Also, I've always iced muscle injuries or shoulder inflammation but when I cold everything seems to tense up and spasm 10X worse. And heat loosens it up. That's another reason I think its spasms and not Dressler's syndrome. How does heat and cold effect your issues?
Jennifer, I could very well be going overboard. And the more I hear from you, the more I feel that that is my issue. Did they tell you if it's just your normal locomotive muscles or muscles that are inside your chest cavity? Usually my pain feels deep but sometimes its also more toward the surface like on my trap or between my shoulder blades. Another thing I don't get is why it's on my left side? For minimally invasive surgery they cut in to your right side and my surgeon said they touch anything on the left side of the body. I don't know if it's muscle spasms or angry nerves or both? While I was in the hospital on the second day I had this serious bout of pain that lasted about two hours until they pumped my full of drugs. I thought I was going to die. The pain was pretty much what I am experiencing right now. One doctor said it was periocarditis but my surgeon said something about spasms. I know my body and I thought they entire time that it was spasms but everyone else was sticking with periocarditis even though my ultrasound and Xrays didn't show higher than normal inflammation for 40 hours after surgery. It is frustrating because these pain episodes completely sideline me. I am not going to do push ups or pullups for a few weeks and see what happens. But that is hard for me because I don't know how to go easy. I can swim very intensely for weeks straight and not have problems but then when I switch to running and pushups (I do those on days I don't swim) it seems like the pain comes back two days after that. I don't know if it's the running or the pushups since I do them both on the same days. But push ups use more of your inner core muscles than running so that my be the problem. But at the same time, if my issue is Dressler's syndrom, running could be causing the inflamation because your heart bounces around more than when you swim.
Thanks for your responses and I hope you feel better soon and it stays away for good. Pleas keep me posted on what you learn at rehab.
Jennifer, I have been having symptoms similar to your spasms. If you don't mind, can you read the latest post on my journal and tell if this is what you are experiencing? I've been thinking my pain has been spasms but I've recently learned of Dressler's syndrome and I'm thinking that could be it too.
Thanks, Travis Watson
It's been 11 weeks since surgery for me and I still have odd heart beats. Sometimes it is loud and sometimes it is pounding in my chest and some times it's both. I haven't had any problems, otherwise. I take Tylenol for chest discomfort which is more related to the bone and muscle healing.
I am also 46 and had my mitral valve repaired at the Cleveland Clinic on September 2nd --- I live in Michigan so I totally get the traveling a distance to have a surgery -- I am just starting recovery week 4 -- I had a minimally invasive surgery --- however it wasn't minimally painless !!! I am getting frustrated with the numbness that I have in the top of my leg as well as in my breast – everyone keeps telling me that is to be expected however I just think that I should be healing faster (sound familiar???) other than that I am doing well and I appreciate your posts as it helps me in my healing journey -- thanks so much and I am going to check into the Dr Rey product at Sears that you recommended to Debby !!!
I will continue walking around my neighborhood with my dog and soon I will be doing the one hour walks that you talking about -- not sure when I will start rehab -- I will see what the Dr. has to say !!!!
Thankyou so much for responding to my journal entry. Your response was so reassuring and your post op experience seems to mirror mine. The main difference being pre op when my severe regurgitation took us all by complete surprise and not even my cardiologist could understand how it had happened. I'm a 45 year old health freak. I run, swim, have a heart healthy diet etc etc and still this suddenly happened. Two weeks prior to diagnosis and blissfull ignorance, I was climbing mountains on holiday in Montenegro!!!!! Thank Goodness nothing happened on that mountainside. All I can say is, someone was definitely watching out for me. Hope your recuperation is continuing to go well.
Leaving to travel to Denver for surgery tomorrow, so today is packing day. Thank you for your list of suggested things to take. Looks like a trip to Target is in order to get some color coded wash cloths. It was also comforting to hear that you didn't think surgery was as bad as anticipated. I admire you, and all of the other heart valve patients, who have gone thru this with kids. I am amazed. Continue to heal well, and quickly, and think good thoughts for me!
Congrats on rehab and driving and thank you again for the continued updates.
I'm interested in your feelings about friends and helping out. What kind of help would you most appreciate from friends? I have people asking but I've been unsure what to even ask except for carpool help for the kids' school. I have an angel mother coming to stay with the kids for the surgery week, then my husband is taking a leave from work for over a month.
I'm worried about the not driving part and hoping that I will be able to sooner rather than later. Did you have a sternotomy? I'm scheduled for minimally invasive and hoping that's what I end up with.
You have my sincere gratitude for writing about your experience along the way. I am inspired reading about your positive progress and advice being on the downhill side of this journey.
Wow, Jennifer. Thank you so much for the journals. I'm 43 on Monday and scheduled for my MV repair at USC on Sep. 13th. The hospital list and your current recovery description is wonderfully helpful to read at this stage. I understand your 'loneliness' in this situation, I feel it now (pre-surgery) for alot of the same reasons you're feeling it post surgery.
I've been struggling with my emotions and communicating the right level of expectations with my two elementary-age sons. What did you tell your kids prior to surgery? What would you recommend to other parents in a similar situation?
Good luck with rehab and thank you for your journals.
Love your list. Quick question about how long you had to stay in town after you were released after your surgery. And did you drive or fly? I'm going through Cleveland Clinic and its a 15 hr drive from my home. Any suggestions in this regard would be so helpful.
Hey! I totally get what you're going through! I am 2 weeks post op too. My back is killing me! I feel like I am walking like a hunched grandma. I am so sore. I have been using a heating pad at night. I got a UTI too. I was having fevers on and off. Not fun. Anyway, good luck!!
