Gabrielle Stinson posted a note for Natalie that says:
So sorry to read that you feeling down Natalie. I had a bad day yesterday and I have not even had my surgery yet! lol! I am just so ova feeling fatigued and pissed off. I was really happy to see that you have so many followers on this site all giving their love and support to help and heal you. Just give yourself the same nurturing as you would to Owen! Lotsa love G x
Ricky Laufer posted a note for Natalie that says:
Natalie,You have been through quite a trauma..........GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK.Depression is frequently part of the healing.Talk to your Dr.I had had depression long before surgery(10+years ago).I told my Dr.that I needed a small dosage (50-100 mg)of Zoloft......That seemed to help get over all of the healing process.There was no Adam .....now we have him.Write and tell us how you are,as often as you need to......Talk therapy helps,ALOT!!!
Michelle Wanke posted a note for Natalie that says:
Hang in there! Depression is a normal part of recovery. I'm almost 12 weeks out from Mitral Valve repair and still have days when I'm a little blue. As someone else said, keep posting on here, it's a great place to share concerns and to vent. I don't know how I would have gone through my surgery without others who had been there and understood my feelings.
Leslie Baugher posted a note for Natalie that says:
Glad to hear the surgery and hospital stay went well and you are home!!! I am sorry to hear about the depression! I had a day that I just had to sleep and be quiet! I kept reminding myself that there is depression sometimes post-op and I just gave myself a bit of time to rest and then right back to it. I also have found myself focusing on how miraculous things are! I guess sort of stopping and smelling the roses, really listening to the birds chirping and appreciating things more.
Keep fighting!!! Look at Owen and say, I made it through child birth and motherhood, I can make it through anything and come out ahead:-)
Linda Johnson posted a note for Natalie that says:
Read Or re-read Adam's chapter on cardiac depression. I too never expected it, having never experienced depression in my life, EVER. It does get better. I tried to focus on gratitude and that helped. Blessings,
Ricky posted a note for Natalie that says:
Hi Natalie,Happy you are doing well.DO NOT OVER DO........Hope you and your Son are going to have a great summer.Your Son will now have a new and improved Mama.Take care,will be watching for more posts.
Renee posted a note for Natalie that says:
Hi Natalie, My names is Renee and to answer your question. I could not wear a bra because it closed my surgery site and it hurt. I did how ever find those bras that you can find at rite-aid the pink blue brown ones I could were those without hurting and it was comfortable.
Just checking in to see how you are doing. I had mitral valve replacement 7.5 weeks ago. I have been driving and went out to dinner with friends last night. It does get better real quick. God speed for a quick recovery.
Hope you might be asleep by now.......Will say an extra prayer for your fast recovery.PS......If you read this before your surgery........The nurse gave me something to calm down,later asked me if I wanted an,''I don't give a shit pill'''.....I said what's that?She gave me one....and.......zzzzzz.........Good luck Kiddo.You are in good+(G-D)'s hands....Ricky
Good luck tomorrow. I had the same condition as you and had my surgery 4 weeks ago. Everyday has gotten better for me. You just have to take it easy and listen to your body. Prepare for the sneezes they are the worst. I will check in on you tomorrow and the upcoming days. If I can help you in anyway please Contact me.
I'm catching up on HVJ after having not been on in a while. I saw your post about nail polish and bras. Check out my journal, I have pics of my pre-op pedicure. I have never heard of finger or toe polish being an issue. Quite frankly all the nurses loved my toes! I believe I brought some XL bra tops with me. Also shortly after being home I don't recall the bra being an issue. I do agree you will love your heart pillow for a bit especially when you cough or sneeze. I know this can be a scary time, but you can get thru this. May 25th will mark my 1 yr anniversary for open heart surgery for ruptured mitral valve which they were able to repair. My scar doesn't really bother me. I always preferred V-neck shirts and will continue to wear them. Good luck Tuesday. I'll look for your updates.
I used the tape when laying down, not necessarily while walking. Don't laugh!! I used painters tape. I am sure there are better options but it was all I had at the time and it worked fine for me. I taped across the top and it was just enough to work against the force of gravity allowing me to rest. Good luck.
You were asking about bras.......I am also a full figured woman.....+ was 10+years when I had my mitro valve mechanical valve replacement @ 47.TAKE AN OLDER,STRETCHED OUT BRA.......you must wear it,even at bedtime.Your back will feel better.EASY to put on sweatshirts,and I had a zip up fleese jacket.....your arms may be sore.You will hopefully get a HEART PILLOW.....to keep with you,and use when you cough,or even use the bathroom.Try to get off pain pills as fast as you SAFELY can......don't be a hero. KEEP ON TICKIN,LIKE OUR BUDDY ADAM SAYS. Ricky
The idea of the sports bra is you put it on over your head. After your surgery they don't want you reaching behind your back. A sports bra doesn't have any clip in the back.
