So good to hear from you.
I, too, have chest pain from time to time. The sternum bothers a bit and my incision will ache, especially with bad weather approaching. My heart is enlarged some, too, and was told it was because it had to work so hard before the surgery. I also have developed a Thoracic aorta aneurysm. Nothing to be worried about, I've been told. Will keep an eye on it. So instead of going to the doctors once a year, I go every 3 months.
Keep telling your doctors, like they always say, the squeeky wheel get the oil, or something like that. Keep bugging, and they will check you out, just to keep your quiet. LOL!
I wish you all the best and keep us up to date on how things are going. Hopefully it is nothing, and just aches and pains that you will have.
All my best, Diana
Glad to read your latest. Sad though that things are still not perfect. I'm not sure how the Canadian system works, but are you able to get a second opinion on your chest pain? It may or may not be heart related, hopefully it is not. But not knowing for sure has got to be rough.
I don't know about you, but whenever I take my car in because something is wrong and I tell my mechanic what I think it is, I'm wrong. Maybe if you can take the attitude that "I've got this pain, dunno what is causing it, but I want it to stop" instead of something like "somethings wrong with my heart" it might open up some simple tests that will be conclusive. I know I get some minor sternum pain and muscle pain from time to time. It would bother me a lot if it were chronic. I think thats a common complaint of folks on this site.
I'm not going to say to trust your doctor 100%, but consider what they say as fairly good evidence. If a couple of doctors say the same thing that's more evidence. If you do a simple test that confirms what they say, that's even more evidence.
I think a key thing is to go to another physician and ask them to do an exam and some simple tests. Hopefully that will rule out your worst fears. And if it turns out there is a real problem you'll be that much closer to getting it fixed.
We're pulling for you buddy, we know its been a long road. You've got a beautiful family and we want you to enjoy life with them.
Hi there, I agree with Fran, your symptoms should be taken seriously. I can totally relate to what you are going trough, I had almost the same symptoms, so I went to emergency and they did a blood test, an x ray, and an ekg, all showed that my heart had improved and everything was ok.
But I had those symptoms again, after several more tests I discovered that while my heart had returned to a normal size and evey test came back super good, I was suffering from anxiety and panic attacks. My panic attacks caused chest pains, difficulty breathing, numbness on my hands, arms even part of my face, it also made my blood pressure go up and I had palpitations, at first I found it difficult to accept that panic attacks and anxiety do this but it does. I hope that you are able to get the tests you need to give you peace of mind or to find out what's going on.
Hi Ricardo, I am sorry to hear you are feeling well and are having problems. I believe you should see another doctor. I understand there are restrictions in Canada when it comes to healthcare, but you know your body and you need to find someone to listen to you. I will keep you in my prayers. God bless!
The note from the 27th was from me. I know you are in Canada, but is your doctor a cardiologist? If not, maybe that's who you should be seeing to have some tests done to get to the bottom of all your current heart problems. I think your symptoms should be taken seriously by the doctor. Keep us up to date.
Yep, one of those down times. Its so early in your recovery, Ricardo, you must give yourself some time. Your body went through a tramatic experience, and its trying to recover from that. My surgery was 13 months ago, and I still have some ups and downs. More ups than down at this point. You may be lifting too much too soon, too, you will certainly feel the effects of that, too. You'll get there, takes time. Try not to get discouraged. I know, its hard, been there, done that. We all have, but I have to tell you that I feel wonderful now. You have so much to look forward to, all in good time.
I rode my motorcycle for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and did great. It felt great to get back in the saddle again. Back to shooting, too. Life is getting back to normal once again, so give yourself time. You will get there, too. Promise!!!!
Hey RIcardo. It's only been 7 or 8 weeks since your surgery. It sounds like your work is pretty hard on your body, hard enough that it may be slowing your recovery. So try and take it easy man. Nobody expects you to be in top form so soon. It's not supposed to hurt to breathe, so go get it checked out at urgent care. We're all pulling for you. You've come so far and been so brave!
You are perhaps having a wee set back but you just cannot let a step backwards get you down. You are alive and at least that is something to work with! Do you not think it a little soon to be lifting anything too heavy yet at work? Does your doctor understand your work requirements? If you are in doubt about the pain you are feeling you should err on the side of caution and see your doctor. He can at least assure you of what is going on. You might also be experiencing a little bit of post-surgery depression. Ask your doctor about that.
