Hi, I'm new here :+)

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New Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 6/16/2006 1:12 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi my name is Kim. I am 47 years old and had an emergency quad bypass in Feb. I am just trying to come to terms with it all. I also have MS and diabetes. The dr keeps patting my head and telling me I'm alright, but I don't feel so great. I am thinking of getting a second opinion about my heart. How can a cardiologist tell your heart is now fine when he hasn't done a single test since my bypass? He hasn't even listened to my heart. mad
They had to take 9 grafts from my legs and I look like a freak. I am quite literally cut from my chest all the way down one leg to my ankles and down the other to my knees. I didn't even have cardiac rehab because of the MS. I am in a w/c and they didn't think I could do it. I can live with the MS, but how can I live with the heart problems? I don't even have any energy. My LVF was at a 23, does it mean it's better now with the bypass? It feels worse. I never even knew that my heart was damage from the chemo used for my MS. I had MUGA scans before every infusion. They were all fine.
Now I'm sorry to vent here. My family is soooo very supportive, but I just don't want to scare them. I'm on about a zillion meds, so a antidepressant is out of the question for me. How do I shake this gloom off and how can I start to feel better? How can I trust this bypass?
I promise not to sound so down again. I am lucky in so many ways. I married a man that loves me more than anything and sticks with me through it all. We have been happily married 27 years and have 1 beautiful daughter. I have a extended family that surrounds me with love. It's just when every one sleeps or leaves, I get scared...........

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 216
   Posted 6/16/2006 4:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Kim, I'm also 47 and had quad bypass surgery in 2002. I'm sorry you have been through so much. I can't relate to the other problems that you have. But with heart surgery and the other health issues that you have, it will probably take you a while to feel better. It is very normal to feel tired after this surgery I still feel that way sometimes. If your not comfortable with your dr. I think you should get another opinion, just to ease your mind. You have enough to handle. As far as the heart surgery goes I'm sure that everything is fine, the technology they have now for this is amazing. It probably saved your life, I know it did mine. I'm glad to hear that you have so much support, that helps alot. I don't know if this has helped you any but I just wanted to respond and let you know your not alone. You can come here as much as you like to vent, and there is nothing to be sorry for. Take Care of yourself, and I hope you feel better soon.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 6/16/2006 1:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Kim,  Welcome to Healing Well forum, we are happy to have you join our group here.  I can relate to you in one area in that I also have MS and heart problems.  It is extremely difficult to learn to deal with it.  And you sound a lot like me in respect to I don't worry about my MS so much anymore since I have all this other medical stuff going on, it is so much worse.  I agree with hope that you should get a second opinion from a cardiologist even if it is after the fact.  This is what is going to set your mind at ease and let you know that you are getting the correct treatment.  I am sure you have been down this road with other physicians..neurologists, perhaps?  I do want you to know that we are always here if you ever need anything at all, so keep posting.  Take care


New Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 6/18/2006 3:32 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for the welcomes! It seems as if I can only worry about one thing at a time. I used to belong to a MS site and now I don't even want to post there because I'm not as concerned about that. I don't even think I can help newbies much because I just want to tell them what the treatments  can do. Anyway thanks yeah

