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Huntersville, North Carolina,
The Patient's Guide
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2 years and still all goodWow - 2 years ago today I was under for the biggest change of my life. Everything went well that day and into my recovery and still goes well today.
No Major update - And that's a good thing!I had my one year follow up with my cardiologist after my Echo a few weeks ago. His words "Everything looks perfect - We will see you next year." I am ok with these short and sweet appointments after years of constant checking and following. By BP was also perfect which before the surgery was not the case.
4th Son Born 4/11/13 - What a year it's been!!Ty Charles Johnson was born on 4/11/2013 at 1:17 pm. He was a little peanut at 4 lbs. 10 Oz. He was 2 weeks early. Photo has been added. Everyone is doing great.
It's been 1 year today..WOW!!!At this time last year I was under getting my valve replaced. I had family and friends supporting me and the best doctors in the area. Was I scared? Absolutely..But it had to be done. You will hear this many times on this site but as I reflect on my experience the waiting was the hardest part.
All Hearts look good!!It's almost a year since my surgery. I remember this time last year as this was the time I found this site and my life and courage changed. I will forever be grateful!!
It's been a whileIt's hard to believe that it's almost 9 months since I had my surgery. I don't really have much to report health wise and maybe that's the biggest thing to report. All is well and I still feel great. I have even noticed that my scar is starting to lose some of that purplish color it had.
6 Months already and some BIG news!!Time really does fly. It's been 6 months already. Please ask me all the time so has life returned to normal and I tell them no. It's better than normal. Before my normal was worry (when/how/why). And now it's just doing Running/Swimming..not thinking about it. I am reminded of it every day when I see the scar. But it doesn't remind me of what I went through but it reminds me to thank of what I will do. Life does get better. You will feel better...People will not treat you differently. You can do this!
Saddened by the loss of a college friendA good friend of mine from college passed away last night from a heart attack. He leaves behind a wife and two young daughters. It just has me thinking about everything I have gone through this year with my surgery and how fortunate I was to learn of my condition and keep an eye on it and take action to fix it even though I was scared out of my mind.
Has it really been 20 weeks?It's hard to imagine that I would feel this good 20 weeks after a life altering experience. I just had it built up in my mind that life would be horrible and I would be less of a man so I just tried to ignore it or make believe it wasn't happening. Then I found this site where I could read the same fears and concerns that other people "like" me were having and would understand. I opened up and shared and what came back was AMAZING. I made connections like Mitch/Greg/Nancy/Janis/Jane who blazed the path and shared experiences and thoughts openly for me to decide my best course of action. I also made connections of people Like Chuck/Stephanie/DVB/Jeff/Chris/Nancy and countless others… That would go after me and I hope I was able to help.
All is normal 3 months post opI had my 3 month post op echo today. Got the call that heart has returned to normal size and my ejection fraction has returned to normal range. This important because at at my 8 week follow up everything was still the same before surgery and doc wasn't sure it would get better. My ejection fraction was in the low 40% range and that is bad. But not anymore.
10 weeks..short updateStill doing Great. It really is starting to get to be a nonevent. Only thing is nagging soreness in my chest muscles. I haven't started lifting as of yet. Still running so I am wonder if I slept funny or it was me throwing the baseball with my son. Dr's don't seem to be too worried but it's a nagging uncomfortable pain that Tylenol doesn't help with. Called my Primary DR and see if he can help.
9 weeks and feeling GOODHard to believe that 9 weeks ago at this time I was eating broth getting ready to move out of the ICU to the step-down unit. I have to say Thank You to DR. David Andrews at the Presbyterian Hospital uptown Charlotte and to his PA Buddy for making sure I came out on the other end stronger. I would also like to thank all the Nurses that made sure I well looked after and comfortable. It really is "Remarkable Medicine, Remarkable People".
8 weeks Post OpLife for me has returned to normal..My new normal where I have a high energy level and I am working out 5-6 days a week. Not only do I stop to smell the roses but take a picture of them so I may look upon them again..Haha..Seriously, I do enjoy life more..I have slowed down and say hi to more strangers..I find I am not in a hurry anymore.. My body has recovered so nicely. I feel stronger and less fatigue. I am still waiting for I start lifting weights, after all I did go through a traumatic experience so why rush it.
1st Post Op Cardiologist Follow UpSaw the Cardiologist today. Visit went well. No Echo as I will go back in 6 weeks for that. After that visit they will look at all the numbers and look at my EF and determine if I can come off the Toporal and Lisinapril. Doc said it was looking like a good chance that could happen. Heart sounded good today. He said I looked good as well.
