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10/6/10 10:13 P

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Hi everyone!
Hope all is well...just replying to keep this thread active and hear how everyone is doing! I'm now 7 months post-op (well, tomorrow officially) and boy, what a journey it's been! I never imagined I'd be where I'm at now but it sure as heck feels good to have my life back! I'd say I'm 100% again except I do still have scar/incisional pain...my theory on that is women have boobs that constantly pull on it, creating more irritation! Hah!
I'm working out and passed a 2nd treadmill a few weeks ago with flying colors (12 METS and they let my HR get to 100% max for my age, 181 bpm and I'm 40). I had a lot of couplets when my HR was in the 170s but they didn't seem too concerned, I have VERY frequent PVCs still but my cardiologist isn't concerned.
I'm trying to get to boot camp 3 mornings at week at 0600 before work and it's going pretty well, the workouts are very tough but it feels good to push myself and not worry about it (my 2nd stress test gave me a lot more piece of mind).

How is everyone?
Sandy

s/p CABG x 1 (3/25/10)

Live life to the fullest, you never know when you'll be knockin on Heaven's door!


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MICHCONRN Posts: 174
8/1/10 9:13 P

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Yes, sometimes when there's more than one doctor involved things get tricky. As long as the cardiologist has all of the test results then I would go with his recommendation.

Glad you're well,
Michelle emoticon

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8/1/10 7:12 P

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JUST CAME BY TO SAY HELLO EVERY ONE HOPE ALL ARE


GOOD I AM DOING FINE NOT TAKING THAT METFORMIN
MICHELLE I TOLD MY DR TO GO FLY A KITE LOL.

MY CARDIO OLIGIST SAID I AM TAKING ALL I NEED.
SO THAT IS WHAT HE SAID . I AM JUST RESTING NOW.
TTY ALL LATER LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLIEST AS IF

IT WAS YOUR LAST DAY I MEAN THAT WHOLE HEARTLY

GOT TO RUN RATDAR 3./RONNIE emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MICHCONRN Posts: 174
7/28/10 10:37 A

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Hi Ronnie,

I'm so sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. My email must have dropped the notification of your post.

Which doctor wants to prescribe the metformin? If it's not the cardiologist then you might want to check with your cardiologist before taking it.

As for the blood test results, a random blood glucose level of 120 is okay, but if it were a fasting level then it's a bit high. Then the A1C level tells how balanced your blood sugar level is staying over time. For most people with diabetes, the American Diabetes Association recommends an A1C of less than 7%. Another group of experts, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, recommends an even lower A1C of 6.5% or less.

Congratulations on the weight loss! That will help your blood sugar control. Let me know what happens.

emoticon Michelle

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7/16/10 12:35 P

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MICHELLE I NEED TO ASK A QUESTION ANY ONE WITH A HEART CODITION SUCH AS CHF SHOULD NOT TAKE METFORMIN DUE TO WEEKNESS AND DIZZINES

MY DR SAID I NEED TO TAKE THIS FOR LOWERING MY GLOUCOSE LEVAL. IT WAS 7.9 AND BLOOD SUGAR #WAS

120 I THOUGHT THAT WAS NORMAL.


ISURE WOULD APPRECIATE YOUR IN PUT AND ANSWER

SORRY TO BOTHER YOU ABOUT THIS .
I LOST 10 MORE POUNDS WOO HOO TTYL RATDAR3/RONNIE

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7/15/10 11:12 A

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JUST CHECKING IN TO SAY I WILL BE GOING T0 DR
THIS MORNING FOR MY CHECK UP AGAIN.

HOPE ALL HAVE A GOOD DAY AND SMILE MAKES DAY GO

BETTER AND YOU WILL FEEL BETER ALSO
TTYL RATDAR3/RONNIE emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MICHCONRN Posts: 174
7/13/10 9:39 P

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emoticon you're off the metoprolol, Kathy! Good for you! Keep up the good work!
emoticon Michelle

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7/13/10 9:08 P

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Ditto that. Been super busy trying to get some "house" things done. Rainy season in Florida and a leaking roof. I'm at the mercy of the roofers.
Anyhoo. Hope today finds everyone well. Glad to be up and kickin'. Feel soooo much better since the doc took me off the metropolol. Wahoo. Got the gym bag packed and ready for the after work workout.

