I am new to this group and would like to ask if anyone has experienced intense chest pain for as long as 9 months or more after open heart surgery. I am 75 years old and had valve repair surgery in July of 2008. The pain in my chest is centered around the area of the incision but I feel it across the entire chest, such that I have difficulty rotating my upper body, driving a car, picking up something as heavy as a gallon of milk, and opening the refrigerator door. It's both a feeling or sense of tightness (like my chest was stitched back too tightly) but, also, like a block of wood inside my chest that, at some time, could fall out or collapse. The pain has not been relieved by either Aleve, Naprosyn, or Lidoderm patches (all prescribed by my cardiologist) or 12 weeks of cardio rehab and 6 sessions of pain management therapy. In fact, it feels like the pain has been getting worse over the past few weeks. My cardiologist says there is nothing he can do for me. But something feels terribly wrong inside of me, and I am struggling to come to grips with the prospect of having to live with this overwhelming pain for the rest of my life. Has anyone experienced this? Do you have any ideas based on your own experience or someone else's what might be causing this?
Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer.