Murray Kalish posted a note for SUSAN that says:
OMG. Just looked up you and Michael and found your journal. Glad you're OK and recovering from your heart surgery. Please say "hello" to Michael. My wife will be 2 years breast cancer free with a double mastectomy and reconstruction.
I see that you had a consult with Dr Girardi….did he perform the surgery for you? I am in the process of scheduling a consult with him within the next couple of weeks. I was wondering how your experience was with Dr Girardi and NY Presb Hospital. Hope you are doing well.
Congrats on the your 5 month milestone and your progress in rehab. I just graduated from 3 months in rehab...I really enjoyed it and made some great new friends! Hope it works the same for you.
I have been using the scar treatments also. My wife tells me that my battle scar is something that I should be proud of and not to worry about it. I guess you have to experience it to know why we want to minimize the way these "wounds" look.
Good to see your latest post. Sorry to hear you got sick. I also got sick recently with an upper respiratory infection...my first issue since surgery. I went to my Dr and got on antibiotics which cured my problems immediately. My advice...take care of yourself!.
I hope you enjoy rehab. I got in late also, but it has been my "calming" place and I really enjoy it. I hope it will be the same for you.
Thanks for your post in my journal this morning. I read your journal to find out about your story. Medically, you have been through a lot, but still have a great attitude about life. You are an inspiration! Concerning our heart issues, I am amazed by the similarities in our cardio problems and treatments and then finally that our cath procedures and surgeries were actually on the same days! I am glad to hear your recovery is going well and you seem to moving along very quickly (probably faster than I am). It will be fun to compare notes over time.
What great news and how great it is that you are learning so much about the healing process. Remember, as you probably know from your previous surgeries, you feel terrific at 3 months until you get ot 6 months and you suddenly realized now you feel terrific--you only THOUGHT you did at 3 months, and then that whole realization is repeated at a year when you start to forget that you had surgery completely.
Wonderful news from you. Keep on healing.
That's great you are doing so well! I just passed my six-week mark and am feeling pretty good. Like you, still some slight discomfort behind the sternum (I also had a sternotomy). I am pleased to hear it is all going well for you.
My surgery was January 13th. My incision was pretty much healed at 2 weeks. Now it is slightly pink with a small bump at the top. One nurse told me to massage it at the top. Does any one know of a cream to use on the scar to help "lighten" it?? My drain tube holes are still healing. As for the one on the neck, I an guessing time will take care of it. Kind of like a club we are in, huh?
I only had a 3-inch scar and the scab was gone in about a month. I don't remember how long it was that I could see where they put the neck IV in, but it's long gone. (My surgery was 9 months ago today!)
I had a mitral valve repair with a median sternotomy on Jan 18. The scabbing is gone from the incision, which looks pretty good, and it looks like the scar won't be too bad. I assume the ones on my chest (from the tubes) and neck will remain there, though maybe not so noticeable. Everyone is different and heals differently. Sounds like you are doing well. Good for you!
I check the journals to see how you are doing. Glad to hear you are feeling good and making progress. The Mall is great for getting a walk in, and a little shopping does not hurt either. Also, there is no snow in the forecast for NJ in the near future, and it will hit the high forties in a few days.....Yeah!
Congratulations on your recovery so far!
The post op exam with Dr. Girardi was no big deal. Laura, the nurse, came in and took a listen, checked my pulse, asked me some questions about how I was feeling and removed my steri strips, all were still attacehd at that point. She said they usually stay on for like 4 weeks; I thought I was odd still having them on after the things I had read and was told. Dr. Girardi just came in after and took a look at the incision and asked how I was feeling and that was it.
Please tell him I said Hi! and Laura too if she's there.
Be well and continued progress on your recovery.
Good for you. When I got home I walked around the house each day and up and down the stairs. It really did build my strength, and eventually I started on the treadmill. Do not get discouraged...it really takes time and some days are better than others.
It is so good to hear from you. I have been thinking about you and am glad to hear you are doing so well. I agree with others posting.....Tylenol works well, but if you need a pain killer to sleep or to manage substantial pain, do not hesitate to take it. Do not forget to pace yourself...do too much and you will pay for it. Pamper yourself, you deserve it. Keep us posted.
Don't overdo at the mall. It's early days for you. Make sure you have a place to sit if you feel faint, and don't think there's something wrong with you if you do. Tylenol works very well unless you get a killer pain.
Take it easy and heal.
Great to hear you are doing so well!
