Healing Stitches pain

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knitterbetty
New Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 5/12/2005 7:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Everyone, I just found this site, I'm a 77 year old woman from New Jersey. I had a left knee replacement April fourth and had a heart attack three days later, so I had a triple bypass on April 12th. The knee is fine, and the chest MD says the stitches are healing nicely, but they do hurt. I read some of your posts and I realize that this healing process is going to take time. Also I am SO tired. Would be interested in hearing your ideas. I'm taking Perkoset , not a lot, for the stitches pain. I wonder if putting a warm heating pad on the chest area helps. It doesn't hurt all the time, mostly after getting up from sleep. Of course the general anesthesia I had for the bypass also interrupts my sleep. Thanks for any input. Betty

AlwaysRosie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 8616
   Posted 5/12/2005 7:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Welcome Knitter Betty!!!!

I'm from the Lupus forum, but I saw your name as the newest member and had to respond. My mom's name is Betty, she is a big time knitter and she is going to be 77 this year!!!! Just wanted to say hello and welcome you!!!

I'm glad your knee is doing better, but I'm sorry to hear that you still have pain from your heart surgery. I have done physical therapy for several painful joints and they are telling me to ice my tender spots. They say that it relieves the inflamation. It sounds like the muscles that were cut are stiff after you lay still for a while. I bet that is very tender.

I hope some of the members can help you out with your fatigue and pain. But you really should mention these to your doc too.

I hope you heal up real fast Betty! Nice to meet you!

Blessings!
In His Grip,
AlwaysRosie
Psalms 139
UCTD (Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease), Hashimoto's, High BP, GI Inflamation, Diverticuloses
Plaquenil, RX Motrin, Lexapro, Amitriptylene, Salagen, Lotrel
 
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ChevyAsylum
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 84
   Posted 5/13/2005 8:09 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello, Betty. My hat's off to you. I had quad bypass last September at the age of 57 and it was...well...rather trying. And it hurt, too. :)

First, the dreams after the anesthesia were horrible. I think my sleep was more interrupted by terror than anything else. And even though I'm having memory problems, I can still remember those dreams (nightmares) vividly.

As far as the pain from the stitches, it should get better as soon as the self-dissolving thread dissolves...if that makes any sense. However, I'm about 8 months out from the surgery and the points where the sternum was tied together with wire are still tender. Not real painful any more, but I sure know that the wire is in there.

They told me that if I was in pain that I should take the pain medication, and to take it at the onset of the pain, not when it got real bad. They had me on oxycontin and oxycodone...but I had to get off of that stuff after the first few weeks. It was makin me crazy. And to think that people actually buy that stuff on the street. So I used Darvocet and still do from time to time.

I never tried a heating pad on the chest, so I don't know what to tell you about that. I was actually sweating most of the time for the first few weeks so I don't think I could have tolerated the heating pad. But I sure wish you the best...and it sounds like you're doing a whole lot better than I did...at least in the early recovery period.
Ray

ChevyAsylum.com


knitterbetty
New Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 5/13/2005 8:56 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the input, Ray and always rosie . I can't say it's pain, just a tightness. I guess the best way I can describe it is to say I know my chest is there. Ha! After all it went thru, that's not surprising, is it. I also have not much appetite. Good way to lose weight, which has happened. I'm going to have some hot chicken broth and a percoset and relax. PT today for the knee in the afternoon.  Glad to be part of your group, thanks again,  Betty

Teri16
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 5/13/2005 9:10 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Betty and Welcome to HealingWell!! yeah
 
My Mom-in-law was 80 when she had her knee replacement and all went well with that, til she fell and broke the knee cap!  Can you imagine?  Even with that she's finally healed up pretty well and doesn't have the pain with that anymore-so I hope that goes well for you!! tongue
 
Having the Heart Attack and the bypass surgery was not something anyone can prepare for-so it's pretty scary stuff!  I will tell you that I had my triple bypass in August 24, 2004 and just about 9 months later I'm doing great!  They maneuver the heart and lungs around, plus separating the ribs and sternum, so it's definitely a major surgery and takes a while for the healing process to take affect.  I'm not sure what they would recommend for relief other than rest and medication and slowly moving around for now.  The heating pad is something that I'd definitely suggest you ask your Dr. about as the circulation isn't as good with all this going on and I wouldn't want to see you get burned in that area.  So call your Dr.'s nurse and just ask her for some advice re this.
 
