Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Saturday, April 17, 2010 Amber, Community Member, asks

Q: What are the normal limits after the quadruple bypass surgery?

What are the normal limits after the quadruple bypass surgery? What will life be like now? I am 28 years old and I worry I won't be able to play with my son or do anything else. I worry my life has come to a halt now and I'm really not sure what to expect.

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Answers (5)
MrQuadruple, Community Member
4/17/10 4:49pm

Did you already have the operation?

I'm 39 and male, and only 3 months out from the operation.

The past 3 months, I guess my life has come to somewhat of a halt,

but I've been soo happy that I made it and I'm still alive, that I actually enjoyed the past 3 months. (no matter what they said, I thought I was going to die).

I'm sure during the first 2 weeks you will be limited in playing with your son,

but I can assure you that during these 2 weeks you couldn't ever enjoy anything more then just watching him play by himself.

After 2 weeks, I was able to drive and get out and about, tho I was very slow and it felt very surreal.

Now, 3 months after, I still feel I'm improving every week, I'm not running yet, and I'm going to avoid lifting "extremely heavy" things for a year, to make sure that bone they cut heals correctly. From what I'm being told, with being only 39 and no other health issues, that I just may be better then I was before, with no limitations. 

I wish I know of many others like us, as you can really learn alot from others with the same issues. Like, how could even a doctor really understand what I feel in my chest?, he never had a heart attack or open heart surgery.

Amber, Community Member
4/17/10 9:57pm

I had the surgery Thursday. I only spent one day in the ICU. They said it was because I was young. (For me it is determination.) The pain is so bad. At times I just want to give up. The Dr don't understand I HURT. I am worried about what is to come. When does the pain get better? They are talking about taking the chest tube out tomorrow. I'm scared about that as well. Thank you for writing to the question. You're right it does feel better to hear from someone else who has been in the same spot I am.

MrQuadruple, Community Member
4/17/10 10:55pm

WOW, 2 days ago!! Are you home already or in the hospital??


You must be doing good to be on the computer already.

I know the pain is soo bad, but trust me, it gets better.

During my first 2 weeks, it was bad. I only showered every 2 or 3 days, as it was to hard and exhusting to do. But I tried to walk around the house a little each day. But mainly just sit in a chair, watched TV, and took naps during the day.

You will feel different every couple of days. The pain gets better and changes. 

One day you might feel pain in one area of your chest, and a couple of days later it will be in a different area. They took the vein out of my week, I never felt ANY pain in my leg for the first 2 weeks, but during week 3 it started to hurt.


Getting in and out of bed is always the worse, but even this gets easier after 2 weeks. 2 weeks after the surgery, I noticed the most difference. I was able to drive to the stores, shower every day, get in and out of bed in record timing, and start taking daily walks of 1 to 2 miles, and even open my own perscription bottles. 


A month after my operation, I had an appointment with my Heart Doctor, he then signed me to a program for Caridiac Rehab. It's a 12 week program, where 3 days a week I go for an hour. It's just a gym with nurses and people like us. The nurses will monitor your heart while you do simple exericses like walking slow on a tread mill. If you can go to something like this it would be very good, as you can meet others with the same issues, and the nurses there can answer just about any question you may have about your heart and your life. I try to think of things to ask them every day. They also hold little classes where they teach you things.


One more thing, I know they tell us we now need to watch what we eat,

BUT during the time you are still healing, you need protien, so things like big juicy bacon cheese burgers are OK for awhile. lol

Amber, Community Member
4/18/10 8:27am

I am still in the hospital. My best friend is the one on the computer. She thought talking to people would help me. Her thing is if you want to know something just ask. These are my words. It is her help!! :) The pain feels worse today and I am scared. They are going to take out the chest tube today. I want to be asleep when they do it but they have told me no. :( How bad will it hurt? I scared to go home. What if I do something wrong and I end up right back here again?

MrQuadruple, Community Member
4/17/10 11:09pm

Amber, I've also sent you an email address to your message box that you can reach me if you like.

MrQuadruple, Community Member
4/17/10 11:22pm

Are your talking about the "chest tubes" that drain the fluids and those emergency jumper cable wires, that go into you right below where they cut you open?? 

If so, not a big deal.

A nurse or doctor lady that worked with the surgical team walk in my room and told me she was going to remove them, I thought she was going to take me away to do it, (like an operation) BUT to my suprise, she just reached for them right there and then and with a very fast tug ripped them out and then she held a bandage on the openings for a minute, I screamed in shock, but it only hurt for a second, but it felt very weird for a few minutes. :-) 


If your in the hospital, you should put away your computer, and just lay back and relax as much as you can. Wait awhile till you do things like the computer.


