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  • Not doing great

    [Not doing great]

    Author: Jerry Salzman (---.indy.rr.com)

    Date: 09-19-02 08:18

    Hi guys,

    I am now 3 weeks + out from the myectomy, and while I am able to do a fair amount, I still do not feel great unless I am on the narcotics. I tried doing to tylenol, but I just felt too bad. Does this seem unusual? I am also having alot of stomach queasyness. I am taking magnesium because of an attack of a-fib in the hospital. I know it is hard on the stomach, but I am also taking Nexium.

    I am calling at least one of the doctors this morning, but I thought I would ask and see if anyone had any ideas. I am getting out of the house. I spent most of Monday and Tuesday out and did tons of walking. Tuesday was for an uncle's furneral so it wasn't much fun.

    Thanks

    Jerry

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: Not doing great]

    Author: Shayne (192.76.86.---)

    Date: 09-19-02 09:55

    I actually took it pretty easy for the first four weeks. I'd walk down to get the mail, but never really far. (maybe because it was January, but that's beside the point).

    Maybe you're just trying to rush it. I was only 28 when I had mine and it took me at least three weeks to be getting around without meds. I don't remember exactly when I stopped taking them, but do remember they bumped my dosage down from Percacet(sp?) to something a lot weaker after a couple of weeks. My biggest problem was not being able to lay down. I had to sleep on a recliner.

    I'd call your doctor as a precautionary measure, but if you're not feeling all that great. . .maybe your body's trying to tell you something. Listen to it.

    Shayne

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    [Re: Not doing great]

    Author: Sarah B.-Board Moderator (---.client.attbi.com)

    Date: 09-19-02 09:58

    Dear Jerry,

    I take magnesium every day and it will certainly eat a hole in your stomach (so to speak). Please go to the drugstore (or drugstore.com) and pick up Slow-Mag by Roberts. It is expensive compared to plain magnesium, but you only have 1 stomach so it is worth every penny!! It is a coated tablet that dissolves in your intestines so you would be able to stop taking nexium (unless the stomach upset is due to the pain medication --which it very, very often is too).

    Everyone is different and everyone responds to pain differently. As long as the doctors are informed of how you are and are ok with it, then I would just do what you need to do re: pain control. (Frankly, Tylenol has never done much for me for anything.)

    I'm sorry about your uncle.

    hang in there, check in with the doctors and pick up some Slow-Mag.

    take care,

    S

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    [Re: Not doing great]

    Author: Jerry Salzman (---.indy.rr.com)

    Date: 09-19-02 11:10

    Sarah,

    I thought I got slo-mag because that is what I asked for, but I am not sure. The bottle says mag-ox 400. It has antacid with the magnesium, but it may not be the same. Does yours actually say slo-mag?

    Thanks

    Jerry

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    [Re: Not doing great]

    Author: Dawn (---.cl.ri.cox.net)

    Date: 09-19-02 18:05

    Jerry,

    Sorry to hear about your pain. How did you feel after other surgeries? Did you seem to have more pain than other people? Some people have a high tolerance to pain and some have a low tolerance. Plus being a guy---you all are wimps when it comes to pain--HAHAHAHA! But it would be a good idea to talk to your doc and rule out other possible reasons. Maybe try a different pain medication, you're on Percocet? Maybe Darvocet instead?

    The Pharm companies drive me crazy with names, generic vs trade names. On company vs another. Not sure if max-ox 400 is slo-mag or not. Ask your Pharmacist, that's their job to know all drugs inside and out.

    Sarah said the slo-mag is more expensive but you only have one stomach, couldn't agree more. But isn't the Nexium very expensive? Maybe the slo-mag will get you off the Nexium? Pain pills are **** on the stomach too! Queasy, heartburn, constipation to name a few.

    Talk to your docs and pharm, hope you can get all this under control and soon. Work on the balance between activity and rest. Listen to your body and take it easy. You did just have open heart surgery!

    Sorry about your uncle. Are the boys ok with it, were they close with your uncle?

