Hi Brannon, Its good to read you are doing so great. Hope I do as good as you. I go for CT on Fri then I will find out when this is going to happen. Cant wait to get to the other side of the mountain with ya'll. Keep up the good work every day will be better.
Mooving on up
Brannon, Good to hear from a fellow Virginian, I'm glad to hear all went well. I had my aortic valve replaced on June 11th. and headed back to work this coming Monday, it's been a journey, I'm happy I had it done. I had Dr.Katz here in Richmond perform my surgery at St. Mary's Hospital, they were really great, please keepin touch I would like to keep up with your recovery, Thanks, Donald H. Lee
Best wishes to a fellow Virginian. I too have been diagnosed with AVS and expect Surgury in the near future. I hear the waiting is the worst part so rest easy, it gets easier from here on out.....easier said than done ,,,,
Hi Brannon, I feel right along with you. I just had cath done yesterday and I was reading my doctors orders afterwards and found I am going to another doctor on Aug 14. I thought my doctor was on vacation. I googled him and found him to be a surgeoon. I guess when he said as soon as possble he wasnt whistling Dixie. So now the butterflies are kicking in again. You just hang in there we can do this before you know it we will be on the other side of the mountain.
My surgery is Aug 13 and I'm getting my affairs in order. It turns out I have more tasks to complete so I'm only doing the important ones. Keeping busy helps keep my mind off the upcoming surgery. Every important task I complete the calmer I feel. For me, the quiet times starts my mind racing.
Ironically, I seem to me more concerned about the all the tubes I'll have, the pain, and my perceived helplessness after the surgery. Reading other people's posts and seeing them get thru these issues reassures me.
Have your read DVB's journal? He has some good statistics on having the surgery versus not having it.
The worrying and questions are completely normal. I had to get to a point of getting the important things in order and deciding that everything else could just wait. I had about 3 months to wait like Selma, and that is entirely too much time on your hands to think about all of this.
I am not excited about doing this again any time soon, but honestly it wasn't nearly as bad as I had worked up in my mind. The tape really was the worst part, next to the waiting.
Good for you, setting the date. I had about a 3 month wait for my surgery. Spent the first month or so learning everything I could, and from then on, the time seems to have flown. You'll have a beautiful time of year to recover, too...I imagine September in Virginia is fantastic.
Hang in there!
The waiting is difficult. I had my aortic valve replaced in early March (I'm 51 yrs old). I opted for a bovine bioprosthetic, since I didn't want to be on blood thinners for the rest of my life. The surgery was done at the Mayo Clinic (only two hours from my home in MN).
I'm almost at the seven week mark tomorrow and things are finally feeling better. My sternum is healed to the point of limited discomfort when I sneeze or cough. I can sleep on my side easily without waking up. The medications (amiodarone, metoprolol) seemed to hold me back a bit, but they were both to protect my heart from atrial fibrulation and possible damage. I was taken off amiodarone 10 days ago and I can really feel the difference - it's like taking the governor off a golf cart - suddenly you have speed and the ability to climb stairs without huffing and puffing again! I should be off the beta-blocker (metoprolol) within two weeks. That will be another significant milestone.
My valve was at .6 cm diameter when they operated and now is a robust 2.7cm with the new valve and an aortic root repair. Much more blood flow, meaning much more alertness, stamina, and all-around well-being. It's not a new world, but a much better world for me.
I wish you a restful summer. Don't dwell on the surgery or the surgeon - they will both be fine. Get yourself in the best shape you can prior to surgery - it makes your recovery all the easier for you. Drop a few pounds if you need to and keep a daily walking routing, if you're able. Both will pay dividends.
Best of luck to you, Brannon! It will be a good experience and unlock the rest of your life.
I had my aortic valve replacement on August 9, 2011...by the way these three combinations of numbers will halp me take down the Kentucky derby trifecta !!\
These next few months will NOT be easy. many of your emotions will be out of control but once the stick the anesthesia in you its down hill with different problemsToday in record Las Vegas heat I shot hoops...didnt think it would b e possible a few months ago......still learning how to eat to lose weight and warafrarin KEEP TICKIN
GOD BLESS }JOHN MADONNa
LAS VEGAS NV
I can well understand both your anxiety and your cardiologist's decision to wait. My aortic stenosis was monitored for ten years before I had surgery, however, no one ever scared me with the thought that I'd have to have open-heart surgery although I was warned that "someday we might need to correct that surgically." Every year I went in for the stress test, and every year I got the same "aortic stenosis" reading but I was OK for another year. Then last September the "readings" reached the point where the surgery was necessary. Overall, I'm glad I didn't know this could result in surgery since I never gave it a moment's thought until the final moment, and then a few days later I was in surgery having no time to stew about it. I think the waiting is hardest.
