Dearest Heart Sisters,
It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I had heart surgery at Stanford a couple weeks ago for my myocardial bridge. I had an unroofing procedure to release an artery that was compressed by the bridge.
I had a 3rd cath a few weeks before heart surgery and my cardio and her team saw the artery in spasm due to it being compressed. No wonder I was in constant pain for such a long time. As many of you know I was able to do less and less and my pain was increasing more & more before the surgery. My cardio listened and referred me for additional testing (stress echo and cath) to evaluate my myocardial bridge.
Since the surgery, some of the symptoms I felt are completely gone, like the back pressure/tightness I was feeling in daily, regular episodes throughout the day. My left arm symptoms have improved, as well as the unrelenting chest tightness & pressure. I still feel a little chest pain. It’s hard to distinguish if it’s incisional, sternal or chest discomfort from the surgery. There have been a few instances where I knew it was a chest cramp.
My cardio and CT surgeon told me it is normal to feel some of my old symptoms because it will take time for my heart to heal from all that it’s been through. The artery was compressed for a very long time. I wonder if the bridge and the compression caused the endothelial dysfunction I had within my bridge. It is noted that I have a little ED outside my bridge too. Anyway, that will all take time to heal.
I do wonder if endothelial dysfunction can be healed. At best, I know it can be managed & stabilized. I just want to have more pain free days, resume the activities I enjoyed, regain my activity level and not have “pain” be a constant in my life.
I am off all my previous meds like Bystolic, Ranexa & nitro spray, although I can use nitro spray if needed. I see both my docs this coming week and meds will be evaluated at that point. I am taking vitamins & supplements which include Vitamin C. My cardio states that Vitamin C has been shown to improve endothelial function. It also reduces inflammation. With that said I am doing my best to eat a healthy, balanced diet filled with fruits & veggies.
Healing will take time and only time will tell the full results of the surgery. I do feel surgery was beneficial. I have to be patient and optimistic. I am so grateful for my health care team, family, friends & my heart sisters. I thank god every day.
One symptom I am feeling is what I describe as a sudden onset of cold spells/chills especially in the evening. I will be fine when suddenly I get very cold. My teeth start to chatter cold. It’s like a chill takes over and I make my way into bed to get under the covers and get warm. I feel like I can’t get enough blankets on me. And sometimes as many as 3 blankets aren’t enough. I even put on double socks to warm up.
My mom said to put a pair of knee high socks on my hands too :)'...... Gotta love mom's advice. It worked though. The knee hi socks covered my arms too and brought about instant warmth.
I don’t have a fever or infection, it’s just I get very cold. It can take up to ½ an hour to get warm. I wonder if my body is trying to regulate itself or if something is off balance. I did have to have a blood transfusion while at the hospital due to low red cell count. I was just a little anemic prior to the surgery, so am unsure if it’s anemia or what. I will address this with my doctor’s, but just wondered if any of my heart sisters got the chills or cold spells.
Much love, health and blessings to you all.