Hope this helps.
I wore a regular bra to the hospital the day of surgery and packed a couple sports bras. When they cleaned me up in ICU before moving me to a regular room, the nurses helped me put a sports bra and my own pj's.
I felt better with the sports bra on.
When I laid on my back (which I did for a very long time), it would feel like the incision was splitting apart. I wasn't ready to wear a bra so I used tape to hold everything together. Also, I was told not to wear polish, but I did used a clear polish and that was ok.
Hi Natalie! I am 11 days out from surgery and home for 5. You don't really need to bring much more that that except maybe a couple pairs of PJs and snacks. definitely snacks. Especially if the hospital you go to has lousy food. If you have someone who can go out and get you food too, even better.
Good luck the rest of the way! See you on the other side!
All the Best,
Hi Natalie, i brought a few soothing cough crops in case you get the postop sore throat that is common. I brought books and my own shampoo cause I wanted that "home" smell. Blistex for my lips was a must. Im going home today. happy to be going..
By the way Natalie, I want to report that after my Firstvalve repair at the Cleveland clinic in 1999 by Dr. Cosgrove, I actually was back watching my daughter's tennis game in high school outdoors in the bleachers here near atlanti ciry only eight days later. It was a tremendously positive experience in my life and the worst pain was only when they took off some Sticky things tape from my body. Ha. Admittedly my second surgery, at age 62, replacement of the aortic valve and the aorta arch and root was a full chest opening and much more complicated but truthfully not really much pain so don't worry about it. Lloyd
my name is nerida. i live in australia and was born with a BAV. this wasnt picked up until after 3 children and 1 misscarraige i decided to get my tubes tied at the age of 39. the anaethetist picked up a heart murmur and suggested i see a cardiologist after my little operation.
i saw the cardiologist on 25/04/2009....and he quized me nonstop about symptoms...i had absolutely none.after getting over the shock of a valve replacement, somewhere in the next 5 years, i pushed him to do something now...he said no, i had to wait for symptoms...he did however put me on the walking machine, just to shut me up..... he pulled me off after 3 mins, saying ÿou are smiling at me , you are talking to me, but your heart is telling me a whole different story,,,we need to do this now!!!!
i had my open heart surgery at the end of august 2009...the surgeon told me "iwas really bad" that my heart would have probably just stopped beating". if i hadnt had my tubes tied and been to the cardiologist, i wouldnt have made xmas 2009. i have 3 children, at the time they were 7, 14 and 16... i didnt really need to make a decision about what sort of valve as my cardiologist that i trusted implicitly suggested that given my age the best option was a mechanical one...
post surgery, i recovered rediculously well. i guess given my age and being very active definitey helped. i spent 8 days in hospital and 6 weeks recovering at home. i work in a preschool and was given the all clear to go back to work 8 weeks post op. i take warfarin every day (i dont have any side affects) i have blood test about every 8 weeks..
almost 4 years post op. with a slight zipper scar...
.i am on 7mg of warfarin, which is high, but that is what makes my body stable. i am told that there is a new tablet almost available which will do the same job as warfarin, but no blood tests....
i neat what i like...yes, greens, and garlic, drink if i feel like it, and have a busy life, iprobably dont excercise as much as i should but i am active chasing a room full of 4 year olds about.
take heart... life goes on
contact me if you have questions
KT again. I meant to tell you, I had my surgery in 2008 and am doing very well. Recovery can seem a little tuff at times and you may wonder, did anyone get the license plate number of the truck that hit me. ;-) You will recover fully and do great no matter which valve you choose. I am back at the fire station and still doing it.
