Great to read such an awesome report Jim! I haven't been on here in months, but as I get closer to my one year anniversary it is great to read the posts of you and so many others that I followed closely leading up to my surgery. Keep up the reat work!
Way to go Jim! So happy for you. I am glad we got to meet in person at Mt. Sinai and now look at us, 1 year later. Both doing great. God bless you, god bless Drs. Stelzer and Adams and god bless Mt Sinai. Best to you always.
Bless your heart ! Literally and figuratively. I
am so happy to receive this report. Keep
doing what you're doing - thoughts and
prayers will stay with you. You make a
great role model. So pleased to share in
your good news. Excellent.
Happy Anniversary Jim! Can you believe it's been a year? I will just say "copy that" to your post. I am doing very well also. Would never know I ever had anything wrong with my heart if it weren't for the scar. Couldn't help but notice you have some strange guestbook entries...I did also, one reason I'm not on so much anymore, but main reason, I'm sorry to say, is that it just isn't part of my thoughts constantly anymore. Think that's the way it is supposed to be.
Well, just wanted to say happy anniversary to my surgery "partner" and glad everything is good. Please tell Donna I said hello and God bless!
Linda THE Tiger, aka Linda Dixon, AVR 3/13/12.
Congratulations Jim on the new grandbaby and thank you for sharing your story. It was reassuring to read for me as I am now just 4 weeks from surgery and planning everything out for hotels and such as quickly as possible.
Thank you again and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.
Great to see your update. Congrats to you and Donna on being grandparents again. How great it is to be fixed and see more grandkids. We have a lot to be thankful for this year! I feel the same about my experience with Mt. Sinai. Would not change a thing. Doctor, nurses, all of it...great! I sent a great letter to the head nurse there acknowledging their staff but never even got a reply (that's my only negative). All the best to you and family. Have a blessed Thanksgiving.
Just catching up on HVJ entires and saw yours (along with many of our other close friends). All I can say is way to go Jim! Glad all is well with you. Also, your comments about having a good running base have rung true. I am planning to run my first half marathon on 10/7. 8 months post op!
SO great to see the progress. Hiking? Seriously? High altitudes and all! Amazing!
Can't believe it's been 6 months. Like you said, in many ways seems like yesterday and in many it seems so much longer than only 6 months ago. Keep up the good work.
Your updates are MOST appreciated, You're an inspiration . Sending all my best wishes. You are a great role model for all of us.
Thank you. From just one of your cheerleaders - keep up the good work.
Glad to hear you are "fine" with an estimated 8:36 pace....WOW!!!! I can't wait to read about your first full runs, when you are ready. Sure sounds like you are doing the right thing and building slowly. Keep it up. Peachtree will be there next year. Not all of us can be Chuck!
I too am almost 3 months post mitral valve repair. It was wonderful reading of your recovery since your surgery. So nice to know what you have achieved since your surgery. I am anxiously awaiting my first echo since surgery to see the results.
Lots of info here. Sounds like the repair was successful overall. Of course there are issues to deal with. I am so glad you are cleared to run again. I am sure you are ecstatic. I was never a runner and still "ain't" apparently! :) LOL
Back to running, finally!! Great news. Although your 'slow pace' is pretty much my max, I am jealous. Good for you Jim. So glad you got a good report. Keep it up and as you well know, start slowly. Take care,
Congrats- on getting where your at today. You have made great progress with the EF 20% up to 47% and even though it's not 61% it really depends on how you feel. Many great athletes have a low EF, because of enlarged heart muscle from being so physically fit.
My other info on the EF% totally depends on what cardiologist is reading it; meaning the % can change any where from 5-10%.
My husband Chris EF that was read here in Milwaukee, WI was anywhere between 30-35%, but when we sent all the stuff to CCF there cardiologist read it at 40-45%, which I feel is a huge difference. As a Cardiac-Thoracic RN, I see it on a daily basis and it does depend on who reads it.
The best way to judge EF% is based on how you feel and by the sound of it your feeling pretty great so keep up the good work.
it's wonderful to read your update, congrats on the doc's ok to start running again, wow! at 3 months post op i could not drive out of town without almost passing out, let along run? not in a million years, I was too weak for even walking 2 miles.