Recovery is not all downhill and as you well know from reading other journals, there can be lots of bumps. You want too much too fast and that is understandable but please give yourself more time and don`t be so hard on yourself.
You will get better. Much better. It takes work and it takes time. Believe there has to be a reason God has brought you this far.
In the meantime enjoy your wee family. Your wife needs you to be positive and your baby needs a mom and a dad.
Please don't be discouraged. Isn't it possible that this pain is due to pulled muscles from all the heavy lifting you do at work and not your heart? You might want to try moist heat or a heating pad on the area and see if it helps. Maybe a gentle massage in the area would help? Let us know when you improve. Enjoy that beautiful baby.
Thanks for sharing your lovely photos with us. It's so nice to see who we are talking about. I know you are a very proud papa. You have to feel such relief having your surgery behind you.
I think most of us heart patients end up on the low dose of aspirin and I haven't heard anything about it affecting the kidneys unduly but always best to check with your doctor. If you are experiencing really bad pain, I wonder if you should investigate a kidney stone? I had aches and pains all over my body for sometime after my surgery but eventually they all went. It's very normal to be extra cautious about how you are feeling post surgery.
Oh, how precious of a family you have. I'm so happy for you.
As far as 81mg of aspirin. I, also, am on 81 mg of aspirin a day, and I have not heard anything about kidney trouble with it. I'm sure if you had any kidney problems, it would have showed up in your blood work they performed before surgery. If you have a concern, its best to discuss it with your doctor and he can give you the story on it.
It is not uncommon to have some discomfort in your back after surgery. Some people experience it in the shoulders, others just in the back area itself. Its wise to talk with you doctor with any and all concerns.
I'm so happy that you had the surgery and you will feel awesome after healing time, and you will be around for a long time for that little one of yours.
Thank you for the photos, what a beautiful family. As a nurse I worked for 2 kidney specialists and there was always concern of using NSAIDs non steroidal anti inflamatory drugs such as Motrin, Advil, etc. Even following approved dosing caused problems for some people. Am not aware of the connection with aspirin. What does your doctor say? Since my surgery over a year ago I take 81 mg. aspirin daily (per the surgeon) and my cardiologist and kidney specialist approves. It's wise to investigate things but try not to make yourself unduly anxious.
Can't believe you are on the journal already. Good for you. I'm so happy to know you are okay and sounding pretty cheery to boot. Like Fran says, don't rush your healing. There will be many ups and downs but slowly you'll start to see your progress. I'm just so glad you have finally had the surgery done and are on your way to full and better health. Your wife really has her hands full right now. Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers.
Great news, Ricardo
What type of surgery did the doctors do for you? Glad your breathing is improved. Be patient in your healing and rest when you can. Your wife must be relieved. You'll have a story to tell your son when he's older.
Just thinking about you today and looking forward to your return to the journal letting us know all is well. Honestly, I am so glad you are done. Waiting can put so much worry on patients and their loved ones. Your wife no doubt has her hands quite full at this time so I send her my well wishes too.
Congrats Daddy! How wonderful. Sounds a little scary what happened to your wife, but thank the good Lord all worked out OK for you.
Good luck with your surgery. I'm so happy to hear that your having it done. You won't believe the difference you will feel, and you'll be recouped enough to be running with your little one. Doing all the things that Daddy's do with their son.
If I can be of any help to you before or after your surgery, I here for you. Give yourself time to heal after surgery, and remember, you will have good days and not so good days, its all normal and part of the healing process.
You will be in my thoughts and prayers.
Congratulations to both you and your wife on the birth of your son. I'm very relieved your wife is okay. Yes, that had to be a scary moment. Father's Day will be extra special to you this year because you will be about 3 into your healing. I'm so glad you are going ahead with your surgery. Try and stay positive - you have so much to look forward to. Keeping you in my prayers.
Ricardo, congratulations on the birth of your son. GOD was there to pull your son and wife through, and he will be there to heal you also. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding" - GOD is in charge - center your thoughts and mind on HIM. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Congratulations on the birth of your son. He was born on a special day (that was also my birthday). Must have been a scary time with all the blood loss. Glad all is well now. Will pray for a successful surgery and recovery for you. When you recover, you will have a healthy heart to be able to spend a lifetime with your son and not have to worry. Be strong, just do whatever the medical staff tells you to do and you'll be fine. Prayers from FL.