Edited by: KRBALZER at: 7/13/2010 (21:09)
Kathy


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7/13/10 7:43 P

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JUST CAME BY TO SAY HELO AND HOPE EVERYONE IS GOOD


AND GIVE ALL OF YOU A SMILE FOR TODAY. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon SO I HOPE ALL WILL SMILE
AT SOME ONE TODAY TO SHOW YOU CARE ABOUT THEM.

TTY ALL LATER RATADR3/RONNIE

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MICHCONRN Posts: 174
7/11/10 9:43 P

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emoticon Thanks, Ronnie! You too emoticon
emoticon

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7/11/10 7:04 P

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HEY TEAM JUSTPOP BY TO SEE WHAT IS GOING ON.

ALSO DROP SMILES TO EEVRYONE ALSO. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon SO LET TODAY

BE THE DAY TO SMILE AT YOUR NEIGHBOR AND SHOW YOU CARE ABOUT THERE HEALTH ALSO.

HOPE ALL ARE WELL AND HOPE YOU ALL HAVE AGREAT WEEK.

RATADR3/RONNIE

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MICHCONRN Posts: 174
7/8/10 6:57 A

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Hi Kathy,

Confession time: the only reason I was in a yoga class at that ungodly hour is because I'm the teacher! Yeah, I got paid to be there emoticon Otherwise I'd NEVER be motivated to get up that early to workout! It did take some motivation, though, to go on the treadmill afterwards, instead of going home and back to bed!

Enjoy the yoga program -- yoga is the best!

emoticon Michelle

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7/7/10 6:05 P

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I sooo wish I was dedicated to working out in the morning. I get up early but it's so I can get to work by 6am. When I go after work, I'm already exhausted before I get started. I need to just do it. I did find a beginners yoga class on the On Demand channel for "powering down" for the day. Definitely going to try that tonight. Maybe if I sleep better, I can put in 15 minutes on the treadmill to just get going. I guess something is better than nothing?

I hope everyone is having a fantastic evening.

Kathy


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MICHCONRN Posts: 174
7/7/10 3:24 P

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This morning I began the day early with a 6am yoga class then 30 minutes on the treadmill. Great to get that workout done first thing!

emoticon

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7/7/10 11:58 A

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GOOD MORNING EVERYONE. HOPE ALL ARE HEART HAPPY.

JUST GOT THRU WITH MY WALKING AND CARDIO .

MY HEART ATTACK WAS WHEN I WAS WORKING AND I GOT
REAL SWEETY AND BLOOD PRESSURE WAS HIGH.
THE NEXT THING I REMEMBER WAS I WAS IN ER AND NURSES AND 3 DRS WERE POKING ME WITH ALL KIND OF THINGS.
I THEN WENT TO CATH LAB AND THEN THY SAID I WAS GOING TO HAVE BYPASS SURGERY RIGHT THEN.
THEY DID SURGERY AND THE NEXT DAY I WOKE UP
WITH TUBES AND I./VS IN BOTH ARMS AND WAS TIED
DOWN SO I WOULD NOT TAKE I./VS OUT.
THE DR SAID I DIED AND CAME BACK I DONOT REMEMBER.

SO I WAS OFF TWO MONTHS AND WENT BACK TO WORK
TAKING CARE OF PATIENTS AND MY REGULAR WORK
AS A NURSING ASSTANT AND THEN I WAS FORCED TO RETIRE

SO NOW I AM GETTING DISABLITY SOCIAL SECURITY
BUT ONE THING IS FOR SURE IT WOKE ME UP
AND CHANGE MY WAY OF LIFE, JUST HAD TO SHARE THAT WITH ALL AND I AM SORRY FOR SO LONG OF WORDS
HAVE A HAPPY HEARTFUL DAY ALL RATDAR3/RONNIE

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MICHCONRN Posts: 174
7/6/10 8:10 P

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My scar formed a keloid so is still somewhat sensitive also....

emoticon

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7/6/10 8:00 P

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I STILL HAVE SCARE AND IT HURTS FROM TIME TO.