JIm, yay!!!! You get to run again! I know you have felt somewhat "caged up" not being able to for so long. I know I don't have to warn you to not overdo. You know, Jim, sometimes a number is "just a number". I know that the EF is no small thing, but I believe your "body meter" is a better indicator sometimes. I suspect you are somewhat of a perfectionist (no...Donna didn't tell me that, lol) but when you think about it...45 vs. 55% (normal), that is practically normal and it's only been 3 months since surgery. I know that if it is at all within your power, it will be "normal" in no time. Hopefully (if nothing else happens) I will start rehab next week (finally). Now...go for a run! :-)
Linda THE Tiger
Jim, what a great journal to read! Glad to hear you are cleared for running! I'm sure the issue with the ejection fraction is concerning for you, the heart is truly amazing, the way it remodels and heals! Hopefully your EJ will continue to improve. You have a great attitude about it. Glad you can get off the coumadin and that you are doing so well! You are an inspiration to the rest of us!
How delighted I was just a few minutes ago to hear the click of a new post and to read your's! You are always so detailed and informative and still upbeat! There is SO MUCH involved with this heart stuff, and it seems to differ with every person. In just these 13 days post-op for me, things have happened I hadn't read about in anyone's journals. Another reason it is so important to share.
So, even in reading this, you help me keep my chin up - or back up, as they say. I hope the stats continue to improve for you and you can get back to what you love most. But in the meantime, sounds as if you are doing the right things in the healing process.
So glad you updated your journal. Sounds like you are progressing well and the news about starting up a running program is wonderful. I'll let Bob fill you in on his progress. He went to NY for his follow up this week.mThey gave him a before and after picture. AMAZING!
It's great too hear that you are doing so well at 2 months. I also had tricuspid and mitral valve repair (re-pair, actually my 1st surgery was robotic in Spokane, Washington). I had Dr. Adams and Dr. Ani as my surgeons at Mt. Sinai. You posted a message on my guestbook just before your surgery, but I hadn't visited for over a month by the time I found it and replied. You said you were also on 7West! Glad spring is finally here, getting out and doing things is much easier. I found the cold air difficult to breathe, post surgery. I have not yet tried running, I will probably wait until I have my next echo in January; I just want to give my body the full benefit of recovery (emphasizing walking and strength exercises as well as biking--I treated myself to a new cruiser bike as a heart surgery present to myself). I can ride about 7 1/2 miles so far. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Hey Jim, Great to here that your healing is going well. I have been in cardio rehab for about 2 mths. now and glad that I opted to go. You are doing the same exercises that they do in rehab. You are in tune with your body and will do fine. Speaking of tunes,are you still listening to your favorite heart music!! Take care.
Thanks for update - surgery is over - and we appreciate follow-up on the continuing
process you are going through. We are
concerned and ready to applaud and
cheer at each and every advance made.
Hi Jim, sounds like things are getting better with each day, will continue to pray that come time for your echo that you can come off the Warfan. I hope you get cleared for running and getting back to all those things you enjoy doing soon. Will continue to pray that your full recovery continues.
Jim & Donna: You remain in my thoughts and prayers. One step at a time. Awesome things
to comprehend and beyond my comprehension. -
You are a wonderful role model..From just one
of a very large cheering section. Wishing you the very best in days to come. Hugs, Jan O.
So glad to read your latest post - It sounds like your recovery is excellent! Good luck as you resume your physical activity - hopefully there is a marathon with your name on it - somewhere in the not too distant future! (HI i to Donna!)
Dori & Charles
Jim and Donna,
When is the soonest you can walk up a flight of stairs? We will be at his 96 year old mother's house and there are two bedrooms downstairs: her bedroom and one with a futon. I would prefer him upstairs for the days we are at her home. We will stay at hotel for two days after his forecasted 5 days at Sanai.
Hope all is well with you and Donna.
Hi Jim, glad your recovery is going so well. 2.9 miles is impressive! My doc would not let me jog until 8 weeks post op. I hope you get cleared sooner. Take care and keep up the good recovery work. Please tell Donna I said "hi."
So glad to see the post from you today. I am
delighted to hear about your progress - and a
bit surprised at all the things you are able to do.
Slow & steady wins the race. From just one of
your many cheerleaders, Jan O.
Lost your email address! I chose the Marriott because of the mile to and from the hospital. I walk every day and need to get rid of the stress of this whole thing. So I did it on purpose! The place you stayed at was so cool. I looked it up online. I will be there alone, so knowing how/where to get meds is very helpful, thank you. Sounds like you are making progress every day. Keep it going....
Home is best. A day at a time seems to be the mantra. In a sermon yesterday, my priest talked about expectations and how we may react to them. High expectations, low expectations...how about no expectation? A day at a time....
