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Karen’s “Best Piece Of Advice” For Patients

Posted by Adam Pick on October 12th, 2008

Over the years, I have collected many insightful and inspirational quotes from patients about their heart valve surgery procedures. Personally, I learned A LOT from former patients as I prepared for my own aortic valve replacement. Receiving direct advice from patients really helped me understand the potential ups and downs of heart surgery.

That said, I am going to start posting these quotes in this blog to support future patients and caregivers. I really hope these quotes help you.

The first “Best Piece of Advice” comes from Karen in Florida. It’s a quick, one sentence thought that focuses on the fear, uncertainty and doubt relative to heart surgery. Here it is…

“The surgery is not as bad as your imagination makes it.”

I really appreciate that thought – especially considering our prior discussions about F.E.A.R. (the acronym for Fantasized Experiences Appearing Real.) As Karen alludes, your mind can play some awful tricks on you leading up to the operation. However, heart valve surgery statistics show that most patients live longer, healthier lives as a result of cardiac surgery.

Keep on tickin!

Adam Pick
Written by Adam Pick A dad, a husband and a patient, Adam Pick founded this website in 2006 to educate you about heart valve surgery from diagnosis to recovery.
You can get the latest updates about heart valve surgery from Adam at his Facebook, and Twitter pages. Click here to email him.


Geoff says on October 13th, 2008 at 2:23 pm

I couldn’t agree more!!!


Julie says on October 14th, 2008 at 12:07 am

Perfect timing thank you….my husband is having valve surgery Friday…he liked this a lot…he is very nervous right now…


Rosie says on October 14th, 2008 at 8:50 am

And my MV surgery is scheduled for the 23rd !! The thinking about it is what gets thru to you !! I have decided to give up thinking !


Adam Pick says on October 14th, 2008 at 9:12 am

To Julie,

I’m glad Karen’s advice (above) was helpful for your husband.

To Rosie,

:) That’s a great idea!!! Let me know how it goes!

My thoughts and prayers are with you now and on the 23rd.

Keep on tickin!



Carol Lang says on October 14th, 2008 at 12:49 pm

How about…….”Consider the date of your surgery,……the first day of the rest of your life!”


Rosie says on October 14th, 2008 at 2:23 pm

I am latching on to that one Carol — Thanks! I needed that !


Becca Allison says on October 14th, 2008 at 4:56 pm

To all you lovely people facing the surgery:
My prayers and best wishes go out to you! I am 12 weeks post aortic valve replacement, and I am feeling GREAT! I say they replaced my fuel injector and the whole motor works better.
Apprehension is normal, but don’t dwell on it! Instead think of how much better you will feel, how much longer you will live.
I am now walking 6 days a week for over an hour. Sure, recovery is not easy, but it sure is worth it!


Paul says on October 15th, 2008 at 1:51 pm

To all of you facing this surgery in the upcoming days and weeks; I am now six weeks post surgery and am in my second week back at work. I am walking/slow jogging 2 miles a day as well. The only residual I have right now is tiredness late in the day. It is definitely not as bad as your mind makes you bleive it will be! Good luck!


Laura S. says on October 19th, 2008 at 12:08 pm

My husband had his aortic valve replaced on Oct. 8th. He was very, very apprehensive prior to surgery-basically scared to death. I can’t blame him at all. He was up, showered & eating 26 hrs. after surgery!! He was doing laps around the progressive cardiac care unit at Florida Hospital Orlando. He came home on the 13th. He is doing great!! Getting in & out of bed is even getting easier!!! Everyone at Florida Hospital was awesome!! His surgeon, Dr. Accola is not only a top notch surgeon, but a very compasionate man. We can’t thank him enough! I know he still has a long road to a full recovery, but he is headed in the right direction! I just hope those of you facing this surgery reach out to those who love you. Talk about your fears, etc. You are not alone! I feel like we have so many new additions to our family, those of you who share your experiences with us-we appreciate your honesty. I pray for all of you-a full recovery!!! Will keep you posted on his progress-hope you all do the same!


Barbara says on October 22nd, 2008 at 7:16 pm

Thanks for the uplifting message. I have just been diagnosed with leaking valves and am being sent to UCLA in Los Angeles for evaluation. Naturally, knowing nothing, I was frightened. I usually hear the negative. So it is good to hear about some of the fear being in our minds. Thanks, again.


Laura S. says on October 24th, 2008 at 7:20 pm

If you have any questions, please post. We will try to help you out. The whole situation was very scarey. Adam’s book was a godsend-it lead us to more research. My husband is 17 days post surgery. He is 45 yrs. old. He is walking 4 times daily. Today it rained so he did stationary bike for 40 min. He has not taken much pain medication since he has been home. If he has, it has been for his gout which is in full force!! We are so thankful he is doing well. He was scared to death-he was even thinking about not going through it in the surgery prep room! Fear of the unknown is natural. We are here for you!!!


Peter says on October 25th, 2008 at 10:40 am

Hi. My 86 year old father is waiting to be scheduled for AVR surgery and we’re comfortable with the surgeon, the hospital, etc but does anyone know about the procedure where they go through the groin and not do it via “open heart”? He heard from another patient that she was recruited to have her AVR done this way, and I have just started my search for more info before we ask Dr’s. thanks for any help and thanks for all these supportive comments!


Adam Pick says on October 25th, 2008 at 1:31 pm

Hi Peter,

I believe you are referring to the minimally invasive, aortic valve replacement via catheter that is currently in trials across the Europe and the U.S.

Here are two links that illustrate a patient success story and more about the technology used to power the Edwards Sapient Transcatheter valve:

Patient Success Story Of Sapien Transcatheter Valve – Joe Riley
Technology Update: Minimally Invasive Catheter Valve Replacement

I hope this helps.

Keep on tickin!



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