TIME AND MY CHEST HURT ALL THE TIME SMALL PAINS

BUT THEY GO AWAY AND I AM FINE THEN.

GOT TO WATC B./P AND WEIGHT FROM PILLS ALSO.

RATDAR3/RONNIE

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MICHCONRN Posts: 174
7/6/10 2:37 P

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It's been 3 years since my CABG and if my seasonal allergies cause a particularly violent sneeze I STILL feel like I got kicked in the chest bone....

Congrats on getting off one of your medications!

emoticon Michelle

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7/6/10 2:05 P

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So true. I've noticed that my asthma has kicked it up a notch in the last week. It's good to know that I'm not alone when it comes to the weather affecting the condition of my heart. I was beginning to feel like a hypochondriac.
6 months after the CABG and it still hurts when I sneeze.
I'm feeling much better. Especially, since the doc took me off the metropolol. It's always a good sign when they take you off meds rather than put you on them! emoticon
Hoping everyone has a wonderful day!!

Kathy


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7/6/10 12:37 P

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JUST CHECKING IN TO WISH EVERYONE ON THE TEAM

A GREAT DAY AND PUT SMILES ON AND HELP EACH

OTHER AND BE GOOD YTO YOUR NEIGHBORS AND TELL

THEM ABOUT SPARKS AND HOW THEY CAN GET HEALTHY.

WATCH YOUR HEARTS FOR ANY WRONG SIGNALS
IF YOU ARE IN A HOT CLIMATE AND STAY IN IF YOU HAVE BREATHING PROBLEMS.I KNOW I LIVE IN SUCH A PLACE.
WELL I SAID ENOUGH AND GOT TO GO RUN AND GET THINGS DONE TTYL RATDAR3/RONNIE

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MICHCONRN Posts: 174
7/5/10 8:38 P

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Nursing assistant is a very difficult job, physically, Ronnie. I can see why your doctor wanted you to stop with a heart condition.

emoticon Michelle

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7/5/10 7:51 P

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MICHELLE I UNDERSTAND MEDICAL TERMS BECAUSE

I WAS ANURSING ASSISTANT FOR 15 YEARS

WAS FORCED TO RETIRE BACK IN 2007.

TO MUCH PRESSURE ON THE CORNARY AND VALVE .

SO DR PUT ME ON RETIREMENT.

SO I AM DOING BETTER NOW


RATDAR3/RONNE

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MICHCONRN Posts: 174
7/2/10 7:26 P

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Me too.

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SCVB13's Photo SCVB13 SparkPoints: (5,961)
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7/2/10 7:23 P

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Yes, I did have hypertension, have had it since age 30.

s/p CABG x 1 (3/25/10)

Live life to the fullest, you never know when you'll be knockin on Heaven's door!


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MICHCONRN Posts: 174
7/2/10 7:18 P

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That makes sense. Everything is more clear in retrospect, isn't it? It's great that your feeling better.

Did you have high blood pressure to begin with?

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Edited by: MICHCONRN at: 7/2/2010 (19:20)
SCVB13's Photo SCVB13 SparkPoints: (5,961)
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7/1/10 11:24 P

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Because of the nature of my anomaly, I experienced shortness of breath with exercise or exertion and chronic fatigue. Any time my BP would go up with exercise my aorta was compressing my right coronary artery, thus leading to boughts of ischemia. My initial symptom (in hindsight) was the shortness of breath, only when the anomalous artery became more stenosed and diseased (there was an 80% stenosis in it at a point where it was kinked) did I start experiencing true chest pain (off and on since last fall). I thought it was just heartburn, as a younger woman (just turned 40 in March) heart problems were simply not on my radar (as of course they should have been). In the week leading up to my emergency angiogram I also experienced profound fatigue.

s/p CABG x 1 (3/25/10)

Live life to the fullest, you never know when you'll be knockin on Heaven's door!


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MICHCONRN Posts: 174
7/1/10 9:52 P

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That's interesting that you feel better than you did before the surgery. For those of us with coronary artery disease, it's not uncommon to feel better after bypass surgery since the heart is getting oxygenated after the surgery but not before. But, I'm just wondering what the connection may be with your anomaly?

