Hello Amanda: I came across your HVJ while doing a search on Dr. Ali Gheissari this afternoon. I have chosen him as my surgeon for upcoming MV repair and Maze Procedure at St. Joseph Hospital in Burbank, CA in a couple of months. I would love to email with you and learn about your experience. Dr. G. has been referred to me by every cardiologist I have seen and seems extremely competent but you are the first person I have come across who has had him as a surgeon. I checked out Cedars Sinai but when I thought more about my comfort level, I felt I would like to be in a smaller hospital close to home (4 miles). Don't know if you ever check this site, but if so, would love to talk with you about your experience. Hope you are totally recovered. Sharon (email@example.com).
Hi Amanda. You are welcome on the post about Lori. I saw the article in the paper & just felt it needed to be seen by HVJ. Her passing touched everyone here. You should be coming along quite well with your rehab by now. Hope it is helping with your recovery progress! Take care, Joy
I have truly missed "talking" to you. You were one that was and is constantly on my mind. I am so happy that you are doing well. How did you like rehab? I am actually really looking forward to the day I can start.So glad you and your ex are on such good terms. I share custody with mine and we are usually pretty good. This weekend he left me his car to drive while he was out of town because David has ours down in FL until Sept. with his reserves. We had to sell my car this summer to keep up.(I don't tell many people that:) But it shocked me that my ex offered his.I would LOVE for us to meet in person!Like Fran told me, there are certain people on this site we truly grow a bond with and you have been one of those since the first day we wrote. I like her idea of planning an HVJ reunion in the future.
The weather there must be beautiful. Enjoy it:) Very hot and humid here. Thank you for what you wrote. It touched me and came at a time I needed it. Also thank you for your emai. I do plan to write. Mine is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good Morning Amanda
You are a dear, northern European background and all. I am of Greek heritage and you know Mediterranean people are more emotional. Truly, underneath we're all the same. For months after my surgery I wept much more frequently than before, although i was never a slouch in that department. Do believe the surgery has something to do with it as I have seen it mentioned before. Let the tears flow and rejoice in them. Plus, you have to continue to root for your Lakers so I can try not to gloat when my Celtics win next year. Thanks so much for the offer to switch.
Rehab should be rolling along for you. Do you feel yourself getting stronger? How about golfing, seems about the time you thought you'd be able to start up again. Here in south FL, the golfers have to get out at the crack of dawn to finish up before it gets into the mid 90's with high humidity. The humidity really wipes me out. Take care, friend.
I've just finished reading so many of your postings to our other family members and they are truly heartfelt. Duane's words are so beautiful as well because he isn't just a preacher - he's family and speaks from personal experience. The messages being left on this site are gut-wrenching because they are coming from a place wherein we've tried to hide from and hope our families never had to face. I'm glad to know you are recovering well. God bless.
Thank you for posting on my journal today. I really appreciated it, because I was feeling so low because of Lori B. Life is so hard to understand...if it was decided who lived and who died based on their need here on earth...Lori B. would certainly have lived. Her girls need her so much. My heart breaks for them. I feel so helpless....wish we could all huddle together and share our pain. Instead, we will connect and our voices will be heard and our love shared by writing in our HVJ.
Thank you Amanda,
Good Morning Amanda
Lori is the last thing on my mind before I fall asleep and the first prayer when I awaken. I see there is no update this morning. Since Adam met with the neurologist yesterday about her condition and the nurse in me says the news is very bad. My heart breaks for them and have been somewhat depressed the past few days even though we have our 6 year old grandson here with us for the week and he does make me laugh.
As far as my afib, my medication (beta blocker) helps control it so that I really don't feel it. You are early in your recovery and your heart is still making lots of adjustments, but do plan to mention it to your doctor especially if it continues. We will continue with our cross country prayers, miracles do happen.
Thanks for the note and the answer is NEVER! Have you finally got a handle on your INR and is it staying at the right level? You haven't posted for over a month so am also curious to know how your rehab is going? I've always done well with an organized (set time) exercise, so will have to be diligent about doing it on my own, but I will. You and are, and am sure others are, praying that Lori in TX pulls through this emergency. take care.
Amanda: I was pleased to catch up on your progress and see that you are doing well, can drive again, and are back on your own. I hope you are enjoying the end of summer and that your rehab isn't too hard or painful. And what the heck is an INR and how is yours these days? Are you ready for some football ????l!!!! I hope to see you soon. Until then, stay away from English Cinema! -- Michael T.
