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post bypass anxiety and personality changes
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post bypass anxiety and personality changes

My husband had quintuple bypass surgery 8 months ago. He had a mild heart attack 13 years previously which did not require any surgical intervention. I have noticed after his surgery that his anxiety level is extremely high. He lashes out for the smallest things and everything seems to get to him, especially anything that involves me. He drinks more wine to relax and I think it is having an adverse effect. When I mention that he might try some relaxation techniques to quell his anxiety he "goes off". He says "the doctor says I shouldn't be stressed and you are adding to it". I am so worried that if he continues on this pace he will wind up back in the hospital. Now when he stresses about something or drinks I want to avoid him because I don't want to hear him yell or tell me the latest thing I have done to give him anxiety,stress, etc. I spoke to the nurse months ago during his cardiac rehab and she said not to fight with him but don't let him abuse me either. I just don't know what to do anymore. He was not like this prior to the surgery and I just wondered if this is common and if it subsides. I am really trying not to feel sorry for myself but his heart surgery really happened to all of us and has affected everyone. I feel that I am walking on eggshells. Part of me wants to run and hide....getting close to my breaking point. Do you have any advice?
Thank you!
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Avatar_n_tn
My father self-medicated with alcohol due to anxiety over heart disease.  He had a heart attack at 42 and quadruple bypass surgery as well as both carotids bypassed at 60.  His heart disease and anxiety really ruled our family so I can relate to how you are feeling.  It's very difficult to know what to do in this situation.  I always wished that I had gotten my Dad in to see a counselor or gotten him some proper medication for his anxiety but he was much too stubborn for this.  Would your husband consider such a thing?  
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61536_tn?1340701763
It is not uncommon for people to experience some depression and anxiety after going through this.  Everyone handles it differently, of course.  While his emotional health is as important as his physical health, you cannot discount your own wellbeing.  I think it's something that should be mentioned to his doctor.  He probably doesn't want to hear this from his wife, but may be more willing to listen to a healthcare professional.  People can be stubborn, it's in our nature.  Stress and anxiety won't benefit him, but probably won't damage him too badly in the short term either.  He's got to come to grips with it.  I wish I had answers on how to make that happen, but all I can really say is don't coddle him.  Don't irritate him either, but firmly tell him his anxiety is to a point where you fear it is affecting his health and, sick or not, he needs to handle that appropriately.

Most of all, be his wife, not his caregiver.  Don't treat him like he's glass, it will only make things a thousand times worse for him - and you, unfortunately.

He may end up needing treatment for depression and/or anxiety.  Is he in a cardiac rehabilitation program?  Sometimes this can be a HUGE help.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for your input. The mood swings are intermittent but I think the idea of speaking to his doctor will be beneficial for both of us. You might be right that he would take advice better from him than from me. My husband is convinced that he is not depressed but I really think otherwise.
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61536_tn?1340701763
Sometimes it takes someone close to us to see if we are not ourselves.  You may be absolutely right in your observations.  In any event, I hope you both get some answers soon.  I understand this must be a rough path for both of you.  I'm in hopes you both emerge from it stronger.
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Avatar_n_tn
I happened on the forum by chance.
My husband also had bypass surgery, since that time I noticed, like you a change in personality, irritability.. sometimes quite servere.and worrying over minor things.
He has been on statins since the surgery and I am convinced this is part of the cause in his case.
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Avatar_n_tn
My Husband Just Had a triple Bypass and he is not the same person he was
there are a great deal of changes in his personality. I really don't know this other person,
he does the same as your husband he flys off the handle for no reason he does not remember things like he did before the surgery. He seems less interested in anything.I don't know what happened but i did notice a difference right away and asked the doctor if he had a stroke or could test if he had one.The doctor said it was probably the pain pills,but i new it was something more,i could feel it and see it he just was not himself,his personality was totally different,and it's very hard to explain to an outsider that you know somethings not right.I wish you my best ,I just wanted you to know that your not alone
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21064_tn?1309312333
My dad had CABG about 10 years ago and I agree that the surgery can be life-altering in more ways than one.  The physical effects of the surgery are long healed while the emotional/psychological effects remained.  Prior to the surgery, my dad was very high-spirited, happy-go-lucky, and rarely anxious or frustrated.  After the surgery, he became less tolerant and more readily irritated or frustrated.  It was definitely an adjustment for all of us.  We love him dearly, but we are honest and let him know when he seems "out of sorts."  

I agree that talking to his doctor is a good idea.  What you (and your husband) are experiencing is common and the doctor may have some great ideas for both of you.  Your husband is much more likely to listen to the doctor : )

You may also want to ask the doctor about your husband's medications. Personally, I think that the medications can contibute to the patient's mindset, etc.  Take care of yourself.

connie
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Avatar_n_tn
I defintely agree with Anacyde's commnts. Your husbands are all exhibiting signs( frustration, irritabiliity, lack of interest, etc)  of depression. They should be evaluated by their doctors..

I have read that up to 50% of heart patients will be depressed in the first year fo their treatment. I speak from personal experience    I am a 55 year old male. I had a heart attack 20 months ago. I didn't have CABG but I had a stent. About a month into the recovery, I noticed that I was having problems with sleeping, crying jags, etc. I told my doctor that it seemed that all of the fun and joy in my life had ended.  She immediately put me on Zoloft. If I remember correctly, I felt much better, nearly normal, within 2 weeks.

One problem is that men are notoriously bad about talking about their feelings, thoughts, etc. If you add in the idea that depression isn't manly, then you can see why some men find it incredibly hard to discuss these problems.

By all means, I would definitely encourage you to talk to your doctors as depression can be treated through drugs, therapy or both.

You might also check into a group called mended hearts.  Thay have chapters in various cities and they can help support both the patient and caregiver. You mention you've been through rehab.  The rehab group should be able to refer you and your husband to psychologist who may be able to help by showing you ways to cope.  Even if your husband won't go, you may find it of interest.
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Avatar_f_tn
My ex-husband had a heart attack and triple by-pass. He was never the same again. He wouldn't quit smoking.  After about 6 months he told me that since he was going to die anyway, he wanted a divorce, so he could  be happy until he died..After separating for 2 years waiting for him to come to his senses, I finally gave in and gave him one. He married almost immediately, continued smoking, had another heart attack and double by-pass surgery. He survived again and is still smoking. He changed so completely I didn't even know him. I trully believe he was depressed, but he wouldn't go for councelling or anti-depressants. He is type A personality and a control freak. You have to take care of yourself and your children. Until he accepts help, I'm afraid you are in for a rough time. I don't mean to be negative, just wanted to let you know how far things can spiral out of control. Your husband is not accepting his health issues, and wants to blame anyone he can, for something he can't control. Good luck, and take care of yourself. He needs councelling badly.
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Avatar_f_tn
I can relate truely and completely, right now it sounds like you just described my husband.  He had surgery 3 months ago, but is 45.  I cannot believe the change in him, and it seems that he just walks around looking for something, and yes now he is centering all of this aggression on me.  Something anything could go wrong,I might not be there but by god its still linked to me.  I am only writing a short version of his recent shanagens but believe you me he has cause me much tear shed since hes been home.  The things he says are just plain mean.  I even told him that the good lord gave him another chance and better health, that he should exsert his new found energy to something good, he told me to shut up.  I dont know and certainly dont understand, but thankyou for this post because it gives me hope that when he says he doesent love me ,since the surgery, that maybe there is a link to it and now I dont feel so alone
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Avatar_m_tn
If you can find a CAD or CABG support group, that may be worth a try.  Just so he could see that he's not the only one going through this.  My main problem after CABG was lack of knowledge.  They do the surgery, boot you out the door, and tell you NOTHING about what to expect, etc..  It is very frustrating, and scary.  Depression is very common so some counselling (and drugs) may be helpful, too.
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Avatar_n_tn
I can understand what all of your husbands are going through.  I had a heart attack and emergency CABG x 5 about 5 years ago.  I understand the feeling of completely helplessness and even uselessness that comes with heart disease.  I also understand what a guy feels when it seems his life just got flushed down the toilet.  That doesn't make our resultant actions right by any means.  For those of you wives that have had to deal with and are currently dealing with a husband that is acting like a jerk my heart goes out to you.  I know I probably treated my wife like dirt for awhile.  I was so wrong to do that because she was my strongest support person.  It took me a long time to understand that I didn't have to always be strong.  I didn't have to be in charge.  Like most men, I had this macho attitude.  I took me awhile to get over that.  Some men maybe never will when put in the situation where they aren't the tough guy they thought they were.  It is a very humbling experience.

I know I blew up at my wife over stupid things.  I know I blamed her for everything.  I know I made her cry more than once because of things I said.  I also know I will spend the rest of my life trying to make it up to her because it finally dawned on me that the position I found myself in wasn't anyone's fault but mine.

I don't really know what to tell you gals to do about the situation you find yourselves in with your husbands because everyone is different and I don't really know what made me finally wake up.  I do remember my wife finally having had enough and letting me know in pretty blunt terms that she wasn't interested in going to anymore of my pity parties.  I remember her telling me she loved me and that she would be there when the "real me" came home.  I guess "I" finally did and life has been wonderful ever since.

I sincerely wish you all the best of luck.

Pusher
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Avatar_n_tn
sorry, its just another wife that has no idea what to do. its been a year and a half since my husband of nearly 38 years(as of now) had a quad bypass...he wasn't put into any rehab, he gained weight.now needs to have the stress test again and yet wants to lose weight first. i have told him he just can;t take the time to do that now. he needs the test. but the personality change has been the worse. i feel like when he says hurtful things or does things that hurt my heart that it just doesn't matter. he is living life the way he wants to. that is how he comes across.he was the most loving /strong/ sweetest/most tenderhearted person i have ever known that would have given me the world if he could. now i feel i am in the way in his world. i have not known how to deal with this. i spoke with his drs office for months about it and they told me if it was depression that wasn't something they dealt with..i was not warned of this. he had never been sick our entire marriage until that surgery--it was frightening and scary and i can not imagine living my life without him,,,,yet basically it is what i already am doing emotionally. i guess i have no choice but to let him act however,,,my job is to see that he gets the tests done --but as for the change in him, i don't think that is something that is going away and i don't know how  i can stand this. it has been a painful drastic change and he doesn't even realize it. he is still kind and loving...but on his terms and when he chooses....i am not sure how to make this transition and i am only in my 50's/this has felt like a death of sorts. and i fear he will not ever be the same and i am unsure how to live like this.
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Avatar_n_tn
While I have heart problems and have had bypass surgery and can understand what your husband is doing and maybe why he is the way he is, I certainly can't condon it.  I finally saw what I was doing to my wife and family and GREW up.  Everyone with heart disease or heart issues is affected differently on the mental side of things.  The same can be said about all the spouses and family of those affected.  They too all react differently.  Sadly, some relationships don't make it and that is truly a shame.  I hope and pray that yours isn't one of those.

