Mended Hearts Open Forum

Expand all | Collapse all

Info on preparing for OHS and learning stress management

  • 1.  Info on preparing for OHS and learning stress management

    Posted 06-16-2020 08:35
    Edited by Anne Birdsong 06-20-2020 12:35
    Hello folks.  At my sister's suggestion, I have written a couple of posts as I recover from my OHS (to repair an atrial septal aneurysm and ASD).
    I only joined this group very recently, but have noticed there are a lot of questions about preparing for surgery, as well as how to handle the stress and anxiety.  To that end, I am sharing the links to my posts here.  My blog is not monetized and there are no annoying pop-ups or anything, I am just posting in case it might be helpful to others.  I plan on writing another post, focusing on "after".

    On preparing:
    Series: Open Heart Surgery.  Before.

    On the details of going through the surgery, and stress management:
    Series: Open Heart Surgery. During (Stress Management).

    Edit: Here is my final post:
    Series: Open Heart Surgery. After ("Stuff" and Precautions)

    Thanks, I hope this may be helpful.
    Anne

    ------------------------------
    Anne Birdsong
    Occupational Therapist
    Rural
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Info on preparing for OHS and learning stress management

    Posted 06-17-2020 16:33
    Anne,
    It is so wonderful to see the sites you posted for the much needed emotional  support needed before during and after Open Heart surgery. In 1969 after my first of three surgeries, support like this just did not exist. Okay Hell, NOTHING existed! As a young kid at 11, after my first surgery I did not know it, but I am living proof that for me the consequences  of no therapy included anxiety disorder, trauma, and depression. I am hoping my example will allow patients and their families to know how vital this life-changing counselling is. I am 63, and healthy, but after  living for 60 years with the above change of life did I finally receive the understanding treatment I need to emotionally begin to heal.

    Even for those who might feel, "I got this, I can handle this on my own," please please get the counseling you deserve.
    Peace
    Ken

    ------------------------------
    ken levine
    volunteer, retired
    802-236-8186
    kenpaullevine@gmail.com
    Middlebury, Vermont
    05753
    United States of America
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Info on preparing for OHS and learning stress management

    Posted 06-17-2020 17:10
    Thanks Ken.  So glad you finally got some help with dealing with it all.  I can't imagine going through what you did as a young child.  OHS was the most difficult thing I've ever done, on many levels, and I'm a grown-ass woman!
    I hope what I've written can be a help to some...

    Anne

    ------------------------------
    Anne Birdsong
    Occupational Therapist
    Rural
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Info on preparing for OHS and learning stress management

    Posted 06-17-2020 21:31
    Maybe someone else can confirm this...

    Like you, just after getting extubated, I was SO THIRSTY!!!  My ICU nurse was a stickler, but I was also able to persuade her to give me ice.  The problem is, I ate a LOT of ice -- I recall going through 3 of those large containers in just a few hours.

    A couple days later I was discharged.  Everything looked good.  That same night, I felt something weird in my neck.  I quickly realized that my pulse was going crazy.  I contacted my nurse and he said to go to the emergency room.

    It turns out I was experiencing A-fib.  It appears this is quite common -- 4 of 10 people.  They treated me with Amiodarone.  I continue to take it now.  I was in the hospital for 2 more nights.

    I read somewhere (can't find it again) that too much water immediately following surgery increases the likelihood of this A-fib complication.

    ------------------------------
    Anthony Smith
    Lake Elsinore CA
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Info on preparing for OHS and learning stress management

    Posted 06-18-2020 10:17
    Wow, Anthony, I never heard of this!  I'll have to try to do some research.  My ICU nurse gave in to my demands, too, but only one styrofoam cup, and of course no more after I vomited.  That being said, once I was transferred  to the floor I kept the ice and ice water coming.  I have had some periods since I've been home where my pulse ox picked up an extremely high HR, but I know those little gadgets can be glitchy, and the numbers righted themselves very quickly, so I never thought much of it.  I will pay more attention going forward.

    Thanks,
    Anne

    ------------------------------
    Anne Birdsong
    Occupational Therapist
    Rural
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Info on preparing for OHS and learning stress management

    Posted 06-18-2020 00:00
    Dear Anne: well how you doing???
    now you are “in the bed” instead of treating patients. Sounds like you are recouping well if you are able to write and organize blog essays. Hope you are not having any negative surprises during your recovery.
    Thanks for joining the conversation.
    My tip to you: be sure to rest!!! For my recovery from complications ( needing OT and PT for several week at a rehab ) , the most difficult part was to accept “resting.”
    I didn't want to do nothing so much of the tine. One therapist told me that “rest” was actively healing, not “doing nothing “. This gelped me psychologically
    Marilyn B. Rosenhouse
    Mobile: (214)850-0655




  • 7.  RE: Info on preparing for OHS and learning stress management

    Posted 06-18-2020 10:21
    Marilyn, this is my biggest problem, too! I find it very difficult to "sit idle", especially this time of the year when I want to be doing so many things in the garden, etc.  I'm getting better at it, but it is definitely harder than I thought it would be. I love the advice you shared, that "doing nothing" is not doing nothing, but actively healing.  I will have to make that my mantra, lol.

    Thanks,
    Anne

    ------------------------------
    Anne Birdsong
    Occupational Therapist
    Rural
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: Info on preparing for OHS and learning stress management

    Posted 06-18-2020 12:13
    Anne, I am anticipating OHS sometime in my future for an ascending aortic aneurysm. This is so helpful for me in visualizing what to expect. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Leah

    ------------------------------
    Leah Rehberg
    Three Lakes WI
    9202096406
    leah.rehberg@gmail.com
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: Info on preparing for OHS and learning stress management

    Posted 06-18-2020 19:13
    Anne. One therapist gave me exercises to do in bed ( i was deconditioned after 10 days in coma ).  Her tip was to rest while watching  tv And do the exercises during commercials.  " Balancing Act" 


    Marilyn B. Rosenhouse
    Mobile: (214)850-0655






  • 10.  RE: Info on preparing for OHS and learning stress management

    Posted 06-18-2020 20:58
    Good idea, Marilyn.  I was told the same thing for the incentive spirometer.  I'm not much of a TV watcher, but knowing to structure it in some way is helpful.  Sorry to hear you were in a coma, how awful!!

    Anne

    ------------------------------
    Anne Birdsong
    Occupational Therapist
    Rural
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: Info on preparing for OHS and learning stress management

    Posted 06-18-2020 20:56
    You're welcome, Leah!  I know everyone's experiences are different, but at least you will have a general idea.  Best of luck to you!

    Anne

    ------------------------------
    Anne Birdsong
    Occupational Therapist
    Rural
    ------------------------------