MrQuadruple, Community Member
4/17/10 11:41pm

If they take those chest tubes out, the next things they will be looking for is to see if you are going to the toilet. I guess those days after the operation, your not doing any number 2's, and they need to make sure start again.

Soon as they found out I had a dump, it felt like they kicked me out of the hospital. So be prepared. lol


And if they give you pain killers to take and recommened stool softeners, trust me, buy and take stool softeners daily as long as you take those pain killers.




MrQuadruple, Community Member
4/18/10 10:45am

Having open heart surgery isn't that hard, as your asleep during the whole thing.

The hard part is recovering and being awake the first 4 days after the operation.

These few days will be the hardest days of your life, try to sleep them away.

But after you make it past these few days, nothing can be as hard or painful,

it's all down hill from there.


Removing the chest tubes, is sorta like ripping a straw out of a McDonalds cup. 

The thought if it may be painful, be it really wasn't that painful, it was more of a very weird feeling.


Everyone is different, but I found talking about the operation during the first few weeks made me sweat, feel pain, weak, and sick. I know your friends and family will want to hear everything that happened to you, but you may want to wait awhile before going into such graffic details.


After my surgery I could feel my heart beat funny, like a hiccup of pain, this I was told was normal, and as time went on a few weeks later, I no longer felt it.

Getting in and out of bed was always the hardest. You don't want anyone to help you, as them touching you will hurt more. I know you must be using the hugging pillow method, but I did it by inching sideways till I got to the edge of the bed and somehow using my legs off the bed to lift my upper body in a weird maneuver. I might have looked like a weirdo, but it hurt less.


When you get home, you will be tired alot. Even tho you will be able to take care of yourself, it would be nice for someone there for the first couple of days to make some of your meals and deal with things you might not feel up to.

After a couple of days, you should be alright left at home alone. I don't know the age of your son, but if he takes a lot of work to take care and/or stresses you, you might need help taking care of him for a couple of weeks.

Remember you can't lift things for awhile (like kids), your weak, plus the chest bone they cut will need 6 to 12 months to completely heal. In the begining, lift nothing more then a gallon of milk, after 2 months you shouldn't lift more then 25 pounds.


After 2 or 3 months, most people can return to work, as long as it's not heavy physical labor.


Amber, Community Member
4/19/10 1:23pm

Thank you for helping Amber with this. She hates when people keep comparing her to all the older people on the floor.Yell Her thing is she will do this in her time not the 80 year old down the hall. This is her friend who has been staying with her at the hospital. The six year old is mine but she is his Godmother. She has been my best friend for as long as I can remember. I am 31 and I am still amazed how a 28 year old has open heart surgery. You have brought peace by giving her understanding and knowledge.Innocent I hope she doesn't spend the rest of her life worrying about what she did wrong, but worry about how to make the changes needed to move forward. Her main emotion right now is fear. Even as her best friend I wasn't able to help her with the unknown as a perfect stranger who help her see the light at the end of the tunnel. You have helped in more ways than you will ever know and I thank you. She understands she has a long road in front of her and has had to have a push to keep her going and no be so depressed. She has diabetes that she found out about two years ago. She is a smoker, but she has been trying to change. She has lost a lot of weight. She has almost quit smoking. (Only when she was stressed out.) She was eating better and exercising more. I guess that is why it was a shock with this.

MrQuadruple, Community Member
4/19/10 5:06pm

Well, I wish I could have found someone my age that had gone through this before me to ask questions to and let me know what to expect.


I don't have diabetes, but people are more likely to have heart problem that have diabetes. Most heart people I've come across do have diabetes.

I would be more scared with having diabetes then the heart issues. 

I you do anything, please, quit smoking. Smoking if the worst for your heart issue.  I quit cold turkey, just hours before having my heart attack 3 months ago. And after the heart attack and open heart surgery I couldn't even imagine smoking a cigarette again. It's better to get fatter then to continue smoking.


With all the things that can go wrong with a persons heart to cause them to have open heart surgery, like irregular heart beats and faulty valves, I feel lucky that it was only 4 bypasses that I needed.

The past few years, I've felt lazy, tired, and out of breath, 3 months out from the operation my heart and lungs feel better then I can ever remember. I still take it easy, but I think I really will be in better shape then I was before all this. These cloggy arteries have probable been effecting me for years. I use to lie in bed at night and I could feel my heart beating hard with-out even touching it, now it's beating so good that I can't feel it beating with-in me.


I'm also the youngest where ever I go with this heart problem, but I've noticed something about that: after the operation my blood pressure was pefect for a few weeks, but then it went crazy, it was going high and they had to double my meds to get it back in check.

Now, all the old people you see with heart problems, their blood pressure tends to be very low.