You stated that it was YOUR job to make sure he gets a test done.  I don't think that it is your job at all.  It's his job to take care of himself, eat right, get exercise and it is his job to start thinking  less about himself and more about you and how his actions affect you.

I think it's your job to be that same person that made 38 years so wonderful.  I can't say that I know what you are going through because I was on the dishing out side for several years.  I do know pretty much what your husband is feeling though.  If you haven't a real pointed and blunt discussion about what is happening to you and your marriage maybe it's time to do that.  Maybe it's time to talk to a counselor, a therapist or a cleryman.  I think it is definitely time to talk, really talk, to your husband.

I wish you the best of luck and will hope for a happy outcome to all of this.  
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm sorry, but I have to agree with pusher.  It is your husband's job to live his life, make his own decisions, right or wrong,and take responsibility for his own life.  He is old enough to do this.  Your job is to take care of you, and to be honest with him AND yourself.
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Avatar_n_tn
i know deep down its his responsibilty to do all the right things for his health. I feel that at this moment he wouldn't even notice or  feel anything if i were to leave.-which i am not going to do. he has no clue as to how badly my heart aches due to his actions or decisions and choices,,, when i have tried to talk to him his famous line is "i don't know what you are talking about". i tried demanding--i tried crying--i tried ignoring--and i am at the point right now that i just want to get through christmas and if i have to deal with this it won't be til after the first. but i don't know how to deal with something when he doesn't even see it.
i have no one i really speak to about this as i do not want them to think badly of him,,,this is not the man i married. his actions /bad choices shouldn't be able to control my feelings like this. he is doing what he wants when he wants and i don't even know him. my thanks tho for your comments . i do feel i have dug my own hole tho and now i have to figure a way to get out. thank you.
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Avatar_n_tn
by the way--how long before you "saw the light " and what you had been doing to your wife and family--and what was the turning point. i seem to be doing everything wrong in that respect. thanks
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Avatar_n_tn
forgive me but one more question......please try to put into words what you were feeling--and why it made you behave the way you did. i want to try to understand -- as i am aware it was the surgery -- but i really can't relate to what has caused the personality change....in order to help us i need to understand what he is going through, thanks so much to all of you for being there. this may be the ray of hope i needed.
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Avatar_n_tn
i agree about taking responsibility but when 2 people live together, what one does reflects on the other, it is hard to separate yourself from his responsibility. my husband who passed away 7/22/06 spent his time since bypass (1997) needling me at every chance, screaming at me and blaming me for anything. my story is a little different in that my darling did not smoke, did not drink, was 11 years older. after his bypass we changed our eating lifestyle, vegans except on sunday. he was walking 5 miles a day. his blood fats were way down, ldl was 52. he lost 30lbs. the same for me. he was supported of our new life style. we lived like that for a year after we made the changes, 18 months after his bypass. he no longer needed meds for hypertension, diabetis. the first day of his retirement, a monday, these changes were gone, he was back to his old life. it was as if the bypass and subsequent life changes never happened. nothing i said or did was right. he finally told me in his last year, that he did not take no advise from no stinking woman. to this day i do not know why he stopped the changes, he did not know. if anyone can give me an opinion i'd appreciate it. the last year was screaming at me, sometimes in traffic, sometimes i thought i was going to have a heart attack from fright. if he had lived, i was looking at a divorce because the situation was causing me health problems, hypertension.         mamameow
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Avatar_f_tn
"i agree about taking responsibility but when 2 people live together, what one does reflects on the other, it is hard to separate yourself from his responsibility."
by mamameow

Excellent  statement.

"this is not the man i married. his actions /bad choices shouldn't be able to control my feelings like this. He is doing what he wants when he wants and i don't even know him. "
by msh22  

I heard that before, from my friend, popped up in my head at times:)…so I went back to read what you are all talking about………………..

Some of my random thoughts:

Doesn’t matter if our husbands had bypass or other heart issues, or any health issues or they are healthy and we are not. The point is we are ageing (aging), and when in the door of death(or we think we were) we star to feel differently. Our real personality that was hiding and covered by our good behaving earlier now has a strong needs to come out ‘great’ and very said but good example for that what happened to LLWB ‘s marriage. I am very sorry LLWB what happened to you, but you did the right thing, to let him go if this is what he needed.  

We women must realize that. We all feel that at times even if we don’t  dare to say , only think: "this man is not I married to, I don’t even know him anymore"...but never forget: we are not the women they are married, and we are not angels, we all I am sure have our moments.....or many…

..be BLUNT…don’t bare your feelings, do NOT let those feelings to eat you up….
Congratulation to Pushers wife :) ….by the way pusher I thought you were a women, I admire your strong willingness how you push yourself ..Exercise etc….

Anyway my point is we must face the fact: things changed, due to health issues and age....we never can separate that, ever. Some people can see the way out from this s***  by unite, be even more loving and blame what happened to them on age, time, stress the world  whom ever and hold on the still many beautiful things left ,many activities that can do and enjoy together like: walk, garden, sports, visiting grandchildren, movies, traveling etc.....but non of those will salve the  main problem we are getting older and older looking , and even cranky sometimes and not as healthy young and beautiful we were or we thought we were once, and never will be…..isn’t that enough to be a little depressed about ?...and that’s all are a turning down...for the other too.

If it is hard to be in each other company every day, do more happy things for you, and let the other do the same, and accept   , compromise.

“Agree that talking to his doctor is a good idea.  What you (and your husband) are experiencing is common and the doctor may have some great ideas for both of you.  Your husband is much more likely to listen to the doctor: ) “
By Mamto3
  
…could be the answer for some people, but I say if you feel no way out and can afford go to get  a good therapist, a GP doctor might just give an other unhealthy pill, that can send you to la la land….that could be OK for a while, but not a solution for long years.

Divorce?...I say no never do it..dont leave your husband if he doesn’t want to live you, you will be even more miserable...friend of mine left her husband ,based on : " I didn’t know him anymore after 30 years of marriage" what a  nonsense I would say.

Unfortunately she had some bad adviser.


   “verbal abuse"... hm  what the hack it means anyway? Yelling, screaming, name calling? Sometimes the anger must come out….and most the TRUTH  must come out that how we really feel, and why?...it could help in my opinion in many cases and would save us to get on  antidepressant on which we can become like a vegetable….

Stay together if you can. Work on it!

  Lonely single people even more miserable..... At least we are whom in a 20-30-40  years of marriage have the other still whom we have our good and bad times...and it is up to us too that to be able to archive that balance in which the good times take over on the bad times.

If you still not sleeping on my post, as Barbarella would say: Count Your Blessings.  
And …
Have a Great Christmas Day Everybody!
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Avatar_n_tn
sorry but does not sound like you have had first hand knowledge of this situation. okay we all get old, we all will have health issues but at some point when there is no cooperation from the spouse who has had bypass, your own survival comes into play. cranky? need to let anger out? real personality coming out? we are not young and beautiful, so we must accept this behavior?  this is a medical situation i feel that doctors are aware of but do not pass on any advise. spouses in this situation know something is wrong but do not know why. then the self blaming comes in, and vienna, you add to it. so your advise is, because we are not nice looking anymore, old, we should keep our mouths shut, accept any behavior, count our blessings. go for nice walks, smell the flowers, travel.  single people are miserable and lonely!  i lived for seven years from the bypass being screamed at, not crankiness, until i started with health issues. i had to solve my health issues alone because my spouse was involved with his issues and too verbally abusive to care.  loneliness? i was more lonely before he died, because i was alone!  now i am running the business we had and choose to be alone when i want. my blood pressure and other health issues are under control. oh and the dating is fun even at age 66.

by the way the only thing that put me to sleep reading your post was the bad grammar and spelling. some of it did not make sense. you sound lonely.
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Avatar_f_tn
: ups sorry mamameow see my problem is :English is my second language...:)..
And this board doesn’t have an edit button to correct my mistakes after I realizing them, while reading my post again, after I sent it.

  I think you never loved your husband  enough if you were thinking on divorce after he had problems and poor you had health issue ,like high blood pressure……you couldn’t understand him, how would you understand me and my crappy English? :)  

You were not happy with him , you are happy without him ..nothing to ashamed of that....we have our love coming in a very different packages ...some of us have more...some of you have less...again I am sorry my grammar was painful to you !:)

Yes I was lonely for 1-2 hours today....:)this is why I posted...

..Tomorrow  will be  our 35 years wedding anniversary...and my husband is healthy I have heart issues.

Have a happy dating. :)...hope you will find real love.
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Avatar_n_tn
i sort of thought english was your second language. grammar that is painful is when it comes from u.s. born/educated posters. but you cannot always tell if it is second language or poor education. i am sorry about your heart issues.  my spouse was my second marriage. he was the love mature love of my life. we did everything together, including worked together. we were inseparable. when he retired i had to quit working in order to keep him healthy. little did i know that he had made, for whatever reason. the decision to go back to the old life style, without regard to his health. no matter what i did, how i did it, no matter how i asked or cried, the new life changes were gone. i was very happy with him---until the bypass. his personality changed, he did things that would impact me without any consultation with me and then would say that is how he was going to do something and i could leave if that is what i wanted. so i quit. i tried to continue helping him eat right without being obvious but just became a nag. so i stopped that and just enjoyed him until the screaming started about 2 years after the bypass. we were traveling in the motorhome continously, i did the driving, it was not safe for me to let him drive. he paid no attention to drive laws/speed limits. after 3 accidents which included turning the motorhome over, his driving stopped because i was going to leave. he would scream at me while driving that motorhome, 40foot with car in tow. he was an opera singer, a baritone, and when someone with that voice screams at you for nothing, it was frightening. it came to the point i said nothing for fear of being hit. he never did but the threat was there. as far as being happy without him? no but i am safe. like the rest of us who have posted, we would all like to understand why our spouses changed after bypass, not just accept our lot in life. i guess that is what some would say is love, accepting, never question, just love him more and if that fails then you just did not love him enough.

in your whole post you never mentioned you loved your husband. are you taking care of your health?
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Avatar_n_tn
i see there are all kinds of sides to this. i of course only know mine. but i do think the medical professionals should have discussed this possibility of extreme personality change with me --because with awareness comes less fear and worry. i am more at peace today as i did alot of thinking last night as well as today. I love my husband --good and bad times--and i am not going anywhere. i just want to help him. i do not like to think he is frightened or that he is waiting on the grim reaper around the corner.Heck, i don't know what he is thinking.   I also do not like to live in an unpleasant situation. That being said--this may all be due to something that i can not fix--and he may never become aware of as pusher did.  no matter tho--i do love him...I plan to speak with my personal dr. about this to be sure what i am doing--but helping him is helping me. I believe alot of the anxiety i have been experiencing from his changes are due to the fact i was so very ill-prepared. Goodness knows he has stood by me through some hard times..no-- that doesn't mean i owe him, but it does prove what kind of man he is.  If he doesn't even know what he's doing and when, then it would be pretty hard to convince him to get help...so my thinking is i need help to deal with who he is at this stage in his life.(for my sake as well as his)  I am not going to throw away 38 years of marriage when none of this may even be in his control.  actually i have never thought of doing that anyway.  whether  or not he may think he wants to leave some day-- i can not worry about right now.   We had a nice day today and I am most grateful for that. I am grateful for minutes instead of hours and hours instead of days now.  and thanks to pusher for all of his insight....Thanks to you all your help.
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Avatar_n_tn
i just remembered that when my husband had his bypass, he was on the heart/lung bypass machine longer than expected. he had nine blockages. when he was in recovery/icu they had problems getting his respiration/oxygen level up to normal. he was in icu a week. i know from research that the theory is the body remembers being dead for seconds prior to going to the heart/lung machine and coming back from the machine. could this cause the changes, the anger? also the machine is made to eliminate as much air caught in the tubing but microscopic bubbles are there. could this be the problem? with my husband's extended time on the machine, could this have caused the radical changes? i know when someone has strokes, there can be personality changes. if i ever get into this situation with another husband, i know i will be more prepared, will ask more questions.
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Avatar_n_tn
i think that professionals should make counseling part of the post op treatment, even before they go home. if you/spouse can anticipate the changes, know they are coming, then they can be dealt with before the anxiety sets in. at that time it is harder to deal with. i have a medical back ground but still was not prepared for the changes. the flare ups are so unexpected. my husband's doctor was no help, he went along with whatever my husband said or did, even when it was not good for him. i found it hard to be there when he had a check up. i could not say anything because i would be in trouble when we left the office. verbal lashings can hurt. hang in there, you are further ahead of the "game" than i was and will work through it, just come here to vent.
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thank you..i have found that venting is sometimes the only/and best medicine that will help me in these type of situations. it has been a grand outlet of getting the anger/fear/bad attitude etc out . i also, many times, find that i end up muddling through or answering my own questions via venting. it is a way i do not have to involve family and other loved ones--they don't have answers anyway--and by speaking of these type of things about my husband for example--i find it tends to turn them against him . they don't mean to--it is just a natural way of trying to help and protect me. i recommend it(venting) whenever the load is just too unbearable regarding anything in one's life. it may not solve anything, but who knows, it may just help me stay strong in case i am needed by him/my family or even in case i get sick. i have learned an awful big lesson..and that is --if there is a next time or if any family member has anything done and i am to be the caregiver, i am going to not only answer questions but demand answers--i want them to answer questions and to have me and my loved ones treated as if we were their family members and not just another case. just because they do this day in and day out--and all went well for my husband as far as the surgery was concerned, this has been the most frightened i have ever been in my entire life. so who's to say that maybe i might have changed some--or alot--also. i do know i have taken seriously the fact that i may lose my husband some day. he is 15 years older than me..alot of the things he normally takes care of, i have either learned to do it or called to get it done or asked how to do it...i needed to know our financial situation as well as he did make a list of names of folks to call in case i had questions regarding things. he did that right before his surgery. i pray i will never need to know any more than i do now, but if i were to find myself in the same or worse position again, i hope i will be more prepared.  i know i am angry alot and scared alot .i probably don't even seem empathetic at all.  his illness and now his inattention to his weight etc./drinking etc. are scary. but as far as the attitude , bad choices/etc//i will deal with it. as i said earlier/venting will help me handle it at the end of bad days. fortunately i found this forum and fortunately this has been a mighty fine day, so i will count my blessings tonight and i just have to stop worrying about the tomorrows i am sure they will take care of themselves...i have told him seriously that we will be getting his stress test scheduled and he actually said ok.  so i will call my family dr. and insist that he take care of it and have him responsible seeing to it that he doesn't cancel...he was doing that behind my back--and therefore i would think we had something scheduled and poof--he would wipe it off his calendar.  always 'too busy'.
i had back surgery in july that has seemed to pretty badly so i have also got to take care of me right now/or i will be of no use to anyone else if needed.
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You asked me to respond to several questions.  Since that post you have been given some excellent advice and from reading your last post it appears that you have taken the bull by the horns and demanded or insisted that certain things get taken care of.  Good.

Heart disease is really a very individual thing.  It affects more people than just the person with the disease but is still a personnal individual thing.  However, even though it is individual sometimes it takes a gentle nudge in the right direction, sometimes it takes a good hard shove.  I need the good hard shove.  It might be that is what your husband needs too.  From reading your last post it would appear that he does.  Remember though it might take more than one shove to get results.

I remember when I had a heart attack and then CABG x 5 the perceptions I had about what it took and what it meant to be a man really took a hit.  I found out that being the MACHO guy that took care of everything wasn't really what it meant.  I found out that I didn't have to take care of everything and that I wasn't always going to be able to do everything my way.  I found out that I didn't have to be the "go to guy" all the time.  I also found out that even a MAN has to ask for HELP once in a while and that asking for help doesn't make me any less a man.  The biggest thing is that the perception of what I thought was important wasn't really important.

When my wife gave me a "hard shove" a couple of years ago, she wasn't trying to change me into being what SHE wanted me to be.  She was helping me change into who I needed to be.  Vienna is right about all of us getting older.  That aging process changes all of us in many ways.  Hopefully, with a little help, we are getting BETTER too.
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Wow, does not sound like much fun.  I would bet, though, that he had some major depression after retirement.  I think  you said that much of your lifestyle changes went away after he retired.  I think depression after retirement is very very common and something most don't talk about.  I am sorry you had to go through such abuse.
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Gee, where do I start!  LOL
I guess you have to speak for yourself, but I, for one, get better looking every year!!

AND, while I have been divorced since 1989, I am still single and am NOT lonely or miserable!

AND, my worst year since divorce is way better than any year married.  (I am not against marriage btw, at all, just haven't found him yet ;-))

Maybe you read too many books, Vienna?
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Good books are never too many. Also you can joke about all what I said I stand up for it, and don’t mind if you do joke, if you find it was funny.  I do not.

You divorced because of what ever reason, I was saying, do not divorce from a man based on a false believe that he is abusive simply because he is aging ,have some health issue going trough some difficult time because of  his heart or what ever other problem  and  he is cranky etc....
  
work on it, this is what I said.

“ Lonely people have a greater risk of heart disease, possibly due to differences in how their cardiovascular system reacts in times of stress rather than because of unhealthy behaviors, “
  
I am glad you are not lonely or miserable!:)


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thanks so much for responding. you see, i feel that if i can understand just a little bit about what he is going through maybe i can help or be there for him in a more productive way. i see him right now as a man that for whatever the reason is living life in a very negative way--it doesn't really matter anymore what he is or isn't doing that is so wrong...i have thought about it and maybe/just maybe--it isn't actually about those individual things-- but more about the possibility of his being extremely scared--angry--and lashing out at the world--who knows..i am happy to shove all it takes to be sure he  is okay physically. i will continue to do that. i may not be able to 'fix ' the rest /but i will certainly hang in there to help keep him from sinking  into  the abyss. I have begun to feel stronger over this past week. i made some very big decisions about alot of this... so i am not scared to push him to do what has to be done. i used to be so meek and scared about  and didn't want him to 'get upset ' with me--heck--he is upset with the world right now except maybe a little corner he paints for himself every now and then to back up in and keep me out. i think he believes if he leaves me out--then he doesn't have to face the real world. i can't let that happen--because i am in his real world. i do believe the root of alot of this is he is truly still very scared and feels very very alone. The future is all of a sudden too unsure for him--so instead of helping himself it somehow got all turned upside down and he basically is destroying good stuff in his life instead of hanging on.....i can only imagine the fear he was facing as the patient. i can only imagine.
we have a had a great 3 days-as great for us goes...and i can tell you that 90% of it is my attitude change of not sitting and waiting on the bad/which may or may not happen/or being angry all of the time if he was doing this or that. i would like to think  that with the calmness i am imposing on myself - that i am in turn  positioning myself to where i can help him.   i surely hope so anyway.  
i want you to know that you and your family are very fortunate...do not ever lose yourself again!!
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I think you said it right when you stated that there is a possibility that he is extremely scared.  I think you are very close to what is happening or has happened to your husband.  I know I was too.  I was so afraid of dying.  I had a real hard time getting all the bottled up feelings and emotions out.  Especially the ones that dealt with my fear and even my disappointment with myself for having all this happen.

For my wife and me, we both know that I will probably die from heart disease way before she does.  Together we decided to live one day at a time, we decided she needed to be more involved in all the financial, insurance and technical matters that I had always handled.  We decided we needed to do  some of the things we had always dreamed about, even if that meant doing some of those things alone.  We are having fun again.  The important thing about all of this is that it isn't about me anymore, it's about us.

Keep the good attitude and keep pushing.

Pusher
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I have been recovering for about 8 months from a quad bypass.  I'm 50 years old female who had three heart attacks prior to surgery and long term diabetic.   I sympathize with your family member.  I too have huge mood/emotional mood swings.   I was also forced to go back to work at about 3 months which I was not prepared to do full time.   From the patients perspective, it seems like the world doesn't give you a break for a moment thus the frustration.

Just wanted to speak from the patient's point of view.