So happy you are cleared to go home....that was the BEST part of the whole ordeal for me!! Ahhhh...that first shower was the best at home!! Travel safe and I am soooo happy for you and your family....keep on getting stronger. Thanks for the great update. Jamie Todor
It has been wonderful to get the regular reports from
Donna, and it is fantastic to hear directly from you. I have been on a regular dosage of coumadin for 10 years and the only negatives have been some easy bruising once in while and nicks from shaving that sometimes bleed a little longer than I'd like. Stay away from those greasy New York hamburgers and
take care of that staph infection. I am eager to see
your office door open every day. Ship
Glad your out Jim. Yes I can say watch your eating. I didn't get sick but even though I wanted certain foods I did not eat them. The apetite and digestive system are slow to come back. Small portions and nothing crazy. For some odd reason I love oranges more than ever. They go down easy and have lots of Vitamin C for healing. Lastly, watch your footing sir! We don't need you falling!! So, how was your Mt. Sinai experience?
Glad to hear you escaped from the hospital. You better down size those hamburgers to happy meals lol and watch those steps they are not your friend they will give you a high in a minute. lol. Take care and dont overdo'
For the long haul
So glad to hear you're doing so well and getting out - YAY! I've been fretting all yesterday and today about a ferry ride because of heavy seas...I guess your story puts mine into perspective pretty quickly - thanks! The kiwis and keas are all chirping their hearty support for your continued good recovery. Looking forward to a relaxed cold beverage or two this summer - see y'all soon! - hugs - Jill
So happy your echo came back great. I had the MAZE too and just one valve....and they kept me in for more than the usual time too. I know you will keep getting stronger and stronger. I was really tired and sore at first but really got to feeling better once I was home!! So glad Mitch came to see you....how cool is that!! Keep on fighting and getting stronger Jim....glad all is going great for you! Blessings. Jamie Todor
Great news on the echo! You are pretty much on same schedule as me after my mitral valve repair and Maze procedure. I was in the hospital six and a third days. My potassium and glucose levels were off and they would not discharge me until they had gotten within an acceptable range. Hope the coumadin straightens out soon.
Greetings from New Mexico! Thanks for all the good news coming from New York - it sounds like you are getting stronger every day. We are spending spring break in the beautiful high desert of New Mexico - a very healing place - so I have been sending healing thoughts every morning from here to you. We look forward to seeing you back in Athens soon.
Donna and Jim,
We are back from France and would love to visit Jim if he is feeling up to it. We are temporarily in midtown Manhattan. I will be in NYC today (Sat) and tomorrow, and then back from teaching in Conn on Thursday. Call me if convenient-- 614-668-2805.
Allan Samansky (Jim's coauthor).
We are so glad to hear all is going well. We know you so soon will be walking in Central Park. So glad your all together, nothing better than family love to help heal. Happy Birthday to Kristen a day late too! We are thinking of you and wishing you a speedy recovery. Love you all. Sandy
Jim, Donna, Kris & Nicole............Thoughts prayers and concerns continue. What an incredible journey this is. We are in Athens, Ga. -
you are far away in NYC - we are all on the same
bus. Before you come home, check out Central
Park. It will regenerate your batteries. Thank you for sharing. We are all connected. Hugs to
all, Jan Okey
KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.
You're doing great, Jim! Hallelu! You picked just the right place for a speedy recovery. And how wonderful to have all your girls under one roof tonight with you - that makes everything perfect. We're praying for you all, along this journey. By the way, if your pacemaker gives you a little too much energy, I can always email you the latest Session minutes to inspire a nap! (: Naaw - there's lots of good stuff going on, even during spring break! So enjoy yours - but we can't wait to see you back home soon enough - and eventually running the roadways again during lunch, of course! Blessings and peace - lots of love - Beecher
Glad to hear you are doing well. I thought I would share with you, that if you want to meet Dr. Adams, tell one of the other doctors or nurses. I was there a few days and did not meet him, so I asked because I wanted to thank him. He came by later that day. It felt good to express my gratitude.
Well done, Jim! IÂ´Â´m scouting out mountains for us to climb here in NZ. Looks promising! IÂ´m glad that everything went well and hope that your recovery is swift so that we can hit the trail as soon as possible. Love, Paul
Hi Jim and Donna, I just discovered your journal and guestbook via the latest Covenanter. So glad to hear how well you are doing! Looking forward to seeing you both back in Athens. Its 80 something and gorgeous outside!
Donna - Thanks for all the updates. Jim - Know that all your friends at the AHA miss you, wish you well and will continue to remember you in our prayers. Consider Tuesday's board meeting an excused absence. Best wishes....hope to see you soon.
