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 > How long to return to camping after open heart surgery

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Devocamper

West Haven CT

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Posted: 06/29/19 08:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Had a surprise at the end of May which was an unexpected triple bypass surgery with a added bonus of a PE but at least no heart damage ! It has been a month now and making slow progress at this point . Just thought I would ask here if anyone has had open heart surgery and how long did it take to get back to camping or traveling or if you packed it in? We have canceled all our Summer reservations and waiting on the fall plans to see how my recovery goes . All the medical people are so optimistic but they are not doing this day by day ? I am told I will be fine or better but it’s hard to see that at one month post surgery . We have been traveling or camping in one form or another for the last 22 years and have a bucket list . Oh and the other surprise was the stress test that led to all this was done on my very first day of retirement. Thanks in advance to anyone replying and sharing
Thanks Mike


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Tiger4x4RV

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Posted: 06/29/19 09:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My experience with other types of surgery (non-heart) is that I feel awful for 6-8 weeks and then recovery proceeds more rapidly than at first. I was on the road again solo in 10-12 weeks.

Your "we" implies the presence of someone else. Can that person do the driving and setting up camp? Take those physical loads off of yourself during recovery or at least lighten the load by sharing the work. Plan on shorter travel days than usual and work some resting time into the plan.

Happy travels!


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ol' yeller

Redmond, WA

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Posted: 06/29/19 10:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had my first heart attack about 10 years ago. I had a lot of heart damage as I actually ruptured my heart. My cardiologist told me not very many folks recover from that. I also had a double bypass done. You are lucky to have your heart repaired before you have damage like me.

That said, I took my wife, daughter and grand daughter camping about 2 months after my big event. I had (at the time) a 27' bumper pull trailer and towed by an F250 V10. I had lots of help setting up and leveling but driving there was fine. Your situation may be different given what you camp in. It was difficult but it was important to me in my recovery process to continue doing things I enjoyed. Some things are off limits but camping wasn't one of them. Talk to your cardiologist and get their opinion. Maybe stay closer to medical help the first few times. Solicit help from your camping partner(s).

Now almost 10 years later I am still camping but in a new Class C. Sadly my wife passed 7 months ago so now it is just me and the dog. I had a second heart attack a year ago but I have recovered completely from that one. I am "Mostly Timing". That means I have an apartment but most of the time I am off somewhere in my RV. I have chosen to celebrate what I can still do, not to mourn what I can't. I wish the best for you and your recovery.


I am NOT a mechanic although I do play one in my garage!

DutchmenSport

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Posted: 06/29/19 11:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Never had heart surgery, but I suppose it's similar to any other type of human body mechanical repair. Only you can really answer your own question. When you feel confident that the repair was successful and you no longer feel a dependency upon your neighborhood "mechanic" in the event of power failure, then you will be free to travel again.

I had total knee replacement surgery about 2 years ago. Everyone told me to "take it easy". The doctor told me to do anything I felt like I could do. My body would tell me what I could not do. And he was right.

6 days after surgery we were camping again. OK, my wife drove the truck, but we went. It didn't matter where recovery took place, at a campground or at home.

May I suggest you consider going camping for just a week-end within an hour of your home. If, indeed, you happen to NEED that human repair mechanic, you can easily reach him/her. If the first week-end campout is successful, next week end do it again, extend it to 3 nights instead of 2.

As you gain confidence, and as you begin to feel better, you can extend the RV journeys a little longer and longer and farther and farther.

Here again, if you are up-to-it, just do it. Just don't "over do it." Restart slow, restart close to home. Let your own body be your guide. But if it were me, I'd be somewhere, not sitting at home the day the stitches came out!

wildtoad

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Posted: 06/29/19 01:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If haven’t already, have your cardiologist sign you up for Cardiac Rehab, covered by most if not all insurance policies. The actual number of sessions will vary by company. . They put you through a series of exercises to strengthen your heart, about 1/3 the way through the sessions you will feel great and be chomping at the bit to get out there and do what you need/want.

Had quad in ‘97. Since then two of the bypasses need stents, one of them has closed. Went back into rehab in ‘17 and have continued going on my own since.


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2chiefsRus

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Posted: 06/29/19 05:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

a lot will depend upon how fit you were before the surgery and what your expectations are. Husband had 5 bypasses done at 54 years old and was back to everything he was doing before surgery at 90 days after surgery. He was pretty fit to start with though.


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D.E.Bishop

Eagle Rock, CA

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Posted: 06/29/19 06:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

About two hours after DW returned to her room after quadruple bypass done open heart, the nurse on duty and her surgeon told her to get up and got to an talk on the rehab she would be getting. Walk to the class, she was told her heart had been repaired and to get up and go.

For the first time in her 55 years, she wore the soles out on tennis shoes following the walking she was told to do. Her surgeon said it was up to her go recover, not his surgery.


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dieseltruckdriver

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Posted: 06/29/19 06:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I took our 5er out at 3 1/2 months. I went in to surgery pretty fit, at least as good as I could.

Your body will let you know what you can do. I had a valve job, so it was pretty serious, and I was very anxious to get back to normal. I am on warfarin for the rest of my life, and it doesn't really change your life at all.


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dewey02

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Posted: 06/29/19 09:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My first major trip out of the house after bypass surgery (cracked chest and 5 bypasses) was to a home & RV show, where we bought a new travel trailer. We took it out about a month after purchasing it. However, after having your chest plate opened, you are severely limited in what you can do for many, many weeks - they tell you you shouldn't even lift a gallon of milk, or you can tear you chest back open.

Once you heal your chest, every thing else is pretty minor. Glad to hear you are doing ok, and enjoy the rest of your life. God and the doctor have given you more time on the planet. Enjoy it.

Nv Guy

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Posted: 06/29/19 10:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I haven't had heart surgery, but had a surprise surgery for an arterial clot in my leg. That kept me down for a bit.
It can be hard to deal with what feels like a slow recovery, I dealt with that during chemo for chronic leukemia. My advice is look at your recovery like eating an elephant- one bite at a time. Set reasonable goals that you can accomplish so you can see your improvement. And you will see improvement.

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