Wow - wish I had known about this forum before my surgery. There are some great people here who have walked down the same road.
I had repair of a root aortic aneurysm about six months ago. I was lucky in that my arteries were generally very clear with no blockage. I was also lucky considering the fact that the surgeon was able to save my aortic valve - he was prepared to replace it when he went in.
Like some others, fluid began to collect around my heart after the surgery and I went into atrial fibrillation. They had to take me back in and drain quite a lot of fluid from around my heart. I was in the hospital a little under three weeks.
Although, my pain has been generally well controlled, the recovery has been a very long road. When I had the surgery at 52, I was still very much active and worked out three to four times a week. I had always been prone to depression but wasn't prepared for the major depression that hit me afterwards.
My main reason for my post is to ask if there is anyone out there who has had a similar experience with shortness of breath? I had this before the operation with chronic fatigue and numb arms - symptoms, along with my irregular heart beat, that led the doctor to my heart problem. I jerk awake from sleep with short gasps, frequently. It's almost like I'm not breathing deep enough - that's the way it feels. I run out of breath in the middle of sentences and the chronic fatigue is back big time.
I seemed to be really improving until about two months ago when it returned. Now, I'm really scared that I have another aneurysm and there's no way I'm going back through what I have been through the last two years of my life. I'd rather just take medication and live for as long as I can with, hopefully, some quality. The depression has gotten so bad that I have thoughts of suicide. My cardiologist dismisses my comments about the depression, although, I have not mentioned the suicidal thoughts, because I feel ashamed, somehow; and, there's the whole issue of my insurance company not paying for "mental disorders".
Sorry this is so long, however, I'm beginning to think that the shortness of breath is not my heart but a lung issue. This morning, I had a very strange sensation. I woke up and it felt like something opened in the top of my chest and I could suddenly breath deeply! I feel great today and I'm wondering if I could have fluid on my lungs or possibly a partially paralyzed diaphragm - like one of the other posters here.
I would really appreciate any suggestions or input.