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sarah harnett

negaunee, Michigan,

United States


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Tuesday, February 28, 2012 06:38 PM

Hi Sarah, great news that you were able to go home. You know, we hear so many stories of our fellow "valvers" having absolutely no complications that when one comes along, no matter how "minor" (that's relative) we tend to panic a little. I believe that all sorts of things can be expected when our hearts are basically assaulted in surgery, no need to worry as long as they are addressed. Sounds like your "bump in the road" has been and I look forward to hearing soon that you are 100%. Take care and remember me on March 13th when I will be having my surgery.

REALLY getting close....Linda Dixon

sarah says in response,
"Will do. You will do fabulously!"

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 05:53 PM

Hi Sarah, thanks for the update on the reasons, or lack of for this. Great you are home. Interesting that your pulse is lower now. I suspect that means this has been going on for awhile. Whatever the case. glad you got it cleared up, are being monitored and are feeling better.

Best of luck to you.

-Mitch Friedman

Monday, February 27, 2012 04:41 PM

Hi Sarah; Bummer re the setback. Kudos for listening to your body and taking the right action. I remember the hardest part of recovery was being patient with my body. It helped me to talk to my heart.

Like one of your young patients. Stay strong.

Winona 9/17/2008 MVR

sarah says in response,
":) yes, thank you! I was calling on the resiliency I've learned from past 'little warriors ' while I was in the ER. great thought!"

Sunday, February 26, 2012 07:10 PM

Hang in there Sarah...you will get over this bump very soon and back in your recovery mode. Stay tough and strong!

JH Mattingly

Sunday, February 26, 2012 10:29 AM

Hi Sarah, so sorry to hear about the set back, but so glad you caught it so quickly and got help. Hopefully you will not be there too long. When you get more details, please let us know if there is anything that tends to cause this, so we all can learn. I suspect not and this is just another not so fun part of this whole journey. As in, sometimes these things happen, and sometimes they don't.

Wishing you all the best.

-Mitch Friedman

Sunday, February 26, 2012 10:19 AM

Hi Sarah, sorry for the small "set back" but good for you for calling your doctor! Glad you are feeling better, glad you "listened" to your body and didn't ignore it.

Hope you feel better real soon.

Linda Dixon

Sunday, February 26, 2012 09:55 AM

Hi sarah,

I am happy you are in the right place and they did the right procedure. You are going to feel so much better when this all settles down.

I have read that all the crazy heart rhythms and rates are very common after surgery.

I had A-fib for a little while after I was at home.

I am wishing you a very short hospital stay and a fast full recovery.

Jane 12/5/11 Mitral Valve repair

Sunday, February 26, 2012 05:25 AM

Hi Sarah,

Too bad about the current issues; fortunately you were able to start getting them treated in a timely manner. I hope that they clear up quickly and that you are able to get out and continue on with your recovery.

Take care!

John Lund

Sunday, February 26, 2012 05:05 AM

Sarah, Sarah.....thanks for the updates. I am sorry you are back in for a short visit. I hope you have many taking exceptional care of you and countless friends and family giving you all the love and support you need as you continue this journey. Hang in there my friend and know I think of you often. Love and prayers from below the bridge.....Jodi

Sunday, February 26, 2012 04:43 AM

So sorry to hear you are back in the hospital. That procedure does not sound like fun! I hope all goes well and you are back home soon. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Deb Z

Sunday, February 26, 2012 04:36 AM


The heart rate will get better, but it takes time. I'm between surgeries (had MV repair in 2005 and I'm going back next month for a re-repair) and it was discouraging to me that my HR post surgery was pretty much like a rabbit's, But with walking and later running it eventually got back to where it belonged in the low 60s. -Jim Smith

Saturday, February 25, 2012 07:59 AM

Hi Sarah, sounds awesome to me! Be patient with yourself. You have been through a huge surgery! Trouble is your brain didn't ever slow down, now your heart that was pretty beat up has to catch up! You will get there. Like you said, it beats the alternative. That's what I am focusing on for March 13th. Some discomfort (I choose not to use the word pain, lol) I am prepared for, recovery...somewhat prepared for...my main objective is avoiding the alternative, lol. Keep it up, you will get to where you want to be.

