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Stuart Schwartz Find out more about Stuart Schwartz
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  • 30 days POST MYECTOMY

    THANKS TO ALL OF YOU, I have had a very easy time of it.

    My story is not very interesting. I was out walking from the day I got home. Just 8 days out of surgery, I was working from home a few hours a day (about 6-8). By the second week I was walking ½ mile around the block. I noticed that my pace was getting stronger and by the third week I was up to ¾ mile 2 to 3 times a day. I even made the mistake of weed whacking my yard in the third week. But I am yet to drive.

    I have had very little to complain about. Even in the hospital, I did not have coughing spells, I had NO A-fib problems. It did take a few weeks till I could take a deep breath. I had a little problem with being short of breath when I talk. This has pretty much gone away. I do find that I can have a lot of energy one day, and the next day I am wiped out. I guess this is how you know you are not pacing yourself.

    I still have some back pain and a bit of mussel soreness in my upper right chest area. This makes finding a comfortable position to sleep a problem. But this comes as no surprise to me. You all told me about this going in. Now I understand.

    Well tomorrow I am going to try to run the lawn mower. Don’t worry, it is self propelled.

    Feeling pretty good,
    Stuart Schwartz
    Cleveland Myectomy Club
    August 31, 2004

  • #2
    Re: 30 days POST MYECTOMY

    Hey Stuart,

    It is great to hear from you! Thanks for letting us know how you are doing.

    I'm almost four month's out now from my myectomy, and i still have some muscle soreness in my chest on occasion, so don't be discouraged by that. I find that it is gradually subsiding. Open-heart surgery is of course a major insult to your system, so don't expect everything to go away quickly. My biggest complaint to date has been a lot of neck-stiffness when i awake (God only knows what position they had me in during the surgery) but even this has gradually lessened with time.

    I too have been fortunate in that i have had NO problems with A-Fib... I guess we are both lucky huh?

    I've found recently that the more i do, the better i feel, and with a full courseload at school it has not been hard for me to get a good night's sleep. I started mowing my lawn about a month ago, and found it to be quite therapeutic in fact. I have a self-propelled mower as well, but the self-propelled part is broken (lol). It's an antique rusty old thing, so it ends up just being extra weight that i push around. Be sure to ask your doc if it is okay to start mowing yet.

    Again, it's good to hear from you buddy, and be sure to continue keeping us posted on your progress!

    "Some days you're the dog... some days you're the hydrant."


    • #3
      Re: 30 days POST MYECTOMY


      Congrats! I hope that you continue to feel good and that life just keeps speeding forward in great ways for you.

      Keep posting, please. Post-myectomy recovery is important for us to read so we can know what to expect if that is in our future.



      • #4
        Re: 30 days POST MYECTOMY

        Stuart all sounds great, Take it slow regarding tough work ,even self propelled lawn mowers , racking the upper body with turns and such may find you wishing you had waited.

        It really does take more then 30 days for sufficient calcium to build up and bridge those ribs solidly. The wiring can and often does give us a premature sense of solidarity in that area. Just don't overdo so you do not undo any great progress you have made. You underwent major surgery with your chest cut open and others need to realize as they face this that major surgery requires major recovery considerations and care.

        In summary keep doing well.

        Best wishes, Pam
        Dx @ 47 with HOCM & HF:11/00
        Guidant ICD:Mar.01, Recalled/replaced:6/05 w/ Medtronic device
        Lead failure,replaced 12/06.
        SF lead recall:07,extracted leads and new device 2012
        [email protected] Tufts, Boston:10/5/03; age 50. ( [email protected] 240 mmHg ++)
        Paroxysmal A-Fib: 06-07,2010 controlled w/sotalol dosing
        Genetic mutation 4/09, mother(d), brother, son, gene+
        Mother of 3, grandma of 3:Tim,27,Sarah,33w/6 y/o old Sophia, 5 y/o Jack, Laura 34, w/ 5 y/o old Benjamin


        • #5
          Re: 30 days POST MYECTOMY

          Hi Stewart,
          I guess you’ve already been told that there is a large difference between walking and dealing with a lawn mower – even the self propelled type – (unless it could do power turns by itself), so I won’t say anything about that.

          Instead I would like to comment on how well you are doing, and how much further you still have to go. Your mind registers your medical improvements and gets restless. It starts telling you that you can now do this, and do that – but there’s still your body to consider, and after major surgery your body takes time to recover. It’s best to stick to your doctor’s timetable on what you can do and when. It would be a terrible thing to blow a beautiful recovery on a momentary misstep.

          Stewart, you’ve got a whole new year to look forward to and recover in. (Happy New Year by the way.) Stick with your approved activities and exercises and you can become the poster boy of a perfect myectomy. It has been great to read about your recovery to-date. Keep it up.


          • #6
            Re: 30 days POST MYECTOMY


            My husband would not even consider me touching a lawnmower until the doctor released me, this was at a time i was feeling betterand i had started working in my yard....because i really enjoy that,

            Please don't push your self but by all means do get your exercise, and congratulations on the great recovery

            Diagnosed 2003
            Myectomy 2-23-2004
            Husband: Ken
            Son: John diagnosed 2004
            Daughter: Janet (free of HCM)

            Grandchildren: Drew 15,Aaron 13,Karen 9,Connor 9


            • #7
              Re: 30 days POST MYECTOMY


              I'm taking it slow. I am not over doing.

              Let me explain the lawn mower!

              I will help Barbara get it out and she will be doing 90% of it.
              My mower takes me for a walk. It is self steering & I do nothing but
              walk behind it.

              Trust me, I am doing as I was told. Dr. Lever & Dr. Lytle both said
              "listen to your body". I talk big, but I am being careful.