Gosh, from what you said about your valve being it can be repaired by entering through an artery at your leg or arm, means, relatively speaking your repair is a snap sort of thing. You know, check it out with the docs if you don't, there are no nerve endings in your arteries to cause you any pain. There's really nothing to be afraid of. They use a local where they enter the artery and that is it. Now, there's got to be more I don't know about for your procedure such as does it require stopping your heart and using a heart lung machine, but the medic people are experts at this and it is routine now days. I'm guessing the worst thing is taking it really easy for a week or two after the surgery re physical activity and not lifting anything over 5 or 10 lbs. Getting it done as soon as you can be scheduled...not sure how this works with the Canadian medical system...but you ought to get scheduled as soon as possible because waiting can cause you to end up with heart damage. My valve was repaired almost 8 wks ago and I'm nearly back to presurgery normal....did a 5 K run event last Sunday, a couple Sundays before that did a triathlon, prior to that while still walking for exercise, walked a Half Marathon distance (13.2 miles) followed a couple days later with a 50 mile bike ride. Last week I started training for a Marathon to be done in the fall and will have a 5 mile long run as part of the training this Saturday...What I'm saying is..there's nothing to be afraid of as far as what it is going to be like after surgery...You look like a young guy and you will be on your feet doing stuff quickly after you get the valve job done...go for it, guy. Barry on the mountain in New Mexico
When I entered into surgery in December for mitral valve repair I didn't even have adaquete insurance plus I had all the same fear and anxieties surrounding the ordeal. Things will work out well for you. Do not worry.
Hang in there! With that said you need to get this done, before it gets worse. There is a chance that your heart can be damaged if you wait then thats another story. I went through it in July. I had to leave my kids, 8, 5, 8 months old to go to hosp and get it done. when the surgeon open me up and saw the valve he said I only had months to live on the valve. Please dont wait!!!!!!!!
Ricardo: The joy awaiting you when you wake up from your surgery to see your wife and child, knowing you have a full life together again is unimaginable. Shed your fear, take courage, and cast yourself into the arms of those who can help you. You will find peace, hope, love, and life. -- DVB
I can't really add any more than what Mona, Diana and Cheryl have written. We have written to you through the months and you are the one that just has to do it. We can't do it for you. If you won't do it for yourself, do it for your child who will need a healthy father. Enough said. Let us know when the baby comes and the name.
I certainly understand your fear but I believe you are playing a roulette game by waiting too long. I would think it is better to have the surgery done while you are healthy as possible as opposed to letting your heart get to emergency status before acting.
Recovery is different for everyone but for the overwhelming majority, it does eventually happen which leads us back to a very full life. Wait too long and you will eventually hit the wall and the choice of "when" will be taken from you.
While you are off work you will receive Unemployment Insurance which should help but I think you have a waiting period before being able to get your first payment. It's for that waiting period that you need to put a little money away if you can.
You have to get it into your head you will be returning to your family. I wished I could offer more other than begin preparing a little by buying a few extra foodstuffs etc. here and there for when you don't have as much money available. Sometimes our choices just aren't easy ones. Thinking of you.
I read your story, journal and guestbook. It seems a lot of the people in this community have encouraged and embraced you. I'm sure your family (Especially your wife) wants the best for you too. I must say that I don't understand your hesitancy to get it fixed but I do understand your fear of not knowing exactly what will happen after it is done. A Balm, Cerace tea or Aloe will not fix this one. The decision is yours to make. Only you know why you hesitate and I respect that...But...if you have the opportunity to have the procedure done to save your life and be there for those who love you, I, a stranger hope you take it. Yes there will be some pain especially after the procedure. It won't hurt during if you are to have it done through an artery and the recovery is much faster I have read. I have had two heart caths which go through the groin artery and I was able to work the next day. I never felt a thing. I know that is not the same as yours, so don't think I am a know it all. I hope only the best for you and I pray that you be Okay.
I wish you would have the surgery, you won't believe the dramatic change that will happen after your surgery. All the symptoms you are feeling right now, go away after surgery. Its truly amazing! Its worth it, believe me, in the long run. I can't believe how wonderful I feel, and look forward to lifes pleasures ahead. And you would too. Especially with your little one. For the little bit of pain you go through with the surgery, and believe me, it is not that bad at all, it is well worth it in the long run. You want to enjoy your little one. If not for yourself, do it for your little one, they deserve to know you and you deserve to watch them grow.
