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Old 05-14-2013, 01:05 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
12,686 posts, read 30,969,141 times
Reputation: 5358

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airics, don't let any of these comments scare you. It seems like when ever the subject of my bypass comes up, the person I'm talking to always says, "Oh, I had that too, about twenty years ago." You start noticing the trademark sternum scars. The ones I hate are the ones that say, "It didn't hurt a bit." I wanna smack 'em.

The heart doesn't hurt at all. The sternum will because it's a broken bone. But some people don't hurt much with broken bones. I drove myself to the ER one time in a stick shift and my right arm was broken on both sides of the elbow. That hurt, but not too bad. I took nothing at all for pain for the arm. After the bypass surgery I only took pain meds for a couple of days, then toughed it out. But since your sternum has to heal, and they expect you to cough as often as possible so you don't keep fluid in your lungs while you're healing, you'll need to hug the heart pillow they give. It holds everything in place so you don't throw anything out of whack when you cough, and it keeps it from hurting. It's shaped like a heart and some cutsie thing printed on it.

You'll be OK, and you'll get a nice rest out of it. Relax. They seldom lose anyone unless the guy was on his last legs anyway. And if that was you, you'd already be in ICU. I had a friend that got a bypass in the.1970's, and he died of old age a couple of years ago. You're young and strong. Now, when they tell you you have to get up and walk the next day, don't throw anything at the nurse. It really is for your own good. The day after that you'll be on here telling us all about it.
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Old 05-14-2013, 01:10 AM
 
Location: Sunrise
10,869 posts, read 13,638,218 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzz123 View Post
Now, when they tell you you have to get up and walk the next day, don't throw anything at the nurse. It really is for your own good.
My wife is the queen of "not getting up." It's a big freakin' fight every time. But it's for your own good. Get up and walk around as soon as they tell you to. The less you want to, the more you need to. It really is for your own good. You will not feel any better until you do. Bodies at rest do not heal. Period.
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Old 05-14-2013, 03:26 AM
 
13,477 posts, read 9,597,589 times
Reputation: 17430
Desert Springs is known for cardiac care. I think you'll do just fine. You also have the positive vibes coming from all the regulars here.
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Old 05-14-2013, 09:58 AM
 
419 posts, read 751,745 times
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My favorite uncle had a triple bypass at around 60 years old... within a year he was swimming and taking long walks. Traveled all over the world with my aunt and led a great life. We just buried him a year ago at 94 or 95 years old (no one was quite sure of his exact age)....
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Old 07-29-2013, 03:02 PM
 
Location: Here and there, you decide.
11,578 posts, read 22,673,604 times
Reputation: 3882
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovegarlic View Post
As the old saying goes...the BEST place to go for quality healthcare in LV is the airport to book a one way ticket to another state.

I am not putting LV down. In fact I love LV. But let's face the facts here.
Pffft!
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Old 08-01-2013, 06:25 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas nv
868 posts, read 1,129,705 times
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Hope you are on the road to recovery.
Best wishes.
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:16 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
12,686 posts, read 30,969,141 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airics View Post
Pffft!
I take you lived through it and are out clubbing every night now.

Please tell us about your experience. It could be helpful to others.

Six months after my bypass surgery I made it to the top of Wheeler Peak in Great Basin NP. It's 13,065 feet in altitude. If I hadn't been put in cardiac rehab ten years earlier, I doubt I would have lived through the second heart attack that led to the bypass. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheeler_Peak_(Nevada)
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:43 PM
 
2,382 posts, read 6,075,640 times
Reputation: 2029
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzz123 View Post
airics, don't let any of these comments scare you. It seems like when ever the subject of my bypass comes up, the person I'm talking to always says, "Oh, I had that too, about twenty years ago." You start noticing the trademark sternum scars. The ones I hate are the ones that say, "It didn't hurt a bit." I wanna smack 'em.

