I just had my mitral valve repaired 3 weeks ago da vinci robot style. I'm noticing that my right pectoral muscle and the muscles going under my right armpit are all numb, with a strange pins and needles or scratchy sensation sometimes, and then also a sharp pain here or there every once in a while or in a sneeze. Did you have this? When did the numbness go away for you and when did your right pectoral muscle area get its feeling back?
I might be 2 1/2 months late on congratulating you on your 1 yr mark. But, I do think of you often as I'm pushing myself at (fitness) boot camp or jogging up a hill. I never though it would be this good post op. Feels great to not be huffing & puffing.
You're an amzing man and I receive lots of encouragement from you. You made an inpact in my life. Wish that I could meet you face to face.
Several of us 2011 HVJ folks who had our surgery around summer are getting together some time around July 17th in southern Calif. Would love for you to join us. I'll let you know the exact time & place soon.
Email me if you can join us:
Thanks for posting. I never was a gym girl but I have been walking a fast 2 miles since week 4/5 and haven't stopped. Open heart did not slow me down, it pushed me to be better. I soon will be M-F babysitting for my newborn granddaughter. I am looking forward to it. 54 is the new 34!! LOL. Thanks for sharing. Life is good. Janis Kielbasa post op 11 weeks.
I've been wondering how you were doing so it was great to catch up! Yes, life after surgery is pretty great. I completed my rehab a little less than a year ago and have tried to keep up that conditioning. It's all good!
I see our amazing Dr Mihaljevic has gone on to Abu Dhabi to work his magic on others. I still can't believe that I was able to go on line, do some research and then contact one of the best heart surgeons in the world and schedule my own heart surgery. And that it would be so easy in so many respects. I think you and I have the fastest in and out of the hospital times ever. I had surgery Friday afternoon and was out Monday morning and flying back to Denver on Tuesday with my brand new bovine valve. Not a day goes by that I don't think about Cleveland Clinic and the amazing thing they did for me.
I hope to be able to meet you some day when you come to Colorado to race. I will wave a banner for all of Adam's gang of heart valve survivors! Let me know when you head this way! And best of luck in all of your future challenges!
Barry, you are leading the way, showing us what is possible. An inspiration, truly. Not everyone has an event-free surgery and recovery. But you are showing that as OHS becomes ever safer there's no limit to what you can do post-op.
I'm all better now too. Better than better in fact. Between getting my flow back from the repair, rehabbing through exercise, and a set of new 5-fingers shoes I'm running trails like I haven't for a long, long time.
Wow Barry. You are doing great! You are going to so own that USMC marathon. Now that I'm 5 months post-op for MV repair, I'm pretty much back to where I was prior. Runs up to 6 miles, Swims up to 1 mile, 2 hours of Ultimate Frisbee 3x a week, and a hike with my honey on Sundays. I'll say though, it took some work and having inspiration from you and Travis as well as support from my rehab and Ultimate crews were key. You're getting me to think I should try a triathlon. Will need to upgrade my clunker of a bike though. Stay strong, my man, and live long! -- DVB
Please tell me your "adopted" Belgium guy's name so I can follow him in the news......
You certainly have great company to inspire you!
I'm off to work...a full day of sports massage and one is my long time distant runner guy. Do you keep up with your massages????
Thanks for the push, Barry.
I'm going back into my bootcamp training group in Oct. Living here on the Mojave Desert, our running training season is in full swing now. Locally, more 5Ks through marathons are on the books every month. The long bike rides happen for us in Sept. through Thanksgiving wekend.
The last race I did was a 5K in Nov. (The Turkey Trot) and I could only walk most of it. Very dishearting. This year, I'm wanting to at least beat my dad in the 5K. He's 82 and the rock of our family....excels in everything he does.
I'll contact my doctor this morning.
Enjoy your day!
I tried to do some interval training and had memorized your stats from July. I hooked up with some local high school cross country kids and tried to do what they were doing. It kicked my butt and I was sucking some serious wind. Felt like I did pre surgery. I took a week off with only a Sunday evening hike up a hill.
I'm so restless to get on a regular running workout program. It's so hard to do this on my own.
So many different running programs online and in Runner's magazine.
What should I do? How shall I get going at my pace? Any advice for me?
Also, am I the only heart valve pt. who didn't get approved for cardiac rehab?
Barry, you are MY hero!!!!!!!! I see my surgeon for follow up visit Monday. I'm itching to start mild running again!!!!! Gosh!!!!!!! You give us all so much hope and desire to get back in the game!!!!!
Wow Barry. You are giving me goosebumps with your progress, persistence, strength, and attitude. You bagged that hill and I have no doubt you will finish the Marine Corps Marathon in October. Keep on truckin'! -- DVB
Barry - Adam referenced in his book about 2 angels in his life that gave him courage. Well I am a "GOD" person and have a personal relationship with Him. He speaks to me in many ways and sends angels with signs - today I have had 2 angels (like Adam) speak to me -- you and a "fella" Charlie Browne on my Guestbook from June 29 (just read today) - Thank you Barry and after today, I am totally ready - bring on July 12 - I am ready -
......and I accept your challenge I will sign up to run/walk with my daughter and her husband (who by the way is training for next year's Boston Marathon - he did it on their 100 year anniversary back in 1997 I believe) don't think I will be ready for that one (ha) but we are making a family event of it. My husband is from Boston so daughter and her family and my husband and I are supporting Joe and then taking in a Red Sox and Celtics game too we hope. This family has 3 of our grandsons (the 11 year old is already in a runner's club) - should be a fun trip.