REALLY getting closer...Linda Dixon

Saturday, February 25, 2012 07:12 AM

Hi Sarah, reading your post, to me, it sounds like you are doing awesome. Sure, it does not feel like that everyday, or all the time. But you sure seem to be gaining so much strength and stamina.

Hmmm...let's put this in persepctive...pain meds to work and rehab at the same time!!!! You go girl. If it feels like it is too much, dial something back a little. I am only three weeks post op, so no expert by any means, but my mantra now is "do what you can and do what you need." So work it when you can and rest when you need.

Keep up the good recovery work.

-Mitch Friedman

Saturday, February 25, 2012 05:57 AM

Hi Sarah,

I was having the same fast heart rate as you at 8 weeks out and then it started to settle down and was really good for about a month. Then, at 12 weeks out it went the other direction and was only beating about 40 beats a minute. Went to a cardiac electrophysiologist and he told me it was nothing to worry about........it was just my atrium skipping a lot of beats. While I generally feel pretty good, I can really feel the skipped beats and it is very annoying ( feels like my heart is beating VERY hard and slow). I am now 16 weeks out and it seems a little better, or else I am just getting used to it. I am just trying to be patient since it seems to change every week. Not really what I was hoping for after going through the surgery, but I am very hopeful it will eventually settle down. I had a lot of palpitations before the surgery, so I wonder if that has something to do with it. I'm not giving up though.......I don't want to think about my ticker anymore!

As for fatigue and soreness, 3 months out was the magic number for me. My sternum and shoulder are still sore, especially after lifting even the smallest weights, but it is very manageable now. I think this whole recovery thing takes a lot longer than we are hoping for!

Good luck to Sarah.... I hope your heart rate settles down.

Deb Ziegler

sarah says in response,
"Deb-AMEN! Recovery sure is a lot longer than anticipated. Thnx for sharing. -sarah"

Friday, February 24, 2012 09:03 PM

Sarah, I hope each day continues to get better for you. Going back to work sounds like a lot. Just tell people you have to take it easy. They will help out.

My surgery is in a week. It is helpful to read about others experiences.

Jan Beale

Friday, February 24, 2012 07:19 PM

Sarah, Sending good thoughts and prayers your way for continued recovery. Each week gets better but there are up and down days mixed in. You'll get back on track, and they will get heart rate in control. Give yourself some rest days mixed in with your workout days. Take Care Janis Kielbasa

Friday, February 24, 2012 07:06 PM

That is ambititous to start both at the same time. I think the begnning of my post didn't make . I had my MV repair Sept 17, 2008. The begnning of my healthy life at age 72.

I was born with a "floppy" valve and always had a very unusual heart murmur. The surgeons I consulted for 2nd opinions said that I had compensated for valve malfunction all my life, and that I would be healthier and have more energy after the surgery than I ever had. They were right on. It took me 18 mos to get to that point, but felt better and better through the recovery.

Friday, February 24, 2012 06:02 PM

Lost the page again. Just wanted to say hi and send good wishes for your recovery. I was in Cardiac Rehad program for 12 weeks and it was very helpul. When I graduated, I purchased a rowing machine, which I had really enjoyed in rehab.Listen to your body. Do when you fell the urge. Rest when you need to. I will be interested in following your progress. Winona Blake, NH

sarah says in response,
"Thank you. I started rehab last week. And returned to work...should not have started both at the same time-I am so wiped out! It is quite discouraging, but your words are very helpful. Thanks I really appreciate that. -sarah"

Saturday, January 14, 2012 12:10 PM

Hi Sarah,

I had my repair (MV) on Dec. 5th. I had pain when I took a deep breath on one side for a while after. I was doing really well, but did notice that symptom until about a week ago. I kind of thought it had something to do with inflating my lungs, because I felt it while I was walking. It seems to have gone away now. I hope yours has gotten much better.


Saturday, January 14, 2012 05:04 AM

Sarah, you are looking so great in your photos! I'm sorry to hear about your setbacks but so glad all is still okay. It is so hard when you just want to be all better and doing all the things you want to do! Keep doing what you're doing (including calling the doctor or going in--that is why they are there!) and you'll be cooking and baking in no time! (I am sure that house cleaning is MUCH more strenuous and should be left for someone else to do for you for at least...oh, a year or so? Sound good?)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012 11:01 AM

Hi Sarah,

oh my gosh!! I am glad you are doign well!!

miss you and sending you hugs!

