I am Lindas daughter Stephanie. Thank you so much for going to see mom the other day.
Its all she and my dad keep talking about and a beautiful orchard you brought her.
Thank you also for helping her get with a good surgeon. He did really good.
Her scar is a little longer than she I think wanted but I tell her its a battle of courage and the war she went through.
Shes hoping to get out tomorrow. We are just mostly worried about that blood pressure of hers.
Just wanted to say thanks again.
Thanks for the update on Linda! I bet she was just thrilled to see you! She is such a sweetheart and gives you credit for her wonderful surgeon.
You are such an important part of her journey. Thanks for paying it forward. I know she will be eternally greatful! :)
Thx so much ricki for your kind & great words 3 mo ago when I was first on. I too am bidding onf adiu ? To HVJ. Not on near as long as you but the need to move on is greater Traveling a lot but in the USA. Hope to get to Israel ths or next year. And a river cruise
So - enjoy life. I'm having a ball & like you & most of us - do appreciate ths new found freedom
I'm so so happy that things are going so well for you. I must admit I haven't been on here nearly as much as I should. But, you said it just right when you said there is a new generation of heart patients.
I'm doing ok. I still have some ups and downs. I think a lot of it is from my weight, which I MUST control and reduce a bit. I think I'll feel a lot better when I do that. That's on the agenda right now. Otherwise, I feel great. I did develope a thoracic aorta aneurysm, which they are watching closely. Right now. not a big deal. May you continue to do well and enjoy life as you should.
All my best, Diana
Happt Birthday to you. Hope you have many many more to come.
Cant wait to meet new doctor. I feel good about it even if is early lol. 33 miles from here, but closer then going to Newberry. I would love to keep in touch with you, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org and my phone is 864 369-5068. I look forward to meeting you this summer with Linda D
For the long haul
Happy second birthday. Glad you are doing so well. No reason not to keep it that way. I've had a few bumps in the road but most likely because my heart was enlarged before the surgery and it has also had a few more birthdays. But, I know I wouldn't be where I am without the surgery. Take care.
Your history is very similar to mine except my problem was not discovered until February (2012). I was born with a bicuspid valve and have felt sluggish and worn out for years. Until February, I was told there was nothing wrong. My valve was replaced on April 2. My question to you: When did you notice a difference? I start the process for rehab on Monday, but I really do not feel as tho I have any more energy than I did 2 months ago. Now I am trying to determine if it is "me" or am I still in recovery stage. My family thinks I should be back to a normal routine @ 6 weeks post op. And maybe that is the problem. I don't really remember what a "normal" routine was like. I would appreciate your thoughts. I am glad you are doing well. Thanks for your thoughts.
So good to hear your doing so well. I too, am doing terrific. I feel great, back to my life, no shortness of breath, life is good once again. I did have a little bump where I developed a keloid with my incision. But, have seen a dermatologist and she injected steriods into it, and I'm happy to say that I'm pain and itch free from it. Has even flattened. I had my checkup with my cardiologist and a Echo and all is very good.
All my best to you, Ricki.
Great to read your update. Those of us who are CC alumni can't help but sing their praises, right? It's great to get another lease on life, so to speak. Stay happy and healthy. Best wishes for many more healthy years.
Ok, rub it in! How many times can you mention your office (Tillman Hall- CLEMSON UNIVERSITY) in one journal entry????
Good to hear you are feeling (as Tony the TIGER would say) GREAT!! (You may be too young to remember that).
I, of course, am still waiting, got another call from CC today, seems the computer wanted to reject my insurance, but we got it straight, thank goodness!!
I downloaded my guided imagery last night and I think it is going to be helpful when I get into meltdown mode.
I'm trying not to dwell on it too much beyond just getting ready, just in case they call and tell me to come earlier. Although...I'm not liking all the snow they are getting in Cleveland. I am a true South Carolinian and you know how we are about snow, lol.
Okay, I'll let you go, (back to your OFFICE in Tillman Hall - CLEMSON UNIVERSITY).
So jealous!!! Take care and.....
Congratulatons on your journey. It's so good to hear that you're feeling so well. Even with all the problems I experienced, I am still feeling a lot better than I felt before my surgery. Cleveland Clinic and the surgeons their are just the best. I still go back every six months for check-ups. I wish you a long ,happy and healthy life with your handsome husband. Ruth Howell, Maine
Hi ricki. After I signed last time then I went to your page. Sort of bass ackwards but that's the story of my life. Am a tad older than u but in good shape so they tell me. Mid 60/s. always exercised and have been watching it for several years. Now feb 9 2012 is due date. Cath & all other stuff day before. St Louis mo. Great dr great hospital & great attitude. Now just hoping they don't find anything else. Am told heart is good. So happy about that.
