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Elderly parents

Unresponsive after open heart surgery

18 replies

Arniesleftleg · 16/02/2023 12:49

My daring mum underwent open heart surgery yesterday. The hospital called late evening yesterday to say the op went well, she was transferred to ICU. My dad has spoken to ICU today and has been told that she isn't responding to cues and they will need to do a brain scan. We're all lost for answers right now. Is this usual in older patients, she's 73. She's always really anxious and was very stressed leading up to the op. Struggling to get my head around it and really hoping that it's just a common (?) adverse reaction.
Any advice or help very gratefully received.

OP posts:
hidingbehindascreen · 16/02/2023 12:53

No advice, just wanted to send you some love

theemmadilemma · 16/02/2023 12:54

Oh OP. Sending hugs.

My Mum had open heart surgey last year at 78. She had always struggled with anesthetics, but being older this time it took a very long time for her to come round.

I believe it was around 48 hours before she was fully conscious. I was very concerned during that time. But unfortunately I don't know about response to cues in that time.

IthinkIsawahairbrushbackthere · 16/02/2023 13:53

I have no experience of heart surgery but my elderly dad had a hernia op - so fairly minor surgery - he was expected home that afternoon - but it took him ages to come round from the anaesthetic. I hope you will find it is nothing more sinister than that.

Arniesleftleg · 16/02/2023 18:10

Thank you for your kind words.
I just found out that my poor mum suffered a stroke in the night which was why she wasn't responding. The stroke team are going in to see her in the morning. The ICU team have said it could be two weeks before my dad can even see her.
I had surgery myself today and am quite sore so can't even go down to see my dad, he's 170 miles away.
I feel so helpless. 🥺

OP posts:
shellyleppard · 16/02/2023 18:19

Omg how worrying for you all. Thoughts and hugs are with you all x

gogohmm · 16/02/2023 18:31

Hugs, I know that is no help to you but please lean here for virtual support. Unfortunately stroke is a potential complication from surgery, and whilst not common it can happen, my dps dm had a stroke (left her with sight loss and mobility problems) following surgery.

Try and speak to the doctor in charge of her care and see if they can get your dad in there even for 30 mins, 2 weeks seems odd, 2 days seems more likely.

EmmaEmerald · 16/02/2023 18:38

I am sorry to hear this OP
why won't they let your dad see her?

i hope you recover from your procedure asap.

ClimbingRoseBush · 16/02/2023 18:42

Are you sure your dad understood that right about not being able to see her? That would be unusual now. I hope you get better news when the stroke team see her.

squtable · 16/02/2023 18:59

Sorry to hear this OP, sending hugs.

BonjourCrisette · 16/02/2023 19:14

Sending lots of love to you.

Mumof1andacat · 16/02/2023 19:20

Why a 2 week wait? Doesn't seem right

SlaveToTheVibe · 23/02/2023 15:05

@Arniesleftleg hi Arnie. How’s your mum? X

Arniesleftleg · 23/02/2023 16:09

Hi everyone.
Thanks for all your lovely responses.

Mum is still very poorly. She came out of ICU yesterday after a week, and is now on a high dependency ward. Thankfully my aunt, an OT for the NHS and my cousin, an NHS nurse, spoke to the hospital and my dad was allowed in to see her on day 3. I saw her on Sunday 4 days after the op and it was, as expected, quite distressing.
She is talking but her memory is all jumbled and she's talking about things from 40 years ago as well as things recently. She didn't know who I was but knew she had a daughter 🥺.
Up till yesterday she hadn't eaten or drunk anything as they had to do a swallow test on her. Before they did the swallow test they discovered fluid on her lungs so she's now having her lungs drained.
The docs are confident she will be ok but it may well be a long road to recovery.
My poor dad cant cope on his own as they literally do everything together. Thankfully we've all been surrounding him and supporting him and letting him have his moments.
My mum is such a gentle, soft hearted lady, she's tiny but has the will of an Ox so we're hoping for better news as each day passes. Im back down seeing her on Saturday so Im hoping I see a big difference from last weekend. xx

OP posts:
shellyleppard · 23/02/2023 17:30

So glad your dad has seen her. We will be thinking of you all x

SlaveToTheVibe · 24/04/2023 11:34

hi, how is your mum now?

Arniesleftleg · 24/04/2023 12:26

@SlaveToTheVibe thank you so much for asking.

She came home last Monday after 9 weeks in hospital. It turned out she suffered a stroke during surgery hence being unresponsive. She lost all sensation in her arms and hands and some in her right leg but has since gained some sensations back. She's now home and thriving but still very tired with some rare bouts of confusion. She has carers but still does a lot for herself which is incredible after that she's been through. I honestly thought wed lost her after 2 weeks in ICU.
Its been a very long 9 weeks but hopefully were on the right track with her now. xx

OP posts:
SlaveToTheVibe · 24/04/2023 13:40

That’s fabulous news. I was interested because my mum was in the same position but she didn’t make it. I have always wondered if she might have made a full recovery if she had been luckier.

I am really glad your mum made it through ❤️

Coffecakes · 24/04/2023 15:36

That's such good news. So glad your mum is home. You sound like such a lovely family. Wishing your mum a continued good recovery and you all, all the best wishes 💐

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