Thanks for the kind note. This is the second time Duane and I have visited and they are so easy to be with. Feel like I've known them forever. And yes, if you are ever here in FL I would love to meet you. Plan your trip in the winter when it's a little more comfortable!! Knew you would enjoy rehab. You'll feel better as the sessions progress. I wonder why everyone doesn't go, although I imagine some people don't have insurance which will pay for it.keep plugging.
Amazing how much better when we are told we can drive--woopie!!! I just finished session 20 of rehab. What a difference it has made. When I'm done next month I'll be stronger than I've been in years and you will too!
I'm so glad to hear your recovery is going well. I'm sure it was difficult to see you Mom go. On a MUCH smaller note, I left Danny alone (for the first time since his surgery) to go bridal dress shopping with my daughter, Aimee, who is getting married in May. Prior to my son's surgery, I just couldn't concentrate on anything else. I know she was excited, and so was I; however, it was sooo difficult for me to leave Danny even for a few hours. He was FINE but did over do it when I was gone. I'm sure your Mother will be calling and checking on you constantly. However, I'm also sure it is nice to get back to some what your normal routine. My prayers for your continued successful recovery. Sincerely Mary James
I wish I would have made it home while Joan was still there. I really wanted to throw back a few vodka tonics and bond over some David Allen Coe!
So happy you're doing so well.
Looking forward to having a couple screaming nazi's with you in a few weeks.
So happy to hear you are doing so well. I understand about your Mom.....My Mom also stayed about six weeks and was a tremendous help. I wish you continued success in your recovery, and I am sure you will enjoy rehab as much as I did. Keep us posted...it was great hearing from you.
Hi Amanda - Thank you for sharing your experience with me and the words of encouragement. I am glad your recovery is progressing so nicely and I'm hoping mine will as well - I am also having a full sternotomy. Take care and I wish you continued success. Kellie (MD)
Hi, this is Mary the mother of Danny, the 19 year old who just had surgery on 7/1. Thank you so much for your words of encouragement the night before Danny's surgery. I know you understand how difficult it is to see your child go through something like this serious surgery being a mother yourself. I feel for your mother, too, because you feel so helpless to protect your child. I tried to take your advice and be strong and I succeeded, for the most part, until they were wheeling Danny towards the operating room. I kept thinking I'm his mother and I KNOW what they are about to do to him. I just wanted to spare him that experience. He was so strong and brave and making records in recovery. He is only 5 days post surgery and is sleeping in his own bed. He gets up and down on his own (and makes me a nervous wreck). I'm glad he is able to do this but I hope he is NOT over doing it. I'm glad your recovery is going so well. You have the MOST important job in the world-being a Mom. Thank you again and I will keep you and your family in my prayers. Mary
Sooo happy to hear you are progressing! Loved seeing the pics of the family. Carly & Cole have grown up--surprise! I'm most happy that you are surrounded by family & friends. Remember Brett Mariner, the house painter? He asked about you this AM when he came to paint our house. Remember that lime green paint in your family room!! [It's funny now]. Love to all. Keep improving and I'll keep checking in on you.
-Your KY connection, Karen Thomas
Likes good at the 3 week mark. The Lasix and deep breathing several times a day should help. I still deep breath several times a day and probably will for a long time. It feels great and makes me realize how shallowly I usually breath unless I make an effort.As for the Lakers, cannot imagine ever switching my allegiance--go CELTICS.
Thank you for your kind post. It is very emotional for a mother to watch her child suffer, and the memory never goes away. I am sure you know this because every parent must deal with some kind of mishap with their child.....some are just more intense than others. I am glad your recovery is going well and you are enjoying your sports. I thought of you the other day when the Yankees were playing the dodgers!
That last post is one of the sweetest things I've ever read. The image of all of you sitting around eating hot dots and watching the Dodger Game really warms my heart. I'm so glad you're around to enjoy the most important things in life. I'll be by soon to say hi!
I am so happy to hear that you are doing so good in your recovery! Sounds like everything is coming together very smoothly for you. Thinking about you and continuing good wishes and prayers.
Sisters in Heart,
You are right about your description concerning all the tubes after surgery. It was so freeing as each one was removed, especially the horrible breathing tube. Glad to hear you are enjoying a good hot dog....it is the simple things in life that are so special. My daughter is a huge Yankee fan and does not miss a game, so I understand your enthusiasm for your beloved Dodgers. I wish you continued progress in your recovery..the move to the bed is a big moment. Glad you are doing so well. I have five more cardio rehab classes left. It was positive experience.