Hello, Jim. I haven't posted since December. But I found your entry on my guestbook. I was on 7 West as well. The staff on that floor are the best ever!! You are in great hands. I am glad you had Dr. Adams for your surgeon. I was a complicated case of his. Good luck each day of your recovery, there will be aches and pains but everyday gets better.
Yay Jim....so glad that all went so well and you are asking for your glasses!! I had to have a transfusion after surgery too and also was on a temporary pacemaker for 2-3 days before all clicked and began to work in sync!! I know you are going to continue to do great....keep strong and before you know it you will be going home! That was the best part of the whole thing...going home and having a shower in my own house!! Blessings and hugs. Jamie Todor
Thanks for sharing this amazing journey. No "vespers" tonight at CPC but each time I'm there in past days I hear heard your remembered by those gathered. It won't surprise you that a hymn-lover like me offers "Near to the Heart of God" as my 'heart song'. Looking forward to your return to Athens, Anne P.
We are so relieved to hear that prayers have been answered. Today I got an idea of what it is like to wait! Been glued to my email to hear. Thank you for the update. Our hearts are full.....of thanks and deep relief.
Betsy and Bob
Jim- I haven't met you, but I know your dear wife, Donna, from her participation in classes I have taught for adult Catholics at St. Joseph's in Athens. I am praying that your surgery is going well today, and will be very successful. I pray also that your period of recovery will be uneventful and steady. May God bless and strengthen you and Donna also.
Donna, My prayers are out to you also. God is good and he is doing amazing things today. Jim will be fine, he is in good hands. The hardest part of all of this is waiting to hear. You will feel a big relief after it is all over and you see him. Hang in there and good luck to both of you.
For the long haul
I just read Adam's blog and realized there is another person going to Mount Sinai Hosp. I was operated on two years ago by Dr. Adams. Everything went great, and I am doing well ..just posted about my two year anniversary..3/2/10.
I have nothing but praise for Dr. Adams and his entire team. I had a great experience and you will too. Prayers being sent your way. Good luck and love your song list.
Thank you for your post on FB about the 10 songs. I love this, it put a smile on my face. I also LOVE U2!I will be having my surgery on May 16 with Dr. Gillinov to repair my mitral valve as well. Good luck to you, you will be in my thoughts and prayers. Thank You again for the post.
Hi Jim! I had my mitral valve repaired by Dr. Jeffrey Swanson in Portland, Oregon, in 2002. I've got some leakage now and may be facing another repair too. I will send good thoughts your way for tomorrow!
Hi Jim, it's not quite as lovely here in Cleveland today, rainy, but hey...I'm not complaining. It is where I am supposed to be on this day! I met Dr. Gillinov today and he made me feel so much better. I'm ready. I go earlier than you, I have to be at the hospital at 5:15, I am his first case. He expects it to be very routine, so that sounds good to me. Sweet dreams tomorrow...we'll talk on the other side!
As Jim may have mentioned, we are in NY.
I tried your cell but got no response. Would love to stop by and say hello to Jim later this afternoon, e.g., around 4:00 PM. Let me know if that will work. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave us a message at 212-874-7435 or 706-542-5175.
Congrats to Jeff. I can't help but think of the "leg lamp" from "A Christmas Story," however, when you refer to Jeff's prize as a "Major Award." Whatever the prize, I hope it is not too "fragile" (pronounced by Darrin McGavin as: fra jeel A).
Jim. Good luck to you. It s not a piece of cake. But it's all good. And do try and met Jeff and Mitch of you can. Jeff and I met 4-5 weeks ago befor e my surgery. It really does strengthen the relationship. Makes it some how much more real. He s super.
My thought s and players are with you for a speedy recovery. I guess I'm pretty lucky. My recovery was great and doing well. Like it never happened. Hope that's what you get !!
Be well. Nancy Friedman. St Louis. Mo 2-9-12. Done AVR Nancy@telephonedoctor.com. For some reason email wouldn't take it below.
We'll be thinking of you this week. I had hoped to give you a call on Donna's cell phone but your message was missing one of the digits. So I sent you an e-mail and sending you this as well as I presume you might not be checking your e-mail. Courage. You are the greatest.
-- Ed Larson
You get me singing every morning. Someone's going to have to take up the DJ duties when you're in the hospital, I think. Sometimes it seems like half the people here are either about to see, or have already seen, Dr. Adams. Maybe we should have a convention somewhere....
