My aortic valve replacement surgery was originally scheduled for November 19th. On November 18th on our way to Atlanta we received a phone call from the surgeon's office telling us there was a possibility my surgery would need to be rescheduled. Yes, in 12 hours I was supposed to be on the way to the hospital! Slight panic set in, but I remembered that everything will happen at the right time. I relied heavily on my faith that night. Well, we had an early Thanksgiving dinner that night and tried to relax. Around 9:00 pm I went upstairs to take my per-surgery shower that followed up with wiping, no scrubbing my body down with the wipes that were provided during per-op. amazingly, I had no problems going to sleep that evening. At 5:45 am, the morning of November 19th, my husband, Tom, my dad and I were headed to Piedmont Hospital. The hospital was quiet and they took me immediately back to a pre-op room. I undressed, got into my hospital gown and was scrubbed down one more time. There was no mention of a delay, so I thought we were on! I was getting a new valve! After tearfully telling my dad and Tom goodbye, they were frantically on the phone telling family and friends that the surgery was on. Well, about an hour later the surgeon walked in the room and said he was ready, the O.R. Was ready, but there were no Cardiac ICU beds available. My surgery would need to be post posted until November 23rd, the day after Thanksgiving. I could have been angry, frustrated, mad, but I chose to be at peace. My family returned to Athens, we decorated the house for Thanksgiving and made the best of the next few days. Plus, it just so happens that Tom's birthday was on Thanksgiving this year, and since we already celebrated Tom didn't have to share his birthday with a holiday this year. Thursday was all birthday!
I will never think of "Black Friday" the same ever again! Friday, November 23,2012 surgery was on, and this time it was a sure thing! I felt like an old pro for the first hour or so, since I had just done this 3 days before! That is until I was rolled into the operating room. It was so bright and so cold. I only remember being in the OR for about 5 minutes before entering the wonderful world of anesthesia land!
About 4 hours later I woke up in ICU Red. I remember waking up and seeing Tom. I also remember the ventilator. A nurse came up to me and told me how well I was doing, just to stay calm and the would be able to remove the tube in 2 hours. 2 hours?????? What???? Couldn't she have just said how well I was doing and the tube would be removed soon???? Many told me I would not remember this part, unfortunately I do. The ventilator finally came out, what a relief! I was so thirsty, I don't think ice chips have ever tasted so good. There were no windows in ICU so I had no concept time what time of the day it was. I was told the surgery was more complex than they thought, my aortic valve was replaced Andalusia portion of my ascending aorta was replaced due to dilation. Instead of being in ICU for1day, as I was told, I was in ICU for 3days.
My day started early today since I was scheduled to have gym duty at my school before the bell rings. Basically, I help assure the little angels are safe and secure until they are ready to go to class. On my way to school a deer decided to make its way into the side panel of my car. To say the least, it was not a good day for the deer or my van. By the grace of God, I was not injured. Shortly after the accident I received a call and found out that my dad's recently diagnosed lymphoma is in Stage I and it's localized in his neck only. Only 3 rounds of chemo and radiation! All of the sudden that deer and my van seemed oh, so small. This month we are supposed to count our blessing and realize what's truly important in life. Today, I am thankful my dad is going to be okay, I am thankful for my stepmom who has been a rock through this and I can proceed with each day because I know she is taking care of him. I am thankful for the kind woman that stopped to make sure I was okay and stayed there until my husband arrived. I am thankful for my husband and beautiful children; they are the reason for every breath I take. I am thankful that I have a job I am in love with and students I could take home as my own. I am thankful that my Lord and Savior is my guiding light in my life. I am thankful for my doctors and surgeon that will perform my valve replacement on the 19th. Yes, indeed, it is a month to be thankful!
Less than 3 weeks before my surgery and I think I'm ready. With recommendations from my doctor I have decided to take a few more weeks off than originally planned since there is a lot of walking in my job. It's so hard for me to think of being away from work for 2 months. I'm a special education teacher, my students are like family to me. I'm so protective of them and can't stand the thought of not being there. I'm going to be smart and remember that this will make me feel so much better, and as a result I will also be a better teacher too. I'm also really missing being able to exercise. I had to start taking Motrin PM last night for sleep. I go to sleep like a baby, but then wake up between 1 and 2 with a burst of energy. Not a good combination when the alarm goes off at 5:30 a.m. Speaking of alarm, it's time for me to turn in for the evening. Good night!
One month from today I will have my aortic valve replaced. I am excited, nervous and terrified all at the same time. Most of all, I am so thankful. Thankful to have the support system I have and thankful I have the doctors and surgeon I have. A part of me wishes I could close my eyes, snap my fingers and it would be one month from now. Instead I am going to treasure everyday and get ready for the holidays.
I realized I didn't have any PJ's that buttoned up the front, this was a great reason to go shopping. I bought 5 pairs of PJ's and new pair of slippers. I know I have 2 months before my surgery, but this made me feel better knowing I will at least be dressed cute when I get home! :) I still feel as if I'm talking about someone else when I think of the surgery. I've broken down a few times, once in front of my children. I just can't believe it sometimes. I have decided to go with a tissue valve and feel at peace with my decision. I have really enjoyed everyone's post. Just knowing this community is willing to spend time responding is so comforting. Thank you!
Sitting in the doctor's office now. It looks like I'll be having turkey and dressing in the hospital this year, surgery had been scheduled for Nov 19th. Now the research begins on whether or not I get a mechanical or tissue valve. I'm only 39, but very active with 2 children and a husband. The effects of Coumadin makes me nervous, maybe more nervous than having the surgery repeated when the tissue valve wears out. Please let me know your opinions! Thank you!
I went for a second opinion today and thank goodness I did. The doctor, whom I have a lot of faith in told me there was absolutely no reason to wait for surgery. I have an appointment tomorrow with a surgeon. I am apprehensive, but feel so blessed to know about the bicuspid and aortic stenosis.