Mystery in my heart

By B-Jo Latest Reply 2013-03-26 23:38:52 -0500
Started 2013-03-26 16:48:44 -0500

After 8 yrs. of immune system issues … psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, relapsing polychondritis, degenerative disc disease w/lower back surgery, a double neck fusion, raynauds phenomenon, various rashes, lupus like symptoms, fatigue, anxiety & a few other immune system issues I finally topped myself & started the year off w/a bang.

On Jan. 15th of this year I was not feeling well at all & called the hubby home from work to take me to the Dr's. & had a feeling we might end up in the ER. We went to the Dr's office who sent us to the ER where I ended up having emergency open heart surgery. At first it looked like there was a tear in my aorta but once they got in there was no tear but they had to cut this section of aorta out as you can see it was growing "something" inside. When I woke from surgery the surgeon said he'd never seen anything like this in 25 yrs. of surgery. During surgery 2 pieces of the what ever it was broke lose, 1 piece going near my spleen & the other near one of my kidneys. They sent this to the Center of Infectious Diseases but they were never able to determine what it was though the surgeon was able to say it was not cancer. Not knowing what it was, the Dr''s. cant tell me what to expect as they have nothing to compare it to. The Dr's can not say if it will grow back or not.

I am going to add a photo of the piece of my aorta that they cut out w/the "stuff" they found inside so if anyone knows what it might be maybe you can fill me in.

I was not expected to make it through this but I did and am now dealing w/the mental & emotion issues of having open heart surgery & I dont know what to do with those. I get 1 symptom of the symptoms I had the couple of wks. prior to the surgery & automatically think I am going to die again.

Have any of you had open heart surgery & might have some suggestions on how to move on from the mental & emotional issues that come after open heart surgery? That is one thing the Dr's didnt talk to me about. I was already on antidepressants & anxiety meds. before I had the surgery & still am.

Thank you in advance for any advise or suggestions you may have.

3 replies

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-03-26 22:04:38 -0500 Report

Hi B-Jo,

What an incredible story. Just amazing. I am glad to hear that you are better.

Major surgery takes a toll on you not only physically but emotionally. So the recovery process is also physical and emotional. While you have medical experts managing the physical side of things, it sounds like you are kind of on your own with your emotions.

I really encourage you to talk to your doctor about this. Let him/her know that you need some help with your emotions and see what your doctor suggests. He/she may recommend therapy, and have some resources to suggest. There may also be support groups in your area for people who have gone through surgery. If you went through a large hospital center, they may have mental health resources.

I would also recommend that you reach out on your own to a mental health professional. If you have health insurance, you can check the website with the list of therapists in their network, and make some contacts on your own. Or you can check out any potential community resources.

Don't go through this alone! Get some help so that your emotions can heal while your body does.

I hope you will stay in touch with us. We are here for you!