My experience with open heart surgery

Hello, my name is Phil and I am 48 years old. On February 23/2013 I under went a Quadruple bypass. This was completely unexpected. It started for me at the gym two weeks earlier. I was on the elliptical machine and experienced difficulty breathing and getting my heart rate above 126. Days earlier I was able to get my heart rate to 150 and sustain it for 30 min. MY WIFE AND MY BOSS decided to get into my Dr. and they ran multiple test and decided to preform an Angiogram, which they determined there were to many blockages to perform a stent. The following morning I was set up with an open heart procedure. No time to think about it. Running out of the hospital did cross my mind.It has been 4 weeks since my surgery and all in all I feel good. I did experience a set back one and a half week after my surgery. I was diagnosed with Dressler's syndrome which is pericarditis (swelling or blood around the heart). It was treated with steroids which took care of the problem. About one week ago I began having Shoulder and neck pain which is primarily in the shoulder blade. It gets worse as the day goes on. Hopefully, it will improve over time. I hope my experience helps others that are going through this life changing ordeal.

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by: Philip

Robert, thanks for the info about changing my pillow. My Dr said it was not uncommon for patients to have shoulder pain after open heart. He said it was probably due to the positioning of my shoulders in the OR. I believe the reason I didn't feel it until this last week was due to the Steroids I was taking until last Thursday. I started aleve today and that seems to help. Thanks again for the info!

by: Phil

Brian, thank you for the encouraging words. It's reassuring to know I will get back to an active life style soon.

not alone
by: brian from nc

Hi phil. had my triple bypass at age 49. Quality of life has gone steadily uphill since then. i try to think of it as getting a rebuilt engine - with a warranty. Thousands just like us around the world. good luck to you.

Your shoulder and neck pain
by: Robert

What does your doctor say about neck, shoulder and shoulder blade pain? Believe it or not, I had the same things and it turned out to be, of all things, the softness of my pillows. I bought 2 medium softness pillows and the pains went away. Not saying this is your problem but just offering this as what I experience.

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