I'm still working - professional speaker. & travel a bit. Hoping I'll be able to continue come end of April as we have some big shows coming up
Any way. So appreciate your note. If there's anything you might feel comfortable Sharing lady to lady. Pls do. My biggest concern right now is how my hair will look. But I've been told I won't care. Lol.
Sorry if I'm duplicating some of this. I can't remember who I tell what on this thing. Am on another forum too which is also good. Valvereplacement.org.
Delighted u r back in the saddle again & hope to join u !
So nice to hear from you
I reread your journal and am glad you were able to take your trip this past May. Sounds lke you feel terrific. Isn't it great we have such supportive friends and family, expecially our wonderful husbands. In between bouts of medical issues we have traveled many short trips, whch has been great, Take care and keep in touch. Do you still live in Greenville?
I saw where you posted a message on someone else's jounal so I looked you up and started readng your journal. It caught my attention because I too am from SC (Columbia). After finding out in May that I needed AVR because of Aortic Stenosis, I got an opinion from Providence Hosp in Columbia and then went to Emory in Atlanta. I really felt confident with either surgeon, so I decided to have it close to home. My next biggest decision was the type of valve I wanted. I know the pros and cons of both the tissue and mechanical. I decided on the bovine tissue valve and the surgeon here was OK with it. Well, after my surgery, he told me he put the pig valve in me because the bovine valve didn't fit me well. I was very upset and disappointed because I had done so much research on the bovine and that's what I wanted! I think it lasts longer. I know that I have to trust that he's telling me the truth. Anyway, I was curious why you picked the bovine valve and did they tell you how long it would last? I am not going to dwell on this and just focus on my recovery (I am 10 days post op) and I still have a ways to go.
It's good to read how people are doing one year after their OHS. Glad you are doing well!
I was over my brother Marc's house last nite, and he asked me if I remember you. I said WOW, Of course, because technically, i figured well, are you kidding, I told him that you, Ricki, was probably, my first girl friend ever(you may not claim me, but thats ok). When he sent this link, well, I had to reach out to you and say GOD bless you, Ricki, and your family. I am certainly glad to know that things are going better for you. (will reach out to you on facebook if that is ok...
My story is similar to yours. I am 58 and was told I had a murmur in 1977 bbut no doc ever said to follow up on it. I figured if it was okay with them then it was nothing to worry about. Recently I had to go to the ER and found I was Afib. Follow up with aa cardiologist and echo showed a very bad aortic valve. A recent cath was done and the surgeon came in and said it was critical but not an emergency, but I must have the valve replaced. Too much info too fast! I ws overwhelmed but trying to cope. I am considering Cleveland Clinic ( I live in Hartwell, Ga.) and would like to know why you chose them. Are you satisfied and what kind of valve did you get? Any info/advice appreciated.
Sounds wonderful, you have a fabulous trip. Want to hear all about it when you get back. Dwight and I have our motorcycles in the shop. Getting them spruced up and ready to ride. Won't be long now, I'm anxious to get back on them.
I'm feeling wonderful, when those spells don't come around. Back to the rheumatologist on June 2nd. A year to the day of my surgery. See what he has to say, doctor is thinking its an auto immune problem. We'll see.
I can't believe how far we've come. This site and Adams book was a Godsend and I will remember everybody that came in my life through this site and through a very scary time.
Keep in touch,
Congratulations. What a difference a year makes. A healthy life and a happy heart. A new house and a fabulous trip, how exciting! Years ago went to Greece and visited the small village where my father grew up. The food, music, people and history are fabulous. Enjoy it all. Check in every now and then.
Good to hear from you. Glad to hear that your doing well, too.
I'm doing very well myself. I'm coming up on 9 months the 2nd of March. Amazing where I was before surgery and where I am now. I'm working out at the gym. Like you, I have gained 20 pounds since my surgery and working hard to get it off. But, for some reason, its been an extremely hard struggle to get the weight off. It just came on so quickly. I'm hoping between the surgery and wintertime, that's the reason for the weight gain, and once spring comes, I'll be able to get it off easier since I'll be more active. Time will tell.
