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British Heart Foundation
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Back home and recovering

After a mammoth couple of months where I went from what I thought was a relatively healthy 47 year old who's lived clean and stayed pretty active to a 47 year old with CAD and now 2 bypass grafts I'm happy to be home. I've posted a few times and have been very grateful for the feedback from the more experienced here! So after about 28 days in hospital in total, including 11 days in Papworth for the operation/post operation recovery and another 3.5 days last week due to some irregularities I have now been home 5 days!

I'd like to say it's all been plain sailing but it hasn't really. The lead up to the operation involved numerous ambulance trips and nights in hospital. The operation itself apparently went very well, about 5.5 hours in length and a double mammary artery bypass which will according to the doctors give me an excellent long term health prospect.

But the operation recovery has been a bit hit and miss. I was pretty sick for 3 or 4 days after the operation. I had a couple of unresponsive episodes on day 3 and a plethora of scans and x-rays unfortunately. My heart rate refused to drop to sensible levels although my rhythm was pretty normal on the whole, so on top of the Diltiazem I was already on they added Ivabradine which seems to have dropped the HR down and my BP. The problem is I did get some weird visual side effects, flashing, ghosting etc.. but that's eased off.

So 3 weeks post op how am I? Grateful to be here of course, but not feeling great in myself. I'm lucky if I get 2 to 3 hours sleep at night and simply can't get comfortable. On top of this the reason I was admitted to hospital again last week for 3.5 days is that I've had some chest discomfort and more annoying, a fair number of ectopic beats and flurries of palpitations. The result of the hospital visit was they "suspected" the discomfort was Pericarditis and should settle and the irregular heart beats were something to do with the operation! (I think I'd worked that out!) They weren't concerned as there were no signs of AF but it doesn't make me a lot happier having to deal with them still.

Added to this is the fact that I just don't fancy much in the way of food. My taste buds are either dulled by the operation of medication and things I loved, like a cup of tea, I simply can't face. I'm now almost a stone lighter than before the operation and almost 2 stone lighter than a couple of months ago. Even when I do eat I don't feel great, my head feels a bit funny, my jaw aches, my neck feels tired... it's all a bit odd.

On a similar line, although I'm keeping up my short walks etc.. I am getting aching in my legs and arms all day and night. It's not excruciating but it's a bit painful. I've since read that statins can cause muscle pains and I'm wondering if the 40mg Atorvastatin might be the culprit. I'm already trying to recover from an adverse reaction to Ciprofloxacin I had 2 years ago that left me with all sorts of mobility issues and from what I've read Ciprofloxacin and Statins aren't a good partnership.

So all in all, I feel pretty crap and hope that improves but I'm glad to be alive. I have lots of concerns especially about medication and what I will and won't have to carry on taking and also if these skipped beats etc.. will ever stop!

5 Replies

You are very brave.

Wishing you a speedy recovery x

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I really don't know what to say, I can only hope that everything is happening now so down the line your recovery will be more plain sailing.

It sounds as if this is a case of 'if it can go wrong it will go wrong', but as you said, you are still here and determined to keep fighting.

As far as the different medications are concerned I think it is a case of trial and error in the hope that eventuality you get it right.

About 5 years ago I was diagnosed as diabetic and started taking Statins, I had terrible muscular problems in my calves and the Statins were changed to 20mg Atorvastatin which was fine, I then had it doubled to 40mg Atorvastatin in January since my stroke, again I was lucky - so far so good.

All I can say that as hard as it is please try and keep positive and aim for a fabulous 50th! Give yourself time to get better, it may be slow but you have a lot going on.

I struggled for the first week or so getting comfortable after my bypass (8 weeks later my scar is still sore) I slept in the recliner initially to stop me turning on my side. I didn't get loads of sleep but it was better.

My mother also bought me a V shaped pillow which I still use in bed, it actually gives me some support down my side as I role into the length and sleep on the pillow. It is easier as I live (and sleep) alone ;-)

Please keep posting and tell us how you are doing, I am hopeful you will start to feel a little better soon/

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Welcome back and welcome home. My word you've been through a lot and keep coming back for more. I'd echo Heather's post on the statins and muscle pains I suffer from the same, if gas settled down a lot since I was first prescribed and mine tend to be neck shoulders and arms, not ideal for a restful night.

Taste buds, I can empathise took months for mine to come back to a semblance of normality and a loss of 20lbs was the outcome, but they do return as will your appetite, again I had the neck and had ache but that too goes. So many happy memories!

I hope your recovery gets smoother, your sleep pattern picks up and you get to enjoy a cup of tea sooner rather than later

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Hi, you sound well and truly p****d off and understandably! l too spent many months in hospital with one complication after the other it is so draining to stay positive but we are all here in this brilliant "heart club" to support you. l have just come off the antibiotics after 6 months which gave me very bad side effects but did their job. Taste is slowly returning and my tendonitis is fading also my AVR has stopped ticking loudly like a clock. You will get better but its a long road ahead as meds can cause all sorts of problems. Keep battling on, have a glass or two of wine and dance in the kitchen to music. Take care.


God Bless you. Hang in there.

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