thats wonderful jag, thats what this place is here for! its so nice to hear of people who find the experience based support that members here provide to be helpful.. Im glad you get a chance for the lifestyle you want and im sure with time you will adjust perfectly.. Welcome!!
Hey there :) I'm happy to hear that your valve replacement surgery went well. I've heard a lot of people say they experience memory loss after heart surgeries. My father had some substantial memory issues, but he is also on a beta blocker. Beta blockers are notorious for blocking memory recall, and in fact are being tested for use in people with post traumatic stress disorder for that specific purpose. My dad thought he was going crazy too. I tell him he still is, just not for that reason ;)
My Dr prescribed Valium 5mg twice a day + 10mg before bed + beta blocker for me when I was 15 years old. I was in high school! I needed to pass the examination to go up to Form 4! Don't have to mention my memory, my eyes unable to open and my head was keep falling on the desk during the classes. Anyway, I passed the exam and moved on!
Memory loss after open heart surgery is called "pump head", referring to being on the heart/lung bypass machine. It can cause memory loss, or even complete personality changes, and is thought to be linked to the speed at which they rewarm the body after surgery...if done too soon, there is a shift in the blood flow to the brain. some people come out of surgery, and they just aren't "quite right".
The other possibility is the anti-depressant...i wasn't sure if you were having the memory problems before you started it. I was on Lexapro during my divorce (situational depression, to say the least!), and i found i had no memory. it also affected my handwriting, and gave me a tremor. anti-depressants target the amount of seratonin floating around in your brain, making what's available stay there longer with the hopes it will be put to good use. This could be the cause of your memory loss (or could be making the results of the surgery seem worse) and should be discussed with your doctor.
My husband was 32 and had a vasectomy. Two weeks later we discovered that he had a staff infection that attached his valve. They had to rebuild the left side of his heart and he ended up with a human donor replacement for the Aortic valve. They gave him a 40% change to live. We fought for his life. He was placed on Ecmo for quite a long time, but pulled through. I slept on a lobby floor for two weeks waiting for his eyes to open. Once they opened, he knew his name, our childrens names, the month day and year, but had know idea who I (his wife) was. The first words he said to me was where his ex girlfriend was. I melted. I was crushed. I helped him heal and took care of him to my best ability. When they shocked him back his head hit the table causing his head to split open, he now has a scar on his head. He now knows who I am but has a lot of memory issues. His moods are completely different now. He is quick tempered, careless, has no emotion. very selfish now. He has no desire to show anyone else any compassion. I can hardly stand to be around him anymore. I miss who he once was. This is so bizarre. They have tested him and say he is fine, but I am telling you right now he is completely different.
Your husband has suffered several types of brain injury during this long and horrible time (for both of you).
For one thing, he almost certainly was put on a heart bypass machine, and that can produce some changes in thinking that are called 'pump head.' You can google this term to learn more about it.
But for another thing, the violent skull fracture he had later was a direct blow to the brain, a true traumatic brain injury, and after this kind of thing, it is pretty common to see startling and often unpleasant personality changes. I have seen this in our own son, and I am sorry you are experiencing the same thing.
There are various therapies that may help your husband, and that wil certainlyl help you understand and cope. You will need to talk with a neurologist as well as with a psychiatrist and a 'neuropsychiatrist' about the best approach. Here is more information:
I also posted in a User Group "Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) a list of resources that may be of benefit to you. As a caregiver, it is very stressful and draining. You need some support. Take a look at the links for some assistance.
Sorry to the rest of you in the thread for being off-topic.
I had quad bypass last summer and was not on the heart/lung machine. One of the reasons for this choice was to avoid memory loss. Did not work because my short-term memory is in the pits 8 months later. Also still hurts to cough/sneeze.
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