Aortic dissection & aortic aneurysm information support group

Aortic dissection, aortic aneurysm - The aorta - Life after an aortic dissection

David's recovery from the actual surgery is going well and he is now on an ordinary ward :-)  

One thing he has is really bad indigestion which is distressing him. They are giving him omneprazole and gaviscon but it isn't having any effect. Is this a common problem? No one else on the ward seems to have it.

 

He is feeling quite down atm due to the fact that its just like he has had another stroke although they say its the effects of the old one come back not a new one. They borrowed a zimmer frame from an old lady further up the ward so he could get to the toilet but he couldnt really manage even with that so they are now saying when he is fit for discharge from his heart point of view which maybe later this week he may have to be transfered to a stroke ward nearer home.:-(

 

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Comment by Kimberlee Jones on February 1, 2011 at 14:40
First good to hear, it may not seem like it but David is doing great. As for you handing it off tyo David, while we are all very happy to hear from him again and all ready to "hold his hand" through the recovery as best we can. This site is also here to offer support to loved ones, they are going through this too. Our members include families also. So if you need to talk or ask questions, please make your own account, we know this is hard for our families too. We have daughters as members as well as wives, etc. *hugs*

Kimberlee
Comment by David Vaughan on February 1, 2011 at 10:18

Thanks for all the replies. When we went up last night he seemed a lot brighter. As evidenced by the fact he asked us to bring his laptop up so this will probably be the last you hear from us as handing back to him.

 

I am not really sure what is going on with him. I think some of the problems are caused by the fact he hasn't been receiving his usual drugs particularly his IBS ones hopefully they have sorted that now. He doesn't seem to be on many drugs at all. Just paracetamol for pain anti coagulants and a couple of things for other long standing conditions. He did manage to drag himself up the corridor last night when we left so not sure what will be happening about any rehab physio. Ironically he had had botox the day before all this kicked off so he needs to capitalise on that with extra physio.

He is doing so well we are really proud of him and to think it is only 5 days today since his surgery :-)

 

 

Comment by Richard Deal on February 1, 2011 at 9:05

i had terrible issues with my whole digestive tract for 2 weeks post op. so there is nothing new there, fortunately ;)

i was kept in a coma for the first week post-op, but when i was awoken the doctors and nurses were very interested whether or not i was up to walking... this meant i had to use a walker (with all 4 drains, the pacemaker and a catheter bag in) to wander about with. wandering about was very difficult for the first week or so, but once i had a few drains removed it worked ok.

i would estimate you have another week of "indigestion" to contend with and maybe another 2 weeks of david being very unsteady on his feet. once the body purges itself of the chemicals it has been "raped" with it will go a whole lot quicker!

hope that this helps!

r

Comment by Angela Haughey on January 31, 2011 at 22:26
Hello.  Glad David's recovery is going well.  My dad had emergency AAA open repair on October24th.  He also suffered from the indigestion post op so dont worry too much about that, i noticed a few other men in his ward seemed to have that also, i dont know if its all connected in some way.  My dad also has days when he feels low, at the same stage as David however he was still in intensive care, he ended up on ICU for nearly 2 weeks after his op because he had some heart trouble right after the op.  He is still recovering now, it is about as major as it gets operation wise, and it is upsetting at the time for family, my thoughts are with you all, you and your kids, you are so used to your parents being up and about and when my dad was in ICU it was horrible, every visit was like a rollercoaster not knowing what you are going to face when you go to the ward.  Take care . x
Comment by Cheryl Kerber on January 31, 2011 at 20:04

The indigestion - could be from the anesthetic, the pain meds he's currently on and the one's he has been given (the stronger stuff like morphine) right after surgery, or any new meds he's been put on.

Also, if they had to pump any air into him for surgery - it takes time for it to work out of your system - partly because we just aren't moving around like we normally would.  My mom just had hernia surgery and that was the most painful for her.  For David's surgery, I don't know if he needed air pumped in, but that is a thought too.

And of course -- our bodies don't like to be monkied with no matter what, so our kidneys, stomach, and so forth kind of shut down to not what they normally function at -- so any food and so forth, just takes longer to digest, which only means it sits there in our systems longer and "ferments" you could say.

If the doctors aren't overly concerned, then I would assume it's post surgical "normal".  I'd try and stay away from the acidic stuff for a little while and they also suggest eatting smaller quantities so that our systems can digest easier.

Eatting was alot of hard work for me --- I would sweat and have hot flashes especially at lunch time --- it would feel like I just ran a marathon (for some reason that is when everyone would inevitably come visit me and I would look like I just 'tried' to take a shower - a tad overwhelming even though I appreciated the nice gesture of their visit).  The nurses told me that it was normal since our bodies have alot to do to digest our foods and it gets everything going in our system kind of all at once.

Pain meds (I don't know which one David is on) - but Percocet was nasty for me (some people can tolerate it) but I would feel nauseous from it which only made food irritate my insides more.  They switched me to Oxycoten and then finally to Vicodin.  Taking anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen also worked a number on my insides, but I needed to deal with the pain more at the time.  You could always check with the nurses to see if switching to another pain med would be more tolerated.

As for the stroke ward -- is it until he gets more mobility?  if so, hopefully he could look at it as more rehab.  I went home 10 days after my surgery and was on my own from that point on.  I had my 4 week post op, my 8 week post op, but then it was just come in if I had any problems.  Once I got home, there was someone with me 24/7 whether my husband, my mom, or either of my 2 sisters (partly because of my 4 kids and I just couldn't take care of them to the degree they needed to be and my husband had to get back to work).  They didn't have to sit with me all the time, but if they hadn't been there- I probably would have over done it, or tried to do something I shouldn't have --- pain meds can give you a false sense of ability and only in hindsight do you realize it.

I was the one that finally asked my GP if I could get physical therapy at 6 months post op --- I know they were giving my aorta a chance to heal, but at 6 months - alot of muscle deteoriation can take place during that time.  They never even suggested it to me.  (mind you - I liked all my doctors/surgeon so I'm not trying to bash them - but they kind of like stitch you up and let you go and only follow up as need be).

So, if David can get help to get back to "normal" physically while under some supervision, I would go for it.

Over here, they even put you in a nursing home after knee surgery to get your mobility back --- if they are located too far away, or are full, you might get sent home with some equipment, but usually they want someone there with you in case you fall etc., as you might just reinjure yourself or injure yourself worse.

David's surgery was way more involved - and granted, the stroke didn't help, but maybe if he goes there, he'll heal faster.

If not, then he'll heal just fine at home :)

I wish I could say all the after affects from surgery just quickly fade, but they don't - so just keep the questions coming.

I'm amazed at how far you have already come --- to think David joined this site but a week ago, and you are already talking about him being discharged (whether to a stroke ward or not) - it's a huge advancement.

And I'm sending you a special hug because even though I know how difficult it is to be David right now, I think it's even harder for those who love us to have to watch us go through this.  So my utmost admiration goes to you!

Take care as you need to stay healthy too!

 

Comment by Kimberlee Jones on January 31, 2011 at 15:34
I know your under a lot of stress and very worried, but it does sound like good news. He will get better...slowly. As for the indigestion, I developed GERDS shortly after my surgery. It is so bad that is feels like my chest and left arm are being ripped open. I never knew GERDS pain would feel like that. Wishing him the best and *hugs* to you, hang in there.

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