Carmen's Heart Valve Journal

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Carmen Pettiford

Portland, Oregon,

United States


My Diagnosis

Mitral Regurgitation




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Tuesday, March 27, 2012 05:53 PM

Hi Carmen. I was thinking about the events of Feb 2 as we approach the 2 month mark and thought of you, my fellow valver that day. I hope all is going well with your recovery.

Take care,

-Mitch Friedman

Carmen says in response,
"Hi Mitch,
Good to hear from you! I have had problems with palpitations, back pain, hypotension and respiratory issues. In and out of the ER. But all of my tests come out fine. I am enjoying cardio rehab. It has made me so much stronger. Now I am doing much better with some adjustments to my medications. I will be returning to work on April 2nd. Looking forward to it. I am so glad to see that your recovery is going well. I have come a long way from Feb 2nd. Thank God!!!!!

Take care and God Bless!! :-)"

Saturday, March 3, 2012 08:18 PM

Yay Carmen....great news. I am really enjoying rehab....they are very cautious with us but I feel good about it because I am getting my confidence back about trusting my heart again!! You are doing awesome...keep up the good work.

Jamie Todor

Carmen says in response,
"Hi Jamie,
Good to hear from you!!! I am enjoying cardio rehab as well. Talk about confidence in trusting your heart. I have been having major issues with that. My doctors keep reassuring me that I'm doing fine. Cardio rehab has made a huge difference in my recovery. Lets keep in touch!

Take care,

Thursday, March 1, 2012 06:32 PM

Wow Carmen, great news. Keep it up!

Linda Dixon

Thursday, March 1, 2012 05:19 PM

Glad to hear you are doing so well. My recovery is going ok too. Im 4 weeks post op. not driving yet but enjoying being "miss daisy" and having a chauffeur :)

Still trying to get used to my mechanical valve ticking but i guess i will. Hope you get on well at rehab.

Take care claire tunmore

Carmen says in response,
"Hi Claire,

Glad that you are recovering well. I am doing alot better. I've had a few set backs but has been remedied by adjustments in my medications. I start back to work April 2nd. So looking forward to it. Cardio rehab has been going very well for me.

Take Care,

Thursday, March 1, 2012 06:54 AM

Hi Carmen, happy 4 weeks post op day! I was thinking about you, so thought I would drop by to say hi and offer you my well wishes. I hope all is progressing smoothly for you.

Wishing the best for you,

-Mitch Friedman

Carmen says in response,
"Hi Mitch,

I am progressing right along, not as well as you but I'm progressing each day. I'm not walking a mile yet, but I will get there. :-) I had to go to the ER the other night because I was experiencing sharp chest pains. They kept me over night for observation and they ran a series of test and all of them came back fine. Praise God. The pain was associated with all of the trauma my body endured in surgery.
I am so glad to hear that you are doing well. Are you back to work yet?

Take Care,

Thursday, February 23, 2012 11:53 AM

Hi Carmen, thanks for signing my HVJ, thought I would return the favor. Hope the pains stop soon. Start the mini walks, believe it or not, it will help. I think of you often and am wishing the best for you. Each day is a new day and generally gets better.

All the best,

-Mitch Friedman

Monday, February 20, 2012 06:56 PM

Hey Carmen. Keep up those mini-walks. Extend a bit each day and you'll be amazed at how it goes. 12 hours sounds like an ordeal. Glad the repair was successful after all that! Peace -- DVB

Carmen says in response,
"Thank you for your words of encouragement. I will be praying for you. The 12 hours set my back as far as recovery time. I am so thankful that God saw me through and that I am on the Mend now. Its amazing I feel stronger every day.

Take Care,

Sunday, February 19, 2012 05:00 PM

Hi Carmen,

It is good that the surgeon could repair your valve; that makes things a lot better in the long run. Fortunately, my surgeon was able to repair my Mitral Valve as well. He said he had to use every trick in his arsenal to do it, but it is working well. It is truly amazing what they can do!

Recovery does have its ups and downs, especially in the early days and weeks, but even later on also, but things do get better. It may seem like passes slowly now, but it does pass quickly.

Take care!

John Lund

Sunday, February 19, 2012 05:00 PM


I had my mitral valve repaired in 1996 and it is still holding today. I did have to have a second surgery in 1999 when a leak developed around the annulus ring but the repair itself has been doing good. You will start to have more good days than bad. Rehab really helps. But listen to your body, rest when you need it. All the best with your recovery.

Jeff Nielsen

Sunday, February 19, 2012 04:47 PM


Here's to having more good days than bad. You've had quite the journey and my bet is that you will end up being much more powerful when this is complete.

You're in my prayers.

Chuck Holmgreen

AVR 3/20

Saturday, February 18, 2012 05:32 PM


So happy that your home and starting the road to recovery!

Saturday, February 18, 2012 05:29 PM


So pleased you are on the mend. My husband has severe mitral regurg. Did you have open heart surgery or did your surgeon avoid the sternum?

Bob has his DYE test March 1st.

Carmen says in response,

My surgeon was able to avoid the sternum approach. I got the robotic minimally invasive procedure. My surgeon went thru the side. Amazing!

I will be praying for Bob

Carmen Pettiford
I "

Saturday, February 18, 2012 04:58 PM

Hi Carmen, I am so glad you ae posting again! Yes, good days and bad. Sometimes for me, it varies by the hour. But, like you, overall I am getting stronger.

Continue to do what you can, take it slow, and always remember slow and steady wins this ready. (I have a little toy turtle to remind me of this).

