chris posted a note for Kenny that says:
This is my first time on the site and your blog helped . I'm having surgery at HUP on Feb 6th. I'm having aortic valve repair and a graft to replace my ascending aneurysm. I live in Bucks County ,Pa with my wife and 8 yr old son . Obviously I'm nervous ,sometimes think I'm crazy as my aneurysm is 4.8 cm and I've been told I can wait, but I decided to get it over with while I'm still relatively young (45). Just wanted to say thanks
Deb Bialecki posted a note for Kenny that says:
Saw your journal post today. It made me feel a bit better.... I'm scheduled for mitral valve repair on May 22, 2014.
Similar to your story - got diagnosed with a murmur a number of years back and they kept following it (had mild regurg at time of diagnosis). Nov 2013 was told it was now severely leaking and needed to get fixed while I still felt good and was asymptomatic (for the most part). I'm relatively young (just turned 48 this March) so everyone seems to think I'll bounce back without an issue.
Had shoulder surgery just after Christmas 2013 and have been going through that recovery and physical therapy process. Still getting strength and full range of motion back - but think I'm ready for the heart surgery now.
Thanks for sharing your story.
Glad to hear you are doing so well.
I'm originally from New Jersey (born in Rahway, raised in Freehold, worked in Trenton for a number of years) so it made me happy to see a fellow Jerseyan (?) do well and recover.
Sandy Wummer posted a note for Kenny that says:
congrats Kenny. I am coming up on a year May 9 for my first surgery. I too sometimes forget i ever had surgery and my last one was 9 months ago, I am losing weight and getting off more medication. I work out and feel in better shape now than before..the only weight training i haven't been cleared for is bench pressing. life is good and im grateful for Penn. haven't been released yet, i think they are going to keep me for a few years.. best to you. dont forget to post once in a while,
Travis Watson posted a note for Kenny that says:
Kenny, You are in a very similar situation than I was/am. Please read my journal to see what all I've done before and after surgery. I am very much convinced that very strenous exercise has caused and or worsed my regurgitation before and after surgery.
Prior to surgery my MR (Mitral Regurgitation) was severe. 1 month after it was mild. And 6 months post op, after months of hard exercise, my MR returned to upper levels of moderate. I still feel great but the echos show otherwise. Since June I have been exercising lightly and keeping a chart of my echo tests to see if my MR returns down to mild. I have also been keeping track of one other person in a similar situation of yours and mine. Would you mine sharing your echo data with me? This will help me confirm or rule out my theory that intense excercise can cause or accelerate valve damage. If you are willing to share this info we can do it over personal email. The numbers I am interested in are your regurgitation volume, your left Atrium and Ventricle measurements, and Blood pressure. All of this from echos you have had before and after surgery. You can message me if you want more details on my theory.
Svetlomir Ivanov posted a note for Kenny that says:
Kenny,don`t you think that to much exercises could be harmful for the new-repaired valve,do you? Be careful about that..moreover to much running can cause later knee`s pain
b posted a note for Kenny that says:
You never stop inspiring me. Watching you these past six months has been amazing. I love that now we are training partners instead of couch potatoes. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for making this decision; I would be lost without you. xo
sandy wummer posted a note for Kenny that says:
glad to hear you are doing so well. I had my surgery(the first) around the time you did May 8th then after the endocarditis I had the second on Aug 8th. I agree, life has been great and though i sent through some really rough times, now I am feeling "back to normal". i went back to work last week, 4 weeks after my last IV infusions that i received for 6 weeks. take care Kenny!
Jim Jones posted a note for Kenny that says:
So glad you are doing so well! You will be one of my role models I take with me on Tuesday as I enter Mt. Sinai for my mitral valve repair. Keep it up, Kenny!
Svetlomir Ivanov posted a note for Kenny that says:
Hi Kenny,could you tell me if you have elevated blood pressure before surgery?
Also,do you used to have strenuous physical activity and what type? By the way I am very glad when I read your recovery is successful!
Jim Jones posted a note for Kenny that says:
Best of success in your 5k tomorrow. Enjoy the whole experience. I enjoyed reading your journal. It was quite helpful and moving.
I will have my mitral valve repaired in November. Your story had helped.
All the best!
