Terrified: Soon to have open heart surgery, so many questions

Posted by mrsjaxx727 @mrsjaxx727, Wed, Nov 13 7:30pm

Soon to have open heart surgery and i am terrified aboit how much pain there will be of how long the ventalstor will be on me im terrified of it all..has anyone had this surgery and tell me expect or am i over thinking it ?

I had open heart surgery for acute heart failure on May 8th. My mitral valve was replaced with a pig valve. Like you, I was terrified before surgery. As I approached the operating room (not in it) I was given anesthesia. The next thing I remember is waking up on a hospital bed. I had little pain and was taught how to get out of bed with minimal pain and without disturbing any stitches. I followed recovery instructions to the letter. Today, I have enough breath, can walk longer distances, and continue to be my disabled husband's caregiver. Be of good cheer. You will be amazed at how much better you feel after surgery.

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@mrsjaxx727 Good evening. I had a triple by pass in 05 and was happy with what I could do . One thing was have no pain or Shortness of breath I listened to the Dr after surgery and did very well The pain medication was of great benefit to me . I was glad I had it and it wasn't all that scary . You will be glad you had it go in with plans for after it is over and done .

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@mrsjaxx727 Welcome to Mayo Connect, where patients, caregivers and family members alike gather to voice concerns and questions, and receive support from others who have had similar experiences. I am glad to see that there are others who have responded to your pleas for answers! Facing any surgery can be pretty darned scary. Each person has their own story. Ask your doctor for a clinical social worker to help you through the process of preparing yourself, if possible. When I had two of my surgeries, my sister [who was a trained hypnotherapist] helped me calm down and go through with less anxiety. Be honest in your questions, when your medical team asks. Do you have any family or close friends who are able to accompany you to appointments? And remember, we will all be right here for you.
Ginger

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@mrsjaxx727 – Good morning. Although I have had open chest surgery for lung cancer I know just how you feel. I was petrified. As soon as I was on my way to the OR I was balling my eyes out by the time I was wheeled into the elevator and until I got a shot of Valium. You can speak with the anesthesiologist when you have a visit with him/her and request a shot to relax you. There are so many things that or minds can come up with to scare the lights out of us- but they are all in our minds. Anticipation is sometimes worse than any reality.
As far as pain goes there are painkillers if you need them. They will also give you pain meds before you are operated on, probably in your IV. I had the same operation twice, on different sides of my body, 10 years apart. My first lobectomy was painful and the second one was not. One of the most wonderful things about our bodies is that we tolerate more pain than we imagine. And the body often "gets use" to a certain level. Have you ever had surgery before? When is your operation?

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@mrsjaxx727 As Merpreb said the anesthesiologist will come in and talk to you before the surgery at least that's how mine did for me and this will help relax you if you need something to calm you down tell him or your surgeon. The med I had to relax me as I was being wheeled into the O.R. I remember seeing tome light bulbs out and told them they needed to put new ones in ., so you may say silly things like I did but the Dr.s and nurses will take care of you so its just important for you to relax . It will go better for you as your mind and thoughts control how you feel no matter what the issue is. Good luck and let us know afterwards how you are doing ,we care here on the forum.

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I wanna ty all for relaxing me
I dont feel as scared now talking to all of you and u went thou it. Thank
u from the bottom of my heart

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@harriethodgson1

I had open heart surgery for acute heart failure on May 8th. My mitral valve was replaced with a pig valve. Like you, I was terrified before surgery. As I approached the operating room (not in it) I was given anesthesia. The next thing I remember is waking up on a hospital bed. I had little pain and was taught how to get out of bed with minimal pain and without disturbing any stitches. I followed recovery instructions to the letter. Today, I have enough breath, can walk longer distances, and continue to be my disabled husband's caregiver. Be of good cheer. You will be amazed at how much better you feel after surgery.

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Ty for having me relax more. I been in tears every day

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@mrsjaxx727 I am glad to see that you felt our posts to you helped! As fellow patients, that's important to us! Please check back in with us as you feel inspired to do so, and please let us know how you are doing after the surgery.
Ginger

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thank you to all who replied to terrified. I have questions about recovery. my bypass surgery is tomorrow. How long after surgery can you do normal things? Bathroom, comb hair, etc?

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@cepatchwork1955

thank you to all who replied to terrified. I have questions about recovery. my bypass surgery is tomorrow. How long after surgery can you do normal things? Bathroom, comb hair, etc?

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@cepatchwork1955 Welcome to Mayo Connect. It must be scary, and exciting to have helpful surgery just around the corner, isn't it? I haven't had heart surgery, but as you have read, following the instructions from your doctors will go a long way to have an uneventful recovery. Perhaps @lioness or @harriethodgson1 can answer your questions about normal behavior?
Ginger

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Perhaps I'm not the best person to answer your question. First of all, a day after surgery I went into afib and needed a shock treatment, which worked well. Second, I recovered with amazing speed, especially for my age. A day after surgery I was walking to the bathroom with a nurse by my side. After surgery I spent several days in the Intensive Care Unit and then transferred to Rehabilitation, where I stayed six days. Before I went home a therapist fitted me for a walker. I used the walker one day and began walking on my own. According to my heart surgeon, the pig valve "seated well." I followed instructions faithfully and didn't life anything, not even a gallon of milk, for six weeks. Though my husband and I just moved into a retirement community owned and operated by Mayo Clinic, I'm doing all I can to retain my normal life, being my disabled husband's primary caregiver, writing books and articles, giving talks and workshops. Thanks to open heart surgery, I have more breath and more energy for the things I want to do. I am blessed to be alive and make the most of each day.

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All of u are so brave anf very helpful. Its gr888 to talk to people that went thur it becaise not even the drs went thur it
Tyall so very very much

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Hello…I am schedule for open heart Tues. I am beyond terrified. I as a nurse, know that complications are rare and the surgeons keep telling me that small 1% chance of risk…. but I am scared. I fly to Rochester tonight and it’s going to take all my strength to board that flight with my husband and kids. I am not a cardiac nurse- mostly neuro- so I reached out to a few friends for advice but really best advice comes from those who have had surgery, felt the fears, and overcome the hurdles. I hope that I can help in the future once I do this! I want to really help those going through this. My surgery is from congenital heart disease- so it’s a day to day issue. Best of luck to everyone for a fast recovery! I hope you get some answers and advice!!

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@cepatchwork1955

thank you to all who replied to terrified. I have questions about recovery. my bypass surgery is tomorrow. How long after surgery can you do normal things? Bathroom, comb hair, etc?

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@cepatchwork1955– Welcome to Connect. Today is your day and I am thinking of you. Please write back when you are well enough. Best of luck!

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