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husband's bypass surgery 1.5 years ago
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husband's bypass surgery 1.5 years ago

my husband of 38 years had never been sick all our marriage--then he had quad-bypass surgery. after going over the forum i see i have not been imagining the personality change in my husband. i do not know why i wasn't told of possibility of this nor why he was not warned nor why no one sees it but me. he was a sweet/loving/tenderhearted person that has now gotten sarcastic/drinks wine as it is "well documented" in journals that wine is good for the heart--he is way overweight and will not go get his stress test redone--waiting to lose weight. I have been broken hearted by the things he does the choices he makes and the way he just loses it with me. for me/being bi-polar for 30 years-i can tell you that whatever he is going through has my bi-polar disease looking like a trip to the mailbox.. he is mean -at least to me/sarcastic/angry at the drop of a hat--i know this is not the man i married and i can in no way understand what has happened to him to cause this. after looking at the forum there were men there that said this is very real--but i don't know what "it" is and how i can help. i can not relate to it not having had the surgery..i have known 3 people that have gotten divorces after many years of marriage -- after the husband had by-pass. ,i never ever want that to happen--i want to help--and i want to survive in the meantime...right now he is going through this thing of just doing whatever he wants and not considering my feelings at all and gets angered if i question his choices...as if it is none of my business. doesn't call home--had made as i said very bad choices--please understand that i love him very much--i just don't know what has happened.  many months ago i spoke with his drs office and asked about pos siblity of depression and they told me that if it was depression that was  not something they treat..that to me was so unacceptable/they didn't even have him go to rehab afterwards either//now it is much more than any depression...if the surgery has caused this i need to understand why. what is he going through and what do i do?  i want to help him---is he is afraid ??--I want to save us as a couple--and to  stop all the heartache he causes that he never would have before if at all possible. he doesn't even care now that he does it either...acts as if he doesn't know he did...i am beginning to wonder if he does know...or really doesn't care of what. i just need some info regarding this condiition after bypass surgery as it is very real and i need to know if it is going away. he won't speak with anyone as he doesn't think anything is wrong. my heart stays broken or frightened for our furture. he would problaby say at this point that he has no clue what i am talking about.
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where has all the discussion/feedback gone?
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I don't think the surgery has caused this.  
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214864_tn?1229718839
So sorry to hear of your situation. I know that it is very hard to handle, especially since you are bipolar.

I have not had bypass surgery yet, but will have it sooner than later, I think. Some people that have their heart stopped during CABG, are kept alive by an artificial pump that acts as their heart. Some are very much affected by this and these folks are said to have "pump head", which is a colloquial term not really used by doctors in the presence of patients.

I think the time that one remains on this machine may affect how bad their "pump head" is.

It is not uncommon for people to have this CABG surgery to have very bad depression which will change one's personality, or actually have a change in personality greater than that that could be caused by just the depression.

These artificial pumps have filters in them, which I guess act as kidneys, and are suspected of being somehow involved with actual damage to the brain. I believe it is a very unique experience for each that have CABG.

Whomever told you that they did not treat depression was very nasty and quite frankly lied, unless it was the thoracic surgeon. ALL cardiologist treat depression, because they know that it comes with heart disease, and especially after CABG surgery. I am sure that there may be some exceptions to the "ALL".

Now if you described your husband as being psychotic, they may have said that he needs to see a psychiatrist. They don't treat that.

I cannot believe that your husband is not taking a medicine for depression. It is SO well documented among CABG survivors, and people like myself. I have a lot of friends that have had CABG. I think that all of them take an anti-depressant.

Your husband has been through pure hell. This surgery can "shock" your central nervous system. The anesthetic may have had a really bad affect on your husband. My Mother had a truly terrible experience with an adverse reaction to an anesthetic many years ago. She was institutionalized and shock treatments saved her life.

Your husband needs to see a psychiatrist, or a neurologist. He needs to have an MRI of the brain. He could have had a small stroke during the surgery that went unrecognized. This I know from first hand experience can change your personality.

Your husband has a great fear of death, I would bet. He is headed for alcoholism unless he can get mental help and medicine. I went through the fear of death after a heart attack and stroke. I too started with wine because it is good for you. I ended up on vodka and stayed drunk, until I got help. After facing death, life is never the same. I am much better now, and I do not drink at all.

There is so much hope for for your husband's return to normal. With help, the odds of getting back to some normalcy is way in his favor, but you must act. You must talk and explain to him that if he goes for help, he will feel much better. Also find out if any of his family members have ever had a bad, adverse reaction to any anesthesia. This tendency runs in families I know for sure.

So, you husband is suffering from the affects of "pump head", an adverse reaction to anesthesia, or a possible light, lacunar stroke.

I wish you the very best, and hope someone that has been through this kind of surgery will respond to you. Remember that it is very traumatic and an insult to the mind and body. He should try to attend a local meeting of the "Mended Hearts".

They are not in every city, but check to see if they have a local chapter in your area. I have heard that it is very helpful to talk to others, in person, that has been there and done that. I know that it is most helpful for me to "talk" to people here who have been through what I have.

With much hope for you and your husband,

Jack
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My husband had bypass surgery in August of 2007--he has physically done very well and continues to exercise at a local gym 3 times a week. He is also president of our company which was founded in 1973. Our two sons have come into the company and our daughter also works parttime there.
Since his surgery--I have noted --at first--subtle changes in his personality. I honestly expected some of these to happen as I can only imagine what he experienced through all of this. He had a quintuple CABG and was on the table for 6 hours. He also had a small hole in the area that divided the chambers of the heart, and had to have his mitral valve repaired. They also "snipped"(for want of a better word)--an area in the left atrium to address atrial fibrillation.

I am an RN-retired--and had no problem caring for him immediately post op at home. He was cooperative and I love him and wanted to do this. I still do--and he does appreciate various articles and help with his meds and such. I do not hover and baby him--I have encouraged him to take on as much responsibility as he can--and he has beautifully done this.

What I am noticing now that, as with the others on this forum, he is more easily aggitated, worries about a lot of things(before his surgery--he was the "laid back" one and I would have been the one to worry more.
He is beginning to "feel sorry" for himself more, and is picky, picky, picky about everything he eats, and when we are out with others, about every thing they eat! This is not enjoyable and I have tried so hard to be patient and loving through all of this. I was also dealing with the illness and death of my mom during my husband's surgery and recovery. In addition to this --our oldest son's family was in a really bad car accident at this same time.
He does have "good" moments when I feel like he his "my husband" again. I notice that his best times are always after he has done his exercising-which relieves him of this anxiety and tension.  
I do have a deep and strong faith in God, and He is faithful and saw me through all of this as well as healing our family of all that I have just described. But at this time-I needed to share and read about others going through the same thing--and let ya know how it has helped me to cope!
Forgive me for this lengthly post--I have never done this before__but have found this site to be so encouraging with the honest sharing of spouses who are going through the same thing as I am.
I feel I have become "invisible" to my husband--and that the stress of work may end up making him really sick again. His plan is to just stay in the business a little longer to set up the sons--and then-back off. We will be changing family doctors at this juncture as the one he has now will no longer be practicing family medicine in an office.
I was thinking that with an appointment with the new doc we could go over his medications --and talk about doing something for his anxiety. Thanks for all your sharing and help! God bless. Ick
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