Hey, neighbor! My name is Selma and I just arrived home from a lovely 7 day vacation at the beautiful Hotel Mount Sinai. Mitral valve and tricuspid repair. It feels so great to be on the other side of this adventure. Now's the best time of the year for recovery. We're so fortunate to live in such a gorgeous part of the world. Enjoy your new heart!
I was reading your journal for the first time, I'm happy to hear that all is well, I have to have an AVR, in the next few weeks, finishing up my dental work Monday, so hopefully we can schedule the surgery in mid-June, I was wondering which valve did you select and why, my surgeon and cardiologist is suggesting a mechanical valve, due to my age (46), but I have concerns with the blood thinner I will be required to take forever, but I don't want to have to do the surgery again in 10 years or so. What a dilema.
I just read your latest entry and can understand why you're depressed after hitting your 'speedbump'. I just know you will rebound quickly because I'm sure my wonderful sister is mounting an attack of good blood cells upon your invading infectors.
Seriously, keep your usual positive attitude and you'll be walking barefoot through the dew down the path of your favorite woods in the very near future.
You're in Sandy and my prayers. Get well soon.
Your Bro (in-law)
Sorry to read of your setback. Keep your humor intact.
I loved that you had a Jamacian nurse who sang you that song. I kid you not, that the same sort of happened to me. I had to stay in the hospital 2 extra days to get my INR number up. The lab tech came in at 5AM to draw my blood and at 7:30am my nurse from Jamacia came in singing: "Day-O, Day-ay-ay-o, Daylight coming & me wanna go home. Come, Mr. Tally man, tally me banana, Daylight come and "you get to go home"!! Big smile on my face....loved her the most.
My deepest thoughts and prayers are with you and your family and you will get through this set back of time. I've been a patient at St Francis Hospital since I was born back in 1978. I had my surgery at Boston Childrens Hospital on 7/7/11. They were the best from top to bottom. I was going to go to NY columbia presy to have my surgery with Dr Bosha but he didnt take my insurance but either did my surgeon at Boston Childrens. I have a extremely excellent cardiologist at St Francis Dr Spadaro.She was excellent. I hope you get back home soon and keep me posted. I had a pulmonary valve replaced and atrial septic defect repaired. I've been out two months and went back to work after 8 weeks.
I kept checking Karen's Facebook page and not finding anything - finally thought to check yours and saw the entry for this HVJ blog type thing. So relieved that you are home and well. Still no electric power in Woodstock or my house... staying down at Susan's in Sullivan. Will call or stop by your place sometime in near future. Love to you both.
David, it's so good to hear from Karen that everything has gone so well! Keep up the great work. I'm sure you're drawing on Karen's strength and support. Please know you have mine too, from a distance!
We are thinking about you and wanted to send our love to you before your surgery tomorrow. We will be anxiously awaiting Karen's updates regarding your surgery. You remain in our thoughts and prayers.
How ya doin!!
I'm glad you're surgery date is set so that waiting part is done. I join all these wonderful people in sending you love and prayers - and to Karen too. It sounds like you are really doing all the right things. Life's moments are magic and much because of friends like you. I'm thinking of you with love. My best to everyone...
It is only now that I am reading this message and aware of what you are going through.
I feel so much empathy for what you must be feeling. I want to help you feel better and at peace. I will do the following for you. I will pray for you in my daily rosary. I will be in touch with you and send you messages so that you know that I am concerned, praying for you and thinking of you.
You are a kind and wonderful person. And I know God who is Love..loves you beyond measure.
You are in my thoughts and prayers. I would love to put you on the prayer list at my church if you are okay with that. You are also on my reiki alter. You are obviously very loved. From my own experience with cancer, I know that going into surgery with music that means something to you can be important. It's reasurring to hear it before you go under. Most OR's are very accomadating to the patient with things like that. Try to get some reiki a couple of days before, and in the hospital after if they have any reiki practitioners on staff. I've heard that there was a study at columbia presbyterian that showed that heart patients who recieved reiki during and after surgery did better than those who didn't. I'm sure you're getting all sorts of advice so I'll stop now. I love you. Good luck. See you at the coffee roasters. I'm glad you're in Kingston!!
Hi David. Your story sounds very similar to mine. I'll be five weeks post-op tomorrow. I ended up with a mechanical valve; I just didn't want to go through this more than once. The coumadin hasn't really been that bad.
The recovery has been up and down, but I'm actually feeling really good now.
I'll be following your journal and I look forward to hearing of a great success story.
Hi David, i had my bicuspid valve replaced 6 months ago at the cleveland clinic just after my 50th birthday. I went with the cow valve as well and also went with the minimally invasive procedure....a 5 inch incision vs the traditional 10-12 inch decision.
I was nervous and scared going into surgery and with 15 and 18 year old children, I was scared for them as well. I am happy to say I was out of the hospital in 4 days and back to work in two weeks (which I would not recommend). It does take a good 3 months to start feel normal again. I have no restrictions today and feel great just 6 months later. Just got back from a great trip from Europe. It was all worth it.
It sounds like you have really done your homework and with a positive attitude, you will cruise through this and truly be able to enjoy life without this hanging over your head. If you want to know any details about the post surgery process, please feel free to contact me on my journal. All the best.
David - Setting the date is a good step. It will be over before you know it and all your anxiety now is really the worst part. In case no one has mentioned it yet - you might want to get some anti-anxiety meds as the date gets closer. I was really hesitant - but it did help. I will be thinking of you and looking for your updates. Randa Gaalswijk
Hello David. This is Jon Baer I just had my pulomonary valve and atrial septic defect replaced and fixed at Boston Childrens Hospital with Dr Baird. He was an excellent surgeon and I did also had my doctors speak with Dr Bacha whom also does surgery at Columbia. I was extremely impressed with the care and professionalism at Boston Childrens. Yes they handle adult cases too. I feel pretty good. I had the same concern with blood thinners and they gave me a prosethic cow valve and closed the hole in my heart. I feel pretty good considering those first few days in ICU was difficult but I'm on my way to recovery. Hope all is well with you. and Hope everything works out Jon B
Hi David - I am glad you are now more at ease. Thank you for your note on my page - I saw the link and had heard that. Encouraging news.
As for who decides about minimally invasive - it is the surgeon. It is generally done if there are no other factors - ie: No blocked arteries etc.... and just a "simple" valve repair. As for by cow valve - anywhere from 10 to 15 years. I do know some people who are at 19 or 17 years and still going strong. The younger you are the shorter they last. and factors like having kids or other stress on your body makes them wear out faster. I am done having kids and trying to be good to myself now, so I am hoping for a long time with the current valve.
I am at 8 weeks out and can honestly say I feel really good. Still working on getting my physical stamina back - especially with inclines, but I have been working out and started some light weights yesterday. I have no regrets about choosing the cow valve over mechanical.
Hi David - Welcome to the journals. I too was born with a bi-cuspid valve and they have been monitoring me for 9 years. I knew I would need surgery and also had the magical age of 60 in my head. Well - at 46 I had surgery on April 7th. I am In Connecticut and went to Brigham and Women's in Boston. I got 3 surgeon opinions and 4 cardiologist opinions - all said the same,,, it was time. I am now 6 weeks post surgery and things are good. I have two kids - ages 11 and 4 so that was the hard part. I opted for a cow valve becasue I did not want to take coumadin and I do not regret the decision at all. Like you - the rest of my heart was healthy and my arteries were clear. The surgeon did a mini-sternonoty (sp?). My incision is only 3.5 inches. In hindsight the anxiety was MUCH worse than anything. Let me know if I can answer anything for you. Randa Gaalswijk