:)
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   I am in full agreement with those who suggest your husband is dealing with depression.  I would also add something to anacyde's perceptive comments about depression being "not uncommon."  My language choice would be that depression is almost expected following the experiences of your husband.  One more thing:  Alcohol, as a drug, is a depressant and is likely making matters worse.  
   The advice of having your doctor talk with him about depression is rock solid.  If he is prescribed medication and takes them, it will take some time to notice if the meds are working.  
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I had triple bypass surgery after a heart attack on Thanksgiving weekend. I am 56 and also a recovering alcoholic. I had 8 months sobriety prior to my surgery. Of course all my Doctors are aware of me and my involvement in AA. I can relate to the depression and anxiety and taking it out (mostly being short with her) on my wife. I have tried to rely on my group for support and through their input I got honest about my mental state and told the doctors. Now am on a sedative that I take once a day (only if I need it). People have been bragging about my outlook and say I look better to. As far as my depression went, I would have welcomed death and often wondered why I didn't die. Today I thank God for my family and those that helped me pray in spite of how I felt. I have just recently tried to start my heart rehab. I am undergoing some tests about dizziness. Also I have very low drive and energy. Mentally I am doing better. I take my meds as prescribed and pray everyday, Many people pray for me daily also. My prayers go out to those here suffering.
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I came across this website by accident.  It really helped me to know that others have gone through this.  You would not believe the hell I have gone through. This is a long story, so I appologize. My husband had a heart attack at 37, which was about 13 years ago.  Two years later he had to have  a 5-way bypass.  I was expecting recovery to be difficult, but I was completely unprepared for what happened.  My husband & I have been married for 30 years.  The first 20 were great.  He was very level headed  & we were best friends.  After the surgery, he was also very irritable, which was not like him.  He had never been cruel or abusive to me, but over the months he got worse & worse.  Like you say, he was not the same person.  I noticed it in his eyes right away, something was just different. When it first started, I called his Dr.  He said it was probably a little depression & subscribed some anti-depressants over the phone, which he wouldn't take.  Nothing else was ever done about it.  So as things got worse & worse, I went to see our GP.  I told him what was going on & asked if it was normal.  He said he'd never heard of anything like it, & gave me a prescription for Trazadone. He just acted like it was no big deal.  Over the months it got unbearable, & was starting to affect my health, physically & mentally.  I tried many different Avenues for help.  We went to a few counselors, but it always ended up turned around on me & they would blame it on anxiety, hormones, etc. & gave me pills to take.  No one would believe me.  His parents could see it, & were  supportive at first, but then they just wanted to stay out of it. Plus, he was very good at manipulating people, & can come across very charming & likeable. He was very good at making people believe it was me & not him, since he was calm & I was freaked out. Anyway, one night I decided to call a self-help line.  The lady said, "Hey, if it gets too bad, just go up to the emergency room, they deal with that kind of stuff all the time."  So, the next time, I talked him into going with me.  They seperated us, & talked to each of us. The nurse asked if he was abusive, & I said yes.  Evidentally, to save his own neck, he told them that I was popping pills & drinking.  The Dr. who saw me acted very annoyed.  They sent us to see a Psychiatrist the next day.  I thought, great now we'll get some help.  He also talked to us seperately. When he brought us back together, He said, "Mrs. _______, you're deeply depressed & I want you to go directly up to the mental hospital, or I will have the police escort you. "  When I protested, he said sarcastically, "Mrs. ______, you've just described Attila the Hun!" So, I was put into the mental ward for three days. I kept trying to tell everybody what had happened, but no one would believe me.  After 3 days, they had to let me out because they couldn't find anything really wrong, except that I was upset. By the time I went home, I was scared to death to go to anyone for help, & when things got bad, he would just threaten to have me locked up.  One night, we got into a fight & he accused me of being a drug addict & taking a bunch of pills, (which is just not me, I don't even like to take aspirin.)  So, stupidly, I said "let's go up to the hospital & I'll get a blood test."  So we went up & they did a test which came out completely clear, but even with that, they still didn't believe me.  They said that our stories were so contradictory, that they were going to put me back in the hospital.  Not once did anyone think of evaluating him. I went out into the hallway to try to find my husband, & they had an armed guard stop me.  This time they took me up in an ambulance, which was totally humiliating, & put me in involutarily, for 10 days. Anyway, the whole thing was such a nightmare that I still have'nt gotten over it, in 13 years.  I feel like my rights were so violated.  Over the years, things have gotten somewhat better, but it has been absolute hell, & I'm not the same person.  I tried to leave a couple of times, went to a halfway house, but that seemed even more depressing. I had no family in town,so I called my brothers & sister, &  asked if I could come out & stay with one of them, but my family believes in toughening up & handling things on your own, so they said no. The only help they would give me, was my brother offering to give me a car, that was halfway across they United States, & I would have to go get it & drive it home.  Like I was really in good enough shape to drive halfway across the country.  I basically had no support system at all, because over the months he bacame very anti-social, & wouldn't even keep phones on the hook. He would get furious if I even tried to take a walk.  He wouldn't let me keep windows open, or doors.   So eventually, friends just stopped calling.  And by then my confidence was so low, & I was so screwed up, I didn't feel like getting out to meet people on my own.  Before that, we had a very active social life. There's much more to the story, but I won't go into it.  He has since admitted that it was him, & not me, & actually flipped out in front of one of the couselors one time,  But still, after all that, no one decided he needed help.  Since then, I've looked up a lot of documentation on heart surgery & personality changes.  I can't believe , with all of the people we went to see, not one of them new anything about it.  I wish now, that I had sued them, but was scared to death to make waves.  Anyway, the statute of limitations was up by then.  I tried calling a couple of lawyers, & they didn't act like they believed me either.  I  grew up in the San Fransisco bay area, but moved to a small midwestern town when I got married.  Actually, our heart unit is considered one of the best in our region, which makes it incredible to me that they were so uneducated on the subject. Anyway, things are a little better now, off & on, but he still has a lot of problems with anger & can be abusive , & has episodes of rages, which last 2 or 3 days.  In between, things are pretty stable, & he has a good job.  I considered leaving many times, but that's hard to do after 30 years, plus I had always been a stay at home Mom, & wasn't financially prepared to support myself.  Besides I didn't have the confidence. We are in the middle of one of our fights right now.  He will pick a fight over anything, like me telling the dog to get down when she jumps on me.  I have to be very careful, not to ever act mad, or complain, or raise my voice.  If I start talking about a subject that is bothering me, he will explode. I was so totally opposite when I was younger, I had a lot of confidence & always stood up for myself, but over time that part of me is gone. I'm not anywhere near the person I was. Anyway, he will go into these rages, yell for a couple of hours, & get horribly verbally abusive.  I always just keep my mouth shut, because I know he's just trying to pull me in, so that he can say I'm just as bad as him.   So I don't say anything, until he's gotten so brutal that I start crying & get upset. Then He walks out, like he's the injured party, & goes to stay at a motel for a couple of days. He never acts like he's at fault, & never apologizes, he always turns it around so that it's my fault.
     Anyway, if things don't get better, I think I'm prepared to leave this time.  
     I'm sorry that this letter is so long.
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Oh my God, you've just told my story.  My husband was the sweetest, tenderest, sanest, most wonderful guy too.  He has turned into a monster, & my best friend is gone.  He also makes me feel like I'm in the way.  I can sympathize with you.  There's not much help out there.
    Hang in there
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I felt so alone.  I'm glad I found your comments to read.  My husband of 15 years had double arterial bypass last November at age 34.  We are both 35 now.  We have a 3 year old daughter.  He's a different person after the surgery.  I'm afraid to talk to him because he gets angry so easily.  We haven't had sex since before the surgery and he says he has no interest whatsoever.  I'm so lonely and so afraid.  I, too, have lost my best friend.  You wouldn't believe the hurdles we've overcome to last this long and we were so happy.  We were looking at another attempt at in-vitro fertilization to have another baby and now I feel like he wishes I'd go away.  Our daughter is a daddy's girl and she always wants to be with him.  I'd die if I had to leave and couldn't take her with me.  I cry every time I'm alone and I try to occupy myself quietly so I don't stress him or make him mad.  I don't want to live this way. I'm so, so, so sad.
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I have been reading the stories in this thread and am weeping inside. I too had a triple BP and suffer from the after effects. The first couple years I had outbursts which I lashed out at my wife and children. I said horrid things which make my heart ache thinking about.
I am now going into my 9th yr post and things HAVE improved but I am a different man than before the surgery My ability to feel joy has been "damaged" and I constantly live with the fear not of death but of my death leaving my family in a bad place. This fear I discovered with the help of a supportive angel for a wife was causing me to draw back from those I loved lest I die and let them down. This realization was a great help in the ongoing life work of reclaiming my lost self. I realize that  I was literally dead a couple times before the surgery and during it also and it has affected me at the deepest levels.I still have "outbursts" but have become much more aware of their effect on my loved ones and am quick to apologize and regain my composure, something learned in the hurt faces of my loved ones.
In my opinion that this is so common yet ignored by medicine, save to further medicate the patient,it is if not malpractice it is no doubt poor practice.
Again as a "pumphead" my heart goes out to all who must deal with our lowered quality of life due to the procedure which is supposed to give us more to live and live for.I am glad to be alive but I cannot help but miss the much happier man I once was.
Jim
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I can'nt beleive what I am reading. My husband had quadrupal bypass surgery five years ago. Our lives have never been the same since. He has lost so much of his memory, mainly of our of our lives , and of the kids growing up.. He does'tn even remember the day our youngest daughter was born. We have been married for 32 years. It is so bad now. I just dont know this person anymore. He says he doesnt know what he wants. I guess our marriage is over, I am devistated and cant believe this wonderful man that I have lived with since Im 29 years old wants to throw me and all he has worked for his whole life under the bus.  He has already cheated, and claims thta over. As far as me, he just don't know how he feels. He caims he does'nt know what he wants. He just comes and goes, doing what ever it is he does. When he is home he is either sleeping or watching TV. He hardly talks to me at all, I dont know how much more I can take, this has been going on for a year now. Please, does anyone have any suggestions. If I go to his doctor, I know he would flip out. Please Help!
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I found this website by surfing the net.I had 4 heart attacks and emergency quad.bipass surgery.In recovery I married the love of my life.and moved to Texas on little $$ and a dream.In 2 short months , I am looking at divorce and the loss of all things worthwhile.There was a comment on this site that one of us seemed to have lost his sense of joy.I am also a recovering alcoholic w/ 7 years sober.When I try to discus or explain what I think or feel I get 2 reactions usually...Quit feeling sorry for yourself, or they get angry at me for feeling that way.I know deep down that there is something wrong.And I can't put my finger on it.I am sad mostly and I lash out to the people I love.And I don't know why..Which in urn akes me more angry or sad.I don't have much money and the job I do is physically taxing.There is a part of me that wants me to die.I love my wife with all my heart...I start therapy this week.The joy of living today seems to be forshadowed with  all the things I thought 5 mins. before my surgery w/a 50% chance of success or failure...haunt me.I feel guilty for living.Angry for surviving.Heartbroken...because my heart....well it's my heart!...Nobody wants a broken heart.....And now my problem is I have one already...and another probably on the way with the loss of my wife.I wished and wanted all these heart issues to just go away.Instead...everything I love with all my heart is going away.Except this broken heart.And nobody it seems wants to hear about it.Especially me.
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My husband had a 4 bypass over 6 years ago.  Afterwards, he became distant, irritable, lost joy in life, forgot how to laugh, did not make eye contact, and the worst, had rages on a daily basis over practically nothing. Plus, everything was my fault, no matter what. His cognitive ability fell, having difficulty following movies, and forgetting a lot. He began to tell lies, misrepresent reality, and generally find something to complain about on a daily basis. His only love became food, much of which he wasn't supposed to eat, and he gained much too much weight. I eat nutritiously, he wasn't interested.  He became the most miserable person I had ever known. He lost all of the sweetness he had before the bypass. He doesn't believe in therapy, so he wouldn't seek any help. He said he feels just fine. Needless to say, my generally cheery nature became sad or scared around him, so I began to avoid him. He also became sloppy in his looks and hygiene, and began to present like a much much older man. What a nightmare. Now he wants to divorce me because he believes that will make him happy. Good luck. I am hurt and I am relieved, since I believed that it would be wrong to divorce him, to abandon him, and I loved him. I kept thinking that somehow it would get better. It didn't. We've been together for 17 years.  All I can say is in the end, we all must take responsibility for our actions, and having a bypass operation is ultimately not a license to be abusive to others and not do what is necessary. We are not your doormats. We have feelings too. Get a grip. You got a second chance at life.  Why blow it?
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My husband had a 4 bypass over 6 years ago.  Afterwards, he became distant, irritable, lost joy in life, forgot how to laugh, did not make eye contact, and the worst, had rages on a daily basis over practically nothing. Plus, everything was my fault, no matter what. His cognitive ability fell, having difficulty following movies, and forgetting a lot. He began to tell lies, misrepresent reality, and generally find something to complain about on a daily basis. His only love became food, much of which he wasn't supposed to eat, and he gained much too much weight. I eat nutritiously, he wasn't interested.  He became the most miserable person I had ever known. He lost all of the sweetness he had before the bypass. He doesn't believe in therapy, so he wouldn't seek any help. He said he feels just fine. Needless to say, my generally cheery nature became sad or scared around him, so I began to avoid him. He also became sloppy in his looks and hygiene, and began to present like a much much older man. What a nightmare. Now he wants to divorce me because he believes that will make him happy. Good luck. I am hurt and I am relieved, since I believed that it would be wrong to divorce him, to abandon him, and I loved him. I kept thinking that somehow it would get better. It didn't. We've been together for 17 years.  All I can say is in the end, we all must take responsibility for our actions, and having a bypass operation is ultimately not a license to be abusive to others and not do what is necessary. We are not your doormats. We have feelings too. Get a grip. You got a second chance at life.  Why blow it?
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What a thread , this thread has me feeling horrible. I just feel terrible for all you wives that are now kind of stuck in bad marriages. These men are depressed no doubt but that doesn't give them the right to treat their spouses like ****. You are there helping them out and in return you get crapped on and treated like you caused the heart attack. Remember you only get one life then your done forever. If the man in your life has changed so severely since having surgery that he is not the same guy anymore you must demand marriage counseling and if he doesn't comply then it's time for you to move on with your life.