I believe we are in a better situation then the older people, we are like in the total opposite situation then the 80 yr old the hall.


If your still in alot of pain in bed, try "not" using a pillow behind your head.

A pillow behind your head might be bending your upper body forward and putting pressure on your chest. I only used pillows on the side of me under my arms.

ooh, and you probable will not feel comfortable enough to sleep on your sides or stomache for 3 months.


They say Depression is a big thing as a result of open heart surgery and many may need to seek help, I don't know anything about this. 

I have not been depressed, but I have been very very emotional.

I'm a man, and haven't really cried before. But god, since I got out of the hospital, I (secretly) cry often daily, but it's tears of joy and happiness. 

I cry all the time, for anything. I even seem to cry when ever I do something for the first time since the operation. The first time I walked outside of my house on my own, I cried. I thought I was going to die, but here I am and I'm alive, It's great even just to sit all alone and breathe.

ronroblesrocketmail, Community Member
7/ 5/14 5:50pm

Hello everybody out there my name is Ron I am from Tucson Arizona I am 59 years old and just had a quadruple heart bypass on the 5th of may this year, so I thought I was in really good shape until the burning sensation in my chest started, I walked 4 miles every day, and a avid hunter with bow and rifle. Worked out with weights and still played ball with my son's team which they 40 and under and in better shape than most of them I have 7 brothers and 1 sister. Question to everybody out there do You have problems sleeping at night is this normal maybe the trauma  I went through? I have also lost a lot of weight from 213 - 188 plus two pounds I just gain back 190 now . My heart disease comes from mom's side of family and the other side of things is what we all do when years go by but mostly genetic they said doctor said no damage to heart it is in excellent condition so no  damage which was good news .reading all your stories funny how we all are going through same problem's and feelings my thing is having to depend on people to do or take you places , hate to depend on any one even though it may be wife or girlfriend they seem to get tired after a while even if they care it happens sad but true . Don't know when I will be released to be able to drive but that would help just to get away on your own. OK questions ? Do you guys have trouble sleeping, weight problem and eating doc says to eat,  just scared I guess you know new pipes and all don't want to miss them up lol, my chest pops once a while what about you guys same thing I hope ! But my biggest fear is the future , doctors says I should have no problems , just stay in shape and eat right. Well starting a conversation here seems when you talk to other people with same problem you feel better cut nobody knows like us what we feel or what we are going through like somebody said not even the doctors do. Well just to say hello and ask a question or two and get involved. 

Dave Mackay, Community Member
4/24/11 5:44am

Hi i am Dave.  i was 58 when i had quadbypass, i was walking 48 hrs after op..

Sure it hurts a lot at first few days, i had collapsed lungs, which not help but not that unusual.   but eases as days go by.     

i heard how bad taking out drains etc would be...i was taking deep breath as nurse

was about to take drain out...well it was not really sore just like having a plaster removed......not as bad as what you may hear or think.    

you been through worse...

Eat as much as you can, it will give you strength to get well.   even cakes..

Another patient said here have a cream cake and it was lovely and that gave me

will to eat and get better.....

You can hold kids and gently play as long as it not to do so.   we held together well..     

I went on my Motorbike 5wks after op for first check up,  surgeon was not impressed..    lol  well he was really that i doing so well..

So you will be ok, the Pain eases as days go by and you will enjoy life once again.....Take care Dave.

Patrick, Community Member
12/29/13 12:51am
Hi I had triple bypass four weeks ago. Yes I have lived through all the same experiences as the above, but it does get easyer after a week or two when a lot of the pain drops away making movment much easyer. Even starting to sleep a lot better. my issue is ia'm starting to feel really low. I was told I would feel this way time to time. at first I felt great, great it was all over and looking forward to a pain free life again, feeling like a new man. Iam just so low sick of being stuck at home an able to do to much. Any body else feeling this way? Best regards Patrick aged 44 Reply
wade, Community Member
2/ 5/14 11:34pm

48 here its been 4 months and i still fell chest pain this sucks

Amy Tudor, Editor
8/15/14 11:56am

Hi there, Amber -


I know this is an old question, but I did want someone from our staff to answer you!  I hope you've long since recovered well from your surgery and are doing well. Perhaps you'd consider coming back and telling us how things turned out for you? Your experience might be invaluable to someone else suffering from the same symptoms.


Here are some links that might be helpful for you in any case.  Best of luck to you!


Here are some links that might be useful for you:


Stress and Heart Disease: How to Lower Levels to Reduce Your Risk

Five Easy Ways to Help Your Heart

Mindfulness Meditation




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By Amber, Community Member— Last Modified: 08/15/14, First Published: 04/17/10