All The Best,
Good luck with your surgery. I had a defective aortic valve, 3rd cusp wasn't fully developed and a 5.0 ascending aortic aneurysm. I never knew till I was 47. Asymptomatic the whole time. It was only due to an injury I suffered that they looked and listened enough to hear the murmur, as it was so faint. I went with an Onyx mechanical valve and am on warfarin. Don't really like the extra bleeding I get from a minor cut but I would rather deal with that than have another surgery down the road. I actually test my own INR levels at home now which is great. Being a Fire Medic for a long time gave me the upper hand on knowledge about what to expect from warfarin. Again all the best. KT
I was also born with a BAV and I know someday I will need the surgery too. I believe you are so right in saying the waiting is the hardest part. I will be following your posts and look forward to reading about your recovery. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Leticia
Natalie..i had my aortic valve repaired at 49 in 1999 and 10 weeks ago had a tissue valve replacment and they basically replaced my aorta arch and ascending aorta at U of P dr bavaria, ..i am 62 lawyer, doinng great...i too have faith in technology and whatever i may need 10 or more years down the road...dont worry about it.......LLoyd
In Europe is used medicine called Sintrom,instead US Coumadin in case of mechanical valve- people in Internet says that it significantly better than US Coumadin....of course,side effects were reported,also,but not so heavy as Coumadin`s ones ....And I am asking myself- is not available information in US? Obviously local American pharmaceutical company Coumadin`s manufacturers are not willing to lose their market position and doctors are maybe suppress its use...At least,I think so,because I can not find another explanation ....But generally speaking,I think tissue valve is better choice for the people,needing valve replacement
i just saw my surgeon for the first time today. I made the same decision for the same reason. im going tissue as well. friday i get my cardiac cath and carotid dopplers and next thursday the surgery!!! i feel much better about this since i met the team. Mine is May 9th...
Natalie, your story is very familiar! I am 41 and do not like the idea of Coumadin! I am going with a tissue valve as well and am at peace with my choice! I have 2 weeks left until the big day and just wish it would get here so I can be one of the members talking recovery:-). We can do it!!
Bovine Valve vs. Mechanical(Pros and Cons):
• Give up Physical Job or Activity:
• I want to be able to work on Tree Farm, yard, etc.
• Go Deer Hunting/perhaps fishing one day
• Football officiating maybe?
• Do all this without my wife worrying about me bleeding to death.
• I can hurt myself somewhat quite often…….
• 1 of 100 on cumiden can have stroke/bleeding
• Chance of stroke less with tissue vs. mechanical
• Monthly blood test
• Cost of medicine/forget to take medicine
• Bleeding while shaving, etc
• Major accident: friend's mother on cumiden that bleed to death.
• Future Elective Surgeries/Dental work
• Past History of Ulcer
-Fellow worker had mechanical valve (16years) still had replacement done.
• Probably gets a trip to Vegas is he “sells” 5 mechanical valves:
• I really think the cardiologist is ok with any decision I make (I was unsure before Secretary call today).
• He was “stand backish” during Surgeons visit, but walked in on the conversation.
• Did not communicate strong opinion back to me via secretary. She stated it was up to the surgeon to discuss questions, etc.
• Stating in initial visit that the “Surgery was not a big deal”…( so therefore I can do it twice)
• Gave me choice
• If it happened to him……. His choice is bovine. He would go through the Surgery twice, no question.
• His face, when discussing that the cardiologist had talked about Mechanical exclusively.
• Video from Hospital, about his parents.
• Cleveland Clinic, in 2009 performed 1,613 aortic replacement procedures, 85% were biological
• Study on biologic valves show, in 40 year old, these valves have a 50% chance of lasting 15 years or longer without decline in function. (I am a little older so that might be a small plus?)
• In discussion on internet, Dr. Gillivov, Cleveland clinic, states that “advances in preservation of tissue valves where they could last 20 years, some do, but count of 10-15 years”; in conversation with 65 year old man, that is replacing valve after 10 years: leaves the option open for Mechanical valve at that age of 65.
-My overall health forward (quit my vices):
-Future surgical procedures for an easy fix, or future of biologic valves longevity.
- Fellow Worker stated “Put a God made valve in”
• Does not have to be replaced: Maybe…………..
• Get Mechanical the 2nd time, if advancements are made in blood thinner/valve
• Some clicking sound
Natalie, I had mitral valve replacement with a bovine tissue valve just 3 weeks ago. I. Am 62. My surgeon recommended the tissue valve because with mechanical valves you MUST be on Coumidin the rest of your life. Root canals,colonoscopys,etc are a HUGE BIG deal because you have to get off the Coumidin to have the procedure. With at tissue valve,Coumidin is only 6 mo. My dr said by the time I would need a new tissue valve, it would not be open heart but they would put a new tissue valve inside the old one . Hope this helps.
I wrestled with this issue for a long time myself.I'm 62 and was born with a bicuspid aortic valve that finally needed to be replaced.I researched this as much as I could and came to know that it really is a personal choice.There is no right or wrong decision here.I decided to go with a mechanical valve after an exhaustive search.I know that if I had gone with a tissue valve, that I would have to face surgery again down the road and that was the deciding factor in my choice.Know that there are more than one mechanical to choose from too.After discussing this with my cardiac surgeon, we both chose to go with the on-x valve. It's reassuring to me to know that this valve will outlive me, one and done as they say. This will be the hardest decision you'll have to make.Best of luck to you in your upcoming surgery.You'll be in my thoughts and prayers....
