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Old 01-17-2005, 05:10 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Texas
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mamak HB User
Taking Life Back

I have a question with people that have been through a bi-pass surgery. How long did it take you to get active and to have the energy to be active? How soon do you go back to doing the things you used to such as dancing, moving furniture, raking leaves and so forth. I guess you can call me a cardiac cripple. I'm too afraid to do the things I used to do. You can help me overcome this by sharing how long it took you to get your life back. Mama Kay

 
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Old 01-18-2005, 04:39 AM   #2
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slowgoer HB User
Re: Taking Life Back

Mamak,

I had bypass x 5 in May of 03 after a big time MI. Some of the things you mentioned are really going to be determined on the overall health of your heart. Not so much what you think that health is, but what the doctors say it is. I understand the "Cardiac Cripple" feeling as I am sure most of us that have bypass can. Alot of the energy and ambition that you may not have can be attributed to meds. Beta blockers can really sap your strength and leave you feeling like a couch potato.

For me, I went back to work a couple of days after I got home. I made it 20 minutes before I had to leave. My doctor was really really upset with me, but I had to go for myself and to let my employees know that the place wasn't going to close up. Going to work also did a few things for me. It got me out of the house and walking and started me to realizing that I wasn't dead yet. Over a period of two months, I was able to get back to full time. All the way I started doing things around the house, mowing the lawn on a tractor, sweeping the garage out. All pretty lightweight stuff, but I was doing something and not feeling like an invalid. I got stronger, I walked alot and I was feeling better everyday. Maybe, because I had my mind on other things other than my heart or what was left of it.

Sure, there are alot of things that I can't do anymore as well as I could or it just takes alot longer, but that's okay with me. Things still get done, just over a longer period of time. I built a wooden screen behind my dog kennels this year. I would have be able to do that in a weekend before. This time it took me a month, but I am proud of it because I did it myself.

I guess what I am trying to tell you is that the physical healing happens over a period of several months to maybe a year. The mental side of things can take alot longer and is maybe harder to deal with. Don't be afraid of asking for help with it, but you still have to work hard at it. It's all about baby steps at first. Yeah, those are pretty small steps, but they are still steps forward.

Good luck and remember its always a beautiful day for smiling.

 
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Old 01-18-2005, 05:28 AM   #3
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NineLives HB User
Re: Taking Life Back

I tried to go back to work about 8 weeks following single bypass. About 3 months later I was selling my business and had decided to try to take some time off to heal. I just had alot of angina at rest following my stent and bypass. I didn't work for 6 months and then finally at that point I felt I was able to try to work part time. I still work part time and don't really want anymore than that. Now I did not have a heart attack and was 41 and thought I was in excellent health at the time. This heart stuff kicked my butt big time, but now I feel really good. It will soon be 3 years since my bypass. I'm no longer afraid of doing many things because I don't have the angina anymore. I used to be afraid to swim, dance, jog even a short distance, be alone. There is a long list of things that I had to work at slowly. I think in time you will adjust to your new body and what it can do, but just don't be in too big a hurry. Get your exercise, take your meds and ease back into the things you did before. Good Luck

 
Old 01-18-2005, 10:05 AM   #4
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 72
mamak HB User
Re: Taking Life Back

Thank you so much Slowgoer and Ninelives. It's been 4 1/2 months since surgery and I'm so uncertain on what I should be doing. When I came home from the hospital, the cardio told me not to lift more than 10 lbs, well even now I'm afraid to lift any heavier object. All I was told to do was walk. I have to be honest, I have no treadmill and its too cold to walk outside, and have no car to go to a mall. And to be honest, most of the time, I feel so tired. I do take 14 meds in the morning, 2 med in the evening and 4 meds at night. I never thought that the meds could be zapping me. I've gained weight because I've quit smoking. Since the day of the heart attack, I've not even taken a puff off a cigarette. I eat now instead of smoke. I know this has to stop, so I sit here worrying about exercise, and what to do so I don't end up in the hospital again. I know I have to quit being afraid and find ways to build up my energy again. I want my life back. Not the old one but a safer, happier, new life. Thanks for your help friends. I sure need a friend now.

 
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