So, my HVJ friend. Hard part is behind us. Now we have to remember to push ourselves a little more each day. You can do this because you are awesome!

Good luck.

-Mitch Friedman

Friday, February 17, 2012 02:25 PM

Yay....glad you are home and healing. I ran into complications to and was in the hospital 10 days....thought I would never get home! I have done great ever since with my recovery so be encouraged dear girl. You will do great....just listen to your body....and don't over do it. Your body will scream at you!! That is the hardest thing...don't is hard for us gals for sure to not do the things we see that need done. Praying for your recovery. Welcome Home.

Jamie Todor

Carmen says in response,
"Hi Jamie,

Thanks for the advice. My body took a beating, LOL...I will be very attentive and be sure not to over do it. :-)


Friday, February 17, 2012 10:46 AM

Praise the Lord! I was a little bit worried, I won't lie! So happy you are okay and on the way to complete healing. Thanks for updating us, God is good, all the time!

REALLY getting closer...Linda Dixon

Carmen says in response,
"Thanks Linda for your support and concern. "

Friday, February 17, 2012 07:35 AM

Carmen, i was a little worried you hadnt posted anything. Glad to hear you are home! Im 2 weeks post op now and doing quite well. Have been out and about for small periods of time but fatigue gets the better of me :) keep us posted on how you are doing. Take care claire tunmore

Friday, February 17, 2012 05:15 AM


So happy to hear you are home and on your way to recovery and a new life ahead. All the best to you!

Jeff Shebovsky

Thursday, February 16, 2012 08:27 PM

Oh thank god. I am crying!!!!! I am so happy to hear you are on the other side of surgery. Sounds like it was pretty rough, and I am sure not any fun. But you did it! Welcome home!!!!! I learned the hard way not to overdo it. Set small goals, walk for 2 minutes, then 3, etc. As I have learned slow and stead wins the race!!!!

Good luck my friend! Keep us posted when you can.

-Mitch Friedman

Thursday, February 16, 2012 08:08 PM

Hi Carmen,

I am glad to hear that you are at home. Take it easy. Don't try to do too much. Let your daughters help you. I wish you a fast and uneventful recovery. It gets better every day, slow but steady.

Jane (10 weeks post-op)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012 02:31 PM

Carmen, just dropping by to see how you are doing. Praying your surgery went well and you are on your way to full recovery! Let us know how you are doing when you feel up to it.

Linda Dixon

Monday, February 6, 2012 08:21 AM

Hi Carmen, I am thinking of you and hope all is going well. I am just getting out of ICU today. My thoughts are with you. -Mitch Friedman (still in ICU)

Carmen says in response,
"Hi Mitch, I was in surgery for 12 hours, ran into some life threatening complications. Through the power of God I made it through. My ICU time was double and plus my regular stay was double. Thanks for thinking of me. We are now on the other side.

Carmen "

Sunday, February 5, 2012 11:31 AM

Carmen how is it going? Im going home today just waiting to get out in the wonderful oregon sunshine. Hope you are doing well my dear claire

Thursday, February 2, 2012 02:51 AM

Hi Carmen,

Not long now. This day will go by quickly, you will soon be in recovery and beginning rehab!

Best wishes!

John Lund

Wednesday, February 1, 2012 09:37 PM

Hang in there, Carmen! My husband had the Ross procedure April 29, 2011. As the spouse, I've been there/done that! My prayers are with you, the medical team, and your loved ones! :) GIGATTAATTGIG (God is good all the time and all the time God is good)!

...Natalie Clark

Wednesday, February 1, 2012 09:14 PM

Gooooo Carmen...praying for you and Mitch and all those having surgery tomorrow. God bless you dear girl....Powerful having hands laid on you. I did and what a moment of peace rocked my body. We are all pulling for you....soon you will be on the healing side of your journey... Hugs. Jamie Todor

Wednesday, February 1, 2012 01:29 PM

Hi Carmen, I am thinking of you as I sit in my hospital room gettimg ready for tomorrow. I go at 11. Good

Iuck!!!, See you on the other side of surgery -Mitch Friedman

Wednesday, February 1, 2012 11:23 AM

Hi Carmen,

Thinking about you and throwing a bunch of big good luck vibes your way for tomorrow.

You will be back on your feet before you know it..

Stay positive and Have a SAFE/HEALTHY/SPEEDY recovery!!

Jimmy Johnson

Wednesday, February 1, 2012 05:32 AM

Hi Carmen, just wanted to "drop by" and tell you that I will have you in my thoughts and praying for you tomorrow. I know you will do great, I can only imagine the butterflies you must have today. Hope you have someone lined up to give us updates until you can get back to us?

Take care and God bless!

You can do this!!!

Still waiting...Linda Dixon

Saturday, January 28, 2012 06:16 PM

Hi Carmen, we are in the home stretch now!!!! Glad you got your testing done. Stay busy these next few days and don't think much about it (at least that is what I am trying to do). I know we both will be fine. Good luck! - Mitch Friedman

Carmen says in response,
"Thanks Mitch! Yes we are in the home stretch. I will be calling the surgeon's office on Monday to find out my test results. I am trying to stay busy, get plenty of rest and try to get the house in order. I also have faith that we will both do fine. :-)...and just think it will soon be over...Yea!!!"

Saturday, January 28, 2012 03:55 PM

Hi Carmen,

Just wanted to wish you the best of luck. We are all supporting you here.

Jeff Shebovsky, Orlando, FL

Carmen says in response,
"Thanks for the support! It means a great deal."

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