I guess you are waiting for your surgery, or perhaps trying to put it off? I am also waiting for surgery and have been very anxious and worried (see my journal). But I am learning to cope by using relaxation CDs and meditating and it is working very well. If you are anxious, please try to listen to some CDs. Peggy Huddleston's Preapre for Surgery is very good. You can get it from Amazon books and CD is very uselful at bed time. Best wishes to you - and dont put the surgery off. I'd like to - but I won't!!!!
I was wondering what became of you so was glad to read you are managing just fine. Chances are that when your time for surgery does come you'll do just fine. It's only natural to be apprehensive. Take care.
Good to hear from you. I'm doing terrific since we last chatted. Don't be afraid of the surgery Ricardo. It really is a piece of cake. I feel wonderful. Its been 7 months since my surgery. Time surely flies by. Every bit of my symptoms are gone. It truly is amazing. Keep us up to date, k?
Thanks for giving us the good news that you are doing well and not needing surgery yet. Good that you got to visit with your parents, bet that made all of you happy. Don't disappear so long next time.
You need to follow through with the surgery. What happened to Lori is very tragic, to say the least, but the chances of it happening to you are extremely minimal, less than 2%. It was Lori's time, the Good Lord needed her more then she was needed here on earth, and she was taken way before her time. We don't know the reasons why things happen, and we may never know, but we have to have faith and trust in the man upstairs that he knows what he is doing. You follow through with the surgery, Ricardo, and enjoy a long and healthier life with your new bride. And don't think about the what if's, maybe's and could be's.
Cheryl said it exactly right. You must go ahead with your surgery to be a healthy man and husband for your bride. I know your goal will be to have many happy years together. You must let me know when your surgery is scheduled as I will put you on my prayer list for a very successful surgery. Be positive.
Tis so sad that Lori didn't make it and without knowing the full story we can't really say what happened or what went wrong. We are all so individual as to how our bodies will work and react to the surgery and you can't just paint one stroke and include everyone in those results. More than ever you have to strive to remain strong. I would encourage you to read what Duane and Kimberly have to write in their journals and perhaps their words might give you a little more confidence. One day at a time, one thing at a time.
Do you have a list of questions ready for when you meet with the surgeon? I wrote all my questions out and left room between each one so I could fill in the answers. I ended up handing the list to the surgeon and he took it and actually wrote down all the answers right on my page so I could refer to them later. That appointment is the one chance to make him explain to you what is wrong and how he intends to fix it so make sure you take the time to go prepared and when you are there, don't leave until you feel confident you understand everything. I know you have a lot on your mind right now and this is just one more thing.
Hope the wedding plans are coming along okay - not long now.
Don't worry about the winter right now. Just take one day at a time. If you have your surgery soon, by the time winter comes, you'll be good as new and won't even think about the temperatures. The only thing that I notice now, is my incision bothers me more when its rainy, or not so nice a day. I can pretty much tell when the weather is going to be bad through my incision. More annoying then anything else. So, just relax, you'll do great.
I'm glad you wrote me back and explained a few things. More than ever I think you need to reconsider your paperwork.
A Will is not only about what you own and who gets it but more importantly it is about who you want to be able to make the decisions after your death. You just have no idea that by not having a Will, even a very simple one, the mess you would leave behind for those who love you the most. By making a Will you are legally pointing out to the government who you wish to be able to make the decisions about a funeral etc. and where your body goes to rest. Without naming a specific person to be in charge you leave the person closest to you having to battle it out with your next-of-kin (parents or siblings, or wife) as to who gets to be boss. You owe it to those you love to take care of this before something happens.
An illness or death can bring out the very worst in people. I've seen it time and time again. I'm a stickler for seeing my friends and family have their paperwork in order. My own kids had to sign these papers as soon as they were legally of age and when my one son married I made sure he and his wife had Wills etc. done immediately.
Secondly in a Will, even something you think isn't important may become a battle ground for those left behind. If you marry then you owe it to your spouse (wife) to make sure she gets to keep everything you bring into the marriage. You may think you don't have much to leave behind but sometimes the things you think are least valuable become big argumentative points between your siblings, parents and wife. You have a responsibility to see your wife is looked after.
