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.