Heck I have heart disease and sometimes I am bitter about it but I blame no one else for my own issues and if one day I need a bypass I will reluctantly have it done but still I won't blame others. If I made it out of that hospital alive and able to continue living I would be happy as hell that I may have gotten a 2nd chance at life and to see my loved ones. I know its easy to say now and if by chance I did get mentally affected I would take the Zoloft or whatever I needed to do to feel more like myself. Good luck to all of you and your significant others.
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I am 38 years old.  At 35 I had my first stroke, second stroke, and first heart attack.  In the years that followed I have had over 14 heart caths, 4 stents placed, and quadruple bypass in 2008.   I am also a type II diabetic, but I am resistant to meds, so I am on a pump.  My surgery was almost a year ago, and after my surgery I felt I was fine.  My Doctor even asked me at my first check up if I had had my 'blue day'--not having had it I didn't know what she was talking about.  Well, I think I am having not just my 'blue day' but my 'blue months'.  I am a single mom, so I have no stories of how I took it out on my spouse.  I can say that i myself noticed a difference in me.  I feel like the person that went to s;eep on that operating table never woke up again.  I feel I'm different, but can't figure out exactly how.  I am by no means excusing any of the behavior of these fellow bypassers...but I have actually had to ask my friends to tell me when I go into (what we lovingly call) bypass mode.  Sometimes I am not aware of when I'm not acting 'normal'.  

To Diane650---we have gotten a second chance, and although I really can't speak for everyone who has had bypass, I can say for me it has nothing to do with blowing it-on purpose that is.  I still don't know the person I have become--she seems so different and there are times that I don't know how to handle it.  You are not doormats--I 100% totally agree--I am just trying to give the side of the bypasser since most of these I have read seem to be in denial that they have changed in any way (except you, pusher!)

I guess I said all of this to say that....maybe they aren't aware of what's going on (at least I hope not!!), and just how much their behavior is hurting others.  I pray that communication is opened up, and maybe their can be a 'code' to make them (the bypasser) see what they're doing.
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Story from the other side of the fence.

I just recently dealt with depression not due to bypass but to arrhythmia problems.  For about 9 months my wife was telling me I was too irritable.  We'd blame stress, and I would tell her she's creating more stress for me by bringing it up.  She also expressed concern about "walking on egg shells" around me.

My Doc and I finally took some steps.  Mind you, I did not feel depressed but everyone close to me was telling me I was.  I didn't believe them.

I went on an SSRI and on the 3rd week people at work were telling me I seemed happier and a lot less irritable.  My wife says I'm back to the guy she remembers before the heart issues.  I really didn't know.

Now that some of this fog has lifted, I realize just how much of a red flag her comment was about the egg shells.  Wow, that's not good at all.

The SSRI helped a lot, and made me realize just how depressed I was.  I love not having that irritability and being mean to my kids anymore.  That's not the dad I want them to remember.

SSRIs aren't everyone though.  I still have some long term concerns about this approach, I will cross that bridge when I get there...
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Avatar_m_tn
I found this thread while doing research for a friend who's husband of many years continues to exhibit extreme personality changes 6 years after bypass surgery.  I am going to refer her here.  It will help her to know she is not the crazy one!

I continued researching and found two VERY good articles about the possible cause of this problem.  Yes, the medical community knows the cause, but does nothing to warn about or prepare people for this issue.  I hope this helps!

Interestingly, Bill Clinton started exhibiting these symptoms after his bypass surgery.  Read about it here:
http://www.drmcdougall.com/bill_clintons_madness.htm

http://heartdisease.about.com/cs/bypasssurgery/a/pumphead.htm

http://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2006nl/january/bypass.htm

Two articles are by Dr. McDougall, who is VERY well researched, and a straight shooter.  I have read his work since the early '80's.

Best wishes to all who are dealing with this.  I think it will help to know that the cause is either depression or "pump head" which cause damage to the brain during the surgery.


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Avatar_m_tn
Famous novelist Larry McMurtry, in his excellent autobiographical sketch, "Walter Benjamin at the Dairy Queen", discusses the profound emotional and mental effects of bypass surgery on him.

The bulk of his tale begins on page 140 in the hardback edition:

"Perhaps one reason I have become increasingly fascinated by history is because I feel I have had two histories---or, put another way, because two individuals bearing my name have had sequential but largely separate histories.
I was one person up until the morning of December 2, 1991, at which date I had quadruple-bypass surgery at the Johns Hopkins hospital in Baltimore. When I woke up from the operation, after about twelve hours in deep anesthesia, I began -- although I didn't realize it immediately -- my life as a different person -- my life as someone else."

"From being a living person with a distinct personality I began to feel more or less like an outline of that person—and then even the outline began to fade, erased by what had happened inside. I felt as if I was vanishing—or more accurately, had vanished…I became, to myself, more and more like a ghost, or a shadow. What I more and more felt, as the trauma deepened, was that while my body survived, the self that I had once been had lost its life…the sense of grief for the lost self was profound. I didn’t feel like my old self at all, and had no idea where the old self had gone…I felt spectral—the personality that had been mine for fifty-five years was simply no longer there."
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Avatar_f_tn
Here's ur ans that everyone is looking
For its called pump head a duke univ
Study says that doctors don't
Like to talk about this to the public
But up to 42 percent of bypass patients
Have significant cognative changes
After surgery due to blood be pumped
Through the body for 4 to 6 hours during the procedure that pump if
Not cleaned properly can spread tiny
Particles into the blood that go into
The brain and cause permanent damage
I'm trying to make pump head aware
To more people so they no the risk
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Avatar_m_tn
My sister had bypass surgery done about two months ago. My heart broke in half because she's not only my sister, she my best friend.
To make a long story short, she changed. She's become very short tempered. I love her very much, but it's so difficult to talk to her now. I've decided to pray for her and her family. After reading all these entries, I now understand that I am not alone. It has affected her family and I don't think she has a clue as to how the hurtful words she say's cut so deep. God bless her and everyone else out there who is going through the same difficult experience.. I'm afraid to tell her about her change. For fear that she will lash out at me. However, the sympathy I feel for my brother in law and niece and nephew, gives me no choice but to talk to her about this. Thank you for creating this comment page, it has been very healing.
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Avatar_f_tn
In my family, I'm the one with the heart problems.  I'm not cranky but I am fearful, and I think people often use anger to cover fear.  At any rate, I found a good book called "Back to Life after a Heart Crisis," by Marc Wallack, M.D., and Jamie Colby, a doctor who had bypass surgery and his wife. It covers a lot about what's been discussed in this thread.

I also have only one sister.  My heart goes out to you.

And thank you, Mr. McMurtry.  What an apt descripton.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you everyone for posting your private stories.  I thought I was the only one going through this misery.  My husband had surgery only 5 weeks ago and has created so much chaos in my family that I am talking to a divorce attorney.  He constantly tells family members that I am not taking care of him properly and that I just want him to die!  When we are alone, he cusses and yells at me and I end every evening crying because apparently all his health issues and any problems are my fault.  I had never heard him use profanity in 13 years of marriage and now he yells profanities and calls me names during his tirades.  This is not the man I married and don't think I can be abused any longer.  I've become afraid of this volatile man and can't believe this is happening.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Cher2, take a deep breath and try to relax (I know it's hard).  If your husband only had surgery five weeks ago, he is still going through a lot of physical and emotional changes and recovery issues, and it does not necessairly mean that these changes are permanent.  Also, please remember that the stories posted in this forum represent a handful of people posting their bad experiences post-surgery; it is not a place you are going to find upbeat and encouraging stories.  Don't assume the above stores represent something that is going to happen to everyone.