I'm sure you will be checking up on me so I'm going to make "68" proud, as you did -- I'm just going to "do it"
Barry, Emilyrae here. I have appreciated all your guestbook entries to me and to others - they are so positive and upbeat (that also is my energy field). I have been following your awazing progress meeting all your goals - then on one post, I saw you were 68! Wow, I thought I was talking to a 40 some year olf - you knocked me off my feet. What an inspiration you are. I too am 68 and although not in your leaque, I have been physically active all my life - gym, then home gym, treadmill for 1-1/2 hrs (not recently) endurance has taken a hit, After my first heart surgery in 1984 for small hole - 1 stitch, I was back to work and the gym at 6 weeks, of course that was 28 years ago. Thought this time I was looking at longer and harder rehab - but you have inspired me - I'd like you for a "life coach" for the next 3 months - surgery is 12 July at CCF. You are indeed a great addition to this blog and hope for all of us. Thanks for your contribution.
Are you able to tell the difference between a cardiac issues and exercise excersion? Now that I know I have an aortic stenosis, I assume anytime I push my swimming or walking (I stopped running because of SOB) it's my heart. After surgery and while going through the rehab part, will I fell the same shortness of breath while building my endurance or will that pass? Meaning, will I catch my breath quicker?
Saw you on the Iron Heart Racing site. Just joined. What an organization! Can't wait to get back to the long running thing. Still can't make myself a swimmer or I would attempt a Tri. I sink, I don't swim.
Haven't answered many questions or signed many guestbooks in past week or so. Missed yours of a few days ago. Having trouble typing since I accidentally sliced my left index finger with my rotary blade while trimming a tiny piece of fabric. Touch typists have problems when they're short a main finger--but it's only temporary.
Sorry sbout your breathing problems. A young guy like you shouldn't have any--said from my very older position of 72 as of a week ago Monday!
Take care. Get help with the breathing.
Your recovery process is amazing. :0 It seems that the key to progressing rapidly is a good attitude. You seem to have a great attitude and I'm sure being an athlete helps greatly too. Congratulations on all your accomplishments big and small since your surgery! Your story has been quite motivating and I look forward to hearing more. BTW..Your wife, 'Ms Kate' seems very cool!!!
Congratulations on your incredibly speedy recovery. Boy, that minimally invasive/robotic surgery seems to make a huge difference in recovery time. You are very fortunate you were able to have that approach. Keep up the good work and enjoy your life.
Oh, big guy! You INSPIRED me! I visited my gym for a mile run yesterday. After school today and every day possible, I'm going to run a mile around our track. I'm 10 lbs. overweight and want to get back into shape before this surgery. Apparently you have to use your abs alot? (I will be cracked open for the replacement(s))
Hi Barry, I also had minimally invasive Mitral Valve repair and a MAZE procedure 11 weeks ago. My resting heart rate use to be in the 70's but has been in the 90's since surgery. This has really bothered me. They have been increasing the Metapropal beta blocker. Started at 50mg after surgery and now taking 150mg! Still high heart rate. The doctor says this is because of the MAZE procedure and will come down 3-6 months after surgery. It takes months for your heart to heal so I would take it much more easy than you have. Remember beta blocker lowers heart rate but also lowers blood pressure. I hope the doctors are right with me I don't like having a resting heart rate in the 90's! Gene firstname.lastname@example.org
This sounds like a nightmare. I am surprised that you have not called Dr. Gillinov about all this. To me it sounds like you're really overdoing it physically and not allowing your body to heal. But that's just MY opinion. I wish you well.
Thanks for the explanation. I did read Taming of the Shrew a long loooooong time ago, but do not remember anything about most of Shakespere's works. Not important.
I've been feeling pretty crummy. Can't do much at all without getting exhausted and short of breath, so I am focusing on working on my book, something I had put aside for a while. It keeps my mind off April 21.
I have one more sesson of therapy and one more with my husband then I'm finished. My anxiety level seems to have come down to a zero - a good thing. But when this exhastion hits, I get really angry.
I can totally relate to the second opinion thing. Erik and I heard my cardiologist describe the sternum sawing approach so the doctor could really see what he was doing. When we walked out, I said "Was there anything about that that sounded the least bit pleasant?" Answer was NO.That's what started me on my search for the methods used elsewhere. The lack of information on techniques and success rates can be incredibly frustrating.
Here's a piece of advice. After you return home, let CC know that you would like a copy of your records sent to YOU. I requested that they go to my local cardiologist and the records never made it to my file. I have no doubt that they were sent - two or three times. The competition for heart related surgery seems to be fierce with all doctors wanting to keep you and your money in their system. Once you have made the decision to go elsewhere, you need to advocate for yourself to make sure they stay on top of your situation. Although I think my progress and results have changed a few opinions about my decision to go East.