Selma in Woodstock
Jim. It looks like the die is cast, but let's just reach way, way, WAY back for two truly all-time all-star classic "heart" songs. The first is "Heart of my Heart (I love that mel-lo-dee)," perhaps most famously performed by Mitch Miller and his singers, but composed way back in 1926 by Ben Ryan. The second was written in 1938 by Hoagy Carmichael (who also composed "Georgia on my Mind" and, as it turns out, graduated from University of Indiana Law School!). Among the most performed songs of all time, it is "Heart and Soul," undoubtedly the most played piano piece EVER, with the possible exception of "Chopsticks."
I'm thinking of you and seeking to send every positive vibe of all good heart-songs your way.
When I was first rolled into the OR for my heart surgery, I could hear in the background the song, Dark Side of the Moon - Pink Floyd.
A few days later, I thought about how strange it was that I was wake and then nothing until I woke up moments later (ok, it was really 10 hrs.). My first surgery ever, so I didn't know about the complete loss of "commication" hence, Dark Side of the Moon. Sheila
I just got back on HVJ site after a few weeks off and I'm so happy to have found you! I love your song ideas and hope I'm not too late to add my choice. I'm going to be showing my age:
Open Up My Heart by The Dells Great words - good soul song.
I will be following your journey and look forward to your reports of a good recovery.
I noticed that you are sharing the surgery date with Linda Dixon. I shared my surgery date with a HVJ guy who had his surgery at another hospital 20 mins from where I had mine (July 12, 2011). Three months later, we met for lunch and it was great to share more details in person.
Hi Jim, I am really loving your song idea, what a great way to pass the time. BTW, I lived in Austin for 4 years. I so miss the Salt Lick! Still love their t-shirt ("You can smell our pits for miles").
oops...forgot to sign my last entry (I recommended U2), but I think it was obvious. :) Doing some searching online...several Buddy Holly songs include the word "heart", and one is even called "Heartbeat" --you can see all the lyrics here: http://www.allthelyrics.com/lyrics/buddy_holly/
One of my best childhood memories is dancing to Buddy Holly in the living room with you, Mom and Kris, so I nominate any of those. :)
Jim, I know this song involves a sharp move away from Heartland Rock and Tom Waits, and maybe I've just missed it in the ever-mounting list of heart-stirring melodies. In any event, I simply can't let this classic oldy run the risk of going un-nominated: "Save Your Heart For Me" by Gary Lewis and the Playboys. Am thinking of you, my friend. Dan C.
PS And, while I'm at it, there is also Herman's Hermits' "Baby, Baby, Can't You Hear My Heart Beat?"
Thank you for sharing this process with us. You
are in our thoughts and prayers as you continue the journey. My vote is for the song from "Damn
Yankees" . Sums it all up - "Heart" - My best to
you and your family . Please keep us all connected as this continues. From one of your
many supporters and cheerleaders.
Can I name several at once??
Affair of the Heard - Rick Springfield
Be Still My Beating Heart - Sting
Every Beat of My Heart - Rod Stewart
The Heart of a Man - Frankie Vaughn
My Heart Skips a Beat - Buck Owens
You and Donna are in my prayers.
We need you here, so come back well and stronger than ever. You need some new pictures on your office walls of you winning races. :)
OMG, Jim. In my earlier (erroneously unsigned) submission, I totally overlooked perhaps the most amazing of all heart songs -- "The Heart of Saturday Night" by neo-crooner Tom Waits. (For a version with an arguably amusing and unquestionably extended monologue intro, you can look at "Tom Waits Soundstage 1975 Live" on you tube.)
By the way, did you know there is an entire modern heart-based music genre -- namely, "Heartland Rock"? You can check it out in Wikipedia, but at its heart are folks like Bob Seeger, Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, and of course Tom Petty and the HEARTbreakers. (Of course, your work may be sending the concept of Heartland Rock in an entirely new direction!!!)
Hi Dad! Love your song idea - very creative!! I vote for one of my all-time favorite songs "In a Little While" by U2. Google the lyrics - I think they're actually kind of fitting. :) May have some more ideas later... looking forward to being able to visit you in a couple weeks in NY!
My family and I are in Orlando for Braves Spring Training.
So I thought of this "heart" song: Damn Yankees.
