Why Mine Didn't Work - Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery (CABG)

Things don't always go like they are supposed to...

If you have read my Hub about my Heart Bypass Surgery, you know that it was a pretty traumatic thing for me to go through. That is why I was so glad when I was told it would add roughly 15 good years to my life. Now, they told me in the beginning that there are no guarantees, and I wasn't expecting any, but still-imagine my dismay upon hearing that the vein they had used was too small, and they were going to have to do a Heart Catheterization, put in a stent, and the vein they had used for the bypass would no longer even be in use! I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I went through a full year of recovery from that surgery, all for nothing!

It all started when I was on the phone with my sister, and sudden;y I started having some chest pains. These were going through to my back, between my shoulder blades (again!), and down the left arm. So , I called my Cardiologist, and of course I ended up in the ER. After 4 nitro, 2 baby aspirin, several shots of morphine, and being made into a human pincushion, they decide to do a nuclear stress test on me the next day. So, off to my lovely room in ICU, and more shots of morphine (nitro just doesn't have much effect on me. The pains will stop for about 2 minutes, then come right back...), 5 days, and 3 angiograms later, I now have my second stent in the same vessel as the first one. In 1 year, I had gotten 90% occlusion (or blockage) again!So, then I had to have another surgery to insert the stent. I ended up having three total, but am a little fuzzy on the details, because of all the anaesthesia and the pain medications I had while in there, lol!!

After the storm...

I ended up with a 5 day stay in the ICU, a fancy new stent, and a $100,000.00 hospital bill. Haven't heard from the doctor yet, but I'm sure that is pricey too. That's ok-beats the alternative of not getting it fixed! So...now I am 49 years old and have 2 stents, and a bypass surgery!

Here is the REALLY tough part about the whole experience, though. If you have read any of my other hubs, you would know that I am bipolar and have depression. Stress and things that are really emotional trigger it. Well, anyone who has had heart problems probably knows that depression can be an unwelcome guest during recovery from heart surgery. The biggest problem for me is the fact that I went through a bypass for nothing. If you have gone through this type of surgery, you know the pain experienced, and the hard work that goes into recovery, not to mention the emotional part with the frustration, helplessness in the beginning, and the scar down the middle of your chest for life.

There are actually 2 recoveries that you may go through after a heart procedure. Number one is the physical part and the second is the depression. Even if you don't have some depression, many people will have at least a small amount of emotional upheaval. You may be more emotional and either cry or get angry easier than you normally would. It usually doesn't last too long, but for those of us that already have a problem with depression, it can be a real pain! I'm trying really hard to just accept the facts and go on, and I will, but it takes a little time. The best answer for me is to stay busy-so I have been working on a really awesome altered book. I plan to share it with you when it is finished. I have written about altered art also, in case you are interested in finding out more about this great and fun art form!

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Comments 15 comments

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

I am so so so sorry to hear that but I glad you found the strength to share it with us. I know we can't take it away from you but to know people feel and think of you does help. You don't feel so alone which adds to it. I admire you for your fantastic attitude. Hope to hear from you soon and look forward to the next hub.


Laura Thykeson profile image

Laura Thykeson 6 years ago from Central Texas Author

Hello, hello:

Thank you for your kind words. Sometimes you just have to laugh to keep from crying.

Laura T.


mrxsmoker profile image

mrxsmoker 6 years ago from Las Vegas

Wow! That's certainly more than anyone should ever have to go through. Thank God you're an artist and a very gifted writer. My thoughts and sincere prayers are difinately with you. You're a special person Laura.


Laura Thykeson profile image

Laura Thykeson 6 years ago from Central Texas Author

mrxsmoker:

Thanks. Everyone keeps telling me they don't see how i'm coping with it so well...hate to tell them this, but I'm not. Thanks for stopping by and I hope your mom is well.

Laura T.


mrxsmoker profile image

mrxsmoker 6 years ago from Las Vegas

October this year will be seven years since her bypass surgery. She just turned 71 in april and doing better than ever. You will too Laura. She also went through the depression and it was very hard for me to see that because I felt so helpless. She said the first two years were the hardest for her as far as depression, but as each month passed during that time she felt herself gradually getting back to normal. She said the same thing as you, to just stay busy. It helps keep your mind peaceful and hopeful. Being you're an artist and a writer, you have at least two things to keep you busy while you're waiting for the healing time to pass. And it will pass. I am just one of your many fans and I, like everyone else, look forward to reading the quality work that both your research and experience have produced. We may not be able to take away your tears but at least we can be the shoulders you can cry on. Remember, this will pass. When people go through abnormally tough times it only means that they're being prepared for something great that takes extraordinary strength and courage. You don't feel that you're coping well with the current circumstances but your still able to write about it in an interesting and intelligent fashion. This is what makes people think that you're strong. And the truth is... you are! Eventually you will feel what everyone else sees; a brave person who went through a terrifying experience (more than once) and not only lived to talk about it, but IS talking about it and enlightening others to pay attention to their health. Not just health either. I've read your other hubs and they all are well researched, informative and very well written.