The heart doesn't hurt at all. The sternum will because it's a broken bone. But some people don't hurt much with broken bones. I drove myself to the ER one time in a stick shift and my right arm was broken on both sides of the elbow. That hurt, but not too bad. I took nothing at all for pain for the arm. After the bypass surgery I only took pain meds for a couple of days, then toughed it out. But since your sternum has to heal, and they expect you to cough as often as possible so you don't keep fluid in your lungs while you're healing, you'll need to hug the heart pillow they give. It holds everything in place so you don't throw anything out of whack when you cough, and it keeps it from hurting. It's shaped like a heart and some cutsie thing printed on it.

You'll be OK, and you'll get a nice rest out of it. Relax. They seldom lose anyone unless the guy was on his last legs anyway. And if that was you, you'd already be in ICU. I had a friend that got a bypass in the.1970's, and he died of old age a couple of years ago. You're young and strong. Now, when they tell you you have to get up and walk the next day, don't throw anything at the nurse. It really is for your own good. The day after that you'll be on here telling us all about it.
I had open heart surgery 11/2010.The most importatnt thing to do if you are on medicare is rehab,you only get one shot at it,at discharge directly to rehab.I said no and brother inlaw would not let me say no.Super benificial paid 100 percent by medicare.
I was one who had no pain from operation,nurses could not understand why no pain.I of course used pain meds for maybe 3-4 days.My sternum was held together with superglue.One pill did me in iron pill plugged me up so bad that at discharge I had to go to ER for help and had to use fluid for colonoscopy to clean me out.
My blockage was in widower artery where it splits.
I live in Fl but luckily was in Ct and fortunate to have best surgeon,cardiologist and hospital,Saint Francis,by luck, in Hartford.
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Old 08-02-2013, 12:11 AM
 
Location: Here and there, you decide.
11,578 posts, read 22,673,604 times
Reputation: 3882
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzz123 View Post