    Dawn

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    [Re: Not doing great]

    Author: Sarah B.-Board Moderator (---.client.attbi.com)

    Date: 09-19-02 18:16

    Just to clarify ---Slow-Mag is the brand name for enteric-coated magnesium. Sort of like Ecotrin is enteric-coated aspirin. Same idea.

    S

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    [Re: Not doing great]

    Author: Amelia Haynes (---.proxy.aol.com)

    Date: 09-19-02 21:35

    Jerry, narcotics make me deathly ill. Could this be the cause of your queasiness? Actually, it was Dr. Lever who suggested that that could be the reason I was so ill following my surgery. I don't know what to suggest you take for the pain other than Tylenol but wonder if Ultram, a prescription med that is usually given for back and other types of bone pain, might help. They told me that it has the capacity for giving pain relief as that of a narcotic but is not one. I can take up to 6 per day for severe back pain with no side effects and my cardiologist agrees with its use. Why don't you ask your doctor about its use.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: Not doing great]

    Author: Pat (---.d00832.dlup.digitaldune.net)

    Date: 09-19-02 22:50

    Jerry, I think you're simply pushing yourself too fast! The guidelines for all major surgeries--and open-heart procedures are among the most major of surgeries--are for a six-week recovery period. That means rest periods during the day, pain medications, letting others pamper you, whatever. And, Jerry, spending two full days out of the house does not sound like you're taking it very easy!

    I've not had chest surgery, but I did have abdominal surgery when I was in my mid-thirties. I remember going to work during weeks 5 to 6. I dragged through the day, couldn't think well, hurt quite a bit, and was exhausted when I got home. Had my husband not been there to cook for me, I suspect I would not have eaten that week. I was simply too tired to prepare even a bowl of cereal! A couple of weeks later I was back to working and taking care of myself.

    Do check with the docs, especially about the magnesium, but don't try to wean yourself from narcotics until the pain is pretty well gone. Pain itself makes most people nauseated. No drugs are as effective against pain as are narcotics and being without pain definitely speeds healing and recovery!!!

    Take care of yourself.

    Pat

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: Not doing great]

    Author: beth (---.nyc.rr.com)

    Date: 09-20-02 10:00

    I am not an HCM patient; am only familiar with this board and the disease through the loss of a friend to the disease. i visit here to witness other people winning against what my friend lost against. that makes me feel better about her because i think she lost because she didn't know enough..........did not participate the way all of you do in managing her care.

    However, I had thoracic surgery (chest surgery), a side entry, vs front which is what I assume you had, about 2 and 1/2 years ago due to a perforation to my distal esophagus that threatened my life and required emergency surgery.

    My experience with major chest surgery was humbling as i had never been sick a day in my life prior to that experience. i was an immortal, healthy 37 year old. ha. ha. lesson learned.

    6 weeks were what the dr.'s said was required as post surgery healing.

    I was in A LOT of pain and was unable to sleep at night without pain medication. However, I also discovered in the initial 6 week post-op period that in addition to the pain I began to just feel totally lousy overall --- including naseau and depression and my surgical nurse advised me to go off the narcotic pain meds to alleviate those symptoms. Given that I had surgery on my distal esophagus, nausea was not a good thing to have going on!!!

    I did better switching to non-narcotic pain medication. I used extra strength tylenol. The narcs, while important in the beginning to survive the pain, became destructive for me after a few weeks.

    I did not go back to work for a full 3 months --- which by the way was what i was legally entitled to by the family medical leave act --- paid time off. i got up and about; long walks etc. but also took naps for the first time in my life and slept 8-10 hours a night (previously i slept 5-6 and often less if I was travelling internationally for business) and exposed myself only nominally to the stresses of my very active life prior to the surgery during that time. i upped the proteins in my diet --- soy shakes, egg white omelettes, etc., to build my strength, drank as much water as i could stand to put in me and only chose to do what was good for my recovery. every other thing was put on the back burner without any guilt or questions whatsoever. i let my husband take care of what i normally handled. food, household chores, bills, etc. i let my staff at work figure things out for themselves and figured the world and my clients would all survive without the immortal me for a while, which by the way, they all do.