I have been reading this forum for two years because I could relate to the stories; my husband had a six-way five years ago and is still going through emotional issues - but I have not lost hope.  You shouldn't either.

I'd make an appointment with your husbands cardiologist or surgeon and both of you go in and ask them pointedly and specificially about the issues that occur during the surgery and the effects of the bypass machine itself.  There are a number of physical things that occur during the process that affect the brain (inlcuding, in some cases, small clots being thrown that essentially cause small strokes).  While not desirable, this is all "normal" fallout from the procedure and will improve and correct themselves with time.  It takes a couple of months - five weeks is not long enough for him to have recovered physically or emotionally from the surgery and it's effects.

Keep in mind that right now your husband probably feels fragile, and that is a difficult emotion for men to accept.  He needs support, but not coddling.  Don't try to protect him from everything.  If your medical facility offers a Cardiac Rehab program, by ALL MEANS go to it, it will help tremendously and you will both benefit from being around others who are also recovering and having the same issues.  My husband did not have this opportunity and I think it would have made all the difference in the world.

Also - take time to take care of yourself.  That is essential.  You have BOTH been through a stressful and traumatic experience; don't minimalize its impact on you just because you aren't the one with the scar on your chest.  Emotional recovery from heart surgery is a marathon, not a sprint, for BOTH of you, and you need to find a way to do it together.

Best of luck to you - If you want to post back I will answer.
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My husband's bypass surgery was two years ago this week and only now am I realizing the changes in his personality. I can give you hundreds of examples but can't tell you exactly what it is.  Our financial lives are in ruins, and he's disconnected from our personal lives. Through it all, I became lulled into a sort of day to day complacency. Now, when I bring things up to him, he tells me I'm crazy, but I know in my heart that we are dealing with some real issues.  Thanks for your posts.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for your posts. I know I am not alone as my husband is moving out after 30 years together and a week after our anniversary. We have an age gap of 13 years we have been together since I was 19. and we have 2 great grown kids. He seems heartless, and we have talked, it's as if his soul connection to me and family is gone.

He says he won't live as long as me any way and I can be free to live my next 50 years as I please. It is very painful to hear this all to often and then we talk as if just friends, as I don't even think he knows how long 30 years together is in my heart, so he feels pleased that I talk to him, and it is like talking to a big child at age 62. It's about the only time he smiles like he was dropped off from the hospital into the wrong house or something.

The hurtful words are endless. He is also running away from all the plans we had of paying off our mortgage, organizing our homes and many financial responsibilities. His theory is he'll pay for everything and hire people to do work around the house as long as he is free to do what he wants.

Reality will be I am almost being forced to selling our own home, that we bought to retire in, raise grandkids of the future etc, as I can not financially manage alone. He does not see that it breaks my heart and is actually ruining the future for his own family. Because of his age, since his operation he can barely get insurance. either way we all have massive changes.

I am holding him to his words about moving out, as I have talked to him endlessly and he won't go to his dr, get counselling, he forget's to take his one pill, an antidepressant, he is back smoking and drinking.

I feel, and talk to him as a best friend, which he used to be, and honestly I know he has to move, so hopefully he reallizes in no time that he needs help, and that's the best help I can give him. It's been 1.5 years since his quadruple bypass, then he had a knee operation 6 months later. He is totally emotionless, we just went to a funeral and no tears, not even at his mother and father's grave site, that he used to cry at before the operation..

I have cried enough, and all of our family knows his plans. I pray he really does change his life. I do not think he will ever be the same, as when he sits beside me he treats me like a stranger, he avoids any contact if possible and I feel so in his way and visa versa. Everything we ever shared seems non existent, as if I am pulling his leg about our times together and yes, I am tired of begging for attention. He only seems aggravated by my presence. Very heart breaking. denial seems huge about many things. And I sense he has a lot of fear, known and unknown.

I will keep trying to help him, but I will not let him bring me down, I am strong and have never been ill in my life. I can not have him bring me emotionally down any more as I love him, my kids and my families and I need to start somewhere, as this is too painful to watch and family has now seen what I am living with. He seems so lost and impatient.

Good luck to everyone in this difficult situation . . . some people die having this operation and I enjoy the good times on his terms, but that's not living as we used to, he has other plans.
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565879_tn?1236134597
Thank you for your well written post. I appreciate being able to read your words because they've totally escaped me while trying to describe this nightmare to someone else. Your post is written with love and the experience only those of us living through this will understand.
The hardest thing for me is trying to talk to him and expecting my old husband to respond.  It hurts like hell to get an unfeeling response from someone I don't know.
As I write this, I'm sitting at home with a pile of unpaid utility bills. My husband is out in the Glacier Nat'l Forest, touring his way to Portland and San Fran on his bike. He still calls nightly and will be back in 'a couple of weeks'.
I love him dearly and would no sooner turn my back on him than I would on one of my own children. But I'm not stupid either and understand that I can't fix things unless we both want them fixed .  
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Avatar_m_tn
Dear Misty4me,

I so feel your pain and the pain that so many people are going through. I am not sleeping, eating well - all because I feel I have now a bigger responsibility in life than ever before, yet knowingly in my heart I need to let go, as he's not the same man any more, and I am not feeling well worrying about him.

No matter how much counseling! I can see it in his eyes. He’s unknowingly scared and frantic and now on his own, yet supporting our home and me! My thought that keeps me thinking is: We are given what I can deal with, and I am trying to deal with this.

We went to marriage counseling last Friday, after he moved out - as now that agreeing to support his every whim, as you are to yours too, well, in what he wants ONLY, family and spouses stand by and hope and keep supporting us both.

I think the best thing that I got out of the 1.5 hr counseling, while staring at my husband of 30 yrs was: How can we be a family in the future with our kids, grandkids to be, and great families we already have that (I) we, still recognize and remember with heart and soul.  

The counselor and now I are finding out that there was no post op support, in our situation. My husband was, WAS, just so happy to be alive - and now he's making that known, 15 months later.

GET rid of family, clear a path, I am seeing that lots of post open heart patients seem to want to squish everything into a day and we as the caring partners, loved ones, family seem to drive them nuts with memories of their pasts and what they thought they could and could not do, no matter how much loving support!

In fact, (This keeps me calm) we were so complimentary, along the long path together that our support made our loved ones FEEL secure enough that they CAN take off, as if they finally heard what we were talking about all those years! They just forgot that when we talked, planned for our futures, we said WE not just YOU (them). So . . . I am not crying today, I've gone from crying every 2 days to 3 to 4 . . . in 2 weeks.

Misty4me, I think that those of us that WILL get through this with our spouses or family that fly off for a while knowing we're watching their backs, We WILL:

(1. Be happier when they return, as my hubby keeps saying!
(2. Most likely be separated/single and living differently!
(3. Always be their BEST FRIEND forever, as only a few people will ever know who they really were, and that's a bond that keeps all our HEARTS together, no matter what.
(4.

I, like you, am suffering more than my hubby will ever know, and that's when I cry and write. Whose fault is it that our health system can save our loved one's lives? And I am guessing, we're the lucky ones that our loved ones feel - OK feel enough to run with it. . and grab what they think is a new life.

I would like to encourage more survivors to tell their side of their story. Not too many posted here. I believe there's a lot of loss of heart ache out there, yet I hope you all are finding a way through this, as we are trying to help the best we can.

I think, we all come back to the happy days we had prior to knowing anyone but ourselves, and that's the next phase for my hubby and I. I will, like you, find a happy way through this and we will all be happy at the end.

I do believe that all patients/family support that try to help a post op open-heart patient/heart disease patient have experienced not knowing what the bleep is happening.

Knowing there's support out there helps me know I am not really alone.

PS: I tend to think from the position of the surgeon and hospital staff as well. I think about how it would feel for them to operate and save someone's life, and that person NEVER changes their ways!
LIFE goes on, and this can only lead to making everyone you know

"Feel happier sooner than later" - Quote from hubby of 30 yrs who left home, and me 15 months after quad bypass.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am so glad I came across this web page. I was thinking that I was alone also with this. My husband went in for triple bypass surgery after his heart attack. During the surgery the doctors ended up having to do 2 more bypasses. So that was 5 altogether. When my husband woke up the next day and saw me coming in his room he immediately looked at me with anger in his eyes. I tried to do everything I could to make him happy with me again. His anxiety was so intense he wouldn't even stay in the hospital the amount of time his doctors wanted him to. We had been married for 11 years, but now I can't  do anything without complaints from him. He said he doesn't love me anymore and that he wants out of this marriage. Needless to say, his behavior did turn violent. He attacked my daughter one day and started repeatedly punching her in her face. My niece and I kept beating on him  until we finally got him away from my daughter. He looked at us and asked us why we were hitting him. I felt like I was in a horror movie. The police took him away and I keep up with the protection orders. This happend 2 months ago in September. Even when I talk to him on the phone when he sometimes call, he seems like a totally different person. It's like I never knew him at all. His voice sounds like him, but now he is so different that I don't know who he is when I talk to him. I'm just afraid of him and don't trust anything he says.  
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I had open-heart surgery in 2008.  I can tell you that "pumphead" does exist!  my alias describes me:  Smiley.  I have always been smiling and happy and positive and at some stage after my heart surgery I just felt very sad for no reason.  Cried when I listened to music!  Started questioning everything in my life.  I then decided that it must be my husband that makes me sad and that I want a new one :) joking aside:  I took all my frustrations out on him and blamed him for everything and blamed him for my sadness.

Eventually we ended up seeing a Marriage Councellor and I had to complete a form and was very honest on it and then the Councellor said:  you have major depression due to the open-heart surgery you hade.  I started taking Cipralex (a Sirotonine booster SSRI) and soon I could feel the difference.

My story ended well.  We are still together, happily married and he stood by me through the tough times.  I prayed a lot and have always had a close relationship with God and I believe that He helped us by sending us to the Marriage Councellor.