7 Weeks post OpThings are still going great. Last week was my 1st week back to work. I only worked to about abut 2 and then I headed out. I really underestimated how tired I would be at the end of the day. At least 2 days last week I was in bed by 7. This will be my 1st full week (reg hrs). Let's see how that goes. I could also be tired because my walks are now later in the day when I use to do them early in the morning.
Mowed lawn with a push mower!!Almost 6 weeks post op. and I moved the lawn yesterday. It takes about an hour with a push mower. Wow!! I was a little sore but not to bad.
Doc told me to go live my life!!Got the all clear to start driving and return back to work. He told I could do what ever I wanted but follow these 2 simple rules.
5 weeks post opAll is well. Up to 4.5 miles a day walks. Sleeping better.
4 weeks post opNot much to report this week. Feeling great. Sleeping better.
3 weeks post opIts been 3 weeks since my "v" day. I am doing well. I am walking a lot very day. I still get days where I am tired and I have to nap and rest. But for the most part i am doing really well.
Added some photosI added some photos of my journey..
Walked 2 miles todayAfter my morning mile I felt like I had a bit more so I took my boys on a slow walk and we made it another mile. Now I am sure I will rest a bit tomorrow. Don't want to over do it.
One week post OPWow. Few weeks it was hard to imagine myself here and what it would be like. The surgery and hospital stay wasnt really that bad. Other than a low hemoglobin count that made me dizzy for a few days not bad at all.
Night one at homeIt was nice coming home to all the photos and get well letters my boys wrote me. The recliner has been the area where I am the most comfortable. Though I can't put the foot rest down with out help.
It's me. I am homeI was discharged today at noon. Sorry about not writing myself in ethe hospital. The percocet they were giving me made me really dizzy and I just wanted to keep my eyes closed.
updateJimmy's doing so well! I'm so proud of him. He's such a champ! He makes this look easy. He took a lap around the hall pushing a wheel chair this afternoon and they were going to do it again tonight. I have to come home in the evenings to take care of the kids and take them to school in th mornings.
Out of ICU!Jimmy has been out of the ICU since about 10:30am est. he's doing very well, very sleepy.
RecoverySorry for the little update before, the dr was calling me back.
He's outall is well!
Thank youThanks everyone for all your support! Jimmy was in good spirits this morning. He thoroughly enjoyed the shave down :)
SurgeryJimmy's been in surgery since about 9:10am. No news since that, so that's got to be good.
From Jimmy's wifeHi. I'm Blythe, Jimmy's wife and I'll be doing all the updates tomorrow.
Starting to feel realI had my preop appt today. Whoa..information overload. Plus all the other stuff they had me do was a bit overwhelming. But it hit me there while I was waiting for the next person to come in to poke me or stick me for blood that this is real...
UpdateDoc just thinks its a wicked head cold but did give 7 days worth on antibiotics to be sure.
Fever and a sore throatHad a low grade fever last night and now I have a wicked sore throat. Seeing my regular dr before I call the surgeon. Hope its nothing that will delay my date for 2/20.
T-Minus 10 days until my "V" day1st let me say thank you and best wished to Mitch/Nancy/Robert. They have all gone through the surgery and are on their way to recovery. I am giving you guys a standing ovation and now my co-workers are looking at me funny.
2 weeks to goJust making sure the house is ready for when I come home. Starting with the kids to make sure toys are picked up. I have 3 boys 5 and under a they have a lot hot wheel cars that I don't want to trip on. Have a good support group. Several folks have lined up bringing meals over the 1st couple of weeks and that will be a big help.
Good dayGood to hear that Mitch had a great day and his tube is out. Wishing for a restfull night for him.
Good LuckNothing about me today. This post is strictly to show support and best wishes for Mitch - Carmen - Kelly as they have surgery today.
Cath is doneThanks every one. It really wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Hurt when I was stuck for the Iv and then for the numbing stuff. Was quick.
3 weeks to goI am in the it's right around the corner phase not thinking about it too much but starting to think about it more and more.
The date is set!!!Surgeon agrees with the other doctors that my leak is severe enough that it needs to be done sooner rather than later. Working on the 2nd op asap but think I know the answer will be the same.
1st Surgical Consult todayI am feeling more nervous today that I was over the last several days. I go in at 10am to meet the Surgeon and get his thoughts as I got my Cardiologist thoughts few weeks ago. My cardiologist was pretty thorough so I know what he is going to tell me but I think it's starting to feel real.
Thank YouThank You to everyone’s responses and kind words. It's so good to connect with folks who can understand what's going through our minds.
Just passing the timeI have just been keeping busy as I wait to meet the surgeon next week.
Time to get it fixedI am new to this Journal stuff but thought I would take a shot.
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