By marrying first, if anything were to happen to you, your wife would inherit your Canada Pension or other pension benefits and that is very important.
Without a Will you could leave your wife and brother battling it out for control of your estate.
Anything you and your fiancee/wife hold jointly (both of your names are on it) will automatically go to the survivor of either of you such as bank accounts, car or whatever.
A Power of Attorney only is useful before your death and is used only in the event of your not being able to speak or fend for yourself such as perhaps having a stroke or something. I hate to even bring these types of issues to mind but they are things you must think about. If something were to happen to you then your parents, siblings or wife could all end up in a fight over who makes the decisions about your medical care. If for no other reason, you should get rid of any possibility of this happening by making out a Power of Attorney for health care.
The other Power of Attorney is for finances and personal property. You point out there isn't a lot of personal property just yet but things such as pensions etc. and/or disability pensions might come into play and again, you might have a situation where your biological family is left to battle with your wife for control.
These are decisions most adults here have to think about and plan for. Like I said, there are definitely many, many families who don't think about doing this type of paperwork until it's sometimes too late.
I'm just wanting to give you something to think about seeing as how your parents aren't here to advise you. Perhaps these type of documents aren't widely used in Jamaica but they definitely are here in Canada and the United States. Our Court Systems want to know who the boss is.
Without a Power of Attorney and Will, if something ever happens then someone closest to you has to apply to the government to become that person and they must get the permission of all the other eligible people in your life to do so.
These aren't the happiest decisions you get to make in your life but they are necessary ones.
Think some more about it.
So, how are the wedding plans coming along? You sound like a very caring person and I certainly wish you well. When this is all over you are going to be able to look back and appreciate the luck of landing in North America and then finding out you needed surgery. Someone was looking down upon you and looking after you. Your life-saving surgery isn't going to cost you a dime and you are going to be in excellend skillful hands. I pray you are soon able to feel how blessed you are.
Thank you for the lovely note in my guestbook. You've been on my mind. I thought Joy and Diana wrote great notes recently with lots of good advice.
Have you been in Canada long? I was asking because something I'm always concerned about is that people have all their paperwork up to date, meaning Power of Attorney and Wills etc. Sometimes young people such as you and your girlfriend put these things off as being necessary only for older folk so I'm writing to remind you - not so. If you were entering the hospital for any procedure I would still recommend getting these things done. They don't have to be professionally done to be legal in Canada.
You can buy Power of Attorney and Will kits at Staples or any office supply store for about $20 each. These are very legal and will look after the needs of an uncomplicated type of estate/holdings. I used to be a legal secretary and know first hand how terribly important these little details are. Both you and your fiancee should fill them out. If you are marrying later in the month, wait until after the marriage to fill out the Will because a marriage voids a Will - meaning the Will usually has to be signed and witnessed after the marriage. If you find the Will kit difficult to understand you can hand write your Will naming your wife to be the Executrix (person in charge of paperwork) and probably your wife as your sole Beneficiary (person who gets your stuff). If you want to leave things to others - write it down - never leave it to chance. If you choose to handwrite a Will the entire thing must be handwritten - no typing whatsoever.
You would say something like this - I, Ricardo Elliott (full name including middle names) wedler (profession) of the City of Edmonton in the Province of Alberta, Canada being of sound mind, appoint my wife........to be the Executrix of this my last Will and Testament dated the.........day of.......2010.
I give, devise and bequeath to my said wife .....(just write down what your wishes are) or go from the form in the kit and fill in the blanks.
Power of Attorney - you need one for your stuff and one for your personal care. They are in the same kit. Your chances of coming through this surgery better than before are overwhelmingly huge but "just in case" there is a delay - your wife will have the legal ability to see to your wishes and care and handle the finances if you both don't hold everything jointly.
With your biological families outside of Canada you want to be sure you have taken care to legally be able to look after each other in event of problems. Any type of accident could leave you needing to have done this. Naturally a lawyer can and would handle all of these things as well but if things aren't too complex and complicated right now, then there is no reason you can't do it yourselves and save some money to boot.
I certainly don't want to scare either of you but I'm a stickler for being diligent and making sure my loved ones are looked after.
With that being said - have you read any of Fran's journal where she talks about guided imagery discs that can be downloaded from the Cleveland Clinic? They are a great idea if you ever find yourself in panic mode or unable to relax and think about nothing.