I am now 3 years post-op and I still rely on my happy meds.  But I am doing great :)
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Avatar_f_tn
Just want to let you all know, as you've seen from responses, that this irratibility and ugly attitude seems to be a symptom or perhaps an excuse.  What ever it is, I agree with not being abused and right now, 2 weeks after his surgery, I decided I will do all I can to get him thru this time and then leave him if things don't change. Continues to drink, wants to eat red meat, etc. Triple bypass apparently didn't affect him and I'm tired of being the food and drink police.  
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Again, this is a wonderful forum.  My husband backed into heart surgery starting only with a funny feeling in his chest.... No heart attack.  March 3rd, 2011, that all changed when the surgeon came out and said he had done EIGHT bypasses in the past two hours and my husband was doing well...
So we were all shocked but my husband recovered well and retired the end of April, on schedule.  We went to Europe for a month as previously planned and returned home to help our only daughter get married in mid-September.  He really didn't have time to be depressed until October.  But then the changes started..... He didn't return emails or even read them.  All his plans for his retirement didn't seem to exist anymore.  But he doesn't believe in taking antidepressants... And it must be more of our marital problems.

We have been married 26 years now, both of us are retreads and we each came into the marriage with two children.  His male twins are 39 and neither are married nor date.  My 32 year old son doesn't date yet... My daughter is now married at 32.  My husband is 11 years older than me and is 69 right now.  Our marriage was based on love and taking care of our children.  He is an academic, very cerebral, which meant that I have done all the paperwork, taxes, money stuff, organization and coordination.  I have been unhappy in the past when he just wouldn't  help with simple things like cutting the lawn or taking out the trash but it was easier to do it myself....

And he has been abusive in the past.  He kicked his father across the room as a twenty year old.  He has smacked mirros and broken them, kicked in the side of the stove.... And a few years ago He started pushing me around.  I insisted he go to abuse conselling.  He did but he ended up thinking he wasn't abusive like the other guys since he didn't hit me or stab me.

But he is also a hoarder.  He has hundreds of boxes of paper and thousands of books.  When he had his sudden operation, work was happy to box up all his papers and put them in storage.  They hadn't been able to clean the office or paint/recarpet for 20 years.  They boxed up 120 boxes of xerox copies and discarded books and now we have to pay $160 per month to house the paperwork.  Our basement is also full to the ceiling with boxes and books.

When he turned 65 we started remodeling our home.  First the kitchen and then the first floor.  He doesn't do this but always complains that it takes so long.  The end result is great but I always feel that his Mess is about to envelope us if I am not vigilant about cleaning up.

So I have set the scene.  We were about to leave for a month-long trip out of the U.S. and he was busy pushing more and more into the storage unit.   Nothing was thrown out.  He bought more and more boxes and filled them.

There was one small pile of large plastic containers which I had been keeping in the basement.  They fell over and he "put them away.".   I asked him for them, he found them in the garage where he stuffed them and I made the mistake of throwing them away by placing them in our large garbage bin and I did this in front of him.

He placed his hands around my neck and started squeezing them together.  I just stood there's.  Instinct told me not to fight back.  It was in broad daylight and in our driveway in full view of the neighbors.  He finally stopped and I asked him what he thought he was doing??  I walked away and told my son what had just happened.... He was standing down the street having a smoke.
I called my sister and her first comment was, "What have you done to make him do this?".  I emailed our doctor and our MSW about it.  My husband had one emergency session before we left on our trip.... And our MD said we should go on the trip and deal with it when we get back.

I don't want to be an abuse statistic.  I have never cheated on my husband and I have stood by him through lots and lots of problems.  I have loved him and everyone thinks he is a lovely man, very proper and very considerate.

I don't want to be an abuse statistic.  I am applying to go into the Peace Corps this next year and I am hoping that two years away will allow him to find his feet again since it is clear that I cannot help him.  He cannot be perfect if there is no one else there to compare himself to.  He can always be right too and he can keep everything and make piles and piles of stuff everywhere in the house if it makes him happy.

Am I the only one able to say that part of me wishes that he had died on the operating table?  It is a terrible thought.  I am heartsick.  Signed, Ihavetried so hard
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Avatar_m_tn
My Dear Gin650!
What a dreadful story and situation you're living in!  Why?  You do not deserve such treatment.  Look at what it has taken from you?  Is it worth it to you?  Where is your line in the sand?  For yourself and for your own well being..  Being so abused for so many years is just not acceptable for good health or good feelings.  You deserve both.  And you deserve the opportunity to recover from this nightmare and find your happy self once again.  With or without hubby.  After so many years of marriage, I would daresay that you would get a reasonable shake in divorce court...perhaps with alimony as well. Just because you haven't worked, doesn't mean you can't start. At least part time.  Get out of that shuttered, phone off the hook, unhealthy, demeaning house and have some normal interactions with other people, at least for a few hours each day and/or several days/week.
Any divorce lawyer worth his salt is going to help you out of this critical situation you're living in.  If that's what you want.  
I'd prefer to start entirely on my own, with few to no resources in place, as opposed to living in the daily mental anguish and suffering you've described here.  You DESERVE better.  Our spouse's health, mental OR physical, shouldn't degrade or damage us this way. If someone is, say, schizophrenic or psychotic, they take medicines and go to counseling and if that doesn't work, they go into a mental health facility to live, until such time that they can function well in society...or into a supervised living environment.  That your husband is so out of touch as not to even realize he has problems, then, at some point, your responsibility must turn to helping yourself.  Your emotional state has to be seriously tapped.  Do something for YOURSELF, since he resists your efforts to help HIM.
  
An observation:  In reading these posts here, why are most all of them from abused/suffering women?  Is this personality change thing just something which overcomes men?  How many women become monsters after heart surgery?  Any thoughts, anyone?

I'm 58 and had a quad bypass, 4 years ago.  I am female, btw.  Was never cranky, rude or mean to the people who love me and cared for me so well, during recovery.  I would rather have flung myself off the Golden Gate, than turn any of my frustrations onto my loved ones.  Does bypass surgery, for men, perhaps mess with their testosterone levels so badly that they revert to their most base instincts or something? Does it rob them of their humanity or what?   Can't hurt to have these mens hormone levels tested...if they are out of control with no accounting for it on any other front.  
We must always, first and foremost, help ourselves.  
You have been through such hell, Gin650.  At least do yourself the favor of getting counseling for yourself.  If you wish to remain in love with someone your husband "used to be", and/or feel committed to someone who no longer exists, then you are selling yourself short.  Loving and caring for someone should never, EVER do this kind of damage.  "In sickness and in health" is one thing.  In ABUSE, is entirely another.  No matter what's causing it.  
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Avatar_m_tn
I had a quadruple by-pass about 3 years ago and for the six months to a year I had the most wonderful recovery. As soon as the stress of work gradually came back into my life, I started getting severe anxiety attacks to such an extend that I could not sleep at night as I had the fear of another heart attack. I was referred to a doctor specialising in these type of things and were prescribed a tablet to take once a day. Initially it worked but eventually the dose had to be increased from 10mg to 20 mg. Since then I had one attack after reducing my dose by half. As a rule I drink two beers a day or two whiskeys and on special occasions I may enjoy a few more.

I think there is a large difference in getting a by-pass as a male with a family relying on your income. The stress to produce, the fear of another heart problem and the fear not being able to provide for your family is a pretty serious reality if you are 46 like I was at the time of my bypass. I must also mention that if it wasn't for my wife's solid support all the way it would have been much worse. Oh and it seems as if some people only read specific mails.... There is a lady taking Cipralex of which I take the alternative called Lexamil. Im feeling great and she is feeling great. If people dont want to go for help it is unfortunate. Be happy if you did not go though those stages after a by-pass rather than be critical of the 1000's that actually do experience it, and believe me, a lot, male and female goes through this anxiety issue.
I do feel sorry for those ladies that suffer under these circumstances, but I tell you, if you have a wonderful wife who supports you it makes a world of difference on how you manage to handle things..... not pointing fingers, just saying. Instead of sitting cramped up I started working in the garden every day, between 5 and 6 I sit under a tree in the garden and listen to the grass grow..... Ihavetriedsohard , I can see that you are in a difficult situation there..... cant be nice and as I said, there is help with a tiny tablet once a day and it really just restores the balance in the brain, nothing more.....

Best of luck

PS No, during all of this I have never been abusive to my wife. I think it might depend on the personality in handling traumatic stress situations. A Bypass is a major shock to the system  
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Emmy. Heard the same. My surgeon told me before hand that there is always the possibility of a stroke during these operations specifically because of that reason. Another reason that i can also believe is that with the clamping of the arteries little particles are loosened that are stuck on the inside of the arteries. This can apparently also cause a stroke. Other thing i heard and actually believes is that the person that had a bypass experience mini strokes for the rest of his life without really realising it. It may even feel if you loose consciousness for a fraction of a second while walking down the street. I also believe from what I heard that memory goes quicker with bypass patient.... dunno if that is true because when my dad passed away under his second bypass op, he was perfect brain wise.
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Hi There.
My husband had a tripple bypass at the beginning of December 2009. Our marraige has ever since, not been the same. He was a kind, soft hearted person. very loving, caring, the type of man every woman wants to marry. In general we had a good life and still do. But boy, the moods and blameshifting is really getting to me. In July 2012 we will be married for 9 years. We had never argued this much. he is blaming me for allmost everything. Love the wine and are forever eating. He has a total change in his personality. I read that youre father had both his carotid arterys replaced. what symptoms did he experience? My husband is complaining of pain in the right carotid artery. The children get their share of verbal abuse. There is no way that I can just walk away, although it might be the easy way out.
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I had triple bypass surgery in 2007 and for months I felt different and responded to everyone around me differently. It's the way you suddenly see life, like you have been given a warning that your body is very fragile and you are going to die in a short period of time. My Wife came with me to see my cardiologist for a routine checkup, and when he asked if everything was ok, she jumped in and said "no it isn't". She explained the situation and my Cardiologist turned to me and said "look, I'm going to give it to you blunt and straight. Yes you've had a heart attack and yes you've had bypass surgery. If we go back 50 years, you would be dead now. However, your heart muscle is in good shape, output is at the high end of normal. You are at higher risk for heart attack, but not as high as it could be thanks to medication. You do realise that even I could have a heart attack before you, and there is every chance that you may never have another one. It is far more likely that you will slowly form more blockages, but as your symptoms increase, we can deal with those. IF, and it's a big IF, you get to a stage where we can't do any more, then there is always transplant. However, research is accelerating and new tools for angioplasty are developing all the time. Now comes the blunt part. We are all born with one problem, everyone is. That problem is that we will die one day. Nobody can avoid that, not even the best Doctors. What's important is how we live our lives and to spend the rest of your life in fear and self pity will not only shorten it, but ruin any quality. Even your spouse is going to die one day, so really we are all in the same boat, and nobody knows when that day will come. So your wife, children and friends, facing the very same outcome, really don't deserve to be treated in a disrespectful way. In reality they need you and they need you to need them. Don't feel useless, for decades you've supported them, so what's wrong with them getting the chance to show their love and return the favour for a while in helping you. All I can say is that you need to look at life as a good thing, not just a queue for death. Live each day to get good memories and to be blunt again, snap out of it".

