J.S. asks from Savannah, GA on April 23, 2008
Open Heart Surgery
Can anyone give me any information on the recovery time for open heart surgery? I am taking care of my dad and he is having a difficult time sleeping. He can not relax enough to sleep, he is tense all the time and is in a great deal of pain.
So What Happened?™
Thank you everyone for all of your kind and helpful suggestions. Your responses have really helped me and have been a great support to me in a difficult time. I appreciate each one of you!
R.P. answers from Savannah on April 24, 2008
My grandmother had it done in 85 when it was still very risky.My dad also had it done.The dr didn't offer anything for anxiety or for relaxtion.You can always call the dr to make him aware of his anxiety.Don't hesitate to ask for something to treat the anixiety/not sleeping and better pain control.My dad said what was so painful was the breaking of the sternum/chest bone.It took it awhile to heal.Also know depression is common after this type of life and death surgery.My grandmother's personality was different and depressed afterwards.The recovery time varies.Make sure he is sitting up and things as tolerated.This helps keep the depression away.
I hope this helps and He recovers quickly.The
M.H. answers from Atlanta on April 23, 2008
Tonya is EXACTLY right. Remember that the heart is a muscle, one of the most important, and it needs to be worked in order to be strengthened.
God bless you for your diligence!
Q.D. answers from Atlanta on April 24, 2008
Try speaking with his cardiologist about the experiences he is facing temporarily during this time. Consult with the MD about considering a sleeping aid to help him relax or some pain medicine that is going to help him control his pain. Discuss more with him regarding his tense, anxiety issues that he is experiencing. You may uncover that he has some fears of his whole open heart surgery that he is still dealing with and may need to seek community resources of a support group of other individuals who have undergone open heart surgery. The support is out there but be sure to include his MD's so that they can help him. I hope some of this information will be helpful for you and your dad.
C.R. answers from Charleston on April 23, 2008
My dad stayed with me after his surgery and it seemed like it took him about a month before things started easing up for him. He had a hard time healing. Luckily he did stay with us and I could help him as much as possible. My mother on the other hand just had her triple bypass this past November and she recovered remarkably well and was up doing things again within a couple of weeks. It sound as if your dad is much in the same category as mine was. Unfortuantley there really isn't much you can do but give it time. I'm sure he has talked to his dr's and they can give him some meds but other than that he really just needs to take it easy and give it time. My heart and prayers go to your father and family, I know how tought it is. I do hope he gets well soon.
P.R. answers from Atlanta on April 24, 2008
I would ask his Doctor, I believe that the healing is different for all. Maybe his Doctor can prescribe some medicine for the pain, and something for anxiety.
K.M. answers from Atlanta on April 24, 2008
My Daughter had open heart surgery when she was 3 days old. So, baby's do recover quicker. I do know that it is typical that open heart patients suffer from insomnia, so maybe at night just to help him rest you could ask his Dr. about a light sleeping aide. Then he won't be so restless in the day. I also have been told that when the weather changes from hot to cold or the opposite, that it is painful around the incision. I would recommend also putting a heating pad on his chest for 15 min. to give him comfort. The number one side affect from heart surgery is reflux. Make sure the pain is not that instead of the actual incision. I am so sorry that you are going through this. Make sure to give him his pain meds every 4 hours and do not let the time lapse, because then once he takes the meds it takes 30 min. to kick in. If you can get his mind off the pain with movies or books on tape, or the radio, that may help.
D.S. answers from Atlanta on April 25, 2008
i don't have any experience with open heart surgery, but I do know that anxiety and pain will definitely prevent you from relaxing enough to be able to sleep. I would make sure that he gets his pain meds. on time and gets some form of exercise in the early part of the day.(whatever he is capable of doing) Lastly I would talk to his doctor about a sleep aid and something to relieve his stress level. If you go to my website
www.shaklee.net/healthsmiths and look for Stress relief complex and gentle sleep complex you will see that these are both very safe but effective natural products. Please contact me if you need further information or have questions.
A.S. answers from Atlanta on April 24, 2008
Hello, I am not a doctor but I can tell you what I would do. I would try herbs. I would use meletoenin and/or chamomile tea. I would first ask the doctor. Also, he may not be getting enough exercise. Is he walking around? This will help him sleep. I would also try a different position then what he is used to. Remember before you were preganant you could lay a certain way and then during and sometimmes after you could not longer lay that way so you had to try something different. I would try using some pillows and get him to try a different position. Elevating the legs may help the circulation and make him feel better. Maybe a little soft music with birds or an ocean. I would make it a humorous situation since he is not used to having assistance and he is an independent man.Hope this helps.