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7/1/10 10:47 A

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Yes, I've been back to work 2 weeks...my energy level is probably at about 90% of normal. I can work out in the AM and make it through an 8 hour shift with no problem. I'm a bit tired about 10 hours into my 12 hour shifts though and I crash when I get home...I've been going to bed at 8 pm some evenings (instead of my usual 9-9:30). I think what has helped is I was in decent shape (not great) before surgery, and I've really taken exercise seriously the last 12 weeks. I've been a woman on a mission. I was up to 30 minutes of the elliptical at 6 weeks post-op (I walked the first 6 weeks 5 days a week), then at 8 weeks post op (after my treadmill) I moved up to 45 minutes of moderate intensity cardio 5 days/week (some jogging/elliptical/stationary bike). I also tried to view each day as getting in shape for work the last month at home, I'd go out on errands, etc. and tried to stay away from napping unless I was really beat (about once every 8 days I would need a nap). I have a 4 year old son at home so I pretty much lived the life of a regular stay at home mom during my time off (especially once I was released to drive at 6 weeks). In other words, I didn't get any rest! Ha! But, yes, there are some days where I'm more fatigued than others but all in all I actually feel better than I did before surgery.

s/p CABG x 1 (3/25/10)

Live life to the fullest, you never know when you'll be knockin on Heaven's door!


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MICHCONRN Posts: 174
6/30/10 11:39 P

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Wow, I did the math: it's just 14 weeks since your surgery, and you've been back to full time work for 2 weeks? How has your energy level been? Many of us were still struggling with fatigue long after the 14-week mark?

Speaking of those that took care of us during and after surgery, the other day I bumped into one of the ICU nurses who took care of me after my surgery. Those that care for us during such a vulnerable time in our lives are so important and make such an incredible impression on us...

emoticon

Edited by: MICHCONRN at: 6/30/2010 (23:43)
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6/30/10 11:15 P

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Hi,
Nope, I'm back to work with my regular schedule (2 8-hour shifts and 2 12-hour shifts per week). I also am now in the habit of getting up at 5 am to get to the gym before work and I can usually get 35-45 min. of exercise done. I'm the assistant manager on my unit so I never have a patient assignment of my own so I can be safe about lifting, etc. It also helps that my own staff are watching over me and won't let me lift anything or put myself in a sketchy situation.
It feels wonderful to get back to the real world instead of dwelling on things. I did get a bit teary-eyed my first week back after I talked to my scrub nurse who was in my case. Hearing her side of things makes me appreciate so much that I am so lucky to work with such caring surgeons and nurses (they were really concerned about me). Sometimes you take for granted those around you until something like this happens!

s/p CABG x 1 (3/25/10)

Live life to the fullest, you never know when you'll be knockin on Heaven's door!


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MICHCONRN Posts: 174
6/30/10 11:05 P

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No problem. How are you managing your work schedule? Are you limiting your hours and assignment based on where you are in your recovery and lifting restrictions? How many weeks has it been now since your surgery? It's so good for us to get back into life, allowing us to move beyond feeling like a "heart patient", huh?!

emoticon Michelle

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6/30/10 10:41 P

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Thanks Michelle and thanks for clarifying! Yeah, basically my own artery is not only kinked but may be pinching off too...and the surgery artery used isn't quite big enough already. Most of my angina occurs at rest which is typical of vasospasm. It's usually improved with exercise (opposite of regular angina). We are trying to sort this out to see if it is really heart-related but both my surgeon and primary care MD think it may well be given the description of my symptoms. As all of you know, there are constant challenges in the recovery time and we just have to keep on truckin!

s/p CABG x 1 (3/25/10)

Live life to the fullest, you never know when you'll be knockin on Heaven's door!


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MICHCONRN Posts: 174
6/30/10 10:35 P

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That's awesome, Sandy, that you're back to work and things are going well. The workout schedule sounds great, too. Tell us more about "fit camp". It sounds interesting!

