I am sorry for all your troubles and set backs, but what a great outlook you have despite all of it!!! Your faith is definitely keeping you strong and ready to fight. I was so touched by your excitement for the hope and promise of the upcoming holiday season.
Your goal is to find YOUR personal best and make each day what you want it to be....your are in total control of at least that.
Nancy H. (NJ)
It was so good to see your journal today. I've often thought of you and wondered how you were faring and am very sorry to hear of your current health plight. You were having bought after bought of lung problems so now you know. Sometimes it's easier dealing with a known than an unknown so hopefully you can get on the correct medications and get some of your issues looked after. As Fran pointed out - are you getting the very best health care possible over there? I do hope so.
Do your children manage to get to you or do you have to travel to see them? Once the kids have families it's always easier for them to have us old folks do the travelling and when you aren't feeling just the best, I'm sure that has been difficult to say the least.
I'm glad to see you still plan on going all out for the upcoming holiday season. Is there a large section of people there who decorate such as you do? We just put our lights up yesterday while it was half-decently warm enough not to freeze while doing so. We don't bother turning them on just yet or putting out anything else until December comes. Last year after my surgery we didn't put up a single decoration as I was just not up to it so this year I'm looking forward to dragging out the boxes. My husband is never as keen so it's strickly my thing. Peter is still trying to suck up all the golf time he can manage so as long as there isn't a lot of snow, he'll golf 'till he can't see his ball!
I'm so glad you wrote in and will look forward to keeping in touch now and then. Take care and will keep you in my prayers.
I have to admit I lost your name as you can see by the date of my last post to you. I have often wondered how the "brave woman who lives on the other side of the world" is doing and now I know. I am so sorry to learn of your current health status. Are you convinced you are getting the best medical care available? I can't imagine being so far away from loved ones. You are so special to find the joy in the upcoming season and the hope it brings. You will be in my prayers that you will get some improvement in your health status. Sometimes life is not fair and we wonder why things happen the way they do. I have no answers for you, wish I did. I will not lose your name again and as I said, will pray for improvement for your health.
Sharlene, oh my gosh I have to admit I cried when I read your journal and story. Since I am a 3X open heart congenital now 60 y/o and have faced through the last 25 yrs the bumps after each surgery with recently a collpased lung I sooo feel for you. I really related to your Christmas fantasy as we speak my husband, (as I am not able to assist much) is beginning to decorate our home with our 3 Xmas trees etc. Our children and grandchildren that live in this country but in all 4 corners will be visiting for our Thanksmas in 2 wks where we celebrate Christmas. I Know that once the home is decorated I will feel the peace and hope for the coming year. There are so many helpful folks in HVJ that have encouraged me through my bumps this time that I am grateful everyday. This morning I was lying in bed doing my gratitudes as it is so helpful. I will follow your journal and will pray for you, I am so sorry you are experiencing such setbacks.
Susan VandenBussche North Carolina
Thank you for your lovely note of encouragement when you are having such a difficult time. Please post an update. Hope there is big improvement over last month.You are an unbelievable lady!
Just trying to get caught up on posts I missed while I was hospitalized. Just got home Sunday evening, Home Sweet Home, can't beat it. Hope you have made some recovery so you're not back in the hospital. You have an amazing spirit. It's always easy to say I'm alive, it could be worse, but am praying those lungs wake up and start producing air for you. Tough to manage with without good lung saturation. Please post again soon and update us. Prayers continue.
Just wanting you to know I was thinking of you and wondering how you are making out. I do pray there has been a significant improvement. I hate to see you getting discouraged but can certainly understand. You are in my prayers.
I'm just so very sorry to hear you are still battling with pneumonia. You must be beside yourself. Have the doctors told you why this is happening? Is your heart working properly other than the A-fib? Have you spoken with your heart surgeon about the trouble you are having? There has to be a key here that hasn't been found.
I pray these new stronger drugs will grab this thing and destroy it once and for all. I would have thought the dry climate where you are would be a good thing as opposed to a colder and damper climate such as I am in right now. If you are in an air-conditioned house, is there any way of cleaning that unit in case there are air-borne germs coming from it such as mold? Does that even make sense? I guess I would be wondering if it is my body or my environment that is at the root of this continuing difficulty. Maybe someone reading this might be able to weigh in with something more enlightening.
Please try and keep us updated as to how you are faring? Still praying for your full recovery but I'll make sure I suggest sooner rather than later.