My cardiologist said that once you have the surgery, the thickening of the heart wall caused by the stenosis begins healing itself, so there's no permanent damage. The process is slow, but the buildup is slow as well. Like they say about Rome!
Hang in there and try not to think about it. Just tell yourself, "OK, it's not so terrible to cut back a bit on my exercise. I'm still allowed to exercise!"
With the readings you gave, if your cardiolgist is like mine, you shouldn't have to worry about surgery for a few years. Remember this, they have you wait for the surgery because the repair has a life of its own. The older you have the surgery the less likely it will have to be done again. I'm 71 and got a bovine valve which supposedly lasts 20 years. I'm not concerned that I'll have to need it redone. I'll probably die of something else before the heart valve goes. I've had a murmur most of my life but made it to 71 before it needed repair. Maybe that's what your doctor is thinking.
Hang in there. You can still exercise and enjoy life, can't you? Just cut back a bit. By the way, I was told to cut back on my weight lifting and exercise a year before the surgery. The doctor said, "Do light weights and you won't have to worry about a repair for 3 - 5 years." I continued with the weights. Within one year I had accelerated the process so that the surgery was urgent. Follow the doctor's orders. You don't want to have heart surgery until it's absolutely necessary.
I concur that CC is the place, I had my aortic valve replaced there in July and it was duck soup. Had surgery Friday afternoon and got out of the hospital on Monday morning. My husband and I flew back to Denver on Tuesday and I was shopping for groceries before he left for work on Wednesday.
My incision is between 3 - 4 " long and I never had any pain in that area. Doctors who have seen my very small scar will inevitably say "How did he do that?" Dr. Mihaljevic was my surgeon - he is doing a webchat on 2/7.
If you would like to talk, give me a call at 303-674-8913 and I would be happy to discuss what you are about to undergo. You might also check out my journal.
You will feel SOOO much better. I couldn't believe the first time I got back on the treadmill and I could actually walk and talk at the same time! Now I can walk for miles and STILL talk incessantly!
I too had very similar signs to you, just tiredness and shortness of breath. i felt dizzy from time to time and would get palpitations.
Everything came to a halt when i had pains in the middle of my chest, which a CT scan showed a grossly enlarged heart.
Now i am due to have a mitral valve replacement in 2 weeks. the time has gone quickly. i hope that your visit and diagnosis is positive and they can do something to help you and restore your health quickly - regards Marjorie
I know how it feels to feel scared by physical symptoms. These heart valve problems can make us worry about every little - and big thing. But you really should go right to the doctors or an emergency room if you have blood pressure and vision problems. Really!!!!! Don't put it off.
The cardiologist I saw at Cleveland Clinic was Dr. Brian Griffin (you can find him on their website). He specializes in valve problems and cardiac imaging. I just LOVED him. He can refer you to the surgeon there who specializes in aortic stenosis. Dr. Marc Gillanov will be doing my surgery in April.
There are three hotels located right on campus (the place is huge) and they have free shuttle buses that run every fifteen minutes to take you anywhere on campus. Why don't you call Dr. Griffin's office Monday and make an appointment? I can give you his phone number if you like.
Now - go to the emergency room and get checked out - and avoid people who aggravate you. You don't need any additional stress right now. Just take care of yourself.
I know this is going to get me into trouble, but I wouldn't use the hospitals in your area for heart surgery. By all mean, go to the Cleveland Clinic. It has been the #1 hospital for heart surgery in the COUNTRY for 16 yrs!!!!
I just got back from a consult with a Cleveland Clinic cardiologist and my heart valve surgery has been scheduled for April with Dr. Marc Gillanov (Cleveland Clinic). My husband and I were SO impressed with the place and their doctors and caring people.
The way I see it - I only have one heart and I'm not taking chances by putting my care in the hands of anyone other than the number one doctors at the number one heart hospital. Check out their website.
In answer to your question - why didn't this show up sooner? It is my understanding that heart valve problems progress slowly and then can suddenly deteriorate rapidliy. I don't know if that's true for stenosis, but I was told this is true with my mitral valve. I too have started having shortness of breat which is getting more and more severe as well as really bad fatigue. Good Luck and do chec out the Cleveland Clinic. It's your heart!
Seriously consider the cleveland clinic. The number one heart hospital in the world and not that far away from you. They have surgeons who do nothing but aortic valves......about 300 a year !! I had my Surgery there Jan 7th and just over two weeks post op, I am back at work !! my recovery has been fast due to the minimally invasive approach they take. I had an aortic valve replacement with an ascending aortic repair. Warmest regards. Dean Muglia