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(16 Posts)
noonar Sat 01-Nov-08 20:13:12

my fil had heart surgery 5 days ago. since then, his personality seems to be somewhat different, in a hard- to -put- your- finger-on kind of way. he's also described vivid dreams, which have blurred into his waking time, leading us to believe that he may be suffering from mild halloucinations (sp). is this normal, after an anaesthetic? has anyone experienced anything similar?

MeMySonAndI Sat 01-Nov-08 20:14:14

I have no idea but a call to NHS direct may put your mind at easy or getting hims some help if he needs it.

noonar Sat 01-Nov-08 20:16:01

thanks, but he is still in hosp, so 'clinically' speaking, am sure he's ok, but its just a bit weird...

DoNotAttempttoblowupparliament Sat 01-Nov-08 20:18:26

FIL had this after he had a aortic Anuerysim repair. Apparently there were huge bellydancing parties going on in his ward and alsorts hmm. In his case it seemed to correlate with him not getting enough oxygen (i.e. taking his O2 mask off).

It may just be something that rights itself in time - but I wouldn't say it is abnormal

laidbackinengland Sat 01-Nov-08 20:24:17

I would speak to the Dr in charge of his care as they are unlikely to spot personality changes (as they don't know him). Occasionally people can ave small strokes whilst having heart surgery which can affect personality.

The other thing that I wondered is what his alcohol consumption was like before he had his operation. Was he a heavy drinker at all ?

Tiggiwinkle Sat 01-Nov-08 20:25:33

I would imagine he is on pretty strong painkillers so that could be responsible too.

heronsfly Sat 01-Nov-08 20:31:35

Im going for a heart bypass op in the next few weeks.
We have been told that this sort of thing is a very common side effect , they said it is caused by several things, pain killers,anaesthetic,stress ect and should not last very long, hopefully he will feel better once he gets home,they dont keep you in long.

noonar Sat 01-Nov-08 20:37:05

ok, very interesting posts.thanks.

he was on morphine, but paracetemol only for 3 days now.

he's a scotch and a couple of glasses of red wine a night kinda guy.

am being careful cos mil is quite anxious, so dont want to alarm her.

WhatFreshHellIsThis Sat 01-Nov-08 20:42:17

My dad had a valve replacement last year and ended up having two open heart surgeries due to getting an infection. He had a LOT of anaethesia and he had all these kind of symptoms - hallucinations, very scary vivid dreams, trouble distinguising reality from dreams etc etc

It does wear off in time, my dad is completely back to normal, but it is quite disconcerting at the time.

SlartyBartFast Sat 01-Nov-08 20:45:26

sometimes urine infections can cause personality changes - i believe. at least he is in the right place

noonar Sat 01-Nov-08 20:47:00

what fresh...very interesting. thanks. glad it was only temporary.

WhatFreshHellIsThis Sat 01-Nov-08 20:52:42

Yes, my dad is his old self completely, even down to the bad jokes!

When I visited him in hospital, though, he was very confused about a picture of two of his GC, he kept asking where it was when it was on the side next to his bed, and he seemed to think they were actually there with him. He said the dreams he had were some of the scariest he's ever had, all a bit scary!

Anaesthesia is strange.

Hope your FIL feels better soon.

noonar Sat 01-Nov-08 20:56:41

sound v familiar! apparntly fil went over to a man in another bed to say hello , convinced that he knew him. he didnt. and he said he could hear foxes outside all night. he's on the tenth floor...

stanosauruswrecks Sat 01-Nov-08 21:26:22

There are quite a lot of reasons that your FIL may be hallucinating post op - the effect of the bypass machine, being out of his familiar surroundings, sleep deprivation and all the drugs he has recieved can play their part in causing this to happen. It should resolve, but do let the staff caring for him know what is going on. Acknowledge that he is having the hallucinations, but reinforce what is real.
It can be disturbing for patients to go through this - especially if they are saying inappropriate things to others. I have seen patients who have been told the things they have done/ said to staff or loved ones and they are left feeling dreadful - it is so far removed from their normal behaviour.
Hope he improves soon!

BabiesEverywhere Sat 01-Nov-08 21:39:24

I was on a morphine drip after my failed keyhole gall bladder operation was converted to an open one.

I was seeing and hearing talking cats on the hospital ward and it didn't occur to me that anything was wrong until I 'sobered' up and was discharged, at the time I thought everything was normal. Scary stuff morphine but good for the pain.

Hope your FIL feels better soon.

noonar Sun 02-Nov-08 08:13:26

stano, babies, thanks so much for your posts. v reassuring.

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