Trent's Heart Valve Journal

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Trent Viavattene

Plano, Texas,

United States


My Diagnosis

Mitral Valve Regurgitation




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Sunday, August 19, 2012 10:31 AM

Hi Trent-

Did you go on a lake vacation? We just returned from a week at the beach. I too have numbness, and on my right side. I can relate where you say you can't believe it was you on that table. I felt very blessed to have just spent our 18th annual beach vacation with our immediate family and closest friends. I heard last night on tv 'we are all only a heartbeat away from death'. Had I have heard that some years ago it probably wouldn't have phased me, but it really hit hard when I heard it. Hope you continue on your road to recovery.

Karen Campo

Trent says in response,
"Went to a bachelor party at the lake and practiced some "moderation" as suggested by the cardiologist (and did a pretty good job at it).

Glad things are going well, and that you had a good time at the beach. We have not had a chance to take a vacation (when we had the time, I wasn't down the recovery far enough to make any long journey's), and now my wife is starting back up at school for the year. But thankfully there will be many more years to take vacations.

Things are getting back to normal, and I have to remind myself what just happened to me.

Trent V"

Saturday, July 28, 2012 06:18 PM

Thank you very Trent for journaling. I have the same condition as you had but I am on the waiting and evaluating options "Adam is a blessing to all of us " and so are all of the HVJs who share your journey. I will meet my surgeon on the first of August. I have watched all the videos about mitral valve repair however first hand accounts take the wonder and fear our of the process. The wait is definitely more difficult I am ready now. I will keep you as well as the rest of us in my prayers. God Bless you and your family.

Trent says in response,
"You are most welcome, if you have any questions (no matter what) this is the place to ask.

Trent V"

Saturday, July 28, 2012 09:05 AM

I have to laugh...I am 8 wks and despite the scrubbie thing in the bath and using the pool I too admittedly have a lingering tape residue...

Take it easy going back to work. I did 7:30-2 last week and 7:30 - 3 this week and that coupled with a couple/few days of cardiac rehab does leave me a bit tired.

Take care. Karen C

Friday, July 27, 2012 04:36 AM

So funny you mention the tape residue.....I just found some this morning! My surgery was 6/4!

I felt like I was sprayed with a tacky glue that would not come off with soap, water and vigorous scrubbing. It drove me crazy for a good 3 or more weeks.

nancy B

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 03:44 PM

Let me know when and where and I'll be there. You probably know this, but there is a former valve patient (whose husband is also a valve patient) on that posts many messages about Dr. Ryan's fine reputation. Just a thought as a lunch invite.

Hope rehab is going well. Will have to compare notes one of these days on progress. :-)

-Thomas H.

Monday, July 23, 2012 08:11 PM

Great idea! Too bad Kansas is a little out of range! It sounds like fun! I'm glad to hear you are doing so well. Are your incisions healed up? I enjoyed reading your last update! Keep it up.

Holly P

Trent says in response,
"Yes, Kansas is a bit of a drive.

Thanks, and still not completely water tight on the incision, but shouldn't be too much longer. Ready to get in the pool with the boys.

Trent V

Friday, July 20, 2012 07:39 AM

Trent. Glad things are going well. looks like a couple of great kids depending on you to keep up the good healing work. Yeah I find it odd that some people get put on Coumadin and others not. I wasn't put on Coumadin, but a few weeks later had a series of TIA strokes and had to go in for a TEE. They thought I might be throwing clots off the hear sutures or the ring in my heart. Wound up being what they call a Low Flo stroke. Blood pressure being too low. So onto Coumadin I went just in case. I just got off that. Also in my case I did not have to go to Rehab. Don;pt know why not? Guess they thought I was active enough not to need it. BTW I climbed a small Mountain yesterday afternoon. 3 months after surgery. LOL.

Anyway. Stay strong for those kids. You have something important there to live for and there is no better reason to get well.

God Bless.