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 289
   Posted 6/18/2006 11:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Boy, my heart goes out to you! You are fighting sooo many problems. If ever anyone needed to vent, it is you! That's why we come here. We all need to vent to our fellow patients who can sometimes understand us, and our condition(s), better than family members.
You have had the ultimate surgery, in my eyes. I too have CAD (coronary artery disease) and heart disease. I realize that if I continue to live, I will probably have to have bypass surgery. I had a rotoblational arthectomy (roto rooter) procedure done about 3.5 months ago. My hometown hospital wanted to do bypass surgery for my Lad and Rca. I asked if a bigger hospital (UAB) could stent my 95% blockage in my Lad. They said yes, they may could. I rode in an ambulance to UAB where this procedure was performed, and had 2 additional stents inserted into my Lad. I have 3 overlapping stents in my lad, starting at the very beginning. One is the longest made (1.3 ").
I have read a lot (for years) on various boards about CABG. I had a heart attack and a stroke in June of 03. The stroke effected my mind/personality more than my body. So I have been studying what folks have said about CABG.... Some do just great afterwords. The ones that don't, are usually suffering from depression, in addition to post surgery complications. Depression is caused by heart disease and not just because your mind is very worried. It DIRECTLY causes depression by altering various hormones, enzymes, electrolytes, dopamine etc. The medicines that we take, also cause depression. Especially beta blockers.
When was your LVF of 23, calculated? Was it pre-CABG or post- CABG? I don't want to alarm you, but a normal LVF is around 60%. Mine is around 45. I had a cath a few days ago, and forgot to ask what my calculated EF was. I will call tomorrow and try to find out what it is. An EF (ejection fraction) of 30 or less is the point in heart failure where you have the right to apply for social security disability. This fraction can improve, but you will have to work at it. You are hampered from exercise due to your MS. But!!! you have to exercise to strengthen your heart. There's no way around it...
You should be taking Coreg, which is the beta blocker that's best for heart failure, I have read. You also need to reduce your salt intake. If you have edema, you should take a diuretic. You are probably taking an ACE inhibitor, or an ARB. These tend to increase our serum potassium. Lasix is a potent loop diuretic that lowers potassium. They go well together sometimes. Especially for heart failure.
I know how you feel about taking so many medicines. I do too, but you need to add one more for depression. Statistics show that untreated depression in heart failure patients, and patients with heart disease/CAD, do not survive as long as those that aren't depressed.
I am pulling for you to start down the road to better health. Knowledge is power with this disease. Make your plan to deal with all your health issues, then work the plan as a path to success :-) .
P.S. I was going to mention that LVF stands for left ventricle fraction. It is usually called EF, or ejection fraction. It is the amount of blood in your left ventricle after it contracts (or pumps) divided by the amount of blood in your left ventricle before it contracted. It is always a fraction, or less than 1, because you always have some blood remaining in your left ventricle after it contracts. If it totally emptied when it contracted, your EF would be 100%....No one has an EF that high.
People with right sided heart failure sometimes have their right ventricular fraction calculated. In this case it would be abbreviated as RVF.

Post Edited (Aldo) : 6/18/2006 10:54:26 AM (GMT-6)

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 6/19/2006 5:54 AM (GMT -6)   

Thanks Aldo for that great info! yeah The bypass surgery wasn't bad at all. It was just too quick for my brain to even know how to handle it. I didn't even get to do a quick google on CABG. mad I think I would have felt better had I been able to. I was up and about in 2 days and out of the hospital in 5. I slept during the first days in ICU, that was only bad for my family.

I am on 3 different types of blood pressure medicines, including lasix. I take 3 lasix in the morning and 3 in the evening. My BP is really good now. My EF was taken before the bypass so maybe it's better now.  I know I really need to be on an antidepressant, but I can't afford it. I have insurance BCBS and medicare, but it has such high drug copays that my medicines are way more than I make in social security. I don't qualify for drug assistance because I have insurance. Please don't get me wrong, I am lucky to have the insurance, I just can't afford any more meds.

I went to the cardiologist Fri and talked him into cardiac rehab. Don't know why they didn't send me in the first place. I think I was discriminated against because of the MS. eyes I can ride a stationary bike and get my heart rate up!

I try to be proactive on my own health. I am just learning about heart disease. Knew maybe too much about MS, pushed too hard, wanted all the latest and greatest treatments, and that is what hurt my heart. Nobody to blame, but myself.

If you don't mind me asking, why didn't you go ahead and have the CABG? Knowing what I know now, I would have asked if I could have stents, but I guess they were just to blocked. The only thing about the CABG is that I lost a lot of brain function from being put on the heart/ lung machine.

Take care all, I wish you great health!

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