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Advice quadruple heart bypass - Carers UK Forum

Advice quadruple heart bypass

For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.
quadruple heart bypass

by Huegatort » Wed Aug 06, 2014 9:41 pm

Hello to all members here at Carers uk
I wonder if anyone can help?
My Husband had a quadruple bypass on the 18th of July after having a minor heart attack on the 26th of June.
After surgery he felt lethargic and was kept in hospital for 11 days.
He has never been ill and never taken medicines.
After being home for 4 days he said he felt really ill and we phoned for an ambulance and he was admitted. He had an x ray and a small amount of fluid was found on his left lung but it was explained that this was normal after surgery. He had an echocardiogram, and an ECG amongst other tests.
Hes never smoked, he's not diabetic, he wasn't overweight and he wasn't a drinker.
His amiodarone was stopped and also Lanzoprazole and dihydrocodiene, apparently these alone can make one feel ill. He is on a lot of medication now and I know some medications can make one feel rough.
My Husband keeps complaining of havin overall weakness and lethargy and feeling horrible.
He's lost weight but he has been eating little and often and plenty of fluids.
If you or your partner has had this surgery would you be kind enough to let me know if you/partner felt this way.
I've never had to care for anyone with after heart surgery and it's frightening and worrying to say the least. I can't keep getting the Dr out or taking my Husband to Hospital but it's an enormous responsibility and I want to ensure my Husband is having the normal feelings after major surgery.
I've had 26 years experience of caring for someone with schizophrenia and it took years to understand, at first I was lost and frightened just as I am now with the above.
Thanks for listening.
Regards to all
Welcome to the forum. Have you thought about contacting the British Heart Foundation? They have lots of good booklets etc. I have survived seven operations. After all of them I have felt lethargic, only wanted light, easily digestible food for a while. Most of all I just wanted to snuggle under the duvet to get over all the emotional stress and trauma. The operation in just the first stage in a long process, once the major surgery is over, the healing stage can start. I would not be concerned if all your husband wanted to do was nibble, sleep, watch TV and generally laze around at first. A general anaesthetic lingers in the system for a while. If the surgeon gave specific exercises to do, make sure that they are done. My husband heard me being told to walk as much as I could, come hell or high water I was dragged out, even in sub zero temperatures, to go for my walk. BUT I always felt better afterwards, once the blood started chugging round the system I started feeling good. It's best to start any exercise programme very slowly. Walking to the neighbours gate one day, then the next, then the next, just a little bit further all the time, taking as long as it takes, never pushing things to the point of feeling uncomfortable. The body tells you when you've done enough. After the first month, I hope you will begin to see a gradual improvement. I have a friend who had a similar operation, he goes to exercise classes specially for heart op patients. It took him a long time to recover, but he can do everything he used to now. Try to look on the bright side, in some ways you have been lucky. My apparently fit strong husband, a non smoker, non drinker, died of a heart attack at the age of 58, in his sleep. You still have your husband.
I had spinal surgery a year ago and I also felt tired for a long time afterwards; my physio told me it can take up to eight weeks for the anaesthetic to get out of your system.
From my own experience I also think that major surgery can be emotional because you fear that you will not be able to do the same things afterwards but that eases as recovery progresses.
Hopefully your husband will start to feel better in himself as he the healing progresses.
I was told to be careful for six months whilst everything knits together again. Apparently after 6 months, scar tissue is stronger than "normal" tissue. Regaining total fitness can be a long process. I became fed up that I wasn't getting back to my normal fitness. A friend whose wife had a similar op to mine told me that, in his opinion, it took three years before she was totally back to robust normal. That proved to be the same with me. Hope that helps.
My BIL had a triple bypass, and I would say it's taken him about two and a half years to feel really 'right' again. He went through a stage where he was frightened to do 'anything' in case if triggered another heart attack. Two and a half years on he's looking much, much better. He doesn't drink now (didn't drink much before anyway) and watches his fat and general calorie intake, plus his protein.

His heart attack happened when he was out training for a half marathon - so, you can see that heart attacks really can happen even to those pretty heavily involved in keeping themselves fit.

All the very best for your husband, and hope he finds just the right balence between 'taking it easy' and 're-stimulating his fitness levels'

I agree that finding some specific source of information on bypass survivors would be encouraging and helpful for you - if you google even something as rough and ready as 'Forum for heart bypass' you will see a lot come up, and hopefully one or two of those forums will be suitable for you. Once you read what others have been through, and how it went for them, and afterwards, I'm sure you would be more reassured about how best your husband should now convalesce.
Dear Bowlingbun

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. All that you have said has been most helpful. Sharing ones experiences with others helps enormously and no doubt alleviates anxiety.

I was so sorry to learn about you losing your Husband and at such a young age but despite that you are here to comfort myself and other people, how kind of you!

One of my Sons friends lost his Mother almost 5 years ago now at 48, she too passed away in her sleep. My other Sons friends Dad died suddenly 3 years ago whilst at work aged 47. Both were happily married with partners and both partners devastated.

Kind regards
Hello Mark

I do hope that after your surgery that you're now doing well.

Thankyou for taking the time to respond. Every Carer brings a different story and experience to the table and all helps so much. Your reassuring and comforting words will help me stay strong.

Kind regards
Dear Jenny

Thank you also for your kind, supportive and encouraging words, all have helped so much.

I was so pleased to hear about your BILs progressive, that is so encouraging. Your sharing of your BILs experience has been really helpful

What has been discussed and was good to hear was that when our district Nurse came out to see my Husband, he made clear that my Husband had probably survived due to him living a healthy life style and that was something I didn't even think of! It was a very good point.

I have read each and every message here to my Husband and it has helped him, good food for thought.

Kind regards