How goes the battle? You haven't written to say you are worse so I'm hoping you are kicking your heels up because you are much better. I do hope you have turned a major wellness corner there. Take care. Cheryl, Ontario
Thank you again for such kind words in my journal. I feel we are friends even though we haven't met and I wished I knew what to say to you to cheer you up and make it better. You just have to persevere and stay strong. God is listening. I am praying for you to see MORE sure signs of full recovery soon. Hugs. Cheryl, Ontario
What a strong woman you are, your husband, also. You are a special mother to feel you should not worry your children as they are so far away. I assume when you are 100% it will be quite a story to share. So sorry your lung is still giving you so much trouble. What do they have you doing for it? Please post again and let me know when you are improving---SOON, I hope.
I'm 20 weeks post-op and I still get pulling. It's not near as painful as it was but when I get up from bed, I know I've had surgery. It like a tightness of the skin and bone - I'm moving and they're not. At your stage I was still pretty tender when it came to laying down or rolling over but I do notice improvement. Today I'm moving things out of closets etc. and carrying the weight of a bunch of clothes etc. I definitely have a pulling in my breastbone. I think Adam has suggested we might be feeling this for sometime to come.
I do hope your doctor will find you ALL improved at your appointment tomorrow.
Georgie and Matt must be hanging out right at the hospital because I haven't seen an update on Penny yet. I'm sure we might see something once they reach their apartment this evening.
Hope I've helped you feel a little better. With you having had the pneumonia you just want to be sure we are talking about the same tightness.
Sharlene, thank you for the beautiful note you left in my guestbook. We will be thinking of you as you continue your recovery process. For having had such a difficult time, you have exhibited great determination and perserverance. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
I reckon everyones prayers worked super efficient for me - I got out in double quick time without having anything done! I am fine about going back in this afternoon for surgery tomorrow morning. I have a better idea of what to expect and my own expectations will not be so high this time around. If it gets cancelled again then I will get a little anxious about our business because of the delay in Steve getting back behind the wheel. Speak to you next week - hope that you are getting stronger by the day.
Warmest wishes penny
Good morning Sharlene
You have certainly had a rough time of it, haven't you? Like me am sure you've met some wonderful people on the heart valve journal. Nurse's orders (that's me). Rest, take your meds as prescribed, eat healthy foods, maybe some light exercise and stay away from people you don't know, especially with all that spitting. What's with that? Prayers to you.
I do exactly the same each morning, I love settling in front of my PC when Steve and the dogs are still sleeping and catch up on eveyone's news. I much prefer HMV to facebook - we all have so much in common and if it's to do with our surgery there is no such thing as too much information! Thank you for your thoughts and prayers - see you in a while!! This time next week I should be back on line, Georgie takes over from now until then. Sending you a special hug...
Sharlene,I can totally undrstnd whr you are!! My 1st surgery was caused by duoble pneumonia. My lungs both collapsed during my stay in cardiac icu.It led to me now having copd in addition to my second valve job.Keep your optimism!! If I pulled through it....,ANYONE can!!My best wshes,David Pullano
Good morning Sharlene
Well at least the report wasn't worse even though you may have been hoping for better. Why is it they don't reinflate the lung? You must feel a dreadful weight upon your chest and lacking of energy. What are they doing for the pneumonia - just drugs and breathing? What about some physio pounding on your chest and back to try and loosen it up? My mom is asthmatic and sometimes she has to have this done to keep things moving. Just a thought. You must be feeling so housebound. Thinking of you. Take care and keep resting. Prayers. Cheryl, Ontario
My son had a collapsed lung last year and spent a week in hospital after surgery to have it repaired. I can't imagine what you must be going through on top of your heart issues. Do you have family or friends in Doha?
Great title - Wizards of Oz. Good luck with them. Let's hope they are good wizards.
I envy you the warmth you are in there. I'm so sick of the cold weather and feeling cold in the house. I would have thought healing in the warmth to be easier. Guess that's not so.
I always look forward to getting into bed with the electric blanket jacked up to high, my husband snoring peacefully beside me and a good book. I also look forward to feeling like I did a year ago. This time next year we will all be reporting from very healthy renewed bodies.
Hope you get good reports today Sharelene and get back on the right track. Do you suffer from any pain still from you lung having collapsed? Cheryl, Ontario
Boy, you deserve to get well real soon after all you've been through. Hope the beautiful weather helps. I am happy my recovery will be in FL where we live as it will be great weather to get in my exercise walks. You seem like a very upbeat person and would think that would help you through all your setbacks.Give us a posting when you can.
