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angiev18 (@angiev18)

Post septum myectomy

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

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@angiev18

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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Replies to "Thanks for posting your comments. I appreciate the detail in your response. It really was quite..."

Isn't it crazy we may have been there at the same time. You are absolutely correct about trying to describe this to anyone. It's so recent that there are changes still happening. I bet in a year we look back and say to ourselves, "Wow! I feel so good compared to then." and this will all be behind us. Covid, heart recovery, the whole process! I remember ICU VERY well. I still have issues thinking about it. The pain, the endotracheal tube, the respirator…it was so intense. That's probably why they call it "Intensive Care Unit"
The food ordering took me two days to figure out. The machines we had to drag with us for so long. I was evaluated for an ICD but thankfully didn't need one. I honestly couldn't imagine having another procedure at that time! YIKES! And you got through that too! The nurses were amazing people. I bet I never waited more than a minute to have the call light answered. I bet I never slept more than 15 min at a time either! They are always doing something at all hours of the night. I know for me the phases I am moving through are all new to me, so each day I praise God when my feet touch the ground. I am in heart rehab 3X a week. The strength building is important. I want to get back to my pre-surgical health (minus the HOCM) as soon as possible. It just takes time. I can get in and out of my car almost normal now. Same with bed. I used to have to sit on the edge and contemplate how to do this in the least painful way. My sternum still is tender. The scar was overly sensitive for weeks. I couldn't stand even the softest t-shirt touching it! The rehab nurses told me that nerves are the last thing to wake up. The nerve in my back is still bothering me. It even hurts to walk some days. The stiffness and tightness in my chest are getting better. I knew there would be pain. You can't go through something like we did and not expect it. Just listen to your body and be very kind to yourself. You just went through the most difficult surgery there is and you need time to heal and process all this. The Mayo Clinic is the finest organization on the planet, and you are pretty special to have been able to be in their capable hands.
It's nice to be able to share with someone who just went down this road at the same time. I don't feel so alone. Like you said it is hard to describe the pain, the feelings, so thanks for sharing too! You stay focused and concentrate on getting stronger and better each day. Push yourself, but don't over do it! One day at a time. And before you know…you will be looking back at this experience and remember the first time you saw your scar and be proud of how strong you really are. You survived!!

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