In the meantime, allow me to translate some of the medical lingo in case the non-nurses (most of the group) are curious about your post... The RCA is the Right Coronary Artery. The "native" RCA is the one that we're born with, as opposed to any of the blood vessels that are sewn into place during bypass surgery. Vasospasm is a spasm of the blood vessel. When a coronary artery goes into spasm the flow of oxygenated blood through that vessel is interrupted, which can lead to angina, or chest pain coming from the heart muscle that's being temporarily deprived of oxygen. In Sandy's case the native RCA had a defect, so we call it "anomalous", meaning not normal. A RIMA graft refers to the bypass created from the Right Internal Mammary Artery. Since the mammary arteries are not used to providing for the oxygen demands of the heart, it may take time for this relocated artery to expand its function for this new purpose. This is what she means by "mature". A "12 lead" refers to the full EKG test with all of the chest leads plus the arm and leg leads in place. NTG is the acronym for nitroglycerin, a common treatment for angina.

Please don't ever hesitate to ask Sandy or I to clarify anything medical that any of you have questions about. This goes for posts or any other source. Meanwhile, if those of us on the team here who are medical people can be mindful of the fact that at times it may seem to others that we're speaking a foreign language,... it's because we are!

Thanks for checking in,
Michelle emoticon Co-leader Heart Bypass Sparkteam

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6/30/10 9:07 P

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Thanks,
Yes, all in all I'm doing well. I'm in my 2nd week back to work in the ICU and that is going well. I'm working out 45 min/day 5 days a week (elliptical/jogging/stationary bike, etc.). I also did fit camp yesterday and felt great, I'm not doing any upper body work yet, my surgeon said to wait until I'm pain free (which I'm not). It is helpful working with one's surgeons every day! I have, unfortunately, had a few episodes of angina over the last month and the consensus is it's probably coronary vasospasm of my native RCA (my anomalous RCA) and my RIMA graft is not quite mature enough to meet my cardiac demand. Either that or it's heart burn. I know have a plan in place for when it occurs: Mylanta, a 12 lead (if I'm at work), then NTG if the Mylanta doesn't relieve it. It was very disconcerting at first and my last episode was yesterday. Once the 12 lead was hooked up I was pain free so there were no EKG changes. I have no other coronary artery disease so it's one of those two things most likely. I guess it is something I'll have to learn to live with and it should go away as the graft grows and matures more. Keeping my fingers crossed and trying to enjoy life!

s/p CABG x 1 (3/25/10)

Live life to the fullest, you never know when you'll be knockin on Heaven's door!


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KATZEN3 Posts: 72
6/30/10 8:57 P

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Hi SCVB13!

Sounds like your doing better. It takes time to get fully recovered but you are on your way. Keep up the activity and watch what you eat. I have been doing that since my surgery and have lost a lot of weight and walk 2 to 2 1/2 miles everyday. I am glad your feeling better and you should feel stronger everyday.

Good luck and God bless!

MICHCONRN Posts: 174
5/17/10 9:23 P

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Thanks so much for the update -- you do sound like you're doing much better emoticon
Are you going to be starting formal cardiac rehab soon, or are they waiting for the stress echo? Runs of V-tach are not something that I would want to be having while working out at the local gym emoticon

emoticon Michelle

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5/17/10 4:43 P

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Hi everyone,
I'm now 7 1/2 week post-op and FINALLY feeling like my old self, more energy, sleeping like normal, etc. I still have incisional pain and some sternal bone pain but it's much improved, I can almost sleep like I used to and am working out 5 days per week on average. I'm up to 30 min. on the elliptical with my HR in the 120s-130s and feeling good. No shortness of breath or anything. I did have an arryhthmia yesterday on the the elliptical because I looked down and my HR was 200. I was asymptomatic and I will let my cardiologist know next week at my stress test. I've had some runs of VT and have frequent PVCs since surgery and my docs are all aware but aren't too concerned as I keep my blood pressure with them. Overall feeling really good finally! I'm excited to have my stress echo so I can see just how far I can handle the exercise for now. I have 5 more weeks off work and am using that time to focus on me and family time.

s/p CABG x 1 (3/25/10)

Live life to the fullest, you never know when you'll be knockin on Heaven's door!