I'm feeling wonderful. I do get palpitations from time to time, but it seems to be triggered by too much coffee. So, I'm trying to cut it down to drinking 1 or 2 cups of regular coffee then switch to decaf. That seems to help a lot.
The shoulder problem seems to be easing up. I shoot with a doctor, who I talked with about my shoulder, and he told me that its not uncommon and to do nothing about it, that it will work itself out in time. Which it has.
I watched Barbara Walters special a few weeks ago, and I found it to be very informative and insightful.
I think about you often, too, and as a matter of fact, was thinking of posting soon because it had been a while.
Keep in touch, Diana
so nice to meet you and thanks for the encouraging words. I love your post about finding the best doctor and hospital and then relaxing. that is exactly what I am trying to do. I seem to get calmer each day, instead of more nervous. I know people are praying for me and my doctors and I am looking forward to this being behind me.
Thank you again
susan in NJ
Thanks for leaving a message on my guestbook. I read your journal. NO WAY you had a 40th HS reunion! You look gorgeous. My 55th is coming up this year.
Couldn't help but notice the yarmulke. I'm Jewish also. I was widowed 6 years ago and met a nice guy a couple of years ago and remarried at the tender age of 69!
I was so glad to have the dr's predictions confirmed by your comments.
Terry C in Florida
Best wishes for your continued great recovery - and a wonderful New Year!!!! I will be having mitral valve surgery at Cleveland Clinic and was wondering who did your surgery and how you selected a particular surgeon. Anne has emailed me and mentioned that you had your surgery at CC also. I am very apprehensive (to say the least).
Did you have a minimally invasive procedure? Did they use the robot?
Also, somwhere I read that you mentioned something about cost and billing. I do not yet have Medicare, but have good covereage with Aetna. Would you mind sharing the kind of insurance coverage you had?
If you have the time and can share any additional information I would be very grateful. You can email me directly at
Many thanks - and all my best to you and your family. Ruth Howell, Maine
Hi Ricki, you certainly are a breath of fresh air. I have wondered how you are doing. I am recovering from a collapsed lung all in my entry. Have a great Thanksgiving, we all are so blessd to be with our families this year!!!
Susan V NC
Good to hear from you, Ricki! A big milestone and you are feeling great - could itbe any better? Kind of puts life in perspective.
It was helpful of Fran to tell us about those DVDs! I ordered the four workouts on one version and it 's surprising how much of a workout you can get just walking. I can walk outside most days but I am always a bit hesitant to walk alone because of the wildlife roaming around - specifically mountain lions and bears! Anyway, the videos keep you going at a specific clip
and I needed that.
Thanks for checking in! There is always a special bond with those who undertook the journey at about the same time!
Good to hear from you. I'm feeling great now. The fever lasted24 hours, thats it. Both times. By the next day, the pain starts going away, too. Its really strange, but has happened twice now. Even the pain has almost gone away. Still stiff and sore like I excercised really hard. Very very strange. Waiting to hear from the rheumatologist for an appointment now. I'll let you know how I make out.
Just dropping by to say hi and wonder how you are progressing. it's almost 6 months for you - a milestone. Are you totally finished with rehab? Mine was over in mid August and I find I miss it - and miss the people I met there. Life does move on so I guessed it was time for me to move on as well.
Thanks for the kind note. The walking program I am in is "Walk Away The Pounds" with Leslie Sansone. Although I guess it is meant for weight loss, it gives a great cardio workout at the same time and that is what I'm using it for. We have a facility here where we live and it is shown on a large screen 3 mornings a week. They can be purchased on line or in stores, so you should be able to find them, there is a 3 mile and a 4 mile version. First time I did the 4 mile didn't think I would be able to finish it, but I did. Please let me know what you think if you do start using them.
Thanks so much for welcoming me to the journal website. I really appreciate your support and sharing of your experience at the Cleveland Clinic. I have started reading
Adam's book and doing all sorts of research.
I am hoping to get out to CC for a consult by the end of November. I will let you and everyone know how that goes.
Thanks again for your kind words and for caring. Talk to you soon! Nancy
I know, does get a little frustrating tho, doesn't it? I have to remind myself that it is only 4 months and everybody keeps reminding me that its is only 4 months and that takes a good year to get back 100%. Patience is not one of my finer suits, I'm afraid.
I'm feeling better, just a bit run down. No wonder with all the blood they took from me. But, was all worth it. It could have been a lot worse.
Hope your doing better too! Between the 2 of us, it certainly keeps things interesting, huh?