You've gotta have heart
All you really need is heart
When the odds are sayin' you'll never win
That's when the grin should start
You've gotta have hope
Mustn't sit around and mope
Nothin's half as bad as it may appear
Wait'll next year and hope
When your luck is battin' zero
Get your chin up off the floor
Mister you can be a hero
You can open any door, there's nothin' to it but to do it
You've gotta have heart
Miles 'n miles n' miles of heart
Oh, it's fine to be a genius of course
But keep that old horse
Before the cart
First you've gotta have heart
HI, Jim. I've enjoyed your blog and sure am thinking of you as the date of your surgery approaches. In case there is still time to propose "heart" songs, I offer the following classics for your consideration: Heartbeat (by Buddy Holly); Hungry Heart (by Bruce Springsteen); (You can never break this) Heart of Stone (by the Rolling Stones); and In the Shape of a Heart (by Jackson Browne) -- all of which are outstanding tunes though, for the most part, overlooked and underrated. If you are open to moving beyond the rock genre, I strongly recommend "Theme from Braveheart" -- which would be an especially apt theme song for you. And building on the proposal of another contributor that you give attention to the complete oeuvre of the rocksters "Heart," you might also consider the full body of work of the pioneering popsters Tommy Boyce and Bobby HART (who launched the Monkees) and, even more so, the great early show-tune collaborators Richard Rodgers and Lorenz HART (with a special nod to their classic, "With a Song in my Heart"). And if that's not enough, you might ponder the expansion of your collection to self-describing names of athletes who have always played with a lot of heart -- including Corey HART of the Brewers and, even more notably, Doug HART of our beloved Packers. Go Jim! You are great!!
Number 8, really!!!!!! I guess we need to work harder at this. John had a great call with 'Hey Jude.'. Guess I will follow that up with 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.'. I mean you are going to a show of sorts.....
I will probably be in surgery and ICU by the time the #1 is revealed. Guess I will have to wait :(
I still vote for Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On", since we ALL want our heart to GO ON....and On..and On...I don't think this one can be beat. (get it "beat") - LOL
I don't know that this fits your rules, but I think the band Heart's oeuvre deserves honorable mention. I gave Thom a (lightly used) CD of theirs before his first stent procedure. I have no doubt it made all the difference.
Jim, thank you for replying to my post. Bob wants to go to Dr. Adams, as his younger sister had her surgery by him last year. We are in Virginia. His mom still lives in the suburbs of NYC, but I told Bob I have to stay near the hospital. From what you said this may be 2 weeks. Gotta check my Marriott points....
He does not want a replacement, period. Healthy as a horse(a race horse), but for this Mitral Valve.
Bob's e-mail: email@example.com
Hey Jim, love the song idea, great way to pass the time. My pick has been voiced by many, but maybe I will get extra points as everyone simply said Elton John "Don't go breaking my heart." What about poor old Kiki Dee?????
Glad you are in good spirits. Getting close. I have been casing Mt. Sinai for you on my visits to see Chris Dixon. Great facility! They will care you well there, for sure.
#1 has got to be "I Left my Heart in San Francisco" or "Deep in the Heart of Texas". Is it OK for me to guess both of them, since you have strong ties to California and Texas (and I can't think of any Georgia songs that use the word Heart).
Gotta love "Achy Breaky Heart"!!! And yes Jim...I remember it well. I can see myself, husband and our grandkids, just toddlers then riding down the road and them singing "Achy Breaky Heart"!! Love the memory!! Great choice!!
I had a MItral Valve repair September 14th of last year. I also had a Maze procedure to treat the atrial fibrillation that was my first identified heart problem back in 2009. The Mitral Valve valve problem was discovered in August of 2011. I told the surgeon I had read that the leaking Mitral valve probably caused to the fibrillation due to having to work harder due to the leak. He said that was likely.
During the initial followup checkups after the surgery, I was still fibrillating though I did not feel anything, although I normally did not before the surgery either.
Fortunately, my checkups this year have been good in that I was in a good sinus rhythm without any fibrillation.
Hope things go well with you. I will check back in to see how you are doing and to see which songs get suggested and see the which one is #1.
Hey Jim, great idea!! My vote is for "Every Beat of My Heart" by Rod Stewart.
My MP3 player contains everything from the guided imagery from Cleveland Clinic, another one that Jeffrey sent me, some worship songs done by our worship team at church, some of my favorite Adele songs (love her) and even some Trace Atkins (kinda like him too). So...I'm not exactly sure what my "state of unconsiousness" is going to be like, lol. I may be relaxed, maybe in a place of worship or maybe rocking out...God bless my surgeon!
I don't know if Donna will have family there with her, but my daughter will be in Cleveland alone. Since we will probably be in surgery around the same time on the 13th, tell Donna to feel free to call Tracie if she wants to talk. Her cell number is (843) 858-4569.
I probably will post again before we leave, but just in case, "let's do this"!!!!