Sandy Wummer AVR 5//9/13 posted a note for Kenny that says:
I will be going back to work also...(Aug 1sti) You seem to be way ahead of me with exercising, I am doing 40 minutes of exercise and then 40 of lifting... I am really light right now, but building slowly. Chest and back seem to be my weakest areas. (no problem with legs, biceps and triceps). I totally agree with you about being home. Im going to miss the freedom when I go back to work. Ive caught up on movies, books and shopping!! Most days I dont even feel like I had any surgery. Im still on some cardicac meds (Atenelol, Lasix, a statin and a baby aspirin 2 x a day). l think ill be on those for a while. Glad you are doing so well... keep posting sometimes...
You are one week ahead of me and your walking is great! I have been a bit hesitant since my heartbeat is irregular at times. (the cardioliogist adjusted my meds but thinks this is fairly normal). Pain is minimal. One thing surgery has done is giive me a new appreciation for the little things in life. Maybe slowing me down for a while was a blessing in disguise. Happy 46th birthday!!!
Kenny! I am just seeing this for the first time and I am so glad you are doing this. I am sure it will be great for your recovery, plus I have been interested to hear about your experience but haven't wanted to pester you with questions!
Anyway, you should know that despite us being far away, we are pulling for you in a big way and so happy to hear you are doing well.
I'm catching up on HVJ. May 25th will mark my 1 yr anniversary of OHS for ruptured mitral valve. They were able to repair mine as well though I had chosen a tissue valve as the back up plan. Glad to hear your repair was a success. Your girls are cute and it was sweet that one gave you here blankie. Best wishes for your continued progress in recovery.
Congrats to you on completing this critical part of your journey.I'll be happy to share my cardiac rehab experience with you,anytime. ...Al Z. ( email@example.com or call me on my cell 508-641-0010 if you wish)
they told me that the
contortions they put your body in for the surgery can crete the orthopedic issues for a while. and yours is not the first posting ive seen about skin issues. i have no idea on that. I know the solutions they use in the heart/lung may "surface" after a few weeks. our bodies are a miraculous machine that recoup in wonderful ways. Just wondering how did you know you were in a fib?
I feel you on day 9, I slept almost all day and had a sudden drop in energy. I can attribute mine to overexert the day before. I went to AFib for 2 hours, but after a quick visit to local ER , my Doctor got things straightened out for a bit, for 2 days no more AFIB . I had some tingling in random fingers and toes, I also notice when I dream latley my hands are very animated during the dream, strange indeed...best of luck
Kenny,great to hear how well you are progressing! Thank you for taking the time to post your comments.I am having surgery at Cleveland Clinic June 25.Of course I am very nervous.It is reassuring to read your journal.Wishing you a speedy recovery,Debbie
Ken,keep up the positivity. My wife had aortic valve replacement at cleveland clinic 3 years ago and her energy level has picked up appreciably. She is 60 and may have to do it (surgery) again since she has a heart murmur. She hopes to lose some weight as this is usually for everyone. We feel prayer is a great aid to reduce stress etc. as many studies are also proving. We even have a small yorke,dashound mix who lowers our blood pressure as well as provides us with company and amusement. Denny
Hi Kenny. it's my 2nd day postop. I was only in ICU i night and also had the vent for 6 hours. They said i woke up pretty quick.Hated the vent but as soon as that was out i felt better. Im on 3rd floor Cupp. brand new rooms. nursing care is excellent. you were right food is lousy. had my swan, chest tube and aline removed yesterday (not too bad) and today the pacer wires and Blakely chest tube removed. that burned a bit. every-time my heart skips a beat i get nervous but they are so reassuring here. im glad to be on the other side of surgery but it isn't as bad as I had projected. im glad you are doing well, i cant do the percocet it makes me nauseated. Im doing IV Torodol and really like that... perks me up. continue to take care of yourself, and keep posting your progress.
Kenny - you've made it through the worst part - by far! I am 7 weeks post op and feeling really good! After surgery, I felt worse than I expected that I would, but then I got better much faster than I expected. Go at the pace that feels right and make sure to give yourself a lot of slack!
Will do Kenny. as soon as i can I will post. Im really quite frightened. I am so glad you are impressed with HUpenn. I have been down a few times and also have been pleased with the process. Im afraid of the pain and waking up on a vent. Its reassuring to know you did this and understand my fears. I have to be there at 11am tomorrow.
Good news about getting out of the hospital...big step forward!
Not sure you should be too concerned about pain med addiction. Once i felt the pain ease up, I had no problem whatsoever backing off. Highest priority now is to manage the pain to help with your recovery.
