Sorry to hear about you having to have your valve replaced for a second time. Not Sure if you remember me I had my valve replaced the day after thanksgiving in 2010. Guess what 13 months later had it replaced again on December 26th. The 1st valve had excessive leakage around the stitching ring, so far the 2nd one is holding up great. Now if i can get the rest of my body to cooperate i'll be great because in June they found a small spot of cancer on my left kidney, that has been removed now and the outlook is good since it was found so early (very small 1.5cm normally it isn't found until 4cm or larger). not sure if you have had your second valve done yet but the recovery for the second surgery went a lot better than the 1st for me. Hang in there it will get better :) Take Care Prayers for a quick and total recovery.
I had a feeling something was going on with your heart. I hadn't heard back from you on my last couple of emails. I'm not sure that I scrolled through your journal properly, because I never saw anything about whether you had a second surgery. Regardless - you have been and always will be in my heart and in my prayers. You were like a sister to me for so long. I just want you to get well and stay well.
I can't believe that I found you after all of these years.
To learn that you had heart valve surgery just a couple of months ago scared me at first, but remembering you as a
strong spirit, I soon realized that you'd come back better and stronger than ever.
You look great in your photo, Laurie. I will also treasure the memories of you.
I have been thinking about you so much these days and concerned that we haven't seen a post from you. I sure hope everything is ok......I had to stay in the hospital 3 extra days due to a blood disorder. Still working on resolving that. I am very tired and have headaches very frequently. The only time I have been out is for follow up doctors appointments because I am paranoid of being in places with lots of people....I don't want to get sick!! I sneeze once in a while now, probably from the dog, and OMG....not fun! I tried walking outside one day, but NJ has been unseasonably cold, so, that didn't work out.
I continue to pray for you and your complete recovery as I do for all our new friends here.
I know there are many who would love to hear from you.
Take care, Be well, and Merry Christmas!
Hope your recovery is going well. I am week out of surgery and have been home for 2-3 days now. looking forward to hearing how you are doing. I was worried about coming home and what if something happened, but the hardest part for me is the boredom from not being able to do anything yet. it has been hard for me to sit at the computer for any length of time either hence the long period since i have updated my own journal.
Take care and always keep your thoughts positive and we shall all get through this.
I hope the absence of an update means that you are feeling great and waaay too busy. At least I hope you are home being waited on hand and foot by husband and sisters and cuddling with your beloved dogs.
Well, Hello there, Sweet Lady!
I've been thinking about & sending warm energy to you, and your family every day. Do what you can to sleep and breathe deeply and often~ grins. It will be summer before you know it.
Happy Thanksgiving! I love that your sisters are keeping us up to date on your progress. Be strong, this bumpy part of the journey is going to be well worth it in the end (and you probably won't even remember it!). Know that everyone at Friendship is keeping you in their thoughts. I will work it out with Howard to get Punky and Dr. Cross together in the next week. Kim
The surgery is behind you and the recovery has begun.....It sounds like you got through it all with flying colors.
I was interested to hear about the options available for the choice in valves (tissue) I didn't realize there are different sizes depending on the person.
Looking forward to your updates and hearing about your successes.
I'm 5 days away!
Even though I had contacted CC to inform them that I would not be traveling there for a consult, the wonderful people there contacted me to inform me that the physicians there reviewed my case anyway and that I should not wait to have my valve replacement; time is really of the essence considering my condition, so I am really happy I am scheduled for next week so there will be no more concerns about my survival.
Pretty serious stuff!!
Warm regards and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family...
Very best of luck with your recovery. I read your story and also was surprised when I was told I needed surgery although I had been forewarned a few times by my cardiologist, I never realized that fixing the problem involved such intensive surgery. I thought it would be like getting a stent.
I hope you'll find, as I did, that the chest pain only lasts a few days--remarkably! The back pain can be more persistent but is intermittent. Don't rush home. Adam's book says that people who stay an extra day often do better once they're home.
Again, a wonderful, uneventful recovery.
Terry Chase (71)
This is Laurie's sister Stephie again. The operation took place this morning, was completed in 3 hours, and was a great success! Laurie was able to get a 21mm bovine valve (magnum?) which was the one she wanted. She did very well in surgery and the doctor said her heart looked great. She is in ICU tonight and we are staying with her in shifts. The hospital is very pretty, clean and spacious, and the nursing staff is terrific! I am very impressed with this place. Laurie wanted you all to know that everything went well, and we will all be posting updates as she continues recovery.
Patti, Stephi and Howard......Lots of prayers going for Laurie on my end this morning (and in the middle of the night!). I am confident she will do well; please call if there's anything I can do for the 3 of you. cj
Just wanted to say hi and good luck today during surgery. I am sure everything will go great for you and will have a speedy recovery :). My Prayers and thoughts are with You.
In 3 days it will be my turn to have the same thing done to me. looking forward to seeing how you are doing.
Just wanted to say hi once more before all the activity starts for you. Good luck with everything. You start have a new life in a couple of days!! We all sincerely care about you and wish you all the best. You have a wonderful doctor in a great hospital. The rest is in God's hands.