Trust your body regarding pain. I had to cut back on the Percocet in the second week because it was causing halucinations at night! I took the Percocet during the day and Tylenol at night. I was able to take just Tylenol after a few days.
Wishing you peaceful rest and good walks.
Congratulations on the good report! I told you; it's not so bad. I had to take some percoset once in a while after I got home probably into the second week, but mostly to sleep at night. I found I could get away with a 1/2 pill just to take the edge off. Maybe that will work for you. But I did find the days I did too much, I hurt more esp. when I got into bed at night. I also got away with Tylenol; it helped a lot and I was able to stop the Percoset. But everyone is different.
Continued good health and progress with the healing.......eat well and get plenty of rest!
Don't compare yourself to others in the use of painkillers. A lot of people don't admit how long they have to use them. Do what is best for you. If you haven't had the killer backache yet, you'll find that if it does come, those painkillers work great.
There are milder painkillers as well, and after a month or so you might step down to one of them.
Best of luck.
Sounds like you are doing excellent. It's all uphill from now!I was amazed how quickly my recovery has been. Just take your time and enjoy having others help you with what you cannot do! Keep up with the spirometer and daily walks. It really helps
Today is my 3rd day out of the hospital. I had the mini Mitral Valve repair and full MAZE. My incusion feels good,little pain except after sleeping on it all night. All bandages are off. My heart rate has been high, 115 Monday and Tuesday and down to around 106 today. Has your's been high. They said it happens not to worry. Not too much appetite, just feel kind of "blah". I did run a fever first day or two but normal now Gene email@example.com
Great News Susan!
I am so happy to hear how well you are faring. Thank God those tubes are out....wait until you see how good you start to feel the more you move around. Just keep getting out of bed every hour or so and move around, maybe walk the hall there. It makes a world of difference with everything. I also had a beautiful view of the East River with all the seagulls flying around.
Enjoy going home.....can't wait to hear the next great report.
Susan: Just found this on-line was trying to find your home address and # as didn't want to call your cell...We've been thinking of you and Michael. Hope to see you soon.send me an email and/or call with your contact info. TOby ( and Joel of course...Am off tomorrow ..we could come up and bring diner if you are up to it)
I had mitral valve w/prolapse repaired robotically Dec 15. many little ups and down afterwards, all to be expected but nothing to be concerned about. Will you be getting the surgery in NY? Good luck and let me know if you have any additional questions.
Hi Again Susan,
I'm following your journal and continuing to wish you well and sending you lots of calm and healing thoughts. It's really amazing to hear so may people say they feel unusually calm just before their surgery. The human body (and mind) are just amazing. Can't wait to hear from you later.
Good luck on your surgery. You will do great and soon will be posting your success story. You are already a brave woman who has faced medical challenges and has forged ahead. We will be praying for you.
Good luck Jersey girl!
Just wanted to wish you good luck on Thurs. Everything will be fine! You're a survivor, remember??!!
I know the anxiety builds, but just breathe.
I will admit that I was scared out of my wits when they brought me to the OR, but now that I know how it all went, there was no reason to feel that way. Dr. Girardi's whole team is so awesome and nice, they will take excellent care of you. Tell them I said Hi.
I'll be praying for you!
Talk to you soon,
My name is Gene Bank. I am having my Mitral Valve repair on Wednesday down at Inova Fairfax in Virginia. I am meeting the surgeon tomorrow. He will be doing a less evasive side approach. Good Luck with the surgery,my nerves are fine but I am sure things will really hit home on Tuesday!
Dr. Loulmet at NYU did do my surgery and I have been very happy with him. He really took his time pre-op to explain all the options and possibilities. Post-op care was great except for the food which really sucked! I actually saw the surgeon first and then the cardiologist (who was eventually recommended by my PCP), so I did things a bit backwards, But both turned out to be great. They both seem to have a good dialogue with each other. I was really surprised to see my cardiologist come to the hospital twice after my surgery, once on Christmas day. I did not expect that at all. I think in the end we all know when we made the right decision about the surgeon.
Good luck to you! Soon your anxiety will be something in the past and you will be amazed how well you are recovering. Having friends and loved ones of the two and four legged variety will sure help!!
The dogs are adorable but ALL THAT SNOW! It gives me shivers to remember living up there.
I believe you made the wisest decision to go with the surgeon that has a relationship with your cardiologist. I did that even though everyone was saying "go to dr. so-and-so--he's the very best." I am so happy I went with the one I did. Lots of surgeons are terrific. What does "the best" mean anyway? Who measures it? The doctor here known as "the best" is the one who advertizes in national magazines. My cardio says he's an excellent doctor, true, but several others are as good--they just don't advertize!