Kenny! wonderful you are finally on th other side of the surgical part of this.. sorry you had a bumpy road so far. Im having some anxiety and some fear.... I have surgery tomorrow am. you will be leaving Penn when im coming in.! For now Kenny im sure your pain meds are needed to allow freedom of breathing. You have been through a lot..Thanks for posting and praying every day gets better for you.
Hang in there Kenny. Each day that goes by helps with your improvement. I'm 7 weeks out from a mitral valve repair but it was rough. Visual disturbances, memory issues, anger, depression all those great things. But the main thing to keep in mind is your on the other side and just take your recovery slow.
Hi, im about 6 days ahead of you! Im sure you are still reeling from the whole thing! me too. but it does get better. Have you hit anger yet? its crazy. it just hits out of no place. suppose to last a few wks. I hope so
Good wishes and prayers headed your way. I had the same thing happen to me...thought they were calling me back to begin surgery prep, but my OR time was needed for a heart transplant. I learned later that day that I would have to wait 3 more days to do it again. Not every surgeon can do a transplant.... I knew my valve job was going to be a breeze!! Yours too.
Hi Kenny! Best of luck being sent your way for your surgery tomorrow. I had mitral valve regurgitation and minimally invasive repair for it a little over 10 years ago in 2002. Soon it will all be behind you. :)
Wow kenny. I feel for you. I never considered something like that.its amazing how there is always someone in more need than we are. My cardiac cath is tomorrow at Penn i checkin at 630. Maybe ill run into you . Hope you have a nice relaxing day today.
Best of luck tomorrow Kenny!
I too had my Mitral valve repaired just nine short weeks ago and wish to encourage you.
I pray Gods favor and abundant blessings to you, your family and entire hospital staff.
Good luck tomorrow! I am 1 week out and things have been good. Stay strong and positive and you will get thru this. You'll be in my prayers tonight and tomorrow and I'll check in on you throughout the day.
See you on the other side
Kenny, sorry i forgot to leave my name. its Sandy Wummer how long did it take from first knowing you needed it to your surgery date? R U getting a mechanical or tissue? how did you decide? knowing someone else getting surgery at Penn is so comforting to me..
Hi Kenny, I had successful MVP repair in Nov 2010 at Cleveland Clinic via Robotic Surgery. The procedure used really depends on your anatomy...trust your surgeon as they will do what is best for you with the best possible outcome. I found doing relaxation exercises and visualizing future events helped...like maybe an outing with your daughter and then really doing this after recovery. Mine was going on a hike in the rockies with my son. Eight months after my surgery we did just that! Let me know if I can answer any questions. I'll be praying for you!
Hi Kenny. Im probably going to have my surgery at Penn too. Im seeing Dr Hargrove next Monday for consultation then a cath then surgery. Only found out yesterday I need an aortic valve. My cardiologist picked Penn and the surgeon...This is all moving pretty fast. You are the first on line contact I've made. I think they said will tell me after the cath if I can have the less invasive surgery . I pray the best for you. Thanks for posting it really helps to not feel so alone.
I had same surgery at HUP 4 years ago with Dr Bavaria, at age 58.
I can't say enough about what a positive experience I had at the Hospital. You are right...it is a well oiled machine. And their protocols really work to assure a good recovery.The hospital staff are amazing...they can't do enough for you!
ICU was comforting...they remove breathing tube as soon as possible upon awakening. No pain issues, just unbelievable fatigue! I returned to work part-time 3 weeks after hospital discharge, vacationed in Florida 5 weeks after discharge. As another blogger told me before my surgery, "It is not a picnic, but it isn't as bad as you think"!
Had Mitral Valve Repair in NYC in August of 2012 and swam 6000 yards this morning and feeling great. I'm 51 and my diagnosis came out of nowhere fast with no noticeable symptoms but I am really glad I got it done and you will be glad too. Agree with others that you need to give yourself time to recover as it takes a while. I was glad that my job, financial planning, was not physical but I still took 4 to 6 weeks almost completely off so give yourself even more space if you have a physical job. If you take it at the right pace you'll heal better. Within two weeks you'll be amazed how you rebound from that first day after open heart surgery (the breathing tube advice from others is spot on) and eventually you will actually feel great again AND you won't have a leaking heart valve hanging over your head. I am still improving a little every couple of weeks in my swimming and think that even though I was symptom free I will actually be faster than before my diagnosis within a year after the surgery. I'll be rooting for you and praying that everything goes very well as I am sure it will.
Dave Whitmore in CT