Can't wait to hear how well you are doing in a couple of days! and then it will be my turn......
Be well, stay calm, have faith.
HI Laurie: I haven't got the answer to the pericardium question. I will meet with my surgeon on Monday evening and I want to research this some more. One thing more I researched is the position of the arms during surgery. They shouldn't be at your side but bent at the elbows like your being asked to stick em up during a robbery. Elbows should be elevated 20 centimeters off the table. This prevents brachial plexus neuropathy. In laymans terms your pinky finger and ring finger can go numb - tingly or buring and this can last months or years.There is a blog with hundreds of people who have this after open heart surgery. I did find out my surgeon does this positioning and I would think most surgeons do but ask. I have got to stop this research business or I will go nuts. I worked today 12 hours and am ready for bed. I hope you have a wonderful Sunday. JOAnne
I just figured out how to respond to these journals. My surgery is Nov 22 - Monday at Columbia Presbyterian in NY - Dr Allan Stewart -director of aortic surgery there - will be my surgeon. I've been reading the blogs and Adam's book - and making lots of notes.
I'm trying to keep myself positive and am now anticipating the recovery - I completely step over the actual surgery. The numbers are in our favor.
How come you haven't been by to help clean my house?
Just wanted to know if your sisters were going to post an update during and after your surgery so we know what's going on?
Still sending you good vibes and hugs and love!!
I am on the same boat as you are but mine got rescheduled a day earlier for Monday Nov22. I have my Cardiac cath tomorrow and hope that evrything goes well.I am also very anxious and want it to be over soon.My family is also coming on Saturday and would stay with my husband through my surgery to give him moral support. He keeps saying that he doesnt need anybody but my heart doesnt agree to that and made sure that there is somebody with him.I dont know what else to do but sincerely pray for everyboody going through this. I dont think evrybody understands how much ever they try, except the people going through.Hope your time also goes fast and it is already Tuesday and are out of surgery
Hey Laurie: It's JoAnne. We share the same day of surgery. I like you are having a very strange life right now. I'm still working cause it keeps my mind off of the 23rd. I guess my fear is that dang breathing tube. I hope thats removed soon. I hope you keep in contact on the journal. Would love to share and compare our experiences. It sounds like you have lots of support. We will look back on this and think all that apprehension was for naught. Stay calm and we will talk soon. JOAnne
Just wanted you to know that i will be praying for and thinking about you next week. I'm sure you must have some anxiety building; I do too! I've started planning activities and trips for next year to keep me occupied and energized for what's around the corner after all of this. I was thinking of bringing my laptop too, but on the instruction sheet for the hospital they say no valuables. I'll have to get my kids to update my journal and fill me in on everyone.
Looking forward to hearing from you when you can; I know everything will be just fine.
Talk to you soon.
I mostly grew up in Hoffman Estates which is next to Schaumburg. My older sister lived in Evanston for a little while. My aunts, uncles, cousins still live in various suburbs. My grandparents lived near N. Damen and N. Milwaukee Ave. I spent many summers there.
Unfortunately we moved away when I was in high school and somehow I ended up in Western MA.
Since I am 42, you enjoyed a different Chicago then I did but equally wonderful.
It is a small world!
I may be having my AVR around the same time as you.....sounds like sometime in the next month. Went to the first of what was supposed to be 2 consults. This one was in New York (I live in NJ) and the other was supposed to be at the Cleveland Clinic. After meeting the Doc at NY Prsesbyterian/Weil Cornell (WHEW!!!) I decided that he was wonderful and it is going to be enough of a hassle just orchestrating the procedure there, let alone Cleveland in Nov. Early Dec. with weather and holiday travel issues. Our son lives about 15 blocks from the hospital, so my hubs can stay there overnight and not have to drive back and forth or stay in a hotel. And if our other son wants to visit, he's in Boston so that's not too bad a trip, weather permitting. In speaking with the doctor, I decided I want a bio valve, which he seemed more pro about; I will let you know when I have my surgery date and we can be recouperating/commiserating buddies!!!
You are SO BLESSED to have sisters who will be with you to help with the recovery. I will prob get an aide from an agency for when the hubs is at work at least the first week or two, but that will be fine (not like a Sister though!!!!) I don't know about you, but it stinks having to have this done around the holidays, but what can you do!!! I am equally anxious to just get it done and put it behind me.
Keepin touch and I'll do the same!
I completely understand the waiting. My surgery was delayed a month because of an emergency the surgeon had and then he was on vacation! I nearly pulled all my hair out! The only thing that seemed to help calm me was long walks and finishing projects around the house. I made a list and stuck to the order of importance. Some how completing and crossing them out helped. Eventually, mostly after my pre-op tests, I found moments of peace. It is extremely hard. It is good you have family. I also have sisters. Let them be there for you. For me that was hard at first but now I see how much we all have grown from the experience.
One day at a time. As hard as that seems right now. I wish you peace, strength and positive energy.
