6 days and so far so good!

I hope this is not going to be a case of 'posting to soon'.

After being discharged 6 weeks after surgery for a bypass (discharged on 17th July) I have had an up and down recovery. I put a lot of blame on driving even though I did very little. I have been poorly and in a lot of pain EVERYWHERE! I have struggled to go to bed as I have pain in my back, arms, elbows, collar bone, chest and even toothache. The pain has been mainly in my left side but I have had occasional pain on the right side of my back.

It has always really felt like muscles or nerves although when I have felt ill it was hard to say what it was.

The GP kept telling me that after a big operation and considering the procedure I was likely to suffer, so I kept popping the pain killers and doing very little.

Sunday 13th August I was in agony, even the pain killers didn't take the pain completely away and I was taking the tablets every 4-5 hours and planning to take 2 about 9 - 10 pm and go to bed. That Sunday after being in pain all day all of a sudden as I was timing my last tablets, the pain eased off and I managed to have a lovely shower and relax pain and pill free.

I did take a couple of pills before going to bed to help me sleep and 'just in case' but since then things have really improved, I still have some pain (nothing like it was) and when I have finished driving for the day I still take 2 pain killers.

I have had a few false starts so am trying not to get too excited, but after 6 days and feeling that I am at last healing and improving I feel a little more confident to post.

I wanted to post this as I felt I was the only one still feeling so much pain after being discharged, especially after having such a good start.

Some advice though, check your pills before leaving the pharmacy as I collected my 100 co - codamol (so I thought) on Thursday, I opened the box yesterday to find there was only 60 in there. I thought that each prescription was checked by 2 people so was somewhat surprised.

I phoned and have to take everything back in when I am next in Tesco I just hope they don't think I am a junkie and diddling them out of 40 tablets!!

I know this can be a long and painful recovery but keep at it!!

28 Replies

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  • I dont think you are alone in what you felt, others have it a little easier I would guess but many must have after effects like yours. Glad you are coming out the other side now fingers crossed

  • And legs!!!!

  • Lets hope you have turned a corner, I too have suffered a little more than I expected. So I am now 18 weeks post op, but I have had a lot of side affects from the drugs. Been taken of all them for a week then slowly introduce them again one at a time to see which one causes me problems. Statins cause nerve pain is n my arms and legs so I don't take them.

  • I feel, in myself, I am now on the road to recovery (at last) I understand your frustration though as it is bad enough having such a big op but when it is other things that get in the way of recovery it is another kick in the teeth. I do hope you eventually sort out your meds and you can at least feel as if you are getting better.

  • Thanks Heather, I just wished I hadn't been told you will be back to normal in three months. I think it's not explained about post op enough. They tell you all about surgery though lol, but they never prepare you for the fall out.

  • Very true, it seems it isn't the surgery itself that is the problem when recuperating but all the associated complications. At least we can share these with the 'newbies'. ;-) (I am trying to think of something positive!!)

  • Me too, would like to make it more positive, but the reality is and can be so different. Hope you continue to have a more good days

  • Going walking again tomorrow - I hope I don't regret it!

  • If you do 20 -30 minutes then stop and then build on that. but if you feel pain or get breathless stop until you feel ready to go again. Enjoy

  • Will do - luckily I feel relatively strong breathing wise - I have just started (slowly) clearing the kitchen and have emptied 1 glass cabinet. I will have to ensure I keep 1 of the new cabinets clear for all my drink when it is fitted. I have until the 8th Sept before they come and rip out my old kitchen so can take my time. :-D I promise not to go mad as I don't want to set myself back.

  • How did walking go?

  • ** whispering** so far so good - did a total of 3 miles. I have to admit my niece sent me a text this morning and I was hoping she was going to cancel (no such luck) but I am glad I went even if it was in the rain.

    I have to see a Dr for my stroke appointment tomorrow and I am hoping he'll discharge me. I don't see what else he can do for me and I have so many other things going on.

    Day 8 and so far so good!

    Thanks for asking - these appointments are like having a full time job! :-D

  • Wow 3 miles that's more than I can do. Well done. New kitchen is that for all those healthy meals you are going to cook. Lol. You will get all the healthy eating education when you start rehab.

  • I am a useless cook but have hated my kitchen since I moved in 14 years ago. I will (hopefully) be working away when they fit the kitchen so I hope everything goes to plan. The walking wasn't too bad, but my legs are aching. Let's hope I continue to improve.

  • Today I went to Highclere Castle (Dowton Abbey) walked around and found I had done Just over 2 miles, over the course of the day. However, found getting up the stair case horrific. Mind you there was 31 of them. I got really breathless and felt very faint. Problem with me though that I never had high blood pressure in my life only showed rise when I had heart attack. Been put back on Ramiprel 1.25 and advised to take it at night. So not sure if I over did it or it's the Ramiprel. (Ace Inhibitor). Tomorrow going to take a rest day. I had new kitchen 10 years ago, still looks great though, but I'd love an updated one. They go out of fashion so quickly.

