can see from the other responses, please know that this reaction/anxiety is not uncommon at all and certainly understandable!  I, too, have had a very difficult time in recovery -- I think any surgery this big has such a profound impact on EVERYTHING.

    I have found therapy for PTSD to be helpful, but perhaps the best thing has been just the passage of time.  When the anxiety was truly bad, my therapist encouraged me to just think of one day at a time.  Each single day.

    And like others, I did find the CALM app breathing exercises to be very helpful.  It's hard to believe that two minutes of breathing can help, but there is a lot of research that proves that it really does.

    Please take care and know that ultimately, you will be okay.  Really!


    Liza Levine
    New York NY