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Care After Heart Bypass

Updated on September 20, 2014


I recently wrote an article about my heart bypass surgery, The Good, The Bad and The Bypass. This was an attempt to help those that are facing surgery, or have just recently experienced this very unpleasant necessity.

Hopefully, this article will provide some insight as to your recovery time and how important your caregiver will be to you.

My wife has been my salvation. She has gone over and above what I would have expected from her in this time of crisis in my life. I am truly blessed. She took off work the first week to be with me day and night. She had to put my socks on for me as I simply did not have the strength to do so for myself. I could barely get into the shower and wash without feeling totally exhausted. She was there to dry me off.

She made me eat. I lost my appetite and my taste buds were changed from the operation. Very little tasted good to me. I could not stand coffee and coffee had been an integral part of my daily routine for most of my life. I had always eaten oat meal with blueberries in the morning and suddenly it tasted horrible.

I lost 21 lbs from the time I left the hospital until about two weeks later. The doctors told me to forget following a heart diet for the time being and do whatever it took to gain back some weight. She gave me ice cream, malts, spaghetti, pork chops, biscuits and gravy; anything that would give me back some weight.

She eventually had to go back to work and called me every hour to check on me. All I did was lay back in my recliner and rest. She would come home and go right into the kitchen and start preparing some kind of heavy dinner for me. It did not matter whether, or not I wanted to eat; I was going to eat if she had anything to do with it.

I went through a period of depression and feeling sorry for myself. She was constantly at my side and hugging me and telling me how everything was going to be alright. She was constantly getting out of her recliner to get something for me; water, snacks, Kleenex, a blanket, or anything else that I needed. Getting up was a chore for me. I would do my daily walking inside the house and then was exhausted from my efforts.

She never complained and when I would tell her how sorry I was that her life was temporarily so confined, she would tell me this is where she wanted to be and we would get though it together.

She finally got me out of the house to go eat against my wishes. She would drop me off at the front of the restaurant and go park the car and come back and walk me in. I could not wait to get back home where I just collapsed from fatigue.

This has been her life for six weeks now. This is the point when they tell me my ribs have grown back together and there should be a turn around in the way I feel. I actually drove my car to the doctor yesterday by myself. That is progression. I am starting to do for myself a little more, but she still hovers over me with that angelic care.

Yes, I have an angel for a wife and caretaker. Hopefully, you will be lucky enough to have the same lovable, attentive and unlimited care.


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      WILLIAM EVANS 2 years ago from TEXAS

      Good for you, Desert Bunny. Continued success!

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      Dessert Bunny 2 years ago

      You are very fortunate to have someone care for you. December 2013 I was busy in the garden very early in the morning and all of a sudden got the most horrible pain in my chest. I felt as if I was going to pass out. I am a widow and am staying alone but luck was on my side. My son came to visit unexpectedly the previous day but was still sleeping. I could not walk or breathe. I just sat there for about an hour trying to breathe and get some strength to move into the house. By this time my son was making breakfast and calling me - he saw me sitting outside but I could not reply I had no air to make a sound. Eventually I crawled into the house and he got the doctor. I landed up in hospital for 10 days before they could establish that I did not have any heart valves. They operated and found that my aorta tore where it goes from the heart to the lungs. Luckily for me it tore through the heart valves as well so a lot of the blood fell back into the heart and only 20% into the heart sack. I was in ICU for 7 days and after that in high care for 4 days before I went home. In total 21 days in hospital and lost 12kg weight. The dr said that I should have died but I pulled through. the procedure is the same as heart bypass - chest cut open and they also cut my one leg but the leg was much more painful that the chest. I went home and six weeks after the operation I went back to work. It was a long road to recovery I was just so exhausted everyday. But today one year after the operation I feel so good. It was difficult to cope being alone - shopping bags had to be carried etc. etc. But I made it.

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      Daughter 5 years ago

      I am crying :(

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      WILLIAM EVANS 5 years ago from TEXAS

      Thank you Happy! I appreciate those warm comments.

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      Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

      Sounds like you are the beneficiary of one of the most healing forces on earth-- a loving wife dedicated to helping you regain your strength and health.

      This tribute is lovely and I'm sure it will mean the world to her.

      Sometimes, when we care for our spouses "in sickness and in health" it strengthens the love we have for each other and when the ailing spouse gets well again, life together grows ever sweeter.

      May you continue to progress to full health and enjoy happy times with your wife.