Good luck with your surgery! My surgery was 2 1/2 weeks ago and I have been home for two weeks now and am back to living all by myself. I am lucky that I have good friends who have been helping me with simple daily chores that were difficult in the beginning such as shopping and laundry. Overall I am amazed at the recovery process. I had traditional open heart surgery since I had two valves that needed to be addressed, but even with the big scar down the middle of my chest I am pretty self sufficient. I had these periods of ups and downs pre-op as well and was not only taking anti-depressant but also anti-anxiety medication. I am happy to say that I have not touched the anxiety meditation since the surgery and have not had any episodes of anxiety at all. Yay!!! I was in the hospital for a total of 4 nights following the surgery and got home just before the big snowstorm hit New York.
You mentioned you got a wedge. That was one of the first things I asked a friend to get for me. It helped tremendously with sleeping, since initially it was still hard to lie flat and bunching up pillows did not do the trick. What helped me a lot also was listening to relaxation and meditation CD's (Peggy Huddlestone) and telling almost
EVERYONE about the surgery and asking for their support and healing thoughts! Knowing that a lot of people were keeping me in their thoughts the day of surgery was extremely reassuring. I told everyone about my journal here and updated it from my hospital bed as soon I was capable (thank god for smartphones and wifi!!)
Good luck, I can't wait to read your post-op postings! You'll do great!
I can feel your angst. Take the Xanax regularly and try listening to relaxation CDs if you have them. Try some deep, slow breathing and meditation. All of this helps me. Whatever works for you, Susan, just do it and try to remain calm and positive and keep repeating calming messages (mantras) to yourself over and over. I am wishing the very best and that it will all soon be a distant memory.
I agree with Ricki. You may find that when you get home you're mostly self-sufficient. I, too, had someone lined up (paid), and she called the agency and complained there was nothing for her to do. Well, I saved $.
Be sure to get help with stuff like laundry. You don't want to be lifting heavy baskets, and I hope someone will cook for you for a few weeks.
Heck, when you have surgery, you deserve a little TLC.
Hope the Xanax works.
Remember you are not on this journey alone...many will be praying for you and offering support. We have been in your shoes and you will be in good hands. You have done all you can do now let your trusted surgeon do what he does best. I will say a prayer for you.
Just saw your post. By now you are on your way for your surgery and probably not looking at the journals. But I just wanted to wish you well. I look forward to following your progress, which I am sure will be speedy and uneventful.
I too need mitral valve surgery and also get out of breath sometimes and fatigued. Let's hope this all resolves after our surgeries.
I thought I would need help during the days when my husband was at work so I lined up friends . . . I had a whole schedule. When I got home from surgery my step-daughter was here for a few days and was disappointed when I didn't need her to make my lunch, or fetch things for me, etc. I could take care of myself. So I "dismissed" all my friends from further duty!
Everyone is different but my experience was that you'll be fine to be by yourself post surgery.
hi susan, great attitude ! yes you are right. you will survive as we all did too. i often wondered if i would,haha. im in sussex county nj and 2 years post op. i feel great.i had my surgery at morristown. yours will be soon? just remember one thing........the dr's have the hard part and you get to sleep through it. feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org jeff
Hi again Susan!
I'm so glad you signed up for the HVJ site.
I really enjoyed speaking with you yesterday and would love it if you need or want to talk again. I wanted to fill you in on the subject of the neck/back discomfort after the surgery. That for me was pretty annoying and I can't believe I forgot to mention it to you. It is SO MUCH better now; hardly anything at all, but when I first got home I was very uncomfortable from it. I purchased a microwaveable, reusable heating pad and it really helped a lot.
It's such a small world; my brother lives in Freehold and my husband Bob and I are building a vacation home in Avon By The Sea....we will have to get together when this is all behind us and celebrate life!!
I see that Theresa contacted you....she is so sweet....She was one of the first to reach out to me on the site and made me feel so welcomed and special....what a wonderful person! We will have to invite her to our celebration too :-)......
Talk to you soon!
Welcome to this site. I live in Howell NJ....down route 9 from you. I had Mitral repair surgery on March 2, 2010 at Mount Sinai Hosp. NYC with Dr. David Adams. I am doing great and had the minimally invasive surgery and was home 5 days after surgery. Good luck on your surgery and any questions feel free to ask or check out my experience on my journal.