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MICHCONRN Posts: 174
5/3/10 10:54 P

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I'm so sorry that you've had this difficulty in your recovery. It's wonderful to have received the feedback that the graft is open and everything looks fine on angiogram, but I imagine that the painful hematoma would have you discouraged.

I'm wondering if the chest pain was your body's way of telling you that you were doing too much too soon? It might be a good idea to limit your activity until the hematoma heals as well. Then, I would ask the cardiologist for a maximum heart rate guideline until you've had the stress echo and are cleared for cardiac rehab. That way you'll be able to gauge your activity in order to stay within a range that is safe for this point in your recovery.

When I started cardiac rehab 7 weeks after my bypass surgery, they noted that because of my age and profession they would probably have to "reign me in" in order to keep me from overdoing it too soon. And I was very anxious to get active again after my surgery, not only because I was very active before the surgery, but also because I wanted to jump on the wellness bandwagon and move on by adopting my healthier lifestyle ASAP. The other relevant factor for me was a need to feel vital and independent once again. I didn't like being dependent and I didn't like being a patient. I was a very impatient patient!

Do you remember that nursing diagnosis, "alteration in body image"? Well, I've thought a lot about that since my surgery. I've come to realize that it goes way beyond that scar on the chest (and leg in my case). I struggled for many months with trying to figure out an appropriate balance between what my true physical limitations were post-diagnosis and post-surgery, and how limitless I viewed myself for 41 years before my diagnosis and surgery.

Anyway, I don't know if I'm making sense or being helpful at all, but these are the thoughts that came to mind when I read your post. Do keep us informed regarding your continued recovery.

emoticon Michelle

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5/3/10 7:11 P

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Hi everyone,
I had a rough week...last Monday when walking I developed mid-scapular pain when walking that was relieved with rest (and NTG). I stopped at a fire station and they strongly suggested I go to the hospital by ambulance. I was admitted for 2 nights and underwent another cardiac cath...this was only 4 weeks after my bypass! Everything is fine and my graft is open so hoping it's just musculoskeletal pain (but may be cardiac related to the increase in HR my surgeon said). I undergo a treadmill and stress echo in a few weeks that will tell if it's that. The problem now is I was left with a very painful groin hematoma that is pressing on my nerve. Now I can't walk without limping. Arggh. I am relieved to know my graft is clear (my surgery was very tricky and the artery they used as a graft-RIMA-was quite small). So, although this was a bit of a set back I hope to get on track soon.

s/p CABG x 1 (3/25/10)

Live life to the fullest, you never know when you'll be knockin on Heaven's door!


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MICHCONRN Posts: 174
3/28/10 7:57 A

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Wow! Keep up the good work!
emoticon Michelle

KRBALZER's Photo KRBALZER SparkPoints: (2,598)
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3/27/10 11:26 P

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My bypass was in December. I am currently 38. I was 37 when I had my heart attack. I am definitely grateful to be here. My heart attack probably saved my life. Slow and steady. Everyday I feel better and stronger!

Edited by: KRBALZER at: 3/27/2010 (23:27)
Kathy


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MICHCONRN Posts: 174
3/8/10 8:25 P

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When was your surgery, Kathy? Yes, coronary artery disease is a b____! Cardiac rehab sure is great for getting us on the road to a healthier lifestyle, though. How old are you? I was 41 when I had my double bypass. Sparkpeople definitely compliments the AHA guidelines.
Thanks for taking the time to post some encouragement for the team!
emoticon Michelle

KRBALZER's Photo KRBALZER SparkPoints: (2,598)
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3/8/10 11:48 A

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Wanted to give a shout out to everyone. It is Monday the 8th and I am feeling better than yesterday. I still have days where it's difficult to get out of bed. However, those days are getting less frequent. So thankful for that. I have a cardiac rehab session today and thought I'd just give a little encouragement to someone who may need it. All I can say is no matter what age we are, we need to take care of ourselves. As women we need to educate ourselves on heart disease. The AHA has some wonderful tips that fit in well with Sparkpeople. I tell everyone I can about how Sparkpeople is helping me improve my lifestyle. It's not all about weight loss. It's a way of healthy living. emoticon

Kathy


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