Amy Szalony week 4 recovery
First off thank you very much for your encouragement. I am hoping and praying that all of us who are going through this come out of this and lead productive and meaningful lives. I do have to drive a couple of hours to Boston and heard good things about the place too. My cardiologist recommended this surgeon who has like 40 years experience in performing cardiac surgeries. I do have a lot of family who are ready drop everything and come and help me whenever necessary. Every body is taking turns to come and spend a week helping me out.I am eternally grateful to them for doing this and really appreciate their thoughfulness. When i heard that you are from FortCollins I could not help but wonder how small the world really is, because my Sister in law teaches at Colorado State university and lives in FC and I have visited her quite a few times. She is my biggest support system and is coming here to give her brother(my husband) moral support during the surgery and will return back again for a month in Dec during the holidays.
will keep in touch with you and would certainly come and eat at your restaurant next time I visit FC. I am also very nervous and dont know how i will spend my time next week since i am off from work from Monday. I aam an accountant in an insurance firm.
Have I got a deal for you! Come on over and we can start doing lots of house work and your mind will be filled with all kinds of positive thoughts--like get me out of here! I'm sure we can keep you very busy and involved.
Just wanted to add one more comment (seriously) about your surgery especially after reading all the wonderful replys that you have been receiving. Just a thought but make sure you research your anathesiologist almost as well as your surgeon. Big differences in methods and final results after surgery. You probably have done this already but in case you haven't it might pay off later. Let us know if you need anything!
I was doing heavy weights and very strenuous machine-assisted and isometric training for 5 years. When my cardiologist told me it was not advisable for heart-valve patients to exercise that strenuously with heavy weights and defninitely NOT isometrics, I asked the owner of the studio. At first he said the cardiologist was wrong and that the exercise was heart-beneficial, but then he consulted his own cardiological consultant who agreed. They changed my routine to remove all the isometrics and the very heavy weights, and I still worked with the trainer, but my cardiologist was not happy and said I should only be doing light weights and not pushing my self to the point of heavy breathing. Of course I also believe it matters how bad the valve is. I don't know if I made my condition worse or helped it with the heavy exercise, but once the valve got really compromised and began to shut down, it was clearly not in my best interest to push myself to the point of exhaustion. Have you asked your cardiologist about the exercise? I'm sure each case is different.
Best of luck with your surgery. In a few weeks you'll wonder why you worried!
Like you i have been looking into the side effects of Coumadin and was not thrilled with the possible side effects. My surgeon said that the coumadin alternatives are at least 3 years out, and from what i have read it sounds like it may be longer. I have also decided to go with a tissue valve for my surgery, even though my cardiologist's have recommended going with a mechanical. I will be going with a cow valve, the surgeon also asked if i wanted to participate in a study that he is a part of to see the life expectancy of a cow valve vs a pig valve. Maybe my next valve will be a mechanical valve but we will have to evaluate that sometime in the future;). my thoughts and prayers will be with you on the 23rd as i prepare for my surgery on the 26th. Its hard to imagine going through surgery when you feel fine 95% of the time, with only very minor symptoms (things you might not even consider symptoms if you didn't know of the problem)of having any sort of problem.
I did not have valve replacement but did have an aortic graft. I wish you peace, and positive energy.
I had my surgery at MA General Hospital and everyone from the Doc's, nurses, and aides was wonderfully helpful. My advice is to ask lots of questions or if you can not think of question then simply ask them to repeat what they said so you can hear it again and the info sinks in. It is amazing how fuzzy my ability to process information was after surgery.
A wonderful thing that my Doc's did is after telling me all the medical info, they would say, this is normal you are not in danger or this is normal but serious so we will be conservative. Since I have had some after surgery complications I find myself saying this feels scary and serious are you worried or is this just a bump in the road I will over come. It helps me put what is happening into context.
Three other quick pieces of advice. I sweated profusely after surgery from the anesthesia, lasix and pain meds. My dad walked the streets of Boston to find me a small table top fan and it ran 24/7. I left it with my room mate who was experiencing the same symptoms.
Depending on your breast size, they will pull badly on you incision. Ask for an extra surgical bra so you can have one clean. I have to wear mine 24/7 or the pressure is too painful.
Use this marvelous blog. I can not tell you how much my spirits were lifted just to go on line and see a quick note from family or friends.
Holyoke MA firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi Laurie: I too am going in for a valve replacement on November 23. I have Kaiser and it is a brand new heart center. Kaiser has you go in the day before the surgery at 2 pm. They give you a tour of the operating room and ICU. I love my surgeon and feel really good about their protocols. You also receive a nurse manager who stays with you for 4 months and I have her private number. I can call her at any time. She actually assists with suturing in the operating room. Anyway thats my story. I hope you respond to me. I couldn't get logged in for some reason. My E-mail is fivewhls@comcast. net. I look forward to hearing from you. Joanne
Hi Laurie welcome to HVJ and all the wonderful support. I am a 3 X open heart congenital most recent mitral mechanical 3 months ago. It was nice that you had a choice. Good luck and I will continue to follow your progress throughout.
Susan V NC