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British Heart Foundation
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Post Operation ..... The Journey Starts Here

Haven’t spoke to you since Tuesday morning a couple of hours before the surgery. Well I was taken down to an anti room at the side of theatre and asked for my name and D Of B at least three times by different people to ensure they had the right person. They then inserted a canular in my arm and then gave me some oxygen through a mask to help calm me down then I was told I’d get something through the canular which would sent me to sleep and it all happen as described. Then I was awokon in the recovery room to find I’d got four tubes coming out of a canular in my neck.. a drain in my chest to drain excessive blood from the operation and a catherta through my penis ( first timer ...... that feels weird) I was very drowsy still and felt a little vulnerable. Almost straight away I was looked after by two people who were on top of everything my vitals were constantly monitored and relayed back to me . They told me I would stay with them till tomorrow morning and then be transferrred to HDU. Lots of communication some people around me not doing as good but it was very busy and you did hear conversations about other people’s problems that I’m glad weren’t mine.i was in recovery from 4pm on Wednesday till lunchtime on Thursday a little longer than anticipated but the lack of beds on HDU had something to do with it as well.. the main aim in HDU is to try to get you out of bed and sat in your chair once you’ve mastered that it’s to get from your chair and walk down the corridors with a frame suppported by 2 x physiotherapists. That couldn’t happen to me as I was prescribed NORAMAD due to my blood pressure being so low. Every time they tried to sit me up or get me out of bed my blood pressure would fail. I was on 4g of NOROMAD and we decided to reduce this by 0.2every 45mi)utes in: the end when we got it to 2.6mg we had to put it up again for the evening back to 4g so Thursday morning we did it again and by 7.30pm it stayed level without support so the question was now would it stay level overnight and could it allow me to get off the bed without dropping. The phentenol you originally are given intravenously which you can request every 5 minutes by pressing the buzzer on the fob is amazing once your taken off that reality of the level of the pain of getting in and out of bed kicks in and a couple of the times have made me shout out the “f” word.

Pain levels are managed well but sideways turning and swinging your legs around off the bed are challenging .The medical support you get is fantastic. Just found out my weight has fluctuated 5 Kg from pre op assessment to today I look bloated and carrying a lot of water just been prescribed frusimide to make me wee more to get rid of the water retention.. The nursing attention I have received since coming out of theatre has been phenomenal the care and attention to detail has just been first class ........... don t get me wrong not everything has gone right but any problems which have occurrred have been sorted by a team of individuals dedicated to the cause. In HDU 3 or 4 patients have really kicked off having experience “ Dilerium “ this might b. E caused by the patient ie me being put on a bypass machine the outward anger and nastiness associated with this reaction is scary I felt so sorry for the staff we only have 10 beds in HDU and 3 were suffering from delirium 33%. That’s quite high fortunately I wasn’t one of them.

I’m not 100 conscious as all the medicine make you a little whacked out so if I’ve put something that doesn’t make sense please forgive me. The chest drain was worse than the catheter to take out but neither lasts long. My emotions have been all over the shop I was talking too and crying with a nurse last night and all morning I’ve been laughing and joking but now at12.50 I’m absolutely knackered and need to go back to bed for a sleep it feels like someone has just unplugged your power cord and you’ve reverted to zero energy . It is something you have to experience as it’s its frustrating the hell out of me as you get 2 steps forware on step back then 2steps back one step forward this is definitely a marathon not a sprint and I’m just learning the game.

Thanks to all of you who is taking time out of your weekend to read this. I’m sorry I’m literally fucked and need bed and sleep bye bye till next instalment

Pete xx

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So great to hear from you. What a journey you have been on so far. One step at a time. Stay strong and positive. Sending lots of positive thoughts and virtual hugs (as the real ones would be way too painful!!). Zena x

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That’s right virtual ones will have to do for now but greatly appreciated xx

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Hi Ticktock61, welcome back to the living. Its been 5 years since my operation. Do what they tell you and you will be good to go in no time. I'm 66 and life is so much better than before. Look forward to your posts, Andy

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Hi Andy great to hear your doing well after 5 years I hope I am thanks pal 😀😀

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Great to hear from you and thank you so much for letting us all share your journey...

I look forward to the next post.