              I, like anyone else, have pushed just a little on the days that I felt great
              and the next day your body tells you to back down.

              I realy am takeing pretty eazy.

              Cleveland Myectomy Club
              August 31, 2004


              • #8
                Re: 30 days POST MYECTOMY


                You owe me a glider ride.


                • #9
                  Re: 30 days POST MYECTOMY


                  According to Dr. Lytle (my surgeon), he sees no reason I shouldn’t be
                  back flying next spring. SO LET’S GO.

                  Cleveland Myectomy Club
                  August 31, 2004


                  • #10
                    Re: 30 days POST MYECTOMY


                    My myectomy was May 17. I did everything my Dr told me to do. Today I feel great. My rehab is over, but I still exercise daily and take lots of long walks. I waited 2 months before cutting grass (Drs orders). Now I'm walking all over my farm and I started cutting & splitting firewood. I actually feel great after I'm done.

                    Keep working at your recovery and follow the Drs orders. Great to hear your doing so well. Keep in touch and tell Barbara I said hello...

                    Your Pal,
                    " Real Courage Is Being Scared To Death But Saddling-Up Anyway "


                    • #11
                      Re: 30 days POST MYECTOMY


                      It is so wonderful to hear about people that improve. Thanks for sharing.

                      I agree with other posts, take it easy. It took a long time to get you where you are now, you don't want to go downhill because of the excitement of being able to do more now.

                      I was told the same, "Listen to your body".

                      Take care and God bless


                      • #12
                        Re: 30 days POST MYECTOMY


                        I am so happy you are doing well and did not have any complications as I did in the hospital. Yes, pay attention to your body. I am not six months since my myectomy and double by pass and am doing very well. I still go to cardio rehab twice per week for at least an hour and walk three to four time per week 3 to 4 miles. I have started some light jogging while on my walks and it feels good. I bought a new self prepelled lawn mower about a month ago and can now mow my lawn without chest pains of SOB. I have not been able to mow the lawn in a number of years without having chest pains. Thank you Nick Smedira and the many prayers. I have not had any chest pains or any other problem other than some tachacardia which my cardiologist took care of with an adjustment of my pacemaker. I still have some soreness in the sternum area and in the left rib cage where I had a thoracadomy to clean out some infection during my stay at Cleveland Clinic. I have maintained my wieght at about 150-152 that is 20 lbs less than the day I had surgery March 18, 2004. My lipid lab is great. Total cholesteral of 135, hdl 53, ldl 57.

                        Keep up the good work, Stuart, I'm so glad you are doing so well.



                        • #13
                          Re: 30 days POST MYECTOMY


                          It's nice to hear that you're doing so well!

                          I had my myectomy back in 1990. In the medical world that's like a million years ago! Things have changed/improved so much. Back then, they didn't want me out of bed for the first 3 days (and kept me sedated) and had to stay in the hospital for 10 days. My brother had a myectomy 2 years ago, and I was flabergasted to see how well he was doing a few hours after surgery! Modern medicine...isn't it great!


                          I had to snicker at your "neck" comment. I COMPLETELY forgot about how sore my neck was! Fortunately, you guys had people here to
                          give you a "heads up" on what to expect. I had no clue! I was SO niave back then. I remember the night before surgery, one of the surgeons came in with his nurse to talk about the next morning, and the nurse made a comment that it was the first myectomy performed at that hospital. Can you imagine?! At the time, I wasn't particularly phased by the comment, but if it happened today I'd be jumping right out of the bed! Heck, to this day I have no idea how much experience the surgeon had at doing myectomies! And, back then, it didn't even occur to me to ask. Thank goodness everything went well! Actually, I did have to have a blood transfusion on the 4th or 5th day, maybe things didn't go perfectly!



                          • #14
                            Re: 30 days POST MYECTOMY

                            What great news from both Ralph and Stewart!

                            Some procedures go more smoothly then others and it looks like Stewart won the lottery with this one!

                            Congratulations on feeling better - we are all happy for you!

                            Knowledge is power ... Stay informed!
                            YOU can make a difference - all you have to do is try!

                            Dx age 12 current age 46 and counting!
                            lost: 5 family members to HCM (SCD, Stroke, CHF)
                            Others diagnosed living with HCM (or gene +) include - daughter, niece, nephew, cousin, sister and many many friends!
                            Therapy - ICD (implanted 97, 01, 04 and 11, medication
                            Currently not obstructed
                            Complications - unnecessary pacemaker and stroke (unrelated to each other)


                            • #15
                              Re: 30 days POST MYECTOMY

                              GOOD NEWS

                              I went to my local cardiologist here in PA on Tuesday. He said my heart murmur, that in June he didn’t need a stethoscope to hear, he doesn’t hear now. He is the doctor that diagnosed me with HOCM in June with a gradient of 128 at rest & 180 under load. He didn’t do an echo, being that I will be going back to the Cleveland Clinic to see Dr. Lever on November 3rd and an echo is scheduled.

                              You may think I won the lottery & yes I did seem to have an easier time than most. I contribute this to LISA. I ate the foods she told me to eat for 7 weeks prior to surgery. I walked around the block, though very slowly, every day. I really believe I had my body ready for this Myectomy & Lisa to thank for it.

                              But I am having all the same recovery symptoms as anyone else. One day a little discomfort in my right shoulder blade, the next day some funny feelings inside one place or another. Sometimes a little back or neck pain. I still can not find a good position to sleep at night & yawning is still not fun. THE BODY IS REALLY STRANGE AS IT HEALS.

                              I DO NOT think I will be able to drive by next week (week 6). Cabin fever sets in about week 3 and I can honestly say “CABIN FEVER is the worst symptom of all”.

                              Cleveland Myectomy Club
                              August 31, 2004