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Heart Bypass
Carrie49 posted:
I am a 62 year old female who suffered a heart attack on October 20, 2012. On October 22, 2012, I had a triple by-pass. I was in the hospital for eight days. I also have A-fib which flared up after having surgery. When my husband arrived at the hospital, he was told by the cardiologist, if we had been 10-20 minutes later, it would have been divine intervention that I would have survived. I am so very grateful to be alive and enjoying life, but I find in moments alone, I feel depressed and alone. I feel guilty when those feelings enter my thoughts, but it's true and I'm trying to deal with these emotions. I'm also having problems with muscle spasms through my back as well as areas in my chest. My surgeon has explained to me that this is due to opening up the chest and having to stretch everything to the max. Has anyone else experienced the spasms? I thank you for any help you can offer me.

cardiostarusa1 responded:

I can't comment regarding the muscle spasms, though it is well known that depression, be it periods of, or chronic, happens in many individuals who are diagnosed with cardiac-related conditons, especially if a heart attack has occured, with or without stents or bypass.

Some individuals have reported a so-called "heightened sense of awareness". Sometimes, heart disease patients have reported anger, mood swings/emotional outbursts/emotions running wild, personality changes (which sometimes can be directly due to prescription drugs or even brain damage from a stroke that occurred during or right after heart surgery, as applicable, which can cause neurological alterations or deficits), and fear as well. Additionally, a feelng of hopeless in which one has decided to give up, throw in the towel (something that obviously one should not do).

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Depression & Heart Disease
Most important, coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery is just a clever way of temporarily circumventing the problem (atherosclerosis), as it doesn't address the disease process and what drives the progression.

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a lifelong unpredictable (may/can exhibit periods of stabilization, acceleration and even sme regression) condition requiring a continuum of care.

Best of luck down the road of life.

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billh99 responded:
First of all, if you are not in it, talk to your doctor about getting cardiac rehab.

The exercise and learn that you can safety exercise helps a lot of people get past the depression and anxiety.

I had a bad spasm that went from my left shoulder blade to spine.

Mine was helped with some Advil and "exercise". But check with your doctor. It is not recommend right after an MI, but I don't know how long. In my case I had not had an MI, so this did not come up. If you do take the Advil you want to take it several hours before or after taking the aspirin. Taking them at the same time reduces the effectiveness of the aspirin.

After my bypass I had a friend of mine finishing a deck that I had started. Part of it was instating 100 balustrades which took 200 brackets and screws. My "exercise" was opening the package and handing them to him one at a time.

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