After open heart surgery, I took opiates in the hospital, but only took a couple of pills after I was home, and used OTC pain meds. It is going to take the ribs several months to heal, but I decided I didn't want to add a drug dependency to my problems. If the pain is overwhelming, I'd certainly discuss it with your doctor, but if you are just uncomfortable, it might be better to take OTC meds, read, sip some wine, and know it will get better.
I was amazed that the sternotomy didn't hurt very much, but the ribs certainly got my attention, too. Keep us informed.
After bypass, it took my chest exactly a year to feel normal again. The more I exercised it, the worse it seemed to feel. You begin to question if it will ever get better, but it does. After about three months I started to notice small improvements. However, I did stop strong pain meds after about 3 weeks which improved my appetite and stopped nausea.
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