Please tell us about your experience. It could be helpful to others.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheeler_Peak_(Nevada)
I'll start from the beginning...
June 2012 - I had kidney stones. The docs did a ct scan on me to check to see if any remained. It was that time a 4.5cm thoracic aneurysm was found in my Ascending aorta. I was rushed to Centennial hospital only to be sent home on a "wait and see" process.
Approx. 3 months later was another ct scan, aneurysm was a 5.0. I was now given a cardio surgeon (Dr. Daugherty) who still went on the wait and see. No surgery till 6.0 or more. This is a mistake.. the threshold for an ABDOMINAL aneurysm is 6.0, for thoracic anything over 5.0 is close to surgery.
Approx Feb 2013, another ct scan is done, aneurysm is 5.2. Primary doc who was an APN, Catherine King sends me a letter stating that I am stable and no followup is required. I have this letter. I cannot believe she is still practicing.
I become upset, call the insurance company, etc.. and demand to see the Cardio Surgeon (Daugherty) again. He no longer takes the insurance.
I am given a new surgeon, Dr. Juan Martin. Again a ct scan is given and I am called into the office. I am told the aneurysm is a 5.2, however the aortic valve is beginning to leak, the aortic root is damaged,the arch is damaged, the left ventricle is dialated, and my heart function is around 50%. There is no dissection (tearing) at this time. We will wait a little longer but the time is soon. He tells me that I need a Bentall Procedure and to "google it". He operates only at Desert Springs.
A few more months pass and we are into June 2013 with multiple ct scans, echocardiograms, ekgs, and sonograms being done. Aneurysm is 5.7-5.9. A Heart Catherization is scheduled at Summerlin. I also have a cardiologist at this time. I have the heart catherization done. Wasn't too bad. I was told I could watch the monitors but I am completely out and don't remember anything. As i am recovering, the staff at Summerlin is outstanding. I started mentioning Dr. Martin and Desert Springs and saw the look of horror on a few patients. I had also done a little research on Desert Springs and saw that their rating is horrible. When I got home, i called the insurance company. Immediately switched to Summerlin and Dr. Nancy Donahoe. This was the best move i've made in my life. I actually don't know how I got Martin in the first place, as he was not familiar with my case, and Donahoe was.
Heart catherization results are in and they are not good. Aneurysm is 5.9, Ascending aorta severely dialated, Root and Arch may need replacement. Valve is leaking severely. Heart function is 40%. Without surgery, i am a walking timebomb. Most likely less than a year to live. I am mortified but I decided to fight all of this crap even though I felt that the world was against me. Approx 5 days before the initial discovery of the aneurysm 6/12, my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her insurance (Coventry 1) declines everything and we end up cash paying. Nest egg is wiped out. All credit cards maxed to the hilt for the surgery and radiation. I owe almost $150,000. ok back to me...
I plan an fmla leave from work. I am most grateful to my employer, the Marshall Retail Group, and especially my boss. I have never EVER been treated so kindly throughout this.
Surgery scheduled for Monday July 22 730am at Summerlin Hospital. Living will, Power of Attorneys, etc all updated and ready. My pastor from Canyon Ridge will meet us at Summerlin at 530am in the prayer/mediation room. We arrive, pray, check in, etc...
I go to preop with my wife, father in law, and a wonderful person that i work with. She requested the day off just so she could be with my wife through the surgery. I put on the gown and get on the bed. I meet a few nurses, the anestesiologist, and then my surgeon arrives. I tell everyone i love them etc. They try multiple times to get iv's in. Not happening. I am told that this is a problem and I will have to be gassed in the operating room. My wife leaves crying.
I head to the operating room. In the operating room, i am placed on the operating table and I am strapped down tightly so there is no possible movement. My surgeon comes over and I grab her hand, i am crying, and i tell her no matter what, don't let me leave. She squeezes the hand. Gas is given and I am completely out.
Surgery lasts about 5-6 hours and I am brought out to recovery. It is several hours till it is possible to remove the breathing tube. I also have a ventilator. I have cut downs on both groins/thighs, on the neck both sides, scar from adams apple to just above the belly button. I have 2 holes in my chest. One for the chest tubes, another wires for a external pacemaker. Also a catheter.
I am slightly awakened and I am told that the breathing tube is coming out. They pull it out. I remember throwing up several times.
A little time goes by.. wife, fatherinlaw, and friend comes in. First thing that I say is that I saw something.. (i will not go further with this on the board as I don't want to affect beliefs,etc)..
Next thing I remember is that is is Tuesday the 23rd. Morphine is making me sick. When I awake, they lay me up from the bed.. world is spinning. They give me a breathing apparatis. I can hardly suck in air. A lung is collapsed. There is no walking for me on the 23rd.
Wednesday the 24th, still getting sick on the morphine. We switch to percocet. Tubes hurt and so does the catheter. But I am able to walk a little with help. Breathing is still an issue. The pulmologist is now bringing in a machine that forces abutrol down my lungs.. every 4 hours... It hurts alot but it is helping. I am skipped over for dinner by accident. I am given stool softeners. (fun).. Set back.. if I lay down to sleep, after an hour or so, i get a massive pain over one of my eyes... That button on the remote works wonders, nurses are right there to sit me up. When I am sat up, pain goes away. Everything smells chemically.
