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I had open heart surgery 5 weeks ago and came home after 6 days, im relieved everything went ok but still get a bit paranoid that something is still going to go wrong and get down that i cant lift my children up. If i walk for too long i sometimes get a skipped heartbeat or two (is this normal) i thought skipped heartbeats stop after surgery. Im also constantly putting my hand on my chest to check my heart is beating at a regular pace. Can anyone who has had the same give me some advice.

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Health Ace
6851 posts

Did you go to cardiac rehab after the surgery? Besides building you up physically, it gives you the opportunity to ask all those questions of the specialists who run the program. You also become confidant about what you can do and what is normal for you. 

After being cut open like you probably were it takes quite a while to heal up to where you can lift things as heavy as kids.

What exactly did you have done? Open heart covers a multitude of things.

I had 6x bypass surgery.

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Yes i have started cardiac rehab but havent started doing the excercise's yet i had my pulmonary valve replaced which should last about twenty years before i will need it doing again. I have my 6 week check uo next week so will also mention these things here. When did you have your surgery did it take you long to recover.
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Health Ace
6851 posts

I had it in March of 1996. I was self employed as a TV repair technician so there was great incentive to get back to work. I don't remember when I started rehab but your time schedule sounds about right. I certainly remember the stress test.

My operation was on March 15 and I came home on the19th. They told me not to lift over 10 pounds I think. They gave me a schedule for walking outside the house. I don't remember if it was by steps, minutes or distance but it became larger each day so by the end of a week I was walking past my neighbor's house and back. About three weeks after we had a freak April snow storm and I had to put the plow on my truck. That was not fun but I made it. I didn't have to do any real lifting, you make the truck pick up the plow to hook it up but I still had to push and shove it into the mounts.

I was in my shop working on things in about 2 weeks and I did my first house call at the end of April. When I went back to see the surgeon who did the work on me to have the staples removed from my arm nearly three weeks after the operation I asked him what I could or could not do. He said as far as he was concerned I was as good as new and I could do whatever I felt like doing. As a result of that statement I have only limited myself by what hurts too much and I haven't worried about anything bad happening.

Being cut open with a skilsaw and spread open like a lobster on a plate takes some time to get over and heal up. I was able to do many things a lot sooner than I ever expected but there are still some things that hurt a bit. Like when I work under my truck for a long period laying on my side and back, I can feel my ribs going back to their original shape when I get up. For most things I think I was back to nearly normal after 6 months to a year.

I feel I was very lucky to have had a room mate the day after the operation who was in for his second one after 20 years. When he told me it was his second my reply was the next time they can just take me out to the woods shoot me before I do this again. He came back with; Oh no I had the best 20 years of my life, I did everything I wanted and had the best time of my life. That's sort of the way I've been living since then too. That's how I chose the name I use.

Those people in rehab know what they're doing and they'll get you going again and you'll be amazed at what you can do. One time I was watching TV in the evening and during a commercial I ran upstairs to the bathroom to pee in a hurry. I was standing there panting like dog on a hot summer day. The next day at rehab I asked the girl who was checking on me while I was on the stair stepping machine about that. If I can do 13 flights on this machine without breathing hard why was I like that at home after only one flight? She said it was combination of the blood pressure pills and not being warmed up first. So they can answer a lot of your questions to make you feel better about things that may be concerning to you.

One of the funniest things that happened to me at rehab was on the initial interview with the girl who ran the place. The first question she asked was: How's your sex life?
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