If you have a loved one that is going to go through open heart surgery at a place like Firelands Regional Medical Center, or has just gone through open heart surgery, you likely want to do everything you can to help make sure that he or she fully recovers as easily and as quickly as possible. Here are some tips for helping your loved one get through the recovery process.
1. Make a Plan for Activities that Involve Holding Things Above Shoulder Level
It is going to be a week or two before your loved one is going to be able to do things easily above shoulder level. He or she might feel bad about asking you to do simple things, such as helping him or her wash his or her hair or comb it or getting items off of a high shelf. Show your loved one that you are committed to his or her recovery and don't mind helping him or her out with these simple tasks until he or she is able to do so by building them into your schedule. Plan to help your loved one every day at a certain time to get ready during the day, including helping him or her shower, blow dry his or her hair, and style it. This will allow your loved one to feel more normal and not like an invalid, as well as help him or her avoid feeling as though he or she is burdening you. Have your loved one make a list of any items that he or she thinks that he or she will need during the day and move them down to a lower shelf. Check in regularly to make sure that he or she doesn't need anything.
2. Work Back to Sex Slowly
If you are in an intimate relationship with your loved one who has had open heart surgery, you are likely worried about returning to sex. Sex can be the equivalent of walking up a few flights of stairs with regards to stress on the heart. Work back up to sex slowly, at a pace that your loved one can handle. Make sure that he or she knows that, if he or she starts feeling tired, that you will want to stop immediately. This will help take the stress off of him or her and allow you and your loved one to get back to normal as quickly as possible.
For more information, talk to your open heart surgeon.