Thursday the 25th, Breathing is better. Abutrol still being given and I believe this is what is giving me the massive headache above the eye. Chest tubes, Pacemaker, and Catheter removed. I feel a bit better. Still no sleep. Still giving me stool softeners as they believe I am constapated. Dinner is missed yet again. Nurse feels so bad that she gives me her frozen dinner. 1 hour sleep, massive headache again.. I will only take the abutrol one more time and I refuse from there out.
Friday AM.the 26th.. feeling good enough to get out of bed, walk the farthest distances, etc. .. listen to ipod... I am feeling really really good (except for sleep issue). Day goes by. I feel like a lion in a cage, pacing. Hospital doctor comes in and can't believe the turn around.. there is a chance that I am going home provided my cumodin levels are normal. I have been getting the pills, shots in the stomach, etc. The hospital doc gets ahold of my surgeon and the answer is no. Levels are not there. but I do get fed dinner. It definitely is not tasty. Room change to one with a shower.
Early Saturday the 27th, I have a horrible episode in the bathroom (remember the stool softeners), I bleed more than I ever had from a hemmy. But later in the morning, I feel great (except for the bleeding hemmy). I am told I am going home around 10am and discharge should be around 1pm. I need clearance from 3 doctors, hospital, cardiologist, and surgeon. My surgeon is gone for the weekend and her partner will have to give the ok. Many hours go by, possibility that I am not going home as the partner isn't around. Finally around 8pm, he comes in. My cumodin levels are good. We talk for a bit and I mention all is good except for bleeding hemmy. He goes to talk to hospital doctor, comes back and tells me it is against his wishes and that I need to stay for observation of the bleeding hemmy and I may need hemmy surgery before leaving. He leaves it to me. I am discharged but nurse will attend to me at home on Sunday and Monday for heparin shots in the stomach..
I get home Saturday night. The bruising is unreal. I cry in front of the mirror. That night, I sleep in my bed (believe it or not)... no sleep and pain... take some pain meds.. Going to church on Sunday is not going to happen. Still bleeding... and running (in super slow mo of course) to the bathroom several times.
Sunday the 28th.. normal day... some walking, etc...nurse comes over to give shot, feeling about 50% but thankful to be alive. I even goe to Walmart, Winco, and Costco and use the handicap driving things. I feel bad as the people staring at me including the greeter at Walmart looking at me as if I wasn't qualified enough to use it. I sleep (1 or 2 hours on the couch)
Monday the 29th. Nurse comes over, I get a shot, etc... I am given a primary doctor (Dr. Miceli at Grand Montecito) and am to see him on Tuesday along with blood tests at Quest. Sleep on couch again about 2 hours.
Tuesday the 30th, I meet Miceli. He is fantastic and seems to understand my issues. However, he sees the mess and brusing all over me. He looks away for a second and responds that " I am the poster boy for Nevada Medicine". Gives me more meds including steriods (prednisone) for the hemmy which is now so inflamed and angry. Definitely irritable bowel syndrome. Also gives me meds for speech problem.. can't talk a full sentence without losing air.. Very very frustrating. Recommends Benodryl for sleep help. I did not use any pain meds. I sleep about 3 hours in the downstairs bed.
Wednesday the 31st... Much less bleeding... Things are looking up. I even cook my pasta with a garlic butter sauce. I sleep in the downstairs bed about 3 hours.
Thursday the 1st. I go to Quest for blood tests. After 4 tries, they finally get a vein that will give them blood. Come home.. fall asleep on couch.. I mean really fall asleep for about 3 hours until the doorbell rings... Bleeding is minimal and I can handle it. Feeling decent, even cooked on grill
and here we are at 11pm on the 1st. Not tired and not expecting much sleep but thats ok.
So far, I feel I have been given a 2nd chance. Only downside is sleep issue and frustration of speech.

Whew... sorry that was so long....
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Old 08-02-2013, 12:40 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
12,686 posts, read 30,969,141 times
Reputation: 5358
What a nightmare. But here you are, still kickin'. I'd say you are one tough son of a gun. Glad to hear you got a good doctor now. It is really important to have a doctor that listens and makes you feel better about everything. I've been fortunate to have a GP and a cardiologist that I'm glad to see because they make me feel like I'm not about to die just yet. My EP is very cautious, but even he has lightened up. Hang in there and I'd stick with Dr. Miceli. Although you didn't say, it sounds like you have an HMO. If that is true, I'd recommend you pay the extra premium and get insurance that lets you find your own doctors. It's worth it, believe me. Been through the HMO nightmare. Should have sued.

But you are on the mend, and in two weeks I'd think the heart would be mended, and in six weeks the sternum should be too. Then you can go clubbing.

I also hope your wife is OK. Can't believe the insurance would turn down treatment for her.
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