Paul G.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 07:51 PM

Trent, glad things are going well for you and you are in rehab now. It's a great place to be, use it to your advantage, knowing you can push yourself and still be "safe"!!! It's nice of you to stop by and say thank-you to staff....when you're feeling so much better! I wish I could do that, but have to settle for sending a card! Take care.

Holly P

Monday, July 16, 2012 11:54 AM

It was really nice to see you at lunch TWICE last week. I am so glad your doing well. Have fun and we will see you soon enough! D Woz

Friday, July 13, 2012 08:42 PM

Hi Trent..

Great news things are going so well!

I had to go to the local hospital today to pick up some reports to take to CC next week. They just opened a new cardiac rehab unit, so I peeked in the room to see how everyone was doing.

They all seemed to be having a great time, just like members have reported here....they were enjoying themselves. I am sure you will enjoy your rehab as well, once you get past the initial "butt kickin"..haha..Looking forward to my own "butt kickin days"..

Continued success on recovery, Trent

Connie T

Friday, July 13, 2012 06:44 AM

Trent, glad to hear you have an echo scheduled with your cardiologist. I am sure everything is perfect with your repair. Let us know how it turns out. Take care, Denise K

Thursday, July 12, 2012 06:59 AM

Hey Trent-

Glad to hear things are going well.

I did have one echo maybe 2-3 wks post-op and see cardio again today. I am actually hoping they do a repeat one as well.

Perhaps it is just paranoia, but while I feel good for the most part steep inclines and stairs are still tough. You occassionally hear about someone's repair/replace that began to leak again and that sticks in the back of my mind.

Good luck at today's appt and hopefully we'll both have positive news to share later today.

Karen Campo

Trent says in response,
"Thanks Karen,

I will split an ECHO machine with you (and several hundred other members) if you want, so we can have a scan anytime we feel like it... ;-)

Everything did come out well from the appt, so feeling very good about all of that."

Wednesday, July 11, 2012 10:45 AM

Trent, I'm glad you're doing well my friend. Please let us know if you and your family need anything! Kyle

Tuesday, July 10, 2012 07:23 PM

Hey Trent, glad to hear you are doing so well! Good for you. My surgeon ordered a one month follow-up echo that I was able to get done locally, and then sent the DVD to him at Mayo. I would call and ask for one to be done sooner than 6 months! Take care and keep walking!!

Holly P

Monday, July 9, 2012 06:11 PM

Go Trent! I am sure your cardiologist will relent and order one sooner if you insist.. He may need to get a pre-authorization from your insurance company to do one since you just had one done before you left the hospital. My cardiologist ordered one for me so he would have a post-surgery base-line echo, but had to get it pre-authorized first. I have not gotten the results yet. Good luck!

Monday, July 9, 2012 04:54 PM

So glad to hear your check-up with your cardiologist went well. 6 months does seem like a long time to wait for an echocardiogram. CC did an echocardiogram the day before I was discharged from the hospital. I hope your doctor approves one sooner for you. Take care. Denise K

Trent says in response,
"They did one before I left the hospital, and that showed everything looked good. However, I was hoping they were going to do another one for good measure.

I can be persistent enough (pester them long enough) and we will end up doing one before 6 months."

Monday, July 9, 2012 04:48 PM

Push for that echo Trent! You deserve it. It will be very reassuring to see the lwakage is gone. Great to hear that you are doing well.

I am doing find with the wound vac. Just a little annoying to be sitting in public and having the pump make the sucking noise! Hopefully 2 weeks or less to be back to normal. Will keep in touch.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012 05:58 PM


My first sneeze didn't come out like a sneeze. I think it had to do with the damage the breathing tube did. it was more like a cough than a sneeze.

Mine didn't hurt either (had a thoracotomy too).

Nancy B

Tuesday, July 3, 2012 05:28 PM

Hi Trent...

Wow...I am so impressed...You seem to being doing so great. Love the pic with you and Thomas, you sure coulda fooled me that you had OHS just a few short days before. My surgery is scheduled 7/17/12, and because of your posts as well as others...I am certainly encouraged & not afraid!!..... Thanks for means so much to us newbies.