I will keep you in my prayers and look forward to us both saying "yep...they didn't lie after all. Waiting was the hardest part!"
Thanks for the recognition. I appreciate that. As for the Cyro-Maze that sounds interesting. Is this mainly for Mitral valve patients?
I love the heart song idea!! Brilliant! My suggestion and my #1 choice (and the first and only choice that came to mind immediately) is......drum roll please......My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion. Think about it....we ALL want our heart to GO ON...and ON and ON....just like she says in the song. It is also a beautiful song by a woman with a beautiful voice.
Reading your journal gives such insight about all of your "spring break adventure"! I'm adding you to my Wednesday Healing Service prayer list - you and all your family. I'm looking forward to Donna's entry with your post surgical news.
Very best wishes,
Great to read all your thoughts and the details of what to expect in March. Thanks for setting this up! We'll be with you and Donna and the girls in Spirit, for sure. So glad to hear you're "clean as a whistle," which we already knew, of course! (-: For we pedal as fast as we can at Covenant to keep up with you! As ever, expecting the very best for your healing ahead. Enjoy your second week in NYC especially!
Blessings & peace, Beecher
Charles and I are thinking of you - It won't be long now - You are in our prayers - also our Latin Rosary Group is praying for your successful surgery and quick recovery so you can resume your running!
Jim, Thank you for sharing this journey. The walk sounds wonderful and with Kristen how special. I too also love the woods this time of year. Drove to Monroe - Brodhead area last weekend just beautiful. Could see for miles and miles of rolling hills. Take care and Love to the Family. Sandy
Jim - I was taken off *all* exercise prior to surgery. And super bummed about it too. The risk is that the added stress will accelerate cardiac remodeling from the regurgitation, which is not good. You want as little remodeling as possible because you want to stay as far away from the point of no return as possible. That said, there are afterload reducing medications that can help limit remodeling. I was on one of those as a prophylactic for about 6 weeks prior to surgery. You might want to discuss with your cardiologist if an afterload reducer can allow you some extra "range". -- DVB
I know how frustrating it is to want to exercise when you've been told not to. I had mitral valve repair last June. If you aren't allowed to get your heart rate up, maybe you can substitute some strength training instead. I did alot of squats to improve my ability to get out of a chair without using my arms, and I was really glad of it. Also it's hard to get up from bed so good abs are important. If you plan to have a sternotomy this can help you prepare, and it gives you something to do when you can't run.
Jim, actually this was the topic of one of the video posts on this website just a few weeks ago. The surgeon recommended exactly what you are doing. He said those about to have heart surgery should actually cut back a little with exercise to prevent atrial fib. It allows the heart to "ratchet down" to prepare for the surgery. So...it seems your cardiologist is spot on.
Don't worry, you will be back to your "old self" in no time.
If you are trying to minimize risk, an earlier surgery date is better than a later one, all else equal. My reading of the literature is that patients with severe mitral regurgitation have a significantly elevated mortality risk of about 1/2% per month. Not too big, but sad if you are the in that half percent. -- DVB
Hi Jim, your heads seems to be in a good place. Many of us agree the waiting is the hardest part (No Tom Petty reference intended). Take it one day at a time. Don't get too much into your head on things, which is very easy to do. And before you know it, your date and trip to my fair City will be here.
Jim, you and I are really in the same boat, except for valves. I also wanted an earlier date, but that was not to be. I have also made all of my arrangements for my trip to Cleveland, plus the anxiety has racheted up this week, so I don't think I would take an earlier date either, lol. I will leave for Cleveland on March 8th, have echo, ekg, blood work, etc on March 9th, chill over the weekend and meet with Dr. Gillinov on Monday the 12th, then surgery on Tuesday. So neither one of us will be "journaling" much on the 13th.
Jim and Donna, thanks for including us with you on this journey. Jennifer and I will be praying for you. My Dad is having surgery for esophageal? cancer on the same day, so we are getting a 2 for 1 from the Lord on the same day!! All the Best, Tom and Jennifer Foster
Donna, thank you for sending us this link to Jim's Journal. We will all be thinking of you both, and praying for the complete success of your surgery. Thank goodness for all the medical advances, and for the gifted doctors and nurses who will be taking care of you. Would be great to see you again in HSB on July 4th!