Al Zebal AVR,Maze 1/17/13
I am 56 in great health. I work out 3 x a week, dont smoke or drink and am active.
What facts led you to consider the tissue valve? I have to wait till my cardiac cath to find out if Ihave any vessel disease . My dad and grandmother had aneurysms and my home base cardiologist said they would know after my cath. Did you have symptoms ?
Hi Nataliei Im in the same boat. I just found out yesterday I need an Aortic valve. My consultation at Penn in Phili is next monday. Apprantly i need to decide on a vlave as well. Mechanical with blood thinners forever or a bio that doesnt last as long. I sure dont want to go through surgery AGAIN in 10 years!! but thinners forever? How do we make this kind of decision. I cant even decide what to wear to work! Im leaning toward the mechanical. from what ive read many people happy with it. I'm still crying. and afraid and upset. I am counting on someone saying something that will help me decide on a valve. Then i will have to be at peace with it. I hope you find your decision and are at peace as well.
Hi Natalie, I am 50 years old and had my bi-cuspid aortic valve replaced last year on March 17, 2012. My surgery was not scheduled and planned in advance as I had envisioned. My stenosis and regurg. Had been severe for about a year but I was not having symptoms until the week before my appt for follow-up on my 3 month echo. I felt extremely fatigued, light headed at times and palpitations with minimal activity. My heartrate was unusually fast and these symptoms were new. I ended up with a St Jude Bovine valve and open heart surgery rather then minimally invasive as I had hoped. The reason for open heart was to check out my pulmonic valve after it spasmed during the cardiac cath lab. All in all I am glad I did not get the mechanical valve because of Coumadin. I want to continue an active lifestyle without the worries about bleeding. I understand the Bovine valve may last up to 20 years and I anticipate advances during that time that may not involve open heart surgery. I recovered fine, loved cardiac rehab and feel stronger then I ever remember feeling. I hope you are feeling calmer but think that this is very difficult in the best of circumstances. Julie
Hey Natalie...welcome to the club...one none of us wanted to join, but here we all are. The bad news...looks like you are going to have to have surgery. The good news...it was found and it can be fixed, so you can go on living your life. The other good news...you have found a tremendous group here on HVJ. The extra other good news...you can do this and will do great!!
I, too, had a BAV and ascending aortic aneurysm. Was fixed about a year and half ago and came thru with flying colors. Feel free to read my journal if you want.
Anyway, Natalie you are going to be fine and we are all here to offer any help we can be. Don't be afraid to ask.
I agree with everything Connie writes below. We have all been on the same terrifying roller coaster you are on after being diagnosed. The whole thing is overwhelming and almost surreal, yet we all manage to get to the other side. Definitely read Dave Van Buren's journal (be sure to start in the beginning) and many of your questions will be answered. Being informed is the best thing you can do to prepare for your surgery, so read everything you can.
You are still in the initial shock and denial stage after hearing you need surgery. You will eventually come to accept it and do what you need to do. As Connie said below, it won't be nearly as bad as you are imagining!
Godspeed and good luck!
Welcome to HVJ... you will find much knowledge and support on this site!
Like you, I had a BAV. The difference...I did not know until I was in the hospital last Feb having a right knee replacement! I have two physicals a year...and still the doctors never mentioned to have an echo...I did know I had a murmur for 6-8 yrs, but I worked in a dr's office where alot of patients had murmurs...and I can honestly say...not one of our patients ever had OHS..... so I thought a murmur would mean no problems for me too....wrong!!!
Like you and all of us here....I went through every emotion you can think of....shock, anger, fear....and I cried non stop for days after my diagnosis. Today I am almost 9 mos post surgery....and I can tell you I am so glad I spent every free minute reading these journals. It helped me conquer my fears. I found strength I never knew I had...and made many friends along the way.....Please read DVB's journal...he has a wealth of info....he is our "resident doctor"...& has done sooo much research. I also bought Adam's book...lots of great info there too! This site is a wonderful tool..... use it ...and "be not afraid"......the surgery is much, much easier than you are imagining.
Good luck to you on this journey....I can't imagine being a single mom facing this big ole scary surgery.....but I have a strong faith.....I truly believe HE will bring you through this OHS to have a wonderful & healthy life with your child.
God Bless...and keep the faith....and of course....read...read....read...these journals!!!! :)