Thanks Jennifer for your note and encouragement! You are so very upbeat even when you are having pain!
I have problems now with intercoastal ( between the rib pain) on the right and have had to use some lortab the past few days.. and put off the ironing. Going to ski;p the lortab and get the ironing behind me and try relaxation/massage if I have to. Keep up the wonderful progress and I'll keep you in my prayers. Mary Ann Hanson
Same for me with the muscle pain between shoulder blades. Since I'm a massage therapist, I have several friends who have stopped by to work on the muscles. I take only a Flexiral(?) the muscle relaxer about twice a day.
I, too have been hand watering my garden. It's tough to not be able to bend down and pull the weeds.....soon, though.
I'm so over the recliner and being indoor a whole lot more than I'm use to. UGH!
Jennifer, you are going to be fine - remember you are at one of the best. Yes, there will be pain, but the staff should be able to make it tolerable. Our GOD is an awesome GOD. My surgery is Tues and I am here now at the hotel across from CCF . One of my grandson's made me a poster I brought with me (9 yr old) and looking at on my wall - "Have faith in GOD, Trust in GOD, He will protect you from all bad - I love you Don't Worry-Be Happy you are now fixed"
Kids can cut to the chase, don't you think!
I'm getting ready for my mv repair too. Your story hit home for me because I have two school age boys. That's the scariest part for me. Thanks for posting a journal! It's so helpful.
Best wishes from another neighbor to the north of you (PV).
Hi Jennifer! I just turned 40 in May. A little over 2 weeks ago I had my mitral and aortic valves replaced. My faith and my family have gotten me thru it!!!!! Know that you're not alone!!!! Keep a positive attitude, take baby steps and lean on family and friends!!! You will do great!!!!
I had my aortic valve replaced and I did very well. I now need work done on my tricuspid! Can I ask you why you chose Mayo? I was thinking of it but hadn't heard of many people going there from my part of the country. Are there some excellent doctors there?
Jennifer, I too will be leaving in 3 days for mitral valve repair (GOD willing) at Cleveland Clinic. My surgery is on July 12 - but I have 3 days of pre op stuff.
I am relatively calm - especially for me. I have a personal relationship with GOD and I have been staying in his Word looking for comfort that I know can only come from Him.
Next I have been getting massages and reiki treatments, I have downloaded the motivational tapes from the CCF site, bought a MP3 player and go to sleep every night listening to them. I have also gotten EMBR (rapid eye movement through a therapist)
I have done my due diligence in learning all I can, gotten my affairs in order (for my recovery period), taken care of business issues, been packing my suitcase for weeks with stuff I need.
I know I am going to one of the best hospitals CCF, and so are you Mayo is top notch with only the best doctors. We both have a hill to climb but as a plaque I have in my kitchen says "Do your best, say a prayer, and let GOD take it from there."
I'm a neighbor of yours, about 90 miles to the east in Cherry Valley. I'm pending aortic valve replacement on July 12th. I read your "party" posting with laughter and complete understanding. It must me hard to have small children during a time like this. It's so difficult for them to understand and now that mommy has feelings and emotions, too. My kids are grown, yet I know they are very concerned because they've never seen dad acting like an old person. I'll be monitoring your site, thinking of you, and wishing you the best.
Know that you are not alone. I also am 46 with severe mitral valve regurgitation. I'm in a holding pattern this summer. I almost would rather just get my mitral valve repaired now and get it over with. I completely understand your anxiety. Soon this will be behind you and you'll be healthy and celebrating with your family. Time goes by quickly and you'll soon be on the other side of this. You are having your surgery at an awesome place and I'm sure that God will be watching over you too. You also are young so everything is on your side. It helps me to read the stories of some of the amazing people on this site and their recoveries. You'll be one of them soon!
Hi Jennifer, I will have my aortic valve replaced and 1 or 2 bypass this friday. Today it was pre admit and Pre Op Meeting some of the surgical team and the ICU staff, I just turned 53. I felt very comfortable with everything only broke one down once and that had been the only time and I felt alot better. Just remeber when the last week gets here before surgery you will be busy. Take care and like Christy said you are not alone in this process!
Jennifer, I just had my mitral and aortic valves replaced last week. I turned 40 in May and I have a s six year old son with autism. What helped me was my faith in God, love of my family and friends and a kick butt attitude! It is a lot to think about. You can do it!!!!!!! Stay on this journal site, people will help you here and give the site address to your family.
This will take a chunk of my summer to recover, but I have a life time to make up for it!!!! Not too shabby in the end. I hope to get back into road races and half marathons one day!
We can do it Jennifer! Remember, you are not alone!
Hi Jennifer. I can totally relate. Just a few minutes ago I got a call fro the surgeon's office telling me my surgery will be next week. My wife and I are in shock. I've known I've needed aortic valve replacement my whole life, but it's now critical.
This site has been a life saver. There is so much information and support. I keep holding onto these words which I've heard numerous times, "you'll be fine". Jennifer, "you'll be fine".
It's 2 weeks & 4 days until my aortic valve replacement and my anxiety, feelings & fears are right up there with yours. I feel I'll be missing out on so much during this summer, but I am looking forward to having energy again and training for a 1/2 marathon and swimming and being anxiety-free!!
I will be following your journey and keep you in my thoughts and prayers. You are doing the right thing and as I keep reading from others....the waiting & time before surgery is the worse part.
Apple Valley, CA