I hope you sleep well tonight and a great day tomorrow.


Laura Thykeson profile image

Laura Thykeson 6 years ago from Central Texas Author

mrxsmoker:

All I can say is "Thank You". Your words brought me comfort at 4:15 am when I couldn't sleep. You are a blessed and kind man.

Laura T.


mrxsmoker profile image

mrxsmoker 6 years ago from Las Vegas

Thank you Laura.


captmerrill 6 years ago

I had a cabg then two weeks later went to Cleveland Clinic's E.R. told them I had crushing chest pain they said I was fine go home its the nerves waking up from surgery. I went home the next day the chest pain continued along with difficulty breathing. The Dr.'s office told me to go back to the E.R.. After an 8 hour stay in the E.R. they figured it out I was bleeding in to my rear chamber. They had to re-open my chest and evacuate the blood. Since that time my bypasses have collapsed one by one. I have a total of 17 stents and still crushing chest pain when I walk. I eat only low or no fat foods with no saturated fats and no white sugar or flour.


Laura Thykeson profile image

Laura Thykeson 6 years ago from Central Texas Author

captmerril,

Wow!! You have had a hard time of it! I hope that things ease up for you, and you can regain your health soon. I ended up having another stent because I had a blood clot, after I wrote this article! It gets discouraging sometimes, doesn't it?! Good luck...


CarolineAU 5 years ago

Laura, after a major heart attack 8 years ago that destroyed over 50% of my heart muscle, 2 stents, heart failure, unstable angina, and finding a leaky heart valve, among other problems, I was given the news 6 years ago that any operation to repair the valve had a roughly 15% success rate. They could not give me a prognisis, they simply did not know how much longer I would live. I could not walk across the road let alone go to the supermarket.

Its taken 6 years, but I can now live independently, walk a kilometer to the shops and then back again and take myself off for the day. I still have my problems; they are kept pretty much under control by medication, there has been no miraculous cure. Each day I try to push myself just that little bit further and I certainly do not regard myself as an invalid. The odds of surviving a by-pass or repair surgery are still the same, but there is life after the most drastic news that a cardiologist can pass on. Not the same as before, that cannot be regained, but with persistence and determination and slowly working away to become stronger everyday, you can improve the quality of your life to the point where its no longer an issue.

I am grateful for every extra day I have, and I'm sure that as you look back you can also see the small steps you have taken that have improved your life. They may only be small steps, but imperceptibly each day you will grow stronger. Medicine can only do so much - I am sure a positive outlook also helps, and the determination to become as fit as we can be under the circumstances.

But the icing on the cake is the ability to create. I'm sure our experiences flow on into our arts and crafts and this gives us the strength to keep going. Keep creating; you still have so much inside that needs to get out and this will drive out any negativity you feel over your situation. Set creative goals and as you reach them add a few more. Its a marathon where speed is not important but the taking part. It is discouraging, but its not hopeless, and you still have so much to give!

Take care!


Charles S profile image

Charles S 5 years ago from UK

Yes, I can relate to the depression, especially prior to my heart attack 4 years ago. My partner and I now notice our mood improves with either protein, vit c, or both. Discovered this using Linus Pauling's method to reverse heart disease.

I'm 60 now and in continue in very good health. Zero angina or any symptoms and no need of any medications. We snack on Atkins bars, eat chocolate every day, lift weights, go for long walks, life is good.


Laura 5 years ago

captmerril,, Thanks for reading my hub! Yes it does get a little discouraging sometimes, but I suppose there is nothing we can do to change it....I pray that you are doing better since your stent!

Laura


andrew 5 years ago

This article helps convey the uselessness of cornary interventions in treating althrorosis and other heart killers. The secret that modern medicine is shading us from is cetnered around misinformation promoted by the overpiced surgeons that would be unemployed if people gave up animal proteins, dairy, and white flour in their diets.


conradofontanilla profile image

conradofontanilla 5 years ago from Philippines

Laura, I was given a prognosis as a candidate for CABG. But I did a literature research and am now undergoing infusion chelation therapy. It is doing fine for me. It costs less, more effective, not traumatic. I have met fellows in the same clinic that I go for chelation who had angioplasty and CABG undergoing chelation now.


Laura Thykeson profile image

Laura Thykeson 10 months ago from Central Texas Author

Yhank you for your wonderful comment..It was great to come back to after so long away...

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