Betty, fatigue does come with this, and sometimes even depression.  So please be sure to mention all this as well when you call!!
 
Best wishes and please feel free to keep in touch with us~we'd like to hear how you are healing up!? 
 
Hugs, Teri tongue
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
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knitterbetty
New Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 5/13/2005 2:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, Teri, for the reply and good wishes. My, what an awful thing for your motherinlaw to go thru, the knee replacement and then to fall! I'm glad she's alright. Yes, I know it takes time for the body to heal, and am surely doing that. I will check with the MD about the heating pad. It seems as if that feeling of chest awareness happens at night.. I guess after the stress of the day. I love this forum, so nice to hear from others, I will definitely keep in touch. I am not depressed, I know those symptoms well having lived with a dear husband who suffered from it. Listen, good things happen as a result, I got into a pair of old but dearly loved slacks today, first time I fit into them in two years. So I'm strutting around here in sunny NJ like a proud peacock... even if it's a 77 year old peacock!   thanks again Betty

Teri16
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 5/13/2005 7:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Betty, you are a hoot! yeah
 
It is fun loosing a bit of that extra baggage isn't it? tongue   I actually got to start a bit of a new wardrobe, and like you, fit right back into pants that I'd saved from years ago saying "that one day, these might fit me again"-and they do!! :)
 
You mention "chest awareness" at night?  Are you referring to when you lie down to rest or sleep?  Sometimes, especially in the beginning, I noticed that when I layed on my left side my heart just put up a fuss and pounded like it was all out of balance.  So I would lay on my right side and that feeling would go away.  If this is what you are feeling then that is part of the healing process, too, as the nerves that were damaged during the surgery need time to heal as well.  That is why I suggested talking to your Dr. or his nurse before using the heating pad as sometimes you may not notice how hot it's getting.
 
Take care and I wish for you a good night's sleep tonight!
 
Hugs, Teri tongue
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
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knitterbetty
New Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 5/13/2005 7:48 PM (GMT -7)   
A ha! so you lost weight also! The trick now is to keep it off. Well, at the rate this crazy appetite is going, that should be easy. Although i have been told more than once that we need to eat Protein to heal. Not too much protein in zweiback and milk... my favorite comfort food. About the awareness, no, it's just that I feel the soreness. I did something interesting around seven pm... got a washcloth nice and hot, put it on my chest twice for around five minutes, then tucked a soft pillow under my sweater and paraded around with it.. a la Lane Turner, remember her? All soreness disappeared, I am amazed. Now it's off to bed, my five cats trot upstairs with me , I'm a widower and have cats for company. I notice you are identified as the moderator. Wonder if you started the forum?  Sleep tight,  Betty

Teri16
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 5/13/2005 7:53 PM (GMT -7)   
No, I did not start this forum, but have been around here for awhile, both as a participant and now as a moderator. I enjoy the comraderie and take things with the utmost sincerity, til it's time to laugh a bit!

I'm 53, Betty, and alas, I know who Lana Turner is! :)

Hugs, Teri :)
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
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Teri16
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 5/14/2005 7:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Betty, hope you are having a nice weekend!! Hugs, Teri :)
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
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knitterbetty
New Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 5/14/2005 8:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, Teri, yes, the weather is lovely here in NJ. I am struck by how slow I am moving around, the morning seems to fly by, just with showering and eating and resting. I think I;ll call the nurse practioner monday, she gave me a prescription for Vicodin which I haven't filled yet. I feel a great lack of information about this recovery period. I don't know, for example, if I should be taking the vicodin routinely every six hours to minimize this tenderness in my chest. I went into the knee operation fully loaded with info, and so I can compare and evaluate my progress ( which is good), but I find myself wondering if how I am feeling is par for the course. I took a nap after supper , then the chest discomfort made me take two perkosets.. wow, what a blessing to have a normal TV evening. Can you remember back to your recovery period, how did your chest feel? Anyway, I got some Ensure today, the appetite is so fickle. Off to bed now, hope you are enjoying your weekend, thanks for asking.  Betty

