Mended Hearts Open Forum

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  • 1.  CABG journey/experience

    Posted 07-28-2023 09:54


    I had quadruple bypass surgery May 2021. I realize that everyone's recovery experience is different. I'd like to  know if some of my experiences are shared amongst some of you. 

    1. Does anyone out there feel like their "being" has changed ?  Its hard to explain but i feel different as though something changed mentally and i cant pinpoint it. Im certainly more anxious than i was prior to surgery. I feel more mortal than ever. More fearful of my health even if i know that we all have a shelf life. And yes, prior to surgery i was already diagnosed with anxiety disorder. Just seems like it supercharged that condition.
    2. Physically i still have tightness on the left side of my sternum when i stretch my arm like there's a rubber band pulling it back. Sometimes the sternum is more sensitive than other times. I'm afraid that it may not ever feel normal again 2.5 years post op. Maybe things just dont ever fully heal at 67 years of age.
    3. I can hear and feel my heart beating more now than prior to surgery.  Not sure if its just part of my anxiety

    So far all my checkups have been good so there's that to be thankful for as well as the gift of extended life.

    Thanks for your time ...

    Bennie Golding
    York PA

  • 2.  RE: CABG journey/experience

    Posted 07-29-2023 03:48

    Hi Bennie,

    I had quintuple bypass surgery 5 1/2 years ago when I was 67 and experience or have experienced some of what you experience but in a different way.

    I have a different sense of "being" but it is more a sense if being interconnected with all living things including not just people but animals, trees, even insects, which I can no longer kill.  I feel like we're all branches in a single tree of being.  I also am acutely aware of my mortality but also of all the people that saved my life, for now,  and that we all are part and am deeply grateful and unafraid of death.

    I also had a stretching feeling of tightness in my left pectoral area for many months, but I realized that it was likely scar tissue formation from when the surgeon harvested my left mammary artery to bypass the blockage in my left descending coronary artery.

    In general, my health has been excellent these last nearly half dozen years after, but I do sense that I am aging and hope that it continues gracefully.

    All the best,


    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ

  • 3.  RE: CABG journey/experience

    Posted 07-29-2023 09:56

    I'm 16 weeks post op and feel my 'being' has changed.  Some anxiousness has set in and it's not easy to explain to others.  And the elasticity in my chest is still present. Last week, at my latest follow up with the cardiologist, I was assured the elasticity is normal and may continue for some time.  He said that's more related to cartilage & nerve endings healing from the arterial harvesting than the sternum bone. I don't notice any louder heartbeat though. The whole experience has definitely given me pause to consider many things about life and mortality.

    Michael Brown

  • 4.  RE: CABG journey/experience

    Posted 07-29-2023 11:24
    As you say, everyone's experience is unique to that person. I had OHS, at age 69, 12 years ago, and it was transformative -- but in a positive way at which I still marvel. I was fortunate -- even blessed -- in that regard. That, of course, is not true for everyone, but you should know that it is possible your worries may disburse. If you have a caring cardiologist, perhaps you can discuss your feelings and s/he may suggest avenues for you to pursue.
    Try and stay positive.
    Bob Levin
    Berkeley, CA