Hi, I'm a 63 year old male going on 25 (wish) who has just (3 weeks and counting) had a triple bypass. Probably started about 40 years ago when I had an 'episode' of chest pain whilst walking the kids and playing with the dogs. Got it all checked out and nothing showed up. Sent away with aspirin and the good ol' glyceryl trinitrate 'just in case'. All ok, roll on 39 years and I'm having what I knew was angina episodes (Mum had history of heart problems). Got a same day appointment (our 'Farmhouse' surgery is great, if it's urgent you can see doc same day) with one of the duty doctors who started the ball rolling extraordinarily quickly and I had a barrage of x-rays, tests, and the obligatory angiogram with a cast of about 12 professionals. One who seemed to spend most of the time jumping up and down on my groin. Once they had finished getting all the shots and readings I was told that "you have a lot going on, we will discuss you in our weekly meeting..." The following day I had an egg sized solid swelling where my friend had been pummelling the top of my thigh. Turned out it was a haematoma - took about 3 weeks to dissipate totally.
I then got referred from Bournemouth Hospital to Southampton for more tests and the all important meeting with my surgeon/consultant who offered 14 stents in 2 sessions or the triple +/- a valve. I opted for the heart surgery as the volume of stents would probably only put off the inevitable at a later date. I was termed very urgent.
I was given the option of a stay in a private hospital that the NHS used to speed up the waiting list. It seemed rude not to accept.
Four months later I was in for my operation. I'd had my pre-meds and got as far as the theatre doors when I was told the patient before me had complications post theatre and they had run out of time. Go home.
Two weeks later I was in for my operation. This time I went down first. No need for the valve just the triple by-pass. All went to plan. The very ever worst bit of my life was when they took out the 3 tubes. I was given gas and air and told to suck on it and to hold a big drag when told - when the tubes were pulled out it felt like someone was drawing my soul out through a straw. Three times. Worst ever feeling, not pain but harrowing. I was eventually sent up to my room with a fetching navy flack jacket, cut a bit high but on trend this season.
All the staff were brilliant and I can't praise them enough. I was booked in for seven days but released after six. Either I was doing well or they got fed up with me. Back home now to be assisted by my poor wife (she has fibromyalgia and is not in the best of health) and our 2 dogs. I am now in my 3rd week post op and feeling good. Driving my good wife to distraction. I'm not in pain apart from my sciatica/spinal stenosis which has been there for years. I was taking Naproxen for that but now cannot take any anti-inflammatories, so we'll see how that goes.
I have been to my first Heart Club meeting which was interesting - you never get the whole picture of your heart journey until you have spoken to all the various factions involved and piece together all the snippets like Miss Marple (lots of daytime telly, can't wait to get to the house auctions).
How about 'clicky sternum' syndrome. No rhyme or reason - washing hands, breathing, passing wind, Consultant said to tighten the corset, my doctor said not to worry - happens a lot, lady at Heart Club was very concerned and to be extremely careful.
Well that's me, I'll now go back to trawling through Gumtree and Spotify. Can't wait for six weeks and driving again...
Take care everyone.
Hey Nonny Mouse