pandacrazy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 1326
   Posted 5/14/2005 9:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Betty, welcome to healing well. It is a great place. I found it a great help after I had a stent put in January at age 42. It was a big shock and a bit depressing. I quickly got over that after realizing how lucky I was that they found it in time. I work at a senior center so know lots of people your age and older. We talk to eachother about our heart problems and meds. You sound like you have a great out look. Make sure you are getting enough vitamins and stuff to heal up. You should at least be drinking some ensure for the protein and vitamins. Make sure you talk to the doc about that. Barb

Teri16
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 5/15/2005 8:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Betty! 
 
I had chest pain for at least a month, but as Mother Nature seems to have been so kind to me, alas the complete memory of the pain escapes me. :)  I really didn't take that much of the pain pills-I stopped those and took Acetaminophen instead.  You know each of us is different and the healing rate is never the same!  I had been on steroids for allergies so I took a little longer to heal.  I still have days that I can feel where the surgery was and mine was Aug.24, 2004.  I think it takes about a year for things to be more normalized.  Though for some people they actually go back to jobs at 3 and 4 months. 
 
Betty, I do remember that my days were too quickly gone by, and it seemed as if life was passing me by during that time.  I would believe some of this must be normal.  Just remember that as a friend once told me...think of this as a violation of your body.  It's a very traumatic thing to recover from at any age and at 77 I'd say you are doing pretty darned good!!  If you need the Vicodin and it helps you than take it!  Make sure you ask your Dr. or his/or her nurse about all this.  Write yourself notes about questions you have and remember to bring them with you to ask your Dr.
 
I lost the weight, and had to start drinking a nutritional diabetic drink, too!  Since then I've picked up a couple more pounds, but my Dr. says I'm still thin.  Not toooo thin, but thin. :)
 
I wanted to check on something, and I'll get back with you~you take care!
 
Hugs, Teri tongue
 
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
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Teri16
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 5/15/2005 8:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Betty, what I was looking for was what was in these medications. They both contain Acetaminophin (Tylenol-is the brand name). They are both addictive type drugs so you want to be careful on how long you take them. You don't want to stop them too quickly either. Check with your Dr. and see if you could try starting something like Tylenol or something else at this point instead of those med.'s. Just don't do it on your own! He/or she may still want you on them for a while, but please check with them, okay?!

Good luck, Teri :)
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
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knitterbetty
New Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 5/16/2005 5:14 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, Teri, I am going to get some Tylenol PM today to take when I go to sleep. I have also decided to low key those addictive drugs.  It's misty and damp here in NJ today and during the night my knee ached, which was surprising , and that with one percoset in me!  The chest stitch pain is definitely less, the insomnia is gone, but the appetite is nutsy. My MD niece suggested I buy protein powder at the health food club and add that to yogurt or milk, I know we need protein to heal!  I cautiously think I have passed a small milestone and feel a bit more like a normal person.  Thanks for all the info,  will keep in touch,  Betty

Teri16
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 5/16/2005 9:33 AM (GMT -7)   

Betty!  Did you also see where I said check with your Dr.!?  These other med.'s have Tylenol in them, so you must be careful and not take additional Tylenol-that's too hard on your liver!!  So check first with your Dr. and let them tell you when and how to take the Tylenol, okay?  Please? yeah

I'm so glad that you seem to be feeling a bit better-WooHoo!!

Hugs and best wishes, Teri tongue


"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
Please allow HealingWell to continue helping others by donating:


knitterbetty
New Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 5/16/2005 10:01 AM (GMT -7)   
Yes, Teri, I will be sure to check with my MD. I just had a delicious lunch of protein powder which was vanilla flavored, fruit yogurt and some canned fruit in pear juice. It was wonderful, and the PT was good this morning also. I think life is beginning to turn around. Thanks for your help,  Betty in sunny NJ

Teri16
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 5/16/2005 4:56 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm truly happy for you Betty!! You take care and please let us know how you are doing!

Big Hugs, Teri :)
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
Please allow HealingWell to continue helping others by donating:

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