Shock and Awe

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josephbw

Member
I was completely blindsided last week. I went to my Dr. for my semi annual blood work on Tues., and while there I told him about a tightness in my throat upon exertion that started getting worse recently. He talked me into a stress test on Weds., which I flunked. Then that led to a heart cath with the possibility of 1 stent insertion on Thurs. But I flunked that also. Then Friday I had to go to the hospital by 5:15am to report for 5 bypass heart operation. Fortunately, I passed that.

The day of the surgery, I amazed everyone by walking the long route in the halls 2 times as a show of my remaining strength and endurance. My progress was rapid and I was scheduled for release yesterday, but my one chest tube was still draining too much. But today the drainage reduced to almost nothing and I was released a little before noon.

I don't really have much pain at all, just sensitivity where they cracked open my chest. I'm still rather tired and I have all kinds of restrictions, but the main thing is I made it and my wife doesn't have schedule a funeral.

I have a few pics while I was in the hospital, and if anyone would like to see what a bypass scar looks like, I'll post one or two.

I won't preach healthcare to you, but just let you know that the anticipation is far worse than the operation.

Added: This picture was the morning after the surgery. It took them almost an hour to shave my chest, belly, legs, and groin areas. They are now starting to itch. Let the fun begin. :confused:

JoeBypass1.jpg
 
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Bruette

Well-Known Member
Hey Joe!

I am so very happy to hear about your speedy recovery and thanks so much for sharing your story.

Keep us posted on how you are doing.
 

Rico

BN Modeller
Glad to hear you're okay, and what a recovery!
I had my chest cut open over forty years ago, still doesn't feel right.
Which reminds me that I'm overdue for a tuneup myself....
 

Sirfoldalot

Product Tester ACME INC.
Staff member
WOW, hope you a speedy recovery. Took me forever to get rid of the drain tubes after my colon surgery.
Glad to here that yours was quick.
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
After having a quad bypass done in '04, I'm impressed with your positive attitude. Being able to joke about it and the preceding issues, is, I think what sets the scene for a successful recovery. Follow their instructions vis-a vis post-op exercise and you'll do well. Give the nurses hell :p
 

josephbw

Member
After having a quad bypass done in '04, I'm impressed with your positive attitude. Being able to joke about it and the preceding issues, is, I think what sets the scene for a successful recovery. Follow their instructions vis-a vis post-op exercise and you'll do well. Give the nurses hell :p
I got a lot of comments from staff about my attitude while I was in the hospital. I just tried to be myself, cracking jokes, giving praise for the slightest help given, and when I didn't feel right, they new it right away. I can give the nurses nothing but love and compassion for the job they do, they were awesome. My wife stopped and got 3 boxes of candy which we distributed to the 3 nurses stations before we left. They were going at them like it was the last supper. ;)

I quit smoking cold turkey after 18 years without hardly any problem, when I was diagnosed with diabetes, I did what it took to take control of it. I figured right away that I could handle this too. Now, if I was only smarter, I wouldn't have gotten myself in those positions to start with. :rolleyes:

Joe
 

gseritt

Member
Mr. Joe, so glad to read that you are doing well and I hope for you a fast recovery. My dad had quadruple bypass back in February and is just now to where he can pull the start cord on his Evinrude.
 

josephbw

Member
That sounds about right Gary. I was told it would take about 6 months for the sternum to completely heal. I've always been a pretty impatient guy, so this is going to test my sanity more than most things I've done. My biggest fear is having someone run into me and knock me into something and pop loose what has already healed. I guess the smartest thing for me to do, is stay in the house planning my railroad in more detail. ;)
 

gseritt

Member
That sounds about right Gary. I was told it would take about 6 months for the sternum to completely heal. I've always been a pretty impatient guy, so this is going to test my sanity more than most things I've done. My biggest fear is having someone run into me and knock me into something and pop loose what has already healed. I guess the smartest thing for me to do, is stay in the house planning my railroad in more detail. ;)
that sounds like a good plan! stay put and stay safe (best you can, anyway). :)
 
Heart problems are nothing to mess with. I know from experience haven't had a bypass. They just put in a pacemaker in 08. And there nothing like waking up on the table just as they use the paddles on you. It's great to here you doing OK hope you got a good heart doc that gives discounts.
 

josephbw

Member
I wanted to walk in the basement today, which is where I have walked for exercise for years. Wife went nuts, I had to calm her down and said that I had already done it twice with my daughter while she went to the grocery yesterday, and church this morning. She wanted to drive me down to the walk out door so I wouldn't fall down, until I told her that I've already been around the house 3 times with my daughter. So she relented and walked down with me. Then I start walking, and she complained I walk too fast, I explained I'm walking a lot slower than I use to, and I feel fine. Then the truth came out, she couldn't keep up with me. ;)

She means well but I think the whole episode scared the hell out of her, and she's just being overly protective. I need to walk and move around because of my lack of butt fat. Pillows help, but not enough. I never thought the source of most of the pain of bypass surgery would be my backside.:eek:

Gaining a little every day. My voice is starting to return to normal after the breathing tube. I feel pretty good except for being a little woosie. But I attribute most of that to the meds they have me on.
 

Cjcrescent

Master Mechanic
Joe,
I spent five (5), years of my career as an OR nurse as Day Charge Nurse for the CVOR at University of Al, B'ham. I may not personally know what you are going through, but I do know what you went through! We averaged over 35,000 heart cases a year.

Keep the faith and the great attitude, and you'll recover faster than most.
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
After my surgery, 2nd day I think it was, I wanted to get up. They had a real hi-tech method to get you up from a lying down position, a length of rope with knots every 6" or so in it, tied to the foot of the bed, which you pulled yourself up with, hand over hand. As I reached for the rope something went "clonk" in the region of my shoulder/chest. I flopped down and called for the nurse. I told her I thought something had broken. She said " Not to worry, it was just one of the joints popping back into place" :confused:.

One of the other guys in the ward complained of a sore neck and asked his surgeon why. He was told " Oh, that's where I had my knee when we were levering your chest apart" :(:confused::eek:.

As far as drugs. The strong pain killers they gave us caused hallucinations, the guy just mentioned, his daughter had just given birth and he saw pink babies crawling all over the walls, I had vivid dreams (which I can still recall and I usually don't remember dreams), I found they were triggered by things I saw, like the pictures hanging on the corridor walls and worse, while in that dream state, I could control what happened to things in the pictures. I got off those pills as quick as I could. I also had some AF (Atrial fibrillation) which they put me on pills for. I was still on them (diminishing doses) for a couple of weeks or so after release. They made me feel great, not euphoric, just extremely well and energetic. I asked my Doc what they were, he immediately told me, " You can't stay on those" Wish I could have.
 
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josephbw

Member
I was having some really weird dreams too. Every time I closed my eyes I saw the same pattern of plastic shapes in the same location. It kind of freaked me out until I figured out what was going on. That only last until the 2nd afternoon though.

Carey I think every nurse that dealt with me told me the same thing. One of them even thanked me profusely for keeping her smiling. I enjoyed the people I dealt with and came away with an even greater respect and admiration for the nurses. I could hear what some of them had to deal with on a daily basis, and I don't think I could keep my cool like they do. ;)
 

new guy

Active Member
Easy does it man! I've had a couple surgeries so I 'feel your pain' HA! yea right! You will KNOW when you push a little too hard, but keep on keepin on at that level and you'll be fine! Slow and steady an you'll be rough and ready!

WOW! Thought we just had a train wreck(heard them before!) at the crossing up the street but it's the THUNDER!!! Central Mich is getting more water for the SWAMP! LOL!
 




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