I wrote this down as soon as I got home and read it a few times, it's still on my PC. He sure was blunt, but it got the message home. I remember looking at every person on the journey home, thinking, he's right, all these people and nobody knows when their time is up. Most don't even know if they have bad arteries or not. So I'm far from alone. I think the human mind needs to have everything in little boxes, we like things in perspective too. We hate the not knowing and it scares us. For days I just kept telling myself "yes you will die one day, everyone does, but what the heck. Just enjoy each day and make what time you have left worth it. Don't go to your grave as the miserable nasty father, but rather the loving and understanding one. If you live another day, fine, if you live another 30-40 years, even better but just remember nobody knows".
Once I accepted that, I was fine and it only took about a week. I just needed a good shake and to be able to see things in perspective. Realising it isn't the end made all the difference.
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How did you find your marriage counselor? Meaning like did you grab the Yellow Pages and point one out? My husband's surgery was Aug 2009. He eagerly agreed to visit a counselor - so out of character for him - but I'm the one that may not be able to hold on.  There's been so much heart ache the past couple of years. I thought I'd been taking care of him . . . Heart ache.
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That look after surgery says it all, doesn't it? I still can't get it out of my head.  Our situation isn't as severe as yours, but it's like a vague Jekyll/Hyde . . . and I'm trying to apply our old standards to a new relationship - one I wouldn't have chosen.
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My dad had 6 heart bypasses then a month and a half later he had two more stints put in. He had a temper before but after his surgery he has turned in to a complete *******.  He calls me names & yells at everything.  My mom & I can't stand even talking to him anymore because everything we say apparently pisses him off. My cousin who is also a male had heart surgery as well & his wife said she almost left him because of it.  He's not "rude" anymore so I'm hoping this passes soon. I think with all the stress my dad wont make it to see me even 25. I'm 19 now.  :/
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Hi there, Minax

I had open heart surgery 4 years ago to repair a diseased mitral-valve.  The depression and personality changes that patients have post-op is due to the lung-bypass-machine as they flatline your brain to work with a heart that is not pumping!  you can read up on it:  pump head" syndrome and just put yourself in his situation:  OHS is life-changing surgery and it is very hard getting through it and some people become aggressive because they feel they have lost control over the bodies and health and feel hopeless and depressed and really need anti-depressions and a lot of TLC from friends and family.

It does not give anyone the excuse to swear and yell and be rude, but it is because of the untreated depression and anger that the patient is doing it and he actually just need someone Professional to talk to him (Pshyciatrist) and get medication for it.
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http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=disease-may-cause-pumphead
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I agree totally that in many patients something goes on. After my bypass surgery, I was very weepy for a couple of weeks and then it passed. There is so much that is yet not understood about the body and mind. Scientists and Doctors always form two camps until things are understood. I know it's off topic, but I've been studying near death experiences for a couple of years now and it's amazing stuff to look into. Scientists believed that the bright lights, flashbacks of our lives etc were just chemical reactions, because it can be reproduced in many cases by denying the brain it's normal oxygen level. However, in many near death experiences,the brain is flat line, so it cannot produce anything. Even more amazing is how people blind from birth report seeing for the first time. Unable to name colours, they just refer to them as different intensities. The mind seems very much to be a separate entity to the brain, or should I say our consciousness. Perhaps major surgery upsets this balance somehow. Much to learn and I wonder if we will ever know all the answers.
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My 89 yr old mother had valve replacement and double bypass surgery in May of this year.  2 hours after surgery, she had cardiac shock and almost died.  We were told by the doctors that night that she probably wouldn't make it.  Miraculously, she did.  It has been a long hard road to recovery and up until last week, I have been her primary carer.  As her youngest daughter, I have loved taking care of her and took so much personal joy in seeing her improvement every week.  I showered her with my attention, care and love.  However, she has now turned on me.  she has been giving my father a lot of grief since before she left hospital and it has become more difficult to see the hurtful things she has said to him over the past few months.  Last week, she said some very hurtful things to me, when I visited.  I left, very upset, telling her beforehand that she was a wicked, ungrateful woman.  I don't regret saying it as I really feel it is true.  She has always been very fiery and aggressive, but has become worse since surgery.  I am very upset about the whole thing.  I haven't spoken with her in over a week.  I speak with my dad every day and the only good thing here is that she hasnt been verbally abusing him since our incident.  I miss her dreadfully and I am so worried about her, but I felt unwanted and Completely rejected by her.  What should I do?  Should I talk to her GP?
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I think the best thing would be to go humble, go visit her and see if she has changed towards you. If you see no difference and you can't reason with her, then I would perhaps discuss it with her GP, but if she finds out you've seen her GP behind her back, it may cause her to become more hostile. It's only 3-4 months since her surgery, which was very traumatic, let alone the cardiac problems post surgery. It affects people both emotionally and physically. It took me 12 months to get over the problems and heal fully. You really can't explain how it feels in your head, it's like you stare at the possibility of death every minute of every day. You suddenly realise just how fragile the body can really be. Fear is a strong emotion. I found a huge help was cardiac rehab, where lots of small positive comments were fed back to the patients. Instead of thinking death all the time, we would suddenly start seeing things in true perspective, it doesn't mean that you will die in the next 24hours. Many won't admit that fear, but it's definitely in there. You don't believe anyone understands because they haven't experienced it, and feel alone, even though they are showing they care. It can really screw your mind up. I remember when they took me to theatre for my surgery, I was so terrified that I came very close to just running away several times. The thought of having your chest opened is the stuff of nightmares. So I would urge you to put up with her abuse, it happens but will improve over time. When I was abusive to my Wife, she cuddled me and I felt guilty and even cried sometimes. It was a good vent for my emotions and showed how much she cared. You don't know how to deal with all those strong emotions and anger/frustration seems to top the bill in many cases. This leads to abuse and everything which goes with it. I'm sure inside she doesn't want to lose such a loving/caring daughter on top of all her other problems. I can say from experience that the bad things I said were not meant, they seem convincing to the third party, but it's a release and you always take it out on the ones you love the most.
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Thank you ed34..  I very much appreciate the time you took to reply and I must admit your message brought tears to my eyes..  I will go visit her early this week and try to speak with her.  You are lucky that your wife was as understanding as she was and she is lucky too, to have such an obviously warm and caring husband.  Take care of yourself. :)
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Avatar_m_tn
Maybe instead of making the it all about and your feelings you should step outside yourself and take care of his first. He needs, probably for the first time sinse you have known him he needs a kind of help that it sounds like you cant give because you cant put aside yourself. Its hard to be selfless and put some one completely before you and to do whats right by them and not what you think is right for them. Instead of being selfish by getting upset, mad, or affraid at hohw he is acting humble yourself and realize this man just went through the most tramatizing thing to body and mind a doctor can legally do and he needs your support and help and most of all selfless understanding. He is changed, affraid, insecure and confused and you can either help him and pull him back to who he was or hurt him and make him worse than he is. Which ever you choose for him its forever. You can walk away and leave him but what you do now will affect him until the day he dies. Sorry to get so real on you but Ive been on both sides and right now you have all the power wether it feels like that or not. Good luck, I hope you make the right choice
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My husband had  a bypass in 09.He's emotionally like a "monster." Nasty, abusive, irritable, angry, goes "off" at any/everything.  Before the surgery, he would go "off" maybe once/6months, now it's nearly daily. They save their lives and we live w/ the consequences. If I had known, I would have left right away, honestly speaking. I've endured nothing but abuse from this monster.
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The biggest problem is coming to terms with it (the patient I mean). It is hard, especially for a man, suddenly realizing you are not a super strong masculine type, but are fragile. It's a sudden realization of how we must look after this flesh machine we live inside. After my bypass I was sent to cardiac rehab, and the first 2-3 sessions, my partner had to come with me and we were asked to put our cards on the table each time, to explain how we feel in front of each other. The results were very good and opened our eyes.
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Avatar_f_tn
As ed34 said, a little counseling after the surgery can go a long way towards help with the emotional problems that often develop between couples when a life-threatening illness occurs.

In addition, when bypass surgery has been done, it is pretty common for the patient to experience what appears to be problems with thinking.  It is called "pump head," and you can google it.  Your husband may be suffering from this, as well as from the fear Ed describes.

However, that does not mean that your job is to put up with abuse.  If I were in your difficult position, I would in fact speak privately to my husband's doctor about this.  Chances are the doc has seen it before and would have some ideas about how to cope.

I would ALSO go alone to see a marriage and family counselor for advice about the situation.  Our own counsleor teaches wonderful techniques for dealing with stressful relationships.  This can help enormously, even if the spouse will not go to therapy.
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I agree whole-heartedly with you (pun intended).  I had OHS and personality changes - did not get aggressive or abusive, but very sad for no apparent reason and changed from being this happy-go-lucky-smiley person into someone that questioned anything and everything about life and challenged everyone and find purpose for just being alive!

Turned out I had major depression and did not know anything about pump head syndrome, until I went to seek the help of a marriage counsellor and was diagnosed and treated with anti-depros.

Now I am Smiley again :)
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Avatar_n_tn
I appreciate your advice regarding pump head which I have read, and find it a relief to have an explanation as to my post operation for triple heart bypass exactly one year ago.

I was having uncontroable frightening feelings that came frequently.My GP said it wasn't depression and that I should not worry about it, I did try to question if it was to do with my operation as I guessed it may be.

It has eased my mind upon reading up on google.

I wrote a reply before I signed up to this forum so apologies if you recieve this reply twice.

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Your GP is an idiot for saying you don't need to worry about it!  

As someone who has gone through OHS twice and having gone through some other major health issues, I can advice you to seek Counselling - even if the Counsellor says you don't have depression, you can get relaxation techniques to help you deal with anxiety.

Please keep us updated :)
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Avatar_n_tn
I would be interested to hear more about relaxation techniques to deal with the anxiety when it occurs.

I prefer to be able to do it at home.

Thankyou.
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Avatar_m_tn
We have other issues on top of the bypass, too, exacerbated after his heart attack. So, I'm dealing with all of those problems plus his health. We've made 2 major moves since all of it began, too, so that adds to stress levels. Financial issues, no support system, old family issues, you name it. I know one thing--no more marriages! I can't imagine going through this w/ another person.
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Thanks Ed for sharing this with us. Inspiring and much needed. I had a 6 way and have growing fear about each day-til I read this. Thank you so much!
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