Glad to hear that you are home, wishing you a fast re-recovery. It must be so disappointing and worrying for you that you are experiencing these setbacks. We are minus 11 today with a fresh 30 cm of snow. It hasn't let up once since December 18!
Warmest wishes none the less!
How nice it was when I opened my computer this morning and saw a message from you. I was really happy to think you were up to writing. Thank you.
I can feel your pain from the coughing. I coughed every few seconds for 3 full months after my surgery. I would have thought the arid air from being where you live to be better for your lungs, but maybe not so. I sure hope you've been to the bottom and are now going to climb back for good. What a trip this heart surgery stuff is. Comes with a tremendous amount of baggage. I could see where it could easily become a habit of "not feeling well today".
Do you have lots of help there or are you doing everything yourself? I think you need some pampering and I don't mean by hospital staff.
I see Duane isn't well again so I'm going to drop in on him and say hello as well. He almost sounds as if he's had some of your symptoms.
Take care Sharlene and yes, who knows, maybe some day we will get together. You just never know.
Hugs from Canada where today it is going to be a balmy 34F or 2C. Best winter ever - no snow and no boots. Our pool has only ice on it.
So glad to hear you are home. You know that if you don't rest your body can't concentrate its resources on healing. Your immune system will be overloaded after surgery. You can remind me of this when its my turn to think I can do more than I can!
I know that guided imagery DVDs are helping some post op and its something that may be worth trying. Thinking of you and wishing you over this!
So happy to hear you are home. You have had just a dreadful time of it. Collapsed lung is no picnic and had to be very painful and scary. Rest - you should have that down pat. Did all this rattle your confidence in your wellbeing? I would think it would be a bit of a mental setback. Sending you positive thoughts and lots of prayers that you will soon feel much and then ALL better.
Just dropping in to let you know you are in my prayers. I've been thinking about you today and really praying you are improving. It's awful to feel so sick. Obviously you have been through alot and there are times when those dark thoughts come to haunt us. How much can one person's body and mind take? You just sound so worn out and the fever and coughing aren't helping any.
Keep fighting back Sharlene. Keep strong.
And, get well soon. Looking forward to seeing you back at your journal with something cheery to read.
That was definitely a nasty turn of events. What caused the infection - a cold that went bad? It's a good thing you are in the hospital where they can treat you properly and be on watch for anything else. Such a disappointment and no doubt, scare as well. I think we all are a little fragile just yet - both mentally and physically.
Do you have some good books to read while you are recouperating? Penny's advice about the spirometer is right on. You just have to persevere with that darn thing. I coughed for 3 1/2 months post-op so everytime I breathed in I coughed up a lung. I ended up using it even once the cough was gone because I'd done such a poor job when it was most needed.
This time, without limits, is all about you and what it takes to get you on your feet. There will be set-backs. If you have ever wondered what type of individual you are, you now know. You are strong and a fighter and can come back from a huge scare and be stronger for it. I'm really glad you wrote. Get Well. Happy Valentine's Day. Cheryl, Ontario
I wondered why I hadn't heard from you, what a bummer. Could air con have any effect on recovery? I know that you don't have much choice with your climate and lifestyle, but would a fan at night be an option instead of aircon. Problem is that you don't wnat to get too hot either...I finished Adam's book today and understand the necessity of the deep breathing exercises immediate post op to keep the lungs fully functional. Once your infection is cleared the exercise should still work for you, maybe check with your consultant. It is deep breath in, hold for 5 seconds, easy breath out. Repeat 10 times every hour. As your lungs strengthen you will be able to take in more air with each exercise breath. Thinking of you and will wait to get hear when you are back home.
Lots of love, totseins Penny xxx
Dreadful luck to get a nasty chest infection at this stage. Keep the meds going and take it easy. Eric and Susan still have little leaks along with myself so don't despair, you aren't alone. I'm on a monitor for two weeks so we'll see what happens. My doctor didn't panic and I've been told my pvc's are benign but I seem to want more confirmation. I'm just trying to make you feel a little better. It's good to drop into this site and be able to compare notes. It helps take some of the worry away. Look after yourself. Cheryl, Ontario
I saw your posting in my journal and had been trying to find you and low and behold this afterboon your journal got posted. Adam's book and this site are great because of the people who join in and particularly all of the bits of information to be learned and support for the sole. You have been through the mill so hopefully you are finally on the right track. It is unnearving to know something is wrong and just not be able to get to the root of things. I always say to try and stay positive but there are times little set backs make that very difficult. Stay in touch. Cheryl, Ontario