Sending my best wishes

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Thanks fudge I was hoping you would like it warts and all 😀😀

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Happy Saturday Ticktock61. I am sure several of us have been anxiously awaiting your message and it was good to hear from you. Thinking of you and sending best wishes for your recovery. Maryfred X

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Thanks Maryfred I’m glad you were looking forward to the post it was a real effort energy wise to write it xx

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Welcome back ticktock. Just lie back and accept all the nursing offered and get plenty of sleep while you can. You'll be home in no time. Way to go my friend

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Thank you Shoshove I’d love to just lay back and let the nurses do what they wanted to do with me ............. heaven !!!! but if I’m honest that’s months away I’m happy to be able to raise a smile at the moment lol 😂😂

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Ha ha trust me. Foot in mouth disease. Glad to see you've still got your sense of humour. Keep it up my friend. Onwards and upwards buzz

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Excellent news... All very good wishes to you x

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Cheers thanks x

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Good to read your update, Pete. It’ll take a while for you to get your energy level back.

I had to have a catheter for a week last year while remaining mobile. They didn’t have the correct size, but that’s a story for another day 😏

All the best mate.

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Hi IanMK

Funny enough the nurses here have also said it’s difficult to get “super mini size” lol 😂😂

That’s made me chuckle

Thanks

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Ah Pete, there you are! Good to have you back with us.

I am pleased to read these words in your latest blog ................ "this is definitely a marathon not a sprint and I’m just learning the game".

Excuse me while I blow my trumpet and say " I told you so".

I was also gladdened to hear you singing the praises of the staff. I mentioned that as well!

Seriously mate - take your time, lap up the care they'll give you. Rest fully and enjoy that wonderful view out of the window. Oh, and I recommend the roast beef and roast potatoes dinner when its offered.

Alec.

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Hi Alec

Your not blowing your own trumpet you were right my friend you gave me great advice and that’s whis this site is all about the more we talk the more we help ourselves and others I love it

Your a star mate ❤️

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Hey Pete. Glad to hear you're out the other side! It sounds like the care you're getting is great. I hope each day improves for you. It's really interesting having a blow-by-blow account like this, so what you're doing is hugely valuable to everyone waiting slightly terrified for their own turn! Keep mending and hope things begin to get easier. Nic

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Hi Pete, great to read your first post op update. As Zena says what a journey so far! Thanks for sharing, and looking forward to your future posts. Best wishes, Keith.

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Keith your a star thanks mate

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Cheers Nic that’s just what I was intending to achieve so your words mean a great deal to me thank you ❤️

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Ticktock, I am so happy to hear that surgery went well, and you are on your way to recovery!! That was a great description of your experience.

Blessings to you.

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Thanks Krazie good to hea4 you enjoyed reading it ❤️

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Hi Pete, you are on your way now my friend. Keep your sense of humour and remain positive and you will be fine. Thought about you, so pleased you got through part one , now the only way is up. Alan ❤

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Hi Alan

Just woke up it’s 1am and just read your message I know your a few weeks in front of me and I now realise this is only the beginning more or less I’m at the tying of the laces on my trainers part of running of a marathon and I need yo keeep my wits about me to not only get too but also passs the finish line in reasonable shape !!!

Good luck with your journey pal if you have and great tips let me know

Pete ❤️

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Alan is ahead of me also. I've been home for just over 2weeks, 4weeks on Tuesday post op. I'm definitely feeling better, and the chest feels less punched, but can't do too much exercise till I get the hip replacement, now booked in, but unsure how long to wait.

I expect the post op visit to surgeon shortly, maybe this week? And also to the pacemaker surgeon.

I have to say that at every point in my time in the hospital, everyone was absolutely superb – the treatment could not have been more caring or professional at any point.

I hope that you continue with your good recovery. I did have problems going cross eyed for awhile, but that has now pretty well gone.

Onwards and upwards, take care and good luck everybody.

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So good to hear from you so emotional reading your post you are helping all those of us waiting to go through this keep strong and keep us all posted

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Hi Denihump

I will defo keep posting I hope it’s not too honest as I don’t want to scare people but at the same time whats the point if I just wrap it all up in cotton wool

Great to hear from you

Pete ❤️

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You’ve already given me plenty to think about😱

Keith

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Hi Ticktock glad you are doing ok . Lovely to read your post wishing you well going forward xx

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Thanks for your message

Pete ❤️

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Hi, well done mate you have survived and now you can start your journey with all guns blazing. After my first OHS to repair my aortic valve failed l had to have another 5 weeks later with a mechanical heart valve and heart remodelled, you are lucky not to have delirium. l wasn't nasty l just had horrendous dreams which were real to me and mostly involved poo! Recovery from AVR is a long road you need to be patient but it is very hard. From your words you sound like a person with great humour this will help as it did with me. Now 18 months on l jump out of bed like a gazelle instead of a sloth. Keep smiling and let us all know how you feel mentally. Love Sue x

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Thanks Sue

Great advice ❤️

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So happy to read your update Ticktock61 and know you are on the recovery side. It is a little scary when you know youve got this to come, but I’d rather know exactly what is involved - warts and all - than be in for a shock on the ward. Did you have minimally invasive as planned?

