Last week, during an outpatient rotator cuff surgery, my husband had a mild MI. He was transported to the ER where he under went 2 cardio caths, 1 for evaluation, the second was to place 7 stents and do some roto rootering of 2 arteries. His EF was 70% going in. He spent a total of 5 days inpatient. The cardiologist said that even the ekgs from the center were rather unremarkable, but the evidence of pain & triponin levels rising, confirmed the MI
He came home and was doing great for 3 days, including passive rehab on his shoulder, a trip to the grocery store, and a check up by his ortho surgeon.
On day 5 after the stents, he began experiencing mild chest pains, and cyanotic nails, so I took him back to the ER. THey admitted him & did another cardio cath where they found 2 disections that required additional stents. There were no other complications, and the cardiolgist said that the arteries had improved significantly over the past week, and more of the plaque had been flushed out of his heart. That evening he was feeling great, walking several complete laps around the ward without discomfort or shortness of breath. Atfer I went home for dinner, his 3rd cath site became increasingly uncomfortable, and by 1 am(12 hours after the cath) he had taken all of the pain killers that had been prescribed and was still in pain, unable to go back to sleep.
He continued to max out on pain meds, was advised to remain in bed, packed the site in ice, and eventually had to lie flat to minimize the pain. They did an ultrasound of the site, noting significant swelling, without redness, oozing, or heat, the site remained soft. Nothing was shown on the US. Eventually they added Demerol, and he was abe to pass out & escape the pain. The site of the previous 2 caths was never this swollen (maybe 1/4 of the swelling & bruising) and his site pain, even after having 2 in the same place, never went over a 3....without the meds, this sie is a 10
During the US, however he was still in extreme pain, and however gentle the tech tried to be, he was screaming, groaning, crying and nearly passing out the pain was so severe. During that time, he also began having chest pains.
THe constant chest pains are local to an area the size of a plum, dull and getting a rating of 6-7 (with all of his pain meds on board) but then as he explains, it's like something catches, giving him very sharp stabbing pain rated 9+ that pulses for a few moments then dissipates.
His ekgs are unchanged, and his enzymes are still dropping from last week. THe doctors that we've seen this weekend are rather unconcerned. He is saying that it's just the number of stents and something he''ll have to get used to, probably going home with several options for pain meds, additional heart meds.
These answers are spectacularly not reassuring. My husband has been a very active man who rarely even takes a tylenol for any pain. I can not imagine him having to be drugged to the teeth just to keep from screaming all day. I can't fathom medical persons saying this is to be expected.
He has now been medicated to the max for over 24 hours, is still experiencing severe pains in both the groin & chest.
Has anyone ever experienced either of these pains post op, gotten resolution orwhat? Where else can we go for help?