    After the initial frustration of not being able to do what I was used to right away (what a silly idea, really! -- what --- did i think i was jetting off to europe for a round of 2 day meetings and back to new york to the office right away???????) things got better. I decided to do all this because the situation made it the obvious thing to do...........after all I was tired and frightfully skinny and in a bit of shock. some counseling helped me as well to put it all in perspective, get a grip on reality and accept things as they were.

    Ultimately, once I switched to this strategy and gave up on being the immortal superwoman of the past : ) things got better.

    the pain, the getting tired fast, all of that went away with time........i reached a threshold of acceptability within a few months, and the rest of getting all your energy back, feeling like yourself again, comes later...........in honesty it took me a full year to really feel like me again.

    and in total honesty, i will not ever feel the same again. i feel fine. even good. just different.

    on humid days my ribs and back ache sometimes.......my ribcage still sticks out a bit on the side they went in..........etc. all things easy for a mortal person to live with : ) --- particularly one lucky to be alive.

    when the dr.'s say 6 weeks they want to be encouraging and medically i think they mean you are out of danger in terms of reinjury from stress to where they performed the surgery.

    and maybe some people do feel "fine" after 6 weeks. but did anyone ever cut the dr.'s chest open dig around in there a bit and put them back together again? so how would they REALLY know what it feels like?

    i advise expecting a lot less of yourself. and giving yourself a break. don't feel bad about yourself if you feel bad. you're where you're at and that's all there is to it. and of course, talk to your dr.'s about the specifics of your condition.........

    this is just a point of view on major chest surgery in the general sense.

    you WILL feel better. whenever YOU are ready.

    i also advise if possible to get off the narcs as quickly as possible........they can be very bad for your overall mental state. they are depressives after all..........

    i hope you feel better soon. and because what they did for you is intended to improve the symptoms you suffered from prior to your surgery, you were in some ways prepared for your surgery while I was not, perhaps you will feel benefits and better than i did sooner.

    so, be nice to yourself. relax and don't put pressure on yourself by expecting to feel good by some prescribed point in time. be active in choosing to do what's right for your recovery, no more, no less and just know you WILL feel better at some point.

    good luck. it does get better a little bit every day.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: Not doing great]

    Author: beth (---.nyc.rr.com)

    Date: 09-20-02 10:04

    by the way, regarding the nexium, i am very familiar with these drugs, they do not control nauseua directly. they are proton pump inhibitors and they reduce the amount of acid you produce in your stomach and are primarily prescribed for reflux disease to protect the esophagus from overexposure to stomach acids.

    if you are suffering from naseau, and narc. pain meds are known to cause nausea, as well as magnesium, i think you need something else to control nauseau??

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: Not doing great]

    Author: Sarah B.-Board Moderator (---.client.attbi.com)

    Date: 09-20-02 10:11

    Dear Beth,

    Wow. Do you mind if I repost your response as a main thread --many of us here have surgery and your post is something everyone should read as a reminder of how important it is to take it one day at a time and not push so hard to be "normal."

    thanks,

    S

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: Not doing great]

    Author: beth (---.nyc.rr.com)

    Date: 09-20-02 10:20

    feel free.

    dr.'s tell you what is medically correct about recovery.

    people who've been through it help you understand what you're going through.

    glad to be of help.

    beth

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: Not doing great]

    Author: Jerry Salzman (---.indy.rr.com)

    Date: 09-20-02 10:33

    Hi All,

    Thanks for all the comments. I think I have the wrong magnesium, so we are changing that. I also DO NOT get nauseau from the narcotics. They do make me feel better. i am getting more, however, it means an actual script so it has been difficult to get. I have also been staying in the last few days, so maybe that will help.

    Jerry

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: Not doing great]

    Author: beth (---.nyc.rr.com)

    Date: 09-20-02 10:43

    jerry --

    that's great for you that the narcs don't bother you the way they affected me.

    managing the pain helps so much in every way.
    NOTE: This is a post from the previous forum message board.

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