  • Don't go to mad!! I went out socially today, first time in ages and at a friends house I walked up to her attic - lots of steps but not 31!! I felt okay but as I live in a bungalow I am just not used to steps.

    Will spend tomorrow (after lie in) emptying cupboards and wrapping glasses, luckily I don't have much planned for the next few days apart from kitchen planning on Friday.

    I am hoping once this has been done it will last a long time as I can't afford another one :-) . Luckily there was an issue with our pension a few years back and we had a rebate, I also worked for 6 weeks solid before my op which has all helped to pay for the upgrade.

    I am having a black American style fridge/freezer AND a dish washer - I am really excited. In my younger days I never thought these things would make me excited, how times change.

    Take it easy everyone don't exert yourselves too much! (y)

  • I live in a bungalow too perhaps that's why stairs nearly did me in lol. Just make sure you take care also.

  • You too!

  • I had my first AVR in 2011 and had up and down days during my recovery. Remember your body has really been through the mill during the operation, with muscles pulled in the wrong direction etc so you are bound to be sore. In addition because of the discomfort/pain you are probably using other muscles differently to try to ease things which in turn can make them hurt too. I wasn't allowed to drive for six weeks, but even then I could only do short distances. Like you I was taking lots of painkillers, including tramadol, codeine and paracetamol and I needed them, especially at night. I hope your recovery continues to go well.

  • Thank you, when things are going well I can think logically but when in pain I am a 'woe is me'! :-) I know no-one could give me an answer I just wanted an idea of how long it would take to at least be able to go a week relatively pain free. I tend to drive about 1 - 2 miles every other day but will start increasing that soon.

  • I think I was able to start reducing the painkillers after my six week check up but still had to take them at night, when I had most discomfort, otherwise I couldn't get much sleep. I think it took a good couple of months to be comfortable, with the odd days taking more painkillers, usually because I'd felt ok and done a bit more. You will get there don't worry, everyone is different and heals at different rates. Just take it easy on yourself, be active but don't overdo it.

  • Thanks that is good to know.

  • Reading this I have discovered 3 weeks post op I'm expecting and trying to do too much. I have cut down my paracetamol and forget I'm 70 and had open heart surgery when I try to do more😬 Think I will stick to a bit of dusting and walking the rest will come I'm sure

  • Hi Heather - the painkillers don't seem like they're working too well. Have you asked your GP to try you on something else? Usually opiates like tramadol (with paracetamol in the background) or co-dydramol (already containing paracetamol) are used if co-codamol isn't working.

    Take care, Chris

  • Actually Chris I felt they did work for the most of the time apart from the Sunday when I was in agony.

    I only take them when needed and after a long(ish) walk and driving so am weaning myself off them slowly. So hopefully paracetamol will be a mild alternative if needed.

    As an aside I thought codydramol was a weaker pain killer than cocodamol?

  • Hmm not necessarily it works a little differently and sometimes it's better tolerated by people who have nausea and lethargy with codeine!

  • Sorry just seen this Heather.

    Glad to see things are on the up for you, keep up the good work love.

    I am also glad to hear you are cutting back on the pain killers. I think people can become in danger of relying on those things too much. Fallen into that trap can be so easy & without realising.

    Your work appointment is coming up soon isn't it. That should help you a lot I recon.

    Also, isn't your rehab somewhere about now.

    Anyway glad you're on the mend J πŸ˜†

  • Now day 11 and I went out for lunch with the 'ladies' yesterday which is the first social event I have felt able to go to for weeks. So fingers crossed I have turned a corner.

    I was down to work for 4 days in Coventry on the 4th September for 4 days but I have cancelled that during the time I was poorly (I am glad I did) I next have a week of work in Manchester from the 18th September so I have the time between to drive longer distances.

    I have my physio appointment on 31st August although apart from scar management I think we have passed the time when I needed them but will still go.

    I have also had a letter giving me an appointment for Cwm Taf Healthy Hearts information sessions starting 12th of Sept at a leisure centre. They will do a heart check and have a few lectures about diet, medication etc which I am sure will be informative although I will have to miss the one during the week I am away.

    I am being lazy today after a full day yesterday, as I left home at 11 am and didn't get back until 4.30 pm and although I wasn't doing anything energetic it was the longest I have been out!!

    One of the 'friends' did seem very cutting with her remarks which inwardly upset me, I am not sure whether I am more sensitive at the moment or she is just horrible ;-) I have long since decided that I can do without people who upset me in my life.

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