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Living With Congenital Heart Defects by Ben's Friends

ASD/Septal Defects - Aortic and Vessel Defects - Single Ventricle Defects - Tetrology of Fallot - Transposition of the Great Arteries - Valve Defects

Living With Congenital Heart Defects

Sleeping after open heart surgery

It’s been so helpful to hear experiences from others, thank you all - having seen comments about difficulties sleeping / sleeping in recliners, I’d appreciate a bit more detail on this, please.

A bit about me - I’m Lisa, 50yrs (=mid-lifer!), and just got diagnosed in Nov with sinus venosus ASD (2cm, "severe” shunt) and a couple of strange veins (drainage into right instead of left atrium). These together mean I need open heart surgery, as catheter won’t solve the problem. Hopefully in next couple of months.

I’d appreciate hearing from previous patients:

(1) what was it that made sleeping difficult / uncomfortable ? If it was pain, what cause/ type & whereabouts in the body? Or was it something else, like depression, trying to avoid rolling onto your side or sternum, or medications?

(2) why did you find a recliner / sleeping surrounded by pillows helpful? Was it because it relaxed your muscles? Stopped you rolling? Helped your breathing?

(3) were there any other options that helped with sleeping?

I’m asking because firstly, I find it very hard to sleep reclining (never manage this on airplanes), and secondly, because the menopause is already making sleep difficult and I worry I will struggle to cope if not getting much sleep.

I don’t really want to take sleeping tablets, so I’m hoping for info that will help me prepare for the right problems / solutions.

Thank you all in advance :slight_smile: L