Mended Hearts Open Forum

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  • 1.  NIGHTMARES

    Posted 05-31-2022 09:53
    Has anyone experienced nightmares after having open heart surgery?  There was a paper done in Australia.  They call it Cardiac Blues and involves depression as well as nightmares.  I have not been depressed but having nightmares.  I read that it could be a side effect of metropolol.  Has anyone experienced this?  As I was put on the metropolol after my surgery, the question is: Are the nightmares the result of the surgery or the drug.  Interested in your responses.
    Thanks in advance.

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    IRA NEWMAN
    MANALAPAN NJ
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  • 2.  RE: NIGHTMARES

    Posted 06-01-2022 04:53
    Hi Ira.  It's always a treat to meet another Ira.  I had quintuple bypass surgery nearly four and a half years ago but I never experienced any nightmares. I did experience ICU hallucinations and delusions that were so real it took me weeks to piece together what I actually had experienced as physical reality and broadened my personal perception of what constitutes conscious experience, sort of like a Native American dream quest might do.  This all occurred during and after a two week medically induced coma aimed at reducing stress to my heart after I contracted ventilator pneumonia post surgery.  I've also experienced occasional PTSD like flashbacks, but nothing too severe.

    I too take metoprolol, but I never have experienced any side effects to my knowledge except some lightheadedness when they first were getting my dosage right.

    I would be most interested in reading that Australian study if you could provide me with a citation.  There's a lot of scholarly work out there that I've reviewed, but I haven't yet come across anything about nightmares.  It does seem to me, though, that dreams/nightmares are related to hallucinations as alternative forms of consciousness, possibly related to some common neural pathways.

    Anyway, I hope you get past your nightmares soon and find some answers.

    Best,

    Ira Reid

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    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ
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  • 3.  RE: NIGHTMARES

    Posted 06-01-2022 05:17
    I came across this when I googled if it was common to have nightmares after open heart surgery.
    It mentioned depression and the nightmares.  Just google it and it will pop up.  You might also try "cardiac blues".
    Hope this helps.
    Take care.
    Ira





  • 4.  RE: NIGHTMARES

    Posted 06-02-2022 10:51

    Thanks, Ira.  So far I've found a number of related lay articles by the Australian doctor, but haven't yet located her actual study.  I'll look some more.

    it does seem as though they characterize the nightmares as one aspect of PTSD, which also is common among heart surgery survivors.  As I mentioned, I have had occasional mild flashbacks to the hospital but nothing disturbing and I treat them more as a matter of intellectual curiosity than anything else.

    You might be interested in reading a book by Oliver Sacks entitled "Hallucinations."  He provides anecdotal descriptions of hallucinatory and dreamlike experiences of patients with various medical conditions including migraine, Parkinson's, etc., but nothing directly related to heart surgery.  I found it interesting for a number of reasons including the possibility of making associations that might be applicable to open heart surgery patients.  I would have loved to discuss my experiences with Dr. Sacks but, alas, he died three years before my open heart surgery in 2018.

    Best,

    Ira



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    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ
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  • 5.  RE: NIGHTMARES

    Posted 06-03-2022 09:59
    Hello and good morning all, i had quadruple bypass April 1. Yep, and it was no joke! Also had a pacemaker installed. It’s been nine weeks and still have some chest disease. Am told the nerves are re-growing and that causes pain. Was in hospital for two weeks! I’m 75. Trying to ween off pain Rx. And I too have bad dreams. Mostly connected with hospital stay. Discovered Percocet and I don’t like each other. Hallucinations!!!!!!!! Pictures “dripping” and dogs/people in my room. Ha ha will be starting cardio therapy this Monday. 12 weeks long at three times a week. I lost 20 lbs and trying to get it back. I’m 6’1” and went in hospital at 180, came out 160! Anyone else experiencing chest pain after 8-9 weeks? What are you taking for relief? Thanks for listening. Rick

    Sent from my iPhone




  • 6.  RE: NIGHTMARES

    Posted 06-03-2022 20:57
    You will feel a lot of twinges which is the nerve synapses regenerating. It took about 1 year for me to be able to say I almost felt 100%. 
    Rehab is very important. Do not shirk it.





  • 7.  RE: NIGHTMARES

    Posted 06-02-2022 23:28
    Hi Ira, Your experience has brought back vivid memories for me.  My nightmares began as soon as I left the hospital after OHS for aortic valve replacement.  They were horrific to the point where I did not want to sleep at night.  I never connected the nightmares to anything until they abruptly stopped after my finishing the metropolol prescription (roughly 15 days post surgery).  I do hope yours end soon.  They are unpleasant.  Regards, Kat

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    Kat Edwards
    CA
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  • 8.  RE: NIGHTMARES

    Posted 06-03-2022 05:59
    What med did they put you on after the Metropol?  
    To see if the drug was causing the nightmares the doctor took me off of it for 3 weeks.  Was doing fine then but one day I had big increase in blood pressure.  Took one, had nightmare that night.

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    IRA NEWMAN
    MANALAPAN NJ
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