Kim W.

Monday, January 9, 2012 02:02 PM

Sarah, Good luck with your recovery! Wish I could be your nurse :)) you would be the best patient ever. So happy to hear you are doing so well, and love your haircut! Miss you

Love, Pam Cantu

sarah says in response,
"so good to hear from you! haha you would be a great nurse to have! funny you say that, because i was quite concerned about being a "good" patient. i was lucky to have a lot of nurses who i work with. i think i was pretty chatty pre-op after a little valium, other than that hopefully i wasn't too bothersome. how are things? the boys? man, i miss you guys!"

Monday, January 9, 2012 08:12 AM

Sarah, I cannot believe all you have been through. I'm so thankful everything is going so well! I kind of knew something was up from a couple of cryptic FB posts I saw, but I had no idea it was this! I am sorry I didn't know so I could have been praying for you...but I will pray now for a continued smooth recovery and for peace for you as you work your way back. Sending lots of love to you, my friend! xoxo Mimi

sarah says in response,
"thanks, mimi! i appreciate the prayers. i am doing well! thanks!"

Monday, January 9, 2012 06:20 AM

Good Morning Sven! I hope this finds you well. This is the first blog I've been to in 2012 ;) and it had to take someone like you to get me here.

It's weird being on the 'other side' isn't it? Just think, if you can survive XC skiing with me, you can do this!

In your corner always,


sarah says in response,
"hahaha well...that is a huge comment from you and your healthcare-social networking prowess.
yes-missing out on xc this year is one of my biggest "drags" of it all, but i should be able to snow shoe a bit at the tail end of winter. i guess that's one positive to having snow until april :)
thanks for the kind words, always good to hear from you!"

Monday, January 9, 2012 06:04 AM

SARAH!!!...Wowsa~ what a story, and I am THRILLED to see you doing SO well...Hang in there chica!..if ANYONE can recover this, YOU can! You are amazing, and I am CHEERING for you! Keep us posted on all your progress, and know that I will be praying for you!!!!

HUGE Hugs, but in a "gentile" way until your poor sternum is ready for a 'good strong mel' kinda hug!!!



sarah says in response,
"hahaha..yes! thank you!
thanks for the very kind, uplifting words!"

Monday, January 9, 2012 05:57 AM

Hi Sarah!

So proud of you for working so hard, advocating for yourself, maintaining a positive outlook, and being so appreciative of family and friends. You are a true treasure; so happy that surgery went well. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers as you continue on your recovery; all the best!

Elizabeth, CCLS from DeVos

sarah says in response,
"thank you-so kind! i am sure it is because of all the prayers i am blessed with that i feel so positive and encouraged. thanks again! i hope all is well."

Monday, January 9, 2012 05:57 AM

Sarah - Shauna shared your story this morning. Anytime you are ready to show that boyfriend of yours the great city of Grand Rapids . . . you KNOW we'll show you the VIP treatment! It's been one year this Wednesday that we moved into this amazing and beautiful new hospital :) and I'm sure you know that oh so much has changed around here. Sending prayers for your continued healing! Your friend, Jody

sarah says in response,
i did take him down last spring, and checked out the gorgeous new hdvch!
but...that doesn't mean i wont come again...this time, w/ a new heart :) last time, was with a very heavy heart. i sure miss you guys. i hope all is well."

Monday, January 9, 2012 05:46 AM

Hi Sarah! Thanks for sharing this information...you are one amazing lady! Remember that you have a whole crew of friends and supporters here in GR cheering you on and praying for continued healing. Can't wait to see what God has in store for you this 2012!



sarah says in response,
"thanks for your kind words and sharing with the team. you really are the best."

Saturday, January 7, 2012 07:16 AM

Hi Sarah,

Enjoy being pampered while you can, the need for it will end quickly as you recover. Now that it has been about 3 weeks since your surgery, I suspect you will be doing even better. The third week seemed to be a milestone for me in my recovery. Still a long way to go after that, but I could feel I was really beginning to get better.

You will soon be able to do your "normal" things.

Take care,

John Lund

Wednesday, January 4, 2012 04:10 AM

Thanks a lot Sarah for your useful informations, I really appreciate! Christine

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