Audie told me about the the conversation he overheard between Amanda and her surgeon, Dr. Gheissari, as she was contemplating heart surgery and the possibility that she would need a replacement valve from a cadaver:
Dr. Gheissari: “Amanda, there is a strong possibility that once we open you up and look at your faulty valve, that I will not be able to repair it, and I will have to replace it with a valve from a cadaver. If that is the case, I want you to have some input in selecting the donor valve. Presently, we have three possible donors; tell me which one you want to use. One is from a young, healthy athlete who died in an automobile accident. The second is a middle-aged businessman who never drank or smoked and who died in his private plane. The third is one of Michael Turner's law partners who just died suddenly after successfully practicing law for over 30 years. Dr. Connom and I have consulted about this, and we strongly suggest you take the valve from the young man or from the businessman. ”
Amanda did not hesitate with her reply, “Doc, I’ll take the dead lawyer’s valve.” Stunned, Dr. Gheissari asked why she would go against his advice and select the lawyer's valve. “The choice is easy, Doc, I want the valve from a heart that hasn’t been used.”
Amanda: We hope you didn't rip your sutures laughing at that one, that you continue to heal and get back on your feet soon.
Sounds like things are going well for you. I think that its great that your volleyball team has been around to help out.
I guess the fact that the Lakers won has helped you in your recovery :-)
I'm still checking up on you in this manner. I'm afraid to call you, you still need to rest. I hope you have some good looking PJ's (california style) or the neighbors will be talking. Sounds like your doing your job, wish I was there to lend a hand. Keep up the good work and we'll talk soon.
Nice to hear all is going well on your road to recovery. One thing I did to speed up the move back to bed from the recliner was to visit a hospital supply store and bought a good quality bed wedge. It keeps you more up right and is easy to get out of bed from.
So glad to hear about your progress....Are you wearing those leopard pj's?? I am sure they will get a second look. I am glad you have such a strong support system...it helps so much. Keep us updated...so happy you are on the road to recovery.
Glad to hear all is going well. I too am still sleeping in the recliner and it's been 4 wks. I can't quite get in and out of bed either, so don't sweat it. Keep up the good work, and don't overdo it, your body will remind you!
Thanks so much for your caring and Guestbook entry. If you check my Journal, you'll see I'm doing very well now, but I'm worried because it's been 4 days since I've seen an update from you. I hope you're doing OK. Please keep us all posted with your recovery experience.
Thanks for your Celtics condolences. They just plain blew it. Had a nice lead and fell apart. Couldn't stay up till the end, so didn't find out till morning. The Red Sox are a great team, hope they don't choke. I'm doing fine. Rehab 3 times a week is helping. How about you? Seems you're on track to have a great recovery. Has the night time sweating stopped? That has got to be annoying. Take care.
Don't want to call and bug you so I hope you respond to this.Just wanted to see how you were doing and to see if you needed anything. Hope you are getting enough rest and not over doing like I know you can. If you don't feel like talking on the phone yet please drop a note. Just thinkin aboutcha.
We are all pleased to hear that you are home and resting. I am quite concerned, however, that you are weaning yourself off of the narcotics already. The gift certificate to Promises rehab clinic in Malibu that we all pitched in for is only good for 1 year, so if you are not going to use it, let me know so I can donate it to a worthy cause, like Charlie Sheen.
You are a lucky lady to have such a loving and supportive family, especially Audie, whose courting techniques, I must say, are a bit unconventional. I have heard that he has been spotted roaming the Good Sam ICU looking for someone else to care for now that you survived your surgery and are on the mend. And he bought a monthly parking permit, too, so he is clearly committed to the search. According to the nursing staff, he is irresistible in his Candy-Striper outfit. So cherish and appreciate everything Audie has done for you in this time of extreme need and anxiety, because if you don't play your cards right, he might just abandon you for another foxy, critically-ill, divorced mom. That would be a shame, indeed.
Glad you are home and resting well! Sounds like you have an amazing family and plenty of friends. God works in the best of ways. I will continue to pray for your healing, keep up the great attitude and let God guide you through!
You had some pretty amazing help going there. I'm glad you are home safe and "sound". Take it easy - one step at a time. Audie sounds pretty amazing as well to have cared for you as he did. You really are fortunate.