I had triple bypass and heart valve replacement in June, 2008. I graduated from ICU to a regular room 24 hours after surgery and that night, collapsed and had to be revived. It took several days before they could wean me off the ventilator. It was only with the aid of a bipap that I could breath on my own. Three weeks later, I was released and have not been released to return to work yet.
I have been diagnosed with a bilateral paralyzed diaphram caused possibly by phrenic nerve damage. I have been told that sometimes the phrenic nerve repairs itself after seven months or so. I am at month five right now. I am being pressured to medically retire from my teaching job and am at a crossroads.
I am able to function normally, for the most part, except when it comes to bending over, which causes me to lose my breath. I have to sleep with a bipap machine because I lose my breath when I recline or lay down.
I have been told that there are several options, a possible pacemaker or surgery, neither of which makes me happy to think about. I had a ct scan and bronchoscopy done today. I had to be placed under general anesthesia and on a ventilator so that I could lay flat on my back for the procedure. When they took me off the ventilator, I had a tough time adjusting and it took close to an hour for them to bring my oxygen level over 60%. It wasn't until they connected me to a bipap machine that I was able to begin to breath on my own.
Please let me know what other tests there might be or any options for a recovery. As I said before, I am at a crossroads and need to make some decisions soon about my future.