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1 year updateIt was just over a year ago that Jim had surgery to replace his aortic valve. And the way he was body surfing in Ocean City MD, you'd never know how sick he was last year.
6 month updateToday is 6 months post surgery. Jim has been back to work for 4 months now, getting back in the swing of things, and even getting some overtime hours. He finished up cardiac rehab in December (insurance limits), but only at 6.3 METS, so there are still some limits as to what he can do. He has been bowling and hunting with his sons (13 yr old got his his 1st buck!), but he does tire more easily. His INR levels have been stable, and he gets his blood drawn every 3 weeks now. He said he doesn't quite feel normal yet. He saw his surgeon last month who said he is looking pretty good and his next follow up will be at the one year mark.
2 months - Back to WorkExactly 2 months post surgery (and 5 months off on disability), Jim returned to his job with Verizon on "light duty". He said it was more tiring than he remembered, with walking and carrying things. He does well at cardiac rehab 3 times a week (says he's the young guy there, haha) and physical therapy 2 times a week (he is still having issues with tendonitis in his ankle from the original infection, and his shoulders are also locked up). This causes him a lot of pain and stiffness at night and upon wakening.
6 Weeks Post OpIts 6 weeks after Jim's heart valve replacement surgery. Jim's recently had trouble with shortness of breath and dizziness and just feeling "off", He sees his cardiologist tomorrow, so we'll discuss it with him. He also started cardiac rehab yesterday which he said actually made him feel a lot better. His scar looks remarkably good, fading into a thin line. He's been sleeping comfortably in bed, but hasn't returned to work yet. The good days are outnumbering the bad days!
4 Weeks Post OpIt's hard to believe 4 weeks ago Jim was being prepared for his valve replacement surgery. Yesterday he had a follow up with Dr Badhwar, his surgeon, after a chest x ray. Dr Badhwar was very pleased with how he was recovering, his incisions healed nicely (he can swim now) and he is getting stronger. He can test driving ability in a parking lot with a passenger, making sure he can swerve and brake without pain. At 4 weeks, Jim is only using Advil for pain. He is also ready to begin cardiac rehab.
2 weeks Post OpJim is getting better each day. He even joined us at church this morning and then grocery shopping. He walks about a half mile (broken up) each day, and takes a short nap.
10 Days Post Op5:00pm
Back on The Recovery RoadAfter Jim's overnight stay at the hospital (along with a dose of Heparin), his other meds were figured out and he was discharged just before lunch.
Two Steps Forward, One Step Back7:30pm
Post Op Day 611:00am
Post Op Day 410:30am
Post Op Day 312:00pm
Post Op Day 22:00pm
Post Op Day 19:15am
Recovery TimeAt 6:30pm, Dr Badhwar came and told us that Jim's surgery was finished and he was stable. He replaced the aortic valve with the ON-X mechanical valve, and when he restarted his heart, the mitral valve, no longer under extra pressure, recovered enough to not need any repair. Dr Badhwar asked if anyone wanted to see pictures and the 3 kids' hands went up! He showed us and explained everything very thoroughly.
Surgery Update5:30pm update from the operating room. The valve is in place, Jim is stable and it shouldn't be much longer.
Surgery StartedSurgery started at 2:52pm. God bless the surgeon and and assistants.
Surgery Day?This morning Jim is being prepared for surgery. He spoke with the surgeon this morning who was going to do his best to get him in. Jim said he is on the board for 2pm barring any delays.
Cardiac Cath Lab5:45pm
July 30, 2012, First appointment with surgeonJim met with his surgeon, Dr Badhwar, who reviewed with us the TEE that was done last week. The aortic valve is severely damaged and as a result, the pressure from the back flow of blood has also moderately damaged the mitral valve. Jim is currently in heart failure as his symptoms continue to worsen. The decision was made to replace the aortic valve with a mechanical valve and repair the mitral valve.
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