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The Women's Room: Post-op emotoinal struggles, pain and comfy bras
I'm a young 74 year old female & had open heart surgery for a blocked right ventricle in late July. At no point either before or after surgery were the probable huge emotional/psychological after-effects mentioned except for a few words about emotions in a dodgily printed leaflet from the hospital. In my case, I'm struggling with post-op severe emotional hyper-sensitivity (often tearful for no reason), depression, anxiety and confusion. I told the surgeon at follow-up that he must have done a lobotomy at the same time as fixing my heart because I was feeling these after effects and he said be patient, it takes time. But my brain just doesn't seem to work properly and I find even if I think I've done something correctly I haven't. This is both distressing and confusing and I've totally lost my confidence. Due to car problems I've only been able to attend one cardiac rehab class but plan to return this week. However, I'll only stay if the leader turns the gym temperature up from freezing to something more acceptable - I was actually shivering during the first rather condescending session which was totally off-putting.
I also still get post-op non-cardiac chest pain in my chest, neck & head especially after effort e.g. hoovering which my GP thinks could be caused by some brain damage when nerves in my chest were cut through during the op. Ibuprofen helps. This was never mentiond by the surgeon. Neither was the fact that I almost died in theatre when my BP crashed & they couldn't get me warm. I was in theatre 7 hours instead of the expected approx 3 hours. I'm appalled that this wasn't mentioned in the surgeon's brief follow-up letter to my GP so there's a possibility I'd never be believed if I told any future surgeon/anaesthetist.
Regarding post-op bras - I ordered non-wired M&S ones online. My chest wall has expanded from 38 to 40+ and my bust has totally changed shape and drooped making me feel less feminine. No-one ever said this would happen either.
The surgery seems to have been succesful but I'm beginning to wish I hadn't had it done, or at least been totally prepared for the possibility of all the above so that I could make a more informed decision.