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angiev18 (@angiev18)

Post septum myectomy

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) | Last Active: Aug 13 9:06am | Replies (23)

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Hi angiev18, nine weeks is only relative, as each person heals from this at their own pace. I was right there with you at Mayo in July. So I can compare my notes with yours. I had a septal myectomy and a myectomy of the muscles around the upper portion of the atrium. I notice that this recovery seems to go in phases. Progress made, then it pauses. Then progress again. I was really active and healthy before the surgery so maybe that has helped me recover the way I am. I had a few occasions when I had chest pain and shortness of breath while I was walking. It was only a few weeks ago, and this week no chest pain. Just a little short of breath. The pain I have experienced is probably what everyone who has had open heart surgery experiences. You can't cut thru the sternum, open the aorta, cut out a chunk of heart tissue while your heart is stopped and not have some residuals! For my, the pain between my shoulders is annoying. It comes and goes. Somedays it's nearly non-existent and others I need an Advil. And I was totally not expecting my collar bones to be involved in this process. But there they are…making it difficult to pick things up using opposing force. I had no wound problems, but it took at least 6 weeks for the chest tube sites to heal. It feels 'tight' in my chest. Like I can't swing my arms around. It's getting better though. I also was told that this can take at least 6 months to settle down. The healing of the inside of the heart takes time. I am also 9 weeks out and each day is getting better. I look at where I was when I first got home and where I am today and that's my motivation! I move around way easier Sept. 25 than August 25. And way way better than July 25. Don't be hard on yourself. Or compare yourself to others recoveries. You are unique and you are healing that way you heal. I wish you the best going further down the road to recovery! You are a survivor! You survived the most difficult surgery there is! You're already a champion!

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Replies to "Hi angiev18, nine weeks is only relative, as each person heals from this at their own..."

Thanks for posting your comments. I appreciate the detail in your response. It really was quite something and still is somedays. Everyday waking up not knowing how today will be and just moving forward as best you can is all one can do. I also had an ICD implanted 5 days after the septum myectomy and apical myectomy. I'm still on left arm restrictions for 4 more weeks due to the ICD. I really never asked before surgery of what to expect painwise. Maybe because I was afraid of what the answer would be like, I didn't ask. No matter I don't think you could explain it. Even having experienced it myself, I couldn't possible describe the pain, and like you said it changes daily and it hits you in stages. Stage I for me after coming out of anesthesia was like PRESSURE, mostly on the left side like someone placed a 300 lb weight on me. That was for about 3 wks. Stage II was sternum pain, not pressure but pain for about 2.5 weeks. Im in Stage III right now and it feels like pectoral muscles across my chest are " on fire". Went from a walker to a cane, and presently nothing but legs wobbly, balance still a problem but getting better. Thanks for the encouraging words and can't believe we were probably walking past each other in the hallways post surgery. I have to say Mayo's nurses, tec's, N.P's on the Cardiac Unit in Rochester, MN are the most awesome, caring, PROMPT to answer your call light, human beings EVER!!! Did I say human beings? No, angels to lead you to the road to recovery!! Oh the Dr's are totally awesome too!

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