I hope you will soon be able to return to your career. My son is an Air Traffic Controller at SoCal Tracon..... I know how important career is to you!... Continued Success on recovery..... you seem to be "flying high" :-)

Connie T

Tuesday, July 3, 2012 07:02 AM

Sneezing yeah fun. I'm a sun sneezer, so anytime the sun gets in my eyes I had to hold onto something. As I had robotic surgery it was more in my side than anything else. Don't know how the full sternum folk do it. Good to see you posting to the HJV site, so the rest of us can laugh at your sneezing pain! LOL!

Paul G.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012 06:29 AM

I've found that in the case of an unexpected sneeze, crossing your arms over your chest and grabbing your shoulders helps. Unless you're driving, in which case, you're outa luck!


Tuesday, July 3, 2012 04:35 AM

Instead of ahhhh Choooo it is now... Ohhhhhh S*#t. Sounds like something you say at work. :) Glad your doing well. Hope you're enjoying spending some time with the family. DWoz

Monday, July 2, 2012 10:36 PM

Sounds like you are doing great. We'll try not to sprinkle pepper over you / tickle your nose. How's the exercise going? -- DVB

Monday, July 2, 2012 10:34 PM

Hey Trent-

Glad to hear you are doing well. Yeah, the sneezes are scary if they catch you off guard, but once you control them a bit you dont even need the pillow. Take care, enjoy your 4th and keep us posted.


Monday, July 2, 2012 10:17 PM

Hi Trent,

I'm happy to see you are recovering well. I have Mitral Valve Regurgitation and I am looking at a right thoracotomy using the Da Vinci. Might be a full sternotomy if my Tricuspid valve needs repairing. I hope my allergies don't kick in after the surgery and I get sneezing fits!!! LOL.

Warm Regards,

Lee Castro (Surgery Date - real soon)

Monday, July 2, 2012 06:34 PM

Sounds like things are going well for you. That's great news. Isn't it amazing to hear your heartbeat sounding "normal?" Mine always went thump-WHOOOSH thump-WHOOSH. Now it goes buh-bump, buh-bump just like it's supposed to. Carry on!


Trent says in response,
"I know, right? I can tell a difference in just feeling my pulse and the absence of pounding heart beats. Now I can barely feel my heart beating on my chest, and that kind of freaks me out sometimes.

Just like normal folk!!

Hope, all is going well on your end.

Trent V"

Monday, July 2, 2012 06:29 PM

Hi Trent - so glad to hear how well your recovery is going. I agree with you - it was not as bad as I thought either, but definitely would not want to go through it again! Take care! Denise K

Monday, July 2, 2012 05:50 PM

Glad to hear you are recovering and great news about the murmur. Enjoy the time off and heal.....


Trent says in response,
"Thank you sir..need to grab lunch this week or next.

Trent V"

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 08:52 PM


I'm really happy for you. Surgery done and home! Sounds like everything went well and even better than expected.

I have to agree that the waiting stinks. We have a vacation planned in mid July and after that my surgery. It is hard having it hanging over my head even though I want that time with my family.

I will pray for your continued healing. I'm glad you were so pleased with Dr. Ryan. He is an excellent surgeon-we feel like we couldn't go wrong with him or Dr. Oswalt.

Take good care and keep us updated when you feel like it.


Trent says in response,
"Agreed, Oswalt or Ryan I would feel lucky to have either one.

Make sure you have a good neck/travel pillow. That helped me. ( my only words of wisdom I am telling everyone).

Trent V "

Monday, June 25, 2012 06:09 PM

Glad to hear you are home and doing well. I am 4 weeks post surgery and feeling surprisingly good. Down to alternating ES tylenol and ibuprofen during the day and taking a vicadin at night to help me sleep. Hope to stop the vicadin this week. Take care and listen to your body - don't over do! Denise K.

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