Mended Hearts Open Forum

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    Posted 05-05-2019 10:00
    I had a CABG X3 on 3-26-19 at the ripe age of 61.  I ate healthy and exercised.  I am feeling very anxious since I understand that these don't last a long time and I will probably have to go through the same surgery again.

    Very scary.  I had no pain with this, just felt like something was sitting on my chest and was short of breathe.  Went to my primary doctor who had me do an EKG which came back with "abnormalities".  She then sent me for a nuclear stress test which come back again with abnormalities.

    She then sent me to a cardiologist who scheduled a heart cath on 3-2019.  They stopped the heart cath since I have complete 100% blockage in the left main artery and the other two were between 75% amd 95% blocked.  I was put on the surgery schedule the next morning at 700am.  I had no time to think, react, or even comprehend what I would be going through.

    I too have feelings of "why me", I am scared that this will happen again.  I am not afraid to die, just at this time would prefer not to.

    I started seeing a licensed clinical social worker to talk about my feelings.  I understand from my surgeon that the feeling of depression does go away-usually within six months of the procedure.  I am hoping that happens since I certainly dont want to take any more medication.

    I am also in cardiac rehab that is helping me get back to exercise.  I go two times a week.  This program does the exercise, food and counseling which will be very beneficial to me.  I know with my faith I can overcome this.  I appreciate this forum and all of the information that is provided.



    Posted 05-05-2019 13:06
    Hello Linda,
    Welcome to the club. You are on the right track to recovery. Rehab will also help with the depression as you feel better physically your mind will also follow. We all have gone through similar feelings and we all understand how you feel. After my CABG I felt useless for a period of time and wondered about what I would do if I got worse. Rehab was the best thing that ever happened to me. I met other patients and saw how they were getting better and I learned about Mended Hearts and the support I received from my peers. I was able to go back to work and became a visitor and later retired and now spend a lot of time traveling. I am really having fun again and enjoying the road ahead. You will really start to feel like your self again soon. I highly reccomend you go to your local Mended Hearts chapter meeting and learn how to make yourself feel better. The more knowledge you have the better you will feel.
    Take care

    Richard Short
    Mended Hearts Chapter 395


    Posted 05-05-2019 13:53

    I too had a quad bypass 14 years ago, again with no symptoms. But my entire family has high cholesterol numbers, even my younger brother who is thin and a vegetarian.

    Sure, I had the "why me" worries and sadness. But after rehab and diet changes, I was thankful that my condition was caught in time to make a difference. Having seen patients that were much worse and much better than me put things in perspective. You learn to live with the scars, both physical and mental and as Tim McGraw sings "Live like you were dyin".

    Enjoy the things that you can still do and forget about the things you can't. 

    Carpe diem,

    Frank Caruso

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    Posted 05-05-2019 15:00
    Thank you for the reply and the encouragement.  I am looking forward to getting back to "me" even if it is doing something different.  I too have a family history which is scary since I have always eaten well, and I exercise. I am looking forward to going back to work I miss it and my staff  Blessings to everyone, we can do this



    Posted 05-06-2019 07:45
    I also had open heart in December of 1996.
    I also had another one in February of 2010 to  repair a leaking mitral valve.
    I have had a few more cardiac related events but made it with flying colors.

    Cardiac rehab was the best and I still exercise regularly.
    What has kept me going is Mended Hearts.
    I joined in June of 1997.
    Join a Mended Hearts chapter. There is one in Melbourne where you live.

    Marvin Keyser,
    Southern Regional Director
    Vice President (elect)
    Weston, FL.

    Marvin Keyser
    Weston FL
    (954) 384-3176


    Posted 05-06-2019 08:17

                  As a woman whom I once saw as a MH visitor said to me, "I guess Jesus wasn't ready for me yet, and neither was the Devil." Stay positive. Keep smiling. You can not yet believe how great a recovery you can make. Because you are accustomed to taking care of yourself, you will be able to more easily accommodate other changes in your life style which your cardiologist may recommend. Every day becomes a new adventure.

    Bob Levin


    Sent from Mail for Windows 10



    Posted 05-05-2019 14:54
    Thank you so very much for the encouragement. I am truly looking forward to getting back to the new me


    Posted 05-06-2019 14:15
    Thank you Marvin I will certainly check into my local chapter. I appreciate all of the information Looking forward to going to rehab tomorrow as it truly is a great program.

    Have a blessed day


    Posted 05-06-2019 16:34
    ​Hi Linda,

    Welcome to the group.  I joined around a year ago after having a "mild" heart attack (is there such a thing?) in February 2018 and emergency CABGx5 at 7:00 am the next morning, just like you.  I was 67 years old at the time, had been and still was and am an athlete, hardcore gym rat and one time distance runner (till sciatica ended my running days).  I did have high blood pressure but it was controlled by medication and my LDL was high but supposedly neutralized by my high HDL and good ratio.  Well, the angiogram showed that my coronary arteries were not at all impressed by my supposedly good numbers and I had a near total blockage of the left anterior descending coronary artery, the "widowmaker," among other blockages.  At least post-up went very easy for me as I was in a medically induced comma for two weeks while they got rid of my inhalation pneumonia and, as a result, all my tubes had been removed and the pain was pretty much all gone by the time I woke up.  I did have to undergo a quite extensive physical rehab, though, both inpatient and later outpatient since, when I regained consciousness, I could neither feed myself or stand upright, let alone walk.  All went extremely well in rehab and I have been back at my regular gym for a year and am doing all the things I used to do, including weightlifting and gymnastic exercises (I was once a gymnast).  In other words, there is good reason to believe that you'll have a full recovery.  It does take time, though, and a sense of humor and appreciation for just being alive does help a great deal.

    I'm not a physician, but I am well read and also talk to many people and I do want to address one statement you made in your initial post.  You said that you "understand that these [CABG repair] don't last a long time and I will probably have to go through the same surgery again."  In my experience with other bypass patients, including many in this group, and based upon what I've read in the CABG literature, that simply isn't true.  Yes, there are people who have to get the surgery redone after a short while, but it typically is because of something that went wrong or some complication.  It's by no means the norm.  While CABG surgery does have a shelf life, it is frequently much longer than you imagine, especially if you take your prescribed meds, eat a heart healthy diet, exercise and keep the excess weight off.  There are folks on this site who can tell you that its been decades since their surgery, something that I aspire to achieve.  And if that doesn't happen, I'm still having a great time right now.

    So, as Richard wisely advised, "live like you're dyin" and appreciate this glorious beauty that we get to experience for another day, another instant in time, because of the wonders of modern medicine.

    All the best,


    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