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Yes I did she’s just took off the dressing and it’s looks ok got a few things to talk about later especially mental issues but I’m too tired to type at the moment x

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Pete well done!! what a great update, thank you. It's all so scary and yet it's good to know what happens. I hope you're having some visitors today to help you get through this bit. Are you able to eat? Rest well looking forward to the next installment xx

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Remember it's a good two weeks for the anaesthetic to get out of your system and this can affect you emotionally but it will pass. Xx

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Yes the nurses are saying two weeks x

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So pleased you have come through the ordeal. Take it easy but update us all when you are not too tired. Ann

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Hi thanks Ann

I definately will ❤️

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So glad you’ve come through okay - the only way is up now! X

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That’s right it’ is x

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Hi Ticktock

Another day gone another day closer to a full recovery. Thank you for your detailed and interesting blog. Rest easy .

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Thanks Red

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A belated reply from me, nearly twenty four hours since you posted, probably even more improvement, I do hope so, very helpful reporting by you, warts and all. Thank you very much, keep it up.

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Thanks Rosei I will ❤️

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Pete, great to read your post, was looking forward to your update. Glad it went well. I had my AVR last year and it didn't all go to plan, but all OK now. The bit about the drugs making you invent things really resonated with me, at one point I was convinced I was in a prison and I wanted to phone some friends to come and 'spring me'. Luckily my wife had confiscated my phone in anticipation of such an event! (she did buy me a 'pay as you go' with her number only in it!). I also feel I should congratulate you on your post, that must have been typed on a phone or tablet, not easy after an operation. Look forward to your next update Matey.

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Hello Pete.. Apologies I am a bit late on this. We went to a huge shopping mall yesterday and managed to get lost. In the process I clocked up more than double the number of steps I have done in a day since my bypass. I saw your post when we got home but was just to shattered to reply!

Much reminds me of my experience. Beforehand I was warned that I might come round being assisted with breathing and on temporary dialysis (because of long term Type I diabetes). I was pleasantly surprised to come around with just the various electrodes and cannulas in addition to the drain tubes and pacing wires. Down below I developed a private bruise! :) Like yourself I got back to the ward water logged (electrolyte imbalance). I was 9kg heavier (around ~10%). With the Frusemide it dropped off quite quickly giving me plenty of exercise walking to the loo! It was, however, over two weeks before it was all gone. Hope they are giving you decent food. All being well you should be home in a few days. Keep well, Michael...

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Welcome back Pete. Glad you are back with us. Once my bypass was done I felt as though I could take more of an active roll in my own recovery. The Hospital staff are golden and I recommend the Cardio rehab once you are up to it. Don't overdo things though.

Good luck in your recovery

Phil

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Thanks Phil

They are mint ❤️

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Best wishes for your continued recovery :)

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Thank you so much ❤️

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Great to hear from you, rest and don’t apologise for taking time you need xx Loz

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Thank you Loz I will try to take it easy

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Hi Ticktock62

Great to hear you’ve come through the operation. It’s a slow process but you will have bumps along the way.

But it’s so worth it . And if you can keep you sense of humour it helps. And it not always remember if you where not in the UK 🇬🇧 they would send you a very big bill.

God Bless the NHS

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God bless the wonderful amazing superb NHS it’s yimes like this you DO realise how lucky we are ❤️

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Yes we are very lucky. It has to stop being a political football!

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I agree ............ but I don’t do politics

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Hi Pete, Thank you SO much for your constant updates, I am due to go in Saturday, very helpful. (and scary!) Keep up the posts and speedy recovery!

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Thank you darling good luck for Saturday I’ll be thinking of you and if you want to private message me at anytime before or after the operation as I’m sure what you are going through at the time I will have experienced just hit the chat button at the top of the page and this allows private messages

Thinking of you

Pete ❤️

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Hi Pete

Only just seen your post as was out all weekend and work today. I think I’m very lucky when I’ve had my operations as I don’t remember anything - going down to theatre, being put under or waking up in the recovery room. I vaguely remember waking up in ICU after my first AVR and being very thirsty, took too much water and was sick, boy did that hurt! I remember being in ICU this time cos I had to stay an extra day cos of no bed on ward.

Looking forward to your next update, I’m sure your ‘warts and all’ info will help other people going through, or about to go through surgery.

Wendy

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I remember most of it but little is worth remembering! They use your weight to calculate the dose of anaesthetic but I needed more - signs of an early career as a hard drinking ICI laboratory assistant maybe! :)

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