Jim and Donna; I have been thinking about you since I learned of your upcoming heart surgery. We never know what challenges our friends are facing. I am praying for a successful surgery and an uneventful recovery so you can come back to Athens healthy and regain strength. Ron and I send love and prayers. Love, Mary Carlson
Jim & Donna, Just want you to know that
Lisa & I are praying hard for Jim's success- ful surgery(sounds like it is the latest mefical
advancement!). Hope to see you out &
about soon. Our prayers,
Tom & Lisa Ganschow
Dr Adams secretary gave me a list of some local hotels when I came up for my visit with Dr Adams 2 months before my surgery. After seeing the doctor we went around to check out some of the suggestions. We picked it out that day and made the reservations. I picked the Hotel Wales a few blocks down from Mt. Sinai. Around 94th street. It was quaint and quiet and very close to the hospital walking distance even or just hop into a cab and there in 5 minutes.
Only thing was,ours faced out onto Madison and we heard some street noise. I am sure they have some rooms in the rear of building. They do have a web site too. Check it out.
You are in excellent hands. I know because I had my mitral valve/tricuspid repaired March 10 2011 at Mount Sinai, by Dr. David Adams and Dr Anyawu. The best decision I ever made. I had severe mitral regurgitation (Barlows)but was asymptomatic. I was told it was a complicated procedure to repair. I have healed very well and continue to do cardio exercise several times a week. Very important. I live in South Florida and I stayed in the hospital 6 days and one more week at a local hotel ( a
Small quiet one) on Madison Ave.
I had a very good experience @ Mt Sinai and have never regretted my decision to go there for this serious surgery. They know there stuff there. You will have the same I am sure.
You ask if you are a canadiate for a maze procedure or Ligation procedure which is faily common now. I had both when my mitral valve was replaced (since I had only one functioning leaflet no way it was repairable) and this cured the afib I came down with in September. Just another suggestion to speak with your surgeon about.
Hi Jim, welcome to HVJ! I had surgery on 2/2 and just got home this past Weds. I was in longer due to some minor complications, but all is good now. I live in NYC, very close to Mt. Sinai. It is a top, top facility. I wish you all the best and if you would like a local resource for your or your family when you are in town for surgery, let me know. I would honored to share my contact details with you, just so you have a local if you need one. Be it for, easy stuff (restaurant recommendations) or harder stuff because you need help in a pinch and are not at home. Good luck!!!
- Mitch Friedman
Jim, I too am a candidate for re-op for mitral valve repair. My 1st surgery was done at the Cleveland Clinic Dec 14 of this year. Itâ€™s been a hectic 4 weeks trying to understand how I got in this position, I currently have severe regurgitation and need a re-repair. I was contemplating sending my records to Dr Adamâ€™s for second opinion, after reading your story, I think Iâ€™ll definitely do that.
Good Luck to You, Barb
Dr. Jim... 26.2 miles is a long way, even at a 5 minute pace.... of course for me is was always a lot longer since I require twice as much time to finish. I am certain that you will approach this heart surgery with the same energy, determination, and gusto as you do that loooooooooog run in the marathon... and just as surely you will cross the finish line in good shape and ready for the next challange.
I will track your journal to keep up with the news of the day.... and I will be expecting you to buy the first round of beer after you are fully recovered. Cheers!
Having just returned from my own little trip to the hostipal from a routine colonsocopy, your journal arrived via the email at the appropriate time, although what I am writing now may be the anesthsia talking rather than me. In any event, you know that Nina and my thoughts will be with you and we are hoping to see you in New York after the surgery because we should be there for part of the spring break.
Jim, we will be thinking of you daily and hoping for a speedy recovery and return. "We" ? Hmmm. I do not pretend to know who all we is, but what I do know is that in your case it includes a huge number of people in Athens who know you, it is present students, past- students-now-lawyers, your colleagues, and everyone you have come in contact with over the years, here and elsewhere. It is a very large "we," wishing you the very best.
I had mitral valve repair 9 weeks ago. I am back to pre surgery status with regard to work, driving and exercise for about 5 weeks now. You have found the right place to exchange info and gain support. Keep posting.
Hello Jim, welcome to the HVJ site. You and I will be having surgery on the same day! I have aortic stenosis and dilated aorta, and I will be at Cleveland Clinic. I too am traveling a distance (from SC) but it is totally worth it. Dr. Marc Gillinov will be doing my surgery. I have known about the stenosis for several years, it has progressed from mild to critical, so now is the time. If I have any symptoms (may be my imagination) they are very subtle. However, when I had a heart cath in November, the valve was so narrowed they were not able to cross with the catheter. That was a big shock. I figured it would come eventually, but hoped it wouldn't. Anyway, good to have you in our "community". You will find awesome support and encouragement from fellow "valvers".